Gamers are like super models; what we consider "old" probably doesn't jive with popular perception of the term. In my twilight years, now, as a doddering old lady of 26, all I really want these days is to put on my apple pajamas, sip some chamomile tea, and play something nice and slow. Don't get me wrong; fragging dudes and mashing buttons are still plenty fun, but I don't have quite the tolerance for fast-paced, twitchy games I used to. Thus, this week's peep into the Vault reveals some of the best titles around for relaxing and playing at your own pace, while still providing a great challenge and, most importantly, awesome. Feel free to tell me what a boring lamer you think I am; as long as I wear my apple jammies, I am impervious to all scorn.
- Ballistic Wars - Oh man. You guys. You guys. I love turn-based strategy so much, and if they come packaged with oddly hilarious character design like in the Easy Only! Games entry into our 4th Casual Gameplay Design Competition, so much the better. Apparently inspired by Advance Wars to a certain degree, it has all the right qualities to be an absolutely stellar example of the genre; it's easy to grasp, smartly designed, and very fun to play. Ballistic Wars also incorporates physics to a certain degree however, exchanging simple tile-based movement for a clicky-clacky-shooty (technical term) style of gameplay not unlike marbles. (I know at least one person is going to wonder what site "marbles" is hosted on. Kids today make me sad sometimes.) It makes for a unique approach to the genre that, combined with the quirky aesthetic, is a real winner-winner chicken dinner in my book.
- Launch Ball - Science, and good ol' random faffing around in a lab room and calling it science, has lead to some of our raddest discoveries. Turns out it also lends itself surprisingly well to physics puzzle gameplay! Well, maybe not that surprising; the game was after all made by Preloaded, which should already be synonymous with quality for many of you. Launch Ball is an absolutely stellar puzzle game that fans of titles like Electric Box (or Wallace's Workshop) will definitely want to check out. With a sleek, clean design, simple to grasp gameplay, and some brilliant puzzle design (not to mention the level editor), it's easy to see why so many people still love it.
- A Bark in the Dark - Bart Bonte is pretty awesome. There's a lot to be said for a reliable developer, and Mr Bonte, in particular, has a knack for creating ridiculously charming titles that make me suspect he was genetically engineered to make people smile. This point-and-click puzzle game was made for our 3rd Casual Gameplay Design Competition (wow that feels like it was a long time ago!) with the theme of replay. It's exceptionally weird, but it's also exceptionally fun, and a great little escape title, of sorts, to sink your teeth into if you haven't already. Plus, the dog. Seriously? Seriously? Why don't I have a stuffed dog like that? I would hug him and name him Mr Jenkins, and, oh, the mysteries we would travel around the country solving!
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!