The Vault №11

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The Vault

DoraWelcome to the second edition of The Vault, our weekly feature to highlight games from the past we think deserve a bit of love from you. This week we're featuring three sterling examples of three different genres, and each featuring a spacey-type theme. Why? Because we're out of this world! BWAHAHA... hahah.. heh.. ah... hmm. Battle swarms of alien bugs, solve the mysteries of the universe (once you figure out how to open the door), and pilot a robot digging up valuable minerals on a distant world.

Oh, and I wouldn't get any ideas about breaking into The Vault between now and next week, if I were you. We have all sorts of security measures in place!... well, okay, really it's just a picture of the Queen Mum looking disapproving taped to the door. We were hoping that would be enough. (Though we're still waiting for our pool of ill-tempered sea-bass, and the dogs with bees in their mouths so when they bark they shoot bees at you.)

  • Mystery of Time and SpaceMystery of Time and Space - If you like escape games, you haven't done yourself any favours if you've missed out on this classic from waaaaaay back in 2002. (Did they even have time to play games between fighting off dinosaurs back then?) MOTAS, as the cool kids call it, is a bit unusual, as you'll discover from the introduction. You volunteered for an experiment, of sorts, but you don't remember any of it. All you know is you're stuck in a series of rooms with increasingly elaborate puzzles you need to solve to escape each one. Expansive, clever, and even a little funny, MOTAS will keep escape aficionados busy for a nice chunk of time.
  • ReplicatorReplicator - For people of a certain age, the words retro arcade shooter trigger a rush of happy, nerdy endorphins in your brain. This deceptively simple little game made entirely in DHTML revolves around you using a spaceship to destroy every bug and egg onscreen to advance to the next level. It starts out simply enough, but don't get too cocky; the bugs are capable of multiplying and have a few tricks up their sleeves (assuming they have sleeves), so overestimate your abilities and it's game over, man, game over!
  • MotherloadMotherload - A great example of how addictive puzzles can be with just a bit of action and adventure thrown in, this game from 2004 by XGen Studios is about you. Well, you if you were sent off to pilot a robot on Mars and tasked with digging up valuable ore. Along the way, you'll buy upgrades for your machine, uncover secrets, deal with hazards, and more, all while keeping an eye on your hull and your fuel. Despite the occasionally frustrating controls, it's one of those games you sit down intending to play for five minutes, then look up to discover you should have been at work three hours ago.

While we welcome any comments about this weekly feature here, we do ask that if you need any help with the individual games, please post your questions on that game's review page. Well, what are you waiting for? Get out there and rediscover some awesome!


I think motherload pretty much symbolises what this new feature is all about. I remember spending many pointless hours on that game thrilled beyond belief as a mere child.


You volunteered for an experiment, of sorts, but you don't remember any of it.

It seems every year I replay this game and each time I find I don't remember any of it.



Oh god how many times I'd go back to that game, waiting for more levels... waiting... waiting...

Then BOOM! a bunch of new ones!


then waiiiiiiiiting... ... ...

Great stuff though! I always got a kick out of MOTAS. I can barely remember the pieced together plot of the whole thing though. Man were there a lot of rooms.


Man, I probably spent nine hours playing Motherload the week after it came out... Brings back a lot of memories; at the time, that game was a crown jewel of the browser gaming community. I spent so much time with that title that I can remember that droning background music like it was yesterday... ;)

tenkuchima October 5, 2010 2:36 AM

I was always so sad that they never finished motas. fantastic music, level design, puzzles...
it did everything right.


Motas was awesome but not as amazing as motherload :3 glad to see them both in the list ^^ They should really make a motherload 2 :P

mezzanote October 5, 2010 11:05 AM

I always loved Motherload for that crazy ending. All the way down to the core of the planet I was expecting the final hurdle to be some kind of troglodytes who were stealing the gems and

killing the miners

Then I dug through the last bit of molten rock and thought, wait, what the hell...


Awwww, MOTAS!! I <3 the Vault!!

argyblarg October 5, 2010 11:54 AM

Seconding MOTAS...ah, the memories. I always liked this one.

Although it really spun out of control on the later levels:

You're a clone, no, wait, an alien (or maybe an alien clone?) trying to save the world!

That said, it's really worth a look. Just enjoy escaping the levels; the visuals, music, and clever puzzles more than make up for the incoherent plot.


You know what you should do next week?


That would be a great addition to the vault because there's sooooo much more added it's almost like a different game!

You really should do it...


aww, MOTAS. i remember playing this as a 12 year old, and having to look up a walkthrough for every level after maybe 10. i think it might have actually been what led me to this website. *continues feeling nostalgic for the rest of the day*


"'s game over, man, game over!" The best (and worst?) part of that movie.

It's just a matter of time before JIG spawns its first offshoot: the Cult of Dora.


Love the Austin Powers reference.
Sea bass.
... riiiiiiiight...



Motherload 2 is already being made. Screenshots and trailers have been released. Hopefully it won't be on hold like Stick rpg 2 has been for the past decade.

@Reviewer/The Vault Keeper (pretty interesting title =P)
Speaking of Stick RPG, it should totally be featured in the vault. It was great.

Cheeseable October 5, 2010 5:14 PM



Awesome, and more awesome.

MOTAS was one of the first things that made me actively start looking for flash games, having convinced me they could be good.

And Motherload, well, Motherload's so close to perfect it defies description.

If you haven't tried both of those, you're really missing out.

CrankYanker October 6, 2010 6:09 AM

Does anyone know what additions have been made to the Goldium version of Motherload? Upgrades, etc?


Motherload was one of those few games that came along and just completely consumed my time. I just had to go deeper, and deeper.

I'm heavily into Minecraft now, and I still think fondly of Motherload while I'm digging underground :).

MOTAS was fantastic too.


I must say, I'm very excited about the Vault. I've been coming to JIG at least semi-regularly for over three years, but I know a lot of good games have probably passed my notice. I think this is will be an excellent way to see the good ones I've missed. Already I've now played MOTAS, which I've never heard of before, and I rediscovered and played The Dark Room, which I played a little of years ago, and then lost the link or something before beating. And I've already played and loved Motherload and the pet asylum game, whatever it was called. So I'm really looking forward to what else you come up with. Thumbs up.


Wait, are these really from that long ago? Yikes! I feel old now.


AAAHHHH! MOTAS! Oh man, such great memories with that game. It was probably the one game that propelled me into the world of online gaming. I'm so glad it was chosen to get some TLC by the JIG community, it definitely deserves it! :D


Minecraft, yes. Ever since it's been mentioned on JIG I've been addicted. I also see Griff on IRC liking Alpha.


MOTAS? I love MOTAS! It's like the coolest thing ever.

Also, Motherload has now officially robbed me of all my free time.


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