Not terribly complex, but a fun five to ten minute room escape game with logical and surprisingly original puzzles. As the title implies, a perfect break in the clouds of humdrum and a few minutes in the sun, a perfect theme for our Weekday Escape!
A high-difficulty minimalist platformer by Noxious Hamster, Spikes Tend To Kill You 2 makes no bones about its brutal difficulty. However tough it is though, the challenges are mostly fair, and clever level design and dialogue will keep players interested, even after the 500th impalement.
Yo ho ho and a treasure chest of physics puzzle levels! In this much improved revamp of Totems Awakening, you'll need to be quick with your mouse to toss a gold coin safely back to the treasure chest, with some help from your pirate chums and your friendly neighborhood bombs and teleportation devices. Teleportation devices are in ALL the best pirate movies.
- • Casual Gameplay Escape
- • Crazy Doors of Rainbow Colors
- • Magneto Syndrome
ESCAPE!... through games, that is. The "escape" genre is an odd one, one that doesn't even sound like it should even be any fun, but for years now designers have thought up new ways to trap you with fiendish puzzles, and the audience is loving every megabyte of it. This week's Vault peeks at three of our favourite escape games that approach the genre from slightly different angles.
Playing a secret agent is always fun, even when it's pared down to a simple one-button game, like in Agent Turnright by Pencilkids. 16 levels of mini-games await you and your right pointer finger as you help Turnright work his way to defeating the boss and winning the girl. In how many clicks can you complete this adventure?
TeraLumina, who already showered us in rubies, sapphires and diamonds, indulges us once more with its best, and most challenging, escape game to date. All four walls of this lavishly decorated room are filled with clues, useful objects and all kinds of goodies to explore and delight every escaper's whim. You'll be hard-pressed to keep track of heaps of clues for the multiple puzzles, a number of which take on mini-game proportions. With its gorgeous graphics, thinky puzzles and cohesive gameplay, it's safe to say Emerald Den Escape shines amongst the best in the genre.
The enthusiasm of "Alice is Dead" developer Hyptosis branches out into the turn-based RPG genre in his new game Relic, where the titular object might destroy the world in the wrong hands and it's up to your ragtag group of sexy and/or adorable adventurers to get it back. Featuring an array of imaginatively designed beasties for enemies and some lovely maps, this is a quick romp you can beat in a few hours. Saving the world needn't take all day.
Like others in the Robamimi "Who Am I?" escape-the-room game series, your successfully exiting depends on whether or not you can guess the mystery identity in five clues or less. That answer is your exit code yet you're still tasked with solving a few light puzzles and gathering the necessary parts to open the door. Perhaps the easiest "Who Am I" to date, a few lateral jumps in your critical thinking are just about all to hold you back. Everything you love about Robamimi is here, though. As it turns out, Robamimi loves you, too!
When your paint factory experiences disaster, you must move through twenty-two rooms of toxic hazards and labyrinth obstacles using your platforming skills and your paint gun. The challenge grows harder with each new level but with the help of two special new paint colors—slippery fast orange and super bouncy green—you get to be the hero. There's plenty of cool party hats to collect and achievements galore for instant gratification to encourage you along. The final, timed level is a devil to get past but the cheers of your rescued co-workers will be worth it. By the way, who pushed the factory destroy button?
You know what really grinds my gears? Not being able to get that golden gear out from underneath that mess of beams and curves. In Clockwork, you can slide and shuffle your cares away in a clever puzzler where it takes perfect synchronization to free the gear from its elaborate entrapment.
In the year 2049, all the water on Earth has been depleted. The nearest source of the good stuff is our friendly neighborhood Mars. So... let's go get it, shall we? Mars Commando is a defense game that emphasizes unit placement and strategy over swarms of soldiers, allowing you to earn the satisfaction of eradicating thousands of aliens with half a dozen of your own troops.
In Tiny Airships, you'll use your airship to defend your home against the vile Tyrian Empire and hopefully you'll manage it without plummeting to the earth. The various combinations of upgrades add a nice level of depth, since you can customize your craft to suit your play style.
Proke, a word game developed by Peter Hastings, is all about vocabulary building... literally! The goal of it is to build a mighty tower to the heavens, and your only tools are quick thinking and linguistic fortitude. While racing the clock, type a word that has the designated prefix or suffix, or for extra height, both. The faster you type, the higher you'll build. Extra points can be scored for typing the letters that appear in Bonus Bubbles, or doing combos of words with same prefix/suffix. Proke is a light kind of game, but it's very addictive.
Monsters never seem to have altruistic agendas. Whether it's scarfing down brains, scaring children, or mucking about with your spreadsheets so you think you did your taxes wrong (the horror!), if a monster comes near, you should probably ready your defenses. Such is the case with Monster TD, a well-illustrated side view tower defense game from Booblyc, the same team behind the physics puzzle game Steampunk.
TeraLumina makes a reappearance in Weekday Escape with this gem-tastic selection. Once again you're locked inside an upscale, decorously furnished apartment. Besides searching for clues to exit, you'll also be on the lookout for eighteen sapphires furtively lurking in every nook and cranny. The changing cursor and well-organized inventory helps with that as you put your deductive reasoning skills to the test. While perhaps not enough to make us forget our favorite room escape designers, Sapphire Room Escape still manages to sparkle with escaping fun.
Internet cat pictures have finally brought about the end of the world, and the dead are walking! Where are you? Trapped at work, of course. In this unique and tricky action strategy game, you'll guide groups of survivors across increasingly complex levels in a huge office building, nabbing evidence, avoiding zombies, setting yourself on fire, and much more.
Prince Ivan is just raring to go for a big adventure. And he's got the right goods for a fairytale in the making what with sisters under a spell, witches, evil monsters and so much more! Playtinum Games' latest point-and-click adventure isn't just using the right item in the right hotspot. You are also tasked in making a catalogue of potions and coins. Let the hand-drawn graphics sweep you away into your very own fantasy story!
Bad guys! They just won't stop, will they? Luckily for us, we've got a top-hatted, goggle-wearin' steampunk hero ready to lend a hand! In this collection of crafty and creative user-made levels for the original physics puzzle game, click and remove objects to get the hero to safety, but don't hesitate to blow the bad guy out of the water (and into all that whirring machinery) if you get the chance. It's simple but well made, and the perfect little escape from your day.
- • Closure
- • Continuity
- • Spewer
Sure you could stomp a goomba or bust open some bricks if you had to, but what if you needed to solve some complex mental challenges while you were doing so? This week's Vault celebrates brains over brawn and combines them with light feel and quick reflexes in the puzzle platformer!
Papa's at it again, sneakily tricking you into running his latest venture... a pancake house! It doesn't matter if you're inexperienced, the customers are at your door and you're going to have to learn that griddle on the fly. Build towers of fluffy golden goodness and decorate them with delicious toppings, earn new items for your menu OR for your shop, and even play a variety of mini-games. It's another dose of the time management action you've come to love from the Papa's series, with all the breakfast artistry you could possibly want. Now I'm hungry...
A fun, and slightly insightful, collection of arcade mini-games from the London Science Museum and Preloaded, Futurecade is flashy neon-drenched action that's just a little educational. The quartet of games includes Bacto-Lab, Robo-Lobster, and Cloud Control, Space Junker, and while each isn't particularly deep, they're sure to get you thinking.
If you've ever dreamed of being a daredevil (even if it's in a stolen shopping cart), then try out Monkey Want Banana's latest installment in their launch game series, Shopping Cart Hero 3. Learn different stunts, add groupies and pimp your cart as you fly through three worlds with a few boss battles. Just remember to turn your cart upright after a trick... a dead groupie is no groupie at all.
When your world's about to end, is there any better goal than to become a god? Point and click your way out of whatever fate has in store for this place. It's your task to put together the missing pieces of the magical seal that'll transport you to your final destination where you can finally transcend a mortal's life and live in your dream. Buck up, young soul, godhood awaits!
Blast aliens on Planet Blirp, an sidescrolling action shooter from Helmet Games. A very familiar kind of game, though its variety of mission objectives and humorous storyline separate it from the pack. An emphasis on grinding and a steep learning curve mar the experience, but overall it is a solid time-waster.
You can't look around. You can't check your inventory. You can try weeping, but expect Australian comedian John Robertson to taunt you if you do. ("Is there anything as sad as tears only you can feel but nobody can see?") If you're going to escape from this YouTube-based puzzler, you'll need to think outside the box. Actually, that won't help you either. You're not in a box. You're in the Dark Room.
Ms. Particle-Man! Ms. Particle-Man! Showing off things that Silverlight can! What's it like? Pretty good! Ms. Particle-Man! A fun little work from Picobots where the quest for the Higgs Boson particle takes on the guise of a 1980s arcade hit, Ms. Particle-Man is so aggressively science-geeky and displays such love for the games it emulates, that a nostalgia trip is almost inevitable.
A flight of fancy makes young Nelly venture out of her house alone one night, and she winds up stumbling straight into trouble of the "deep, dark, deadly" variety. Will she survive her journey through this melancholy yet oddly beautiful realm? Only your puzzle-solving and platforming skills will tell in this short but striking little adventure.
Detarou delivers once again in this challenging yet surreal escape game that also holds a weird sort of logic if you know how to look at it. With five endings to uncover, a depressed man stuck in a wall, accusatory children, and an ineffective superhero, it's every bit as strange as you might expect, and a welcome bit of escaping for your brain.
Sigma Studio's chilled-out chain-reaction molecule-clearing puzzle game is back with a new installment, Atomic Puzzle 2! Similar to it's predecessor, the game is bright, colorful, soothing, and could use a little more documentation. With a nice difficulty curve and a zen presentation, Atomic Puzzle 2 is perfect for a little molecular meditation.
When one alien is carted off by the government, it's up to the remaining one to save it. Which isn't nearly as impossible as it sounds, since these aliens are towering colossi with lasers, pincer feets, and a penchant for causing mass destruction wherever they go. A simple but extremely stylish little action game that allows you to indulge the stomping alien beast in you as you set out to rescue your companion while destroying all the buildings, people, and resistance in your way.
Winterish room takes place in a large, comfortable room that echoes the season of the title. It's not an exceedingly long or difficult room escape, but there's enough puzzle solving involved to keep you busy for a few minutes at least, and the lovely backgrounds and entertaining puzzles are sure to be a hit with room escape fans.
The Love Letter is a unique stealth experimental game by Alex Cho Snyder and Pat Kemp, where you must read a note from a secret admirer while dodging the taunts of your classmates. Originally a Ludum Dare entry, The Love Letter is a short bit of sweetness that will have you going "AWWW!" by the end.
Zombies Inc., by Aethos Games, is a fun time management game where you run a corporation hoping to gain a monopoly in the field of world-domination. Balance issues pervade, but it should still prove addictive to any fan of zombies, time management or both.
- • Ginormo Sword
- • Zilch
- • Music Catch
Hey, JiG-fans. I have to admit that I don't really know where I am right now. I mean, when I woke up, I found myself locked in this weird room. Good thing I was able to get a Wi-Fi password by breaking that creepy clown statue in the corner, and so am able to bring you another wonderful round of classics from the JayIsGames Vault! This week, we've got a surprisingly deep retro-RPG, a dice game that'll keep your week rolling, and an absolute masterpiece of music play.
A somewhat steep difficulty curve can't hide the polish and enchantment of this interactive art/hidden-object adventure. Young Sellar Dore runs away from home and the constant fighting of her parents, but years later, news of a devastating earthquake prompts her to return home... as long as she can earn the money for her ticket by tracking down the important items other people have lost in this surreal fantasy world.
Lovely? Check. Creepy? Check. Moody? Triple-check! More interactive-art than anything else, this short point-and-click adventure takes you on an otherworldly journey from deep underground to your ultimate destination, past obstacles at once strange, tricky, and frightening. It isn't particularly challenging, but The Old Tree is a beautiful bit of stylised adventure to indulge in.
Captain Skyro is a classic "pull back and fling" game similar to the old browser series Sling, only instead of tossing around squishy gross things, now you get to control a pirate! Grappling up through the clouds, you'll encounter cargo holds full of crazy obstacles, clouds that you'll swear are out to get you, and score-based gameplay that will inspire you to go back and play again, just so you can nab that last coin!
If you've played a spot-the-difference game, either in your browser or on a mobile device, chances are you've seen one or more releases from Difference Games, a studio dedicated to visually stunning, easy to play spot the difference games. Twisted Fairytales: Pinnochio is one such release, incorporating graphic novel-style storyboards and three levels of difficulty to make your pixel hunting as challenging or as casual as you please!
There's a zombie apocalypse happening, and only one man can stop it!... maybe... hopefully! Rupert picks up his trusty gun and bowler hat, determined to stop a bitter necromancer and make the streets of London safe once again in this repetitive but quirky and entertaining action shooter with a wonderfully morbid cartoon style.
Launch a bouncy robot into space in Last Robot 2, an action platform game by Karma Team. Dodge bombs, leap from clouds, and continue ever upward to stay alive. Along the way, you can collect coins and purchase up to 24 upgrades to make your robot better - faster - stronger! A handful of achievements and an easy learning curve make for an addictive adventure into the cosmos.
Somehow, we must have missed the episode of National Geographic where they explained how all fish float around frozen, just waiting for explosives to be dropped to free them, so they can then be gobbled up by an opportunistic octopus. It may sound grim, but this frantic, vivid, and colourful chain reaction arcade game packed with achievements and upgrades is anything but.
Train up a duck in the way he should run, swim, fly, climb, and jump, and when he enters a tournament he will not depart from it. A well known proverb of Duck Life, well-illustrated in this fourth installment in the series, which takes your ducks from the grasslands to the big city in search of glory and silly hats. Fifteen minigames help keep the grinding fun.
Under orders from your demanding master it is up to you to brave the perilous city and retrieve the precious golden eggs in this physics puzzle platformer sequel to the original. Be prepared for spiked walls, laser guns, angry dogs, and an assortment of other weapons waiting to foil your brilliant egg snatching plans.
When a prince is turned into a frog then trained into a ninja, what do you get? A puzzle platformer that's a bit like Sticky Ninja Academy only less sticky and more... green. Help Kaeru collect enough magic gems to reverse the curse by using physics and mouse-driven controls to navigate surfaces, avoiding those hazards that make you go "Splat!" Ninja Frog starts out easy then quickly becomes a lesson in discipline and diligence yet it remains compelling and fun for those who take great satisfaction in their accomplishments. Aah, Grasshopper, you have learned well.
Daymare Invaders, an arcade shooter, isn't a particularly complicated game. Essentially, it's Space Invaders with a Daymare skin. But you know what? The hand-drawn art of the Daymare world is as hauntingly beautiful as it was when we first saw it. If you go in expecting anything more than a clone, you'll be disappointed. If, however, you approach it knowing what it is (a classic minigame and a tantalizing preview of installments to come), you'll find a very tasty piece of eye candy.
Use your point-and-click puzzle skills to help a squishy green extraterrestrial outsmart a gangly crew of FBI agents, hitchhike his way through town and blast off into space in this funny interactive cartoon from Gamezhero. You'll rely on trial-and-error as much as logic, and you'll need to keep your eyes open for the right time to grab collectible souvenirs. Alien's Quest is super cute, loads of fun and sure to make you the envy of your Area 51 conspiracy theorist peers.
In this puzzle platform game by Vyacheslav Stepanov, you'll do more than tapping arrow keys to move through all twenty-four levels. Use the [spacebar] to turn your creature into a stone step or shield but be sly, plan your way carefully: their numbers are limited. With a smooth difficulty progression plus a fair amount of challenge, you can breeze through, maybe even earning all seventy-two stars easy-peasy, and still make with a solid good time.
A fun, pretty and heart-racing forward-scrolling racing game from longanimals, Neon Race 2 is the kind of game you'd be happy to drop five dollars in quarters on at the old arcade. Expect pavement, police cars, turbo-boosts, ramps and random explosions aplenty.
Have you ever wondered how to combine a puzzle you love, like sudoku, with something you've always feared, like gym class? Maybe not gym class, but how about math class? Conceptis Puzzles' CalcuDoku Light is the latest edition in their Conceptis Light series, and this puzzle pack features plenty of mathematical mayhem to keep you occupied.
Police are on the lookout for a slimy, green bandit stealing everyone's coins. It's none other than Swindler, Nitrome's latest challenge. You've got to dangle the blobby bandit and turn the world around to get him to the treasure, all while dodging some fierce enemies and deadly traps. Can you pull off the perfect, albeit sticky, heist?
As Magnet Kid, it's your job to search for some arms, avoid spikes and maybe learn a little about magnets on the way. This tough puzzle platformer has you swapping polarities in true magnetic fashion as you strive to reach the exit of each stage.
Unmanned, a piece of interactive art by Molleindustria and Jim Munroe, lets you step into a pilot of a drone missile launcher. More than that though, it lets you step into a husband and a father and a human. Likely to divide opinion, as its excellent writing and atmosphere is hampered by the interesting-but-flawed dual-screen game-mechanics, Unmanned remains a provocative work.
This physics puzzle may be low on challenge but it's big on adorability. (Yes, that is now a word.) Rocanten has imprisoned helpless yet placid balloons and it's up to you to set them free (or destroy them) by manipulating the environment. The colourful presentation and easy gameplay makes this more one for the kids or a coffee break, but it's a perfectly casual little game anyone can enjoy without straining the old gray matter.
Robamimi is back with this tasty little escaping treat, a small yet satisfying snack for the room escape afficionado. Feeling a bit peckish? Want to sate the late-night cravings? Hungry is definitely the way to satisfy your hunger for a fun, logical room escape. Just be warned, though, because while Hungry may conquer your escaping hunger, it may also cause a bad case of the munchies for something more substantial than instant cup-o-noodles. Time to take a bite!
The Fabulous Screech has a traveling show, and you have one very expensive ticket to see it, given to you by someone you love. Jonas Kyratzes returns to the Lands of Dream in this short but extremely potent little narrative/point-and-click adventure about love, loss, and perspective.
What's a kid gotta do to prove her worth these days? Well, when your father's a Viking, it's a lot more complicated than just doing your homework and remembering to brush your hair. This point-and-click puzzle adventure has a few issues that holds it back from superstardom, but the stellar presentation and simple, charming adventure makes it the perfect, simple adventure for anyone in your family.
These tiny star-crossed lovers are far from Shakespeare's imaginings in this spot-the-difference game by Difference Games. Throughout each of the eight story pages, find and click on the differences between the two nearly identical pictures—the quicker you are, the higher your score. You can play more than once, choose between three levels of difficulty and use the handy hint button if you do get stuck. Enjoy this sugary bite of cuteness when you have only a moment to pause for play.
- • Fishing Girl
- • Potion Panic
- • Andrew the Droid
When you want serious casual gaming, you want something with chutzpah. You need to harness the power of anger and boulder tossing and hamburger grilling and car repair and taking out the garbage. You need something manly, and thus have we provided you with three ultra-manly games from our well-stocked archives. What's more manly than fishing? Explodey science? Robots? Nothing, we tell you. Nothing!
A Tale by Alex from Digital Dreams is a sidescrolling adventure told in three areas at the same time. You control Alex in three worlds simultaneously, jumping, attacking, and collecting coins like synchronized swimmers gone to ground. The bottom level is Alex's real self, but up above is the fantasy realm conjured by his imagination. Evil goldfish, a dark forest, and turtles the size of a Buick? Hey, if he can dream it, it can take form and attack his imaginary avatars!
Captain Commander: Defender of the Galaxy! Crash landed on an alien planet, it's up to him and the trusty blaster at his side, to run, jump, shoot, drive and fly across the landscape, decimating the population and rescuing his comrades from their probe-happy captors. A fine retro run-and-gun action game from PixelJAM and Adult Swim, there's be much havoc to wreak, and many green things to insult before the mission is over.
Dungeon King is an action-RPG from Bulletproof Arcade filled with monsters to smash, gold to loot and experience bars to fill, all within a stunning presentation you wouldn't expect to find from a Flash game. Monster genocide earns you experience points and at each level you get five skill points to boost stats like damage, critical rate and armor. There's no cinematic plot here aside from a short introductory cutscene; it's just you, a dungeon and an army of bad guys who need a good axing. Try the free browser demo and see if it doesn't get your fingers twitching for a rampage.
Vanish Rain is a zombie shooter with defense elements. You're helping devoted sister Anna survive for 15 days in zombie-infested Riverhead City as she waits for her brother's return. Wholesale slaughter of zombies will earn you money, which you can spend on new guns, upgrades and repairs during the intermission between each day.
The butterfly effect meets spot-the-difference in this three-part series of puzzle games by FunBunGames. Through the magic of suspension-of-disbelief, a blithly thoughtless young lady learns that cruelty toward fluttery insects can result in either unhappy pairings with the town bully or romantic picnics with sensitive artists. The story unfolds as you scan through each scene looking for the cleverly-rendered differences. Changes are random so you can play again and again. As it turns out, chaos theory is actually quite fun!
Ziggy Fraud will never learn, at least not as long as he can bend reality to his will in weird ways and his noble chicken steed is there to carry him from danger! The follow-up to Humbug is distinctly more of a straight-up puzzle platformer with difficulty this time around, but the bizarre sense of humour is definitely intact.
The city of Chi-hog-o has been under the iron snout of Pig Capone for far too long. It's up to our old friend Hambo and our new friend Bacon to use their kind words and guns to smoke out the swine lord once and for all. Fans of the original should recognize the hallmarks of this puzzle/shooter hybrid: the wide selection of weapons, the cheeky sense of humor, the clever level design, the slippery physics, the stringent ammo requirements, and the comprehensive level editor.
They say no news is good news, but WE DEFY YOU and bring it to you anyway! This week, something scary is happening on the internet, some chick is about to be lit on fire, a baby chicken shows you pretty pictures, and more!
Have you ever had a legion of avaricious specters try to mess with you as you hang out around your money tree, forcing you to break out the ectoplasmic shotguns to fend them off? If so, please let us know what it's like, since it's probably a situation most of us won't encounter in our lives. Still, we can get an incredibly simulation of it in Greed Ghouls, new from Christopher Gregorio. An action game with elements of the shooter and defense genre, it's kind of a miss-mash of competing ideas, but overall, a very entertaining one.
Does your local terrain have too much flatness and nowhere nearly enough ramps? Then come on down and check out Rod Hot's Hot Rod Racing, new from Turbo Nuke, for all your racing action needs. A spiritual successor to the Cyclomaniac series, with all the inexplicable car flipping we've come to expect, the emphasis on customization is cool, even if it comes with a grindy cost.
In a land where everything is drawn with colored pencils and everyone is a stick figure with some encouraging word... the planets (plus Pluto) have been kidnapped and there's only one thing that can save them... the sun! That's right, in the new physics puzzler by Jesse T Gonzalez, The Sun Goes to Space, you control the sun in its rescue attempt. This is surely a game of high difficulty, but the cute graphics and words of stick figure inspiration should keep you going at it. After all, don't you want to know if the hero wins the girl/saves humanity/survives to live another day?
Sqr is a retro-styled gravity-based puzzle game from Denis Shilo and Constantine Zaytsev. It looks all simple and unassuming on the surface, what with its 8-bit pixel art and plain tile layout, but once you get twisted within its arrows and buttons, boxes and automated turrets, you'll stop thinking "sokoban" and start thinking "crazy logic puzzle that's trying to kill me"!
One of Nerdook's first games was the minesweeper-inspired mystery puzzle ClueSweeper, and obviously he has a soft spot for the genre because he's dipping in that well again to bring you Super Samurai Sweeper. Turn over tiles to fight mooks and earn silver to upgrade yourself. You'll need to make every click count to defeat seven daimyos on your way to the shogun.
Although many room escape aficionados prefer long, complicated escapes, sometimes there's enjoyment to be found in brevity, especially if it's done correctly. Chikarou 3 is a short yet memorable and logical little escape game, a perfect 5 minute and out exercise in escaping. Come enjoy Monte Cristoing your way out of this amusing little dungeon, hopefully with no need for a long, protracted plan of vengeance once you've made it.
It's tough to decide between two classics, so FonGeBooN has offered a unique solution: play both at the same time! That's what TETRISweeper is in a nutshell: a unique fusion of the tetromino-sorting gameplay of Tetris and the mine-avoiding tension of Minesweeper. TETRISweeper is an intense game to say the least, but surprisingly fun to fans of both its parent games.
Whoa... what happened last night? You remember leaving the waller around 10... Did you have one too many swigs of slop? How the heck did you end up in this stump? Where is everyone? Well, I guess it can't be helped. You'll just have to get started on the long, dusty, spike-filled road back to your pen. Mr. Bree Returning Home is an award-winning platform game by TawStudio Entertainment, taking home Best Art Game at the 2011 Brazilian Games Symposium. It's up to you to ensure this little piggy makes it all the way home.
- • Sonny
- • Caravaneer
- • Monsters' Den: Book of Dread
It's a three letter genre you either love or love to hate. The RPG is one of the oldest types of games around, and has grown considerably from its early days at the hands of Miyamoto or Garriott. This week's Vault serves up three different examples of the genre that serve to remind us that there a million ways to incorporate it, but there hasn't been a decent Final Fantasy since Terra and Kefka. Yes, I went there.
Hot Tub Heist is a gloriously silly action arcade game from Beef Jack Studios. It stars a speedo-clad body-builder who must abandon his daily GTL routine, so that he may battle through a collapsing high rise, to reach the safety of the alien-proof subway below. Hot Tub Heist is goofy, but its constant race to the bottom is a compelling premise.
So, you think you're the Sultan of Sokoban? The Titan of Tiles? The Big Cheese of Block Pushing? HA! Let's see how you fare now that James Newcombe has come back with a new release in his popular Amiga-inspired Cyadonia series. There'll be all sorts of things to trip you up: mines, arrows, pushblocks, dissolvers, switches, glue patches, bounce-backs, teleporters, one-way walls, and much, much more. It's Cyad 2, and it's ready to bring you all the pleasures of pure puzzling.
Arzea is a Metroidvania-style adventure game that demonstrates the kind of danger that magic can lead to. You're a wizard stranded in a strange world with only your wits and a variety of spells and upgrades to help you get home. Your main goal is to find your way home from the strange land of Arzea. There's at least a good half hour of gameplay here, probably closer to an hour if you're out to find all the upgrades and collectible shards.
Nitrome's Rainbogeddon is a retro-riffic, Pacman-esque quarter-grabber updated for the twenty-first century. The addition of power-ups, destructible level, and more varied enemies makes for a surprisingly strategic twist on a familiar classic. Add a very '80s presentation and Nitrome's trademark charm, and you've got a fine modern take on vintage arcade gaming without ever having to go to the arcade.
Sometimes, it seems like we could all use an extra pairs of hands. There's just so much to do around the house: taking out the garbage, washing the dishes, pushing around the giant crate collection, flinging yourself across that inconvenient electrified spike-filled pit in the backyard, defeating the neighborhood evil overlord. Wouldn't having a clone on-hand just be great? Keybol apparently thought so, and the result is Splitman, and it's good ol' puzzle platforming fun.
It's-a me, Mario! And William. And Tim. And a whole bunch of other awesome people. This week's Link Dump Friday not only features the usual batch of interesting news, but also features an interview with the one and only Lucas Paakh, creator of the wildly popular William and Sly games.
Scan each scene in this short but thoroughly interesting spot-the-difference game by FlashRomance, seeking the sometimes obvious and other times minute incongruities between the mirrored images, then set them right with a quick click. An aesthetically diverse array of inner city settings with atmospheric sound effects, music and animations add deeper dimensions to your exploratory fun. The eyes can be fooled and the mirror is deceiving, which is why finding the Errors of Reflection can be both challenging and gratifying. So use your powers of observation and take a poke at both sides of the looking glass—the beauty is in the details.
Dragon Quest is one of the easier physics games we've featured and it won't take you long to make your way through it. Most of the puzzles involve finding creative ways to dispatch enemies; a favorite has you dumping a skeleton into a fire pit by way of a wall of barrels, Donkey Kong-style! You also get to mess with a variety of physics-based props like ballistae and drawbridges. There's enough charm in the puzzles to make it worth a look, though. Just be careful... they say dragons have pretty terrible breath. Must be all those knights they eat.
Show me the fun! Sure this jigsaw puzzle from the brilliant team at Plexus starts with the most romantic phrase ever quoted, but does it deliver? You bet. Gorgeous, brightly-colored individual images which fit together perfectly to form one unified picture. Use arrows to rotate then click to drag each piece into place. It's both complex yet simple, exceedingly charming and definitely fun to play.
Figure out puzzles and use the power of physics to bring the monsters under the bed to justice, through the cute (if Skyrim-obsessed) duo of Ninja Bear and Purple Teddy. And if you're up for some hidden object bonus, collect all the yin-yang symbols too. An excellent variety of challenges and an easy to use interface, plus original music and voice acting, make this a game that really has players' enjoyment in mind.
Ever since the eighties, gamers have known that there is no greater friendship than that of a boy and his blob. It's as true for Fancy-Pants Styled stickmen who live in a world of notebook paper as it was on the NES. And considering how crazy that notebook paper world can get, they'll need to push their teamwork skills to the limit. Otherwise... they'll just end up Crumpled. An artistic platformer by Oslo Albet, Crumpled is beautifully animated with clever level design, though marred by wonky controls.
The designers behind Tesshi-e go down memory lane with this fresh remake of their very first escape game and they drag us along for the ride. It's a wonderful, nostalgic look back that brings those old, simple designs into the stunning present. With its stunning graphics, involving puzzles, and two endings, Mild Escape 1 is a fantastic addition to the Tesshi-e escape catalogue.
At first, To Nothing sounds like a misnomer for SuzumeDr's newest escape game. You start out in a somewhat sparsely furnished room with nothing in your hands except a black-and-white sports bag. You dump out the bag's contents and instantly all the slots in your inventory are full. The catch? As you go around and solve puzzles, every object in the room and in your inventory will... disappear, one by one. It's hard to be original in a well-established genre like the room escape, but SuzumeDr is definitely good at his trade.
Muu's quiet little cave-dwelling life is about to be turned upside down when he sets out to find the source of an explosion that rocks the land. Though short and somewhat challenging, this platformer packs a lot of appealing retro charm into a small package and is worth checking out for the fifteen minutes or so it'll take you.
This lyrical work of interactive fiction, brainchild of Jonas Kyratzes who created The Book of Living Magic, will envelope you in a surrealistic experience of discovery, a gentle stroll through a timeless pastoral state where your decisions are rewarded with rich verse and life-pondering revelations. Each passage presents you with a choice which will determine your path; stroll slowly through the experience and play more than once to fully appreciate the outcomes of each option. Arcadia: a Pastoral Tale elevates the oft misjudged browser game onto the loftier plane of artistic poignancy.
- • Aether
- • The Fog Fall
- • Mr. Coo: El Laberinto Esférico
Earth is boring! Who needs this stupid old spinning blue ball when there's a whole universe out there to explore? But fear not; even if you aren't Richard Garriot you can still explore the realms beyond with this collection of strange and otherworldly games!
Who knew that everything through the looking glass was actually made of cardboard? Yamada Box Legend is a quirky fantasy game that sends you spiraling into the Cardboard World after being the stooge for a magician's vanishing act. It's a graphically pleasing puzzle RPG adventure that will draw you in with its bizarre characters and engaging gameplay.
Robamimi never fails to delight escape-the-room aficionados with beautiful yet minimalistic interior design, light puzzles that require thought without enervating the brain, and buoyant endings that leave us smiling in accomplishment. Move about the room following the arrow keys, clicking on anything that begs closer examination and keeping an eye out for clues, no matter how surreptitiously found, until you find your way out. With its seamless, intuitive quality to gameplay, a neatly organized inventory, and lack of misdirection, Sound Color R turns a graceful and serene diversion into a spark of vibrancy and music to light up your day.
We've all had that problem. You know, the one where the Netbots start to plug up the kitchen sink so the water doesn't drain. Or the one where the Netbots keep your bowling ball from coming back down the ball return at the local bowling alley. Managing the Netbots can be quite a tricky task, as a group of scientists find out in Maik Haider's Netbots, a puzzle where you have to learn to divide to conquer.
Similar in concept to the Total Perspective Vortex, from Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, The Scale of the Universe 2 isn't really a game, but it'll still blow your mind. You start at human scale and can scroll all the way down to theoretical concepts like strings or all the way up to the potential size of the universe. That's pretty big, and you have to scroll for a long, long, long time time to get back to human scale from there. It's kind of terrifying, honestly. Try not to think about it too much.
Feed some peckish porcupines in pursuit of the perfect Philly "sammich". Strap a porcupine into the slingshot and aim, clearing a stage of balloons using as few rodents as possible. Each color balloon affects your prickly pal's trajectory differently and you'll have to contend with air currents and pesky clouds to boot. Plus, you'll get to brush up on your geography as the porcupines bounce their way across America on their quest to the City of Sammich-y Love.
ChatChat is an online multiplayer game by Terry Cavanagh, creator of VVVVVV. It's a highly intricate simulation involving deep-level behavioral algorithms and calculus-based — wait, no it isn't! It's about being a kitty! The wildest dream of every internet human has come true in this simple little game, giving you full permission to nap, purr, meow, and catch mice to your furry heart's content.
Imagine a dimension not only of sight, but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are imagination. This should help put you in the right state of mind before you venture into Louis (T)'s unique puzzle platformer, where you control a black pawn in 4-dimensional space. Your goal in each of the 14 levels is to touch the grey checkpoints through what looks like some impossible jumping. This game will blow your mind! Or possibly just blow it up.
Mission in Space: The Lost Colony is an extremely customizable turn-based strategy game with an easy-to-use interface and variety of challenges that will please players of any skill level. Plus it has a valuable lesson about the dangers of ventilation ducts. Spoiler alert: they contain aliens.
Is it a lucid dream by someone highly feverish? Is it a new escape game from Detarou? Well, why the heck can't it be both? It's JanJan Escape, and, as is standard for the genre, there are puzzles to solve and a room you must get out of. Not standard for the genre, of course, is the bed full of spaghetti, the leering koala man, the salaryman-swatting plant creature, and the pot-headed duo in the wrestling onesies. Of course, they're pretty standard for Detarou, as all the hair-pulling but logical puzzles.