Sure, Earth is nice and all, but you gotta admit... it's strictly squaresville, daddy-o. (Am I hip? I want so badly to be hip.) Since most of us will never get swept off our feet to intergalactic adventure by a two-headed alien president, we'll have to settle for the next best thing. This week's Vault looks at some of those games that have best whisked us away to other places we'd ordinarily never get to visit. That's right; each and every one of these developers are going to act as your personal Willy Wonka or Ms Frizzle. They love you that much.
- Aether - Edmund McMillen and Tyler Glaeil combined their dark powers to create this unique physics puzzle adventure back in 2008, and wound up taking home top prize in that year's Best of Adventure category. The game follows a lonely boy who befriends a monster that comes out of the sea and takes him on a journey into the stars and the world beyond. Combining a striking dreamlike design with surreal, unique gameplay, Aether delivers an experience like no other... sort of like a children's book combined with an MTV cartoon. Each of the worlds you'll visit is distinct and has a puzzle to solve, but getting there is half the fun, and after just a few moments swinging around like an interstellar Spider-Man you'll be hooked.
- Mr. Coo: El Laberinto Esférico - I'm a sucker for unusual design and comic book flair, and this bizarre adventure puzzle from Nacho Rodriguez definitely succeeds at both, and then some! Gorgeous animation leads the way through this unusual journey about Mr. Coo, who has fallen to his death but somehow still manages to have a dream about a labyrinth full of strange obstacles. It's part choose-your-own-adventure and part puzzle, and although having to restart on death can become annoying, it's still well worth experiencing for the high quality of design and distinctive oddball characters.
- The Fog Fall - While technically Mateusz Skutnik's atmospheric point-and-click adventure series is more alterna-future than "another world", as anyone who has played Fallout will tell you; there's just something fascinating about the end of the world and the idea of society continuing on in some fashion after it. Speaking of Fallout, there are definitely some similar themes and concepts, but this eerie series is well worth experiencing for its own merits. You survive day to day in a grim existence with your family in a bomb shelter. Until the day you look outside and see the fog rolling in. It's creepy, it's fascinating, and with all the trademark style and design of Mateusz, it's easy to see why The Fog Fall has been one of the community's favourite series for years.
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!