This remake version of CHOKO-CHAI's Wanna Go to the Concert! Part 1 has everything you really need in an escape game... puzzles, cute kitties, and electric guitars!... well, actually, you won't be getting any of the latter unless you can find the concert ticket you've misplaced, and unlike most CHOKO-CHAI games, our favourite three little cats aren't our helpers... they're causing mischief! To play, just click around to interact and explore... you never know where something you need to solve a puzzle (or appease a naughty cat) will be hidden, so click everywhere! Click an item in your inventory to highlight it to use it, or click "about" to view it up close, which might let you interact with it to reveal more secrets. Though you'll wind up with a lot of things in your inventory, Wanna Go to the Concert! Part 1 actually isn't too long or challenging, nor does it really have any pixel hunting or particularly egregious moments of "adventure game logic" where items are used in silly ways, though it would have been nice to get your cat involved in the gameplay a bit more. But hey... you'll be rewarded with several cute cat photos as you hunt for your ticket, and, well, you're playing a CHOKO-CHAI game... isn't that more than enough?
May 2015 Archives
It's Saturday, and you know what that means!... well... unless you're one of those brave, beautiful souls who works on the weekend so the rest of us can have somewhere to go have fun at, in which case, I salute you, but for the rest of us, it's time to kick back and fire up some games! This week on the totally-not-conspicuously-absent Weekend Download, we have a speed dating sim with one very demanding pink pug, a plucky girl detective who knows how to wield a set of lockpicks, and a dark inn in the dead of night where letting your light go out would be a very bad idea.
Best described as cheery, quirky, turn-based strategy with a indie roguelike-ish flair, Freehold Games'Sproggiwood, now also available for iOS and Android, is all about what happens when you, a humble but happy Cloghead farmer, are kidnapped by the evil dark lord Sproggi to do his totally evil bidding. ... or are you? Turns out the land ain't what it used to be, and the gentle, orderly influence of your kind might just be what it needs to make everyone happy again... which naturally involves a lot of dungeon-delving with crazy goat women, sentient mushrooms, slimes, cyclops, and more. Inspired by Finnish mythology, Sproggiwood offers a fun and casual but still decidedly challenging and tongue-in-cheek experience that's perfect for picking up whenever you have a spare moment or sixty.
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.
Sushi Cat has a dream: A dream of space. A dream of the moon. Perhaps he dreams of things people like us wouldn't believe. C-beams glittering in the dark near the Tannhäuser Gate. Or, more likely, he has dreams of the lifetime supply of sushi he will receive if he gets to the moon first. (He's Sushi Cat. He likes sushi. It's kind of ''his thing''.) Meanwhile, we also have dreams. Dreams of a game we've imagined since the release of the first Sushi Cat, where, instead of dropping him, you get to fling that cute little round guy through the air, collecting yummies and occasionally smacking into things. (Some dreams aren't very complicated). Point is, both of those dreams coincide quite well, and Jay Armstong of Armor Games and master-of-adorable-art Jimp must've realized it. The result is Sushi Catapult, an action-launch title one likes to think was conceived with the goal of adapting a pun into a full-fledged game... and a good one, at that! At the start of each level, click at the right moment to launch Sushi Cat with a powered shot from the cat-apult. In each level, you are given a goal to clear (collecting a certain number of sushi or traveling a certain distance), by avoiding obstacles and bouncing off of various boosters and collecting useful power-ups, and not-so-useful hallucinogenic mushrooms. You have also have a bounce meter, activated by clicking, which will give you a little more speed and air when you need it. Collecting Sushi makes you bigger, refills your bounce meter, and it also serves as currency for upgrades you can purchase between rounds. Complete all twelve levels (note to game developers: cutscenes are not levels. We can see right through that), and Sushi Cat might just end up a little moonstruck!
It's Friday, and you know what that means! The indie developers have been hard at working making a slew of weird and wonderful free games for you to play to kick off your weekend! This week... try to convince a shepherd to convert without losing his attention. Then do some shepherding of your own as a dog looking after some friendly but fragile sheep. Next, start your job as a conservationist in the far future where you must harvest DNA and protect new life. And finally, use your dumb little paws to make sure your human doesn't get a decent night's sleep.
[Note: Please be aware that this game deals with themes and scenes of extreme intolerance that some players may find upsetting.]
In Snow McNally's Twine adventure Little Witch Story, witches, and magic of course, are real. If that's a surprise to you, well, the general population and the government aren't handling it much better, with strict regulation and tests in effect to keep tabs on witches. Not that you've thought too much about it, even though you've seen them around school in their special identifying uniforms. But when a chance encounter makes you realise you're a witch, too, suddenly you've got a lot on your plate. Your best friends June and Eli are looking at you differently, the teachers you used to love seem afraid of you, the other students are already whispering, and even your parents... well, lets just say they aren't taking it well. At least you've got the other witches at school to support you and help you learn more about yourself, but you may discover you've been thrown into the deep end when it becomes apparent that something strange is happening to the local magical folk, and you're tied up in it. To play, just click the bolded pink text at the bottom of the screen to make choices and advance the story. While a lot of your options are mostly cosmetic, some do change the way certain events happen, and maybe even influence a little lovey-dovey action,
[Warning: This game deals with themes that some my find extremely upsetting.]
Chronerionent Entertainment's A Fragment of Her is an unsettling indie point-and-click tale about a young woman trying to impress a professor she suddenly begins to have doubts about. The sequel, Being Her Darkest Friend, steps into one of Selina's nightmares where she must solve some puzzles, discover more about herself, and find a way to wake up. This free indie point-and-click narrative comes with much more problem solving than the last, though there still is a bit of hand holding, and still carries on some great story telling in this much more unsettling game. You really need to play the first before jumping into this one, though it's much more accessible... in addition to being a free download, you can play the entire thing online!
Legend has it that if you're pure of heart and dazzling of smile, Neutral will leave you an escape game... and why, would you look at this, it's Elements! You're locked in a lovely room and, as always, your goal is to try to find a way out, but, also as always, the way is filled with Neutral's cunning puzzles, secrets, locks, and objects. To play, just click around to explore, but since the cursor doesn't change even if it passes over something you can use, you'll want to try to interact with everything, and every nook and cranny. Click the magnifying glass that pops up when you mouse over items you're carrying to view items up close and maybe interact with them more, and use the save function if you need a break. Pay attention to your surroundings, and maybe take some notes if you come across anything that looks particularly puzzle solutions-y, but don't expect a lot of hand-holding. And just because you've finally opened the lock doesn't mean you're out of the woods yet...
Have you ever played Tetris and thought to yourself, "I could be a wizard at this if only I had time to think!" In Planaris, a free puzzle game for your browser or Android device by Bryce Summer, you can do just that. The goal is survival and high score. Click to place a piece on the playing field, and push [X] to rotate it. When you make a complete line, horizontally or vertically, it will disappear, leaving you more space to refill. Unlike Tetris, the pieces are static, and won't fall to the bottom of the board. Push the [space bar] to put a piece in your pocket to save it for later, and hit it again to swap it out for use. No matter how good you are, at some point you have to decide when and where to put an ill fitting piece. The game is over when you can no longer place a piece on the board.
If, like me, you grew up in a time when console games meant big plastic cartridges and platforming meant bright colours and a whole ton of whimsy, turboNUKE's Blob's Adventure, also free for iOS and Android is going to feel like Saturday morning all over again. In it, you play Blob, who's stranded on an alien world after its rocketship crashed, and naturally, that means finding and gathering all the stars you can to repair it. Use [WASD] or the [arrow] keys to move Blob around, taking care to avoid spikes, deep water for more than five seconds, and other hazards. Stars can be found, well, everywhere in each level, and to get them all if you want the gold medal, you'll need to utilize magnets, bouncy mushrooms, ramps, checkpoints, keys... you get the idea. Compared to some platformers, Blob's Adventure is on the simpler side, with an exceedingly gentle difficulty curve and a big, cartoony design that's best admired by the young or young at heart. Even when the bombs, heavy traffic, and other quirky obstacles come into play, it's unlikely to be much of a challenge, and will appeal most to players who want to kick back to its funky soundtrack. With a little more fleshing out of its mechanics and gameplay, Blob's Adventure would have been a real winner instead of the friendly, pleasant diversion it is, and hopefully Blob gets an even bigger adventure somewhere down the road.
Blob's Adventure (iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad)
Get Blob's Adventure
Oh there you are, my minions! I mean, my adoring fans. I mean, people without whom I'd not have had this gig these past four years. You are appreciated. All of you. But I hold a little extra fondness for you right there—look how cute you are, taking the time to read this little intro rather than immediately clicking on those enticing game images below. I wish I had some enthralling and witty story to share but I'm too wordless with gratitude and awe at the moment. So I'm just going to duck into the other room for a few, I, uh, have something in my...allergies. While I'm gone, here's some pretty little escape games from No1Game, FunkyLand and Primera to distract from the awkward silence in the room. Play them in any order that you wish, or tackle all three at one time. This is all for you, my friend. Have fun...
Mads Anderson's new title, Sideomorph (that's pronounced Side-o-Morph... we think), is a puzzle platform game that's all about the box. You're a little miner dude, and it's up to you to get to each treasure chest and gem in each of the twenty cubed levels. Use the [arrow] keys to move and jump from floor to floor, up or down, pretty standard platforming stuff. At least until you use the [A] button to push at the side of your cube, tilting the whole thing sideways and changing the layout of the level! Similar tilting mechanics have appeared before in games like Climbo, but it's pretty rare to find a game that puts you INSIDE the world that's been tilted, letting you watch the game world as a 3D object in front of you. There are also springs, the odd enemy monster you have to avoid, and some bonus collectibles that add some challenge and replayability.
[Warning: This game deals with subject matter that may be extremely upsetting to some viewers.]
Selina has taken the plunge. She's moved from her home and into a unknown city to further her art career by studying under the famous Albert S. Seligmann. The only problem is Professor Seligmann is a pretentious jerk and Selina must give it her all to prove she is worthy of his teachings. Chronerion Entertainment's A Fragment of Her is a creative narrative told through a point-and-click view. While you can play the Unity demo online, you'll need to download the game to play it all... don't worry, it's free! In this free indie adventure you help Selina find the knowledge and education to better her artwork and attempt to gain Professor Seligmann's approval. But the longer Selina tries the more she begins to doubt the ability of this high and mighty Art Master. Though a little on the short side and the fact that it ends when things just begins to keep a little deeper, you'll be thrilled to hear there is a sequel and a big promise of many more to come.
Hanako Games' indie visual novel Black Closet is a little bit of everything. In it, you're Elsa, the head of the Student Council at a prestigious all girls academy, and one of your many duties involves making sure the reputation of both the school and its elite students remains intact... which would be easier said than done if you didn't have to deal with thieves, missing students, shady exam scores, and a host of other drama. In this school, reputation is everything, and the rich families and board members behind it are looking to use you as a scapegoat... if the school flounders, they'll pin all its problems on you, and expel you, ruining your future. It's up to you and your group of Minions, a varied group of clever young women like yourself, to deal with scandals as they arise before it's too late. Of course, the eyes of the public are on you... if you're too ruthless in your investigations, people won't trust you. Then there are your girls themselves to consider, all of whom have their own unique personalities and backstories, and one of whom... is a traitor out to sabotage you. In St Claudine's, everyone has secrets and ambition, and you'll need to work hard to keep your blood out of the water. Blending elements of RPG-stat building with strategy and more on your randomly generated mysteries, you can also get to know the young women working alongside you, and in addition to hopefully ferreting out who wants to trip you up, maybe become friends... or something more? With five all-lesbian romance options with characters like the worldly and intimidatingly direct Althea, her poetry-slamming, sassy younger sister Thaïs, the extremely capable but oddly devoted-from-a-distance Vonne and more, Black Closet is an engaging game of boarding school mystery and intrigue with a cast of compelling characters you can, if you so choose, get pretty close to. But with the reputation of the school and your future on the line... who can you trust? And who's behind the traitor... and why? With free updates planned down the line that includes more character sprites to choose from, create-your-own-characters mode, and other surprises, Black Closet is an already robust game that promises to get even bigger down the road.
Ninja Shape, by Pavel Galchenko, Andrey Tyufteev and Boris Strekalov, is a physics puzzle about something we're all familiar with... being a ninja, who is also very lazy. While mastering the ability to turn from a square to a circle and back again with just a click is pretty impressive, it's not really enough to take out the bad guys, who are doing bad-guy-type things, like loitering around with cigars and squinting... menacingly. Good thing your environment has so many useful things to help you land on them to bust them up, all without moving a muscle! Click our hero to transform them between circle and square, and objects in your surroundings to manipulate them or turn them on and off... dynamite barrels and crates can be triggered to destroy brick, for example, and handy suction-cup machines can push and pull anything in front of them around the level. Grab all the stars scattered around each stage for a perfect score! Ninja Shape isn't exactly a new idea... games like WereBox and Golden Scarabeus have played with the same concepts and mechanics, but that doesn't mean Ninja Shape is any less enjoyable... or cute! Its mechanics are well implemented, and offer enough variety to keep you on your non-existent toes, though the fact that you sometimes don't immediately shift between shapes when you click can make for frustrating times in area where timing is called for. Still, Ninja Shape is a fun little break that's just the ticket for when you're feeling like a square. Or... circular. Whichever.
EBI! may not be the most informative name Yonashi has ever chosen, but when the accompanying escape game is this cute and happily silly, who cares? You find yourself (of course) locked in a room, with the usual puzzles, cryptic clues, items to gather... and... a giant prawn on the wall? Hmmm. The bars that pop up when your cursor passes over certain sides of the screen can be used to navigate around the room, and if your cursor changes when it passes over something, that means you can interact with it. While Yonashi reuses a lot of familiar escape game puzzle concepts, like picture corners, the clever and quirky presentation more than makes up for it... though you might not expect all object uses to be immediately logical. But even if it isn't a serious challenge, EBI! has such a goofy theme and a few funny surprises throughout, making it a perfectly sized, welcome respite from the drudgery of the real world, which is decidedly (and unfairly) lacking in buff crustaceans.
Created in just 72 hours for Ludum Dare and still being developed, Fathom is an action platform game by Joe Williamson that's all about that bullet time. "I am no prisoner", promises our diminutive protagonist, who must use his skill, speed, and reality-warping powers to achieve freedom. Use the [WASD] keys to run and jump, and click the [mouse] to active a slowdown mode. While time is slowed, you can highlight incoming bullets that are fired by the various turrets strewn about the level and choose which direction they go in. In this manner, you can launch the bullets straight back at each turret to disable them, or manipulate them through the air for more complicated maneuvers. Add some powerups strewn about the level and you've got a solid, if short, action title.
zombie-fueled physics-powered arcade series may not have much of a story, but do you really need one when you're ramping off a pile of exploding barrels, zombies clinging to your car, arriving at the finish line with no fuel to spare and your arrival heralded by a cacophony of fireballs? Earn to Die 2: Exodus is here, and with it, more upgrades, more things to smash through, and more grizzled old protagonists. Once more, your goal is to reach somewhere to make it to an evacuation from this post-apocalyptic H-E-DOUBLE-HOCKEYSTICKS-scape, but all you have in your garage is one shabby car and limited fuel. Fortunately for you, though you may not make it far each day you attempt to drive out, some mysterious unseen force (Tear?) showers you with cash based on how far you went, and how much destruction you caused in the process. Use [WASD] or the [arrow] keys to accelerate, slow down, or tilt your car up and down, and, well, go until ya can'ts go no mores.
You think you know Candyland? Think again. Travel to a sugar-spun, crunchtastic candy kingdom in Skights, Joilly's all-naturally-flavored free, browser-based episodic visual novel about magic powers, mysterious cutlery, and even a little bit of amore. Long ago, in the kingdom of Sugaria, the three lands of Chocolate, Vanilla, and Strawberry were peacefully ruled by the Cherry family... until the Cherry Princess managed to tick off a trio of fairies and get herself cursed. Whoops. A thousand years have passed since then, and the Cherry family has faded into myth. One day, however, a trio of girls, one from each land, find themselves blessed with tiny, magical utensils that grant them mystical abilities... and a sweet wardrobe upgrade. Join ordinary gardener Vanilla Vanessa, highborn noble girl Chocolate Cassandra, and forest-dwelling rogue Strawberry Sam as they embark on adventure and seek their destiny. Currently, this visual novel series consists of four chapters, with one introductory chapter introducing the girls, and three following chapters that are each from a different girl's point of view. But an assortment of branching paths means that Skights still has plenty of tale to tell already.
I know you. You're a classy sort of person. Unless you're not. You're a rough-and-tumble person. A... frosty nerdenheimer? A dog enthusiast? Two small children stacked atop one another in a trenchcoat?... alright, so maybe I don't know that much about you. Let's play some games together and change that, shall we? First, you'll need to investigate a manor to discover the truth behind your friend's death. Then, you'll take an old-school, low-rez dungeon crawl. Next, you'll unleash the mighty powers of your glowing green bean against a red one. And finally, well, there's something seriously weird going on in this basement... !
In Technocrat Games new retro point-and-click adventure Technobabylon, you are thrust into a cyberpunk city of the future, where an AI called Central runs the city of Newton, genetic engineering is the norm, and you can link to the net with your mind. Regis and Lao are partners on the case of a serial killer, a so called mindjacker who hacks into people's brains, steals their knowledge, and leaves only a body behind. Throw blackmail, synthetic humans, and a young girl named Latha who'd rather spend her days connected to the virtual world and who seems to be the mindjacker's next target into the mix, and you've got one interesting web of a story to navigate.
Persistence is a virtue. Even in the face of overwhelming odds, it's important to buckle down and climb that next hill. It's especially important to remain persistent when a sadistic robot is forcing you to compete in some twisted, deadly obstacle course for his own amusement. Yes, the action platform game that is Massive Monster and Tasselfoot's Give Up 2 is all about plugging forward through each increasingly dangerous room, avoiding spikes, lasers, missiles, invisible walls, and the constant nagging of your robotic tormenter. Use the [WASD] or [arrow] keys to move and jump from your entry tube to the exit door. Reflexes are key. And remember, death is no release, if you bite it you're starting the level again. There's a big shiny "Give Up" button on the bottom of the screen just begging you to press it. But you're not a quitter, are you?
SMKS's new title, Blue Karma, is a point-and-click game that's big on ambition. Descend, if you will, into the dystopian sci-fi world of New Vale City, a decaying urban center being fought over by rebellious gangs and fascist police. You play as one such agent, a dour-faced man named Riley, tasked with leaving his luxurious apartment to go nab an undesirable down in the slums on the bad part of town. In order to get there, you'll need to explore a truly impressive amount of detail in the game world, clicking to interact with just about everything in each scene, and absorbing an exhaustive amount of voice acting. Creator Shaun Michael K. Stone promises a novel based on the game's universe is expected in November of this year, so you know he's got some high hopes for this series. And frankly, he's off to a darn good start. Seriously, how often do you see a free online game put on such airs?
Whew, I'm back! Although I'd like to ramble on endlessly about my adventures fighting off sharks (not really) and share everything I learned at escape-the-room camp (I didn't go), it's for the best we just jump to the real reason I'm writing to you today: Weekday Escape. Another episode of our mid-week get-away-from-whatever-you're-doing and play-some-escape-games break means three more games to play together. They're good ones, too. First, start off slightly easy with Vitamin Hana, a cartoon-drawn room that's quite packed with puzzles. Then, another bout of interior minimalism inside three very like-looking rooms from Hottategoya, which follows a familiar concept yet might surprise you with some cleverness. Lastly, don't miss this recent Ichima creation; it has a bit of a Tesshi-e vibe even as it maintains a style all its own...
If you like visually striking puzzle-based indie adventures, HandMade Game's Rooms and its sequel Rooms: The Main Building, have been coquettishly making eyes at you. Now with an extra dash of lightly spooky whimsy comes Rooms: The Unsolvable Puzzle, where you play a little girl trapped in a mansion with a big secret. The strange structure appears out of nowhere late one night, and when Anne can't resist investigating, she finds herself trapped inside... though not alone, since her lantern's started talking to her! Inside this place, the rooms don't behave as they should... they're broken up into pieces that can be slid and shuffled around, and locked doors, ladders, and more can help or impede Anne's progress. With a whopping 144 levels strewn across four different mansions, Rooms: The Unsolvable Puzzle delivers a casual, storybook-styled, puzzle-centric adventure that's fun for pretty much everyone that unfolds its tale as you go,
If you've ever said to yourself, "Self, I love Carmel Games' point-and-click adventures, but why don't they have more singing gold diggers?"... then Luke Deluxe is for you. Luke winds up getting entangled with a woman and her disturbingly clingy son who believe he's rich, and unless he can figure out a way to get rid of them, he's getting hitched tomorrow, because we all know getting tricked into blurting the words "marry me" in a fast food restaurant by a woman who then threatens to murder you gruesomely in front of witnesses if you don't follow through is legally binding. The cursor will change when it passes over something or someone you can interact with, and all you need to do is click on things to play. To say Luke Deluxe is weird is a bit of an understatement, with perhaps an over reliance on certain tropes, and it's also a little gross... don't think too much about that burger. The whole thing is very tongue in cheek, and if you don't mind its sense of humour, or its off-the-wall puzzles, or the fact that it makes you dial a rotary phone, there's something very early 1990s Saturday morning cartoon about the whole thing. It's goofy and campy and wacky and a whole bunch of other adjectives that mean it doesn't take itself seriously, and with a passel of oddball puzzles to solve, makes for a cheekily cartoonish adventure that fits inside a lunch break.
When your sister, Bubble, falls ill, it's up to you to go seek out the only cure that is lost in a deep mine. Why you and you alone? Well, you're pretty darn good at cat puns and that's what every true neko hero needs. Iridescent by Osias Bantug, Kristoffer Lirazan, and Nicecream, is a platform game that dabbles a bit with puzzles and action. Your goal is to simply get to the door that leads to the next area, and all you have with you is your slingshot and trusty aim. You shot glowing gems, or spectrite stones, that are found laying around, but the gems only interact with things that are glowing the same color. Moving over a stone, with the [arrow] or [WASD] keys (and pressing [shift] lets you dash a short distance), you automatically pick it up as long as you're not holding anything else. Later when you find the statue of the goddess, Catnella, you can have the spectrite stones blessed by pressing [E] (controls can be seen in game by pressing [TAB]). When the blessed gem is shot, by holding down the left mouse button to build power, it activates its special ability. While most of the time the stones are for activating buttons and so forth, there are enemies along the way that sadly can't be hurt by your purrfect puns, but are less keen to rocks in the face.
[Note: This game is available in Pay What You Want format, including free. If you enjoy the game, show your support for the developer who made it by paying what you think is fair!]
In Woodsy Studios' indie visual novel adventure Serafina's Saga, also free for Android, the titular heroine has spent her entire life in the jungle until the day she leaves to rescue her kidnapped surrogate father. She's been raised to believe that all humans are dangerous and untrustworthy, but faced with the possibility that her father might not be who she thought he was, and might not even be human, as she finds herself lost in a world very unlike the one she grew up in, Serafina's got no choice but to reluctantly trust those around her for help and guidance. Especially since, surprise surprise, it turns out her heritage is a lot more complicated than she ever imagined. With ten different endings, customiseable character appearances, and multiple options for romance, including one female/female choice, Serafina's Saga is one seriously impressive work of interactive fiction... especially considering the art, music, coding, and writing was all done by one person, and there's a sequel due out later this year!
It's bigger. It's better. But most importantly... it's back! Firebeast has generously given us a sequel to the hit action brawler game Mighty Knight with Mighty Knight 2! There is no curt note from the king this time, but a mystic woman calling you on another adventurous quest, so at least things have gotten a bit more personal, if even it's much more vague. While you start off alone, just as in the original, you don't have to be the knight right off the bat. Who you are depends on how you answer the mysterious woman's call to action. You gain heroes as you go, letting you have the chance to be (or work alongside) a rogue, ranger, knight, wizard and a few more... as long as you unlock them. There are plenty of levels, a gaggle of special abilities, and a hodgepodge of achievements to keep anyone fully interested for the whole ride.
One thing I've learned while studying various religious mythologies is that you should really try your best not to anger a god. Odds are if you do, if you don't wind up dead, you'll at least be needing some help. You are that help in Tilting Point Spotlight's unique blend of match-3 and word game Languinis: Match and Spell for your mobile device. After hours of fun naming all the things they come upon in the world, the bemasked Languinis get tired and start to laze around. Their phoenix god decides to punish them for slacking off by locking them in cages spread around various islands. It's your job to save them by using your superior matching and word finding skills. Swipe to match tiles of of the same color. When you do, they turn into letters. If you manage to match more than three, you'll get a bonus tile which when matched, will explode, or clear a line. When you have enough letters available, you can start to make words. Spell the word you want, then tap the green check mark to submit the word.
If you ever rolled a dice, attacked the darkness, or hollered for Mountain Dew in your life, then strategic RPG Knights of Pen & Paper was probably right up your alley. It was a loving parody of tabletop gameplay, as you guided a party of heroes through adventures while they were playing the game. Now Knights of Pen & Paper 2, helmed by developer KYY Games, is here for iOS and Android, and it's time to take up your character sheets and roll for initiative once more. This time around, your heroes find themselves dealing with a new threat to the Kingdom... a dastardly Paper Knight who doesn't approve of the ruleset you're using, and is causing all sorts of havoc. After creating your first two characters, you set out to set things right... assuming you can roll a natural 20 or two on the way. With new character classes and creation options like being able to play as human, dwarf, or elf, tweaked combat mechanics and spells, dungeons to explore, and all the pop-culture jokes and loving genre mockery you've come to expect, Knights of Pen & Paper 2 is a fun and faithful sequel that brings a ton of charm and content to the table and keeps the spirit of the original intact.
NOTE: This game was played and reviewed on the HTC One S.. 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.
"Oh Roberto," croons Lucia, "I know that together we can face any danger, and you can always count on me!" Until they can't, and he can't, when Roberto is stabbed right in front of his beloved's eyes a few moments later, and then whisked away by dark magic. Way to drop the ball, Lucia. To make things even more ironic, Roberto was in the middle of writing a letter to you for help... he was, after all, your student in magic before he became the duke of Florence, but recently he's become concerned someone might come after him for his work. Looks like he was right, and unless you can prove her innocence, Lucia's going to be executed at midnight in ERS Game Studios' hidden-object adventure Haunted Legends: The Dark Wishes. Lucia is actually convinced Roberto is still alive, and it turns out he might have gotten wrapped up in some serious magic indeed, as one of the Fates themselves is here on Earth looking for the Philosopher's Stone. She doesn't say it was stolen by the creepy little guy who keeps making threatening messages appear at you, but, well, c'mon. Now you're in a race to find the Philosopher's Stone before he can figure out where it is and how to harness its power without killing him, and you'll need to travel the world, solving puzzles, finding items, and, yes, rooting through hidden-object scenes to thwart him... with the help of a little magic of your own. And I guess the floating, skeletal goddess of fate. She's probably a little helpful too.
SeethingSwarm, Valerofond, TinyStuffz, and ZStriefel have flexed their muscles and combined their considerable talent to create retro-tastic point-and-click adventure Theropods in just 14 days for Adventure Jam. In it, you play a cavewoman whose fireside relaxation with her friend one night is disrupted by the arrival of some voracious dinosaurs. Even once you've figured out how to deal with the one menacing you, you'll still need to rescue your friend! To play, just click on the screen... your cursor will gain a white border when you can interact with someone, though our heroine will shake her head if she can't do anything with it right now. Click the arrow in the upper-right corner to access your inventory, and then click on items to pick them up to use them. Theropods is on the short side, which is understandable given its small development window and how polished its presentation looks (and sounds!), making it feel like an animated short you might see before a movie. For the most part, it's fairly straightforward despite a smattering of adventure game logic that requires you to make leaps of deduction in using your items that you may not immediately think of. Still, with its lack of dialogue and bright, beautifully rendered world, Theropods still manages to tell an engaging story (albeit one that feels like it just sort of... ends), and is a concept that would make a fantastic fleshed-out adventure later on down the road. Spare a few minutes to give it a try, and then make sure to vote for it on the competition page if you enjoyed it!
The first time you get your driver's license it's exciting and freeing, but by the time you're an adult and you need to renew it, it's just forms, forms, forms. In no1game's Find the Escape-Men Part 151: Driver's License Office, you're trapped at the DMV after showing up when you get your renewal letter, and you decide to go about the process of getting your new license while you figure out a way to escape... and find the series' signature ten little green men, of course. To play, just click to explore and interact, and click the question mark below items in your inventory to view and manipulate them up close. As usual for no1game, there's a bit of pixel-hunting to be had, with things hidden in places that aren't differentiated visually to stand out from the environment, so if you're stuck, you'll likely want to fall back on clicking the edges and undersides of furniture, walls... everything, really. Still, Driver's License Office is appealingly cute and quirky, incorporating its concept into the gameplay cleverly, and provides a break from daily drudgery by taking you on a brief field trip to the magical land of adult responsibility, fees, and filling out forms in triplicate. I hear Disney's planning a ride based on it!
I'm sort of over this whole "work week" thing. In fact, I'm really feeling more of an "it's almost the weekend, suckers!" vibe. How about you? This week we've got a physics-based supermarket defense simulator, a game where you're the world's most questionable door-to-door saleswoman, a dungeon where the glitches are part of the appeal, and a whole universe at your fingertips... at least until people come along and ruin it.
For MayMay's point-and-click puzzle game The Roof, you need to get in touch with your inner handyperson. You've been locked inside a gated house by the world's least threatening kidnapper, and they want you to repair the missing tile on top of the house before you can escape, a task made harder by how many puzzle locks there are scattered around the place. There's no changing cursor, but there's also not much pixel hunting to speak of, so just click around to interact with things and search. Click on an item in your inventory, then on the "About Item" button to view it up close, which can often let you fiddle with the object further. MayMay seems to specializes in short, smart, and cute escapes, and The Roof is no exception. It's not a particularly difficult game, though at least one item's function might not be immediately clear, and several of the puzzles are actually implemented in clever ways that'll make you smack your forehead when you crack them. The game could use a little more feedback to help you figure out what you're look at from time to time, but on the whole, The Roof is a fun, snack-sized escape game that's sure to brighten your day.
[Note: This game is available in Pay What You Want format, including free. If you enjoy this game, please support the developer who made it by paying them what you think is fair!]
Asher Vollmer's Royals, a retro indie sim/rags-to-hopefully-riches story, stars you as a lowly, dirty serf who has aspirations of becoming royalty... easier said than done considering all you have is your puny farmland and no skills, followers, or other resources whatsoever. Your goal is to explore the surrounding lands and figure out how to gain the people, power, and everything else you need to eventually become a royal yourself. The game is turn-based, with each turn costing you a year of your life and a part of your remaining health. Use the [arrow] keys to move around the screen, [Z] to select and confirm, and [X] to cancel. The symbols at the bottom of the screen represent, from left to right, your health, might, charisma, resources, money, followers, and held lands. Various actions can change these statistics accordingly... meditating on a mountain, for example, can raise your charisma, which in turn raises your chances of potentially converting followers or otherwise swaying people to your following. Each game's map is randomly generated, and it's a matter of trial-and-error to figure out how things work and how to best go about your rise to power. Will you die in obscurity with your dreams unrealized? Be struck down for reaching too high above your station by the current rulers? Or maybe, just maybe... get a throne of your own? Be warned, there is no save function, and if you close the game and come back later, you'll start over with a new map!
If Iconic Games and Placeable's surreal horror action adventure Coldgrip feels familiar, it's because it's essentially a remake of Snowdrift. In it, you play the only man left alive at the end of the world, where snow covers everything and darkness brings fear and danger. You live in a tiny cabin and must survive as long as you can, hunting for food and water in the nearby frozen forest, and making sure to keep enough wood on hand to keep your fire going at night. Use the [arrow] keys to move, [Z] to interact or confirm, and [X] to open your inventory. Keep an eye on your stamina, water, food, and lamp fuel meters in the upper left corner of the screen, as well as on the constantly ticking clock. Sadly, there's no pause to be found, and indeed Coldgrip suffers from an overall lack of polish that makes the game buggy and laggy in several places. Like its predecessor, it has a great concept and atmosphere, but is held back by a lack of direction and some repetition that take the chill out of the game's eerier moments, like the whispers in the woods, or knocks on the door at night. It's a shame, because a survival simulation in a cold, dark world where you had to unravel your own past and stay alive against shadowy horrors is such a great idea, and Coldgrip's moody atmosphere and creepy moments show glimpses of a tremendous amount of potential. Coldgrip is a compelling concept held back by its flaws that horror fans may still want to check out, and hopefully gets more polish somewhere down the line to make it shine.
Blink and you'll miss it, but as the first part of a planned episodic sci-fi adventure series, CosmicGhost's SARCO: Episode 1 still manages to snag the attention and the imagination despite some rough edges. You're stranded on an alien world where you don't understand the people and the customs, and if the locals aren't afraid of you, they don't seem to have any time to help you either. Use the [arrow] keys to move side to side and up and down, and hold [CTRL] to move faster. While largely a straight shot and fairly straight-forward, SARCO suffers a little from its lack of story setup and a bigger lack of direction that can leave you hung up on how to proceed past some places. It's also possible to get stuck in one or two places if you move too quickly without giving some events a chance to trigger, but for a first solo effort from its developer and being made for StencylJam2015, it's still got an amazing style and atmosphere that hooks your attention and makes you want to know more. Hopefully with feedback and a bit of polish, future episodes will be even bigger and better, as SARCO's potential and future is bright.
What-ho, beleaguered weekday warriors! It's Wednesday and you're looking a bit peckish for, well, non-weekday work/school/drudgery. Might I interest you in a fine free escape game Apéritif or three? This week we've got some cuddly yellow babies from Yuuri, a tropical paradise from Vitamin Hana, and, uh... well, a whole mess of buttons scattered all over the place by Tototo Room. If you are what you eat, what are you once you've devoured these short and sweet escape games? Why, someone with impeccable taste, of course!
Aaaah! After ten thousand years I'm free! It's time to review Chroma Squad, the parody-tastic indie strategy RPG from Behold Studios that pays loving homage to certain "teenagers with attitude"-flavoured sentai shows from our youth. Well, my youth. Maybe not yours. Kids these days. As the game begins, you find yourself in control of a disgruntled group of stunt people who are sick of just going through the motions in their work on the set of a super ranger TV show. They do all the hard work while the actors sit around, the director couldn't care less about making the show, y'know, good, and it's the same ol', same ol' every single day... until they get the bright idea to start their own studio! Of course, the actual running of it is up to you. You'll need to hire actors, of course, and make episodes to fill the contracts you sign, upgrade and craft new gear to make truly spectacular storylines, and of course, handle your crew during battle! It's a retro-fied send up to all the glory and goofiness of pop culture wrapped around an easy to pick up and engaging turn-based strategy RPG system. What more could you need, apart from some sort of giant brain in a jarOH WAIT WE GOT THAT TOO.
For seven years, indie developers Game in a Bottle's GemCraft series of free tower defense games has been a wildly popular hit with browser gamers, and now GemCraft: Chasing Shadows is now on Steam. With improved visuals, a pile of extra stages, and a new Iron Wizard mode to test your mettle, it's an upgrade of the original free browser version, and a great way for fans to show their support for developers who have given so much so freely for nearly a decade. Never played Gem Craft? In it, you repel waves of enormous bugs by planting gems in towers along a path. Different towers have different abilities, like green poisoning gems, and can be made in various powerful tiers. Towers attack anything within range, but gems can also be socked into traps to damage anything that passes over them, flung as explosive bombs, or even combined with gems of different colours to create hybrids with multiple affects. Survive the stage with your base intact, and you'll gain experience towards leveling up, which unlocks points for you to spend in skill trees. You'll also earn shadow cores you can use to upgrade your talisman for new bonuses and challenges, like traits you can unlock for stages to make them more rewarding... extra speedy bugs, anyone? With complexity and strategy aplenty, GemCraft is one of the most beloved and respected tower defense games around, and offers something for every fan of the genre, from the newcomer to the veteran alike.
Thanks to everyone who entered our contest! The winners, chosen by RANDOM.ORG, are: Undine, MeowMeowMan, Portikk, Crystalis, and Jamz159! Please check your e-mails for your Steam code later today!
In the weirdly hilarious opening scene of Carmel Games' point-and-click adventure Alyssa's Quest, Alyssa, a young elf heroine whose pink cape and purple makeup surely help her blend in when stalking through the woods, arrives at the castle only to find King Nathaniel frozen solid, and deduces that the culprit is... are you ready?... Doctor Secret Nightowl. To play, and hopefully save the day from your amazingly named nemesis, click around to explore and interact. The cursor will change whenever it passes over something you can use, and Alyssa will visit several different locations from the main map. Click on first one item in your inventory and then another to try to combine them. Alyssa's Quest is, like a lot of Carmel Games' titles, very silly in a good way, so Alyssa finds herself stymied by things like a royal advisor who refuses to take orders from anyone other than the frozen king, a sensitive dragon, and a whole bunch of zaps from a booby-trapped cauldron. It's not particularly complex, and the overly epic soundtrack tends to overwhelm the voice acting, but its light-hearted tone and sense of humour makes it a welcome diversion to your day.
In no1game's Bored Guard, you're not so much the person who wants to escape as you are trying to find the escapee. See, you're in charge of standing guard outside the princess' room, and one day you realize that she's taken advantage of your inattention and slipped away, something that's probably not going to go over well with the royal family. Search the manor and try to find out where she's gone by clicking around to explore and interact with things, although in typical no1game design, the cursor won't change whether you can click on something or not. This series of games all following royals and those around them, like Bored Prince and Bored White Horse, have all been appealingly cute diversions from no1game's usual fare, though on the easy side, and just the right size for a break. Finding the princess involves cracking a lot of codes, and presumably sweating bullets and hoping nobody notices she's gone before you can track her down. Good luck!
Shark Jump Studios' innocuous looking little indie puzzle game Test Chamber, also available on Android and iOS with a free demo, wants to break your brain in the cutest way possible. You control a tiny little block-headed fellow in a world where the laws of reality have begun to unravel, causing the world to wrap around itself... which, uh, is technically what the world does, but is a little weirder here when you can walk to the bottom of the screen and pop out the top, or see another version of yourself mirroring your movements. You're off to try to find the infinite world, even if few others believe it exists, but what's going on with that dark stranger who follows you in silence? Use [WASD] or the [arrow] keys to move around, use the [spacebar] to interact with people, and hold or tap [Q] to undo or rewind your actions. For the most part, you'll be pushing blocks around to help you reach the exit in each stage, though blocks connect and react in different ways. If you just push a block off the side of the world, it'll fall into the void, but if it's used to bridge a gap that it can touch on the other side, it'll plop neatly in place. Some blocks may be connected by bars that will lock them together, while others will be in unbreakable stacks. What you need to do is figure out how to make them, and the unique properties of the world, work for you in order to get you where you want to go. You'll be awarded a medal based on how many steps/moves it takes you to complete a stage, but you can use as many as you need if you don't care about fancy achievements. Once the game starts throwing in things like the moving terrain, you'll have your hands full just getting to the end, nevermind the amount of steps it takes you to get there.
Potato-Tan and Raiyumi's Crayon Poke is a short and adorable platformer about bouncing on charging pigs, avoiding spikes, and throwing crayons, which I think all of us have fond memories of doing as children. Move with the [arrow] keys, jump with [S], and, once gained, fling crayons with [D]. You can only carry a limited amount of them, refillable at certain points, and these are some handy tools... when they land in a wall, they'll stick, and you can use them to hop up to places you couldn't reach before. Just make sure to watch your step and activate the red checkpoint structures by tapping the up [arrow] in front of them, since a single hit or misstep into water or spikes will knock you down for the count! Crayon Poke's fantastic Gameboy-esque style and soundtrack make it a pleasure to experience, even if it feels more like a concept than a full game, and its limit on crayons can be a little frustrating since placement needs to be exact to reach certain areas. It's still a great idea with a wonderful presentation, and one we'd love to see fleshed out even more in the future.
Down is Up, except when down is down of course. And left can be right, but only when it's not left. Confused? Don't be. Things are rather simple in Inversion's gravity-twisting puzzle platform game. Using [WASD] or the [arrow] keys, it's your goal to get to the floating black square of mystery to get on to the next level. Leaping through one side of the screen has you jumping through on the other side, and any arrow you see when touched will change the direction of gravity. There are also blocks that effected by gravity, and you can also push them to give you an extra step up to get to those hard to reach places. Blocks can also fall through the thin bars outlined in white, but your little guy can't. When gravity changes, so does your sense of direction, and you'll have to adjust to which way is left, and which way is actually right.
Studio Cime's hacking simulation/puzzle game/secret cyberpunk dream machine Mu Complex: Episode One delighted us with its text-based tale of espionage as you hacked your way from one computer to the next. Now, Mu Complex: Episode 2 is here, and it's time for you to blow the dust from another set of keyboards and dive deeper into the mysterious building hiding its secrets from you. To play, and you really should play the first episode before this one, just type commands and hit enter to execute them. Type "help" for a list of commands to get you started, but don't expect much hand-holding here, since Mu Complex is very much all on you when it comes to figuring things out. Its minimalistic presentation and somber atmosphere keep you hooked as you work your way through files and e-mails, and figuring out what you're supposed to do is always a thrill. The Mu Complex games aren't for players who prefer a lot of direction and hints, but if the thought of having to rely on your wits and (simulated) hacking abilities thrills you, this next installment is right up your alley.
Ilmfinity's Pokemon-alike RPG adventure for iOS EvoCreo is, bluntly put, a ridiculously good deal at its puny price of 0.99USD, despite suffering from some rough edges and a bit of clone-itis. As the game opens, your father has gone missing, the mysterious group known as Shadow Hive are kidnapping people, and a new group is pushing for genetic modification of Creo, the creatures originally used to fight wars and now used as companions by the trainers known as Evokers. In your search to rescue your dad (and, whaddaya know, maybe save the world along the way), you'll compete in arenas and defeat champions, capture and train up to 130 different Creo, and uncover a fair amount of secrets. It's a handheld-quality adventure boasting dozens of hours of play time, held back by a handful of issues that are frustrating, though not game-breaking. With more content coming later on in an update and enough right now for dozens of hours of gameplay EvoCreo is well worth the price of admission for anyone looking for a bright, engaging casual RPG to pick up, with an Android version on the way in the coming weeks.
"Welcome to BALANZZE," croons the soothing robotic voice at the start of this physics-based puzzle game from Synthek Design. (Also available for Android and iOS, though not free!) She's going to be your guide through this little experiment and trust us, you're going to need her. BALANZZE is about "moving green onto blue" through a series of strategic clicks. The screen is populated by circles and squares, each with various behaviors indicated by their color. You have to get the green shapes onto the blue shapes by deleting, launching, or dropping the various blocks hither and thither. The red ones disappear when you click them, the yellow ones fly in one direction, the grey ones obscure you, seriously, these blocks do everything except pay your taxes. Some levels also feature wind, adding another layer of complication to the whole affair. Add to that an infectiously groovy backing track and you've got a winning time waster.
Sorry folks. This week's Link Dump Friday was delayed by a severe case of "you would not believe the week I just had and also I forgot this was a thing we were doing whoops"-itis. Better late than never, right? This week! A point-and-click adventure whereupon you rescue your hat, an itty-bitty magician on an itty-bitty adventure that includes an itty-bitty pit of flames, a day in the life of a totally respected and not at all scapegoated writer for a high profile game, and seat of your pants style barbering! It's a bizarre potpurri of free indie games, and that's just the way we like it. GAME ON.
So you've just woken up outside your body. No reason to panic, happens to the best of us. no1game's Find the Escape-Men Part 150: Astral Projection will show you the ropes, which naturally involves solving point-and-click puzzles and escaping with the help of ten little green men hidden around your person. Look, are you a spirit medium? Then don't question it! To play, just click to interact, though as usual the cursor won't change when it passes over something useable so you'll want to click on everything you can to leave no stone unturned. The game is on the easy side since you're mostly stuck staring at your own dorky face apart from a few other views around the bed, and as with most no1game titles, there's a fair amount of "puzzles" solved that involve fiddling with something multiple times until something happens, or just waiting around on a particular scene. Still, it's a cute and appealingly weird little escape idea that will hopefully prepare you for the next time you're stuck outside your own body and need to troll yourself in order to get back into it.
In Eyesteam's funky puzzle platformer Mr Splibox 2, as in the original, the titular hero's friends have been abducted by the wily Smoking Astronaut (naturally), and it's up to you to help get them back. Move with the [WASD] or the [arrow] keys and try to make it safely to the exit in each stage. Instead of jumping, you spawn cheerful little boxes beneath you by pressing the up key, and reabsorb them by pressing the up key... the number of boxes you can spawn is indicated by dots in the bottom right corner. These perky pals will stack beneath you and allow Mr Spilbox to reach higher places, and can also be used to help him cross gaps by tipping over the abyss and dropping him on the other side. Be careful, as they don't last forever, and will vanish after a few seconds whether you've moved or not. Don't worry if any little boxes fall, they just get added to the number you can spawn again. Just make sure to avoid or outwit enemies, since a single hit and you're toast! Mr Splibox 2 is more of a buff and shine job of the original than a drastic change, though the physics feel a lot less wobbly and more reliably controllable, and the whole thing just looks a wee bit more polished. The game is a little harder earlier on, though most elements will be familiar to those who played the original even if they look different. It's fun, cute, and with a retro-tastic soundtrack, you can't go wrong.
So the kingdom of Avalon has managed to repel the goblin invaders, but was nearly razed to the ground in the process, and now the king gathers his knights to march into the mountain and slay the goblin king to end the threat once and for all. While you stay behind and do all the grunt work, of course. In Anawiki's casual card game Avalon Legends Solitaire 2, you're a druid who's been left holding the bag while the king is off being heroic, and in that bag is a deck of magical cards that allows you to gather the resources needed to rebuild the kingdom when you play solitaire... ssssssssssomehow. Look, it's magic, kid, I ain't gotta explain anything. With the help of the townsfolk who will generate income and resources for you as you rebuild the kingdom, and your extremely passive-aggressive royal engineer, you'll crack ice and stone, purchase helpful upgrades from Merlin (hey, just because the land is burnin' doesn't mean a wizard ain't gonna get paid), and play a whopping 300 levels in your quest to restore the land to its former glory. It's simple, satisfying, Fairway Solitaire-esque gameplay without all the bells and whistles.
Despite what my past review history might have led you to believe, jumpscares are actually my least favourite horror game mechanic. It's not that I don't appreciate them... in the right hands, jumpscares can be extremely effective. But when you have nerves of glass and a tendency to stay wide awake at night after reading creepypastas, jumpscares make gaming... less than relaxing. So I was a little hesitant to check out Lag Studio's free indie action adventure Spooky's House of Jumpscares, because, well... it's right there in the title. The jist of things is that you've come to a house with a bad reputation to discover if the rumours are true and learn all of its history you can, but when you arrive, you find yourself instead greeted by a cute and harmless looking ghost girl named Spooky. She tells you that this is her house, and challenges you to make it through all 1000 rooms (though only 760 are currently available in its playable Early Access state), and at first, it seems like a walk in the park. After all, most of the rooms are small and empty, and it seems like the worse thing you have to deal with is a "spoopy" cardboard cut-out of a wee slime monster or other beastie popping out from the wall every now and again. But the notes you begin to find soon make you realize something more sinister is going on, and soon things begin to go very, very wrong. There's nowhere to go but down... how long can you last?
Falcom's Ys series of RPGs has been around since 1987, ported to a variety of platforms and multiple titles being remade or enhanced a dozen times over. Now, one of the first makes its way to Android and iOS with DotEmu's Ys Chronicles 1, an action RPG about a young man named Adol who washes ashore an isolated island and finds himself the only one who can save the world from the forces of evil thanks to his determination to seek out the ancient Books of Ys, and his incredibly ability to defeat enemies by smashing into them really, really fast. The game is played simply enough by moving your finger around the screen, with an on-screen directional pad appearing and following wherever you go. You can tap the pause icon or your inventory slots at the top of the screen to take you to the save or equipment menus, but everything else is handled by running into things. Bump into doors and they open. Run face-first into people to initiate a friendly chat. Barrel into an enemy from the sides like a shrieking ginger of fury to attack. If you attack an enemy head-on, you'll both take damage, so your goal is always to bash them from the rear or sides. Slain foes automatically grant you cash and experience, and gain enough of the latter and you'll level up, while the former can be used to purchase better equipment or consumables such as potions that restore your health. Ys Chronicles 1 is a fast-paced, easy to pick up but hard to put down very classic RPG that will feel like a warm, nostalgia-scented bath for fans and players looking for something casual.
So another week has passed, another seven days have just whooshed into nonexistence, a mere memory that's now fading from thought even as we speak. Yet no need to harsh that chill. It's all good because we have another episode of Hump Day Hidden Object. Oh wait. That's not a thing apparently. I meant: Welcome back to Midweek Metroidvania. Yes! Awesome. What? No? Also not a thing? Well, shoot, someone going to help a girl out here? Because I've got a room full of folks waiting to hear what's happening and... Ah! Yes, this is just in. Apparently we've had a bit of a mix-up in the production room but all is well and good now, as they say. Yes, hello folks! Welcome back to another wonderful and not at all unplanned episode of the world's only, quite spectacular spectacle—yes, it is Weekday Escape, everyone! Can I get a round of applause? Oh, no, you're just staring at me, probably wondering what I'm getting on about. Alright then. Here it is: Three very fun escape games from the very talented game designing talents of FunkyLand and No1Game. I do hope you enjoy and please come around next week for more...
When we last left Tetrobot in Swing Swing Submarine's indie hit Blocks That Matter, he was navigating levels, mastering elements, solving puzzles and saving a couple of indie game developers. Fifteen years later on in Tetrobot and Co., also available for iOS and Android in addition to PC, Mac, and Linux, we find him a bit run-down and several of his memory chips fragmented into pieces. A savvy young Technobot repair technician named Maya is ready to sort all this out and get our Tetrobot (among plenty of others) restored back to full working order again, and as always the answer is more 'bots! She wires together the circuitry for an even smaller model, Psychobot, and sends our intrepid miniscule hero into Tetrobot's hardware to clear out the obstruction and reassemble his memory chips. If you haven't played the original, the sequel features more inimitable puzzle-y goodness with elements some have likened to games as diverse as Tetris, Minecraft, Dig Dug and Boulder Dash with a fascinating style all its own.
Alexey Davydov, Sergei Marchenko, Denis Vasilev, and Alexandr Ahura prove you can't keep a good bear down. Or, uh. A bad bear when there are badder bears invading your planet. In quirky upgrade-centric shooter Ruthless Pandas, the brown bear aliens are invading, and you, a very hardcore Snake Plissken-sy type panda, have gotten a pardon from prison to bring them down the only way you know how... in a giant floating missile-equipped death machine! To play, just use your mouse to click on the missiles when they're charged and draw a path to your targets. Click the button on the side of the ship to vacuum up any of the red gems dropped by destroyed enemies and use them when you're destroyed to upgrade and enhance your ship with new abilities and better statistics. Ruthless Pandas is actually a little bit more like an endless runner or launch game in the emphasis it places on grinding to get farther, which means not every player will enjoy its fail-til-you-succeed style gameplay. If you don't mind a bit of an uphill struggle, however, Ruthless Panda's silly premise and clever twist on the formula is a neat idea that's fun to play around with.
When we last left our heroine, she had just finished a fruitless search of half the park, looking for her mother's expensive pendant that was lost when she snuck it out to wear. No in no1game's point-and-click puzzle game Find the Escape-Men Part 148: In the Park Part 2, you'll need to search the rest of the area and hopefully find the pendant before dark, when you'll get in trouble for sure!... oh, and you'll need to find the ten hidden green Escape-Men too, of course! Just click to interact and move around the map, and click the question mark beneath items you're carrying to view and interact with them up close. As with the first half of this game, some of the places you'll see on the map just won't be available, though this time it's because they've already been searched. It goes without saying that finding the pendant is going to involve more than simply asking around or looking under playground equipment, and there's a variety of puzzles both logical and strange, often made even stranger by the lack of a changing cursor, so sometimes being stuck is less about not knowing what to do and more a matter of something being hidden in an odd place. Still, no matter who you are or where you come from, we've all been in this situation before... messing up as a kid, especially when you were doing something you know you weren't supposed to, and trying to fix it before anyone finds out, is a rite of passage. Though... typically for most of us it involves less gold teeth, nets, and tiny green dudes. At least, I hope.
[Note: This game is available in Pay What You Want format, including free. If you enjoy this game, please support the developer who made it by paying them what you think is fair!]
Now is your final chance, Space Cadet, to become the space hero you've always wanted to be. All you have to do is pass the Captain's test and impress the most daring, heroic, and critical instructor in all the known galaxy, Captain Dirk Parsec. Kobayanshi Marooned, available in Pay What You Want format by Phil Hornshaw and Nick Hurwitch, is a sci-fi interactive fiction adventure that will have you attempting to pass the hardest test known to man to prove that you would be the phenomenal Star Captain you secretly always knew you would be. Well, more that likely what will happen in this Twine game, is you finding one horrific death after another while you laugh, because even though some of these deaths are quite gruesome they are spectacularly told in some of the most humorous ways, with nearly 30,000 words and 26 different endings, this is one space adventure you won't be forgetting any time soon.
As we go about our busy lives we don't always have reason to stop and appreciate the constant things we rely on that make those lives possible. Gravity, for instance. Without it we'd all be flung off into space, and that's just the sort of thing that would put a damper on all our important posting activities on the social networks. In Mobius Digital's new puzzle roleplaying game for iOS and Android Terra Chroma, the people in the land of Sunyata have to think about it. The fundamental mystic elemental forces that hold their world together have come unglued and are now tearing it apart. Blue water Eidolons roam the frozen tundra of Fraust, melting the land away into ocean. Harsh light plays balefully across desert wastes of Dekku, fusing them into unpassable labyrinths of yellow glass. Green earth Eidolons wander across the gentle verdant plains, turning them into savage lands choked thick with brambles. Red volcanic Eidolons pour a trail of molten lava wantonly across Kabuzan. Something has put the metaphysical energies behind the Eidolons out of alignment and naturally ['unnaturally,'] tourism is at a bit of a low point. Fortunately there are the Alchromists, scholars of the underlying metaphysical forces with the ability to bring the elements back into alignment, which is absolutely great news if you happen to own property in Sunyata. By tracing tetrominos, those four-square shape patterns we all remember from Tetris, over the landscape, water can be frozen back into tundra for example and the terrain can resume its regularly-scheduled programming.
[Note: Please be warned that these games contain content some may find disturbing.]
Things aren't what they seem in Rusty Lake's deceptively serene and surreal escape game Cube Escape: Seasons, also free for iOS and Android, and the start of a new series alongside Cube Escape: The Lake. In Seasons, you'll take a trip through your memories in a small, quiet house that holds a lot more secrets than you expect. In The Lake, the water is calm outside your little fishing hut, which doesn't seem to have very much in it apart from some old cabinets, a fishing rod... and a knife. Click around to interact and pick things up, though be warned that the cursor won't change if it passes over something you can use, so you'll need to be diligent. Items with a magnifying glass in your inventory can be clicked to view close up, while others can be used where you like by clicking them once to pick them up, and then again wherever you want to try to use them. Some items can be used more than once... occasionally in the same fashion. The small arrows at the edges of the screen will let you move and look around the room, and the white arrows on the right side of the screen will let you scroll up and down through your inventory. You may want to play Seasons first, as there's something you can find (and make a note of) there that will change the ending of The Lake.
Ready for a new dungeon crawl? Slashwear Interactive greets us with Ananias, a fantasy turn based rogue-like game with randomly generated maps. This game is so great they wanted to make sure it reached as many people as possible, so not only is there a free download version (as well as a premium one with extra classes) but a mobile app for Android (iPhone coming soon!) for people who don't want to play in their browser, and even an online version that you can play with friends. Once you try Ananias you'll be happy for so much choice on how to play. This adventure doesn't start off with a story or full instructions but it's not hard to figure out. Click to move to that location, or to hurry through an area without an enemy click on an arrow and you'll zip through to the other side. You also get to pick a companion in the beginning, such as a dire wolf, a lynx, or a gray little pony that helps you carry more but can still give a good jab here and there. Upgrade yourself when you pass each level, collect statues for your collection, and above all, slaughter the monsters and get the treasure.
Elio Landa is rapidly becoming the name to look for if you like simple, elegant puzzle games, and Sum Points is all about subtraction-based math with a seriously swanky style. The goal is to get your target number to reduce all the way to zero by placing different coloured subtraction amounts on the grid around it. Blue sums impact everything in a diagonal line from their location, while red sums affect numbers horizontally and vertically from where you place them. It's important to note that sums will impact all numbers in a line, not just the first one their power encounters. You can see the sums you have available for each level at the bottom of the screen, and next to that is the undo button if you make any mistakes. Not that you would, you mathematical genius, you. Sum Point doesn't really offer a whole lot of variety to its gameplay, and focuses on making each level a neat little brain teaser, though it takes a while for it to have any sort of difficulty thanks to what might be a prolonged series of levels with training wheels on. With a soundtrack that makes it sound like you should be solving these while kicked back on a tropical island somewhere, Sum Points is a straightforward and casual experience for puzzle fans to relax with.
I don't know about you fine and fancy folks, but where I am, the sun is shining, there's a beautiful breeze blowing, and my hair looks extra cute. Which means it's time to close the windows, ignore all our social calls, and play free indie games in our pajamas. For our three courses this week, we have a visual novel where you may not even be able to trust yourself, an RPG adventure about a world of dolls where not everything is sunshine and smiles, and a platformer where the only source of light you have comes from your very limited weaponry.
[Note: This game was originally reviewed in December of 2008, but while thinking on the best casual games I've ever played, I immediately thought of this one, and wanted to spotlight it again. Enjoy this Flashback Friday, my fellow foodies.]
The world of professional cooking is ugly, friends. Forget your Martha Stewarts, your Rachel Rays, your semi-homemade with matching-table-decor. It's hard, it's hot, and it is really, really competitive. Top Chef is based on Bravo Channel's reality program of the same name, which takes a batch of fifteen confident up-and-coming chefs and eliminates them through a series of culinary challenges each week until only one remains. The game puts you in the shoes of one such aspiring chef and, with your help, she's going to chop, saute, and julienne her way to the top through fifteen episodes and a whopping forty-five challenges. Along the way she'll have to deal with sneaky behavior, backstabbing, and some furious competition, but trust me; that's the easy part about being a Top Chef in this charming and creative time management sim.
Pencilkids have been making players and monkeys smile with their Monkey GO Happy games for a whopping seven years now, and Monkey GO Happy Treasure is fifteen stages of "turn that frown upside-down" point-and-click puzzle-solving goodness. Each stage is its own unique conundrum, and it's up to you to figure out what will make your chosen monkey cheer up by clicking around to interact with things... not that hard to do since the cursor changes when it passes something over useable. If you've picked up an item, just drag it from your inventory to wherever you want to use it onscreen. The limited amount of things to click on in each stage means most of them will go by fairly quickly, but the variety of settings, characters, puzzles and more keeps the whole thing feeling fresh throughout. Crack a code in an ancient temple. Help a giant monster get rid of an annoying helicopter. Help a small child circumvent the safety measures on a roller coaster that are only in place because engineers know someone that size can't safely ride anyway. You know... the usual! It's cute, weird, and quirky... just the way we like it, and sure to please fans of the series.
What up, Friday friends? Whether you're kicking your weekend off now or are stuck sticking it out with the man until Saturday, Link Dump Friday is here to bring a little bit of electronic fun into your week. First I thought we'd hang out at this cabin, which totally doesn't have any unspeakable secrets in it or anything (when was the last time a cabin in the woods did you wrong?), then I figured we'd volunteer at this local clinic (even though I'm not too sure about some of those patients), and then... well, you'll see!