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The Vault №103


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The Vault

DoraThe Casual Gameplay Design Competitions aren't just to help us figure out which developers are the most talented for when we want to assemble them into a creative hive-mind with brains in jars that will continually churn out amazing games we can profit from. It's for seeing the way developers will take an idea and run with it, taking it in new and usual directions! With the judging currently under way for the 10th competition, what better time like the present to examine some of the entries of competitions past?

  • Factory BallsFactory Balls - When you're looking for clever puzzles, always be sure to give fun maestro Bart Bonte a call... it's like he has some secret factory beneath his house that churns out cleverness and daydreams on command. Created for the 4th Casual Gameplay Design Competition, this smart little gem asks you to create balls with various colours and patterns using the tools at your disposal... which includes your logical brain! Though opinions differed on how well this implemented the ball physics theme of the competition, everyone could agree that it was a remarkably smart and engaging concept, and it's no wonder it's gone on to become a successful series.
  • SproutSprout - Jeff Nusz has done some cool things, but his entry into the "grow" themed 2nd Casual Gameplay Design Competition is something spell all on its own. It's a puzzle adventure about a seed on a journey who can learn to grow into various plants to get past obstacles. It looks absolutely fantastic, with a standout sketchy style that gives the whole thing a storybook feel, and it's not surprising the game took home top prize in the competition both from the judges and the audience award, which is arguably harder to win. Unless you have Reese's Pieces. I know what you guys will do for Reese's.
  • Liquid ColorsLiquid Colors - For our very first Casual Gameplay Design Competition, Ddams gave us something short but very sweet with this creative puzzle about colours (yes, with a "u", you can't stop me, Americans), blockades, and planning ahead. Changing a box to a specific colour sounds like a simple idea, but when it involves colour that moves and mixes with other hues unless you direct it, it becomes infinitely more challenging as you place walls to move and mix your liquid colours to (hopefully) get it where you want it, as you want it. The game has a clean presentation, but what really makes it shine is that it shows challenge can be wrung out of the simplest of concepts if you bend your brain to it creatively.

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!

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6,525 Views
5 Comments
Yellow> chrpa The new game from Bart Bonte is sharp yellow and black. The first-signal system activates! Wasps! Hornets! Caution Bio-Hazard! Caution Wet Floor! Slow Down! The last one is correct, no need to hurry anywhere, we've got awesome relaxing game with...  ...
11,866 Views
5 Comments
The Basement Escape> chrpa Huzzah! Tesshi-e is back with another excellent game! First, don't panic after you notice the intro screen you've seen before. Yes, it's from The Escape Hotel 3: Remake released last summer. Tesshi-e just revisited his favourite hotel, lost his way...  ...
7,460 Views
10 Comments
Weekday Escape N°151> chrpa Hi! The new Weekday Escape is here bringing three fantastic games! Lutaru gives us a box for playing, with a small button here and a tiny hole there and waits until we figure out what to do with it. After...  ...
6,166 Views
18 Comments
Weekday Escape N°150> chrpa Maybe you are on holiday, maybe you are planning it and maybe you don't have any. Anyway, Weekday Escape is here as a short break for everybody! Well, not so short, in fact. The first game is from Detarame Factory...  ...
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