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April 2007 Archives

  • Currently 4.1/5
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Rating: 4.1/5 (46 votes)
Comments (38) | Views (20,084)
sundaylawn.jpgJohnBFiring up the lawnmower and cutting the grass isn't everyone's favorite activity. Why go out under the burning sun when you can sit in the air conditioning and surf JIG Casual Gameplay? Fortunately for us, Donut Games, the creator of Spikey's Bounce Around, Chicken & Egg, and Castle Smasher, has taken the chore out of grass cutting and made it fun. Sunday Lawn puts you in control of Charlie whose job is to cut the grass around his house. Unfortunately there are dogs, hedgehogs, and various other obstacles standing in his way of monocotyledonous perfection.

Use the arrow keys to move Charlie around the screen, being careful to avoid enemies that dart around the lawn. Much like Pac-Man, tapping a key makes Charlie move in that direction until he comes in contact with an obstacle. Try to cut as much grass as you can in one long path to get more points. You won't be penalized for cutting a patch here and there, so don't hesitate to sacrifice your record if a dog comes bounding your way.

Analysis: Donut Games always has wonderfully simple games that are perfect for killing time when you're supposed to be working/studying. Sunday Lawn is more bare-bones than other releases, but it's still packed with strategy and charm. I enjoyed the retro Pac-Man feel the game exudes with its control style and layout. And I admit, it's satisfying to leave a trail of perfectly manicured grass behind as I slide around the screen.

When a game is as simple as Sunday Lawn, it can be easy to add too much and ruin the fun. Donut Games manages to balance everything remarkably well to make the game challenging without causing frustration.

Play Sunday Lawn

  • Currently 4.3/5
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Rating: 4.3/5 (73 votes)
Comments (82) | Views (21,658)
JayRental HouseWith the plethora of point-and-click room escape games that hit the Web each day, rarely do we ever see one of a quality similar to that of Viridian Room, one of the first and arguably still one of the best.

Enter the Rental House—and note the viridian green walls. This Japanese-made adventure offers a quality game play experience packed with puzzles that will force you to think logically. It is a straight forward game of its genre with only a couple of minor pixel hunts involved. Easy enough to complete on ones own, and yet challenging to give you about an hour's worth of fun. In case you don't have time to finish it in one sitting, an integrated save feature will store your progress for later.

Created by GUMP and released only just today, get your point-and-click skills in order and prepare to escape from the Rental House!

Play Rental House

Cheers to Ncn for suggesting it! =)

  • Currently 4.1/5
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Rating: 4.1/5 (20 votes)
Comments (15) | Views (4,315)

JaredAngry FaicFor a quick and addictive action game splurge, check out the recently released Angry Faic, by Kable Monck of Kobomb.

Similar to Kill the Pacman presented here way back a few years ago, Angry Faic is an arcade action game of skill that has you perpetually falling from the sky, constantly trying to land on tiny passing emoticons of a matching color. With each hit, your character will bounce higher giving you more chances to land on other emoticons. You are given a set number of lives which will decrease each time you land on a face of a different color. Press [A], [S], [D], and [F] keys to switch colors, hopefully in time to hit the same colored character and to keep your combo growing.

Analysis: Angry Faic is great fun to play in a short amount of time. If all you have is 10 minutes for a break, check this game out and enjoy its simple but polished gameplay. It's sweet that this game has a high score board, since for many people this will be one of the biggest motivators to play. My only complaint is that it seems that the emoticons come out purely at random, thus on many occasions leaving me without anything to land on. All I could do was watch helplessly as my character continued his vicious falling cycle after my painstakingly built-up combo was lost.

But that doesn't mean skill isn't the primary factor in how high a score you can achieve, and with the addictive nature of the game, I think you will easily find yourself having more fun than expected. Guess you'd better get practicing...

Play Angry Faic

(5 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
Comments (7) | Views (3,313)
JayPlanetary Orbital DefenseBenjamin Colwell of Indie Flash Arcade has just released this remarkably attractive arcade Flash game that blends the casual gameplay of classic video games with a stylish (and stunning!) presentation. The result is POD: Planetary Orbital Defense, a 15-level shoot-em-up bonanza that culminates in a boss fight against an alien invasion.

One part Space Invaders and one part Missile Command, POD starts you off right away defending your cities against an onslaught of alien creatures against the backdrop of a driving, deep bass beat. Initially your defense is but a single cannon with a limited supply of energy that regenerates with time via the surrounding power plants.

Control is with a combination of keyboard and mouse. Move the mouse to aim, click to fire. Use the keyboard to select [S] and activate [D] power-ups, and to move [Z,X] and toggle [A] between tanks in later levels. All keys are configurable by the player from the main menu.

Levels appear to be based on time: Survive long enough to advance to the next level, earning bonus points in the process. Score seems to play a lesser role in this game, however, as it is all about surviving and beating the alien boss ship at the end of the game.

Analysis: Planetary Orbital Defense is a beautifully crafted game that offers a decent challenge for anyone interested in about 15-20 minutes of fun. Although a tad on the easy side, the game features tried-and-true gameplay repackaged in an engaging and compelling production. The soundtrack, by DJ Kuru (aka Matt Fay), complements the game play perfectly and never gets tiresome to listen to. The graphics in the game are simply sublime.

I especially enjoyed the 'changing of the guard' scenes with the planet rotating to switch between cannon and tank levels, and did I mention the soundtrack? Almost worth playing just for that.

Play POD

  • Currently 4.4/5
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Rating: 4.4/5 (29 votes)
Comments (95) | Views (8,079)
JohnBocofre.jpgFrom "the room" to "the safe", Andres Calil has released another excellent point-and-click room escape game titled O Cofre (The Safe). Following O Quarto by just a few months, O Cofre uses the same engine with several notable improvements to the design and interface. The visuals are as smooth as ever, and the puzzles a near perfect blend of perplexing and forgiving. O Cofre comes with an extra bonus very few room escape games have: multiple endings!

The usual room escape story forms the basis of O Cofre: you're trapped and must solve puzzles to get out. The game begins where O Quarto left off, though you don't have to play the first game to understand the sequel (but it's highly recommended!). Use the arrows at the bottom of the screen to navigate the room and the mouse to click and examine objects.

The inventory system has been upgraded to make item management a much easier affair. To mix items, simply click the "mix" icon to the right of the screen, then click the two items you want to combine. No more fumbling! And now, whenever a mini-screen covers your view with a close-up of an item or location, moving the cursor outside of the window restores your normal view. Subtle touches that make the game even more playable.

Analysis: O Quarto dug its hooks into me earlier this year with very well-balanced puzzles that offered just enough challenge to keep me interested in solving them. O Cofre pushes the difficulty up a notch or two with more complex mathematical-based puzzles to solve, which may turn some players away.

The atmosphere in O Cofre is decidedly darker as well, with mature-themed language and violence inserted to match the horror atmosphere. We're hoping the next installment in the "O" series will be a little more family-friendly to let more players experience the piece of gaming bliss the series brings.

Room escape games are normally carbon copies of the same formula, but O Cofre breaks the mold right where it counts. Great visuals, excellent puzzles, and loads of replay value with four different endings to uncover.

Play O Cofre

Note: Several people have noted that this game contains mature themes that may be suitable for persons age 17 or older only. Please use discretion when recommending this game to younger game players.

(7 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
Comments (34) | Views (4,482)

zxoJelly FusionOK, here's the scene: you're stranded with a handful of your best friends on some strange platforms suspended above an endless black abyss. You're understandably a little bit scared, all of you. You won't wander off onto a new platform unless you have at least one friend to go with you, and inevitably one of you chickens out and stays behind in relative safety—after all, they've seen some of the platforms drop away into nothing! Oh yeah, did I mention you're a creepy eyeball suspended in some weird gelatinous ooze?!?

Anyway, you come across a strange platform, one with a number on it. Some of your friends venture onto it, and once they equal the number on the sign, POOF! They disappear! You've found a teleporter! You gather your remaining friends and go off in search of another one, all of you silently wondering if maybe it wasn't a teleporter after all, but a slaughterhouse! There's only one way to find out...

So maybe that wasn't the exact thought process Matthew Dirks—yes, the very same guy who brought us Colour Connect—went through when he came up with the idea for Jelly Fusion. Still, he's managed to create a neat little puzzle game that is a welcome entry to our second competition. The game proceeds pretty much as described above: you try to get each of the goal spaces to contain the correct number of jelly blobs. The tricky part is the movement—you can only move blobs of 2 or more to a new space, and you'll always leave one behind. You CAN move single blobs, however, if there is already a blob at the destination. Also, there's a size limit on the blobs that changes from level to level, and if you exceed that limit, your blob a-splode!

Analysis:You should be able to zoom through Level 1, and if you're like me, you'll then promptly get stuck on Level 2. The learning curve is pretty steep—you'll need to pick up several different skills in order to pass Level 2, but once you do so, you'll be well-prepared for the rest of the levels. The blob movement is different than most games, and it may take you a few tries to get used to it, but it's also what sets this game apart from most puzzlers. Matthew does a good job of making you change strategies as you advance through the levels, so that the game doesn't become repetitive.

The visuals here won't impress anybody who has upgraded past Windows 95, but the audio is strangely appropriate. With the word Fusion in the title, you'd expect some sort of technoey goodness, but instead you are presented with a calming chimed melody that is augmented perfectly with the little "splish-splish" of the moving blobs. The overall effect is oddly satisfying, much like the game itself.

Play Jelly Fusion

  • Currently 4.3/5
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Rating: 4.3/5 (28 votes)
Comments (44) | Views (7,764)
JaySpikey's Bounce AroundA crowd pleaser from one of our Friday link dumps, Spikey's Bounce Around is another casual game offering from the budding and talented team at Donut Games, of Sweden.

In this arcade action game you are given 10 tries per level to release all the butterflies while accumulating points. Butterflies are sealed in jars that must be broken to release their contents. A jar will break if it reaches the ground, thereby setting the trapped butterfly free.

Your only recourse to save said butterflies is to toss a little spikey creature around the play field to plow through the plants the butterfly jars rest on. You will have to plan your moves wisely if you are to release all butterflies for a level. Make use of the wooden (brown) wall structures to reach higher areas, since some wall structures spikey will cling to and, in later levels, some items spikey will bounce off of.

Control is entirely mouse-based. Aim the trajectory for Spikey by positioning the cursor where you want it to go, then click the mouse button. Release all butterflies to advance to the next level.

Analysis: With simple to grasp, intuitive controls and colorful pixelrific graphics, Spikey's Bounce Around is a delightful game to play for people of all ages. It's a light-hearted game that offers a relatively simple challenge, and that's a good thing. The game plays a bit like the recently reviewed Peggle, only in reverse. Instead of shooting down at the items and locations, you shoot up at them.

I did encounter a small bug with one of the levels, however, but nothing that will ruin the experience for you. In one of the games I played, Spikey clung to the wall on my last shot before the last jar reached the ground, which released the final butterfly. The game told me I had failed, though, and I was forced to replay the level again. A relatively minor issue that probably won't occur that often.

Another hit from Donut Games. Looking forward to what they come up with next.

Play Spikey's Bounce Around

  • Currently 4.8/5
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Rating: 4.8/5 (47 votes)
Comments (92) | Views (17,470)


JohnBMakibishi Comic is an atmospheric, quirky, and well-drawn point-and-click flash game created to promote the Japanese studio... Makibishi! You play the role of Asashin who is searching for five ninjas hidden across five different environments. Each stage is a new and creative area with multiple puzzles and scenes to experience. The end result feels like a stunning combination of Blue Suburbia, Hapland, and a point-and-click game, which is enough to make anyone excited.

Searching for hidden characters isn't always straightforward. In fact, rarely does it make any sense at all. In true anime-style, events in the story often have little or no connection, they just drop out of the sky, do their thing, and move on. A prime example is the bear charging from off-screen to fire a blast of energy at a gigantic gorilla. Logical? Nope. Entertaining? You bet.

The level of creativity in the design of Makibishi Comic is extraordinary. Not only are the levels crafted with unique gameplay mechanics (like the area where you rotate an entire planet), but exploring each one reveals loads of hidden gems that will make you smile.

Analysis: Makibishi Comic is filled with humor, great puzzles, and loads of amazing artwork. The style feels very much like an interactive comic strip and paints a complete (and surreal) world for you to explore.

On the down side, Makibishi Comic has a few painfully long loading screens. Chalk it up to slow servers, large files, or the physical distance across the sea to Japan, but you can expect to wait upwards of a minute for a few of the areas to load. I recommend using the quick-jump options at the top left of the screen, you can pre-load all of the areas before heading out to explore them, making your actual playtime a seamless experience. Also, the non-sequitur nature of events often leads to frustration, as you can never really tell what will trigger the next in the sequence until you start clicking. The [tab] key will be of great help to many.

With stunning artwork and a great atmosphere, this game will have you entranced for quite some time.

Play Makibishi Comic

Note: The old fashioned colored bars at the beginning of the game are just a load screen. Be patient and the title will appear! It's also worth noting that the game contains a few instances of inappropriate language and visuals for children, so play at your own risk.

Cheers to Ninjakitten for the link. =)

  • Currently 4.7/5
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Rating: 4.7/5 (84 votes)
Comments (60) | Views (7,461)

JayUnunicumWelcome to Tonypa's school of game design. Start with a very simple gameplay idea; it doesn't have to be original, but the idea has to be simple enough for anyone to understand immediately. Include a few attractive graphics in a minimalist style of your own design. Add a pleasing and relaxing soundtrack. Toss everything in a box and flip it upside down. Voilà. Brand new game all your own. =)

And I mean that most sincerely. Tonypa is a master of taking a familiar concept, finding the essence of fun within it, and then reformulating it to make it uniquely his own (interpretation). That is what I find so utterly compelling about his games.

Ununicum is the latest of his casual game designs, and it is a simple (little) puzzle game of matching like symbols to remove them from play. Yes, in this game 3 is the magic number, but the matching symbols do not have to be all in a row or column. Any formation of 3 or more will do.

Use the arrow cursor keys to slide the symbol blocks in the desired direction. All blocks able to move will shift in that direction. You cannot slide blocks off the play field. The only way to remove them is to match with other like symbols.

Scoring is a bit confusing, and we'll need Tonypa to explain it in the comments (please?). It seems that the score for each block removed is incremented for each consecutive score you receive. So you want to make each move count if you wish to make it onto the Top 10 high score list. Make a move without scoring and it resets back to 3. It seems the formula is a lot more complicated than that, so I'll stop here.

Analysis: I think it was just yesterday that I had a conversation with someone in which I said, "Gah! No more match-3 games, please!" And here we are again. But the formula here, as noted above, is different and is done in an elegant style that we have come to expect from Tonypa. The result is an accessible and addictive little puzzle game, and a welcome addition to any favorites collection, as many of his game designs are. The only criticism I have is: Why does it have to be so small? Yes it's cute the way it is, but without any moving sprites on the stage, surely a larger version is possible for those of us with eyesight that isn't what it used to be. ;)

Oh, and the scoring(!) What the heck?! I managed 5397 on my 2nd try and thought surely I'd be on that high score list. I guess I'll try again. Cheers, Tonypa!

Play Ununicum

  • Currently 4.7/5
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Rating: 4.7/5 (74 votes)
Comments (37) | Views (10,355)


JayAcrobots are little 3-legged acrobatic bots that hop and jump around and react to each other. Use the controls on the right to influence their number or the force of gravity upon them. Together they form an unsual webtoy that includes impressive physics as well as some very fluid animation. Very nicely done by the same Patrick Smith (Vector Park) that brought us Levers, and the recently reviewed, Feed the Head. Simply amazing.

Play with the Acrobots

Cheers to Manax, Sean, and Jesse for the discovery.

  • Currently 3.8/5
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Rating: 3.8/5 (41 votes)
Comments (7) | Views (7,899)

JayColour Connect 2Colour Connect is a game created by Matthew Dirks of Skylogic and submitted to our first game competition in August, 2006. It was initially comprised of only a single, randomly generated level, and it showed a lot of potential. Responding to the feedback he received from the first version, Matthew recently reworked the design into a full-featured, multi-level game that is both fun and addictive.

The objective of Colour Connect is to clear all colored discs from each of 20 levels by clicking on them one-by-one, provided that the next disc you click contains the same color as the previous one. Although you may begin with any disc you choose, you will soon discover that some strategic planning is in order if you wish to actually win. I found that there are some discs that absolutely must come last, and so I work my back backwards to find the discs to start off with.

Some discs contain multiple colors, and others only a single color. Some discs rotate and some will fade in and out or alternate between colors. It's a very simple concept to grasp, and yet the game becomes significantly challenging in later levels.

Although basic gameplay has not changed, an additional mode has been added to add a bit of depth to the overall game play experience. You may choose between Normal and Timed modes, with the difference being that with timed mode you must solve the puzzle before the clock runs out. Normal mode allows you as much time as you need, though the clock will keep track of how quickly you solve each level. An integrated save mechanism remembers the levels you complete, which are indicated by a star (normal mode) or a clock (timed mode) along side the level select slider on the main menu.

Analysis: Matthew has done an exceptional job of implementing many of the ideas and suggestions he received from the exposure his game received during the competition. As a result, the game now eases the player into the game and builds difficulty gradually; and the addition of a timed mode will surely give even hardcore players a challenge. One of the criticisms of the first version was that it relied too heavily on color perception thereby limiting its accessibility. This new version includes a pattern with each color for those who experience difficulty perceiving color difference.

Colour Connect is a solid casual game design now made even better. It's easy to understand, simple to pick-up and play, and yet the later levels will surely be difficult to master.

Play Colour Connect

  • Currently 4.7/5
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Rating: 4.7/5 (563 votes)
Comments (324) | Views (66,850)

JaySubmachine 4The wait is over. The next installment in the tremendously popular Submachine series is finally here. Submachine 4: The Lab again submerges you inside a vessel that you must escape from, if you can, using nothing but the point-and-click, room escape skills you have acquired.

If you're new to the series, you may wish to begin with the original game that started it all, Submachine. From there work your way through these engaging and brilliantly constructed adventure games.

Created by Mateusz Skutnik, the author promises that this fourth chapter takes us to the heart of the submachine, the place where all the questions will finally be answered. So grab your mouse and your favorite comfy chair, and prepare to embark on a journey you won't soon forget.

Play Submachine 4: The Lab

We've been here covering the entire Submachine series since the very beginning with reviews and walkthroughs for all of them...

Outside the main storyline, and yet still another great Submachine, is a game created for the band Future Loop Foundation:

Comments (65) | Views (4,184)

Link Dump Fridays

HarukioBusy! Busy busy! Get it done now! Why have I dilly dallied so much with these intros? Time is money! Less talk, more action! Places to go! Places to be! Why say "hello" when I can just say "hi"? Schedule! Plan! Don't write, just type! Don't type, just text! Mail is too slow! Use e-mail! Why wear pajamas? Wear your clothes to bed! Eat dinner in the bathroom! Get it all done at once! Why drive to work when you can just live there? Why waste time taking the bus to school? The floor in English class is perfectly comfortable! It just needs throw pillows! Don't read! Watch bad movie adaptations! Don't write! Just type witty comments in caps! Don't read this! Just-

  • Planetarium - HTML-based (no fancy flash) story puzzle with 12 installments. Registration required, but only so you can pick up where you left off, including entering notes and answers to clues in the spaces provided. Looks very well done, though on a cursory inspection only.
  • Agent Wing Defenders - It's a shooter and it's kinda cool. The shield/recharge mechanic is a
    nice little innovation. The artwork isn't too bad with a nice pixel retro look, and yet it's your typical shooter. Arrow keys to move, [s] and [a] to shoot or shield.
  • Enigmatica - Shift the blocks around to make lines of the same color. Feels a bit like a flat Rubik's cube. (Thanks Jochen!)
  • Ulandsspillet - Point, click, survive. It's not in English but with a little bit of guesswork and logic, you should be able to figure things out. (Thanks Zetaland!)
  • Stick of Death 2 - Hypnotic music, simple gameplay, and a severe lack of a pause button. Enjoy! I'd give you instructions but I don't like that look you gave me...
  • Rocket Rescue - Save the meditating astronauts aimlessly floating in space! Avoid the wicked pull of gravity, or even use it to your advantage. Though, somehow I still don't understand how ramming a spaceship into an astronaut and eventually crashing into a planet is so helpful.
  • Houses - Use the blueprint to build simply complex structures. It's a puzzle game that will work your brain but won't put a strain on your computer.
  • Monoface - Funny faces are hilarious. Many funny faces all on one face? Hyper-hilarious! You might just find yourself laughing out loud. (Thanks T. Scott!)

"Is sloppiness in speech caused by ignorance or apathy? I don't know and I don't care." -William Safire

Don't let your muffins burn, they're more important than you think.

  • Currently 3.7/5
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Rating: 3.7/5 (24 votes)
Comments (52) | Views (7,343)

zxoGrow WordIf you have not played Grow Word yet, be forewarned that this review contains spoilers that may take away from the experience. The player is expected to learn how to play the game on their own, and while it is not difficult, the following paragraphs give away how the game is played.

I think many people who frequent this site would agree: Tonypa is one of our favorite casual game designers. Grow Word, his submission to Casual Gameplay's second competition exhibits many of the characteristics that we have come to love about Tonypa's games: it's elegant, understated, and easy to learn but hard to master.

Grow Word is very similar to a cryptogram, a ciphered puzzle in which each letter stands for another letter. In lieu of letters, Tonypa provides us with white squares against a stark black background. When solved correctly, the top group of squares spells out a phrase containing the word "grow." The bottom row of squares each correspond to a letter present in the solution, sort of like a blank version of Crossword. For each level, the game cycles through all the letters found in the solution, and your job is to figure out where to put each one.

Confused yet? Play the first level and you'll get the idea in no time, I promise.

If you've never done cryptograms before, or have found them too intimidating, here are some tips:

  • The word "grow" is always present in these puzzles
  • Look for one-letter words. Those are usually "a" or "I".
  • Look for double letters.
  • Letter frequency is important—if there's a spot that lights up only one letter in the solution, then that letter is probably going to be fairly uncommon like q or v. Conversely, if a spot lights up a whole bunch of letters, then try something like e or t.
  • You won't usually solve a level on your first time through, or even your second or third. Even if your tries all look like gobbledygook, give it another shot. Cryptograms are usually solved quickly once you get a few letters right, and your second-to-last attempt may look nothing like your final solution.

Analysis: Grow Word certainly embodies the Grow theme of this competition in a pleasantly unexpected way: wordplay. If you're a cryptogram buff, try out this neat implementation; I think you'll be pleased. The graphics are in the simple style we've come to expect from Tonypa and work well—there's nothing to distract you from the task of solving these puzzles. Don't turn your speakers up - there isn't any sound, even when you might expect there to be a satisfying "click." One caveat: although the quotes all make sense, they are not all common phrases. It's not a bad thing, but just something to be aware of.

My main complaint is the lack of saved progress. The puzzles can take some time to complete, and if you want to leave and try again later, you have to leave your browser open or go through all of the first puzzles again as there is no save button and the game does not automatically save your progress. Aside from that, Grow Word is yet another solid casual game crafted by Tonypa.

Play Grow Word

JayThe first time I picked up Grow Word I blazed through the first puzzle thinking "Yay! This is going to be great!" ...only to arrive at the second puzzle and stopping dead in my tracks. The game held its position firm and refused to budge an inch for me. It wasn't until I finally decided to tackle it with a pencil and paper did I finally make progress with it, and the reward of accomplishment was sweet.

My only criticisms about the game are the rather steep difficulty curve of the puzzle sequence, and the interface constraint of forcing the player to choose each letter in a fixed sequence. It would have been nice to see a more gradual slope toward more difficult puzzles, thus easing the player into the gameplay. The second puzzle is so very difficult for someone just getting started with the game that many are likely to give up, move on, and never look back. And by forcing the player to enter letters in alphabetic order moves the gameplay from computer interface to pencil and paper—at least for me it did—which somewhat defeats the purpose of playing the game on a computer to begin with.

But despite these minor complaints, Grow Word is a creative interpretation of the "grow" theme and a welcome addition to the collection of games we received for the competition. It is uniquely challenging and gratifying (if you persevere), and its elegant simplicity is a quality that we have come to expect, and to cherish, from one of our favorite casual game designers. Cheers, Tonypa! =)

(16 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
Comments (17) | Views (4,998)

JayBMW Pace - Pursuit Across EuropeRecently, BMW launched a new advergame that has players racing its cars in a Pursuit Across Europe (PACE). In this gorgeously detailed Flash-based driving game, the developers combine highly stylized computer motion graphics and 3D cut scenes to create a unique experience you won't soon forget. Players travel to (and through) destinations such as Lisbon, Paris, Berlin and Prague, all the while competing to earn credits for upgrades and to purchase new vehicles.

Use the keyboard for control in this game. The [left] and [right] arrow cursor keys control steering, [up] for acceleration, and [down] for brake and reverse. Press [space] to engage the hand brake for a quicker stop. Use the [ctrl] key for a boost. Press [esc] to pause or restart a race.

The first stage of the mission-based game may be played immediately without registration. Just hop in and drive. A nicely polished voice-over narrates the scene and readies you for the imminent adventure ahead.

Finishing missions earns you credits that may be used to upgrade your vehicle or even to purchase a better model. Registration allows you to continue past the first stage and to save your progress in the game.

Analysis: BMW appears to have pulled all stops to unleash a captivating virtual driving experience for Web travelers around the world. Yes, it is all BMW branded, but what better way to get more people driving your cars than to create an experience that is accessible to a much greater audience. For the production, BMW enlisted the help of Interone Worldwide, the German agency responsible for the vision behind it, and Artificial Duck for the impressive Actionscripting of the game.

It is an enjoyable driving adventure game with enough features to keep the player coming back for more. The highly stylized graphics, pleasant soundtrack and voice-over narration serve to doll-up an already exceptional and smooth-running game engine that is revved and ready to take you for a ride.

It's an engaging piece of work that immerses the player from the start, but it doesn't attempt to take itself too seriously. At the beginning of the game the player is reminded that it is just a game after all, and that the capabilities of the cars in the game do not reflect reality. So please drive carefully.

Play Pursuit Across Europe

  • Currently 4.2/5
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Rating: 4.2/5 (400 votes)
Comments (651) | Views (13,844)

JayMore BloonsThe popularity and success of Ninja Kiwi's recent Bloons game compelled the developer to put its next project on hold while they create another 50 levels to appease fans eager to pop More Bloons. But these levels promise to be even more difficult than the first batch.

The same rules apply as before: simply pop the target number of balloons for each level to move on to the next. Use the mouse to aim, click and hold to select the desired power of the projectile, and release.

Precision skill in aiming and dart-throwing finesse is required here as never before. If this is your first time with Bloons, you may prefer to start with the original and work your way up to this one. More Bloons starts off right away with using all the special balloon types that were introduced gradually in the first game, and even adds a new balloon type making this version a little extra special.

Definitely addictive, and lots of fun. More Bloons means more productivity lost the world over. Don't blame me, blame Stephen Harris at Ninja Kiwi! ;)

For a detailed description of all the balloon and wall types there are in the game, check out the Bloons Walkthrough Strategy Guide, though the levels covered in that guide are those from the first game. We hope to have a new strategy guide up soon for this one.

Play More Bloons

Comments (54) | Views (2,852)

New banner by Matt HammillJust a quick update to give a big warm shout-out to Matt Hammill, designer of the recently reviewed Gesundheit game, for the outstanding job he did on the new banners and graphics for the site!

Cheers, Matt! \o/

Note: If you have any trouble with the site not displaying the new graphics, just reload your browser and that should load the new stylesheet automatically. Depending on the browser you use, sometimes the files are cached and it doesn't always refresh them unless you force it to.

  • Currently 4.4/5
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Rating: 4.4/5 (65 votes)
Comments (20) | Views (14,396)

KarmenZoo KeeperPuzzle games have come a long way since the days of Tetris and Klax. Variation, however, is far from endless, as clones of puzzles have appeared on the scene, gotten together with other clones, and had little clone babies. Every once in a while, though, a clone comes along which merges a classic puzzle with just enough original kitsch to stand out above the crowd. When I first ran across Kiteretsu's Zoo Keeper Quest, I thought, "oh no, not another Bejeweled clone!" But much later that night, as my wrist cramped and my eyes watered from a puzzling addiction, I decided this one was something special.

The game is, indeed, a clone of the Nintendo DS version, which is a clone of an earlier shockwave version, which was essentially based on the popular Bejeweled formula. The objective of the game is to line up three or more identical animals to remove them from play. Move the animals by switching or sliding adjacent tiles. New animals will fall into the free spaces in a Tetris-like fashion.

In a normal game, you are advanced to the next level once you remove the required number of animals from the board. On the first level, three of each animal is required; on the second level, four are required, and so on. A rabbit is thrown into the mix on level seven, making things even tougher. (Rabbits may reproduce like mad, but never where you want them to, here.) If one type of animal is left out, or the last to be removed, you may notice a distinct change in temperament.

Zoo KeeperWhile the moody animals are a nice touch, it is the Quest mode which makes this game enticingly addictive. As the zookeeper, you are set to 10 different tasks by your angry little boss. Your progress along the way is graded in Xs, triangles, and Os (A double 'O' being the best, and an X the worst) which are tallied up at the end of the game. Since the game is mostly written in Japanese, here is the goal for each of the quest levels:

  1. Catch 20 lions, leaving the other animals.
  2. Catch 15 more giraffes than pandas, or 15 more pandas than giraffes.
  3. Catch 30 groups of animals by cause and effect. (Eliminate rows or columns underneath to cause a chain reaction, a process which boosts your points in normal mode. You can keep matching groups as the reactions take place.)
  4. Catch only one group of each animal. If you repeat any one, you have to start your selection over.
  5. The slot machine: Click the flashing box to win a prize.
  6. Now, don't click the flashing box. (Usually, if you do, it will clear all the animals of the chosen type.) Instead, get it to fall to the bottom of the screen.
  7. Catch seven groups of animals without causing a chain reaction.
  8. Catch five groups of four or more animals.
  9. Catch ten groups in columns, not in rows.
  10. Score as many points as quickly as possible to fill the timer.

Mastering just a few of these levels can be quite challenging, as habits often don't carry well to the next level.

In each mode, your progress for the level is displayed across the top of the screen. If you get stuck while in normal mode, you can click the binoculars on the right for a hint. In the quest mode, however, you're on your own. In either mode, don't worry if you run out of moves. You won't lose, as in the game Bejeweled. Instead, the level will reset itself, and you'll score a bonus.

With clever variations, an emotional lot of animals and an uppity, cigar-smoking boss, Kiteretsu's Zookeeper will keep you busy and entertained for hours on end.

Play Zoo Keeper Quest

  • Currently 4.7/5
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Rating: 4.7/5 (239 votes)
Comments (202) | Views (72,741)

JayFeed the HeadIf you've only just found us recently, then you may not know that we've been here a long time. Well over 3 years long, and we've featured and reviewed nearly 1500 games in that length of time. So you can imagine my surprise whenever a game we featured a long time ago gets a resurgence of attention, all of a sudden. It happened recently with the infectiously addictive, Nanaca Crash, and just this week we have seen a large influx of traffic to Levers, a wonderfully relaxing web toy created by Vector Park. Levers is a beautiful game that balances art and interactivity very nicely.

While reliving the experience again after all this time, I noticed a link in the bottom right corner to something I hadn't seen before, and so I decided to take a look. Could this be something new from them?

Although I am uncertain of its origin or release date, Feed the Head does represent a piece of interactive entertainment of a type we don't often see anymore. In this age of the rise of the Flash game as a mainstream commercial commodity, it seems that the talented people who previously spent their waking hours and days creating compelling artistic endeavors such as this, are now busy churning out the daily feature at Newgrounds, Miniclip or an advergame for the latest chewing gum. My, how things change.

So it gives me great pleasure to be able to share with you a little something the archives here are filled with if you take some time to look for them. There is perhaps no goal, no win condition. It's just plain fun to play. A piece of interactive art for you to discover on your own terms. Spend a couple minutes or an hour. Lose yourself. Feed your head. Escape.

Play Feed the Head

Update: Now NEW and IMPROVED with new things to discover!

(14 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
Comments (42) | Views (8,246)


dancemonkeyAlthough the crew here love games in all of their incarnations unconditionally, we recognize the fact that, as Jay so wisely put it, "Windows-only download games can be very nice, but for every review of one we publish a kitten dies somewhere at the hand of a mean and nasty ogre." Sad, but true. Jay is wise beyond his years.

A Game with a KittyFret not! Thanks to the developers at Origamihero you have a chance to redeem the death of said kitten by downloading and playing the magnificent platformers A Game With a Kitty and AGwaK2: Darkside Adventures!

There are, sadly, no kitties in AGwaK2: Darkside Adventures, so I guess the net loss to the world is one kitten. Oops. The games are also Windows only, sorry.

Nevertheless, beginning at the beginning, in the original A Game With a Kitty (released in June of 2005!) you play a heroic Kitty on a quest to investigate a mysterious tower that has appeared in the south. Using the [arrows] to move and [shift] to jump (and a [Control] run option becomes available during the game as well) you must progress in typical platformer fashion through a series of challenging and exciting levels. You have a bit of non-linear freedom in between levels, as you can choose your next challenge via a Super Mario World-styled map view.

After wrapping up that little adventure you can download and fire up AGwaK2 (completed last October), which as I mentioned before actually features no kitties. The controls are similar, though the [Control] key from the start allows you to fire bouncing stars (that you must collect) at either enemies or destructible blocks in the environment. You can also pick up objects and people in the environment using [Control].

The gameplay and level progression is similar to the first game, but overall the second game is a much more ambitious platformer as well as being a bit harder.

Analysis: Both games have the same NES-era graphics that may turn some people off, but that I found charming and nostalgic. The sound and music are true to the golden age of home video gaming as well, though none of the sounds are necessary for effective gameplay. I found Nine Inch Nails to be a particularly enjoyable counterpoint to the friendly gameplay, giving the Kitty a dark edge I felt he was lacking (though it turns a kid-friendly game into a decidedly adults-only affair). The less than state-of-the-art, uh, art glosses over some very creative and professional-quality platform game design that should not be missed.

Some tips though before playing: don't ever hit [Escape]! It doesn't pause the game, [Enter] does. I also found the controls to be a bit "slippery" especially in the sequel, and by that I mean there's a little float time between when you press a direction key and when you actually change direction. This felt more like you're running around on an icy surface than a programming issue, since the jump and fire keys respond perfectly. It is very slight, but just take it into account when jumping around.

As I mentioned, the second game is overall harder than the first, especially if you're a completionist (made that word up!) and like to capture every coin, star, etc on every level. There are save points scattered through both games and the levels are fairly short, so dying doesn't feel too much like punishment in either game.

One last thing: play them in full-screen, or if you're playing number two you have the option of "2x Window" mode. The standard windowed mode is extremely tiny unless you have your monitor set to a very low resolution.

Again, if you like platformers and haven't already played them, these are not to be missed!

Download A Game With a Kitty Download AGwaK2: Darkside Adventures

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Not available.
Try Boot Camp or Parallels or CrossOver Games.

(15 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
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dancemonkeyBontagoPlaying with blocks is a universal experience, being not only fun for all ages but also an essential tool in development. Students at the DigiPen Institute of Technology have taken that basic structure and created a marvelous strategy game that involves not only stacking blocks but, in a stroke that some would call brilliant but I call mandatory, knocking your opponent's structures down.

Bontago is a Windows-only territory-grabbing, block-stacking, real-time strategy game (phew). Beginning in your "corner" of a circular arena you must expand your territory by stacking blocks as high as possible, in an attempt to envelope the central white goal flag. There are numerous power-ups that you can also claim, some that directly attack your opponent's stacks of blocks (rockets, volcanoes) and others that actually affect the entire playing field itself (earthquake, a heavy anvil that tilts the arena). You can only drop blocks in your current territory, and blocks dropped in overlapping territories are ejected from the map. The next block in your queue is shown on your display tetris-style, though I never really found myself looking at it. You would do well to go through the brief tutorial, as there are camera controls and block manipulation controls mapped to all three mouse buttons.

And trust me: you must also learn how to "throw" blocks. It's a necessary skill for tossing the odd power-up, but in a pinch you can also throw an ordinary block of your own to try to knock over your opponent's pieces.

The game has a few play modes, including solo play, sandbox and multiplayer. Though the website has some interesting screenshots showing what fun you can have in the sandbox, I didn't really try it out. Why not just get some actual blocks? I tried multiplayer but the options seemed limited to LAN and typing in an actual IP address of a hosted game. Unless I missed something, there was no match-up lounge for multiplayer games, which seems like the next critical step in the evolution of the game client.

The solo mode is very configurable, including not just options for number of opponents but the effect of gravity, number of goal flags, frequency of power-ups, etc. You can even specify a music folder for the game to serve up mp3s while you play, though you have to type an absolute path in a box: there's no browse dialog; and it seemed to just play it all in alphabetical order. I was listening to the Afro-Celt Sound System Volume 1 every time I launched the game.

The game itself was fun. I just played against the computer game after game after game, getting my lunch handed to me until I finally developed a workable strategy. You can very quickly take the central flag by stacking ever higher in one spot, but that leaves you extremely vulnerable to attack. You're better off striking a balance between tall thin towers with some squat stable strongholds in between so that if you lose a tower, you don't lose all of your progress.

Both versions of the game are free, the Lite offering almost-full functionality, only leaving out backgrounds and music (but you're listening to your own anyway, right?). The full version has it all, but weighs in at a hefty 23 MB download, rather than the svelte 4.11 MB or so of the Lite version.

Download the free full version

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Not available.
Try Boot Camp or Parallels or CrossOver Games.

(11 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
Comments (39) | Views (8,027)
JayRapture CaptureYou might remember the name Isomura Kai of Tonakai Interactive from the previously reviewed, Out File #01 and Out 2: Out of File, two exceptionally good point-and-click adventures with an unusual twist: You can actually die in them. Kai's latest creation is another jaw-dropper: a shmup minus the shooting(!) and with a unique control mechanic.

In Rapture Capture, take control of a ship with a tug wire attached by waving the mouse back and forth. The tug wire is your only defense against incoming enemies and munitions, use it as a whip to take out anything that comes at you. The tip of the tug wire is especially powerful, as you can even capture enemies with it and whip them around as a weapon. It's fantastic!

Power-ups appear periodically that extend your tug wire, with the extension appearing in bright blue. The longer the blue extension the easier it is to grab enemies, but also the more difficult it becomes to control, so there is a trade-off. Get hit and lose a ship, and you lose the extension, too. You start with 3 ships and earn a bonus ship every 50,000 points.

The game consumes a lot of processing power, so make sure you have little else running and use a speedy browser. If necessary, you can click the mouse to pause the game and to reduce the quality setting in the bottom right corner of the game window.

Analysis: Rapture Capture is a remarkable game not only for its unique gameplay mechanic, but also for its stunning visuals and enveloping soundtrack. The techno background music goes well with the high-tech theme of the game and its green matrix-style monochrome computer graphics and wire frame overlaid 3D-like models. The whole package is exceptionally well-designed and integrated.

I especially enjoyed the control mechanic and was immersed, wide-eyed and in-the-zone almost immediately with it. It's an engaging and compelling game that's quite a bit different than anything I'd every played before. Also notable are the large 'boss' objects that are introduced to constrain movement and make things more difficult to maneuver around, which keeps the action interesting and changes up the gameplay a bit. I found that making smaller, more subtle movements with the whip was better than flailing it back and forth, but sometimes the wider movements were productive, too.

On the downside, this game suffers from an issue common with all Flash games: when the mouse cursor leaves the game window the game loses focus and mouse events are no longer processed. The end result is that your ship stops moving, and in a game like this that could be disastrous. The gestural input this game requires causes this to happen more frequently than usual. So, my best advice is to keep your movements short and be aware of where the mouse cursor is, especially when a boss is around.

Excellent game. Unique control. This is definitely a classic in the making. Well done, Isomura-san! Arigatoo gozaimasu!

Play Rapture Capture

  • Currently 4.7/5
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Rating: 4.7/5 (81 votes)
Comments (116) | Views (19,132)

JayGalves AdventureOn just released a game he made to celebrate the birth of a friend's baby, Galves Adventure. In this charming little point-and-click, adventure puzzle game, help baby Galves make it through to where the sleeping boss lion lay. Click on various items in the right sequence and at the appropriate times to advance the little baby up to the top, at which point a boss battle will commence. A reset button is included should you get stuck (and you will get stuck.)

Analysis: I love On's games, all of them, and this game is just another example of the magic he is capable of. The animations are simple yet emphasized with just the right amount of detail to make the game come alive. The whimsical soundtrack accentuates the joyful fun that is at the heart of all of On's games.

Although not a Grow game specifically, Galves Adventure shares similarities with that series. Not only is there a mini Grow game included in the adventure, there are also dead ends and multiple endings. It is the dead ends, however, that makes this one of the most difficult and frustrating of all the Eyezmaze games to come before it. There is no indication of whether you've done something wrong, and you are therefore left to your own devices to decide when to give up and start again. Starting again means going back through everything you have done correctly, one more time. This aspect of the game will certainly be a turn-off for some, especially as the short soundtrack loop begins to sound like it's repeating itself mockingly in mimicry.

Thank heavens there's a walkthrough (thanks Simone and everyone who posted one). I gave up and decided to just enjoy going through the puzzle one step at a time, the right way, without all the frustration. Perhaps you will, too.

Play Galves Adventure

A big cheer to Thomas for alerting me to this new development at Eyezmaze. =)

Comments (26) | Views (8,258)

Link Dump Fridays

John BeaverFriday, Friday, Friday. It's generally acknowledged to be the best day of the week other than Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Most people know that Friday gets its name from the fact that Medieval England forbade the consumption of boiled or roasted foods on this day (a tradition still followed in parts of Rutlandshire). But did you know that in Norway, there are TWO Fridays every week and no Mondays? And in parts of the Xiangong province of China, it is illegal to wear a hat on a Friday. I know all of this to be true because I read it on Wikipedia

  • Orbit - a fun little game in which you must destroy the incoming misslies with the orbiting weapon of the corresponding colour. Uses both mouse and keyboard. Very similar to the recently reviewed SlingStar, don't you think? And that's not such a bad thing.
  • Cell - like patting your head and rubbing your tummy at the same time. Use the mouse and the keyboard to reach the goal. Sorry You Failed. So pick up your keyboard and throw it at your monitor. But don't hurt your mouse.
  • Uber Breakout II - a refreshing take on a familiar theme. Use the arrow keys to control the paddles and collect the green power-ups whilst avoiding the red ones. Also features a nifty two-player mode.
  • JIG theme song - courtesy of art begotti. =)
  • Indestructotank! - destroy the enemies using your bouncing tank which is ... erm ... indestructible. Chain destructive combos together for more points which allow you to purchase more enemies (I know... I know... stick with me here) so you can cover the required distance before your fuel runs out. This game is based on a true story.
  • Cubic Tragedy - follows the growing tradition of providing a non-gaming link in the Link Dump and is hosted on YouTube—a place rarely frequented by us serious-minded JIG reviewers. This three and a half minute effort will be particularly appreciated by web designers although the stylish design and humour gives the piece a wider appeal.

Remember, no matter how bad things get, they always get better. Just hang on through the storm. ;)

Comments (13) | Views (3,187)

After a long hiatus and due to popular request, comment preview has returned to help in your quest to create nicely formatted comments and walkthroughs. Just click the "Preview" button below the text input field in the comment form to see a preview of how your comment will appear when posted, spoiler tags and all!

If you encounter any trouble with the feature, please let me know. Use the email address in the sidebar if you need to.

  • Currently 4.2/5
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Rating: 4.2/5 (144 votes)
Comments (31) | Views (11,381)
towerblaster.jpgdancemonkeyIf you've been losing sleep at night because you're dying for an online version of the card game Rack-O, then prepare yourself for a good night's rest. Tower Blaster to the rescue!

You're in a race against the Viking hordes in a randomly-assorted tower of numbered blocks, and must arrange them in order from lowest at the top to highest at the bottom. The size of the blocks gives you a visual cue as well, since the higher-numbered blocks are larger and hence should be at the base. Finish your tower before your opponent finishes theirs, else the mighty Viking Axe destroys your own tower and the game is over.

Each turn you either take the numbered block that's presented to you and use it to replace one in your tower, or chance it by taking the top face-down block and either using it once it's revealed or discarding it and losing your turn. Replacing a block with what you are given is the only option in this game, you cannot move blocks around in your tower. An extremely tall curtain (!) blocks your view of your opponents tower, so you're never quite sure how far along they are. Oh they'll tell you that they're almost done, but they lie!

The game starts out with a range of blocks numbered from 1 to 50, then reduces that range as you progress through each of the eight levels. Be the first to properly arrange your tower's structure and watch your happy little squad destroy the Viking tower with a cannon blast! You can also score bonus points in each round by placing sequentially numbered blocks adjacent to one another.

Analysis: Tower Blaster is a very polished game with classic gameplay, and its few number of levels ensures that you play just long enough to enjoy yourself without getting too sick of the cutesy voices of your tiny "army".

One could always spice up the basic formula with "special" blocks that have different effects, or playing against different opponents with different skills (the downloadable version actually offers this feature), but the game as it stands is a solid, short, and sweet online diversion that doesn't disappoint.

Play Tower Blaster

(6 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
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JohnBFrog and VineFrog and Vine is a unique collection of puzzles entered in our second Flash game design competition by Matt Slaybaugh, creator of Escape to Obion. Frog and Vine is one of the more varied entries and features four types of puzzles that can be completed in any order. And if the name didn't give it away, each one involves frogs and/or vines!

The main menu of the game is a vine with four leaves, each one representing a puzzle. Starting at the bottom and working our way up, the first leaf is a simple hopping puzzle where your goal is to move a frog onto the lilypad at the top of the screen. Our amphibian friends can only move by hopping over adjacent frogs which causes it to disappear. Where to vanished frogs go, you ask? A happy frog ranch in Oklahoma. Trial-and-error is all that's necessary to uncover this puzzle's secrets.

Next on the list is a color-based puzzle where you must match the pattern shown on the blocks by moving the frogs at the center of the screen. Click a frog to see where it can leap, then move it by clicking the target leaf. Like the first puzzle, all you need to do is play around for a few minutes to get the hang of things.

The third puzzle is one of the most difficult. Pieces of vine are placed at the center of the screen with a frog on top and a frog to the left. Clicking the left frog moves all the pieces one space left, while clicking the top frog slides all the pieces up—except for the ones in the red bar. When a vine piece is in the right spot it turns green. A lot of experimenting will be needed to figure out just how this works, but there is a pattern to the madness, and once you discover it you'll feel rather proud of yourself.

The top puzzle best represents the competition's "grow" theme and has you constructing a vine from root to leaf one piece at a time. Frogs are obstacles, and you have a limited set of vine shapes to place on the screen. When pieces are connected they'll turn green and the goal is to connect all the leaves to the root. Be economical with your moves and you'll be the proud parent of a lovely frog vine in no time.

Analysis: Frog and Vine has a lot of gameplay variety, but some of the puzzles can be frustrating from time to time. Luck is as much a part of the experience as skill. Visually I feel like Frog and Vine never really gels with itself. Solid-colored game elements on top of realistic backdrops feel cold and distant from each other. Some slight integration would pull the whole thing together nicely. I loved the music, but after some time scratching your head over puzzles, it gets a little unnerving. Fortunately Matt provides a music-off button right on the side of the screen so we can kill the noise and focus on the task at hand.

Cheers to Matt Slaybaugh for crafting a challenging and varied game for our competition!

Play Frog and Vine

zxoThis one seemed to lack the polish of some other games, and I don't feel like the puzzles were very innovative, nor was the grow theme very evident. Overall, it felt like something that would be on a one-dollar "500 games for Windows 95" CD-ROM. I never did quite finish the top leaf, so I don't know if there was any reward for completing the game, but my guess is that it wouldn't be satisfying enough to justify the hours spent tweaking that darn vine.

Comments (17) | Views (3,965)

JIGsterComplete Walkthrough

  • Through some selection process, such as eeny, meeny, miny, moe, one player is designated as "it".
  • All other players scatter.
  • While "it" tries to 'tag' one of the other players, usually with a simple tap of the hand, the other players try to avoid being tagged.
  • A tagged player becomes "it" while the player previously known as "it" joins the others in tag avoidance.
  • Play continues until:
    1. All players have had a turn being "it", or
    2. Players become bored, or
    3. Mom calls for dinner.

Now that I have your attention, I'd like to mention a couple of things we've been working on to make your experience here just a little bit better.

Hopefully you have noticed the site tags have been optimized and are now working better than ever. We've also been venturing deep into the archives to give all those long lost games and reviews the tags they deserve, so the tag listings should be looking more complete than ever as well. And yet we still have about 400 more games to tag(!)

If you're unfamiliar with tags, they are the short descriptive words that appear just underneath the game title of each entry. Clicking on one of the words will bring up a page that lists all other games that have the same tag. Using them is an easy way to find arcade games, adventure games, games based on a simple idea, games based on physics principles, games based on original ideas, unique games, point-and-click games, room escape games, etc.

Using tags is also an easy way to find all games reviewed from the same developer. For example: Nitrome games or Eyezmaze games, a couple of the JIG community's favorite developers. We have even more ideas for using tags in new and improved ways, but I cannot announce anything about that just yet.

Another new feature is the Walkthrough section for games that have a helpful strategy guide or walkthrough posted in the comments. If present, the walkthrough section will appear just above the comments section, and can be linked to directly by appending "#walkthrough" to the game review page URL (example). We've tried to locate the best walkthroughs posted so far and have added those to the new section throughout the site; however, there are still walkthroughs needed for many games(!)

If you would like to help us out, we have FREE JIG CasualGameplay T-shirts to give away to anyone that helps us. To win a free t-shirt, you must submit five (5) walkthroughs and have your walkthroughs selected to appear in the new section. Well-formed walkthroughs (yes spelling counts!) that use spoiler tags and HTML list items (ordered or unordered, whatever works best) will be chosen over those that don't. For an excellent example of a well-formed walkthrough, check out jan.jan's Dwarf Complete Walkthrough.

Want two t-shirts? Then get 10 walkthroughs submitted and selected, it's just that easy.

Be sure to post your walkthrough as a comment to the respective game review page and you must submit the same walkthrough to our "walkthroughs" mailbox here at Jayisgames.com. (If you have trouble constructing that email address perhaps writing walkthroughs and editing HTML isn't for you? :p) We must receive an email from you if we are to tag you with a t-shirt.

Now, get busy (because we sure have been!) =)

(BTW - You're IT!!)

(9 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
Comments (10) | Views (3,609)

kentachola2.jpgJohnBShmup guru Kenta Cho (creator of Titanion) has released another unique shooting game. L.A.2 is similar to John Conway's game of Life but, well, the opposite. Instead of creating cellular automata, your job is to destroy them. Swarms of cubes grow and multiply around the edges of the screen with the occasional enemy craft hidden amongst them. Maneuver around the screen charging your glider weapon and releasing it to destroy advancing cells.

The same mathematical rules apply to L.A.2 as in Conway's game. Cubes only multiply in groups, so orphaned cells remain still until life reaches out to them once again. Your weapon is likewise limited to traveling across living areas, so aim for the biggest clumps of cubes to make a dent in the creep.

Controls are simple: hold [z] to "charge" your glider weapon, allowing it to consume adjacent cubes, and release to cause the destruction. The more cubes you destroy in one attack the more points you'll get. The game continues until you lose all three lives, which won't be long for many players!

Analysis: The second version of this game is vastly improved over the original L.A.. The first title was mouse-controlled, built using Processing language, and featured a ship that fired destructive bullets from the front and a weapon that made the cubes grow from the back. This game has a more complete feel and is more interesting to sit down and play.

I have mixed feelings about the visuals in L.A.2. On one hand, the color palette is pleasing and the blocky look suits the game well. The shadows on the purple part of the background are a nice touch. On the other hand, the constant flashing and jerking motions made by the creeping lifeforms is disorienting. It's consistent with Life-esque titles (and likely a necessary evil), but in an action game you need to focus on the objects and it can be difficult to get your bearings while everything around you is rapidly changing.

A unique shooting experience that even non-shmup fans will enjoy.

Play L.A.2

  • Currently 3.9/5
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Rating: 3.9/5 (32 votes)
Comments (23) | Views (5,902)
origami1.jpgzxoAttention all you room escape fans: O-RI-GA-MI is probably not for you. The puzzles are insultingly easy, some of the items are non-intuitive to locate, and it shouldn't take more than a few minutes to complete. Obviously, there's a different reason we are featuring this game.

Like its name suggests, the setting of O-RI-GA-MI is made entirely of pieces of folded paper, making it probably the only handcrafted room escape game in existence. From the furniture to the code panel to the unconventional fauna, almost everything that you see has been created out of a piece of paper and photographed in position. When you play, don't rush through it like you might some other games; this one is meant to be savored. Take the time to appreciate the details and the unique style the game artist has chosen. Or just say "Huh. That's kinda neat" and go back to escaping from some of the more hardcore rooms.


(7 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
Comments (30) | Views (4,155)
slingstar2.gifJohnBSlingStar, not to be confused with the slingshot-style platformer from Teagames, Slingstar, is a space-themed shooter created by Benjamin Nelson. Built using Processing, the same language Dofi used to create the World of Sand games, SlingStar uses realistic physics to make a strange game concept feel as natural as playing with a paddle and rubber ball.

Even though SlingStar would be categorized as a space shooter, it really isn't a shooter at all. It's a slinger. You pilot a small circle that can't touch anything on the screen. Your weapons are the two orbiting satellites that you can sling back and forth to pummel enemy ships. By pulling your craft in one direction and quickly back in the other, you send the satellites hurtling around you in a widening path.

SlingStar is difficult to play at first, but once you get the hang of slinging it becomes second nature. Unfortunately that's about the time the enemies get smarter and start following you around the screen, leaving obstacle trails, or breaking into dozens of pieces. The variety of enemies in SlingStar is definitely one of its strong points and keeps the game challenging and fresh long after the first few levels.

A nice bonus in SlingStar is that you aren't penalized for dying. If you crash into an enemy, just mutter "oops" under your breath then click the screen to start from the same attack wave. With 30 levels to fight your way through, you'll need all the help you can get.

There's no sound or music in SlingStar, which seems awkward at first. After you get into slinging, however, you won't even notice the silence. The visuals are also rather bare-bones, with not even an explosion effect when you destroy an enemy ship.

It could use a little polish in the presentation area, but SlingStar shows creativity with an excellent core gameplay concept.

Play SlingStar

Cheers to Maxro for sending this one in!

  • Currently 3.8/5
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Rating: 3.8/5 (131 votes)
Comments (104) | Views (12,448)

JayDot Action 2For those seeking some old-school gameplay, OffGao of Japan may have just what you're looking for. At first glance these games may appear as nothing special, but as was the case with many early video games, it's all about the gameplay.

Dot Action 2 is a cute little platformer with a personality. Use the [space] bar and the arrow keys to jump and run, respectively. Navigate the little stick figure character throughout each stage to collect all of the blue dots (large square pixels) to move on to the next.

Some interesting gameplay elements are included here, such as electrified orange dots that may be passed through only by collecting a red dot first. But the power-up effects of the red dot don't last long, so you have to hurry. Green dots invert the screen for some inventive level design. There are even grey dots that act like water you must swim through. You will sink unless you keep pressing [space] to swim.

Much of the game text is in Japanese, but you shouldn't have any trouble at all playing with a few simple directions: There is no mouse control in these games, even the menus are completely keyboard driven. You may pause the game at any time by pressing [enter]. To end the level and return to the stage select screen, press [enter] then [right] arrow, then [space]. To exit and return to the main menu from the stage select screen, press [esc]. Be sure to jot down the 6-digit code (nnn-nnn) for the highest stage you've reached before pressing [esc] if you wish to pick up again where you left off (or just consult our complete list of level codes.)

From the main menu, use the arrow keys to select, press [space] to activate. Here's a break down of the main menu:
  1. New game - choosing this will start a new game beginning at Stage 1.
  2. Enter level code - choosing this will allow you to begin the game at any level providing you have the level code for it. Entering a level code will also allow you to play any level prior to that one.
  3. High score rank - choosing this one brings up the high score list. Unfortunately the high scores don't seem to be working; however, you can get to Random mode from here. For Random mode, just press [space] again to play. The objective of random mode is to see how many randomly generated stages you can get through by moving to the right. To get back to the main menu from the high score screen, press [right] arrow then [space].
  4. Instructions - instructions for the game are entirely in Japanese, so perhaps we can get some translation help in the comments in case we missed anything. =)

Analysis: There is a lot to love about this simple little game. The stages are inventive without being too complex or too difficult to complete, and there seems to be just the right amount of challenge to keep the player engaged. The game is very reminiscent of some of the classic platformers of the early years of video games as can be seen in its graphics and its gameplay. Even the charming midi soundtrack evokes fond memories of the arcade, and there is just enough sound to create a very retro-feel to the game without becoming annoying.

The downside is the game file is huge for a game with such simple graphics (5MB). It will take several minutes for your browser to load the game before you're able to play.

It's a compelling little game that will give you an hour or two of fun, and if you enjoyed this one and want more, you might want to try out the author's first Dot Action game, as well.

I almost passed this one by today on my travels, but I am glad I revisited the site for a 2nd look.

Play Dot Action 2

  • Currently 4.1/5
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Rating: 4.1/5 (29 votes)
Comments (25) | Views (11,186)


Ms.45My name is Ms .45 and I am an Arkanoid-clone addict. I love, love, love brick-breaking games. However, I'm not a sloppy Arkanoid addict. I expect my clones to be interestingly designed, with innovations on the basic gameplay and that little extra something to make me want to go back and play again and again. I first encountered Jardinains! several years ago, and only recently realised that—hey! Jay is Games doesn't have a review of this fantastic game! So I was really pleased to head back to the Jardinains! website and find a whole new version ready for me to download.

Jardinains 2The little extra something in Jardinains! is the presence of 'nains—giggling little garden gnomes that will hurl potted plants at your bat, paralysing it and causing you to lose points. You can get your own back, though—if you can break the pot you win the points you would have lost, and if you can knock the giggling little bastards off their perch, you can bounce them on your paddle to get points and power-ups. If they spawn too fast, you'll end up stuck with a big stack of flowerpots on your bat and seemingly hundreds of them giggling inanely at your misfortune. It's like Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds, but with garden gnomes.

The sound effects and power-ups combine for pretty satisfying experiences. If you get an ice cannon, you can freeze the gnomes for gnomesicle-bouncing fun. An ice ball freezes the bricks, increasing the area frozen as you hit the target and making them shatter with a most gratifying sound. My favourite is the slow-motion power-up, resulting in bad action-movie moves as the gnomes yell "N - O - O - O - O - O..." as they fall.

While you have to pay to get the full version of Jardinains! 2, the demo is essentially a full game—the paid version gives you more levels, power-ups and different 'nains (look out for the pirate in the demo version). Jardinains! 2 contains the levels from the previous version of Jardinains!, but if you have trouble with it, you can also download Jardinains! 1.2. Oh, and for those of you who have complained, yes, this game is available for PC, Mac, and Linux.

Download the free demo
Get the full version

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Download the free demo Get the full version

Download the free demo Get the full version

(1 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
Comments (13) | Views (3,069)

cannonbods.jpgdancemonkey Where pirates and circus acts collide comes this excellent flash game from Off The Wrist. Cannon Bods is a slick little action game where you must shoot falling pirates before they hit the water. Be sure to choose the target that matches the pirate "ammo" loaded in your cannon, then aim and fire with the mouse. If the 'cannon bod' doesn't match your intended target, it will miss it completely.

You can rack up multiple ricochet hits for bonus points and occasionally blast the annoying Polly out of sky as well. As you progress in levels the difficulty rises with not just more and more varied targets, but by adding more cannons to fire from and eventually moving cannons as well.

An authentic rendition of Sweet Georgia Brown and cheery sound effects round out the beautiful artwork, which my co-worker watching as I played said reminded him of "Terrance and Phillip" from South Park. Despite that resemblance the game is 100% clean and safe for work and children alike.

Analysis: The controls are easy and intuitive, and a nice touch is that as you hold down the mouse button for more power the trajectory line changes its shape to match your cannon's increased power, giving you an accurate look at exactly where your "ammo" will go.

I played Cannon Bods for quite a while, but I had to in order to get to the really challenging portion of the game. It's only real problem is that it takes way too long to ramp up in difficulty, so the first few levels can be too easy and too boring. Those go by quickly though, and the added difficulty of firing from multiple moving cannons makes the game satisfyingly tense and enjoyable.

Take a few minutes out of your day and go play Cannon Bods.

Play Cannon Bods

Cheers to Mark for sending this one in!

(11 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
Comments (12) | Views (5,607)
stonecold.jpgJohnBStone Cold Curling is another well-polished game by Preloaded, the makers of CDX, Death in Sakkara and Shootin' Stars. It's a simple Flash version of curling where your goal is to slide stones to the end of a field and come as close to the center of the target as you can.

Use the arrow keys to move the stone left or right before taking your shot. Press and hold [space] to give it a kick, the longer you hold the button the more powerful your shot will be. While the curling stone is between the dotted lines you can give it a spin by pressing the left or right arrow keys, though don't expect it to change the outcome very much.

Also available to spice things up: bombs. If the target gets crowded with those pesky computer-controlled blue stones, just aim your stone straight ahead and click the bomb icon to knock them off the board. Great as a last resort desperate measure-type thing, and strangely satisfying as well.

Analysis: All of the gameplay in Stone Cold Curling centers around physics, and Preloaded obviously spent a lot of time on them. They feel spot-on except for maybe a little extra glide at the end of long, powerful throws. But only a little. The controls are intuitive and the visuals are well-polished, making the game a breeze to get into and enjoy. Just like potato chips, you can't have just one, and each time I played a round of curling I settled in for two or three subsequent matches just because I could.

A great coffee break game that plays well and looks great.

Play Stone Cold Curling

Comments (24) | Views (3,614)

Link Dump Fridays

HarukioI have grown tired of your silly games and forgotten names. You have tried to outsmart me, thinking that you were the master of baking blueberry muffins and delectable pancakes. "Harrumph" says I, I says "harrumph" again! As I stroll away into the sunset like an atypical antihero, please mull over these games. But wait, there's more! These games follow the awesome theme of music, well at least until I got tired. Hopefully you will have forgotten what I said by the time you—oh look at that, a pirate cactus (yarr)!

  • Streamline - music game by Coolio Niato. Survive the song, you know...the one with that annoying whistle part.
  • Nightmares of Leia Ray - Too many games are happy bouncy fun fun time joy. Nightmares of Leia Ray is scary. Dark and scary. It's a pseudo-interactive novel-type game where you click objects to roll the "story" along. Pretty short and not much actual gaming involved, but it's still, you know, scary. Not for younger kids due to the frighteningness involved.
  • Jelly Jumper - Sponsored game where you jump from one shiny expensive key to the next. Oh and it has music...in the background...(come on, humor me).
  • Moon War - Simple two player war on the little prince's moon! FIRE ZE MISSILES! But I am le toast. Okay, take a nap...then FIRE ZE MISSILES!
  • Graveyard of Drunken Souls - From the same site as Run Lil Broccoli and Pants Volcano, try this much more playable game. Graveyard of Drunken Souls is a simple beat up zombies game, but you get cool power-ups and when you kill a hundred zombies (which are red for some bizarre reason), you get a choice of three god powers. I'm not sure what they all do yet.
  • Taken - by your love.
  • ZoomQuilt II - This is not a game, but a work(s) of art. JIG veterans may remember the first ZoomQuilt, and this one is even bigger. Turn it up full speed for a mind-bending experience or slow it down to soak in the intricate details. There is a screensaver available if you just can't get enough. Note: This art piece contains some elements that could be deemed "mature" including some nudity and macabre imagery, though it seems fairly safe for a work environment.

Remember you can't take it with you.

  • Currently 4.3/5
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Rating: 4.3/5 (39 votes)
Comments (125) | Views (10,466)
JayVision MuseumArguably some of the best Flash point-and-click, room escape games have come from the Gotmail team of Japan. And within the past 2 weeks they have released 3 new games, but only one of them has an English translation so far. We like to wait for an English version before we feature a review since there is usually some narrative that goes along with this type of game if done well. And the Gotmail team does them exceptionally well.

Enter the Vision Museum. You have been invited by your favorite celebrity to visit the VIP-only trophy room of famous performers at a local museum. You enter and, like most room escape games, you can't get out. Using your point-and-click finger and puzzle-solving prowess, collect items to solve puzzles in this gorgeous graphic adventure.

The game is actually an advergame for Vision Factory, a Japanese management company that promotes Japanese artists and pop stars, such as Amuro Namie and, the boy band, Lead. In fact, the game features a music video by Lead as one of several cut scenes in the game (Thanks Joye!), so if you're on dial-up, or have an aversion to advergames, you may want to pass this one by.

We'll be back with more Gotmail reviews just as soon as the English versions become available.

Play Vision Museum

Thanks to Master for submitting this one. =)

(13 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
Comments (43) | Views (5,303)

JayenQbateAqui Griffin delivered a visually stunning entry to our recent game design competition that is as easy to pick-up and play as it is to look at. enQbate is a simple puzzle game in which the objective is to highlight all cells in play by mousing over each with the cursor and then clicking.

As with most of the games in the competition, instructions should be unnecessary. The game is quite intuitive and easy to figure out on ones own. In case you need a hand getting started, all the levels in the game appears along the outside ring of the interface. You may play any level you wish using the selection mechanism at the bottom center, but it is suggested you begin with the first (and most basic) level, already in place at start-up, and work your way around by pressing the [>] button each time you complete a level. Then, to load up the puzzle for the current level, simply press the [+] button.

Once loaded, begin at the starting cell—the hexagon with the bright ring around it—and move the mouse over adjacent cells. You may only move up to 4 cells at a time before clicking to commit your path. Once committed you cannot go back without resetting the level. Thankfully you may reset as much as you need to complete the level and move on.

Completing levels is where the "grow" theme takes shape and is a reward for your efforts. An additional 'warp' cell type is introduced in later levels to introduce added complexity.

Analysis: I really enjoy this game, both from a visual perspective and because of its amazingly simple and straight forward gameplay. It took me about a minute to figure out what I was supposed to do and then I was compelled to play until I had completed every level. The levels ramp up in difficulty nicely with later levels presenting quite a challenge. For improvements, I'd like to see a random level generator made for the game to improve its replay value. Other than that, the game is nearly perfect as is.

Some of the choices for color and highlight may be difficult for those with certain forms of colorblindness, and at least one of the levels displayed a gameplay bug as noted in the comments. But short of those somewhat minor annoyances, this game shined and could have taken first place in the competition if it weren't for the other exceptionally strong contenders. An excellent effort from a budding and very promising new game developer. Well done, Aqui!

Play enQbate

zxo Visually and aurally, enQbate was competitive with any other entry—the graphics are sleek and the music appropriate. The puzzles were fun to play, and moderately innovative. I found the retracing mechanism to be very non-intuitive, and probably unnecessary—the transporters alone offered enough puzzle-designing capability. There were a few things that bothered me about the gameplay, such as being able to end on any cell you wanted, although maybe these were just bugs. With a few tweaks, I think this would have the potential to be a top entry.

(14 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
Comments (27) | Views (4,411)
JayPorolith Flash

At first glance, the latest offering from Taro Ito's GameDesign.jp appears to be just another Tetris clone, but closer inspection reveals gameplay dependent upon color rather than shape. In Porolith Flash, the objective is to stack and group shapes of the same color together to remove them from play.

In this very simple puzzle game designed by Yotan, the [right], [left], and [down] arrow keys are your only controls. Unlike its almost visual twin, Tetris, you cannot flip the block formations to stack them neatly. Instead, the unwieldy stacks that form become integral to the gameplay. This changes up the strategies commonly used in Tetris, and therefore makes for a fresh new variation on the theme.

Blocks begin to appear in a wider variety of colors as the game progresses, and the rate at which they drop also increases, which gives the game an arcade look and feel.

Analysis: As with other GameDesign games, Porolith features the elegant simplicity that we have come to expect from Ito-san. He has taken the design from someone named Yotan, and turned it into a game that fits in nicely with the others on the site. It's not a very deep game, but it offers replay value for anyone looking for a game that is quick and easy to play.

A brand new take on a classic, Porolith offers simple, casual gameplay that will have you coming back to it often.

Play Porolith Flash

(11 votes) *Average rating will show after 20 votes
Comments (69) | Views (4,869)

chickboom.jpgJohnBTwo teams of cute baby chickens fighting with bombs, poison mushrooms, and violent storms. If that isn't a winning game idea, I don't know what is. Chick Chick Boom is a combat-style game that pits two teams of chicks against each other in a small divided field. It also holds the privilege of being one of two Flash games created by extra toxic and sponsored by Nintendo, the other being the fantastic retro platformer, Mission in Snowdriftland.

Use the mouse to draw different shapes on the egg at the bottom of the screen. Shapes let you attack the other team or defend your own, depending on what you draw. Accurate strokes produce more powerful moves, so keep a steady hand to get the most out of your drawings. Each attack has a corresponding countermeasure and if you watch your opponent closely you can minimize the damage done to your team. The goal is to stay alive as long as you can to unlock downloadable content and beat your own achievements.

Here's a quick run-down of the attack and defense moves at your disposal:

  • Weight - A heavy weight drops from the sky and smashes hapless chicks.
  • Bomb - Tosses a bomb to the opponent's field to injure a group of chicks.
  • Lightning - Strikes from the dark cloud to damage a group of chicks. Watch out, though, as the cloud will drift to your side as well!
  • Toadstool - Make poisonous toadstools grow on your enemy's field. Chicks that eat the fungi are sluggish and gradually lose health.
  • Balloon - A hot air balloon carries a chick into the wild blue yonder.


  • Arrows - Move the chicks to one side of your half of the field. Useful for avoiding lightning and bombs.
  • Lightning rod - Absorbs lightning.
  • Medicine - Heals poisoned chicks.
  • Sandbag - Weighs down the balloon so your chick can hop out safely.

Analysis: Chick Chick Boom is a gorgeous game with a cheery, bright presentation and a fun interface. The drawing mechanism adds a vital element of interactivity that simple button clicking would never accomplish. The rock-paper-scissors attack and defense system works well, and it's surprisingly challenging to balance a good offense with a strong defense. A traditional level-based progression would add to the experience, but the detailed statistics the game tracks offer a surprising amount of incentive to keep playing.

A simple idea with an extraordinary implementation.

Note: It seems that the game automatically starts you off in pro mode (these chicks have high standards). To start at the beginning click "Erase Game Progress" on the Team Info page.

Play Chick Chick Boom

Cheers to OtherBill for word about this new game. =)

  • Currently 4.5/5
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Rating: 4.5/5 (21 votes)
Comments (26) | Views (5,190)

catbowgolf.gifJohnBDofi, the creator of the World of Sand webtoys as well as many other physics-based games, has just released a demo version of a new title for us to play with: Cat with Bow Golf. The name may sound strange, but that's only because the game is strange. You control a cat with a bow and arrows attached to a rope. Pull back with the mouse, fire the arrows and fling the cat across the screen to try and hit the target on the other side. Just like golf, you want to make it in as few attempts as possible.

There are only three holes to play, so the experience is admittedly short. The physics are smooth and the game has the same quirky sense of fun as all the Dofi games. And I have to admit, making a cat fly through the air by firing arrows has its own little charm.

Remember: this is a demo version of the game, and Dofi admits there are a few bugs that need to be ironed out. We'll update you when the full version is released.

Play Cat with Bow Golf

Update: The demo has turned into a "full version" and the links above now point to the latest version of it!

  • Currently 4.8/5
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Rating: 4.8/5 (78 votes)
Comments (71) | Views (17,209)

desktoptd1.jpgFor those of you behind on your caffeine intake today, Desktop Tower Defense is here to give your brain a kick-start. Similar to Flash Circle TD and Flash Element TD, place towers on a map and try to defend your borders from invading baddies. Created by HandDrawnGames, Desktop TD just so happens to sport a pencil-drawn look. Game elements such as towers and creeps are rendered with a rough charm that makes you feel like you've sneaked away to play a game when you're supposed to be working at your desk. Naughty, naughty.

Each enemy you kill earns gold which you can use to upgrade towers or build more structures. If a creep makes it through your defenses to the other side, you lose a life. Strike a balance between fast-firing towers and more powerful (but slower) units to keep your desktop free and clear. A good strategy is to funnel enemies around the screen in a twisted path, giving your towers more time to pelt them with weapons fire.

Desktop TD is more free-form than other popular tower defense games. For starters, in the main mode there's no set path for enemies to wander, you're free to place towers anywhere you please. There are also three difficulty levels to choose from and a number of challenge levels that restrict the conditions to force you to improvise. Recently, Desktop TD was upgraded to version 1.2. New challenges were introduces as well as a Fun Mode that adds walls inside your desktop area.

Analysis: What I most enjoyed about this game is that you don't necessarily win every battle. Sometimes the odd flying creep will slip past your defenses, other times a boss just stomps right on through your channels of death without even noticing the arrows hailing down upon it. The good thing is that in spite of these defeats, you go on. You learn, you grow stronger, and perhaps you even succeed at beating the game. With 49 levels to fight through, your technique is quickly honed, and even though those creeps are so darn cute, they must die nonetheless. And die they shall.

Play Desktop Tower Defense

Cheers to Magnus, Kevin, Mraccidental, Brand, John, Hooch and Paul for sending this one in!

  • Currently 4.7/5
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Rating: 4.7/5 (29 votes)
Comments (101) | Views (10,807)
JayThe Terrific Menace of the Invaders from AudiogalaxyMore than 3 years in development, The Terrific Menace of the Invaders from Audiogalaxy is much more than a mouthful. Created by a group of dedicated authors and aficionados of the classic graphic adventure games from the nineties, they pay homage to these games of yesterday through a brand new adventure in a style very similar to Day of the Tentacle.

A charming experience filled with colorful characters—some humorous, some ironic—that takes you on a journey through time, visiting musical legends and destinations of Turin, London, and even Woodstock.

We'll be back with an update and a more thorough review once we get through this promising new adventure.

Play The Terrific Menace of the Invaders from Audiogalaxy

  • Currently 4.5/5
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Rating: 4.5/5 (24 votes)
Comments (138) | Views (15,772)

JayEntombedAs an archaeologist looking for artifacts, you venture deep into a dark, unexplored hidden cave. You can barely see ten steps in front of you except for the amber glow of the torch you carry wrapped in a leather casing. You stumble across an odd shaped marking on the surface of a nearby rock. It looks like a symbol, an ancient carving. You reach out to touch it and just as you press it the ground begins to shake all around you. Before you can come to grips with what is happening, the ground beneath your feet separates and you tumble forward into a vast complex of gorgeous rooms with shiny marble floors and walls decorated with enormous carvings like you saw on the rock just outside. The symbols resemble the sun, moon, and stars.

You have entered the realm of Entombed, an amazing and surreal, first-person, point-and-click adventure game filled with puzzles, mazes, traps, acid moats, tunnels and a glimmering crystal cathedral. There is even a room carved from ice. These puzzles will tease your brain and give your grey matter a work out for sure. A walkthrough may be necessary for this one, so please help out in the comments if you can. Click.

Update: Yes, the original post was an April Fools joke, but as several of you noted in the comments, the joke was in fact based on a real game ("Bend to Me" was nothing more than an anagram for "Entombed"). I've updated the links above to point to a site where you can download the game (sorry, it's a DOS game so it is PC-only).

After installing the game (accept all defaults), you will need to right-click the executable and select "Compatibility". Then check the box that says "Run in 256 color mode".

The Flash "game" was created using a few screens from the original game, plus the ForeverFlash engine created by Mouser over at DonationCoder.com. Thanks Mouser! =)

Original post:
Bend to MeThe downside is the game is HUGE with all of its stunning ray-traced graphics, 3D models and textures, so expect a bit of a load time as this amazing environment is created and assembled for you. It's surely one of the most ambitious games created in Flash that I have ever seen. But don't take my word for it, experience it for yourself. Enter the world of Bend to Me, and kiss the next few hours of your life goodbye.

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