Those gosh-darn Giraffe-neck-extending Russkies are at it again! No longer content to simply stretch their ungulates up through the stratosphere, now it seems that they won't be satisfied until they've gone across the horizontal horizon as well. Yes, it's Soviet Rocket Giraffe, an amusing new launch/platformer hybrid from Jmtb02, a guy who knows a little something about launching animals into space. And while some of the elements are more than a little familiar, there's no finer forgotten chapter of the space race than this, comrade.
You can keep your CGI mippy-maps and digitally inserted explosions. In my mind, what the best movie stunts need is non-negotiable: An actual dude, in an actual car, making actual jumps (possibly with an actual dude hanging from the rear axle with an actual whip). I suppose then it's a little contradictory that I turn to computer gaming to recreate this real-life experience, but Stunt Crazy, the new physics driving game by The Podge definitely has the right spirit... and a ton of stuff that goes boom. Can't forget that.
Zounds! A movie-tie-in advergame that is a 16-bit platformer and doth not suck? And one that doth has been made by retro king Big Pixel Studios! Yea, verily! I personally may be a bigger fan of the Distinguished Competition, but any game that lets you control a Norse God that flings lightning and hammers around is certainly worth a look. Yes, it's Thor: Bring the Thunder, just released on the main Marvel site. Indeed, I've heard that the company has just released a 150 million dollar movie for the sole purpose of promoting this game. Was it a waste of money? By Odin's beard, I say thee nay!
- • P.i.g
- • Kulkis
- • Nyan Cat FLY!
- • Blow Things Up 2
- • Drawing Room
Portals, cats, spikes, bombs, and pencils make up this week's edition of Link Dump Friday, but definitely not vegetables. Arcade action, platforming, and escaping, though? Totally got you covered.
Checkpoint is a quick-fire arcade platform game that's as much about avoiding things that make you die as it is getting killed. Created by Hero Interactive (Bubble Tanks, Storm Winds), Checkpoint goes the extra mile and taunts you with running commentary on each level, reminding you why you're a terrible gamer, questioning your every move, and laughing at you when you fail. On top of that, you're being timed and your deaths are tallied, so if your ego isn't crushed by Hero Interactive throughout the course of the game, just wait for your pitiful final score at the end!
As with most escapes, Button is set in a room filled with all manner of doodads and puzzles: a few paintings on the wall, a red couch, a grandfather clock mysteriously missing its hands, a bookshelf... and a tempting red button behind a metallic hatch beside the door, helpfully marked "DO NOT PUSH" in both English and Japanese. How you treat the button will affect the outcome of the game.
Be legendary! Be powerful! Be... pixellated? Kevin Glass' retro roguelike is currently in continued development, but don't be afraid to dip your toes into this top-notch casual experience designed to be picked up and played at any time by anyone. Sharped your sword, fletch your arrows, and... uh... spark your fireballs? There's adventure to be had!
Minerbot features a distinctive minimalist art style that might be confusing for the first couple runs. Once you get into the groove of the game, though, there's definitely an addictive quality to watching a collector hollow out a massive expanse of ore. The action's accompanied by a hopping techno soundtrack.
Platform fans are bound to enjoy Test Subject Green while puzzle lovers won't be punished for a lack of twitch reflexes. It's an excellent hybrid of the two genres made possible through the power of science, much like astronaut ice cream is a delicious fusion of strawberry, vanilla and chocolate. Aren't you glad we live in this modern world?
Dangerous Gen-Kan Escape 2 is not only a perfect mid-week break but a fantastic nod to the past oeuvre of point-and-click adventure gaming which spawned today's room escapes. Come on, you know you want to play, even if you might blow up. Be careful, it's dangerous.
The Sieger Level Pack is an extension of the popular projectile physics castle destruction game, Sieger. It features 40 new levels with extra building material types and deadly projectiles. Levels now include slippery ice blocks, rolling boulders, and explosive boxes and barrels for maximum chain reaction devastation, as well as connecting blocks and moving contraptions. There's also an enhanced level editor to make and share your castles with the Sieger community.
Since the dawn of time, man has collected. This arcade platformer plays right to this compulsion by encouraging players to load up on diamonds like it's going out of style as they try to climb to the top of an endless cavern. This isn't a pretentious art game or a brain-wracking escape, this is down-and-dirty arcade action through and through and it succeeds spectacularly on that level.
- • Bloons
- • Trapped Series
- • Banner Game by Rob Allen
Rob Allen... Ninja Kiwi... Rodrigo Roesler... by their powers combined, they are... the Vault! Toss in a monkey, a murder, and one strange campsite, and you have the recipe for some seriously great games from 2007.
Doodle God is back with 2 new episodes for your element-combining alchemical enjoyment! Enter Doodle God 2 and play from the beginning of episode 1 or skip the first 116 elements to get right into episodes 2 & 3. Yes, it's a lot of trial and error, but just like Pokémon's "Gotta Catch'em All" the Doodle God games play right into our obsessive compusive desire to find all the elements.
When a mighty warrior is turned into a zombie, he does what any self-respecting one-man army would do: find a good armorer, learn a few skills and go pound revenge into whoever needs it. Even if you just want to spend a few hours where you can indulge in mindless violence, but pretend you are delving in stats formulas and real-time strategy, join the ranks of the Zombie Knight.
Aah, to be young again. To experience the thrills of the imagination. To not pay income taxes. To prowl about the night hypnotizing people, utilizing my super strength powers, flying like a bat, and unleashing telekinetic powers that can do virtually anything I desire. While that may not exactly be the childhood of anyone reading this review (or writing it, for that matter), in the point-and-click puzzle game Vampire Skills, you take on the role of a young vampire (is that even possible?) learning to use his skills. And yes, it's about as whimsical as it sounds!
Yoshio Ishii is back with another installment of one of our favorite puzzle games here at JIG: Hoshi Saga Ringoen is the 6th in the series and in full color like the previous version. Still not nearly as difficult as the first few games in the series, which may disappoint the more hard-core puzzle lovers, but for casual players are sure to eat this one up. Whether you are new to the series or a veteran, a new Hoshi Saga is always a day to celebrate.
Do K and S resent C for horning in on their territory? Is it agoraphobia or contempt for the other letters that compels Q to stay at home unless U is close behind? What sort of twisted inter-literal love triangle makes I go before E, except after C? And what happens when a formally happy literal couple decides to call it splits? This last is the premise behind The I of It, a unique puzzle platformer, in which the "t" of the word "It" runs off, prompting "I" to set forth on a quest find him.
- • browser, free, rating-g, game, defense, flash, macwinlinux, rdamiano, fortheloss, shooter, upgrades, survival
Don't Panic is a well designed defense shooter game on all fronts. Ralph Damiano has made an incredibly fun and exciting game that doesn't let you rest on your laurels, but also takes measures to make sure you're still enjoying it. Each level can get you as excited as the one before. You play a king, or, at the very least, someone who is a crown enthusiast, and you must defend your fortress against a mad scientist and his robot minions.
- • Flying Candy
- • And Everything Started to Fall
- • Running Wizard
- • Royal Beasts
- • Appy 1000MG
Depress yourself with the stark inevitability of poor decisions. Then cheer yourself up again by causing massive property damage with lightning bolts! Then depress yourself with the harsh reality of the falsely happy worth around you. Then cheer yourself up by throwing meat at a lion! Just another week here at Link Dump Friday.
Save the Princess is an adorable puzzle game, almost bordering on precious. It has just the right mix of colorful graphics and logical gameplay that makes me think that it would be the perfect game for parents and children to play together without either getting bored. Collect stars for extra (and slightly hilarious) achievements, but watch out for spikes and getting caught in an endless loop!
Take up the mantle of Gem Keeper and protect your glittery hoard from all comers in this official level pack from tower defense maestros Iriysoft. Make strategic use of three different terrains and towers, upgrading your offensive capabilities to stand firm against hordes of powerful enemies, each with their own unique abilities. Just remember, when the going get tough, the tough rain down a fiery hail of massive meteorites.
Buried in the dirt or sitting in the open pathways are letters or bones, simply run across them (or dig across them) to pick them up. Spell words to earn bones to buy bonuses and to move further in the game. Simple to learn with a lot of vocabulary complexity to be found, Word Up Dog! is casual gameplay that can suck you in and give you hours and hours of enjoyment. This fun, amusing, challenging game of spelling is entertainment for a wide range of ages, from those youngsters who want to improve their mad spellin' skillz to the older folks who enjoy a vocabulary challenge.
Where do all the bugs go? What happened between early testing of a game and final release? Jonas Kyratzes may make you wonder with this experimental platformer. Recruited to test an early build of Jonas's new game, you wind up falling through the cracks into a strange place you were never meant to see.
It's not your typical numbers-in-boxes challenge, but don't let that scare you away. Once you wrap your mind around the concept of using the empty boxes as the clues for filling in the black squares, you're on your way. This first batch of Nurikabe Light features a number of simpler, smaller puzzles to help you learn the ropes. Give them a shot, you might discover a new puzzle addiction!
You would really have to search hard to find anything wrong with Mild Escape 4, the newest game from Tesshi-e. Challenging, amusing, easy on the eyes and ears, with simple intuitive controls, you're looking at a near perfect classic one-room four-wall escape game, wrapped up in an anniversary bow. Perfect for the mid-week break, Mild Escape 4 is everything you could want in a room escape and more.
Flagstaff remains more about the silly story and casual pace than about seriously challenging veteran RPG players, but the design is cute and distinctive, the heroes all have interesting and balanced powers, and the pace is perfect for a light bit of dungeon crawling. Chapter Two builds on the promise of Chapter One, and tantalizes for the next installment of the Flagstaff series.
Some things in life are purely about experience, like bungee-jumping and rollercoaster rides. And there are games with no apparent meaning, that draw you in simply to enjoy something different, like Deliza. This point-and-click curiosity is essentially an advergame without the hard-sell elements, diffcult to define yet an experience in its own right.
- • A Break in the Road
- • Click Drag Type 3
- • Time Raider
What do you really need out of life? Sure food and shelter are nice, but don't forget the other important things too, like adventure, mental stimulation, and creativity! This week's installment of the Vault highlights three games that embody those traits and celebrate everything bemusing, perplexing, hilarious, and even a little frustrating.
My Little Army is clever strategy fun that wears its real-time nature on its sleeve, made from cutesy graphics and carried forward by purely-for-decoration storylines. You might even be fooled by thinking that this makes the game easy. See if you feel that way when a giant Jason is stomping your Khan Kong's face.
On of Eyezmaze is back in this bite-size installment of the Grow series of puzzle games! Made to highlight one particular beastie created by a fan of the games, Grow Nano 4 once again asks you to use a variety of unusual ingredients in the proper order. Combining a sense of wonder, silliness, and good old fashioned non-logic, On has once again delivered us a delicious little puzzle to bring a little strange sunshine to our week!
Lights! Camera! Puzzle! Everyone's favorite sawer of jig, Plexus, is back, with a new mind-bender of a visual workout. This time, the subject is the literal zoo that is Hollywood as some animal auteurs have gathered to film the latest boffo-box-office, fun-for-the-whole-family, critical-darling, summer blockbuster! All the pieces are here for a smash hit, but they'll be needing you to put them into place. Roll 'em!
You have a base. Some ships want to explode your base. You must explode them first! Ah, simplicity rules in the strategy, defense title, Star Forge, the latest from Hero Interactive. For those that enjoy thinking on their feet with unexpected challenges that make triumph all the sweeter, Star Forge is going to really suck you in.
Stuck between two warring forces, you seem to have no choice but to help defend Wayland Keep against its attackers. Fortunately, this is something you're really good at. Like really, really good. Take on the role of Argus, an unusually talented swordsman, and master a variety of deadly spells and abilities in this action-packed hack-and-slash fantasy game that blends defense with RPG elements for one bloody good time.
I'm always hearing about how the next evolution in gaming is right around the corner. However, for those shooter-lover who wouldn't mind evolution taking less time, there's DN8, the new dynamically-generated bullet-hell from intelligent-designer Squize of Gaming Your Way. It looks pretty fit to me.
- • Spike: A Love Story
- • Cubium
- • Sci-Fighters
- • Bloons 2: Spring Fling
- • Animal Raceway
April's almost over, so let's send it out with a bang!... or with misplaced affections, alien combat, and monkeys wearing rabbit ears. You know, whatever works. Link Dump Friday brings you more popping, more pit combat, and more work-your-fingers-to-the-bone training than ever before!
Want a game with bite? Vampire Physics has you removing wooden blocks and platforms to get your cute vampire to reach humans to turn them into vampires. Avoid garlic, priests, and rival vampires across 36 contraption-filled levels. The game includes bonus user levels and level editor to share your challenges.
The only thing standing between you and victory is a painful death! Actually a lot of painful deaths. But don't worry, they're not yours... technically. Jasper Byrne's retro platformer is a quirky, challenging psychedelic journey through another very dangerous and very weird world.
When you see the word "dismantlement" in front of a noun, especially when that noun is a gadget filled with nifty parts to dig through, you know it's time for another installment of the excellent point-and-click Dismantlement series! Just like previous releases, Dismantlement: Mini Keyboard charges you with the task of taking apart a gadget with nothing more than a screwdriver. The insides of this contraption won't be familiar to anyone who has actually pulled apart a keyboard before, and there might be a surprise (or six) waiting for you behind that rear panel!
Anbot 2 is short and sweet, but so totally jam-packed with action and excitment that it's much more than just a mouthful of gaming goodness. It might not take long to help Anbot through his second adventure, but you'll definitely feel like he owes you one for helping him out this time.
Monster Castle Defense is a retro-styled 2D tower defense game with cute little pixel graphics and a level of difficulty that will certainly get your attention. In order to keep the princess safe, you must deploy a series of creatures to fight off ever-advancing evil soldiers. Upgrade your warriors to bigger, badder fighters, and keep the hallways clear as you try to survive wave after wave of attacks!
Not long and nor very difficult, Blossom Spring Escape is a perfect mid-week break and a nice celebration of the season wrapped up into one. Amusing, easy on the eyes, logical, and just plain fun to enjoy the escaping madness. So take a few minutes out of your day and celebrate spring with a lot of pretty flowers and colors and logic puzzles. You know, just the way Grandma used to do.
It's an entire philosophy of bot-dom. UpBot is at peace with its purpose in life. It is UpBot. It goes up. It doesn't try to be something it's not. If UpBot needs to go left, then LeftBot is going to have to help it. The makers describe the game as "elegant," and that really is an apt descriptor for the solutions. When you figure it out, everything works together like clockwork. It's the figuring out that's the challenge, and the fun.
Leroy Smith's 2 on 2 Hall of Fame Challenge is an off-the-charts, old school basketball game featuring the self-proclaimed motivator of Michael Jordan. Use the keyboard to control your teammates as you attempt to defeat Team Leroy in three periods of no-holds-barred, high flying dunk action. Shazaaaam!
I don't know how to pronounce it, or even what it means but I love the game! Detarou's latest release is completely Detarou; in other words, it's a wonderfully weird, surreal, delightfully presented and maybe even a little unsettling point-and-click game with three endings to discover. The game itself defies any sense of reality, but it's funny, quirky, surprising and a real pleasure to play. And each ending only adds to the enjoyment of play with startling humour.
- • Exmortis
- • The Fancy Pants Adventure
- • Chronon
This week's installment of the Vault will make you scream bloody murder! Literally, since an iconic horror adventure about the worst cabin in the woods ever is involved. Also featured; adorable, monstrous captivity and a pair of pants to die for!
Crazy Over Goo is a physics-based projectile platformer that puts you in the gooey guise of a spheroid on a quest to find his pink-bowed friend. Use the mouse to aim your trajectory and try to reach each level's flag in as few jumps as possible. Contend with mid-air leaps, variable environments, gravity, spikes, and many other platform game elements.
The riddle of the sphinx is invoked at the beginning of Convergence, the flixel-based platformer/life simulator/interactive art piece that serves as the first release from Streetlight Studios: "What walks on four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon, and three legs in the evening?"... No, the answer isn't "William the Performing Dog". It's that miserable pile of secrets itself: man. And you'll be be spending an interesting three days in a life herein. Wake up, fall out of bed, drag a comb across your head and check it out.
It's the Era of Automation! We automate everything from manufacturing, to financial transactions, to blog updates. So why not automate creativity as well? Okay, that sounds horrible, but there is something fascinating about pre-configured, automatic processes that produce beautiful and seemingly random results. Depending on how you start your composition, you can either create regular repeating patterns, or patterns that subtly shift in interesting ways. It can be difficult to predict how a given setup will act, but that is part of the joy of Otomata.
Flaws, the interactive work of fiction from author Jon Ingold, is a difficult game to categorize as well as a different game to review. For starters, it isn't really a game in the traditional sense, more like a choose your own adventure produced for modern, Kindle-enabled devices. Then there's the nature of the story, where discussing even a few of the details can spoil whole bits of the experience. Suffice it to say, Flaws is an intriguing interactive fiction "game" about finding treasure and fame, the Andromeda galaxy, a mysterious diadem, and a possible assassination.
Cathode Rays starts out simply enough (with only one ray to handle), but the difficulty quickly ramps up as you're required to thread the rays through tight passages and time your movements to match moving and fading planks. Soon you'll be trying to manage four beams at once in sparkly vector glory. Can you wrangle these ridiculous rays?
No wait, come back! This one is satire, I promise! For one, there's its pedigree: Anna Anthropy, master designer of such games as Mighty Jill Off and Redder, someone who clearly knows from killer pixel art, engaging concepts, and uber-difficulty minus uber-frustration. Then, there's its sponsor, adult swim a network that time has shown to have quite the track record in promoting works that capture just the right blend of retro aesthetics and modern sensibilities. And, last, but not least, there is the fact that Lesbian Spider-Queens of Mars is a heck of a lot of fun to play. It's a high-quality throwback to 80s arcade-style risk-reward action whose gameplay sucks you into a frantic world of patterns and rhythms, scratchy sounds and blocky graphics, high scores and extra lives. And Lesbian-Spider Queens, of course.
- • Burger Cat
- • Wizard of Oz
- • Mindy in Zombieland
- • Ninja Dog
- • Clowning Around
With summer coming up, you're going to want to whip your reflexes into tip-top shape, and I can't think of any better way to do so than to practice your platforming, or maybe follow the yellow brick road, or even psychically manipulate hordes of the undead while deadly spikes inch closer and closer to your skull. (Let me tell you, you do not want to be out of practice for that last one.)
Second Person Shooter Zato is a unique kind of action game that flips everything you know about shooters on its head before turning it inside-out and looking at it through a mirror. Well, that sounds like it would cancel the weirdness out, but it doesn't! In this game, you control a gun-toting hero who is being attacked by groups of enemies. However, instead of getting a first-person view of the action, you can only see yourself through the eyes of the enemy. Spin around, fire your weapons, and hope you can survive without looking at the world from behind your own gun!
Christine Love's Lake City Rumble II is not your run-of-the-mill fighting game, but instead offers an experience where choice and interpretation is everything if you want to pack a real punch into your attacks. Will you beat Qaisar, or accept defeat? Time to enter the arena.
It's always been our philosophy that robots are our friends. They're smart, they can do cool things like make toast, and if they ever rise up and start an apocalypse, they'll remember we were nice to them! Not everyone holds the same "just in case" ideas in mind, of course, and Crash the Robot from Tamas Games proves just that. Your goal in this physics-based puzzle game: set up bombs to press buttons that eventually cause a robot to be destroyed. Fortunately, the little golden guy doesn't seem too upset about it, as level after level he comes back for more. Points for persistence!
Edutainment!... Commence eye-rolling, people. For some reason many are skeptical of any game that claims to "make learning fun". Perhaps it is the feeling that, since most believe learning (if not necessarily schooling) to be naturally fun, any subject that has to be made fun must be really dry. That said, while Mission US: For Crown or Colony is unlikely to redeem the genre for everyone, the tale of a teenager coming of age in Colonial America makes for a solid adventure, whose gentle challenge is balanced by excellent production values and historical detail.
Front Runner's protagonist would rather sit unaccosted on his asteroid outpost, playing his space-recorder, but all the quirky locals just won't leave him be. And as arcade games have taught us for years, such aggravation can only be answered by taking the wheel of an absurdly overarmed runabout and showing all comers what-for. It takes the vastness of space and turns it into a strange, colorful neighborhood of oddly shaped planets and goofy, irksome monsters. Empty space is rarely this lively, or this silly.
A lovely little game that will twist your perception of reality into a hundred lovely different shapes. Psychosomnium was originally a downloadable game by cactus. Now, with its Flixel-based Flash port from Miroslav Malesevic, anyone with a browser and a keyboard can experience the body-switching weirdo-world that is the inside of cactus' mind!
Escape from the Living Room 2 is a fun stand-alone room escape, a bit of a nostalgic nod to the past while incorporating all of the elements that make the more current Tesshi-e games much more fun and playable. Whether you are young and new to the genre or an old, old veteran like myself, Escape from the Living Room 2 is quite a fun classic room escape game, perfect for the mid-week break.
I think it's about time that I admit that I just don't understand marketing. I wouldn't know why a jump and run platformer based around racing through a myriad selection of websites would be considered an apropos format for an ice cream bar ad . But hey, I do know a good time when I see it, and Lowe Brindfors and B-Reel have certainly given Unilever their money's worth in Magnum: Pleasure Hunt
While the Sun from a distant universe falls from a sky, it's up to you and a magical mask that manipulates time to help him get back up in this short but beautiful little point-and-click adventure from a talented team of students at DADIU.
Zombie Cats really do exist! It may just appear to be a simple point-and-click puzzle game, but the threat is real, I tells ya! You may scoff, but with the onslaught of zombie games pervading the internets, we should be taking this seriously. Use your mouse to click on objects and interact with the environment to help eradicate the Zombie Cats and to save the rest of civilization.
- • Junkbot
- • Warbears
- • Slidon
I read the mysterious scrap of paper my contact has just put in my hand... "MHCFRYM AV RGU VTW GHIYN!"... Let's see, if I rot13 that, I get "ZUPSELZ NI ETH IGJ TUVLA!". Unscramble and... "PUZZLES IN THE JIG VAULT!" And what type of puzzles do we have this week? Action starring a Lego-Robo, adventure with a cast of steady teddies at the ready, and a styling tiling board game remix.
Transylvania is without a doubt the best point-and-click game about a sleepwalking potato who accidentally drives his car into the depths of hell that I have ever played. The bar has definitely been raised for that particular niche. But be warned: the dangers in this place aren't just of being scared, nor even of being trapped there forever. No, you can expect to die many, many times on your quest to escape back to Miss Potato, often in extremely unfair (but hilarious!) ways.
The Roman Numeral part of my brain tells me that the title doesn't quite scan, but the tower defending part feels nothing but glee: Protector IV.V, an expansion pack for Undefined's popular fantasy strategy series has just hit the internet! It's nowhere near a sequel, but it has a host of new quests and all the exploration and variety the series has displayed thusfar. It's a treat for all strategy-lovers looking for an complicated addictive challenge.
Fresh from the bronze halls of Nitrome comes Steamlands, a game that mixes strategy, defense, and building genres with a steampunk exterior to make a final product that begs you to become addicted. A great war has left Europe in ruins. Even though the last of the machines have been disassembled, pirates still roam the land with their patchwork tanks built from scrap. As a lone mercenary commander, you must pick up a spanner and build your own war machine by scavenging parts from defeated pirates. Embark upon dozens of missions in this expertly-crafted game of combat, strategy, and on-the-fly steam tank construction!
If to be 'stalwart' is to be filled with resolve, courage and physical endurance, then it's fair to say that Jonathan Whiting's game may bring out the little stalwart knight in all of us. This is a game that presents simply with pixel art and easy to master controls, but a closer look reveals its true side-scrolling, platform and challenging avoidance essence. And all with rhythm!
You've been knocked on the head and placed into a prison cell, and there's some kind of coronation going on in a little less than 24 hours. Your first priority is going to be figuring out who you are, why you are where you are, and what to do about it. Then you need to figure out what you need to get in order to do it, and finally, you have to figure out how to get it all done in the time period you have.
The theme has shifted to an urban environment where zombies are literally coming out of the sewers, and all this brick and steel is used to an impressive (and often confounding) level. Timed drops and lateral thinking are hallmarks of "phuzzle" games, something the first in this series loved to dish up for players. The sequel takes it all that step further.
- • Pokemon Tower Defense
- • Epic Charlie
- • Jhink Toy
- • From Beyond
- • Alien Attack 3D
There's no rhyme or reason to this week's Link Dump Friday, just a tasty melting pot of the internet's best. Catch 'em all (then line 'em up as sentries), be epic-er, indulge your monstrous side, channel the spirit of Ripley, and unlock a deceptively simple puzzle... it's your destiny! At least until the weekend sets you free.
The passing of a season always makes me nostalgic for it. Lord knows that I'm never too thrilled with skidding my Honda on the icy roads of winter, but now that the May-Flowers-bringing showers of April are upon us (in the Northern Hemisphere, at least), I find myself wishing for one last walk in a swirling frozen cloud of flurries. While Chione is quite unlikely to heed my prayers, I can take solace in January, an interactive art webtoy release from Rich Vreeland. It's an impressive debut release that manages to truly capture the beauty and melancholy of a walk of a blustery winter's evening.
A new-agey, color-based puzzle game reminiscent of Auditorium, Subtle Energy succeeds in being a pretty relaxing puzzler. The soundtrack is inoffensive aural Xanax, and it is always soothing to watch colored pixel streams flow about the screen. The puzzles themselves are few, and while most are not too difficult, you will likely find that some make you stop and think.
In Big Evil Robots, you control a pint-sized protagonist armed with a slingshot and marbles, tasked with saving the city from a series of mechanical menaces. Aim your shots with the mouse and shoot marbles inside each robot to reach its glass-like core. Earn points and stars by collecting coins and firing as few marbles as possible.
Bela Kovacs may wear his sunglasses at night and waterfall exhale like a total bad ass (not that you should imitate him, smoking is bad, kids, don't do it), but for some reason the Budapest police department doesn't want him as a detective anymore. When his niece is viciously murdered, however, he's not going to let any power on earth stop him from catching her killer. Not even preternatural powers. It's easy to get engrossed in this fascinating tale of darkness, serial killing, revenge, curses, and the Old World.
Shadow is a quiet yet solid escape game by Kotorinosu, which stands apart from the crowd of point-and-click puzzle games with its simplicity, appealing graphics, and honest escape game fare. If you have an appetite for honest-to-goodness escape games, then loosen your belt a knotch and enjoy a hearty helping.
Nitrome's latest real-time strategy epic is trundling your way...
When dungeon crawler meets Bomberman, BinB is the result. A simple-looking arcade game at heart, this little release from Maxim Karpenko (a.k.a. Kendja) packs a lot of bombs, a lot of power-ups, and a surprising amount of strategy, especially when you consider it's mostly about blowing things up and collecting gold.
The Who Am I? series of puzzles are Robamimi "light", leaning more on the central wordplay than the complexity of the other individual puzzles. Play 18 Who Am I? and enjoy a lot of well designed and well executed escaping gameplay wrapped up in a fun 10 minutes or so. So relax and enjoy the soothing rhythms of a mellow jazz soundtrack as you ponder the universal question, Who Am I? Or, at least, the 18 Who Am I?
Go underwater in Lucas Paahk's stunning new exploration-centric sandbox game about one lovely fish and one big, beautiful ocean. Collect tokens, run races, perform acrobatic tricks and uncover secrets in a truly stunning oceanic environment. Though lacking any sort of story or overarching goal, Azurefish provides a relaxing, atmospheric experience that you can really sink yourself into.
If you like edgy atmosphere, mysterious trappings, and figuring things out without instructions, Eli Piilonon's puzzle/riddle game This is a Work of Fiction is well worth your time. Just be persistent, and don't let the paranoid ambiance get to you. It is a Work of Fiction, after all.
- • Papa's Pizzeria
- • Wink: The Game!
- • Dotville
- • Skywire
As Tuesday peeps its head over the horizon, we usher in another installment of The Vault, and another batch of games from the olden days (2007 is plenty olden) designed to keep you coming back. Rescue a princess using stealth and your wits, become the ruler of the land's most adorable (but needy) tribe, juggle every delicious aspect of pizza making, and pilot a group of people through ridiculously treacherous terrain. And all before the middle of the week rolls around! Man, you're productive. You deserve a raise, and you can tell your boss we said so.
In Filipe Sheepwolf's stealth game, not only do you need to figure out how to solve puzzles to manipulate the enemy territory, you've got to do it without attracting any attention, and banging into walls or sailing in front of a security camera tends to hinder that. Newton, Newton, what hast thou donest. For fans of the genre it should be even more enjoyable, and the cinematics are quite cool, even if the plot is a little hokey. Elite players, get ready to mock us lesser mortals. The rest of you, grab your favorite sugary comestible and try your best.
Bored with running games such as Canabalt and Robot Unicorn Attack? You should be, because they don't have giant squids, lava, lightning, oil slicks, and main characters who are on fire. Flood Runner 3: Armageddon, however, does. We mentioned Clockwork Monster's Flood Runner 2 in a previous Link Dump Friday, and this one's got even more over-the-top action to help you feel like a demi-god dashing through the mortal realms.
Pigs take to this sky in this very creative and original platform puzzle game, where physics and time meet in a why you've not seen before. And it is so captivating that you will probably end up finishing it in one city. So go on, get those pigs in the air.
If you're looking for a fantastic point-and-click adventure that combines mystery, suspense, pharmaceuticals, science fiction, and an extremely goofy English translation, then look no further. Take two shots of Dr. Stanley's House 2 and call me in the morning. Presuming, of course, that you ever find your way out of the air ducts.
Zombies and siege weapons and physics, oh my! The community has created another great batch of levels for everyone's favourite game about doing terrible things to royalty with catapults, and added in an Undead Mode to boot. While it's nothing fans haven't seen before, it you love the series then "more of all that awesome stuff" is hardly a bad thing.
- • Dino Run: Marathon of Doom
- • Egg and Ghost
- • Brains Will Roll
- • Purple Invaders
- • Choose Your Game
Dinosaurs, ghosts, and zombies, oh my! But don't be afraid; this edition of Link Dump Friday is still as safe as ever, despite an unlikely group of terrifying creatures. Save the world according to your own specifications, protect the world's most uncommunicative sidekick, flee from your inevitable doom, and more, all in one article!
Nerdook goes intergalactic with this cute, simple to learn RTS-lite title that stars you as a bounty hunter traveling from planet to planet deploying your robot army in an effort to bring The Bad Guys(tm) to justice. Build and upgrade your army as you take on the worst the galaxy has to offer in this clever little hybrid.
What's better than having no new logic puzzles from Conceptis? Having plenty of new logic puzzles from Conceptis! Continuing its series of pencil and paper games transformed into browser experiences, Conceptis has just released Basic Logic Fill-a-Pix Light, a minesweeper-esque take on using numbers to create pictures on an empty grid. If you enjoyed Picma Squared, any of the Conceptis Light games, or logic puzzles in general, you'll definitely want to check this one out!
Crime does not pay, especially if you're Ziggy Fraud, the most suspicious looking man alive who probably gets arrested just for existing. Help him pull off the greatest heist of his career and then escape his would-be captors in this bizarre puzzle platformer that defies the laws of physics (and even the game engine) to make one silly, clever experience.
Whether your are attempting to break in due to having lost your keys or due to having lost your job and are in need of some disposable income, Apartment House Escape is an amusing "reverse" escape, where you are trying to break in rather than out.
Roadkill Revenge is a top-down action puzzler where you control a rocket-powered vehicle with the intent of causing a chain reaction of destruction across 45 traffic-filled levels. Accomplish tasks ranging from blowing up specific buildings or vehicles, or causing a certain dollar amount of damage.
Choo Choo Puzzles, the new simple idea dragging puzzle from a team led by Piotr Iwanicki, sounds like a cross between a candy bar and a maze you'd find in Highlights for Children... kind of inappropriate for a fun little game with only a tenuously abstract connection to railways. Fortunately, the simple mechanics of Choo Choo Puzzles present a worthy challenge for puzzle-lovers of all ages.
- • The Goat In the Grey Fedora
- • Detective Grimoire
- • Death in Sakkara
Let me see... going from all the evidence in front of me... I'm going to have to go with... Tricky! In the JayIsGames Vault! With this week's handful of games from the past!... Okay, the games below might not be of too much help in discovering who killed Mr. Boddy, but any amateur sleuth out there should enjoy the collection of not-so-elementary cases to crack. They take us to crimes around the globe: from the underbelly of the big city, to a small-town circus, to the deserts of Egypt. The game's afoot!
Nitrome's latest damsel in distress is actually the one doing the distressing. Jump and run past Princess Nectarine's array of traps and monsters, rescuing villagers and avoiding peril in this cute, tricky arcade platformer. Just ask yourself... is this lady fair's hand in marriage really something you want? After all, it's not like there's going to be room at the loony bin for both of you...
If there's anyone in the land of Casual Gaming that has experienced the work of Amanita Design, and hasn't, in some small way been charmed, I don't think I've met them. That said, while I can appreciate that the success of the Samorost-making company allows them to take their time in formulating each new project, I do start going through withdrawal symptoms round about the eighteen month mark. Fortunately, the nights of the shakes are over with the release of the distinctly surreal and surreal-ly distinct desert-themed Osada. It may be more of an interactive music video webtoy than a game proper, but frankly, I'd be fine watching Amanita Design animate a phone-book.
The shooter lives! Matt Roszak's Epic Battle Fantasy series steps out of its genre and into the shoes of the "bullet hell" arcade action greats. Unlock new characters, improve your abilities, earn challenging medals, or just last as long as you can in Survival Mode. Bullet Heaven is a fantastic example of the shooter genre doing what it does best; making you squeal "ohgeezohgeezohgeez" over and over again while you sweat bullets to match the hundreds onscreen.
Eugene Karataev delivers another installment of his sunny, popular physics puzzle series and piles on the cameos to boot. Slice your way through the landscape in order to provide safe passage for your hapless yellow friend to the exit, snagging stars along the way if you're clever enough. It's a fun, cheerful, and very yellow diversion that fans of the noble art of "slicing junk the heck up" will enjoy.
Two years ago, Antony Lavelle released Upgrade Complete. A mix of shoot em up and space invaders, the games main purpose was to unsubtly parody one of the more obnoxious aspects of modern gaming: the inclusion of unnecessary and convoluted upgrade systems. Everything came at a price and had to be bought: weapons, graphics, music, buttons... even the pre-loader and Armor Games intro animation. However... it turns out that the developers weren't quite done... After all, what is an upgrade system without a sequel that requires you to restart your progress from the beginning? Thus comes Upgrade Completer, a game that advances the original's premise as much as its humor.