What's red and blue and green and covered with bugs? This week's installment of the Vault! But don't do the "Squicky Bugs Ew" dance just yet. We're looking back at some of our favourite colourful (and in one case musical!) games that have kept us addicted for years. They all take simple concepts and find creative ways to make them seem fresh and brilliant. Also, in my case, it helps detract from the little twinge my heart gives whenever your American spelling software makes red wavy lines appear under "favourite" and "colourful". Are you there, Canada? It's me, Dora.
- Magic Pen - Remember Harold and the Purple Crayon? No? Well, you don't need to be to enjoy Alejandro Guillen's creative physics puzzler that introduced a slew of gamers to the magic properties of doodling a la Crayon Physics. It's a colourful little game that has you draw shapes that help you find solutions to the problem at hand, and once you get over the immature novelty of drawing obscene things and giggling like a three year old, you'll find it's actually a very competent little puzzle indeed, with a whimsical charm that still captivates today.
- GemCraft - Who would have thought Game in a Bottle would catch lightning in a bottle with their addictive, clever spin on the tower defense genre? Place towers and then create and combine colourful gems to unlock a variety of effects against the incoming swarm of nasty bugs. Combine that with the ability to level up and earn different skills to aid in your GemCraftery, and you have a recipe for addictive success that has been ensnaring defense fans for years, all the way up to 2011. It's a winning formula that can turn "just one more stage" into "just one more hour" if you aren't careful.
- Music Bounce - Rowland Rose's surprisingly creative musical puzzle is a personal favourite, combining a simple concept with an absolutely delightful reward. Your goal is to destroy all the bricks in each level by setting a certain amount of projectiles to fire in different places, at different times, each of which comes with a tone that is part of the stage's melody. The simple presentation and concept may not seem like much, but make for a remarkably entrancing experience, and it's hard not to feel like you deserve a pat on the back when you get everything firing off properly and are rewarded with a little snippet of sound.
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!