It never hurts to have a dream. Unless, of course, your dream is to be repeatedly shot out of a cannon, crashing into various boosters and blockers, so as to earn money for the purchasing of upgrades. That might end up hurting quite a bit. Canoniac Launcher is a new Toss The Turtle-style action game. While unbalanced upgrades and unclear objectives mar the experience, its solid presentation and gorgeous art helps it stand as a hilarious blast of a game.
Knuckle Cracker's Creeper World 2: Academy introduces you to a whole new experience. Rather than the top-down view of the original Creeper World, you're given a side view which, at the very least, offers an easier visual of creeper depth. With both an interactive tutorial at the beginning of levels and the same control setup as previous games, it's a cinch to pick up even if you're new to beating back the creeper.
- • Survivoo
- • Dr. Stanley's House
- • Daymare Town
Knock knock! Who's there? ADVENTURE! Saddle up, Sonny Jim/Jimette, because this week's Vault has a series of strange little adventures of varying sizes and complexity that will be sure to keep you sailing through the week with mystery and oddity.
This sequel to Lucas Paakh's William and Sly is a vast, richly layered feast for the eyes. While gameplay remains much the same, there are also marked changes (improvements as far as most players will be concerned): no more darklings or boss battles yet plenty of exploration, item gathering, and questing. Gaining helpful abilities involves your platforming and puzzle-solving skills to add just the right amount of gameplay into what is a sumptuous work of interactive art.
Interactive art has a reputation for being light on the challenge, but These Robotic Hearts of Mine, a puzzle game by Alan Hazelden definitely shows that it doesn't have to be. It's a simple game of gears and direction... one that I would love to see re-created in the physical space of a gallery. However, each solution presents another line in a story of technology, hearts and heartbreak. The puzzles alone would be fine, and the elegy is affecting. However, the combination fits like one hand into another.
Verge is a puzzle platformer originally developed by Kyle Pulver (maker of Depict1) for a TIGSource game competition, and now ported to flash by Kristian Macanga. Its tone can best be described with the HP Lovecraft quote that was the game's inspiration: Life and Death - Death-its desolation and horror-bleak spaces-sea-bottom-dead cities. But Life-the greater horror! Vast unheard-of reptiles and leviathans-hideous beasts of prehistoric jungle-rank slimy vegetation-evil instincts of primal man-Life is more horrible than death. The twin opposing horrors of life and death is a haunting, challenging concept, and thus it should be no surprise that it makes for a haunting, challenging game... one where death and rebirth is the only way to progress.
Pity the poor dude who is in charge of Middleshire, one of the areas of the kingdom we first saw in Royal Envoy. First, he's late to the meeting with the king, then all he can report is bad, bad news about the region. The King is not happy about any of this, so he once again appoints someone (as in you, the player) to go and get this poor place redeveloped so that the folks will be happy in Royal Envoy 2, the latest time management amusement from Playrix Entertainment.
Frozen Candy, a holiday match-3 puzzle game from Avox Games, looks a heck of a lot like Puzzle Bobble. In fact, if good ol' dinosaur Bub was on ball-firing duty instead of that Brian Poesehn look-alike of an elf, one could be fooled at a glance for thinking it to be a complete clone. Once you start playing, though, the unique feel of the mechanics allow Frozen Candy to shine as it's own creation, making for something that feels both familiar and innovative.
Draka, the unsavory spider vampire, is at it again and is out to ruin the holidays for everyone by spreading his creepy curse in this physics puzzler! At just twenty levels, it's fairly short, but the weird premise and silly gameplay makes this an excellent anti-holiday treat.
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow... and snow... and then snow some more in Snow Tree, this charming little arcade physics game from Alexey Izvalov. Control the snowfall by clicking and dragging with the mouse to create invisible air currents, directing the flakes into a tidy pile to form a delicate, branching, and ever-growing tree (keeping the white stuff away from your front door and driveway in the process). Pile the snow as high and efficiently as you can to build your score, and snag some of those neatly wrapped presents floating high in the clouds to earn extra points and increase the maximum amount of snowflakes available to build with.
In this short yet beautifully artistic puzzle platform adventure decisions become turning points after two basic choices: evolve or destroy? Guide Cadence, the title character, through a series of decisions, each determining how the story continues. Several puzzles are based on those choices and there are two endings to choose from as well. Love's Cadence is as much a thought-provoking poem as a game and should be appreciated for how its graphics, narrative elements and game play coalesce into a melodious composition.
We all know the life of a snowball is short and packed with excitement. But it's not all high flying arcs and battle cries, as Godvil Games shows us in the festive Hide Snowman. Much like the Cover Orange series, your goal is to use the queue of objects (or optionally the ability to delete an existing structure) to put the happy little snowman heads in a safe place to hide them from the melting, hot pellets of the flying wood stove. What are you waiting for? The snowmen are counting on you!
Farmer Vlad has built a paradise for piggies. He sends a letter to the closest litter, inviting them to vacation in his literal hog heaven. Unfortunately, all sorts of danger lies in their path: bears, wolves, birds, UFOs... A reflex platformer by VladG, 300 Miles to Pigsland takes the non-stop gameplay of Canabalt, sends it through the cute-ifier machine and adds a sprinkling of upgrades, making for a fun, if repetitive, time.
You know that itch in the middle of your back that you can't scratch? No, it's not a patch of dry skin, it's your need to play tower defense games. Luckily for you, Char Studio brings you a dose of relief in Cube Tower. Earn stars based on how many of your twenty lives you have at the end of the level. And we all like earning gold stars, right?
Your favourite demolition crew is at it again, with different tools to tackle the craziest jobs! After New York and Tokyo, they've moved on to Moscow, and if you think blasting is easy, this physics puzzle with make you think again. Packed with Nitrome's signature style and charm, as well as an out-of-this-world surprise or two, this is a fantastic seasonal installment to a fan-favourite series with a lot of challenge.
This tricky little puzzle platformer will force you to forget any "nobody gets left behind" policies you might have, since someone's gotta bite the bullet for you to win. The Green and Red astronauts are stranded on a planet, and the only way out is for the Reds to nobly sacrifice themselves to open the way forward. A simple but challenging concept when both of them move at once.
It's hard to figure out what just happened. You took a walk in the park, like you do every night. This time though, there was a man... there was a gun. Now you find yourself a dark industrial world of shadowy figures and shifting backgrounds. You'll have to rearrange every single room to have even a chance of escaping... and you just know that time's running out. Five is a puzzle platformer from Z3LF where changing reality comes with the click of the mouse.
Stretch paths to connect numbers of the same color in this fun-filled browser-based puzzle pack from Conceptis. This pack contains 30 brand new puzzles in three sizes (10x10, 15x15, 20x20). These aren't the hardest Link-a-Pix puzzles out there, and they serve as a great introduction to this puzzle type if you've never tried them before. Regardless of your experience level, these path-forming challenges are a great way to spend a good stretch of time.
It's been a while since you've escaped the Playroom, and it seems the little girl who masterminded it has set up yet another difficult escape for you. In Playroom 2, the rather aptly named sequel by Kayzerfish, you've got a new room full of colorful toys and knickknacks to solve your way out of. At least this one has an open-air balcony and a nicer bed. If you're looking for a charming yet challenging escape that taxes your skills just enough to be entertaining, go play in Playroom 2.
Neutral's newest seasonal escape. What more needs to be said? This escape-the-room game, though miniaturized (that little banner at the top of Neutral's web page is the game—click it to begin), is full of the details and enjoyable, logical puzzles that you'd expect from the best escape game designer in the biz. Merry Christmas JIG readers!
Gameplay in Pinata Hunter is simple and distinctive, as you swing your mouse Wii-mote style to bludgeon your quarry for tasty treats. After a few upgrades it's immensely satisfying (and addicting). Like squeezey stress toys, or inflatable punching bags, no one can accuse relentlessly beating on a colorful elephant sculpture for candy to be a deep experience, but you'll hardly care once you can fill the screen with flying candy.
"Winners Use Government Grants!" says the opening screen of Digiwoog Disaster, a new edutainment point and click adventure game. Well, we should be happy that Digiwoog and BoMToons were the winners picked by the US Department of Justice to help kids learn about mobile devices, since they've come up with something really cool. An unidentified flying object has crashed on Woogi World, and Dr. Wiggenstein knows that only Woog of action Jett Woogman has the smarts and skills to investigate. He gives Jett a brand-spanking new DigiWoog mobile device, chock full of helpful apps. And so Jett sets out to solve the mysterious mystery of the mysterious UFO... and maybe learn a little about mobile phone safety!
Once again one of Tesshi-e's wacky friends has locked you into a room filled with strange devices. Escape from the Device-Filled Room has everything you expect from a top-notch design, easy controls, a save feature, decent English translation, and the obligatory happy coin alternate escape. Get ready to challenge yourself with another of Tesshi-e's freaky friends and their habit of locking you into a strange house!
Santa Lina is an old-fashioned kind of town: big, dark, ugly, and corrupt to its core. One of the small few willing, or even able, to take a stand and protect the helpless is Anaksha, a vigilante sniper dubbed "The Virgo Killer" by the press. A successful businesswoman, the murder of her best friend snapped something in her mind, and so Anaksha took to the streets, a lone huntress with a rifle, dedicated to the destruction of evil, no matter what the cost, ever-pursued by both the police and the criminal elites. Anaksha: Dark Angel is a sniping adventure game by Arif Majothi, and its atmosphere is as thick as blood.
Poor Kichu is little and blue, so very blue. In this platform game by Prasan Games, help Kichu by navigating your way through obstacles and deadly traps, collecting diamonds so the melancholy pipsqueak can be big in riches and find true happiness at least. Little Life has solid controls, short levels, and some areas of high difficulty albeit nothing out of the ordinary in platforming. Yet it is so cute and heartwarming, both you and Kichu are sure to be smiling by the end.
Nations need to brace themselves for a complete loss of productivity as folks all over the world once again become immersed in the major time-suckage that is a bloons tower defense game. Enough talk, time to play Bloons Tower Defense 5!
- • SnowDays
- • Warbears Adventures: An A.R. Xmas
- • My Diamond Baby
Snowflakes, teddy bears, and diamond rings? The Vault really DOES have riches inside it! This week we take a look at three games sure to melt any frosty chill around you, from a webtoy, to a challenging escape, and even a deadly serious point-and-click bear mission.
Box? Wake up!... C'mon, do we have to get out the non-rotatable wooden objects and attach them to surroundings, and let the physics of the situation jostle you awake, like last time? Oh well... guess we do. Wake Up The Box 3 is the latest in Eugene Karataev's popular series of puzzle games. Even if it feels a bit of a step backwards, it remains a very fun coffee break kind of game.
Anything good is always better when there is more of it. So when Candyflame comes out with more Isoball, it's a no-brainer that it's going to be awesome. Merging the joy of a Hot Wheels track, a Lego set and a very fragile glass marble, Isoball X1 adds thirty-six more levels, eighteen hidden achievements and a complex sandbox to the player pleasing physics puzzler. Gameplay sounds simple: devise a route to move the ball from start to finish. Yet this feat is made complicated by a multifarious map, prescribed checkpoints and a limited number of building blocks. When you also take into account fun new pieces, a helpful "how to" menu and keyboard shortcuts, it's easy to see why Isoball X1 is not only compellingly addicting, it's more fun!
Slip and slide around with Lockehorn, the hero of Nitrome's wintry arcade avoidance game! Your fellow tribesmen have been imprisoned in blocks of ice by evil snow spirits, and it's up to you to save them while trying to avoid the same fate. Push your frozen pals across the temple floor and try to crush all enemies against the wall to open a pit of flame that'll thaw your friends. A seasonal treat that requires a lot of patience, but also offers a lot of charm.
Buagaga, creator of Rich Mine 2, has a holiday gift for you: addictive cut-the-rope fun. Using your precision timing, help the holiday gnome fill his sled with bright ornaments, collecting snowflakes along the way while defeating enemies and overcoming obstacles. This physics puzzle game is packed with thirty levels and a quite a bit of challenge; it's as much entertainment as anything you'd hope to find under the tree!
Alien war rages upon the surface of the moon. But would Santa dare forget those space marines that made it onto the "nice" list? By Kringle's beard, I say thee nay! Even it if means strapping a rocket to his back and launching himself to space, ol' Saint Nick will deliver those gifts if its the last thing he does! Berzerk Studios brings you Santa Rocket, and while not particularly innovative for the arcade launch genre, it is a solid holiday work.
What do you get when you can click an owl to hit a penguin to knock over a sleeping elephant? Why, you get Alma Games' physics puzzler, Snoring 2: Wild West. Your goal is to knock over the sleeping elephant, because he's being quite loud. Each animal has different characteristics, and you interact with some of them by clicking on them. While on the easy side, it's so cute you may just have to grab the nearest kiddo and introduce them to the wonders of physics puzzlers.
Pirouette, a piece of interactive art by Hayden Scott-Baron and increpare, is an infuriating work. Gameplay, which consists of linearly walking and talking to people, leans away from the "interactive", which might lead to the perennial discussion as to whether it qualifies as a game at all. The plot, depicting someone confronting those they loved and those they hurt, is vague and, with its frank talk of sex and toxic relationships, deliberately provocative. And yet... there is beauty to be found here. Pirouette will divide opinion. However, whether your opinion is positive or negative, it will be strongly so, and that can't be a bad thing.
Mike Morin, the creator of the popular Alice is Dead series, returns to the point-and-click adventure scene with this noir-esque mystery game about a private eye who receives a letter from a woman in his past. Seeking her out at a hotel, he finds he may have stumbled into a very strange secret in this beautiful, moody little tale.
Home. It's the only thing E.T. wanted. And to reunite with his robot family is all this adorable mechanical youngster wants in this whimsical point-and-click story from BeGamer. Help him get back to Earth by clicking the right places and in the proper order. Odd-yet-entertaining, although not as strange as Minoto, there's as much fun in watching each scene unfold as in figuring out how to get there.
Life's not easy for the fearsome pirate mercenary antihero Captain Zaron, star of Studio Meristem's adventure game Captain Zaron and the Trials of Doom. His sister Elsa is to be sacrificed at the stroke of midnight as part of a doomsday prophecy that will wipe out the kingdom, and he'll be damned if he's going to let that happen unchallenged. Don't let the cheap graphics fool you, Captain Zaron is a game with meat. It's an compelling adventure game with logical puzzles and the perfect level of challenge.
Wield the awesome power of language in this innovative physics puzzler. Click on different areas of each level and use the keyboard to change the environment, either by typing characters or deleting them, in order to remove the specified text from the screen. You can watch the text plummet by deleting the platform it's resting on, type "water" to make the text float away, or key in "fire" to ignite bombs and blast the text from the screen.
In Dibbles 2: Winter Woes, simply place commands on a field to order the little dibbles to create a path for their king... by killing themselves. Sound gruesome? Shhh. Look at the softly falling snow. All is right with the world. Just repeat "it's for the greater good" until it feels right.
Even if you don't speak Russian you are still probably familiar with matryoshkas, also known as nesting dolls. And just like the dolls this escape game unfolds in layers, each one revealing a lovely little surprise. Despite the fact that it is called a "mini-escape" Matryoshka contains all the bells and whistles expected in a well-designed escape game: easy inventory control, great puzzles, intuitive navigation, and even a save feature. Come and give Matryoshka a try and, even if you're a macho guy, discover the joy of playing with dolls (and escaping).
Something is wrong in Volcania. A mysterious darkness has suddenly befallen the harsh, inhospitable home of a race called the Celheads, and you alone are left to unravel the mystery with only cryptic clues to guide you in this clever and engaging puzzle platformer.
Haven't you always wanted to lord it over an entire tower, Trump-style? Well in Theme Hotel from Toffee Games you can do just that. Inspired by games such as SimTower and Theme Hospital, this simulation game puts you in charge of building a hotel from the ground up and taking it all the way to five stars.
We live in slightly unbalanced times. But you know what? That's not always a bad thing, especially when Ttursas is at the helm. Imperfect Balance 3, the latest in the physics puzzler series of odes to ultimate unsturdiness, has just come out, and it's shakiness is nothing but awesome. Imperfect Balance 3 may not be a reinvention of the formula, but it's a solid level pack that will appeal to fans of the series.
- • Skywire
- • Zoo Keeper Quest
- • FoolYoo
Action isn't all brawling robots, blasting guns, and pop culture references. This week's Vault takes a look at three titles that all share a common strangeness, but also incorporate action into their gameplay in different ways.
Like Portal? So do the folks at HighUp Studio, who openly took inspiration from it to craft this challenging little puzzle platformer about robots put to the test. While Invertion may not be an entirely unique game, it definitely offers a test of your patience, perseverance and puzzling skills with smooth controls, creepy narration and nicely detailed animation.
An arcadey combination of mouse avoidance and WarioWare-style mini-games, Mouse Quest by Oilold takes two love-em-or-hate-em genres of casual gameplay and fuses them into something quite likeable. The plot is nothing too special: the mysterious Shapemaster has transported you to his dimension and presents your cursor with various fast-paced challenges so that you may prove your worth before facing him. Overall, the presentation has the minimalism of someone new to game development, but it's very enjoyable work all the same.
New from Yoshio Ishii of NekoGames, TOUKA is a short and simple game of darting your mouse all over the place. It follows closely in style and basic format as the previously-released KIKKA and OUKA, only this time around, there's less puzzle and more action.
Swift Stitch, from Sophie Houlden, author of some fan-favorite browser games like Linear RPG and BOXGAME, is a one button (almost) arcade game that's all about speed, direction, and crashing into walls because you got confused as to which way your ship was going to go when you pressed the "switch" button. Smart decisions and quick reflexes get you through this game, and if the 20 odd levels in the free browser demo get you excited, there's more than twice that content awaiting you in the full version!
Get set for another rapid fire series of mini-games and puzzles to tease your brain and challenge your wit. The clock is ticking so see how fast you can make it through on your first go-round. Your final score depends on you thinking fast on your feat and on the edge of your seat!
Robots Can't Think, Z3lf's newest puzzle platformer, has you controlling a robot through a set of challenges. You can pick up, drop or throw blocks; climb along walls and ceilings and, most importantly, warp through space and time. When you die, the system will attempt to 'rewind' to a previous safe position, but to help prevent death, you can scan the level with a click of the mouse. Robots Can't Think is a challenge, so don't be surprised if you find yourself creating a pile of scrap metal, but it's worth it.
Sometimes receiving a message can be so exciting that the letters seem to jump off the page. Then those letters form into a giraffe, which will dart across the landscape pursued by snakes, sharks and Godzilla. Okay, that just might be the interactive music video for Japanese rock group Andop's song "Bell". With an amazing combination of typographic and charcoal art, the game so visually interesting that it makes up for the CPU-hogging and somewhat loose gameplay. There are probably easier ways to post a missive, but this is definitely one of the most fun.
Don't you just hate when you're hungry for some lunch and when you sit down, ready to eat, you find that you used your puzzle lunch box? Or maybe you love it. Similar to the Dismantlement series, Chovy Works brings us Pot, a point-and-click puzzle game where the ultimate goal is a scrumptious noodle lunch. It's a cute and quirky distraction to try out during your much simpler lunch break.
Shaun, Shirley, and Timmy are on the road once again entirely by accident. The sheepish trio finds themselves far from home in London, and the way back is a bit more complicated than a hop, skip, and a jump. Help guide three different sheep back home through fifteen levels of physics puzzle platforming in this stunning (and stunningly cute) game from Aardman.
Looking for a little Halloween every day? Then point-and-click through the latest Zeebarf/Steve Castro gore-fest, The Visitor Returns, another installment of the saga of the disturbing pink grub and his appetite for bloody, cartoonish mayhem.
Dim the lights, light the incense, and settle in for some relaxing puzzlement with Coins. Slide the coins around from starting position to goal position in forty soothing levels. Ahh. Sounds easy, right? In the first twenty levels, you can only move a coin to a place where it's touching two other coins. In the second twenty, it must be touching two coins of different colors.
You've got to appreciate those evil overlords who go out of their way to spend that extra buck for solid dungeon construction. Now, if only they didn't leave their door keys lying around, their treasure would be safe from the local green-hooded retro hero contingents. Oh well. Dangerous Dungeons, an arcade platformer developed by Adventure Islands for a month-long game jam, has an old-school style and old-school difficulty to match.
Life can get complex sometimes, but in Ttursas' puzzle game, The Wizard of Blox 2, it's quite simple. You're presented with an arrangement of different shapes in a few different colors. Using the set of blocks you're given, move them with the mouse and use one of the many keyboard sets of controls to find a way to connect all like-colored pieces to get them to disappear. Do you have the goods to earn the title of Wizard?
After Star Wars: Episode II and that whole Spider-man fiasco, one cannot help but be a little wary of clones. However, leave it to Roman Gecerov and Yuriy Kurenkov to show us that just because something's a little familiar doesn't mean it has to be bad. Shameless Clone doesn't rip off anything... it rips off everything! A pitch-perfect recreation of every mid-90s arcade space shooter ever, filled to the brim with skewered references and memes, Shameless Clone is a bullet hell whose authors have nothing to be ashamed of.
3 Doors is a standard point-and-click escape game that involves a basic room with three mysterious doors and a lot of fun and tricky puzzles, mostly visual. You're faced with the usual dilemma, getting out of a locked room, and the standard "pick up everything that's not nailed down" in order to get out scenario. This is definitely an escape skewed towards those who take careful note of their surroundings and can spot the hidden patterns.
Sleigh bells ring, are you listening? In the new Bart Bonte game, sugar's glistening. A beautiful sight, we're puzzling tonight, playing Sugar, Sugar: The Christmas Special. Guide particles of sugar to several cup targets, with some complications along the way such as color-changing dyes and gravity switching buttons, and all with a Christmas theme that's as sweet and cheery as a mug of hot cocoa. Like its predecessor, it requires a decent amount of patience, so consider this a warm-up for waiting to open your presents.
We've all been there... Friday night, just hanging out at your house at R'lyeh waiting, dreaming, for your cult leader servant to finally complete the ritual that will grant you unlimited power. But then, all these lame-o cops, Miskatonic professors, mystics, and asylum escapees just had to show up and try to ruin your fun. Good thing your very tentacley touch brings the corrupted servitude of madness. Still, you'd think they'd just learn to Leave Cthulhu Alone! In this flashpunk tower defense game from Loserville Express, messing with the old ones has never been so much fun!
When it's time for a break there's nothing like a soothing room escape game to calm the overworked mind, and Tomatea has just the panacea in Figurines Room Escape 2, a perfect sequel to the original. You know the routine; locate objects and solve puzzles to find your way out of the room.
- • Inquisitive Dave
- • You Have to Burn the Rope
- • Thy Dungeonman 3: Behold Thy Graphics!
Need a laugh? Yeah, well, YOUR FACE! HA!... okay, so there's a reason I don't tell the jokes around here, but fortunately, with this week's Vault focusing on some very funny, silly, and weird little titles, you don't have to rely on me for your chuckles.
Those darn emo kids have accidentally summoned a horde of alien-zombies to destroy the city! Who should we call? The police? A dashing bandit? A Victorian-era, impressively side-burned gentleman thief? A redneck in a trucker's hat? Jason Vorhees? Well, all are options in Random Heroes, the new platformer from Woblyware. Random Heroes is a solid run-jump-and-shoot action game with a very cool aesthetic design that goes very well with its parallax scrolling effects.
Aboard a suspicious hot air balloon, our titular thieving hero has no choice but to press onward and craft the most dubious robot you've ever seen in order to find his way out in the fourth installment of Pastel Games' popular point-and-click escape adventure series.
Like an early holiday present from Robamimi, Snow Dance is the perfect escape game to start the holiday season here on JIG—it has all the sumptuous conveniences we escapers prefer: changing cursors, logical puzzles, sparkly music, perfect graphics and, to top it off, a hint system better than any in the genre. While the puzzles are farm from difficult, they do require the right amount of thought and investigation to complete, so you can find the key to the gorgeous, snow-blanketed world just outside the door.
Rustlers are after your bulls! That's like the Wild West version of someone trying to steal your Camaro! In Long Way, a new western tower defense game from Meetreen Games, your job is to get together a posse and show those rustlers what happens to dirty snakes who break the law of the West. Long Way blends classic Tower Defense gameplay with a great upgrade system that adds a lot of longevity. You can develop your posse in a variety of ways, so even though the game can be fairly difficult there are several paths to success. Trying different strategies goes a long way toward keeping the game fresh.
Yoshio Ishii of NekoGames is back with another stress busting, eye pleasing simple discovery game borrowing from the same formula as Ouka. This time, though, you're looking for the delicate, many-floreted chrysanthemum—petal by petal. Use the mouse to scroll about the soothing charcoal grey backdrop and figure out the rule that will bring all the petals back to form the lovely mum. Like a lovely vase encased in flowery bubble wrap, Kikka is both beautiful and gratifyingly fun.
It's the classic story of an alien invasion on Earth. Thank goodness for humankind's need of animal companionship, because it's our feline friends who hold our salvation. Fresh from LongAnimals with lovable art by Jimp, it's the physics puzzler, Star Claws. It's 32 levels of hissing and cat fights toward the demise of the not-so-friendly men from above, so grab a pack of catnip and help out these brave furry souls.
You're probably familiar with level editors, where you can take all the time you want to make the perfect level of your favorite game. Here you'll have to put those skills to good use in a puzzle platformer with a twist. With a further 35 levels, people who've cut their teeth on the first game should be ready to ace this one, and those who passed over the first as too easy might want to give this one a go.
Remember that hapless adventuring party you had to help out in Detarou's last escape game, Nani-Quest? They're in a jam again. In NaniKono-Quest, they (and you) are locked in some sort of complex with an Aztec or Mayan or Egyptian theme... it's hard to tell. Still, who can say no to a Detarou escape to help push them through one more work day before the weekend?
What time is it? Tasty Planet: Dinotime! Mathematical! The popular action series from Dingo Games is back, and this time things have gotten prehistoric. Like always, gameplay is one part Fishy and two parts Katamari as the ancient world faces the cutest darn grey goo scenario you ever did see, and you have the starring role as the goo! It's eat or be eaten as you grow from pebble-size to apatosaurus-size... and maybe just manage to do something about that huge asteroid in the sky.
There's plenty of hubbub about saving the whales, but we've really got to be worrying about our own hides. Whales are dangerous, you see., and you'll find out why in this arcade action sequel about causing chaos to ships and upgrading your whale. Moby Dick 2 makes for a great half-hour of destruction. It's also a great example of what will happen if we don't develop anti-whale countermeasures immediately.
When a work has an excellent premise, it's always interesting to find variations on the theme. Haydn knew it. Beethoven knew it. Now Conceptis gets on board with another in their popular series of browser versions of pen-and-paper puzzles, and this time the focus is on perhaps the most popular remix of that ongoing phenom, Sudoku. Chain Sudoku Light Volume 1, designed with the same care as its fellow works, is a twisty variant that's very, very good.
Our little hero feels out of place and ignored by society, but a new power to manipulate shapes might bring him the wrong kind of attention. A strange and somewhat clunky but silly little narrative wrapped up in a physics puzzle platformer, with some good old fashioned ancient cult business as the cherry on top.
There's a bomb in your keyboard, and only you and your trusty-dusty screwdriver can point-and-click through the puzzles that hide it to safely defuse it! This latest installment in the popular Dismantlement series might give you a serious case of deja vu, but if you're a fan of explosive everyday objects you'll probably still relish another opportunity to save the day.
Dummy never fails, but how about you? Can you guide him to the target on each level (after shooting him out of a cannon, naturally) and get him past all the obstacles... without sustaining much damage? This physics projectile puzzler is trickier than you might think, especially when you toss in gravity manipulation and a whole slew of pop culture dummies into the mix.
Check out this early effort from the great room escape designer Kotorinosu. While Color is a pretty basic, bare-bones escape it is definitely worth the effort, especially to see the genesis of what would come later. Even in this early design there are hints of the clever puzzles and solutions which would eventually make them one of the most popular room escape designers we've ever featured. Time to learn some color theory!
The Podge serves up another installment of this popular bloodless shooter series, this time dropping the tiny commandos into a jungle environment full of Baddies to blast, buildings to blow up, and civilians to save. Run, jump, and shoot your way through missions, earning stars to upgrade your units and cash to hire more powerful mercenaries to your cause.
The hero or villain of Goblin may look like a garden gnome but he's packing outsized malevolence in that tiny frame, because he's swallowed the colors of the sun and the moon. Point and click your way around his cottage to complete this slightly twisted fairytale and get the colors back.
- • Rose & Camellia
- • Grow Island
- • The Majesty of Colors
Who says weird is bad? This week's installment of the Vault focuses on three games we've branded "unique" that all take the moniker and run with it in different directions. From a soul-searching sea monster to a bustling island, to stately women slugging it out for respect, these are all games that might be a little different, but are more than a little memorable and awesome.
In Bullet Audyssey by Rete, it seems we've been invaded by celestial bodies, ones who send out their bullets to a thumping galactic rhythm. It's up to your tiny ship to weave your way through their forces, absorbing energy for your interstellar counterattack. Will the world rave about your shooter skills, or will the aliens just leave you in a trance?
The masters of the jigsaw at Plexus certainly weren't bundled up for winter when programming their latest mind-bending picture puzzle: FlutterBy. This time the subject is bugs and blossoms, drawn in a softer, more childlike style than we usually see from the developer. But don't let the big noses and sproingy antennae fool you: This is a puzzle that will take all your visual acuity to resolve into the final big picture.
The Ultimate Monster-Maze Puzzle Adventure. Any game with a tagline like that had better be a good game. The game stars Bark, a lovable floppy dog whose toys and friends have all been stolen into a dimensional portal to a world of monsters. As he rescues his companions, he gets their aid as well in solving the fiendish puzzles this world has to offer.
Bouncy Fire Fighters is a remake of an obscure 1989 Japan-only Famicom title, about a firefighter who rescues people from a burning building via an extremely bouncy form of the classic arcade game Breakout. Of course, the Nintendo one featured tiny 8-bit pixel art, whereas in this one the female fire victims put the bouncy in the title, if you know what I mean. Time marches on.
In Nitrome's 100th game, a fast-paced multiplayer shooter, two players have had enough with the developer's frustrating games and decide to take it out by launching a two man siege on the massive tower the company resides on. You'll need to nab power ups, weapons, and blast your way through floors of enemies and more to make it to the top. But don't think you can just tackle the tower on your own! Nitrome Must Die is a two-player game, meaning you can team up with a friend to reach the top... or perhaps fight against your ally.
If you have a keen eye, a love of solving puzzles and a high tolerance for pixel hunts, After Golden Bells by Timefall has quite a few charms. The key to escape is found via eight golden bells hidden amongst the modest surroundings; as you investigate every angle of the room, looking for answers to the puzzles that guard the bells, gustoso guitar music keeps pace with your efforts. After golden bells, then what? Just the simple satisfaction of a puzzle solved.
The latest in the Creeper World series of real-time strategy games, Creeper World: Evermore. With the same controls as the popular Creeper World: User Space, Evermore is easy to pick up and get to playing right away. The addition of a survival mode (in which you play out to Odin City's doom) makes this game really stand out and is sure to give you hours of fun!
If you aren't at all into real-world strategy board and card games, you probably haven't heard of Dominion. You're probably looking at the screenshot to the right, perhaps intrigued, maybe a little wary, but wondering nonetheless what in tarnation is going on. Luckily, once you've grasped the fundamentals, online Dominion is easy to jump into. If you're already a Dominion fan, you know why you should, and if you aren't yet a fan, you just might become one.
So, you're in the middle of a road trip, and it looks like there's some construction up ahead. The sign clearly says that cars need to merge to the left lane, but it seems like some geniuses are going to speed past the line forming and try to cut in at the last minute.Doesn't it make you judge want to climb on your roof, commandeer whatever vehicles come along, and carve a swath of explodey destruction across the interstate? Freeway Fury 2, an arcade racer new from Serius Games, lets you fulfill your wildest road rage fantasies in the comfort of your own home.
Lift for Life is an escape game by SuzumeDr, whom you may remember for Triangle a while back. The game takes place in a room with a somewhat athletic theme, as well as an adjustable glass table that's a little too low, a nice TV hooked to a game console, two strange pedestals that seem to react to one another, and a few other fixings. Naturally, you've got some puzzle-solving and some inventory management to do. It's a splendid escaper that's definitely worth a try to break up your weekday blues, so go out there and get your Lift on! For Life!
Every other member of the rebel army is dead, but in Armed With Wings: Culmination, the tyrant Vandheer Lorde is finally within your grasp. Can you hunt him down and put an end to his threat of world domination? Grab your katanas, folks, because Sun Studios has outdone themselves again with their latest action platformer of the Armed with Wings series.
In this room escape game by Nanchette, find a box of crayons and put them to use around the room building shelves and drawers, keys to unlock doors and other assorted useful objects. Scrawlings on the wall and floor transform into the beautiful creations you always knew you had in you, but Mom just couldn't see (Sheesh! You'd think she'd appreciate your amazingly affordable home redecorating.) Graffiti 2 is oodles of chromatic fun for the puzzle-solving interior designer in all of us.
Be a rogue, mage, or warrior and get your turn-based RPG fix as you struggle to stop an evil villain bent on a demonic ritual. Featuring solid writing, an excellent tutorial, and plenty of side-quests, it's amazing that Legend of the Void was all created by just one person.
Pixels! Love 'em or hate 'em? You might have no choice but to do the latter in this action-packed arcade shooter. Soak in the retro vibe as you blow apart incoming pixel enemies, raining laser fire down on the field to blast chunks off of them, and nabbing power-ups that drop to increase your strength.
- • Level Up!
- • endeavor
- • Robot Wants Kitty
Cats, gems, robots, and dwarves. What do they have in common? They're all starring in this week's installment of The Vault that celebrates some of our favourite Metroidvania style games! Running, jumping, exploring, tracking down new items and power ups... it's everything we love, and here are three of the games that have done it the best.
Pixel Quest is a retro-themed platform adventure starring Rex, an adventurer who wears a spiffy little hat. Finding treasure is his favorite activity, and today he's on the hunt for the Golden Frog idols. It's your job to keep Rex alive as you dash through several dozen levels, each well-stocked with falling spikes, lava pits, and traps that come out of nowhere. You know, standard treasure-hunting stuff!
Nobody knows how to make relaxing yet still brain-teasing puzzle games likeYoshio Ishii of NekoGames, and his new game OUKA is no exception. Move your cursor to a symbol of a cherry blossom (the meaning of "ouka" in Japanese) and click on it. Sound easy? Well, the symbol doesn't always play by the rules, and it's your job to figure out what the catch is in each of sixteen levels.
Just over two years ago from this day, a relatively unknown indie programmer called Notch posted about a work-in-progress version of a sandbox building game on the TIGSource forums. It was called Minecraft, and at the time, people thought it was really very cool. Fast forward to the present and Minecraft has sold over four million copies, been through extended alpha and beta phases, spawned the Mojang indie studio, and gained so much popularity, the launch of its official version took place at a Las Vegas convention dubbed MineCon. That's an impressive feat for any game, let alone one started by a single person. But now, Minecraft is officially out. No more beta, no more alpha, it's here. Time to lose yourself in a voxel world all over again!
Imagine that you want to get some delicious jelly beans. However, when you attempt to get them, you set the floor beneath you on fire, and if you're not quick enough, you drop into the unfathomable ocean. That would pretty much suck, right? How about if there were also disturbingly cheerful creatures hanging around who seemed to take unseemly joy into bursting into flames and setting ablaze floor you hadn't even gotten to yet? Such is the unfortunate life of Firebug, star of his own puzzle platform game.