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Link Dump Friday №238

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Link Dump Fridays

DoraNEWS FLASH! Link Dump Friday is changing! No, this isn't like the time I told you that you can render a honey-badger ready for cuddles if you tickle its belly. This time is for reals! From now on, we're going to be bringing you more games throughout the week, instead of saving a batch for the Link Dump Friday you've come to expect, and this article is going to change. Not only will we highlight the most popular and noteworthy games we've covered each week, but we'll bring you news and previews from the online gaming community about game updates, upcoming releases, and more. Don't worry, everything I know about being a professional newscaster I learned from Sam the Eagle. I got dis.

New and Noteworthy
  • The Asylum: Introducing Dr WoodThe Asylum: Introducing Dr Wood - Everyone's favourite home for unbalanced and abandoned toys gets an update with an entirely new patient to take care of! If you've never helped a stuffed animal work through his or her psychological issues, you're missing out, and fans of the original will be thrilled to pieces to help the newest resident, a fuzzy black bird, get a new lease on life.
  • One and One StoryOne and One Story - Puzzle platformers were gettin' all emotional and whatnot in Mattia Traverso's lovely and atmospheric little story that follows the ups and downs of a boy and girl in love. Did the sweet and optimistic message about love make your heart sing?
  • The Binding of IsaacThe Binding of Isaac - Part top-down rogue-like/Legend of Zelda hybrid, part arcade , this indie download from Edmund McMillen is all squelchy strangeness. It's surreal and creepy to the extreme, but a lot of you were woo'ed by its gooey, gory gameplay. Now with added free flash demo goodness!
  • Cactus McCoy 2Cactus McCoy 2 - Flipline Studios proves they can make a hero out of even the prickliest characters in their follow up to the wildly popular original platform adventure. Tricky called it "the best kind of sequel", and judging from audience praise you guys are inclined to agree!
  • Rebuild 2Rebuild 2 - Our hero! Even in the face of a zombie apocalypse, Sarah Northway continues to deliver! This turn-based strategy simulation asks you to lead an initially small group of survivors to take back their city after an undead menace has overwhelmed it and left humanity struggling to stay afloat. Packed with more features, artwork, and even extra endings, Rebuild 2 shambled straight out of the cemetary and into our hearts.

BotaniculaPreview Alert! Can't get enough Amanita Design? Can't blame you! That's why we're excited about Botanicula, their next big point-and-click exploration adventure. Planned for an early 2012 release, it stars a group of itty-bitty forest heroes who have banded together to keep the last seed safe from the parasites bent on destroying their home tree. You can head on over to the official website for some gorgeous screenshots and a short teaser trailer that should make you squeal with delight. If you love Samorost and Machinarium, you should definitely be excited about this... and not just because it sounds like Bunnicula!

CindersPreview Alert! You know what I love? Visual novels! If you do too, then you'll definitely want to keep an eye out for Cinders by indie developers MoaCube. A dark and atmospheric re-telling of the classic fairy-tale packed with luscious artwork and music, not to mention the chance to role-play the heroine however we want? Awwwwww yeah, it's getting all anticipatory up in here! Cinders should be out for Mac and Windows later this year, but in the meantime you can bippity-boppity-boo on over to the official site to learn more, check out some preview art and video, and even pre-order if you should so desire.

Hungry SumoUpdate! Hope you didn't put your chopsticks away just yet, because Ninja Kiwi just updated their adorable arcade game Hungry Sumo with ten new levels. If you can't get enough adorable, chubby physics action, then you might also be interested to know that the game is also available on iPad currently for just 0.99 USD! That's less than the cost of a piece of that shady sushi everyone was always pigging out on in college. (Seriously, do you really believe that sixteen year old barista knows the first thing about sushi?)

TransformiceUpdate! Tender lumplings everywhere, even rodents covered with hair, be an action king or queen, because it's a Transformice Halloween! That's right; it's been over a year since we first covered the adorable popular puzzle platforming multiplayer mouse sensation, and like any good game it's only getting better with age. If you haven't played it for a while, there's no time like the present to get started, especially since a very seasonal update just went live! I vant to steal your cheese! Squeak!


Stupid stupid question.

Didn't The asylum - dr wood, and rebuild 2, BOTH have full write ups earlier... like their own daily 'expression'?

[Yep! They did! :D In fact, ALL of the games listed under New and Noteworthy were reviewed in the last week or two. That's why we wanted to bring your attention to them again in case you missed any of them the first time. Did you read about the changes to Link Dump Friday that appears just above them that Dora wrote? Welcome to the new Link Dump Friday! -Jay]

Anonymous October 21, 2011 1:42 AM

what will happen to the games that are entertaining to play but don't really need a full write up? For example Minoto games, they are fun but it doesn't really need more than a sentence or two.

[You will see a sentence or two written for those games and given their own review page. This way each game will have its own page on which to post comments. Link Dump Friday was turning into somewhat of a reject bin, and we wanted to change that. Since we don't wish to feature sub-par games, only deserving games will now be given their own review/comment page. -Jay]


I like the new format better than the old one, which seemed to just be a collection of games that you couldn't be bothered writing a full review about. ;)

Keep up the good work! :D


Oh... Actually, No... no I didn't. Got so used to the 'weird intro's... like spam and potato's weird, that well...


SORRY JAY, Forgive me for doubting you.


It's ok, no worries. I was expecting some questions about the changes. :)

I'm really excited about the new LDF format because we really didn't have a good place to post news, previews and updates to games we previously featured, but now we do.


Oh, this is nice! LDF did sort of have the feel of a "reject bin," as Jay said. (I always looked forward to it for Dora's writing, but rarely felt moved to try the games.) Now it sounds like it'll be more of a "best of" list, which is neat.

The game news and updates are nice additions, too. Keep up the great work, guys!


I don't know, I see the reject bin angle, but I really enjoyed having 4-5 shorter games to try out on Friday. Made the weekend come sooner...


Well, if it's no longer a bunch of less than great games, then don't call it a dump! Maybe call it a showcase? Link Showcase Friday?


While I understand the need (and I welcome) a regular feature with news and updates, I'm sorry to hear that my Link Dump Friday won't be back.

Since it started, I always (I've been a few years on JIG now)looked forward to it. It featured usually shorter and simpler games, most of them worth noticing and my time.

I appreciated Dora's effort in the reviews and many times compiling collections. I'm glad at least that we'll still have her comments.

The truth is I was disappointed today with no new games, My weekend will be a bit more sad because of that. I read through the article also and found it mostly not really interesting.

If I wan't to make sure I haven't missed anything, I just go to Hot Games (fantastic insight into my fellow casual gamers btw) or the archives. I do both regularly




This change kind of reminds me of the recent Facebook roll-out... very confusing and detracting--complicated is rarely better. If you already reviewed the game, why is it here? Particularly with the header section with thumbnail links to games as a navigation option.


We didn't redesign the whole site, just one of our weekly features. What's confusing was the old LDF format and the way all the comments were mixed up together for each of the several games featured. This was made even worse when we would include a room escape game that players needed help or a walkthrough for.

I was expecting some complaints, too. Change is always difficult to deal with at first, but this change is really for the better. If you want sub-par games on Fridays, you'll have to go find them someplace else.

You will still have lots of good games to play here on Friday and over the weekend, they'll just have their own review pages now. There are still more games coming up after this. ;)


I always looked forward to link dump Fridays for the quick, easy, sometimes hilarious games and I always loved Dora's attempt to make a narrative out of a hopeless hodgepodge.

That having been said, I also see the point of giving each game it's own page.

But I didn't have nearly as much fun this Friday morning with the 'best of'. Will there be another day that I should tune in for 'link dump' games, or will they be scattered at random times?


@mezzanote: we're going to try to have several games up on Friday as usual, just spaced out a little bit throughout the day. It may take us a couple of weeks to find our stride with the new format, so expect some 'settling of contents' to occur in the process. :)


"I was expecting some complaints, too. Change is always difficult to deal with at first, but this change is really for the better. If you want sub-par games on Fridays, you'll have to go find them someplace else."

I found that comment a bit rude and not in sync with the site spirit, even if it was Jay's.

1) are you implying that previous featured LDF games were sub-par? Well I not only disagree but I think Dora deserves (and gets) lots of compliments for her work (selection and comments)

2) what makes you think that criticism comes from people because of the change? Have you spent time thinking about what is being sent? As far as I can see most comments understand the reason for change (so they approve the change) but suggest alternative implementations.

3) You were expecting complaints? Is that because you were also feeling uncomfortable with the change? Is it related to the fact that for the first time you have mixed the promotion of free casual games and of paid games? And yes, the design has been carefully thought so to be able to introduce the promotion of paid games as proper content. And yes, THIS IS A CRITICISM

4) Jay, this is a very good site, with lots of followers. A long time ago you started to make money out of it. So this is not just yours. It's ours also. You (and the rest of the team) deserve and get respect and praise for what you do. But don't forget that we also make the site a success, where would you be without all us us making comments, uploading walk-through and generally visiting?

I feel that you have shown little respect for us with your comment. Am I the only one?


@manuel: Wow. I apologize if my comment came across rude. My delivery is often blunt, straightforward and to the point. I'm not good at sugar-coating things, but I never intended to insult or disrespect anyone.

I was expecting complaints because, well, after running this site for years I have found that there are always people who don't like what we do, no matter what it is. So, I've learned to expect the complaints, especially when changing something about the site. I am very comfortable with the changes implemented and there's no chance of returning to the old format. I have been planning to change LDF for months and months.

I've no idea what you're implying about free and paid games, but I can say with confidence: no, it's completely unrelated.

I do appreciate the feedback, the comments and all the participation and contributions to the site. Again, it was not my intention to be rude and I'm sorry if my comment came across that way. I was just expressing that the decision was an important one for us to make, a change that is in the best interests of the site as whole, including you, its visitors.

And Dora is a way better ambassador for the site than I am. Please try to picture her speaking when you read my words and pretend that you're getting all the same warm fuzzies and giggles that she creates seemingly so effortlessly.


Aww... I really loved Link Dump Friday as it was :( It was great to come home from work on a Friday and have five new, short little games to play - it was a nice way to unwind for the weekend! It's nice that you've done a round up of the week and announced updates to previously featured games, but there aren't any new games here. I gotta tell ya, Link Dump Friday was one of my favourite features on jayisgames, it was one of those things that got me in the Friday mood! I never found the comments confusing or anything either. I guess that'll teach me for being less of a commenter and more of a lurker haha.


@Squiddly: there are 4 new games waiting for you following this article. Nothing really has changed in that regard, nor will it.

If anything has changed it's that you're now getting more than you used to get on a Friday. How is that a bad thing, really?


I don't think a honey badger would want to be tickled on the stomach... then again, honey badger don't care, honey badger don't give a s***, it just takes what it wants! ;D



no offence taken (not much at least) ;-)

Thanks for your replay and for trying to improve and for so many other things

Don't worry, I, at least, we'll keep coming, enjoying, and being vocal about it.

btw, my two girls are now old enough to join me. AND THEY LIKE ESCAPE GAMES

I'll come back in a few weeks to tell you how much I like (or not) the new format



Hmm, well, I'd like to actually comment on the content of the article, as opposed to the change itself (which i wholeheartedly support, i never really paid attention to LDF :D): Transformice is still awesome. /room jig actually needs people in it again (and my wall jumping is quite rusty, but that's beside the point).



@Jay: That's true, I understand there will be new games on Friday anyway, I just enjoyed having some little games to try out, especially since a lot of the times the games in Link Dump Friday were probably a little more... out there! I dunno, I'm probably just being fussy because it's a change, not because I think it was a bad change haha! I have no doubt that in 2 weeks or so, I won't even remember the old format :D


Aha! I knew it. ^_^

I think that's the way it will be for most people. Thanks for that, Squiddly, you made my day. :)

Oh, and of course we'll continue to feature unusual "out there" games as often as we find them. We don't need a Link Dump Friday to do that. ;)


Okay, I am one of those people who hate change, but I loved LDFs! I am so busy that the little synopsis of quick games was just the perfect size. I was able to pop in, play the games, and pop out with little guilt and no one the wiser. I even stay up late on Thursday so as to grab a preview. No, I did not love every game, but I never thought of them as sub par, just "light." I appreciate that the games will still be highlighted "throughout the day," but I do not have time to check that often. Is this a way to increase traffic as people check back?

I've enjoyed this site for years, and passed it along when I run into other casual game players. I especially love Dora. She is something of a role model what with her snappy internal dialog and important pop culture references. I, too, want so badly to be hardcore.


Hi Katrina, no the reason for the change is not to increase traffic by having people check back.

As I've mentioned above in other comments, we changed it to give each game a review/comments page of its own, and to give us a place where we can publish news, previews and updates to existing games (via a collection of links, hence the "link dump" title remains true to form).

As an alternative for the little synopsis of quick games you enjoyed from us, a listing of the 6 latest games from our online browser games portal now appears near the top of our homepage. That should provide a similar experience for you, plus it's there at the top of the page every day of the week! :)

We hope you will to continue to find a time for us in your schedule.

SeaCalMaster October 23, 2011 4:07 AM

Maybe it's just my system, but it appears that Transformice is down.


I've been following this blog for a very, very long time now. When I first found it, it was a way to find all sorts of casual flash games: good, bad, and ugly. It was about people learning how to make games, and letting the internets see what people could make. I loved it.
Over the years, you have gotten more and more advertisements, and paid reviews for download/mobile/not-flash games. Nowadays, I skip about 75% (or more) of the content here. It's your thing, you can do whatever you like with it.
But the only thing left that was anything like the blog I remember, was Link Dump Fridays. Far from being subpar games, all I see is people doing something they love, and hoping other people like it.
That's what I'd like to see out of "Jay is Games", more people doing what they love. And less "buy this!!!!".
That's my two cents.


I didn't say there's anything wrong with getting paid for your work. And it's your thing, you can do what you like with it. But....


If that isn't an ad, I don't know what is. And if you didn't get paid for putting it up, you guys are suckers.

And there's 3 more reviews on the front page for demo/downloads of paid games. If you didn't get paid for those, you guys are also suckers.

Again I didn't say there's anything wrong with getting paid for your work. But it's not going to lead to the kind of content that "Jay is Games" got started with, or the kind of stuff I'd like to see. The LDF was the last bastion of that, and I'd like to see more of it, not less.


We can't continue doing what we love to do without revenue to pay my team and the site's expenses. Advertising helps us meet those expenses (such as advertising the Big Fish first time customer promotion), but we are never directly paid for publishing reviews for games on the site (as Dora had said). We do earn commissions at Big Fish from some people who click through and wind up purchasing a game, but we don't earn a commission from everyone who does so.

Regardless of how you feel about LDF, it had become an outlet for games that nobody on the review team wanted to review, so yes, it was made up mostly of rejected games, or games that didn't quite live up to expectations for one reason or another. We haven't changed anything about the way we select games to feature on the site, so essentially nothing has changed, only the way we present them has.

Another thing that has changed since this site's humble beginnings: the Flash game industry. It has grown to become a significant source of revenue for the developers who build them, as well as the sites who sponsor them. Perhaps the commercialization you're seeing is not merely us here at JIG, but of the entire industry.

Again, we just wouldn't be able to do what we do here without advertising revenue to pay for our time and expenses. Advertising revenue continues to decline while our monthly expenses continue to climb. That's why you've seen more and more advertising introduced over the years. It's a terrible economic climate the world is in right now, and we're all hurting.


To counter Manuel's comments:

Just because a website is popular, filled with user-submitted content, or provides products, does not mean the customer has a right to demand that everything be done to their liking. For one, as Jay point's out, you can't please everyone. Expecting complaints says less about their comfort of the change and more about certain readers; as a web admin I've made many changes to sites over time in order to improve the layout, content, etc, and they work to improve sales, improve navigation, etc. However, I'll always receive a complaint or two anyway. One can be happy with the direction and see improvements from a seller/provider POV, other people might not agree. We don't have the full facts of how things work behind the scenes, so we can't really judge well on what factors are included in decisions.

Two, it's just plain rude. People spend a lot of time - a lot more time than is immediately obvious - working on their websites, sourcing games, obtaining downloads, playing, writing and uploading content, backend systems working or fixing problems, formatting (of content), replying to enquiries, checking stats and making ads, etc; let alone ensuring that what is received on the customer's end is quality stuff. It's time consuming work, and I highly doubt Jay is actually making any money at all, but maybe breaking even. (I do agree that the constant ads are annoying, but again, I have no right to demand they remove them, I only have to create a login or get an ad blocker on my browser. PS. You can review something honestly and still receive affiliate fees; I do it on my site for books. However, my ads are not in-your-face as they are here, but content links when mentioning the title of the book. That's not something easily done on a game review site. And the irony is that the more popular a website, the more it costs to run. Which means you need to place more and more ads or other revenue streams in order to keep it running. Oddly enough I often think that the reviews here are too balanced, too polite: you never see a game being given an 'awful' rating. That's because they choose only the best games, but it does have the unfortunate disadvantage of lending an unspoken aura of bias to the reviews. I choose what I review out of interest in the subject matter, not because of the high quality of the book, which tends to make the reviews in total seem more balanced. However that's a personal choice and I respect Jay for doing things the way he does them here)

See the website "Not Always Right" for plenty of examples of customers being impractical, unreasonable, or just plain silly. Three, we're not the ones putting in a majority of work on the website, they are.

We have the right to complain of changes if we don't like them, or make suggestions where we think improvements can be made, but we don't have a right to demand things, particularly when the majority of content is provided for free. This is the bit that gets me: oftentimes when people complain about my content, they don't actually specify what the problem is, they just say they don't like it. That's not helpful criticism, nor does it make for a good argument to make whatever changes would be necessary to fix any problems. Saying you don't like something and not specifying what (or suggesting an improvement) and demanding change anyway is the highest form of rudeness.

Jay and his staff may have certain standards or methods of working that suit them, for a range of reasons: ethics, quality control, etc, as well as making sure it's just plain enjoyable to continue running the site the way they're doing it.

Making the staff beholden to the readers might make them lose focus and bring in less quality content/more ads, or feel self-censored, or any other thing. Add to this the already pervasive need to ensure content is found interesting by their audience and a natural and unconscious or conscious skew will be given to the type of content provided anyway.

As one online seller/content provider to another, I find that readers/visitors demanding 'ownership' over direction or 'artistic vision' is not a reasonable request. We didn't make this site popular, Jay and his staff did by putting in the time and effort necessary to make a good website. We didn't provide 90% of the content, Jay and his staff did. And walkthroughs can be found on any number of other websites, including the game developers'. You don't have to make a comment, nor provide a walkthrough, but this is Jay's business and in order to make it succeed, he must keep posting new reviews. In other words, you don't have to spend time (and time = money) on this site and he does.

... Rant over. But now onto my own thoughts:

I wonder if this was caused by some or all of my comments left on "Grey" back in August. I didn't really intend to suggest anything and my use of the "dumped in the trash" phrase was more because Link Dump Fridays always reminded me of "Take Out the Trash Day" from The West Wing. (In that a number of small stories are folded into the Friday news cycle)

Initially I was a little annoyed to see that the shorter games wouldn't be posted, but then I read more and realised they're still being posted but just not in one 'link dump'. Plus, I also like the news and previews section which has not been done here before. If this was even partially because of my comments I am happy to know I've been part of an improvement :)


Thank you, flip. I appreciate you taking the time to post your perspective and opinion on the topic. Of course, I agree with much of what you wrote. ;)

As for whether you had influenced our decision, I can say that I (still) read every comment posted to the site, and all feedback gets stored and processed. So, I can say that yes, your comments helped us move to this change. :)

Thanks to everyone for your feedback.

Link Dump Friday in its old format had to go. It made indexing the games featured difficult. They wouldn't show up in our tag listings because they didn't have tags of their own. We couldn't provide ratings for LDF games the way we do for all other games. We also couldn't index any walkthroughs posted on a link dump friday page. When we added our online games portal pages, the LDF games we hosted caused additional problems for us on the backend.

Lots of reasons to do away with the old Link Dump Friday. Welcome to the NEW Link Dump Friday. :)


Glad you agree with me Jay. It's not often people do :)

On a side note: is there a way to get an RSS feed for comments for a particular page?

[Not at present. By next spring we'll have this as well as other social features integrated into the site. -Jay]


Thanks Jay; being able to subscribe to a particular comment thread would be helpful... say, for things like following along to these exact comments without having to bookmark or remember the URL. :)


would it be possible to have a "short games" category added to the site? that way us folks that like LDF for the shortness of the games would have easy access to the ones that don't take up much time. it's not really much of a problem tbh as the short games will still be there, but it'd be convenient for searching the archives as well


I do like the idea of having small games having their own reviews, even if they're not nearly as long as other reviews. It will probably make them easier to find if you're searching for a particular little game you played once on LDF and want to play agian but can't find it!
So, as long as JIG keeps reviewing those cute little games (the good ones, that is) I'll be happy. :)


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