For many casual gamers, the word Peggle has become almost magical in nature. Last year's pachinko-style title from PopCap caught us by complete surprise with its blend of deliciously simple gameplay and subtle strategy coated in the glossy paint of a stellar presentation. Now, Peggle Nights has arrived with all-new levels, a new setting, and a handful of other extras, all ready to steal your time like few other games can.
Save Kaleidoscope Reef, from the team that brought us Anika's Odyssey, is a new arcade game with an environmentally friendly message embedded beneath its gorgeous exterior. A tropical reef thriving with aquatic life is in danger of being destroyed by pollution. Rebuild the underwater sanctuary one screen at a time by grabbing floating polyps, placing them on rocks, and feeding them until they bloom into lush coral.
Farm Frenzy 2, the follow-up to last year's Farm Frenzy, takes the smell out of farming with a challenging and addictive resource management/arcade title. Keep your animals fed so they produce basic goods you can refine into more complex (and profitable) products. Then, load everything on a truck and send it to town, using the resulting cash to upgrade your buildings to be faster and more efficient. But uh, watch out for panda bears that drop from the sky. They don't play very nicely with your livestock.
There is something about Sid Woo's Bounceroid 2000 that makes it so completely JIG-like. Elegantly simple in design, modern, stylish and enjoyable.Bouncing balls against paddles have come a long way, and gone through all sorts of fancy incarnations. This game is back to the basics and has an original take that makes it unique.
Survive as long as you can in Rapid Wars, the new addictive arcade shooter by Jussi Kari of ooPixel. Borrowing the two-fisted Robotron mechanic, and with a nod to Geometry Wars, Jussi creates gameplay that is frenetic, addictive and fun.
A unique new anti-shooter game of collection and avoidance by Felix Reidl. You have two minutes to collect as many yellow squares as possible, while various gun turrets try to mow you down. Whenever you start to feel overwhelmed, you should hit [Space], which instantly ends your game and adds up your score. If you don't hit the space bar in time—and this is important—you don't get any points. You have only one life, and if you die, your score is zero.
Ragdoll Cannon 2 is, rather logically, the sequel to Ragdoll Cannon (as teased by the release of Ragdoll Cannon 1.5). That's some no-nonsense naming, there. What designer Johnny_K might lack in titling, however, he more than compensates for in gameplay.
In this whiteboard strategy shooter, pilot a helicopter to defend against the red army's tanks, planes and other heavy artillery that shoot the crap out of you. Bomb the war factories for the sake of all markers of every color! There's something that takes off in the imagination when playing games like this that look like pen and paper—something has come to life that you're used to seeing static.
Amorphous+ is an overhead arena combat game that casts you in the role of a little bald human character with a ridiculously over-sized sword: the Splat-Master 9000. This weapon is tailor-made for fighting Glooples, which are basically man-sized soft-skinned green blobs of goop.
Amaaxla's Gravity 2 is a physics-based platform game of momentum and gravity. The objective is to collect crystals and reach the exit of each level. Collecting crystals is very important in that they allow you to purchase things in the shop and unlock other levels.
Curse you, Kable Monck, and the no-good game you rode in on. Evito Ball. PAH! There's a treacherous name if I ever heard one. Did you realize that it anagrams into A VILE BLOT? This evil little game comes with 80 treacherous levels that will have you climbing the walls before long. Trust me.
Ninja Kiwi have a sense for a great concept, and the courage to follow through on their own silly impulses. "Monkey Pops Balloons with Darts" is a fantastic tag line, and so is "Robot Smashes Pianos with Shovel". While most game-makers bend over backwards to create a consistent, recognizable environment (even when that environment is completely abstract), it's refreshing to play a game fueled by pure whimsy as you will see in Robomaro.
Cannons have a unique place in human history. Throughout the ages, they have served as an offensive weapon to knock down fortifications, an accentuation in pieces of classical music, and a rudimentary yet entertaining transport for clowns. Continuing in this rich tradition, let's launch stickmen at bricks to dignified tunes!
When I heard the newest Nitrome game since Sky Wire 2 was called Small Fry, I turned to my own "Small Fry", seven-year-old Roland to help me out with the review. Roland says this one is special because you get four different characters, and you have to get them all to the tree house at the end of the level.
Hedgehog Launch puts you at the helm of a national space program with a singular goal: get off the planet! Unfortunately, you're expected to accomplish spaceflight with $50, a slingshot, and an infinite supply of hedgehogs. Luckily, Minovia Cay is the kind of place where money falls from the sky! Or at least hovers in the atmosphere just waiting for you to snatch it.
Think of the classic Space Invaders mixed with a dash of Galaga and you'd have a pretty good understanding of what Titan Attacks! is all about. The classic "aliens descending from above" scenario is showcased with a stylish, blocky pixel motif featuring a richer move-and-shoot routine than classic predecessors. Titan Attacks! took the golden age concept and loaded it with a variety of new action elements and ship upgrades.
Swinging Ball is a new, fun little flash title developed by Gimme5games. It's a fairly simple ball-physics game, much as we've seen before in which your goal is to guide the ball through a series of obstacles to the exit. What makes Swinging Ball noteworthy is the implementation of a grapple-like rope that you can use to latch onto surfaces and swing around like Tarzan.
Rollercoaster Rush puts you behind the "wheel" of a rollercoaster brake operator. Essentially, it's your job to ensure that passengers have the thrill of their life, while at the same time making sure it's not their last. Just as any seasoned operator will tell you, the first rule in rollercoaster school is to avoid sending your passengers flying off the track to the pavement a hundred feet below.
At first, Mr. Bounce seems like a simple Breakout-inspired game with a slight twist – you can control the height of your bounce by using the [up] and [down] arrows. But right about the your brain starts going on auto-pilot, Mr. Bounce delivers a hefty wake-up smack upside the head. From out of nowhere come walls, moving walls, disappearing walls, movable blocks, tracers, wind, lions, tigers and bears, oh my!
A sequel to Skywire by Nitrome is here and it exceeds the original in many ways, including 3 bosses across 30 all-new levels. Now with lots more enemies, enough for a new one in every level, and new track elements such as gaps, breakable track and areas where your cable car goes under water.
Stardrone is a genre mashup download game, featuring a mix of elements including arcade action, pinball, breakout, gravitational physics and collect-the-objects. Although it might sound a little confusing, the game simply boils down to you (a ball) lighting up stars to reach an objective, and it's remarkably fun to play!
Fans might remember TBA as the ultra-fast-paced, eye-popping, ball-shooting game with an insane techno soundtrack, all of which blended together quite nicely to create a surprisingly simple and fun game. "TBA Two" grows from the same roots as its predecessor and surpasses it in many ways. If you're a fan of the original, it's a safe bet you're going to love this sequel. If you've never played the original, it's a game that's definitely worth checking out.
A simple jump-and-run platformer with style, Space Walker shows that a very simple concept paired with simple graphics can be made into an enjoyable and very pretty casual game experience. Variety in enemy type, enemy movement, and gravity for each level provides an increase in challenge, while a randomized color scheme provides something new to look forward to. Nothing earth-shattering or all that innovative here, just a well-designed package from tip to tail.
If you've been itching for a new, fun side-scrolling shooter, Postal Panic is a game you don't want to pass up. It takes the side-scrolling action of an arcade shooter and throws in some upgrading, a wacky story line and an even wackier set of enemies. Instead of the typical outer space setting, you play the role of a postal worker (in some crazy alternate dimension) who pilots a fully-armed, mail delivery ship.
A fast-paced, single-player mouse avoidance game where your only goal is to survive as long as possible. Dodge angry red buggles and collect mysterious blue boxes to obtain a high score. Catch the little green buggles to become the mighty devourer, destroyer of red buggles! Eat them all! Muhahaha!
The Flash-based Pararalyzer from Japanese developer, Heriet, is an adrenaline-based manic shooter if ever there was one. From the opening screen, there is action galore and soon enough amazing bullet patterns criss-cross the screen in a dazzling kaleidoscope of colour. Unleash a seemingly endless stream of bullets toward the equally endless droves of enemies who are bent on destroying you.
Alan Probe: Amateur Surgeon is a cartoonish and casually offensive entry into the simon-says-surgery genre made famous(ish) by Atlus' Trauma Center. Your job is to follow the exact requirements of each surgery as quickly and as accurately as possible. The game is blessed with the finest production values a second-tier television network can buy, with bright, detailed environments and an ever-present sense of self-conscious irony. The violence is so over-the-top that it's not really gross, but there's still plenty of comically intense moments to go around.
If "retro" to you means huge chunky pixels, bleeping and blerping sounds and gameplay that doesn't lead you by the hand, then Attack of the Meeplings may be just the game for you. This Java-based shooter is glorious, retro-styled fun from top to bottom, especially its soundtrack.
Alex must go to the cheese shop to buy some cheese for his mother. What a nice boy. But the cheese shop is high in the sky and is being defended by flying chickens and people with magnetic headphones. You must navigate past clouds and various enemies, while collecting coins and heart energy, on your way to the holy cheese place ...and back.
dRive is quite possibly the first calculus-themed game to get a review on this site, but don't go fleeing for the high country quite yet; you don't need to understand the math to play the game. At its core, dRive is a simple "catch the falling objects" game, but the unusual, calculus-based method of controlling three games at once turns dRive into an innovative, fascinating game.
Gride is an arcade-style action game in which the objective is to apply and remove abilities to an always-moving little pink sedan at just the right moments to make it as far as you can along the never-ending terrain. It was good enough to take 3rd place in our 5th game design competition, and it earned the coveted Viral award by receiving more than one million views more than the next most played game!
A good shoot'em-up is like a symphony. The enemies are the musicians, the bullets the notes. And the player is the soloist at center stage, riffing a melody over the chaos, flirting with death, performing miracles. The Last Canopy is a landmark Flash manic shoot'em-up that feels dramatic and entertaining from beginning to end, which is a testament to the level of detail and professionalism that Easy Only! Games is capable of.
Nanotube is a stylish action game that tasks you with preventing an army of colored orbs from escaping the center of a circle. You have control of a wall of segments at the perimeter of that circle, and you must block each orb with a wall segment of the same color. It is a satisfying treat on many levels, with orbs flying at you with a regular rhythm and popping with a musical sproing, so if you're playing well, the game will automatically play a random tune for you.
Trying to describe a game using splendiferous prose just seems so... right-brained-centric. How discriminatory! Thus, as a public service to all you left-brainers out there, I hereby present this mathematical description: Retroid = (Pong + Gravity - 1 player + Ball2 + 3Enemy) * 4 modes + Bob.
Control a ship in a miniature-yet-epic battle against undulating bubbles and their mindless minions. Weave in and out of the bubbles in a race against the clock, dodging drones and collecting enough energy to move on to the next stage. Another excellent and original game design entered into our 4th Casual Gameplay Design Competition.
ShoOot 2: revenge of square, a cathartic circle extermination simulator, is more of a spiritual successor than a direct sequel, since you can now move in two dimensions and the gameplay focus has shifted from overwhelming rapid-fire madness to a more deliberate and unusual rhythm. The very latest from the casual game master: Tonypa.
One of the entries to our 4th game design competition, Particle Blaster is a simple yet intense space shooter. You play as a small, triangular space ship whose only goal is to destroy everything that moves. Although it starts easy, you'll be hard pressed to make it through all 14 levels, let alone obtain the coveted A ranking.
We're used to suspending a little bit of belief when it comes to the games we play. Off-Road Velociraptor Safari, however, really tests the limits. You play a raptor driving a jeep with a spiky ball and chain attached to the rear. Your goal is to chase down other raptors and throw them into a teleporter that sends them to the future. At this point it's a good idea to throw intellectual understanding out the window, because this game is all about hitting dinosaurs with cars for points.
Planet Cruncher lets you satisfy your appetite for destruction by casting you as an omnipotent exterminator of worlds. It doesn't exactly feel like a game about the deaths of billions, encased as it is in a shell of relaxing arcadey puzzle gameplay. But sometimes you have to play a game in your own way, and I choose to play this one while cackling maniacally and stroking an imaginary long-haired white star-cat named Lord Galaxathon.
Stunt Pilot is a challenging, high-quality game of precision acrobatics. It transcends the familiar trope of flying through rings with a sophisticated scoring system and singular control. The result is a simple but engaging test of skill that would fit comfortably in any 80s video arcade, although it would probably be the prettiest game there.
At first glance, TBA appears to be of a game of extreme simplicity. As you blast through the first level of this arcade action game, doing nothing but striking the space bar until the ball flies into the goal, you may wonder "What's the point?" But don't let any first impression fool you. Once you get going, the game really shows it's true colors.
Accurately described as a "drag action game", Irritation Stickman has you picking up and dragging stickmen through each stage, avoiding spikes and other traps along the way. You can only keep your grip for a few seconds and must drop stickmen to recharge, forcing you to think before flailing the cursor around the screen. It's a simple but fun action game that produces some hilarious moments of stickman insanity.
Following in the well-trod footsteps of games like Geometry Wars and Robotron 2084, ZunderFury is a hardcore arena shooter that is happiest when it's overwhelming you with throngs of spiky blob-things. You can even spend money in between rounds to upgrade your ship, and the game comes with a full set of Xbox Live-style achievements, called "Feats", which is a smart way to personalize and flesh out the experience.
Paint Wars challenges you to fill in the outlines of different shapes using as little paint as possible, while an army of vehicles tries to destroy your masterpiece. It's an unusual game that incorporates a familiar draw mechanic in an interesting new way. But it's not as easy as it sounds.
As is easy to guess, the object of Filler is to fill the playing field with large white circles. Just click and hold the mouse to start a circle growing. It will stop growing either when you let go or when it collides with a circle already in play. If it collides with one of the small "atoms" bouncing around, not only will it stop growing, it will disappear completely and you'll lose a life!
An experimental game created in seven days, this arcade/pseudo-strategy game puts you in control of two robots marching through a dark city destroying everything with lasers. Pump up your machines to gigantic city-destroying monsters and crunch buildings and pitiful humans all day long!
For our 4th Casual Gameplay Design Competition, Brazilian game author Guilherme Töws has tapped the philosophy of yin and yang to bring us Bisection Dominion. Your charge is to defend a pristine river against a falling tide of poisonous bubbles, using a sword controlled by your gestural input. We often talk about the zen of gaming, but rarely does a game embrace the idea so whole-heartedly.
The Caverns of Hammerfest, by French developer Motion Twin, is an expertly crafted love letter to classic arcade platformers like Bubble Bobble and Snow Bros. If you've ever wondered how the intensity and the heartbreak of those old arcade cabinets could be translated into online gaming, look no further.
Farm Frenzy weds an arcade title with a resource management sim for a game that's as much thought and planning as it is fast mouse clicking. Gameplay revolves around planting grass to feed animals which in turn drop goods for you to use. These goods can either be sold for cash to improve your farm or turned into higher-value products to rake in even more gold. As you progress through the game's 45 stages you can buy more animals, get new buildings and upgrade existing structures, all while keeping a lookout for bears that drop from the sky!
Hearken back to those adrenaline-happy days with Vector Runner, an arcade action game concerned purely with the sensation of speed. Control a humble blue cube on its journey down a futuristic highway, dodging deadly pyramids of various shapes and sizes. Wherever you need to be, you're going there fast.
Another simple game oozing with personality has just been released by Game-Pure, creator of Bound Bear and Oshidama. Samurai High Jump answers the age old question: if a samurai warrior had a big bamboo pole, how far and how high could he jump? It's up to you to find out in this Monkey Kick-Off-style arcade game.
Jack Frost, scowling star of the final game in Nitrome's informal 2007 winter trilogy (after Thin Ice and Snow Drift), is happiest when he is cold. Your job is to turn 40 levels of autumn-colored blocks and ladders into an arctic wonderland in this new arcade action game. Control Jack with the arrow keys: [up] to jump, [left] and [right] to walk, [up] and [down] to climb. Simply step on blocks or climb ladders to freeze them.
Not to be confused with the classic adventure game, Monkey Island is an action-puzzler involving a monkey and not one but several islands. The game's controls are easy: just roll the mouse to change the direction the monkey faces, click to jump, and hold for a longer jump. Hop from island to island collecting bananas in this simple yet refreshing title.
The aptly named Absolute Awesome Ball Game is truly awesome because it manages to capture the thrill of discovery that we look for from pinball games and delivers that in an addictive, unique and appealing package. The game requires a bit of patience and perseverance before seeing any visible progress, but those that stick with it are in for a very pleasant and enjoyable ride.
Ether Cannon is a new action shooter from Luke Paakh of Pop Ethos. You control a space ship which is the last hope of... Well it doesn't really say, but it seems urgent. It's a beautiful game, the particle effects in it are just brilliant, and the action it delivers is (mostly) smooth, polished, and pretty refreshing. The game does a great job of delivering lots of fast shoot-em-up fun without ever reaching a plateau.
In Ragdoll Invaders, the falling spikes are replaced with lasers and explosives, but lo and behold, your floppy ragdoll stickman is replaced with... another floppy ragdoll stickman. But wait, there's more! His arms, unlike the other stickman, have been replaced with DUAL CHAIN GUNS. Which have unlimited ammunition. This pretty much makes any game flipping hardcore.
Mr. MothBall 2: Cotton Carnage is a charming shooter from Polish artist Mateusz Skutnuk, author of both the Covert Front and Submachine point-and-click series of games. You control a white mothball trying to shoot down evil red mothballs in an adorable penciled world with pastel shading. The game is a spiritual sequel to Mr. MothBall platformer entered in our 4th game design competition.
IndestructoTank 2, to some the name might evoke feelings of dew eyed anticipation, the return of the indestructo-king. This is, in a manner similar to Pillage the Village, a refurbishment of an early Flash classic, back when Newgrounds was the only portal. You have at your disposal a nice smorgasbord of modes — three — for free, which is a way better deal than in Vegas.
New from Japanese developer Nigoro, creator of Rose & Camellia and Lonely House-Moving, comes physics-based action game Space Capstar II. Carefully pilot the ship through twisty passages that lead deep into planets' cores, avoiding obstacles and taking out lasers by bashing into them (carefully). It's a challenging action game with just enough space wackiness thrown in to make it worth trying.
Nanobots is the latest from the web-game nanofactory assembly line that is Nitrome. While not as inventive as some of its other releases, Nanobots takes your classic shoot-em-up, wraps it in a cool metaphor of nanomachines fighting inside a cell, and polishes it to a shiny finish. The result is one of the best Flash-based shmups on the internet.
The next entry to the 4th Casual Gameplay Design Competition is from Daniel Vandali of Australia. Bounce is an arcade-style action game in which the "ball physics" theme is well represented by the ball objects in play. The objective is to activate all orange balls in play by knocking into them. Your means of control is a grappling hook, and a few different power-ups to aid you. Avoid the walls.
The next entry up is from Manuel Fallmann of Austria. If you're a regular visitor here, then it's likely you have played a variety of Manuel's games before. Bubbles 2 is an arcade-style action game of collection and avoidance that incorporates a bit of "ball physics" within the bubbles themselves. Please leave your kind feedback and constructive criticism for Manuel in the comments.
Just past the half-way point, the next entry to the 4th Casual Gameplay Design Competition is from Derek Brandao of Washington (US). Break Into is an action arcade-style game in which you must hit balls into a goal to move on to the next level. The "ball physics" theme in this game is a straightforward implementation with a Gimme Friction Baby twist.
The next entry up is from David Durham of the UK. You may remember David from previous games featured here, the adorable Gear Puzzle from our first competition, and the exceptional Timebot game from our "replay" competition. In Backfire, David delivers an action-based arcade style game with "ball physics" integral to the gameplay. Please post your kind feedback and constructive criticisms in the comments for David.
The latest from Bloons creators, Stephen Harris and Ninja Kiwi, Hotcorn is a game about popping corn... with heat. You control a smiling sun avatar with the mouse, moving it over kernels of corn on a top-down game board to pop them into some kind of exploded corn substance. Pop enough corn before time runs out and you win the level, simple as that.
From Thor Gaming, creator of Thor Towers, comes Throw Me, a physics-based tossing game similar to Monkey Kick Off and Nanaca Crash. At the beginning of the stage you grab an orange eyeball and twirl it around with the mouse to build up momentum. When you're ready to toss, hit the spacebar to send it flying. Your only goal is to go as high and as far as you can!
Mountain Bike is a charming little 2D stunt biking game from Miniclip. Doing tricks will boost your score, but also make you crash a lot. Thankfully a trick tutorial is provided for those of us (myself included) who don't already know the difference between a toothpick grind and an icepick grind.
Our most recent competition has shown some seriously inventive interpretations of the theme "Replay", and one of the standouts in that category is Carl Foust's Super Earth Defense Game. It's a typical side-scrolling shooter on its face but, in a unique twist, really shines once your ship gets destroyed.
Avalanche is a fast-paced climbing game in which your goal is to scale the mountain of falling blocks, without being flattened or falling into the river rising from below. The flood of cascading blocks starts slowly, with only a few blocks to start. Before you know it, you'll be madly scrambling to avoid being turned into a marshmallow pancake.
From developer Sam Horton of Funface Games comes Oroboros, an action title that borrows from games such as flOw and Snake. You control Oroboros (the serpent forming a circle by swallowing its own tail) as you absorb energy clusters to unlock portals to new dimensions. As you progress, your tail grows to give you new abilities that let you combat the increasingly tough foes.
Lonely House-Moving is the latest social metaphor driven arcade game from the folks behind everyone's favorite slapping game, Rose and Camellia. You play a lonely shmuck who, after watching his girlfriend leave him in a moving truck, suddenly gets the inspiration to act. Leap over moles, avoid crows and jump over stuff flying out of the truck and try to catch your girl!
Zeta Flow is a Flash-based shmup in which you control an innocent little turret gun ship as you fight off giant mechanical enemies. Each level pits you against one evil ship, getting progressively bigger and badder from level to level. It's a fun game that plays great, and there's even a level editor, too!
Pillage The Village is the spiritual successor and prequel to Defend Your Castle, one of THE original web-game classics from back when there were only so many good web-games on the whole Internet. Made by XGen Studios, one of the first companies to dive into the Flash scene with gusto and not a look back. Now, years later, XGen is back with Pillage The Village, a smashmortion of click-tastic mayhem.
One part shooter, one part visual/audio toy, Cubex by RoboJAM is a stunning Flash game reminiscent of the Dreamcast/PS2 musical shooter Rez. The first person view sends you flying through a futuristic corridor defending yourself against polygonal enemies that appear in the distance. With the mouse, simply move the target around the screen and pelt your foes with weapons fire. The throbbing techno beat in the background keeps things running right along, and each time you fire and destroy an enemy you add to the music.
In Asteroids Revenge III, play the role of a blue-tinted asteroid up against all sorts of human enemies&8212;shooting ships, repelling fields, space mines, and many others. Your goal is to wipe out the treacherous human fleet by crashing into all the ships while avoiding getting hit by their fire. Apart from being a tad easy, this game is really fun to play!
I was skeptical and wasn't expecting much from Ricochet Infinity at first. There are a lot of Breakout clones out there, including a lot that use dynamic targets, the most impressive of which is Break Quest. And while Ricochet Infinity is no Break Quest, it is a highly engaging and addictive game that should satisfy both breakout and shmup fans alike.
Cute pixelly monsters? Plucky soundtrack? Arcade-style gameplay? It must be the latest release from Nitrome! Hooray! In Square Meal, you play a cute boxy monster trying to escape from a sinister dungeon filled with monsters, floor spikes, exploding blocks, slippery patches, and other hazards. Luckily you're armed with a hearty appetite.
After months of waiting, it's finally here! Nitrome has just rolled out Hot Air 2, the highly anticipated sequel to the balloon physics game Hot Air. The new incarnation is bigger, better, more intricate and more stylish than the original, proving it's possible to take an already polished game idea and turn it into something even better. Plus, you get to make your own balloons!
From the creator of Hot Air and Skywire comes Dangle, a physics-based action game where you control a spider hanging from a neon pink line of webbing. By swinging back and forth you must work your way down each stage, avoiding enemies and collecting coins along the way.
Venice is an arcade-style action puzzle game that takes some of the best elements of Peggle and Breakout and combines them into something new (and utterly fascinating). Various items appear atop your vessel floating on the waters of Venice, and it's your job to fire them into the empty slots hovering above. Fill all the gaps in the objects to cause them to vanish and continue your quest to save the sinking city.
In Rat Maze 2, you are a mouse in a maze and you must collect all the pieces of cheese in the shortest time possible. Use the arrow keys for movement to zip around the maze. Running over a cheese is as good as eating it, so no time is wasted collecting them all. Simple retro fun from the highly talented developers at PixelJam.
Juggler is a neat little diversion that I would categorize as a gravity-based game of mouse dexterity. The goal is simple: You control one paddle (ala breakout) while multiple balls bounce in sequence. You must maintain the balls in the air like a crazy one armed juggler.
The latest offering from the folks down at NinjaKiwi. The objective is to protect yourself from a 30-round onslaught of enemies. Your chief weapons are flasks of potions that you lob at your enemies. You can control the potency of the weapon and the type of damage inflicted by altering the composition of your potion flask.
We here at Casual Gameplay have been fans of the work Yoshio Ishii has been doing in Shockwave and Flash for several years now. He may be best known for his Neko series of games (neko means "cat" in Japanese), though he has also created some of the best Panzo games as well. His latest effort is this beautiful and delightful game that will give your brain some stimulation as you play.
Too often do we come across Flash games (especially shooters) that are either too brief or too repetitive. Luminara is a brilliant example of how to avoid those problems. It's simple enough: you are a dot and you fire bullets. And like any good game, the premise always stays exactly this simple. What gets more complex are the subsequent waves of enemies that come at you.
Sunday Lawn, a game from the creator of Castle Smasher, Donut Games, puts you in control of Charlie whose job is to cut the grass around his house. Unfortunately there are dogs, hedgehogs, and various other obstacles standing in the way of monocotyledonous perfection.
For a quick and addictive action game splurge, check out the recently released Angry Faic. Similar to Kill the Pacman, presented here way back a few years ago, Angry Faic is an arcade action game of skill that has you perpetually falling from the sky, constantly trying to land on tiny passing emoticons of a matching color.
A crowd pleaser from one of our Friday link dumps, Spikey's Bounce Around is an arcade action game of skill in which you are given 10 tries per level to release all the butterflies while accumulating points. Butterflies are sealed in jars that must be broken to release their contents. A jar will break if it reaches the ground, thereby setting the trapped butterfly free.
In Rapture Capture, take control of a ship with a tug wire attached by waving the mouse back and forth. The tug wire is your only defense against incoming enemies and munitions, use it as a whip to take out anything that comes at you. The tip of the tug wire is especially powerful, as you can even capture enemies with it and whip them around as a weapon. It's fantastic!
From shmup guru Kenta Cho, L.A.2 is similar to John Conway's game of Life but, well, just the opposite. Instead of creating cellular automata, your job is to destroy them. Swarms of cells grow and multiply around the edges of the screen with the occasional enemy craft hidden amongst them. Maneuver around the screen charging your glider weapon and releasing it to destroy advancing cubes.
Jardinains is an Arkanoid clone with a little something extra: the presence of 'nains—giggling little garden gnomes that will hurl potted plants at your bat, paralysing it and causing you to lose points. You can get your own back, though—if you can break the pot you win the points you would have lost, and if you can knock the giggling little brats off their perch, you can bounce them on your paddle to get points and power-ups.
Cannon Bods is a slick little action game where you must shoot falling pirates before they hit the water. The controls are easy and intuitive, and a nice touch is that as you hold down the mouse button for more power the trajectory line changes its shape to match your cannon's increased power, giving you an accurate look at exactly where your "ammo" will go.
Peggle is the latest arcade action game from PopCap, and currently available as a download for Windows or Mac. Think of a pachinko machine and an upside-down breakout game and you will be close to the unique and simple gameplay found in Peggle. It is a classic casual game: simple to understand, easy to pick-up and play, and difficult to master. Find yourself the nearest PC and download it now.
Bubble Tanks is a hypnotic and relaxing shooter if ever there was one. Man your bubble ship on an excursion through a vast bubble field seeking out hostiles to assimilate. The more bubbles you collect, the larger your ship and the greater your weapon become. But as you grow so do the enemies that you will find around you. It addictive and relaxing, a dangerous combination.
Tabuto is a fast-paced action game with a strangely mesmerizing concept. Cards fall from the top of the screen, and your job is to touch them with the cursor before they vanish. The more you collect in a row, the more points you get, but if you drop 20 it's game over.
Instead of simply moving one object around the screen to avoid the falling dots, in Formation you must control an entire setup of orbs that rotate and periodically change position. Touch one of the flashing white balls that fall from the top of the screen and it becomes part of your formation, thus forcing you to be mindful of yet another ball's position and causing your brain to hurt.
A brand new game from varStudios, the creators of Neon Wars 2, has recently graced the internet: Abstract Sea. Using simple but stylish visuals and a nice electronica soundtrack, the game puts you in control of an armed ship at sea fending off enemy attacks. The game has a very visceral feel to it with screen-shaking explosions and a few power-ups floating atop the deep blue sea.
FoolYoo is a well designed game with a good sense of humor and fluid gameplay. You are a samurai and you must defend yourself from attack by demons with your trusty katana. Three different types of demons will attack you, all requiring different tactics to defeat. In between rounds, demonstrate your l33t sushi ability by deftly slicing vegetables for soup.
Oshidama is an simple and elegant flash game by Game-Pure, the creators of Speed Cluster. The goal is to nudge a white orb to the exit point on each screen. Walls, pits and other obstacles stand in your way, forcing you plan your path and be ready for a last-second save at any moment. It's an interesting mix of strategy and fast-paced cursor shifting delivered in an astounding audio and visual atmosphere.
Often I think to myself what I would do if I was ever in a futuristic jet on a futuristic highway chasing tanker trucks, launching missiles at them, and all the while avoiding sentry and assault drones. With Damien Clarke's new game, Jet Speed, I no longer have to ponder this theoretical scenario in my head—I actually get to give it a try!