I don't know much, but I do know this: When taking a vitamin or other pill with water, you should lean your head down rather than up, since, as most pills tend to float, the physics will take it to the back of your throat making it easier to swallow. Oh. And I also know that the JayIsGames archives is packed with a number of wonderful hits from the past. That knowledge is probably more relevant. This week in The Vault we'll dive into the action-packed advergame housing market, pick puzzling peculiarities from a pack of nearly-parallel photographies, and guide an adventurous stickman through an obstacle course designed by one of our favorite mad geniuses.
- Mansion Impossible - The greatest twitchy real estate arcade game ever produced (and, indeed possibly the only one), Mansion Impossible, by 3Form, is pure mindless fun. Admittedly, there's not much strategy beyond buying low, selling high, and clicking fast. Still, slowly clawing your way up to affording the giant mansion on the hill has all the capitalistic joy of triumphing in a competitive family game of Monopoly. Interestingly, Mansion Impossible also functions a bit as a cultural artifact for the 2005 real estate market, where home values could always be counted on to rise, and it was believed that investors only bought what they could afford. A version made with the cynicism brought by burst of the housing bubble would be very different indeed, one thinks. Economic realities aside, though, an iconic graphical style and bouncy sound effects gives Mansion Impossible a freshness that is timeless, whether things are Bearish or Bullish.
- 6 Differences - Photography works so well in browser gaming, that it's a surprise that we really don't see it more often. Oh sure, it seems to have the market cornered on the "Creepy House With A Mysterious Secret Point And Click Horror Game" genre, but to really get a feel for the possibilities, all one needs to look at is 6 Differences, by Case. Packed with gorgeous scenes ranging from shining cityscapes to dingy billboards, it may be the most beautiful spot the difference game ever produced. Mixing photos with ethereal animation gives 6 Differences an other-worldly quality, showing off an Earth very much, but not quite, like the one outside the window. Uncross your eyes, and take a good look.
- Escape From Rhetundo Island - Rob Allen is probably best known for his Hapland series of games (and, of course, the banner he made for a certain awesome casual gaming site), but all of his creations are worthy of acclaim. Case in point: Escape From Rhetundo Island. Though there's still the stick figure to guide and protect, Escape From Rhetundo Island mixes the pointing and clicking with a little Lemmings-styled strategy. The puzzles require careful timing, and the stickman seems particularly suicidally overconfident this time around, but it all comes together to make a game that's just frustrating enough to make the triumph of beating it extra sweet.
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!