In Mascarpone's indie adventure game Midnight Puppeteer, translated by vgperson, Mayo Michino is just your average sixteen-year-old girl with a foul-mouthed, fanged, talking teddy-bear only she can hear. One night while driving home in the pouring rain with her father, the car stalls, and when her father doesn't return after leaving to find help at a nearby mansion, Mayo decides to go looking for him. What Mayo discovers along with her bear Mister Masper, however, is that the mansion her father disappeared into is no ordinary house, and they'll need to solve piles of puzzles in order to uncover its mysteries. Use the [arrow] keys to move, [Z] or the [spacebar] to select and interact, and [X] or [ESC] to open the menu, from where you can save your game. When you find an item, before you can use it you first need to equip it from the menu, and should you find yourself scrabbling through an air vent or three, tap [spacebar] to move forward. Make sure to save often, and in different slots, since it is actually possible to die in some places.
August 2014 Archives
Terrible evil lurks beneath the dwarven hall. Lucky for our hero all he had to do was go warn them about this. Unlucky for him, dwarves are stubborn, judgmental creatures and refused to listen and somehow managed to release this unspeakable evil in the meantime. While luck may not be on his side it certainly is for us as we get to play this grand adventure and strategic dungeon crawl. The online demo of Clewcat's DungeonUp is packed with content enough to stand on its own, with thirty playable floors, and multiple boss battles, it will give a good hour or two of hack'n'slash, puzzles, and general dungeony stuff. Collect colorful keys to open the corresponding doors to advance forward to slay evil. But there are more doors than keys and different pathways to chose. You're going to need your wits about you to get through this game alive. With procedurally generated levels, starting over could actually be more fun.
Scott Cawthon's indie horror game Five Nights at Freddy's (also available for Android) should probably be called "Half a Shift at Freddy's Before You Quit by Leaving a Scrawled Middle Finger for Your Supervisor to Find the Next Morning". The gist is that you take a job as an overnight security guard at Freddy Fazbear's Pizza, where all you should have to do is sit around and watch the monitors, though what you actually end up doing is finding yourself being stalked by animatronic horrors who creep through the dark hallways to where you cower in your office, nice and fresh for dismemberment. Your defense? Well, all you can do, all you can literally do, is play with the light switches and close the two doors on either side of you. Temporarily. See, you have a limited supply of power to last you through the night, and keeping the electronic doors closed or the lights on will burn through it much, much faster, leaving you defenseless when it runs out. As a result, you have to watch your monitors, tracking the movements of the unpredictable fur-and-steel murderers, and figure out when it's safe to leave yourself exposed. So, yes, Five Nights at Freddy's is basically proof that the internet has a deep, abiding love affair with jump scares, self-loathing, and trying to make you void your bowels.
Fall loves Kaisa, but Kaisa only loves dashing pirates. Luckily, there's an extra pirate costume hanging around, you just need to figure out how to get to it! That's the gist of Fallin Love, a puzzle platformer by Chestnut Games and BulkyPix. By twisting and turning your mobile device, you can manipulate gravity, letting Fall drop among moving platforms to collect hearts and costumes, then reach the exit, where Kaisa is waiting to greet her ninja lover.
Wait, ninja? Well, I guess Kaisa likes ninjas now.
It doesn't matter who you are, finding bloody threats and arcane symbols scrawled on the wall like Lovecraft had a fingerpainting class is a little unnerving. You're escorting actress Norma Shine home late one night after the police have been unable to track down who's been leaving her these red missives when an apparition makes you crash, and you awaken just in time to see her being hauled off by a mysterious figure into the Blackrow District. Which, by the way, has been quarantined for almost two hundred years after the plague ripped through it. You know, just to complete your round of Bad Omens Bingo with a win. In Elephant Games' Mystery Trackers: Blackrow's Secret, the latest installment of the popular hidden-object horror thriller adventure series, you'll need to discover what grim truth is behind the darkness of Blackrow, a place that hasn't seen the light of day in centuries but is by no means "empty". Together with your faithful yap-yap dog Elf, who can be used to reach things you can't, and an unstable device that can allow you to see the memories of those long dead, you'll find items, solve puzzles, and maybe think of changing careers to something that involves a bit less mortal peril, corpses, and possession.
Do you feel a hollowness from the removal of an infamous flappy bird? Do you miss the echoed cries of rage from bouncing off of screens from Android and iOS users alike? Even with the rampant clones, like the wonderful flapbound, is there just not enough frustration in your day without the repetitive tapping on your screen? Well, want no more Android users for Play.im has your solution with CrazyBox (now available for browser, too!)! Tap the little box through obstacles, around dangerous lines, and solve puzzles to reach the always desired dotted line across the screen. A high-difficulty avoidance game that can stand its own against the out-of-control little bird and make a name for itself.
Light years from Earth, a ship sent to explore a new exo-planet has drastically malfunctioned. Oxygen, food, and energy systems are at critical levels, and all non-essential functions, including the snark-inhibitor of the on-board AI have been disengaged. You, Engineer 34 (aka "stupid meatsack"), have been awoken to deal with the problem manually, and what few options remain might only make the situation worse for those left in cryo-stasis. Still, there just may be a way out of this... Generation Ship is a Unity sci-fi adventure game developed by Shide for the Ludum Dare 72 hour "connected worlds" competition, where a solutions to the cold equations needs to be calculated. Possibly with rabbits. Move around the various rooms of the ship with the [WASD] or [arrow keys], interacting with the various consoles on the ship with [E]. When a console is activated, it will offer choices that can be implemented with [1-9].
If you love piling things on other things and then selling things out of those things, Nimblebit has you covered with Tiny Tower Vegas, free(mium) for iOS and Android. Though functionally mostly identical to Tiny Tower and its Sith-ier follow up Star Wars: Tiny Death Star, as the name implies, this installment has you building your very own tower in Vegas, which means casinos, lounges, and minigames, naturally. For those unfamiliar with the series, it's best described as an idle game of sorts, with some light simulation and resource management. You don't necessarily play it as much as you ensure it can keep running. You build new rooms when you have enough cash, hire employees to staff stock those rooms (ordering more merchandise when items run out), and perform mini-missions for your guests like tracking down items or booking rooms for their friends. The two main currencies are cash and "bux", both of which are generated/earned in game, as well as a new type of currency this time around... the chip. You earn chips either by completing missions or through random tips, and you spend them on playing the various casino minigames you unlock as you build your tower, which can in turn earn you some sweet, sweet cash. Think of it as a Tomogatchi... your interactions are limited, but you can't leave it alone forever either.
Cave diving seems to be all the rage in the virtual world these days. With Minecraft and Terraria tearing up the indie scene and wacky titles like Bazooka Boy 2 eating up our bandwidth, it looks like digital spelunking is here to stay. It was only a matter of time before someone turned into a multiplayer online sport. Well luckily, Caves Online is just that. (You need to create an account to play but it's a quick, simple process that won't require an email address or any such nonsense. Just choose a name and password and you're done!) It's a fun arcade platform game that has you competing against dozens of "ghosts" of other players who've run the course before you. Use the [arrow] keys to jump over obstacles and pits, collecting gold to spend on upgrades and powerups and keeping pace with the ever-sliding view. Die, and you'll need to start over from the beginning. If only real cave diving where this fun.
Ever had a mysterious phone call from a suspiciously familiar voice, warning you not to do something in the imminent future? It's probably best to listen, unless of course, you're a extremely busy genius who was just about to eat your lunch and check out the latest invention in your lab. Then you're probably okay. Primary Max, by Keybol, is just that, and while most of the game doesn't really have much of a story line, you're still playing as Max as he messes around with his clones in this puzzle-platform game. When you first touch the clone box it records every movement you make until you run over the box again. Then a clone of you takes off to do what was just saved in its memory. Following in the steps of Time Donkey you have to use your clones to get to where you need to be, standing on their heads and using them for a leg up, only Primary Max is a lot more easier to navigate with its platform style of playing.
The thing about inspiration is that it sort of sucks. You could be halfway through your adventure fanfic mashup of Harry Potter and Spongebob and bam! your inspiration leaves you staring helplessly at the screen in the middle of the Krabby-Patty-cook-off-on-broomsticks scene. This is pretty much what happened to Scarlett (minus the fanfic). She is the protagonist of Manor Memoirs, Playrix's new hidden-object/time-management hybrid – a bestselling author who just can't get herself to start working on her next book. So she takes the only surefire cure for writer's block: she buys a sinfully expensive mansion in the country and moves in. Having neglected to visit the place before buying, Scarlett realises the manor is almost in ruins and in dire need of renovating. This is where you come in. You are an expert interior designer and the perfect person to conduct a series of garage sales to raise the money for the makeover.
In Just Pine Games' History Museum Escape, also available free for iOS and Android, you're up to some 1980s teen-movie style shenanigans and find yourself locked in the museum overnight. Because you don't have Donna Noble with you, you can't just boot the door open (or does that only work in libraries... ?), so you'll need to hunt around for a key if you want to escape, and let me tell you, the person who designed this security system must have been shooting for a "Most Convoluted Award". Just click around to interact and pick up items when the cursor changes, and white text will usually display to provide you with descriptions. If you want to try combining things, or just using one object on another, click one item in your inventory, then the next you want to try to use it with. You'll want to experiment with this a lot, since you'll need to come up with more than one handmade tool before you can find your way out.
Doubtlessly you remember Threes!, the addicting swipe-puzzler which gripped us all and influenced the mega-hit 2048. And hopefully you remember Triple Town, the unique match-three game with cute bears and an abundance of trees. These games were so popular and successful for a reason—they demanded attention and required some real planning. But let's play around with these formulae, shall we? Take the basic movement system from Threes!, throw in the rules and obstacles from Triple Town, and stick the grid in a series of finite levels... voila! The outcome is Letter Monsters, a well thought out and deviously cute combine-three puzzler from 1001.com. Presented with cute, colourful monsters labelled from "A" to "Z", your goal will be to combine sister letters to build your alphabet as far as you can. Three A's will make a B, three B's will make a C, and so on. Immovable obstacles and black holes will provide challenges, but certain special monsters, along with eight essential types of boosters, will help you out and make for some exceptionally fierce strategy. Playable both online with the [arrow] keys and on iOS or Android with the swipe of a finger, Letter Monsters brings a fresh aesthetic and a variety of new quirks to a now-familiar gameplay style.
It's nice to be lighthearted, social and full of smiles now and then, but you constantly upbeat extroverts can really try the nerves sometimes. I'm just saying. There needs to be more appreciation for grumps, I say. Without us, who would you happy people have to focus all your cheer-ups on? How else would such poetic phrases as "Turn that frown upside down!" be born? So our first two free online escape games from Self Defiant and No1Game are a wee bit dark and morbid, what with being locked in an asylum or buried in a pit of sand. But, for you happy-go-lucky do gooders, take heart: a cute little duckling from Minoto should provide ample opportunity to tilt head to side and say, "Awwww, so adorabs!" Read more about our Weekday Escape trio...
Bottle Rockets is a downloadable indie sci-fi platform game by James Earl Cox III set to the song "Alberto Balsam" by Aphex Twin. It is a short, artistic work that's worth going into unspoiled, but suffice to say it is about an astronaut deep in space, aboard a station where things have gone seriously wrong, a daughter with a message for her mother, and the wide range of emotions in-between. Its been rated quite highly in the smattering of Game Competitions it has been submitted to, including the Nar8 Storyteling Jam, the GameJolt GlitchJam, and the "Women Are Too Hard To Animate" Jam, so expect a compelling plot, a whole lot of graphical flickering (epileptics take note), and smattering of X chromosomes to keep things interesting.
In Skip Around the World: Finland, the first installment of Carmel Games' point-and-click adventure series, Skip, as you might surmise from the title, is a world traveler who winds up in Finland. And hey, visiting Santa's Village is fine, and sure those Northern Lights are all breathtaking and whatnot, but what Skip really wants is to meet Oiva Vasta, the "sauna guru", who apparently shares Skip's passion for sitting around wearing towels and sweating with strangers, which is basically my nightmare scenario. To find his hero, Skip will need to travel around and see the sights, solving puzzles and performing favours for the locals as he tries to find someone who knows where Oiva might be. Just click to interact when the cursor changes, and click an item from your inventory to pick it up so you can try to use it somewhere. And hey, you might actually learn something about Finland in the process!... sorta. Maybe?
Gridland is from Doublespeak Games, creators of A Dark Room, which as you know means that a) it's a really clever and interesting game, and b) I can't really say too much as to why and how without spoiling it for you because of the way the game slowly changes as you play. Superficially, it looks like a simple match-3 puzzle game. Click on two adjacent tiles to swap them, and if they match, the resources they represent will be collected. The game is turn-based, and while time marches on, it only moves when you make a turn, so plan you moves to get the most "cascade" matches possible as other tiles drop to replace the ones you removed. Initially, it seems both too easy, and, well, weird. You'll need to figure out on your own what's happening and how you figure into it, since the game offers no help or direction whatsoever. During nights, planning your matches becomes even more important, and the thing to remember is that while everything else happens automatically you don't need to rush, and in fact frantically making matches will work against you. You'll need to experiment and really choose your moves carefully... especially when the sun goes down...
Mike Salyh and Cynic Sama trapped a bunch of kids in a mine full of explosives, not because they're villains in an old Lassie episode, but because it's the puzzle game they made in a week, Sweep Miner. In each level, using the [WASD] or [arrow] keys, you move the miner around the level to rescue the minors, who will follow him when you walk over them, and all you have to do to win is get them all to the exit. The twist? The floor is covered in deadly explosives, and the only time you get to see where they are is when the level first loads. As soon as you take a single step, they all vanish from sight, but they'll still send you sky-high whether you can see them or not, so you'll need to memorize the layout. In addition to occasionally having to rescue more than one wayward tot, you'll have to deal with colour-coded warp ladders that will zap you back and forth around the level. All of which sounds like a lot of trouble for kids. I mean, can't you just, like, make more?... what? Oh, so now I'm a "heartless monster" instead of just "practical". I see how it is.
If you have fond childhood memories of chasing out the door after a musical ice cream truck in a crazed desire for the sugary, cold treat, have I got a question for you: what if, instead of chasing after the truck, it came directly to your house and delivered the ice cream straight to your door? Well, this mind-blowing premise is the foundation behind Firedroid's free mobile game, Ice Cream Nomsters. Available for those who sport either an iOS or Android device, this time management title has you controlling a neighborhood ice cream truck in its delivery of its precious sweet cargo to each home as it is requested. Be it of the green or red variety (pistachio or cherry?), you've got all palettes covered.
You're a stickman! You have a lot of guns! There are a bunch of goons in that building that want to kill you! You should kill them first! You've got a battle suit that allows you to slow down time because it has technology or something! Maybe at some point you'll pick up a chainsaw! There's really not that much more to say! Black IV: Time of Revenge, a top-down action shooter by Modern Boys Production, is a continuation of a series that first made its way to the internet back in 2006. Move with the [WASD] or [arrow keys] and aim/fire your current weapon by clicking the mouse. You can enter into a Bullet Time mode for a recharging period of time by hitting the [spacebar], and again to exit it. Change weapons by clicking on them or by pressing the corresponding number key. You can use [Q] to switch back and forth between your two most recent weapons, and [R] to reload. In the top right corner is a menu that lets you select your current special weapon, like grenades or remote-detonated bombs. You aim your current special weapons by hitting [F], then set it by clicking. Defeating enemies will cause them to drop cash and grant you experience. Use these to unlock weapons upgrades and customization options using the menu in the lower left. You can also search cabinets and computer terminals for extra cash, ammo, and health packs by standing by them and holding [E]. Beat all the enemies, bosses, and Da Final Boss and you win! It's that simple!
Down, down, down the rabbit hole Alice went after the white rabbit, never thinking about how she'd get back out. Now the frustrations of a morning that has not been very accommodating to young ladies who chase bunnies and fall a long ways lie in a large puddle, and here we are likewise trapped in this very stately, and quite strange, hallway. So comes your next curious assignment in Alice House No.2: The Pool of Tears from the ever whimsical Funky Land—find five dodoes and unlock the door so you can escape. The dodoes appear in a variety of forms: pictures, silhouettes, and...other things, some in the open, some needing to be unlocked by a code or item. To navigate, point and click on an area you'd like to view more closely; when you can back up, a grey bar will appear at the bottom of the scene as you hover your cursor there. It is a good thing to keep in mind, especially as you'll need to back up to swing open certain cabinet doors, otherwise there is no changing cursor or directional arrows to aid your explorations.
ERS Game Studios' hidden-object adventure series PuppetShow turns five years old this year, proving that there's nothing people love more than sentient puppets with soulless eyes and hungry plastic mouths, so good job, you weirdos. PuppetShow: Lightning Strikes is the latest, taking place in Paris in 1888, and you've been called in to assist when local women begin vanishing during lightning storms, and anyone struck by lightning turns into a living puppet. Despite this, since puppets are already a big part of this alternate-steampunky-France, down to the creepy mechanical newsboys and creepier ice cream vendors (we all float down here), nobody thinks to suspect them right up until one shows up and tries to steal a piece of evidence. Seems the victims might all have something in common, and love ain't always sweet. As you travel the city solving puzzles, you'll uncover evidence you'll need to sort with the help of your new psychic friend who really wants her magical doll back (I swear I'm not making this up), deal with a cranky fellow who possesses the bizarre ability to bring inanimate objects to life, and more.
Like Sentry Knight and Elona Shooter, HighUp Studio's Viking Valor is a defensive shooter, one that, specifically, revolves around blasting vikings in the face with cannons. See, some king stole a gem from your people, and to get it back, you have to kaboom your way through vikings, viking tanks, viking sorcerers, viking bombs, viking... bats?... and, well, you get the idea. In each level you'll face waves of enemies, and all you have to do is aim and shoot with the mouse. In addition to dropping cash you can spend on placing traps to hurt or hinder, your foes also net you experience points, and every time you level up you gain points you can spend on upgrading your weaponry and spells. Oh, didn't I mention? As you level up, you unlock various spells you can activate with [Z], [X], and [C]... each has a cool-down timer, however, so don't go using them willy-nilly. If an enemy reaches and manages to damage your ship, don't panic! Just make sure you pick up the boards occasionally dropped, since they can repair the ship's hull. Of course, you still want to avoid damage as much as possible, since you're awarded stars for each stage depending on how much damage you took, and those stars are used to unlock new traps and upgrades for them.
Balls is not, as you might think, a game made by Bobby Singer, but rather Robamimi's latest escape game in which you must find four balls in order to get out. It sounds simple, but the reality is anything but. Just click around to interact when the cursor changes, and use the arrows at the edges of the screen to move around. The changing cursor, while helpful, is nothing new, but the game also includes an option to display colour names when you mouse over certain items whose colour is relevant to solving puzzles, making the game much more playable for people who have difficulty distinguishing colours in general. There's also a hint function, but don't expect it to do much more than gesture vaguely in the right direction. But hey, that's all you'll need, right?
Tell me if this has happened to you before: while on a camping trip with friends, roasting marshmallows into crispy gooey bliss, innocently toying with bottle rockets near the campfire, an extraterrestrial aircraft zooms over and zaps you into space. No? Then, you may have missed out on one of... No, not one of, but only the most exciting interstellar odyssey of your life. That is, if Bik: A Space Adventure is any testimony on the subject. And he should be, given this is exactly what happens to Bik as the titular character in Zotnip's marvelously fun classic scifi point-and-click adventure, playable on your iOS and Android mobile device or on your computer as a download. But in case you begin to doubt Bik's perspective on the subject, there will be opportunities to walk in Ammut, Tatenen and Talandra's gravity boots for a change of pace and scenery, exploring alien environments and solving the story-driven puzzles encountered along the way. While the pursuit of fun and extracurricular recreation is a perfectly valid reason to travel the galaxies, there are bigger bots to fry: join forces with the good guys as they escape Umarian abductors and Houns mobsters while stopping an evil corporation from exploiting a peaceful farming planet—the universal battle of good versus evil all in resplendent 2D pixel art.
NOTE: This game was played and reviewed on the iPad Air. 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.
Quad Cop is... a weird game. It's a physics puzzle where you play a square sheriff wrangling square baddies by trying to knock them off the screen, while also collecting all three stars on every level because a physics game without collecting stars these days summons the physics police. That's not the weird part. The weird part is that on each level you have a limited amount of food to feed to your cop, which affects him in different ways. Tacos make you burp, peas (beans?) make you fart and temporarily fly, and chilies make you let out a burst of heat. Just click one of the food items in the upper left corner, then click on a sheriff to feed the food to him. All of this impacts you and your surroundings in various ways, so for example, feeding a taco to a sheriff on an incline could mean the resulting fart gives him enough momentum to go sliding down and good grief is that actually a line I just typed? Is that even a taco? It could be a bánh mì. I don't know what's happening anymore.
Doublespeak Games' A Dark Room was a smash-hit for a lot of good reasons, being an amazingly deep and epic simulation that revealed itself a bit at a time to patient players, and even eventually got a mobile port from Amirali Rajan. So when fans like myself are surprised by an iOS prequel like The Ensign, the reaction is, predictably, ohmygosh ohmygosh ohmygosh, but also hmmmm, because unlike the original game, The Ensign is actually a roguelike adventure. When your commanding officer gives up, you refuse to, and with only a few sups of water and scraps of food you set out into a hostile world to try to find and activate your ship. All you can do is follow your compass. The catch is that when you die, and you will die, a time paradox occurs and sends you back to the start of the game. At first it may appear like you're just beating your head against a brick wall, but as you try and try again, you'll begin to notice subtle changes in yourself and the world around you, though the world map will be randomized...
Behold! Nothing up my sleeves... abracaplatformer... there is your card, my friend!... just, uh... suspended over that pit of sawblades and spikes... hmmm, Blaine makes this look so easy. In Tinsleeves' The Great Magician's Curse: Magicians 2, you play a magician who is not only trapped in a puzzling world of dangers and switches, you're dogged by magical dopplegangers who copy every move you make. Don't worry, they're not dangerous... quite the opposite, in fact, since you can use them to accomplish tasks for you! Use [WASD] or the [arrow] keys to move and jump. But the kicker is that only the main magic maestro can go through the exit and collect the card in each level, and a single hit will destroy any of your magicians. Since they all move at once, you'll need to figure out how to manipulate the copies to open doors for you without endangering your magician... something that becomes even harder since most switches only stay pressed if someone remains holding them down, and deadly barriers may require a sacrifice before they open.
What three free escape games do we have in store for you this Weekday Escape? Well, that's a question worth exploring in more detail, so I'll give you some key facts and see if you can guess without peeking. The first is from a designer who makes perfect use of minimalism, hiding clues in the decor, and is well-known to us here at JIG, although the brief offerings have sometimes escaped our notice. Next, these guys, always green and poised to escape, sure do get in an awful lot of trouble but they're also sure to bring the laughs—as long as we can find them. Lastly, this game series, more new to our escaping crew, has clever puzzles and quirky drawings to extend the hidden buttons fun...
In Jay Armstrong and Jimp's action-packed platform shooter The Last Dinosaurs, the dinos aren't extinct... they're just hiding in sewers from the evil feline army, naturally. Clever girl. As Russ, a dinosaur who looks like Reptar and was probably trained by John Woo or Danny Butterman, you'll amass a team of heroes and go on arena-based missions from your secret underground hideout... missions which typically involve bouncing all over the place and firing guns into the air while going ARRRRR to take out all the enemies before they can do the same to you. The controls can be changed by going into the menu, clicking a control key icon, and then hitting the key on your keyboard you want to rebind that action to, though the default is [arrows] to move and jump, [C] to fire, and the down [arrow] to pick up anything. Coins from fallen foes can be spent between missions on upgrading everything from your special abilities and weapons to the strengths of your companions. Your teammates will move and attack on their own, and if they die, they're down for the count unless you've unlocked the limited revive ability. Healing items and any additional unlocked weapons will spawn periodically through openings in the floor, but your enemies can pick them up too! You can't replay missions, but you can earn more cash by playing "challenge mode" maps from the main menu.
A mysterious knock on the door, a mysterious package on the stoop, you just know this isn't going to end well for whomever finds the parcel, don't you? Indeed, in Witches' Legacy: The Ties that Bind, EleFun's latest adventure hybrid, that package heralds the beginning of yet another fight between the forces of good and the forces of evil involving witches, witch hunters, and a ton of hidden-object finding and puzzle solving. It is the day before your adopted daughter (who is a good witch) Lynn's wedding to former witch hunter Edward when suddenly, displaying the brains and judgment of a concussed lemming, Edward decides to walk right into what is obviously a trap to find out what happened when he was a child and his family was killed.
Ever wonder about light? Most of us know the basics: it's super fast, it's got something to do with rainbows, and it's dangerous to drive or cook bacon without it. Well, the folks at Foumart Games want to teach you a thing or two about this mysterious force that illuminates our world, and lucky for us they've created an extremely addictive puzzle game with which to spread the gospel. Quantum of Light isn't a strict educational game, more a brainteaser that rewards you with some cool textbook facts. Gameplay revolves around rotating square tiles a 2D grid to better reflect the streams of photons towards the crystals at the end. The game tosses some creative obstacles in your path like black light streams that cancel out your photons, so patience and intuition are a must. It's great fun watching the colorful patterns take shape as you guide your light streams towards the crystals, and seriously, who doesn't like to learn?
In SpryFox's gorgeous indie roguelike strategic puzzle adventure Road Not Taken, you're lost alone in the snow-swept woods and beset by evil spirits until you discover a strange staff with a blue flame that allows you to levitate objects around you at the cost of your own energy. You're rescued by a fisherman who takes you to a tiny, remote village where, it turns out, that staff just so happens to be the symbol of a Ranger's office. Your duties? Well, for the most part, you're tasked with finding and rescuing the children who get lost in the forest each year while picking the berries that the town exports. But the woods are deep, dark, cold, and ever-changing, and it's not just the malicious entities, freezing temperatures, and wildlife you'll need to watch out for. Combining randomized puzzles and a subtle yet engrossing narrative with a clever crafting mechanic that allows you to create an amazing amount of new things by combining objects and animals around you, Road Not Taken is a smart and oh-so-gorgeous game that will keep you coming back for more.
As the Wikipedias tell us, major depressive disorder is a mental disorder characterized by a pervasive and persistent low mood that is accompanied by low self-esteem and by a loss of interest or pleasure in normally enjoyable activities. It is believed to currently affect approximately 298 million people as of 2010, which is 4.3% of the global population. As you probably know, a famous entertainer who just about everybody wished well has recently committed suicide. Many who've never experienced the disorder are trying to understand why, and just as many who live with it try to explain but find it difficult to elucidate beyond a list of symptoms and desperate urging for those who suffer, to get help, even though they know from experience that it's not that simple, and the stories they share may only trigger more pain. Into this maelstrom comes the wide release of Depression Quest on Steam, or play it online in your browser. It's a twine interactive fiction game where you play as someone living with depression, developed by Zoe Quinn, Patrick Lindsey and Isaac Schankler, and its hard to tell if its come at exactly the right or exactly the wrong time. Either way, though, it's well worth your time.
Players should be warned that the narrative deals frankly with depictions of people in painful mental states. Those with conditions that might be triggered should take caution. Anyone with thoughts of suicide or self-harm or feel that they may be at risk should seek help immediately: You Are Not Alone.
Puzzle phenomenon 2048 spawned a lot of copies and imitators, which, depending on your point of view, is sort of ironic since 2048 is itself more-than-heavily-inspired-by Threes! 2048 Bricks offers a slightly different spin on things by keeping the basic concept and adding in a twist. Or... stack. See, each level has five stacks, with each stack having a certain number of blocks on it, and each block has its own value. Click a stack to pick up the top-most block, and then another stack to drop it, though you can only stack blocks on those with numbers of equal or lesser value. By stacking a block on top of one that matches its current value, the two will combine into a new block that represents the combined total of the old ones, so stacking two fours will net you a single eight. The goal is to figure out how to reach a single block with a total of 2048, which usually isn't hard, but doing so in as few moves as possible is another story.
Smart Pen is one of those puzzle games that is essentially a browser-based version of iOS game Blek by another developer, which definitely puts it in "clone" category. The controls couldn't be easier. Simply draw a line or shape and watch the pattern repeat in the air. Your lines will bounce off the sides and keep repeating but the upper and lower borders are off limits, and then there are the black holes you must avoid. The goal is to send your magic marker through each colored circle on the screen, requiring no small amount of imagination and artistic flair. The pen is smart, sure enough, but it can take some time to reprogram your brain enough to understand just how your lines will behave once you set them free in the vacuum. This is how mouse-only browser gaming is supposed to feel, requiring forethought, a sure hand, and a boatload of patience when things get tricky.
It's the last day of summer vacation, and like any kid worth his salt, the protagonist of no1game's Find the Escape-Men Part 115: Summer Vacation has put off every single piece of homework til the last minute. Procrastinators unite!... eh... eventually. For some reason, his mother fails to see this as the badge of honor it is for childhood, and demands he finish every piece before she gets home. Luckily for him, he's found a flyer for a special, totally not shady "homework finishing service"! All he has to do is find ten little green men, already hidden around the house, and all his problems are solved. Like all Escape-Men games, all you have to do to play is click around to interact and solve puzzles, though since the game doesn't have a changing cursor to indicate any "hotspots", you'll need to be diligent and search everywhere. Click an item's question mark icon to view it closer up, which can allow you to interact with it in new ways.
To Sherlock Holmes, Mr T was always the Tea Shop owner. This chronicler has seldom heard him mentioned under any other name, most likely to prevent confusion with the Rocky III guy. In his eyes he eclipsed and predominated the whole of his tea-making profession. So it was to our mutual dismay when Police Inspector Jason Bartholomew came round and informed us of his ghastly murder. The poor man had apparently been drowned in a giant cup of his own tea! And not even the good stuff! This cannot stand! Come! the game is afoot in Sherlock Holmes: The Tea Shop Murder Mystery, a short point-and-click adventure from the folks at Carmel Games.
Mysterious women appearing out of nowhere in front of your car on dark, rainy nights? Rarely a good sign. In ERS Game Studios' new hidden-object adventure game Ghosts of the Past: Bones of Meadows Town, you play a sheriff with the world's corniest sense of sarcasm sent to Meadows Town to investigate the murder of a local teacher and the disappearance of the last sheriff, which wouldn't seem to bode well for your quip-makin' butt. Aside from a sassy Viking sign, the town doesn't seem to have much going for it after you arrive despite the best efforts of an apparition to make you crash. In fact, apart from a skeleton who wants to axe you a few questions (just think, I get paid for this) and a deputy who must have been hired for his golden waves of hair since he clearly can't shoot worth a Stormtrooper, this place looks almost deserted. Seems like the townsfolk have all evacuated from the bad storm rolling in since they believe all of this is being caused by an angry spirit said to be the guardian of an ancient treasure. What follows is easily one of the most over-the-top gleefully campy, over-dramatic, absolutely insane adventures to come along in a good, long while. Jump scares! Corpses in top hats! Ominous obstructing balloons! Don't think about it too much... just throw up your hands and go "WHOOP WHOOP WHOOP" Zoidberg style along with the game and you'll enjoy every minute even if it ends with a pfffft rather than a bang.
Phoenix Wright games have always been sort of brilliant. A series of visual novel-style mystery adventure games originally for Nintendo's handhelds, they mostly feature around the titular protagonist, defense attorney Phoenix Wright, as he struggles to prove the innocence of the clients he's representing in every bizarre case he comes across. The series has already made the jump once to iOS, but the release of Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney - Dual Destinies is still a bit of a surprise given that the game originally appeared on the 3DS just last year... though not an unwelcome surprise by any means! With the first episode free to play and the others available individually for $5.00USD (or grab all four at once, not including the bonus mission or outfits, for the discounted price of $15.00USD) as optional in-game purchases, there's never been a better time to pick up this smash-hit series that balances comedy with murder, cross-examination, exploration, and more. With a clean, intuitive interface and some silky smooth graphics and playback, this is one port you don't want to miss whether you're a fan of the series or a newcomer.
NOTE: This game was played and reviewed on the iPad Air. 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.
A gathering of assassins, cultists, elders and the miscellaneous undead? No, it's not a production by the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society. It's Loot Clicker, the new incremental idle game from TrampolineTales! Loot Clicker takes the standard creature encounter formula typically found in roleplaying games and streamlines it, then presents it on a grand scale. With money earned through farming, you're recruiting a party from among eight different character classes to lay to rest everything that's wrong with the world from insects to malevolent spirits, and using the money earned to recruit still more. Each class has its own properties, which influence what sort of creatures you'll encounter, and will claim their own proportion of the wealth they generate. Encounters will also net you loot, different types of equipment which add buffs to your stats. Predominantly these will be chests and sacks for each of your class types, but you'll occasionally get mouse pointers to increase your clicking effectiveness, potions to add temporary boosts to it, and scrolls that provide major temporary buffs.
Stumpy Games' Spore is a... a... hmm. It's definitely not related to that other game called "Spore", but other that that it's a... Well, let's walk through this together. The game takes place upon a miraculous spore-world floating in a glorious cavern, which you must defend against the meteors that come crashing towards it. So it's a tower defense game, then. But you must do this by clicking on and shooting at the meteors, which clearly makes it a shooter game. But what's this? You have autoclicks, and the spore-world grows stronger as time goes on? So it must be a incremental game! Gah! Let's just say that Spore is a wild, unfettered, genre-blending arcade game, and leave it at that. Rapidly click on meteors to defend your fungal homeworld, and button mash on the glowing clouds to give yourself extra powerups. Keep the spore safe, and it will start to grow energy-shooting plants that will take some of the load off your fingers. It's a fast-paced, addictive, and very, very glowy game, and beyond the difficulty of pinning a genre onto it, it's quite an atmospheric experience.
Today, on "Well, What Did You THINK Was Gonna Happen?", the people of the fantasy kingdom in Idengames' realtime strategy defense game Royal Warfare react to the sudden appearance of zombies and skeletons everywhere by putting them to use as cheap manual labor. I mean, what could go wrong, right? But, shockingly, once the powerful undead were everywhere across the land, they turned on their tasty (itchy) human masters, and were assimilated into an army by the evil Darth Lords. Surprisingly, as the game begins, you assume control of the remnants of the royal army not to attempt to rout the evil forces, but to get the heck out of Dodge. (Hey, all those civilians can totally fend for themselves, right?) In each level, your job is to keep enemies from both killing your men and reaching the other side of the field... each fallen soldier and escaped enemy costs you one heart, and if all your hearts are lost, it's game over, man. Click to direct your soldiers around the battlefield, either selecting targets manually or allowing your army to attack whatever comes within range. You can direct and issue commands while paused, too. With the case you get from fallen foes, you can hire more units between enemy waves. Different soldier types have unique abilities, and as you play, you can not only improve those abilities, but unlock more, and more unit types as well.
The whole premise behind Selfdefiant's escape game Arendel is that you and your friends thought it was a swell idea to go inside an abandoned asylum late at night, so I'm not entirely convinced you didn't deserve it (or at least a Darwin Award) when the doors slammed shut and trapped you inside. Now you're surrounded by a bunch of glowy purple orbs and enough locked doors with colour-coded keyholes to make me think you've been captured by an Umbrella Corporation villain, so if you want to find your way out, it's time to get to puzzle solving. Don't mind the skeleton hands, they're here to help. To play, just click to interact when your cursor changes, and deposit items in your inventory at the bottom of the screen to pick them up, or click an icon again to hold an item for use. Once you have something to hold them in, the purple orbs can be gathered to purchase things from the shadowy figure at the front desk... just, uh... maybe don't sign any contracts it offers you. Don't mind the timer... it's just there to keep track of how long it takes you to find a way out.
A far cry from the deluge of spray-and-pray shooters that pass across our screens, Range of the Dead (intended to bridge the gap between Lab of the Dead and an upcoming sequel) is, paradoxically, a zombie game with some brains. Rather than load you down with weapons and watch you blast away, the game requires some forethought, like a chess match with bullets. Each zombie stands dutifully still as you draw a bead with your on it with your cursor from hundreds of yards away. You have to factor in wind and distance that change drastically with each kill, with the occasional grenade toss minigame to shake things up. You can alter your projectile's path mid-flight with the [WASD] buttons but there's no substitute for good aim. It's like a slower, calmer, more thoughtful Dead Zed 2. Oh, and by the way, it's also free for iOS and Android, just in case you need to get your zombie slaughter fix on the bus to work.
Once again it's time to take a break from all the hassle and fusses of the week with Weekday Escape—three terrific break-sized escape games all for one low introductory price of: free. What's more, if you act now, I'll throw in a few snarky remarks and a hastily written introduction to set the mood to Just Right. That's not just re-purposed bovine waste I'm selling you, folks. I mean, what would you rather be doing now: a) Whatever it is you're currently doing or b) Playing games? If you chose b, then you've chosen correctly. Keep reading and you'll even get a bonus fourth game just for being a loyal JIG customer. That's right, you get seven bunches of grapes in Funky Land's whimsical design, a bowl of the most delicious instant noodles found only in this special internet offer, and an adorable water-shooting duckling along with all these special bonus features. But wait, there's more: you can have all this plus impress your friends with your escaping expertise and witty comments, and all you have to do right now is click...
They say that your brain needs exercise, just like your body. Games like 2048, Concentric Holic, or even a good escape the room game, like Gatamari Escape #22, can feel like you just made your brain run forty flights of stairs. They're the type of games that you can feel your gears grinding to figure out the solutions. But, sometimes your mind muscles need less of a brain-throbbing workout and more of a soothing yoga session. Invert Selection, by Elio Landa, is that yoga session. With its peaceful music, soft graphics, and simple, yet enjoyable, puzzles you'll feel like you've had a day at the sauna then a day at the track. The goal of this puzzle game is to highlight the goal area using the actions it gives you. Add and subtract the area, or invert what you select, to match the faded shape in the background. Each level only gives you so many actions and gives them to you in the order it wants you to follow. No chance to rebel here. Remember, it's a peaceful game.
One afternoon, a knight decided not to wait until night to take his nightly knight-nap. And while the knight benightedly knight-napped alongside his knight sword, a wizard came along and stole . Thus when the knight woke from his knight-nap, he realize his knight sword had been sword-napped! The knight chased the wizard to the wizard's castle, only to get zapped with a nightmarish knight-spell. The knight could no longer jump, only knight-fall from ceiling to floor as his personal gravity was reversed. But only a weak knight would let that stand in his way, so off to recover his sword he goes! Stolen Sword is a gravity-bending puzzle platform game that will flip you so much, you might have trouble telling between night and day.
Button, button, who's got the button?... well, apparently Yonashi does, because the escape game Ice Room is full of them. Coloured buttons. Twin buttons. Round buttons. Start buttons. Square buttons! Oh, and there's a polar bear, too. To play, just click to interact when the cursor changes, and click an item in your inventory to either highlight it for use, or to view it close up with the "about item" function. There are actually only a handful of things for you to pick up and use, and with a small, contained space, the emphasis here is on examining your environment for clues. Unlike, say, TomaTea games, you're not going to get any feedback as to whether you've seen a solution for a puzzle, and some of the solutions are, um, innovative, to put it mildly. Just experiment, pay attention to your surroundings... and maybe turn your volume down a bit, because that machinery is startling.
How many of you actually remember the Game Boy? I mean the original, heavy-as-a-brick, takes-a-million-batteries and no colour-having Game Boy? Do you remember using the screen-shift glitch to cheat at Link's Awakening and being called Thief by the shopkeeper? Do you remember how amazing it was when you got your very own Pikachu, just like Ash? They're things that were revolutionary at the time if you'd grown up on a diet of Joust, but these days they're practically prehistoric. Nobody actually wants to play old school Game Boy games, right?
Wrong, sucker! With the GBJam 3 over at GameJolt and over 250 games (and counting!) available for play and voting, it's pretty clear there's still life in the old girl yet. Below the break we'll highlight just a few of the free browser games the talented developers of the Jam have produced. Play them, then play all the other GBJam 3 games, and make sure to vote for your favourites! Of course, none of them could really be Game Boy games... most of them are far too clever and actually fun and also don't cost forty bucks, for one thing. It'll be hard not to hold that against them but, gosh, I'll try. What are your favourite entries in the GBJam 3?
You know you're in for a treat when the opening cinematic of a hidden-object adventure features a lady straight-up shanking a massive god straight through the heart, and things only get better from there. In EleFun Games' Mayan Prophecies: Blood Moon, you play US Coastal Guard Alexis, who one night is awoken to discover the city has a little jaguar problem. Turns out some lunatic is going around turning people into the big cats in a bid to resurrect an ancient evil deity, because some people can't have a normal hobby, and you'll need the help of your transformed buddy Gregory and Sofia, the whitest Mayan priestess you've ever seen, to petition the help of the Moon Goddess before it's too late. You'll search for hidden-objects, solve puzzles, save a manatee, find a fascinator for a mermaid, discover the weirdness that is the Good Boy/Bad Boy skull lock (how do you even commission something like that?)... oh, and command your shapeshifted, mind controlled best friend to fetch things for you like a dog through the help of a magic talisman. With customizable difficulty, a handy instant travel map, and the option to play mahjong instead of hidden-object scenes, Mayan Prophecies: Blood Moon has all the bones of a solidly constructed casual adventure, with the meat of an absolutely bonkers story wrapped around them. Just the way I like 'em.
Remember Yuri Shapkin and Vladislav Kim's adorable and clever stealth puzzle platformer Stealth Bound? You know, the game that proved stealth could be silly and wasn't the sole domain of broody masked guys lurking on rainy roof tops? Well, they're back with the Stealth Bound Level Pack which, as you might have cunningly deduced, is a pack of levels based on the original game. Using [WASD] or the [arrow] keys to move, climb, and jump, with [Z] or [L] to interact, your goal in each level is to slip past any guards or defenses and make it to the exit once you flip the switch to open the door. As before, there are blocks to be dragged and keycards to be gathered, and while you can knock out some guards temporarily, security in heavier gear can't be tangled with, so you'll need to hide from them. Make it through as fast as you can with all three stars for the highest score. Sound easy? Well, let's throw in banana peels. Chewing gum. Security cameras. Moving platforms. Laser fields.
You know what would taste good right about now? A cookie. And by cookie I mean science. Because for CERN's Summer 2014 Student Webfest, Gabor Biro and crew have put together a loving Cookie Clicker homage with delicious chocolate Higgs bosons in every bite. Particle Clicker (available via the GitHub open source page and the official site) unashamedly models itself on Cookie Clicker and other popular incremental idle games, but this idle diversion is educational as well as engrossing! You're a hotshot scientist with a particle accelerator and theories to prove. Click on your simulated particle accelerator to run tests and gather data. The more subatomic particles you discover, the more your reputation grows, and the more sweet, sweet grant money you earn. And more grant money means more workers, and coffee for your workers, and better PR, and yet MORE workers which means more data which ultimately means more SCIENCE. And every breakthrough discovery you make comes with its own info tab explaining the real-life science behind it! Although Particle Clicker is straightforward about the inspiration it takes from Cookie Clicker, the way the game is laid out makes it feel as much like a simplified simulation game as it does an idle game.
Everyone's favourite danger-prone invertebrate is back again with a Neverending Story type twist in the point-and-click puzzle game Snail Bob 7: Fantasy Story by Andrey Kovalishin. When Snail Bob's bedtime story lands him in a freaky fantasy world filled with magical dangers, he needs your help to guide him safely to the exit in each stage. See, all Snail Bob will do is keep moving forward regardless of what's in front of him unless you tell him not to. (What do you expect from a creature who can be fatally caught with a cup of flat beer?) Hitting [spacebar] will make Bob retreat into his shell, while the buttons in the upper left corner will tell him to turn around or speed up. You can also interact with a lot of other things within the environment itself, like buttons and switches, simply by clicking on them if your cursor changes. (Be warned that clicking the portraits of other Snail Bobs scattered throughout the levels will open a new window to the sponsor's site to play the corresponding games.) Doing so could lower a drawbridge or open a door to allow Bob to pass through. Some levels will need a little help from Bob's ant buddy, who you can direct to hit buttons you can't manipulate yourself, and still other levels will cause Bob to undergo... changes. Just keep an eye out for the three stars hidden in each level if you're a completionist, and you'll have Bob home in no time. I know this shortcut through the Swamp of Sadness. It's perfectly safe. We'll even go on horseback!
In a world where artwork can go evil, and doodles have thoughts of only destruction, only one... ink... thing can save the day! As soon as you draw him anyway. Fight against the waves of random, but violent scribbles and pass all 10 waves to save the day. Inkthings, by CrazyFrancis, is a defend by drawing game, kind of like a cross between Fruit Ninja and Draw a Stickman. You start off by drawing your little hero and then using your pen swipes you fend off against the other sketches. Either slashing through them, or drawing a mark for them to crash into before they crash into you. There's a great amount of multitasking between defense and offense as you have to dodge with your little drawing and wipe with your mighty sword of ink. It uses both the keyboard and the mouse, but sadly doesn't seem to be very friendly to track pad users. Surely, you can find an attachable mouse some where, because the energy this games gives off makes it a great action game you don't want to miss out on for any reason.
I regret to inform you all that this is my last review, since after playing Wizard Hat Games' match-3 strategic puzzle game City Wizard, I feel I am now fully qualified as a city planner and my talents would be best used as such. How hard can it be, right? You just plop down flowers everywhere and nature does the rest. The only thing you actually have to worry about are zombies. See, each level of City Wizard is a hex-board, and it's your job to place items on each tile that will combine into something new when you have three or more of a kind adjacent to one another. Three flowers become a bush, for example, three bushes a tree, and three trees a village... ssssssssssomehow? Matches will always converge on the last tile you placed to create the new item, so plan accordingly. Zombies will move around the board blocking tiles, and the only way to kill them is to block them in so they can't move anywhere. You've also got rocks that can't be combined and must be removed with a lightning strike, and diamonds that, when placed, act as a Joker card of sorts and will turn into whatever tile is closest to them. (If more than one type of tile is touching them, you can manually select the one you want.) You can place one item in the storage container in the top left corner of the screen for later use. Reach the minimum high score before your board fills up and becomes unusable to complete the level and unlock the next. Congratulations! You're now ready for your high-paying job as a city governmental official. If anyone gives you any trouble about it, you can tell them a strange woman on the internet gave you her thumbs up.
Nitrome's back, ladies and gentlemen! The ever-awesome studio has another competitive arena game that's every bit as fun, challenging and stylish as you'd expect from such expert craftsmen. Enter Bump Battle Royale, an addictive little bumper cars game featuring a slew of Nitrome's best characters and locations. Nitrome has always been a master at taking a simple gaming concept and developing it in creative ways, and Bump Battle Royale is no different. There's only one button, the [A] key, which you press to launch your spinning little soldier across each creative map, knocking and dodging your opponents and collecting power-ups to increase your speed and strength. The aim is to knock your opponent off the map before they do the same to you... without falling off yourself. Play solo or in multiplayer with up to four friends in a variety of gameplay modes, including Campaign, Last Man Standing, or Team Battle, unlocking new levels and characters as you go. Is there anything Nitrome can't do?
Mummies. Why did it have to be mummies. Also, spikes. Pharaohs? Oh, and I guess there's snakes too, but what sort of sissy would be afraid of those? In Donut Games' mobile action platforming adventure Traps n' Gemstones, you arrive at the excavation of a massive underground temple to discover that all the artifacts have been stolen by a suspicious bearded man, and it's up to you to find and return them to their rightful place before something terrible happens. The catch, apart from the aforementioned mummies and whatnot, is that not only is the temple filled to the brim with traps as the title might imply, but it's also huge, and to proceed you'll need to find tools and equipment to unlock previously inaccessible areas in a bit of the ol' Metroidvania. Oh, if only we had some sort of bullhide weapon to go with our ensemble, then we could really get this party started...
NOTE: This game was played and reviewed on the iPad Air. 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.
DPS Idle, the latest incremental idle game from John Timpson, evokes the days of tabletop RPG sessions with friends, and manages to leave all the dice rolls and illegibly pencilled in character sheets at the door. Whether you call them idle games, click games, clickers, or webtoys, DPS brings plenty to the table in terms of features. You might expect character stats, character classes and leveling from an RPG-themed clicker, but how about an extensive inventory system, three different skill trees you can buy your way through, item upgrading, and gem-based enchanting? DPS manages to bring plenty of creature comforts with it. The first of these is a sophisticated mouse-based menu system — and if you're anything like me the first thing you'll want to do is mute the repetitive wet SHWUNK! of your attacks. There's a manual save option, but it also happens automatically every thirty seconds. By default monsters will spawn every thirty seconds as well, but that's adjustable and you can have them appear constantly if you like.
It's codes and coins galore in Tesshi-e's latest escape game The Happy Escape 7, which has you scouring a room for ten Happy Coins hidden by a friend. Only she hasn't just tucked them into bowls and windowsills and under pillows. She's created an entire series of elaborate puzzles and codes you'll need to crack first. And squeaky hammers. And hippos. Because that's what real friends do. That's actually going in my letter to Princess Celestia this week. To play, just click to interact and use the bars that appear when you mouse over the edges of the screen to move around the room. There's no changing cursor, but a few locations will pop up with an arrow to indicate you can click to look around the side of something. When you're carrying an item in your inventory, clicking it once will highlight it for use in the game, or you can select "about item" for a close up view that can allow you to combine and manipulate. Pay close attention to your environment, because there are some seriously fiendish clues hiding around.
We probably should stop meeting like this. I know what you're here for. You know what you're here for. But first the glance, the meeting of eyes, a little repartee and, perhaps, a shared chuckle... this is the dance we do to pretend we're all cool, just casually browsing the web for informational and intellectual enrichment. And, oh hey, here's a few escape games that I happened to stumble upon from Tototo Room, Neat Escape and Yomino Kagura. I know you're really busy with your important worky work stuff and other meaningful things us responsible grown-ups do, which you'd totally never shirk for just playing around. But, you know, when you get around to it. Since they are free and already right here, just a few I thought you might like. One little click or two is no big deal, right? It's not like it's going to be a habit or anything...
Submersible trains. Mechanical horses. Airships galore. It's the future... but it's also 1872 in Inkle's adventure sim 80 Days for iOS, based loosely on the Jules Verne classic Around the World in 80 Days. Phileas Fogg has wagered, as the title implies, that he can travel around the entirety of the globe in just eighty days, and as his loyal valet Passepartout, it's your job to make sure he does just that. You'll travel by car, train, horse and more as you explore 150 potential cities along the routes you choose, each one filled with potential surprises, discoveries, and of course... danger. Your funds are limited, so you'll need to figure out how to make money, or make use of the markets to find and sell items from different countries for the most value... or maybe you'll find other uses for them, too. The choices you make will not only impact how things play out and what you encounter, but even shape the character of Passepartout himself. Will he be a quiet, loyal, dependable assistant? A courageous firebrand? But above all else, perhaps even the health of your master Phileas Fogg himself, you'll have to contend with the clock. It never stops ticking, and you don't have all the time in the world...
Love is a many splendored thing, and in this case, it's also a pay-what-you-want (including free) indie visual novel dating sim from Light Grey Art Lab. The first in a planned series of four games that each focuses on a different segment of the Myers-Briggs personality types, Great Personality: Guardians sees you starting over in a brand new town filled with interesting people. The choices you make will determine not only who you meet, but how you get to know them, and potentially grow even closer. Just click choices to choose as they appear, right-click to save or load at any time, and use the mouse scroll wheel to rewind text. You can play as any gender, and date whoever you want, but think carefully about your interactions if you want to wind up with anyone in particular.
Alex Kriss' surreal Twine text adventure Progression (hosted here with generous permission and also able to play on the official site) is strange, and that's coming from someone writing this while eating hummus for breakfast and wearing My Little Pony gym clothes. At the start, you and your brother Erasmus are at the top of a dungeon ready to descend deeper. You don't have much... your sword, some rope, a sandwich. The narrative, presented entirely in text, might be a little hard to get into at first as it offers little explanation as to the purpose of your mission, what happened to get you there, and seems oddly disjointed, almost feverish at times, to boot. To play, all you can do is click the bolded text that represents choices as it appears in the text. Many choices will lock you out of making any others (unlike other Twine games which might have permitted you to exhaust all options before proceeding). You could gain a new item, added to your inventory in the upper-right corner, learn something new, or advance the story by solving puzzles. Or you could, y'know, die and fail horrible. And you will fail, since Progression is designed to be played multiple times, with some options in scenarios only becoming available when you've satisfied conditions in other playthroughs. So explore. Experiment. Die a little or a lot. Probably a lot, since trial-and-error is the name of the game here if you want to see all of the game's multiple true endings, some much more satisfying than others. Just choose "restart story" from the little inventory window to try again.
Consider the bazooka. King of weapons. Used properly, a bazooka can reduce anything to charred rubble. It's useful for self-defense, scaling walls, launching oneself across rooms, and excavating precious stones. Or at least, that's what Arri would have you believe. In Bazooka Boy 2 you can do all this and more, wielding your mighty cannon as both digging tool and weapon as you push ever deeper into each wondrous cavern. The goal is to collect gold by blowing it up. Not a sound investment strategy in real life, but in the game it's tons of fun. Use the [WASD] keys to move and the mouse to shoot, jumping across chasms and tearing down walls in search of riches. Think of it as a browser-based Terraria, except with less resource collection and more high explosives.
Ever feel like the work grind is never ending, and your boss is always giving you endless chores to do, running you around like some kind of robot? This game will give you a needed break, by letting you boss around little robots and making them run around doing endless chores. But its okay, because they like it! Honest. Robots Initiate Work, by Tedgaming, is a time management strategy game where each round you only have so long to complete mission objectives. Usually those consists of building more robots or gathering large amounts of product for an unknown cause, but the real goal is prioritizing right and quickly deciding on what you need and what you don't. Each level has three time goals, so plan your strategy to get the gold.
Do you think it's frustrating living in a fantasy world? Every time some big, dark evil appears to threaten the land, which happens every other Thursday, there has to be people who are like, "This is garbage! We can handle this ourselves! We can do this!" But then the rest are all like, "Man, you know how this works. You have to wait for some random chosen one berk to show up and take care of things for us. Stop trying to be in charge of your own destiny." In Eipix Entertainment's hidden-object adventure Amaranthine Voyage: The Shadow of Torment, an archaeological dig goes awry when your students activate a strange artifact that looks like a Fabergé egg and a perfume bottle owned by a 1920s madame had a baby. Soon, you find yourself in a mysterious, fantastical world beset by a danger known only as The Torment. With a student who has about as much restraint as Dee Dee, you must stop the threat if you want to find a way back home by solving hidden-object scenes and puzzles, as any legendary hero would do. Hope you like pink and purple lens flares!
Won't you take me to... Funkyland? Largely because it looks like a pretty sweet place to be. The prolific developer's colourful (and often candy-themed) escape games have only been a staple of our Weekday Escape feature thus far. With the start of a new series, however, in Alice House: No. 1 The White Rabbit Hole, we figure, hey, Funkyland, you deserve the spotlight for once. Four for you, Funkyland! You go, Funkyland. As the title might imply, The White Rabbit Hole takes place in a very Wonderland-ian setting, and to escape, you'll have to find five rabbits. Or images of rabbits. Or a cup with a rabbit on it. Funkyland is not constrained by your plebeian definitions. Ce n'est pas un lapin. Just click to explore and interact. There's sadly no changing cursor, but if you're diligent in your exploration, that won't be a problem. Some of the rabbits are hidden in plain sight, but you'll need to solve puzzles to figure out how to take them. Your inventory is at the bottom of the screen, and you can click an item to highlight it for use. Weird? Hey, we're all mad down here. If the music starts to get to you, tap the plus icon at the top of the screen to visit the menu to turn it off.
Valkill101's free indie horror RPG The Last Hour of Fairfield covers that well pondered question of what you would do with the last hour of your life. If you answered to try to escape the oncoming nuke by fighting your way through zombies and escaping on the last government helicopter so it's not your last hour of living life, then this has been tailor made just for you! Chose from five different characters, each with their own different fighting styles and slightly different stories, to race through the Fairfield hospital to possibly find other survivors, and escape the city before it's blown to smithereens. This isn't a Hollywood style hour where two minutes left means, no matter how long they take they'll stop it within the final seconds. Instead, this is a real world hour, with a lovely little time ticking down in the top corner of your screen. Still, the hour gives you plenty of time to explore for goodies, fight mutant dogs, solve puzzles, or even courageously run from every battle.
In Gunnar Games' hidden-object adventure Lost Legends: The Weeping Woman, after a woman is abandoned by her unfaithful husband and her children taken away, she drowns herself out of sorrow in the river. Which would be freaky enough to know if you lived in the town alongside that river, but each year on the eve of Flores de los Muertos, a festival intended to appease the spirit, a child has gone missing. Which totally means you, as a plucky, cynical reporter, are definitely going to get the scoop of the century. Tragedy sells, amirite? Take that, Ben Urich, Clark Kent! But though you may not believe in the legend, the locals do, and it's clear something is going on since, you know, vanishing plot moppets and all. And then there's the fact that you see the daughter of the innkeeper get plucked off the swing by the Weeping Woman herself, but hey, I'm sure once you track her down and explain that she doesn't exist, you smug American you, she'll understand what a crazy mistake she's made. Search for clues, solve puzzles and hidden-object scenes, and explore the town while you talk to the locals in order to get to the bottom of things!
Script Welder's point-and-click horror adventure games Deep Sleep and its sequel Deeper Sleep couldn't be more ironically named if they tried, since they're not so likely to bring about restful slumber so much as nightmare fuel intent on keeping you awake. In the first game, you found yourself trapped in a literal nightmare and struggling to wake up, while in the sequel as you researched lucid dreaming you discovered you hadn't ever actually awoken. Now, in The Deepest Sleep, as the title implies you find yourself going even deeper into your nightmare in order to find a way out, while at the same time trying to stay one step ahead from the creatures who want to keep you asleep... for good. To play, just click when the cursor changes colour to interact, and use items from your inventory at the top of the screen as you find them in order to solve puzzles and proceed.