Undo. Unwind. UnLink. Pick up your mouse and chill out a little with this puzzle game from FOG Games. It's a classic style of brainteaser that many of us grew up with: You are given an object made up of many smaller, interlocking pieces. Although they appear to be tightly tangled, they can, in fact, be neatly undone without breaking any of the parts. Here, the cavalcade of objects is rendered in lovely 3D, and you get twenty-three of them for the tasty price of free instead of paying fifteen bucks at the state fair for one hand-carved wood puzzle that'll mostly just sit looking intimidating on your mantelpiece. Grab and pull pieces with your left mouse button, and use the right mouse button to rotate the shapes for a better look at them. And don't sweat the small stuff. There's a hint button waiting in the wings, ready to offer you advice and to reassure you that "everything will become clear." What a sweetheart!
April 2014 Archives
You know what's cool? Science, that's what. You know what's even cooler? Science games that can help save people's lives. As awesomely powerful as DNA is (see Play to Cure: Genes in Space for more on that), RNA is even more ancient and mysterious, and while we have a good understanding of how it works, there are so many ways it can fit together that we don't fully grasp the full range of things it can do. That's where the NOVA RNA Lab comes in. You don't need any special scientific knowledge to work in the VirtuaLab, as a wonderfully snarky computer guides you through the tutorial and the three subsequent pre-made worlds. Your goal in these early levels is to place the four RNA bases (adenine, guanine, uracil, and cytosine) so that your strand folds the same way as your goal image. Each bond and loop behaves differently, and there are different goals for each level. Once you complete the pre-made levels, the game becomes your toolbox, and you can not only build your own strands but vote on whose results actually end up being created in a real-life lab. If this sounds like Foldit or Eterna, that's because PBS teamed up with the people who made those games, and integrated a whole lot of improvements.
The endless locked doors and wobbly picture frames. Irascible locks on every surface refusing to chime brightly and divulge their secrets. A horde of evil pandas. These will be the denizens of my nightmares someday, the hazards of the JIG escape game studio, as each week I recline in my yellow rocking chair, thick black glasses, and cigar stuck out of the side of my mouth, pre-screening the Weekday Escape hopefuls. It hasn't reached that point yet. Someday, though. Someday. Until then, I can only dream of elevating my escape game nerdiness to such levels of coolness. You can say you knew me when. And how, here's this week's feature: go ahead, stay up late; it could be worth it.
Find the Escape-Men 98: Horse Racing - No1Game's latest 10 hidden green guys games—with its multiple areas to search, two endings, and slightly more complex puzzle construction—falls short of its own spotlight because of a few tiny but enjoyment-stifling missteps in the pacing. It's like when you're watching a pretty good movie and know it could just be better if only they let you step in as director for the day to make a few edits and cuts. As consolation, it gets top billing in this week's WE line-up and is touts approved.
Candy Rooms No.8: Azure Pop - from FunkyLand may be more fanfare than actual substance; but, who cares? The hip décor and bright colors inspire happy thoughts and tapping toes. No time to feel let down that there aren't more things to do in this way cool room, just set your sights on finding the 5 candies and enjoy it while it lasts. Besides, if we were ranking the series, this entry lands on the more complex end of the scale: fun clue presentation and not quite obvious answers give it the thumbs up.
Chicks Hide and Seek 17 - Rounding out our trio comes Yuri with another hide-and-seek-centered escape. It could be subtitled "Adorableness in Space". Eschewing gravity and glumness, this plucky brood of darling chicks employ camouflage, locks and clever item usage to conceal themselves from your gaze. While not exactly easy, it's less a brain teaser and more a round of peekaboo with your cheeky baby nephew, all the entertainment here is in the cuteness. Got to chuckle as I wonder, though, how those baby chicks get themselves into the places they do.
The Lady of the Lake knows you've got to change with the times, so when a super steam powered jerkface of a knight storms your castle with his minions and boots you off into the horizon, she changes your sword for a fancy rifle in IriySoft's platform shooter game Steam King. After the long, long, long load, and a long, long, long (but cute!) cutscene, you can move with [WASD] or the [arrow] keys, and click to fire or use [Z] or [X] to do so too. Your health is in the upper left corner, and at the bottom you'll find a count of any grenades (launched with the [spacebar]) that you're carrying... these grenades don't carry between levels, so smoke 'em if you got 'em. Most importantly, however, in the top middle of the screen is your count of cogs, which you can spend at any time on upgrades by clicking the dollar sign icon to the upper right, which presumably sells them off to an interdimensional steampunk cosplayer. If you die, you'll be booted back to the last checkpoint you passed in each stage.
We've all done it, especially since you've played the simulator Shop Empire 2 (What? You haven't? Well go on! We'll wait. ... Back? Great!). We get the quest to "catch 'x' number of robbers" or "Have so many staff members", and do the quick fix is to hire like a mad man, pass off the goal, and then let the pink slips rain! You get your accomplishment and if you do it fast enough you don't have to even pay them first pay check. Aren't you a little smart one? No consequences here! Or are there? Shop Empire Rampage, by Little Giant World, simulates all those laid off employee vendettas. Help them trash the stores, short out the lights, and shut down each mall they come to in this timing strategy based game.
They say it's all about who you know, but sometimes finding the right job is all about who you pull out from in front of a moving vehicle. In Maulidan Productions' sim game Multishop Tycoon, someone else's near death experience is your lucky break, and you've got the chance to start clawing your way up the corporate ladder by managing and building different stores and resources in different areas around the town map. The handy in-game tutorial will explain the finer points, but most of it is fairly intuitive. You're aiming to build facilities and manage their stock (from the items available to the prices thereof), while making a tidy profit and ensuring your expenses for things like employee salaries don't get out of hand. Learning the value of your stock and where you're selling it is important since, as the tutorial points out, Hidden Valley Ranch commercials lie to us, and kids probably won't be flocking to a broccoli cart on a playground. The game is divided up into days and months, and you can unlock various objectives to complete, as well as some sweet upgrades at the home office to make things even more efficient, buy advertising, gain new items and areas, and so forth.
Why do knights always have to do all the dirty work? Our poor Davion gets a message from the king – no, not even a message, a silly drawing – asking him to eliminate the Dark Order, and off he goes without a word. Sure, he gets three henchmen somewhere along the way as well as shiny new armour and a legendary sword, but what about the health insurance, overtime and holidays? While Davion and his friends contemplate forming a union, they'll still finish their heroic mission in Mighty Knight, a great new brawler by Firebeast. There are fourteen demon-filled stages between our warriors and the powerful Phantogod. You will control Davion, using the [arrow] or [WASD] keys to move, [J]/[Z] to attack and [K]/[X] and [L]/[C] for special skills. You don't have to worry about his friends, since they move (and frequently die) on their own.
Welcome back, dear reader! Take this pillow for more comfortable lumbar support. There, isn't that better? Can I freshen up your drink there? Here's a little soft music while we provide soothing neckrubs, and cool you with gently-waving palm boughs. Making a good thing even better is the whole design philosophy behind tamaii's outstanding new picross game Pixelo, and boy is the improvement ever noticable! Sure to become a touchstone of the genre for all its refinements, not only is the visual theming stellar but it features more unlockables than you can shake a stick at, a shop where you can buy upgrades, and its own leveling system just in case you wanted a few role-playing game elements with your picross. If you prefer a comfortable environment while chisling away the various possibilities until the underlying pattern emerges, Pixelo is a must-play — and if you haven't tried picross yet, this is absolutely the one to start with.
It's difficult to pull off a noir atmosphere without getting pretentious. It's difficult to pull off a stealth game without resorting to tired tropes. Third Eye Crime manages to avoid both of those traps. The astonishingly stylish top-down puzzle/action game puts you in the speedy shoes of a criminal who can read minds. He uses his ability to tell where guards are about to search, staying quite literally one step ahead of trouble.
It was just a locket found while mudlarking... that is, searching the banks of The Thames in hopes of finding discarded artifacts of old. Most Mudlarkers dream of finding that one great treasure that will bring fame and fortune, but Winston's and Vincent's dream shortly became a nightmare. You play as Winston, a Londoner with a week off of work who was planning on spending it with his best friend, Vincent, who finds an old locket. Then two days later he vanishes leaving his precious locket behind. Winston must find him, and something deep inside of him tells him that if he doesn't hurry there won't be anything left to find. So starts this point and click adventure game, brought to us by Cloak and Dagger. Mudlarks is a free indie game of mystery and friendship as you must find the enigma behind the locket and be willing to face it all, whether it be radioactive meteorites, a dark government conspiracy, or even the supernatural, to save your friend.
The world is a beautiful place, full of many different types of games. Some are deep, cerebral affairs that will test your brainpower to its limits. Some hold thoughtful narratives that ruminate on the nature of life and love. And then there's Tank Travel, courtesy Andrey Chaporov and pals, an action shooter about the joys of roaming the land in a giant tank, blowing up everything in your path. Ahh, bliss. As the title suggests, your tank must travel from the beginning of each stage to the illuminated exit. Pilot your hulking death-machine with the [WASD] keys, using your mouse to aim and fire your turret at whatever you want to... "go away." And be sure to really pile on the wanton destruction! Everything you blow up, from crates to chains to evil enemy robots, nets you tasty points you can use to upgrade your tank's speed and power.
FRACT first teased our eyes and ears back at the beginning of 2011. It's been a few years, but the full release is finally upon us in the form of FRACT OSC, an abstract first person puzzle game steeped in mystery and musical riddles. It's the kind of game that rewards you for jotting down notes on a piece of paper, as you never know what odd shape/color combination might be used to solve a puzzle later on.
Confused and unsettled in just a few clicks? That's the calling card of a Detarou escape game, and if you woke up this morning thinking, yes, I would like to see a suggestive lion costume while a man plays the maracas, Biyori is here to fulfill your needs. It's just you and a room full of men who have, um, interesting means of expression. Biyori admittedly features a lot of material right off the bat that is designed to make you either weirded out or uncomfortable, but that's par for the course where Detarou is concerned. Just click to search and interact with things and people, and pay attention to the clues you'll need to solve the puzzles and contraptions keeping you stuck in this place.
GUI Game, by Athletic Design is one of those point-and-click puzzle games that have you blitzing through a series of near-identical screens with a crafty puzzle to solve for each. However, GUI Game is a bit different from what you've seen before: here the menu interface is your puzzle provider, and that means there's a lot of entertaining, fourth-wall nudging challenges to confound you with. Gameplay's as simple as using the mouse to click the button that will take you to the next level while avoiding the cursor-swallowing black background. It's figuring out how that button will be hiding that's the challenge, and you'll need every trick and option the Graphical User Interface provides in order to triumph.
Please be warned that despite this game's appearance it is not intended for children. This game deals with themes that some people may find upsetting or triggering.
When a game claims to take inspiration of such massive heavy hitters as Ib and Yume Nikki, to name just a few, you get a little nervous. Those are some big shoes to fill, and accha is gunning for them big time with her free indie adventure game Dreaming Mary. The game opens with a cryptic warning about dreams, and then starts you in a lusciously sweet and painfully pink bedroom. Use the [arrow] keys to move, hold [shift] to run, use [S] to save, and [Z] to interact with things and make choices. Choice, as it happens, is a key part of the game, both in mechanics and in themes. See, Mary loves to dream, and her dreams are typically very happy, innocuous things filled with friends and magic. But is that really any way to spend your life? And how innocent are her dreams, really? You'll need to play the game multiple times to find the truth and all the endings, which is going to require a lot of exploration, determination, and fast feet. Make sure to talk to characters multiple times, since they might have different things to say!
Wayward Souls is an action RPG by Rocketcat Games that shows the world what a portable roguelike should be. The game takes full advantage of quick-burst mobile gaming habits and allows you to jump in, slash some baddies and collect your reward, all without having to tap through pages of story text or tutorial tips. It's a direct descendant of the studio's previous mobile RPG Mage Gauntlet, only more refined and better suited for satisfying rounds of hack 'n' slash.
I think I'd make a pretty good mobster. I look great in a flattering pinstripe suit. I talk with my hands (and out of the corner of my mouth). And while I don't know that my inherent Canadian politeness would let me call anyone a dirty rat, I could say that I am very disappointed in them, which is, like, way worse. So I think we're pretty primed to play the hidden-object adventure from 5 BN Games New York Mysteries: Secrets of the Mafia, and let me tell you guys this game is amazesauce. Set in the '50s, New York has suddenly had a lot of its prominent mob bosses go missing, leaving behind only a mysterious green liquid and an equally mysterious butterfly. Less mobsters means less crime, right? But the problem is, children are going missing too... and each of them has drawn the same butterfly before vanishing. As the story begins, you, a reporter, have arrived at the scene of the latest disappearance, the Museum of Natural History. You're following a phone call from a man named Bishop who claims to want to hire you to write an article on the disappearances, but he clearly knows more than he's letting on. Will you survive uncovering the truth? With clever puzzles, a rock-solid and creative storyline, and stunning visuals, New York Mysteries: Secrets of the Mafia is a fantastic game any casual game fan needs to make a date with.
The supernatural investigation team is back in Carmel Games' Vortex Point 4: The Golem, this time with a shiny new office, and two brutal beatings to look into. In this mysterious point-and-click adventure game, you once again play Kevin, the lead investigator. When both the victims turn out to be artists, and the police can't find any fingerprints at the scene, they call you to use your superior detecting skills to turn up a lead. This latest case has all the markings of an ancient myth, and it's up to you to put the pieces together.
The vertical shooter that turn scribbles into spaceship and doodles into Death Stars is back for another round in Notebook Space Wars 2, the latest in the Notebook Wars series. This time around Francisco Ferreres has you facing off against the forces of Rymulox III, who means to enslave the Earth with his pencil-drawn armada. So you know what that means? It's time to build a spaceship (SPACESHIP!) and start blasting all that needs blasting. Use the mouse or the keyboard to move, [F] to autofire and [E] to drop bombs, shooting space baddies, collecting gold to spend on upgrades between levels, and XP to unlock new capabilities for each of your ships. The levels are presented on a map with four difficulty modes to choose from (ranging from "slow" to "xtreme"). The map also features a hangar where you'll organize all your upgrades and mods. A new addition is the "arcade" mode, in which your ship is automatically upgraded as you collect XP, with no stopping between levels.
As soon as you click past the opening title, you realize Lo.Nyan's Room Escape 10 is an escape game in more than one sense of the word. First, in the most basic sense, the premise—you are locked inside a room and must use your wits and logic to work your way out. Added to that are gorgeous surroundings, a generous suite poshly appointed in modern décor, and you know your experience here has turned into a mini-break: an escape from the standard milieu. You suddenly feel you have won a contest you didn't even enter, one in which a funny little cat and very nervous toy robot whisked you away to a seaside sanctuary, and think to not bother solving the puzzles set before you. Yet every surface invites exploration and, as you explore, you find clues tempting you to open locks and discover more swanky scenes.
NEW VERSION UPLOADED 2014-04-24 with a new drag and drop mechanism which should not affect other tiles during the moves.
Francis Davidson Paul knows you're a discerning sort when it comes to puzzle games. One only has to look at your multiple monocles, spats, and Instagram account of all your food to know you demand games that are smoother. Sleeker. Swankier. That's why Interactive Puzzle is such a pleasure to play. Despite its simple and somewhat familiar concept, its gorgeous presentation and easy drag and drop mechanics make it the perfect break style game. In each stage (with levels available in easy, medium, and hard flavour) the goal is to recreate the animated image by dragging and dropping tiles in the correct order. The catch is most images have some sort of element that responds to your cursor, allowing you to use it to help determine where tiles should sit. You can click "preview" at any time to see the way the image is supposed to look, and you have ten hints for the entire game that, when spent, will mark whatever tile you're supposed to place from left to right, top to bottom, in first place, second, and so forth.
Let's rip this bandaid off quickly... Yuri Shapkin and Vladislav Kim's puzzle platformer Stealth Bound is not a stealth-themed Earthbound, which isn't even a thing I knew I wanted until I found out I wasn't getting it. Instead, you play a scruffy looking fellow who's been imprisoned in a jail that seems at once both insanely overboard in its securities and also painfully lax since they're happy to leave all the things you need to scramble around each level to freedom just lying around. Using either [WASD] or the [arrow] keys to move and jump, with [Z] or [L] to interact, your goal each stage is to avoid detection by the guards while making it to the exit as quickly as you can, which usually involves a lot of sneaking, switches, key cards, and so forth. While you can sneak by some guards unawares, others you'll need to deal with in a more hands-on way, by which I mean pummeling the snot out of them when their back is turned with [Z]. Just be careful, since it's game over if you're spotted! While it looks simple, Stealth Bound winds up getting surprisingly complicated in its sneaky mechanics. Once you knock an unarmed guard out, for example, you have to stow his snoozing body somewhere his coworkers won't spot it, and you'll need to use cover to hide from enemies who aren't susceptible to a knucklin'.
Unique among retro-style puzzle games, Nazo Systems' Puzzle Legends manages to hit you right in the nostalgia zone without feeling derivative or cheap. You're not a warrior in Puzzle Legends. You're not here to slaughter your way to the top. You're a hooded traveler trying to climb to the top of three increasingly difficult towers, collecting their coins and treasures. While enemies can be dispatched in some of the puzzle rooms via careful maneuvering, the game won't give you full completion unless you let your foes carry on unharmed. Simply use the [arrow] keys to move and push blocks and press [X] to activate switches. You'll get very familiar with that "retry" key by the end, but if you're a fan of puzzles you'll love it all the same.
Rule number one: Do not swallow poison. Seems pretty basic, right? Well, when you've got cannons, giant rotating cogs and an army of hungry red arachnids chasing you, poison is among the least of your worries. Meet Froog, a quiet video gamer (much like yourself) transformed into a cute lil' froggy. To return to normal, Froog has to jump through fifty floors of creepy-crawly spiders to reach the only princess who can deliver that all-important smooch. Tapping the screen will launch Froog across the room, so you must ensure your reflexes are quick and your aim is true. This fairy tale isn't just pixie dust and sunshine—the only way you'll survive is by following the rules, and there are plenty of 'em to remember. This is Froog and the Mysterious Spider Tower, a lovable (and completely free!) action adventure from developer Louis Rigaud.
Contrary to popular belief alchemy isn't about turning lead into gold. Its focus is more on refining people into a pure state of perfection and self-actualization. But in this new title from Mosiakov Viacheslav, Linchenko Sergey and musician Kevin MacLeod we also learn that alchemists can only eat light, and that when it starts disappearing they have what's known in the biz as "A Major Problem". Clearly, this calls for delegations of adepts to research and study the phenomenon. High-level summit meetings to formulate a collective plan of action. Or, you know, they could all just assign the task of restoring the light to you while they stand around blocking your progress and imperiously issuing fetch quests. Take a wild guess which — and then set all of civilization to rights yourself in this gorgeous platformer, Alchemist!
In a different twist on the old human being abducted by aliens motif, you play a resilient little green alien who's been stolen away from its home planet by bigger and meaner green extra-terrestrials in Be Alien, a cute and simple point-and-click game from Be Gamer and Functu. You've got to use your head (sometimes literally since you don't seem to have hands. Or arms, for that matter) to escape the enemy ship.
Grab a snack before you sit down to relax and enjoy this week's trio of free online escape games. They might make you hungry, either for curry dinner, bright citrus or perhaps sustenance of a more cerebral sense. FunkyLand beckons you to gather up a bushel of juicy oranges while No1Game sends you grocery shopping. Meanwhile, if you're still hungry for mental stimulation, Story House's debut into Weekday Escape provides a light repast of logical puzzles in a lucid, one-walled scene.
Find the Escape-Men 96: The Super Market - All you wanted was to pick up some stuff for dinner, but in No1Game's supermarket, before you can checkout, first you must finish the "Time-limited Escape Sale"—finding 10 escape men and completing your grocery list. This will appeal more to those who love purely searching out hidden objects, with the usual pixel hunts and tricks typical of the EM series. It's light on challenge; the hardest part is finding not only the covert green guys but the two coded areas. Even so, if you can bear the clicking-around-anywhere-everywhere gameplay, the quirky humor and colorful setting make the search a fun one. Stick around for the ending because, like In the Library, the story is sweet and entertaining, an ample reward for your store patronage.
Fruit Kitchens #03: Navel Orange - Here's another escape where the fun is in the setting more than in actual puzzle challenge. In this case, it's by FunkyLand, whose fruit is just as scrumptious as candy...but it's a bit easier to find. All around this sunshiny bright room, juicy oranges are hiding—either in plain sight or behind puzzles and contraptions. Can you find all 7 spherical citruses and escape the room before the exceedingly chipper music makes the corners of your smile twitch deliriously? Those with trouble differentiating colors are most at risk here, otherwise the quest is rather straight-forward, so it shouldn't take too long before you have oranges enough to buy an exit key.
Story Room 4 - This comely little one-walled scene by Story House is surprisingly polished yet uncomplicated. A bit of exploration, some piecing together of clues and practical use of elements will readily turn up the code that unlocks the door. Albeit somewhat lacking in the personality and beauty departments, the game comes out of the shadows with its logical puzzle progression. While not maddeningly difficult or complex, it at least provides some quick mental stimulation for those who are starving for it after the grocery shopping and orange picking sojourns.
Threes and 2048, there's a new logic game sweeping over our phones and browsers. Logical Cell brings us their new creation, Concentric Holic. Eliminate the color squares by placing the matching colors next to them. Once a layer of the square is removed the next color layer is active setting off a chain reaction. The premise sounds simple enough but it's anything but when you find chain reactions you didn't even spot tearing through your colors and leaving you stuck. All I can say is thank goodness for the Undo button.
A few days late, maybe, but never a buck short when it comes to an escape game by TomaTea. Easter Joy has everything you'd expect from a tried-and-tested TomaTea title... the soft colour palette. The soothing music. The house you're never going to be able to resell after all your costly and curiously specific holiday themed puzzles and locks. Just click to navigate and interact, and a little glow at the tip of your cursor will typically let you know when there's something worth clicking. Click the tiny "i" icon that appears when you highlight an item in your inventory to view and manipulate it up close. Like a lot of TomaTea's games, occasionally you'll find yourself presented with something the game will claim you have no idea how to solve, which usually means you haven't "seen" the solution or clue to make said solution yet. You can flip over your desk and yell, "YOU DON'T KNOW ME. YOU DON'T KNOW MY LIFE." Or you can roll up your sleeves, and search high and low and everywhere in between for the clues the game demands you look at first.
When you think about it for a bit, being stuck within a perfectly white room with almost no ornamentation and no visible exits does not sound like fun. It sounds like, "OK, which psychological-horror movie director did I manage to tick off this time?" Even the title, No Name Room, sounds a little bit eerie. But once you walk straight into the giant patch of crayon scribbles on the wall, it becomes clear that this room is a lot friendlier,and wackier, than it initially seems! Quite thankfully, practice is often different from theory, and Yonashi manages to turn this seemingly-nightmarish scenario into an escape game that's as charming as they come. There are charming puzzles and bright colors all around in this little nameless space, if you only stop to look for them!
It began with a letter, when PI Rick follows a letter from a woman he hasn't seen in years asking him to come to a hotel, and quickly took a turn for the surreal in the Myosotis games from Alice is Dead developer Mike Morin. Now, over a year after the all-too-brief third installment, the tale continues in the mystery driven point-and-click adventure game Myosotis Chapter 4. Since it explains very little about the previous installments, don't expect to understand it if you haven't played the rest of the series. As it opens, we find Rick at a familiar place in a familiar struggle. It seems like he's right back to where it all began, when it all began, and this might be his last chance. To play, just click to move and interact. As before, Rick must make his way through a series of cryptic rooms and locked doors, figuring out puzzles to open each one.
This game received a rating of O for infrequent profanity and pixelated blood.
In a distant future, humans have abandoned the polluted ruins of Gaia to live peacefully among the handful of alien races out in space. But when a renegade group of humans bust out of a space station and steal some ships to commit what can only be dastardly crimes, it's up to their former companions to save the dignity of humanity and find out what's going on. Discover what a sticky situation alien politics can be as you control Maddock and his eclectic crew through Matthew Ashworth's free indie science fiction RPG, Incitement.
Sometimes a simple puzzle game gets under your skin and challenges what you know. It's why we love tonypa... his games are unexpected, they make you think, and yet they are excessively simple in design. Welcome to the party Doyu Hexcontrol by Doyu Games, a game that's is easy to figure out and challenging to master, to say the least. Built on a hexagonal grid, you and the computer or another player take turns making moves. First you place your color on the board, and then you can either take another space, or fill one of the dots in the space you've chosen. Each space has 2, 3, 4 or 6 die-like dots, which are a part of the strategy. As soon as you fill the dots in a hexagon, it explodes, conquering all the spaces around it. As you take over a new hexagon, you automatically get one more dot than was in that space to begin with. So, if the space is empty, you receive one dot; If it has one or more, whether your color or your opponent's, you gain one more than it held before.
Ladies! Gentlemen! Boys and girls of all ages! Step right for the grrrreatest show on earth: Meetreen Games' Circus Level Pack! Witness the death-defying derring-do of of the fearless... erm... monster-clown-stuntman-guy as he braves the dangers present within 30! Yes, count 'em, 30 levels of physics-puzzle action! And he needs you, ladies and gentlemen, to lead him through this gauntlet of peril with only your mouse cursor, as you place the objects and gadgetry he needs to reach the safety of his pool! This is not simulated, folks!
The Bumpkin Brothers are back! The team's latest release has nothing to do with Tribloos or machines. Well, wait, scratch that, it does have something to do with machines, but that's not the point! Space Farmers is a decidedly retro-feeling cooperative arcade game that takes place on an alien spacecraft. Two simple farmers have been kidnapped by the non-Earthlings, and they're going to use every gadget and pigcube they can get their hands on to get back!
Escape games are fun and all, but don't you think they're best when they have the constant threat of painful demise? Kotorinosu is back for more with The Dangerous GEN-KAN 2, which, just like the original game, is packed with death everywhere you look, but don't worry... if you explode, fall to your doom, or otherwise become dearly departed, you can always just hit retry and be booted back to before your little... accident. See, you're locked in a place filled with danger both obvious, and, eh, trial-and-error, and finding a way out means figuring out what puzzles you need to solve, and what's just a big fat lethal red herring... when used incorrectly. Just click to navigate and interact, click an item in your inventory to highlight it for use, or an item's question mark to view it up close.
There is a house in New Orleans, they call it... The Jazz Pepper Club! Home to one of the best jazz bands to come out of The Big Easy, owned by your dad. It's Mardi Gras time and you're coming down for a visit. Only, the club is eerily quiet on what is supposed to be a busy night. As you make your way inside, you realise that everybody there is petrified in a sort of trance, their white eyes turned towards the stage. All signs quickly point to Frankie, a local sax-playing legend, who also happens to be dead. He used to play with the Jazz Peppers until he died and was replaced by your dad. Is he a zombie coming back for revenge? Find out in Cadenza: Music, Betrayal and Death, quite probably the finest hidden-object adventure by Mad Head Games to date.
OK, show of hands, here: when was the last time you paid a visit to a fantasy kingdom that wasn't horribly overrun with vicious monsters? Is this something you have to take into consideration when filing for fantasy home insurance? "Protects against damage caused by fire, flooding, and persistent raids by terrifying demonspawn." Thank goodness Monster Play has called in the Monster Squad to help keep the population of horriffic abominations down. Join this fearless team of Redwall-esque beastmen as they journey across the kingdom, RPG-style, slaying enemies, rescuing allies, plundering dungeons, and loading up on lots of shiny loot. If you want to make the world a safe place once again, you'll need strength, strategy, and plenty of turn-based know-how.
A first look at Deqaf Studio's game will make you wonder why such a cute little ball of fluffy light and relaxing music would deserve the name Hellspin. After playing for a few minutes you'll have your answer, and perhaps less hair on your head than when you started. The goal is simple: get your cute little butt into the spinning vortex of doom that leads to the next level. The controls... well, not so much and that is where the skill is involved. Each level has a different set up, and while it looks basic, the controls are where the difficulty begins. Always in a constant forward motion, your control only lies in rotating. Depending on where your mouse is in comparison to the middle of the board you'll turn either directions at different speeds. Clicking once lets you slow down time, but it is limited. Touching any walls is certain death.
Well, it's official... Catbug is the cutest thing in the universe. Part cat, part ladybug, all adorable, and as fans of Cartoon Hangover's Bravest Warriors will be thrilled to see, Catbug's now starring in his very own game! Your mission here is to glide through four different treacherous environments without touching any of the walls surrounding you, tapping the screen to fly upwards and releasing it to fall. Along the way, you'll collect a variety of goodies and trinkets, dropping them into portals in exchange for glorious cashola which can be spent on upgrades, power-ups and stylish fashion accessories. It's a familiar formula, but with some original gameplay elements and a healthy heaping of Pendleton Ward's trademark style, Fly Catbug Fly! by Ludoko Studios stands very strongly on its own. Every single collectible item is a reference to the show; fans will smile as they collect soft tacos, seahorse dreams and sugar peas. Even those unfamiliar with Bravest Warriors will find this inexpensive app to be charming and addictive.
NOTE: This game was played and reviewed on the Google Nexus 5. Game was available in the North American market at the time of publication, but may not be available in other territories. Please see individual app market pages for purchasing info.
Nothing turns a frown upside down faster than discovering candy and chocolate hidden around your house, unless it comes with the unsettling realization that all your doors have been locked, there's heavy breathing coming from your closet, and it isn't Easter. But in PencilKids' latest Monkey GO Happy point-and-click puzzle game Monkey GO Happy Easter, the chimps are looking to celebrate the holiday with a few coloured eggs. Just one. Or maybe more like one hundred. To find all of them, you'll have to click around to explore and solve puzzles, gathering items in your inventory at the top of the screen, after which you can just drag them anywhere onscreen to try to use them.
No, the famous Austrian hotel is not playing host to a lovely, atmospheric adventure game or an escape tableau. In 16-bit glory, and with procedurally generated floors, the Golden Krone Hotel (from Humbit) is the scene of a killing field: vampire-on-human-on-vampire-on-human style. Fane, the Exiled Vampire Prince, has taken up his residence at the hotel, and you must steal the Golden Krone and assassinate the prince to win the game. But if you think to yourself, "That's a nice, straightforward objective," think again. Before the dungeon-crawling, loot-trawling, and turn-based RPGing is over, if it ever ends in anything but your death, you may find yourself questioning if you have held on to an identity that wants to achieve that goal.
Use gravity to crash planets and suns into each other in the name of science? Yes, please! Welcome to Super Planet Crash, a webtoy by science blogger Stefano Meschiari, which serves as a kind of digital orrery (a device which shows the relative size, position and motion of planets in a solar system). In this addicting little app, you have a 2AU area, that is, an area only twice the distance of our Earth from the sun, in which to place planets and/or stellar companions, and attempt to keep them stable for up to 500 years of elapsed time. With small, earth-type bodies, it's a cinch, but add a dwarf star and you up the difficulty. Fortunately, you also increase the points you earn for each year of stability.
People are pretty split on what ninjas can do, or even if they existed at all. If you listen to gamers, however, ninjas can do basically anything and everything, including breaking the laws of the universe, which is way more entertaining than the History Channel, and way less traumatizing than Ninja Scroll. Red Warrior is a colourful puzzle platformer is an aggressively adorable little game where you play a red ninja out to rescue caged villagers from a group of bad ninjas. Using [WASD] or the [arrow] keys to move and jump, the goal is to first get to and then bash open the cage in each level, picking up any stars and gems along the way. You can even climb walls, and stick to most indefinitely. You'll quickly discover the path is often blocked by what seem to be impassable obstacles, but you have a trick up your sleeve... uh, if you wore sleeves, which you don't since you're a square, but stay with me. Pressing [Z] or [X] will flip the world around you, so while your position on the screen stays the same, you can flip the scenery back and forth to get around. A transparent copy of yourself will mimic your actions and serve as a marker for where you'll end up when you flip the world, though if your copy is crossed out, it's in a location that you can't flip to, such as inside a wall.
Miss Libellule's been enjoying a bit of well-earned rest and relaxation after dealing with The Queen of Snakes, but in jo99's latest point-and-click adventure, she's not staying still for long when a letter literally falls in her lap, begging her to come rescue two star crossed lovers... and be rewarded with a lot of treasure, but that's if she can deal with The Earl Octopusor. All you have to do to play is click to move and interact, and keep your eyes open for clues, since spotting and deciphering codes for locks is a big part of playing. This time around, the game comes with two difficulty options, and if you're playing on "easy", the cursor will not only change when it crosses over interactive zones, it'll highlight important clues in when you place your cursor over them. Place your cursor over the four dots at the right side of the screen to open options for saving, loading, and sound, and use the arrows to either side of your inventory at the bottom of the screen to scroll through it, since some items will be placed on different "pages". If you want to combine items you're carrying, just click on one, and then the object you're trying to combine it with, but be aware that some items with more than one component need to be used in a specific order!
Who knew that curing a mummy curse would be to simply nudge them back into their sarcophagus? Tom Jones did of course! Mummies Escape (also available free for iOS!) is a physics game where you play Tom Jones, one of the greatest explores who was only just a head, as well as his rag tag group of friends to help undo the curse you released. Dodge blow darts, spikes, and more to collect the jewels before pushing the mummies back into eternal rest.
It's spring cleaning time in some parts of the world. Shaking out the dust and sweeping away the cobwebs isn't the most fun way to spend your week, but the resulting fresh, pretty rooms are so worth the effort. Speaking of rooms that are worth the effort, if you're feeling it's time your home got a new look, check out these three distinctly different design styles from Hottategoya, FunkyLand and Kamokichi. They might be all the inspiration you need, whether you're going for an interior overhaul or just need to escape-the-room you're in for a few moments.
Escape from the Room with Public Phones - Hottategoya has this minimalism thing in the bag, and they know it. The mantra being: if you have a style that works for you, then work it for all it's worth. In the same vein as other Hottategoya games, such as Escape from the Room with 10 Safes, Escape from the Room with Public Phones is quite clever, even if rather austere looking. Using little to go on, you must solve a series of codes before you can find freedom, making this quite appealing to those who want some mental challenge without a lot of extraneous fluff. Colors, scenery, birds in top hats? Bah! Who needs 'em?
Candy Rooms No.7: Carmine Pop - There was once a time in my life that, when I heard someone say "FunkyLand," I thought of cruising on my roller skates under the disco lights. Now FunkyLand is synonymous with whimsical mini-escapes and a very sweet motif. The bummer is, it's more eye candy than gameplay, somehow managing more puzzle-solving simplicity than the scrumptious scenes and smoothly-designed interface promise—whether there are plump green apples or pieces of candy involved. Even so, it remains immensely gratifying while it lasts. So, if you're looking for a speedy fun fix, why don'cha groove to these snazzy tunes while finding five yum bombs?
Yana Escape - by Kamokichi is a delightfully puzzle-y escape that is perfectly pleasant in all regards. Until you hit a pixel hunt that is anything but. In a symbiotic contrast to Hottategoya's minimalism, Yana Escape's clean design is certainly eye-catching, such a beautiful setting it's almost a shame to leave it. But as you casually poke around, browsing the pretty decorations and stylish furniture with as much bemused regard as on a trip through IKEA, you'll discover clues and hints, guiding you toward open locks and, eventually freedom. Hmm. Makes me crave some Kanelbullar and elderflower juice.
NEW VERSION UPLOADED 2014-04-15
What do you do when evil space villains come to YOUR planet and try to take over? Why, you engage their ships in a billiards-style battle, that's what! At least, that's what you'll do in Sphear by Potato on the Table, a math-pool mashup with some tower defense elements thrown in for good measure. You start with only one type of unit to place on the field, but each level you beat provides you with reinforcements, each with their own abilities from extra health points to color-specific attacks. The enemy troops just keep coming, and they have their own abilities, attack points, health points and movement speed. Your strategy is to place your units in such a way that, as your enemies move around the board, you are able to intercept them for hits. You don't know which direction any one of them will move, so thoughtful unit selection and placement is key. Keep in mind, they are hitting you back.
Awwwwwww yisssss, ain't no escape like a Tesshi-e escape, 'cause Tesshi-e escapes don't stop 'til you've enjoyed a finely crafted series of puzzles! In Escape from the Round Room, you're enjoying a nice extended vacation in a quaint little lodge, but when it comes time to leave, you find yourself locked in. That, besides the fact that there's no stove, bathroom, or refrigerator, or basic amenities whatsoever beyond that fabulous bedazzled toaster would make me think they owe you a refund, but the incredibly swanky smooth jazz they're piping in makes me willing to forgive a lot. Making sure you select "English" from the title screen unless you speak Japanese, to play, click to interact and navigate, and view items you gather by clicking once to highlight them, then again on the About Item button. If you want to see if something you're holding can be used in the environment, click to highlight, and then again where you're trying to use it. True to Tesshi-e fashion, there are clues hidden everywhere to help you solve the locks and codes barring your way, so click every cranny and ponder every puzzle!
This isn't getting easier. You're alone on a rooftop, staring out at the trees. Your gun is loaded, your vision is clear. The field before you is dotted with the decaying bodies of yesterday's kills. Day and night you clear houses, make repairs, and do your best to keep morale high. You lost a search party yesterday. The loss weighs heavy on your mind but there's no time to ponder. They're coming, lurching out of the treeline like drunks, slobbering and bleeding across the grass. There's more of them today. A lot more. This isn't getting easier. This isn't getting easier at all... It's the unbearable tension that makes 3KG Games' Dead Zed 2 stand out from the deluge of lesser zombie titles. As a shooter it's rock solid, featuring steady aiming that's easy to learn but difficult to master.
You know you've thought of it. Maybe even dreamed of it. I mean, doesn't everyone secretly want a beard? Where is My Beard, a humorous physics puzzle game from Keenblaze doesn't let you grow a beard of your own, but you can help blocks of all shapes and sizes realize the dream by dropping, rolling, or otherwise getting them to touch a block that already has some facial hair. Click to place items from the top of the screen onto the playing field, rotating them as necessary. Hit the play button when you think you've got it figured out to see what happens. Watch out for the crabs as they'll cut your precious hair away.
North Wind: Trill of Consciousness by Henry Gosuen is a creative take on the platform exploration genre. You control the tiny hero named Dir who moves through a blocky world of spikes and obstacles and maze-like puzzles. Instead of scrolling levels that keep pace with the protagonist, though, you do all the swiping yourself from a stationary point of view. It's a bit like Office Rush, Rooms or Continuity, only with a decidedly sweeter metroidvania feel.
04/24/14: Now updated with a new ending cutscene and more!
Fabian Van Dommelen, Joris Van Leeuwen, and Ivo Van Dijk are the ones responsible for the simple yet infectiously cheery fishing sim Fishy Waters, which actually has a mildly depressing premise despite its gorgeous storybook presentation. Our heroine loves nothing better than fishing with her father... right up until a monstrous fanged kraken swallows him and his ship whole. Vowing vengeance, she sets out to fish and sell her way to the best equipment in the land so she can take down the kraken herself. Use [WASD] or the [arrow] keys to steer your boat, and hit [spacebar] when prompted above the shadow of a fish to try to reel it in. Follow the directional prompts to tire it out, then sell it at the market to upgrade your equipment and gain access to other areas of the map!
Ben and Isabelle are on the outs, in more ways than one, but that's the least of their problems. Stuck in limbo, battling dark forces that threaten their very existence, each are alone yet must find a way to work together to, um, "survive" their predicament. Via the [arrow] keys or clicking adjacent tiles, help Ben and Isabelle navigate their paths, breaking the tiles behind them until they reach their exits. This tile-removing puzzle game begins rather easily but quickly gains momentum; each of the 75 levels pose their challenges even with special abilities from power orbs and the aid of Ben's dog, Marley. If Together Alone: Love in Limbo sounds familiar, that's because it is...
"Picross" and "madness" aren't exactly terms you'd put in the same sentence too often. After all, picross is the endearingly childlike game of painting by numbers and not caring you aren't seven any more. But when such a game has 620 levels, three grid sizes and the ability to keep you entertained for hours, it transcends the realm of the casual and becomes... Picross Madness! (cue ominous music) Your job is to fill out tiles based on the number pattern next to the rows and columns, making sure there is at least one blank tile between two groups of coloured tiles. The finished picture will resemble a highly pixellated version of a familiar object, and it's always satisfying to take a step back from the grid and find that your mass of unruly tiles has formed a cute little boat. Or a lovely little house. Or a charming little skull. Because metalheads play picross too.
Can You Escape - Tower is a short point-and-click mobile room escape game similar to Escape the Office created by MobiGrow. In what should be a familiar set-up, you find yourself trapped in a series of rooms with exits that are locked, barred, concealed or otherwise inaccessible. Your job is to get out, or throw your phone across the room trying! What sets Can You Escape - Tower apart is its striking sense of adventure. You're not just escaping, you're making an epic dash to freedom through a rendered fantasy world!
There are only two words you need to see before downloading this game: Studio Pixel. The creator of Cave Story has been hard at work on the upcoming sidescrolling platformer Kero Blaster, but in the meantime, we get a free game! Pink Hour serves as a small taster for next month's big release, stuffing plenty of shooting, pixel-perfect jumps, and painfully high level of difficulty into its cute little package.
"This is my last battle," grumbles the smokey-voiced protagonist of Cyberpunk 3776, (more info on Desura, Steam Greenlight, and IndieDB.com) a side-scrolling shooter by Peter Hann smothered in the pulpy dystopian cheesiness of 80's sci-fi action flicks. As our hero recounts, the world as we know it is long gone, fallen to human greed and alien invaders. He's got nothing to live for and no one to save. All that's left is to take out as many aliens as he can before his ship goes down in flames. Use [WASD] to move and click to fire, but don't fire too long without a break or you'll overheat and have to wait for a cool down! Dodge the enemies and debris that fill the screen, blowing up both for a high score, and nab any purple tokens they drop to spend on upgrading your ship's abilities.
Please Remain Calm. So sayeth developer Colin Tincknell, whose part platformer, part shooter is nothing to worry about. I mean, yeah, there are a multitude of dangerous and unpredictable creatures surrounding you, but you can avoid them with the [WASD] keys. It's true that you're just a miniscule blue figure in an enormous, harsh maze where death lurks around every corner, but at least you can collect golden coins and shoot them at enemies with the [arrow] keys. You can even propel yourself further upwards by shooting the coins below you. Things really aren't that bad after all, y'know? As long as you're careful and take your time, how can you lose? You're alert, collected, ready for anything. Until you look up and see the vast, rapidly expanding ball of black nothingness which threatens to engulf you, inching ever closer with no goal other than to consume, devour, destroy. Yeah, guess you forgot about that.
It's weird. It's cute. It's weird. It's fun. It's really, really weird. It's amitie and halcy's free adventure game Cat Game, which, as it says on the tin, is about cats. Yours, specifically. Your distraught mother informs you that your beloved Toby has run away, and now you have to scour the town and the surrounding area to find him. Everyone is wrapped up in their own problems, so even if someone has seen your cat, you'll need to do a whole lot of favours to get answers. It's getting dark and it's going to rain soon, but hey, it's not like things are going to get craaaaaaazy or anything, right? Should be a piece of cake. To play, just use the [arrow] keys to move, [spacebar] to interact and choose options, and [ESC] to open the menu to save your game.
FireRabbit is back with another car-themed point-and-click puzzle game! Fix My Car - Custom Mods takes the hidden object / room escape hybrid formula from the original Fix My Car and gives it a shiny new coat of acrylic urethane paint. This time, instead of fixing the old clunker you're replacing the old parts with shiny new ones. If only sprucing up the old rustbox was half as straightforward in real life!
There have been a lot of My Little Pony games, but few are as ambitious as Equestrian Dreamers' Ace Attorney-style visual novel adventure game, over three years in the making. In the first finished installment, My Little Investigations: True Blue Scootaloo, you play pre-Alicorn Twilight Sparkle who decides to take matters into her own hooves when a certain pint-size Pegasus is accused of a crime. Explore Ponyville and the surrounding area, clicking on ponies and things to interact, and build a case file of clues and profiles that updates as you combine evidence and learn more information. When you talk to ponies, you'll occasionally have to interrogate them, which involves pressing them for information on statements you're suspicious about, and presenting evidence to back your statements up or catch them in a lie. Need some extra help? From time to time throughout the story, you'll team up with various ponies who have abilities that can help you in special situations, from greasing the wheels in conversation to some actual magic.
Family. Can't live with 'em, can't enjoy a quiet night at home mangling your fledgling novel without one of them getting abducted into a movie by the man she thought was dead. In Elephant Games' hidden-object adventure game Surface: Reel Life, you receive a frantic phone call from your sister, Mary, who just saw her daughter Jane get abducted by Andrew... Jane's former lover and a beloved actor who was shot dead years ago. Arriving at the theater, you discover the developers have been re-watching Jumanji, and the film everyone was watching (a classic by a suspiciously talented director) has come to life, with poison spitting plants, monkeys, and tigers generally wreaking havoc. If you're thinking this is a job for the police or maybe animal control or generally just anyone who doesn't narrate her actions in the most groan-worthy fashion, well, you're not thinking like a hidden-object game heroine, darn it. Set off on an adventure beyond the screen to rescue Jane and discover the truth!
After many, many weeks of being a regular feature in our Weekday Escape series, Yomino Kagura is bustin' out into the big leagues with
White Door Room Escape. Though their settings tend to be simplistic and their interfaces minimalistic, Yomino Kagura's escapes always feature juicy puzzles to tease and entice your brain. White Door Room Escape is no exception: This unassuming-looking little room contains a host of brainteasers, running the gamut from piecing together well-hidden codes to that ubiquitous wobbly-picture puzzle. And unless you feel like sleeping on a bed that appears to be made out of giant notebooks, you'd best get to escapin'!
You know, I like to consider myself a savvy internets lady. I hardly ever need to look up basic HTML coding, and I can even script a cutscene or three in WeiDU. (That's right. I'm cutting edge.) Turns out none of that qualifies me at all for Greg Shuflin and Alex Nisnevich's extremely clever puzzle game Untrusted, where you find yourself trapped behind bars with only a computer and must literally code your way out to alter the world around you. Just use [WASD] to move around in each stage, and anywhere in the black areas in the red code box to the right side of the stage window to enter or change scripts. Below that, you'll see a few helpful buttons. API will open a reference window that will detail what some different functions do. Reset, well, resets any current level to its unaltered state, while Execute puts whatever code you've entered or changed into effect. You can access any levels you've already finished by clicking Menu, and if you want to disable audio, just click the speaker icon above the game display window.
It's Friday, and you know what that means. Creepy redhead ghosts doing some navel gazing. Bashing killer robots when all you want to do is round up some mushrooms. Staggering in bewilderment through an unsettling landscape of pianos and applause. Awwww yeah, now we're cookin'. With everything from platforming action, to surreal and baffling interactive art, Link Dump Friday covers all your bases no matter what you're feeling for the weekend. Everybody should start their free time off confused but exhilarated!
On a more serious note, I want to inform you fine folks that this will be the last Link Dump Friday we feature. Interest in it just isn't there anymore, and our time and efforts can be better spent elsewhere on other games and articles. Thanks for reading!
- Awesome Mushroom Hunter - It was a day like any other for your typical macho mushroom hunting Duke Nukem-sy bro, until your idyllic forest turned dangerous when you stumbled upon a facility filled with spiteful robotic AI and enemies! Now you've got to trade in your mushroom huntin' stick for something with a little more oomph in this bizarre action-packed platformer from Emitter Critter.
- Cover Me - Charlotte Madelon calls this a "dreamy and experimental game that avoids conventional gameplay", which is another way of saying "what is haaaaaaaaaaappening?!" The game offers no instruction beyond what keys you use, and it's up to you to figure out how to progress in each area, as well as to divine whatever meaning you wish from it. You might want to turn your volume down before you play, and avoid this game if you have a sensitivity to flashing lights.
- Edgar's Dream - Put on your beret and prepare to make wise hmmmmm noises, this one is pretty trippy. More interactive art than anything else, you're trying to find the keys you need to escape from this place. But the paintings move. The wine glass refills itself. The creepy shadow girl haunts your dreams. Stylish and atmospheric? Absolutely. Challenging? Not quite. Still, if you want a game you could describe simply as an experience, this is the one for you.
- Assasseed's Crin - I admit to being fairly shallow. Some days, all I need to be amused is a funny name I can say over and over while giggling to myself, so this mini Ludum Dare entry has me covered. Assassin's Creed gets de-made all the way as you try to kill as many targets as possible without getting caught within the time limit. Bribe! Hide in hay! Stab away to your heart's content! Recreate my Friday nights!
It's crude. It's raunchy. It's offensive. It's nonsensical. It's... well, it's Family Guy. In this free mobile game by TinyCo, Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff is a pretty literal title. After a brawl with the fowl Fox executive who cancelled the show, human black hole Peter Griffin finds his town Quahog completely destroyed and his family and friends scattered to the winds. Since the town is destroyed, everyone needs to be put to work to gather cash and experience to rebuild it. Tapping a character will bring up a list of actions they can perform, either as a means to grind money, items, or levels, or to further "quest" requirements. Most quests will unlock new characters and items, as will leveling up your town, while leveling individual characters unlocks new actions and costumes for them to wear. So... yes, Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff is basically The Simpsons: Tapped Out (unsurprising given they were made by the same people), and that means it's essentially Family Guy themed sea monkeys.
Your favorite fruit is back in a new installment of Johnny-K and Vladg's physics puzzle favorite in Cover Orange Journey: Pirates. If you've been following the cute oranges on their travels, you'll now see them warped to a more tropical location. While the weather should be exceptional, unfortunately the evil rain cloud seems to follow them wherever they go. So it's not going to be oranges sipping Mai Tais on the beach (there's a cannibal joke in there somewhere), but oranges rolling for their lives. It falls to you to keep them safe. Again. Poor things.
Never ever disturb a monk during his meditation. Everyone knows this, but villains have to break the rules, now don't they? How Dare You carries this horrifying plot where you play a... half goat half man monk who is just looking for some good old eternal peace when a cruel...cyborg fish does the unthinkable and all that is left for you to do is get cold blooded revenge! The humorous launch game by The Shpufa takes you through three different areas all with slightly different game mechanics, from hop-and-bop to rocket power. Fight bosses as you run, squash suit clad worms for money to buy upgrades, and go the distance before your little heart gives out on you and you have to start all over. Is there anything more you could want from a game?
David is a game, an arcade game, and David is a very unusual game. Our little polygon hero finds himself in a world of abstract shapes and giant evil beasts that are out to eviscerate him one angle at a time. His only powers are the ability to run away like a little yellow belly and fire slingshot-like blasts at his foes. Sometimes he feels powerful, sometimes victorious, but there's always nagging feelings of helplessness and hopelessness in this dangerous world that just wants David to go away.
I was going to start this review with a parody on Metallica's Enter Sandman, but then I remembered when they played this song at the gym last week and nobody else knew what it was. I died a little inside that day, but Bombocracker's puzzle platformer Night Lights: After Dark is so cute it revitalized me enough to make me keep on going just a little longer. In this sequel to the original, the premise remains the same as you use [WASD] or the [arrow] keys to run and jump out little blockheaded blue hero through levels to the exit. Most of the level is in shadow, however, and that shadow can make your path dangerous or just block it off entirely by creating hazards and walls to make your life difficult. Fortunately, if you can manipulate the light, you can also manipulate reality, since some obstacles will disappear entirely if the shadows are dispelled either by flipping switches or shining the lantern you can find, carry, and put down with [X] or turn on by holding [C].
You're the last surviving apprentice of Sorth, dark lord of Castle CantSayTheNameOrIHaveToDie. Tasked with the simple job of cleaning up the library, it seems you've accidentally dropped the Dark Grimoires of Sorth to the ground and now all the banished creatures have escaped. Oops! Hey, when a Denny's waiter so much as drops a plate they're "Now Hiring!" so this loosing-magickal-monstrosities-upon-the-earth business is something you should definitely sort out immediately if not sooner. It's sliding puzzle madness as you race to beat the clock corralling magickal beasties in paperclip studios' Castle Keeper.
Want a unique tower defense? How about one with no towers, no enemies, and nothing to defend? The only thing on the line in Dynergy Games' Cargo Shipment San Franciso is your reputation as a shipping company. Well that's not exactly true. But instead of enemies trotting along a route you have shipping trucks and the towers are warehouses filled with employees ready to load. To be the fastest shipping company out there, your trucks don't stop (unless there is a tasty fast food joint) and your workers have to go to them as they transverse from point A to point B. Place your warehouses in optimal spots for your employees to run out and fill the truck with as much as they carry before trucks pass by going on their predestined routes.
Wednesday is stupid. Why do we even have it? Sure it gave us a briefly-funny-then-quicky-obnoxious CGI camel, but by virtue of being smack in the middle of the week, it also somehow feels ten times longer than any other day, and there isn't even anything good on TV. Even the networks shun it, and they'll throw money at anything. So to make your Wednesday go a little faster, why not chip away at that mountain of "no weekend yet for you, sucker" with some free online escape games? With a little cheeky Minoto strangeness, some possibly (?!) very threatening Neat Escape, and some of no1game's little green men for good measure, your Wednesday just became bearable.
Escape from the Coffee Shop 4 - There are a lot of reasons you might want to get out of a coffee shop. Maybe the barista is giving you smug stinkeye for your double light mocha soy caramel frappulatte (it's my liiiiiiife!). Maybe the wifi signal is really bad and you need to stream the rest of Attack on Titan before someone else spoils more of it for you, Gavin. Maybe they serve "Seattle's Best Coffee". In this case, Neat Escape wants you to find your way out because, and I quote, "You are good to eat and I like." This is why zombies can't be small business owners, people.
Magic and Cat Escape - Hold on to your hats, folks, because when Minoto is in charge, you know Captain Logic is not steering our tugboat. There's a chain that dispenses raw meat. A wall of flames. Semi-phenomenal, nearly-cosmic powers. A flightless bird with glasses. Basically, everything you need to recreate those really bizarre dreams you had when you stayed up too late watching foreign cartoons with no subtitles when you were six. (Ovid? Moomin? Anyone?) Blink and you'll miss it, but ain't it cute as the dickens?
Find the Escape-Men 95: The Room With No Door - The premise sounds like the sort of thing you'd call Moffat's Sherlock around to solve, except we all know he'd just sneer so hard at it his upper lip would come off and go flying around the room giving you sass, so we're on our own in no1game's latest. There are ten little green dudes hidden around the room as usual, but in a departure from the norm, as the title implies there seems to be no door. There are, however, three different endings, which is a nice touch, so get to clickin', chicken.
The princess has been turned to stone by an evil man in red, and it's up to the most skilled wizard in the land to save the day! This wizard's no slouch. He's got a powerful weapon in his repertoire, one which allows him to bend the rules of space and time itself! That's right; not only can he jump into the air with poise and elegance, but he can double jump too. Hold on to your hats, kids. This is Wizard Wizard, the action-packed platforming game where you can move with the [arrow] keys, double jump with the [up] arrow, and... well, not much else. What did you want, magic spells or something? Even wizards aren't invulnerable to giant spinning buzzsaws.
Ready to die just a little bit more? Then you're ready for Cardinal Quest 2, the turn-based roguelike sequel to 2012's Cardinal Quest, brought to you by randomnine (maker of Fear is Vigilance and a consultant on the original Cardinal Quest game). You'll recognize the great pixel art and the procedurally generated maps of the first game, and appreciate the new complexity. The new game, now available for iOS (with Android and PC/Mac/Linux versions on the way), has six characters to choose from and three levels of difficulty. You start with the fighter, but gain morale along the way—the one thing you take with you when you die. Because you will die, my friend. You will die often and sometimes unexpectedly.
I know we're supposed to believe that witches they were persecuted and women power and love the Earth, but darn it, Xander, it's pretty compelling evidence to the contrary when it really was an evil witch that ruined a perfectly good part in FlashTeam's puzzle platformer Shape Shifter. A mouse, a rabbit, and an elephant were all just hanging out in their best clothes when a witch showed up and cursed them all into one body. In each level, you need to use either [WASD] or the [arrow] keys to move and jump, and the , , and  keys to swap between characters, each of which has their own abilities. The elephant can smash through big obstacles, for instance, while the mouse can fit through tiny paths and... eat cheese, apparently. Let me tell you, if eating cheese is a special talent, I am going to get one heck of a Cutie Mark. Collect the stars in each level and make it to the exit, but beware of monsters!
Tomatea is a developer that respects the time of year with their escape games. In mid-winter they released The Holidays are Over. Around Halloween time came Choco Challenge. So it should be no surprise that as winter turns to spring, Spring Morning graces our computer screens. Navigate by mouse, keep an eye out for the glowing cursor, and hopefully eventually leave the room and greet the beautiful spring weather outdoors. Unless you're allergic to pollen. But with all the flowers decorating the room, you've got an incentive to get out either way.
We're just going to give you the premise of this one straight, because there's no outdoing the game itself on this one: In The Last Ninja From Another Planet, by Dharmasta Adriwara Widhayaka, you are a ninja from another planet who is the sole survivor of a massive mutant attack on your home, and you must go back in time to infiltrate a mad scientist's lab to destroy all the mutants and prevent the attack from ever happening. Phew! Once you've let that soak in a bit, you'll find that this is a puzzle game centered around slicing up everything in your path. Your ninja can stick to walls and ceilings with ease, and when you press the [arrow] keys or [WASD], he'll leap in the direction of your choosing, moving along until he hits a wall... or meets his untimely demise. He'll automatically slice-'n'-dice any monsters he comes across, so your task is to destroy them all safely without running into anything too pointy for his sword to deal with. Although the basic premise is simple, the game continuously introduces new elements up until the very end, such as mutants that can only be destroyed in specific ways, clones who follow your movement, mad ninja skillz powerups, and even a puzzle-based boss fight at the very end.
Amidos' puzzle game Repeat is super simple, but also super swanky, because there's just something about a game that uses Kevin McLeod's fantastic music that always makes you want to put on your Blues Brothers sunglasses and bop your head stoically as you play. To win each stage, all you need to do is to make sure the white square collects all the golden ones on the grid. White brackets will show you where the square will drop when you click that space, and pressing the [arrow] keys will program in the direction you want it to move, with each stage having a limited number of moves you can make. Click the red X to remove a move from the queue. The catch? Though the white square will continue moving indefinitely when it starts, it will move one space in each programmed direction before it loops the programming back over again to the beginning.
Asimov's First Law of Robotics states "A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm." And yet across the desk in front of you sits a robot convicted of murder. He's polite, succinct, and wholly upfront about his role in the crime. Now it's up to you to mete out justice as you see fit. So begins Electric Tortoise, a brief, moody art game by Dillon Rogers that wears its I, Robot and Blade Runner influences on its sleeve. Sci-fi fans will appreciate its reverence for the authors it imitates and the style and themes it evokes. It's just a shame the entire game is far shorter than most demos.
Before he was a tentacle-covered sea captain in Pirates of the Caribbean, Davy Jones was little more than an obscure legend. But Professor Black, undaunted by her previous maritime misadventures, is determined to unveil his true identity. At the start of Nightmares from the Deep: Davy Jones, the final act of Artifex Mundi's exciting hidden-object adventure series, she is about to reveal her exciting findings when Davy himself bursts in and kidnaps her and her daughter Cory. Time to walk the plank, Professor! In order to save her mother, Cory signs a pact with Davy Jones, vowing to be his maid. She is taken to his cursed island, where she joins a multitude of other unfortunate souls,now mostly skeletons, who have signed their freedom over to the dreaded pirate. There is only one way to end the pact, but no one remembers what it is, so Sarah Black must unveil the ancient secret in order to free them all. Luckily, the skeleton slaves are quite helpful, and thoroughly endearing with their colourful accents, and she finds out that she'll have to wake up the twelve guardians of Davy's memories who hold the key to his darkest secrets.
There's no beating around the bush with this one: Words & Cards is the combination of a word game and a card game, and playing it is just as easy as the title suggests. In this multiplayer game by Royal Palm Games, you've got to make a word using the pool of eleven letters that you share with your opponent. You earn points for the consonants you use in your word, and those consonants are converted into playing cards, with which you can play poker-style hands to grab more points.
NOTE: This game was played and reviewed on the iPhone 4. Game was available in the North American market at the time of publication, but may not be available in other territories. Please see individual app market pages for purchasing info.
We've met ErlinE before, but now she's got da magics in Frozennnn's new puzzle platform game ErlinE: The Magic Orbs. Our shadowy little heroine finds herself lost in a dark forest and tasked with gathering the mystical orbs that have been scattered around to help mankind return to an era of peace and happiness... and, y'know, deal with that whole unspeakable evil thing that's reared its head since the orbs have been scattered. In each level, us the [arrow] keys to move, jump, and duck, and [X] to pick up and throw items. You need to find the titular glowy ball of magic and deliver it to the portal at the end of each stage to proceed, but avoid hazards like sawblades and those glowing pits (those ain't fairy lights), since a single hit will kick you back to the start of the level.
What's in the booooooooooox?! In Issa Norakumo's puzzle game Mimicry Man, translated by vgperson, you're on the side of eeeeeeevil. In your case, you're the titular Mimicry Man, leader of those annoying sentient snapping treasure chests who attack unwary heroes, and your job, granted by the Dark Lord himself, is to set a trap for the chosen hero with the legendary Solar Sword... ! Too bad you stink at your job. See, you need bait to lure the hero in, and he may be a doofus, but that dirty stick you had in your chest was obviously not the Solar Sword. Turns out you don't have to be the brightest crayon in the box to control an army of mimics. Now you've got to go on a journey to find the Solar Sword to lay your trap, but it's going to be a long road, because you've got to work your way up from that humble stick by trading with people all over the world. And by "trading" I of course mean "offering them their desire so they come close enough to devour". Obviously.
In ElefunGames' hidden-object adventure Fear for Sale: Phantom Tide, the latest problem property is literally underwater. Ever since his wife's death, Adrian's home has been having some... unusual issues, with water appearing from nowhere to flow up the walls, cryptic handprints on the windows... you know, the usual stuff that most insurance policies won't cover. You've been called in to investigate, just in time to see Adrian swept away and sealed behind a door of watery runes. This is one freaky, fiesty poltergeist... but is it friendly, or does it have something more sinister in store for the grieving family?
Detective work isn't known for its shallow learning curve. Or for being the kind of thing you can do while standing in line at the post office. With Noir Syndrome, however, solving crimes has become quite a bit more casual. This pick up and play adventure game gives you randomly generated murder mysteries to solve, all you have to do is gather the clues and make the arrest! Oh, and pick a few locks, shoot a few baddies, and have a few snacks. Detectives gotta eat too, you know.
What's this?—a majestic billy goat in its natural habitat. It emits a gentle piercing shriek before charging gracefully through the glass walls of a nearby greenhouse. After executing a very impressive backflip, the goat explodes a gas canister, scattering a crowd of protestors. Finally, the goat latches its long adhesive tongue onto a passing truck and tumbles away with dignity. Truly, this sublime beast is a sight to behold. If this description has you confused, you haven't yet had a chance to play Coffee Stain Studios', ah, unique new simulation game, Goat Simulator. Described by the developers as "small, broken and stupid," the game employs abstract humour, open-ended sandbox gameplay, and a tone of indulgent silliness to craft an experience enjoyable for nearly anyone.
Nothing can come between the love of a man and his teddy bear, except maybe an eight foot pigeon. Deadtoast team up to give us this manly tale of shirtlessness and mustaches. While looking like a simple button smasher on the surface, Nunchuck Charlie is more than that, with its cute graphics, unique characters and crazy storyline. Solve mini puzzles and dodge spikes while fending off overly attached blueberries and hair raising mullet wigs.
Aha! The daring tales of adventure, where feats of bravery and chivalry meet with....weeping and tears? Hmm. A word to the wise: do not trust your little ones to Pencil Kids' band of sad simians for safe keeping as they can't stop losing their own monkey babies. Such as Monkey GO Happy Tales, wherein these five short tales you will appease trolls and gnomes, witches and cobblers—all in a point-and-click quest to rescue the missing mini monkeys. Just think: by righting what's wrong, finding missing items, and solving a few puzzles, all hero credit goes to you amongst cheerful celebration.
It's my understanding that Spring has officially sprung, although if you're like me and stuck in Florida, it's less "refreshing breath of renewal after Winter" and more "SUN MAKES YOU SUFFER PUNY HUMAN HOR HOR HOR". So why don't I turn the air conditioner up this weekend and we'll beat the heat with some games together?
- Rise of the Titans - Guaranteed to bring out the monster with you, this big, stompy action game from Evil Space Chicken is all about trying to pound other monsters into the dust while they try to do the same thing to do as helpless tiny humans scatter around your massive feet while their villages are destroyed. Just watch out for the kids with the freaky zipline swords and the massive drama baggage.
- Aliens Hurry's Home - Clunky translation aside, BenGAMEn's physics puzzle platformer sure is cute. Control a squishy, sticky alien trying to find its way to its spaceship in each level without being electrocuted or worse! On the easy side, to the point that the first level will literally win itself if you leave it long enough, but simple and charming as the dickens, whatever dickens are. Just the ticket for the little blue sentient booger lover in your life.
- Ziva - In this strange puzzle platformer from Aimar, the world is your plaything, for you wield that most mighty of powers... the copy/paste! In order to reach the seemingly unattainable gem floating in each level's trippy void, you need to cut and manipulate the surroundings to make a path, but be careful since you can even duplicate yourself, and there has to be enough gems to go around.
- Tony Hawk Demake - I might be a terrible person. I only watch American Idol for the auditions (I call it "dream crushers"), and Gordon Ramsay and J Jonah Jameson are my heroes. I guess there's a tiny part of me that enjoys human suffering, which must be why I find repeatedly wiping out in this hilarious little skateboarding physics game by Greg Sergeant so entertaining. It's short and simple, made for Ludum Dare, but goodness if it isn't amusing. Crunch! Spurt! Wheee!
Warning: This game contains flashing elements which may trigger photosensitive seizures in people with epilepsy.
Gather your troops and dust off your crown because Ben Olding is back with a new Warlords, Warlords: Epic Conflict! This strategic gem is sure to keep your day busy conquering with ten different races and unlocking new modes to play. While set up to be a sequel to Warlords 2: Rise of the Demons, Epic Conflict is more of an major overhaul, in the best way possible. The gameplay stays the same: select your troops and place them in specific rows on one side of the screen and have them march to the other side, fighting along the way. Fill up the bar at the top by helping your units cross over and off the screen before your enemies do the same.
Much like Solitaire or Tetris or Ding-Dong-Ditch, Sokoban is one of the classic staples of gaming people just can't stay away from, handing it tenderly down through the ages like some ancient swaddled baby. A baby we play with while we're on hold with the cable company, or while we're waiting for the jagoff in front of us at the coffee shop to order his venti frappe double mocha skinny whatever whatever MAKE UP YOUR MIND, BRAH! In-Finity's Sokoboom scratched that itch just fine with simple yet sleek puzzle solving, and now it's time for Sokoboom 2. Subtitle: The Sokobooming. Son of Sokoboom. Why do developers never take my ideas? This is why they pay me the medium bucks. As before, just use [WASD] or the [arrow] keys to walk and push any block you encounter in that direction as long as the way is clear, trying to cover all x-marks-the-spot-spots on the floor.
Welcome to a game which will make you feel like a junior game designer left alone in the office while everyone else has gone out for cocktails. Wait, what? Level Editor 3 is a puzzle platformer which gives you half-finished levels and twiddles its thumbs while you figure out how to position the remaining elements. It also provides you with a little stick man to test with, just so you don't feel like your hard work goes unappreciated. So, your job is to place platforms with your mouse and then get the stick man to reach the end of each stage with the [arrow] keys. There are several different kinds of platforms, and discovering how they function can be quite hilarious... or mean, depending on how you feel about gratuitous violence towards animated characters.
What tiiime is it? Time to help a quartet of astro-explorers escape from the hostile planet they've crash-landed on in DSoul Team's Planet Adventure. Their galactic detour is a little bit platformer-country, and a little bit physics puzzle rock-'n'-roll, as you must avoid obstacles, solve puzzles, and collect lots of shiny gems and keys by swapping between the four heroes and using each of their unique powers. Use the [arrow] or [WASD] keys to move, and the [spacebar] to activate each character's unique ability, be it stone armor, grabbing claws, bombs, or teleportation. Swap between characters by using [tab], or by clicking on their portrait at the bottom of the screen. You can always use [R] to reset the level should you get stuck!
Tamas Games' Tricky Rick 2 is the sort of puzzle platformer that's practically built for bad puns. Using [WASD] or the [arrow] keys, you control a robot who has crash-landed on an alien world and must use his head to solve various puzzles and sometimes lose his head (literally) to knock out hostiles guards in order to sneak by. You can pick up or drop items by pressing the down key, and if you're carrying a weapon, you can use it with [K]. Most switches, from elevators to warpers, can be activated with the same keys, but some will need to be held down with something heavy. In each stage, your goal is to collect all the power icons so Tricky Rick can eventually power his S.O.S. signal and return home, but standing in your way are switches, shields, teleporters, angry robots, force fields, and more. Luckily for Tricky Rick, he has access to jet packs, giant hammers, ray guns, magnetized cannons... and his noggin'. If you do hurl his chrome dome, make sure to pick it up, since you can't complete a level without it!
Here's a few things I've learned this week:
1) If you're trying to survive in a zombie-infested American southeast, the walking dead should not be your biggest concern.
2) The simplest of things can be extremely addictive and two elles make a Steve (but I still don't know what two Steves make).
3) Blondes might have fun but no one has fun like David Hasselhoff!
4) The way to escape from these three escape games...
Fruit Kitchens No.1: Strawberry Red - After all that candy, perhaps FunkyLand made a trip to the dentist and, after a painful meeting with a drill, decided fruits were the best way to go. Since finding five candies was good, you'd think finding seven strawberries would be even better yet it's a bit too on the quick and easy side to live up to expectations. All the great promise is there, though: sumptuous graphics, a user friendly interface and lots of polish. This fresh, whimsical series remains a delight right up until its brevity disappoints. What comes next? Nine vegetables? Eleven grains?
Escape from the Similar Rooms 10 - Plain and unassuming, Hottategoya's characteristic minimalism controls the dice in a game where observational power is your key to escape. While these three rooms are very similar, they're not quite the same. Look for those differences and you'll find the answers you seek. While the puzzles are good, the entire experience is much too brief, making you wish it was part of a larger, more involved undertaking.
A Little Slow - Just click anywhere on the start screen of this pretty in pink escape from Kamokichi, click again past the all Japanese introduction, and begin play. While it's quite light on challenge, with the most trouble perhaps in pixel hunting your way to some unseen angles, it was too cute to pass up (plus pink-grey-pink seemed a way to go). Because of a clean design and nicely-presented puzzles, it's good to save this charming little scene as a nice palate cleanser, if nightmares about zombies or multi-sword thrones threaten to spoil your mood.
We love escape games, and our readers love talking about them and sharing hints! How about you? Let us know what you think, ask for clues or help out the other players with your walkthroughs in the comments below.
The future promised to us back in the Eighties is finally here, and when we're not learning Elvish online for our D&D campaigns or managing our Causes.org petition to finally compel Cyndi Lauper to spell-check her name, we're decking into the glowing neon Matrix and downing corporate ICE for the sheer unadulterated thrill of it! Gordon Little, along with Gustavo Santos, Ivano Palmentieri, and Rusty Hayes, deftly slap together old and new in this intensely-luminous cyberpunk Pokémon hybrid RPG, Cyber Punkemon. Maneuver your deck through the Cyberdyne Systems mainframe with the [arrows], and take on any defensive ICE programs that try to block your progress! You'll then be in a mouse-based Battle Mode a la Pokémon, where your program and the system's both have their own special moves.
There are as many reasons to play a game as there are different games to play... to say the variety is vast constitutes understatement. Picking a favorite is like settling on one scoop out of 31 flavors of ice cream. This is just as true with puzzle games, considering "puzzle" can mean many things. So how to describe the appeal of Cover Color Game? The concept and gameplay are basic and simple—you're shown a colorful multi-layered pattern and, using the minimum number of one-colored designs provided, you must replicate that pattern. To do this, click and drag the necessary shapes onto the grid, layering them in the proper order, and voila, that's all there is to it!
We've been doing a lot of reading on improving our business model here at JayIsGames. And through all the tomes of literature, filled with talk of "micropayments", "freemium content," "cryptocurrency", and other words that may or may not be found in any dictionary, it seems that a focus on
ripping-off Asher Vollmer and Greg Wohlwend "works with conceptual similarities to other popular games" is one surefire path to success. Since there's never been a bandwagon I haven't leapfrogged upon when given the chance, I give to you JayIs2048, a puzzling... we'll say tribute to UsVsTh3m's Make Your Own 2048 generator, which is kind of a tribute to Gabriele Cirulli's 2048, which was a kind of tribute to 1024 by Veewo Studio, which was kind of a tribute to Threes by Asher Vollmer and Greg Wohlwend, which, of course was kind of a tribute to the mathematical postulate that small stuff can be combined to make bigger stuff, an axiom that was first evidenced either by the Ancient Greeks or Voltron. Whew. So if Pythagoras of Samos shows up with a DCMA take-down order, I know who I'm passing the buck to.