The Vault №85
For those of us who can barely walk a straight line without somehow managing to hurt ourselves on stationary inanimate objects, being forced to not only do some precision jumping but also solve complex conundrums while doing so sounds like a bit of a nightmare. Of course, we're not puzzle platforming protagonists, so all we have to do is try to ensure our little digital avatars die as few times as possible from the safety of our computer chairs. Which, I suppose, sort of makes us a much lazier, ineffectual, pajama-pant wearing anti-GLaDOS. ... what a frightening thought.
- Closure - Tyler Glaiel's darkly expressive game proves that with enough thought and planning, you can use any media to tell a really effective story. From its dissonant, unnerving soundtrack to its sketchy presentation, its an extremely striking little title, and one that it's hard to talk a lot about without ruining the surprise and effect. The game revolves around manipulating light and darkness to get through levels safely to the exit, but don't be fooled; there's a lot more than that going on. While the platforming itself occasionally feels a little stiff, Closure is still one of those games that can manage to snare you from the get-go, and if you're in the right mood to play it, it can be one of the best and most atmospheric experiences you'll have right in your browser.
- Continuity - Sometimes the best games are the ones that are surprises, and when Nils Stefan Bertil's ingeniously slick little game popped up online nearly three years ago, it more than blew a few minds. Each stage in Continuity is made up of a series of "boxes", and it's up to you to arrange them so they line up properly for our hero to run from one to another, gathering keys for doors, and swapping their positions to make new paths open up. With its sleek, simple presentation and brilliant mechanics, Continuity went on to win the top prize in our Best Puzzle Game of 2009 voting, but also spawned a sequel that looks more than right at home on iOS, where all the swiping and leaping really shines. It's proof positive that sometimes all you really need is to have one little idea to knock people right off their feet.
- Spewer - Vomit is adorable! Or at least it is if we're talking about Eli Piilonen and Edmund McMillen's joyously bizarre, slippery and squelchy little game. You play a blissfully ignorant and perpetually thrilled sentient pink blob who was grown in a lab and must harness the awesome power of your truly potent puke to solve various puzzles and reach the exit. Puke that you must also gobble back up again. Gross? Yes. Shamelessly fun, wacky, and bouncy? Absolutely. Spewer is a personal favourite of mine and is a perfect example of the way a game can really succeed when it embraces the unusual wholeheartedly and is lovingly crafted to boot. Definitely a game for puke connoisseurs, or just fans of surreal, exuberant, gross-out platforming.
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!