Who said plants are harmless? In this gorgeous and cheesy hidden-object adventure from Alawar Games, a storm strands you and a bunch of your friends on a seemingly deserted island. Awakening to find yourself alone, you strike out to rescue the others, only to find that the flora on this isle might be more dangerous than the fauna.
The latest in the "absolutely amazing" sub-category of platform adventures, Out There Somewhere from MiniBoss puts you in a world of not-so-intelligent aliens (well, there are a few smart ones), falling blocks, massive pits of lava, mysterious sky-facing beams of light, and seemingly impassable corridors, all standing between you and the pieces you need to fix your ship. Explore a non-linear world filled with puzzles and passageways, using your teleportation gun in some very crafty ways.
You, are the hunter. The yeti, is your prey. In this snowy world of trees and, well, more snow and trees, it's just you and your gun versus the ever-elusive hairy beast. Trudge through the land in this 3D game as you scour the distant background for signs of the yeti. When you see him, aim and shoot, and hope you're good with a gun. A surprisingly haunting and chilling game from Vlambeer (with a great musical score from Kozilek), especially when it turns into night.
Although it's little more than a stunning map to walk around in, Andrew Yoder's Hubris is a surprisingly atmospheric experience that attempts to invoke emotion and set your imagination running around in a world void of conflict or interaction. Simply put, all you do in Hubris is march around and take in the view. There's a staircase, a small tower, plenty of intricate wall work with shadows and small openings, and a door waiting at the top. Despite (or, more likely, because of) the emptiness, you'll quickly become enamored with this small little game.
- • Yeti Hunter
- • On the Shoulders of Ancestors
- • Hubris
Conspiracy theory time! The order the following games are listed in along with the general theme of their content will, when viewed as a string of text on a single page from afar, show an outline of an Egyptian hieroglyph hidden in the chamber below the Sphinx. At least, that's what we're telling people... Shh!
Grave Mania: Undead Fever is a humor-filled, zombie-infested time management game from Team Loca and Anino Games. Kicking stuffy food-related themes to the side, Grave Mania focuses on intelligent time management skills interspersed with mini- and micro-games, providing enough action to keep you completely engrossed (and grinning) from beginning to end.
Science has proven that water physics are some of the most entertaining gameplay mechanisms ever created. Forget things like realistic friction models, voxels, endlessly generating worlds, and being able to rewind time. Capturing, deploying, and just messing around with gooey water is where it's at. Vessel, a new steampunk puzzle platformer from Strange Loop Games, builds most of its gameplay around liquids, using them as both mindlessly flowing matter and as something you probably never expected water to do: become semi-intelligent!
The emphasis is on exploration, discovery and puzzle-solving in this Jules Verne-worthy hidden-object/adventure hybrid from GameInvest. An eccentric inventor thinks he's found a way to live forever by building a House of Brass, sealed off from the rest of the world, fully-mechanical and powered by steam. After your curiosity and amazement results in being trapped inside, you're tasked with fixing contraptions and making your way back outside. Your steps are dogged by an adversarial robot as well as the overly-complicated contraptions of the house's builder.
What happens when you give Mario a portal gun? A mish-mash of two extraordinarily recognizable games — Super Mario Bros. and Portal — with a whole lot of extras. Mari0 puts you in control of our favorite pixellated plumber as he goes on his famous adventure from the mid-1980s, only this time, he's got the power of portals on his side!
A giant robot with super strength, a grudge, and the know-how to create more of itself? Sounds like a great idea to me! Answering an old colleague's letter, you arrive in town to find the place apparently under attack by mechanical monstrosities and your friend nowhere to be found. Can you unravel the mystery before winding up a victim yourself? Artogon Games delivers a gorgeous adventure that takes a unique approach to hidden-object hunting that's worth checking out.
- • Zatikon
- • DoomRL
- • Sugar Cube: Bittersweet Factory
It's blasts from the past(s) time! We dug up several games previously featured on Weekend Download to see how they've fared over the last few years. Some of them have vanished (oops), some of them have stayed the same, and some of them have grown into bigger, better projects! Take a look at some of the neater upgrades some of our classic games have gone through.
Dr. Urchin has kidnapped Coralline! Oh no! But hey, you're the bodacious glowfish, precisely the underwater dweller who can rescue her. The lushly-illustrated action adventure game Glow Fish is filled with exploration, unlockables, and size-related nomming challenges similar to flOw.
When a reporter vanishes while she and her cameraman are investigating the notorious though supposedly deserted Black Isle, as a member of the detective agency Mystery Trackers, you find yourself called in to find her. But before long you'll discover this is more than just a simple missing persons case, and you'll get wrapped up in a big paranormal conspiracy that might just be the death of you unless you can get to the bottom of the mystery. A stellar hidden-object adventure that delivers campy drama and originality, lots of cinematics, and one big, enjoyable game.
Do you love birds? Like... LOVE birds? Even if you don't, you definitely need to make a point of checking out this remarkably original visual novel from PigeoNation Inc. As the only human girl attending a school populated otherwise solely by birds, you have a hard time fitting it. But persevere and you may just find more than you expect. Clever, funny, strange, and shocking, Hatoful Boyfriend needs to be seen to be believed, and played all the way to the very last ending to truly appreciate. You won't regret it.
Finally, a quest we can all identify with (and a protagonist whose personality traits may or may not hit a little too close to home)! There's a worldwide coffee shortage (say it ain't so!), and Cherry Starma wakes to find she's all out of the good stuff. Time to go to the store! Will The Only Store have any left? Will that be the conclusion of the game?! Could it be that simple??!! A good, old fashioned, retro-styled, humor adventure game with simple point and click controls and some killer MIDI music.
Here is a hidden object hybrid game that focuses so much on entertainment value, you'll feel like you're immersed in a high thrills, loads-of-fun B-movie adventure at your favorite Hollywood theme park. The power crazed famous director, M.W. Vernon, has kidnapped your mum, beloved star of the silver screen, Rita Ray. As you attempt to rescue her, you'll be led through a gauntlet of lunacy and lurid scene of derangement. While typical in terms of gameplay, Film Fatale: Lights, Camera, Madness! is unique in style and showmanship. Besides, what's not to love about a game that actually has "Bwahahahaha!" in its dialogue?
- • Para Para Paranoid
- • Cherry's Quest for Coffee
- • Me and My Shadow
I see you there, shadow. Following my every move. Writing a Weekend Download introduction as I do the same. Having cookies for breakfast just like I did. I've got my eye on you. And you've got your eye on me!
What've you got for a birthright? Maybe freckles, the family car, a bunch of embarrassing baby photos? Well, Grandpa Scruff's birthright is to be the Duke of Scrufford... or at least it would be if one scheming villain wasn't taking advantage of an ancient contract to steal that title from him. It's a race against time to track down the Knights of Scrufford and regain Grandpa's rightful place in this wonderfully goofy, light-hearted cartoon hidden-object adventure.
Dear Esther is an interactive story told through a first person adventure setting. There's very little gameplay to speak of, just a deep mystery about the deserted island you're walking on, along with unanswered questions surrounding a horrific crash and a book written by a long-lost explorer. What happened in this dreary place? And, better yet, can you find a way out?
- • Verminest
- • Co-Op
- • The Little Quest
If you were given an apple, an orange, a bag full of thumb tacks, and a yearly subscription to I Just Made This Name Up magazine, could you turn it into a game? Maybe by rolling the fruit along the ground to see how many tacks you could collect before hitting the magazine fort? Fortunately, you don't have to be that creative to enjoy the fruits of other folk's creativity, as this weekend's collection of freeware games nicely illustrates!
The Lost Vikings is a great game; one of the best puzzle platformers ever. But haven't you ever wished that it had more... zombies? Well good thing for you Gentleman Squid has come along and developed just that. In Three Dead Zed, you play as a zombie who has three forms, each with its own abilities. Your job is to jump, climb and attack your way to the end of the level to rescue some defenseless beings.
- • Process
- • Hubris
- • Bust-n-Rush
Weekend... INITIATE! Now that your non-week is underway, it's time to fill your time with time-eating games. Not only will you learn valuable life lessons, you'll feel good that you aren't just sitting around eating cheesecake again!
The word 'orphanage' tends to conjure up images of starving waifs in ragged clothes begging for more gruel, doesn't it? However, the so-named orphanage in today's fantastic adventure hybrid from Orneon is not that type of orphanage, or at least, it doesn't appear so at first. This is a place for "special" children, children who have abilities that are outside of the norm. Unfortunately something has happened to both the orphanage and the children in The Agency of anomalies: Cinderstone Orphanage and it must quickly be put to rights before something terrible happens. Something even more terrible than a musical about cheeky pickpockets.
Arche is worried about fitting in. Her family has just moved to the little hamlet of Tonkiness to open an item shop, and it turns out her dreams of learning magic may be short lived once she discovers she needs an expensive elemental stone to even practice at her new school. But a simple rumour might lead her on to a much bigger adventure than she ever imagined in this beautiful but difficult action platforming RPG.
After thousands of years, the Mugunghwa, sent into space to establish the first interstellar colony, has been found floating dead. You're sent after it to discover what happened to its crew with the help of two very different AIs, but the truth is vastly more complicated than you might think, and nowhere near black and white. In Christine Love's debut commercial visual novel release, take part in a captivating, clever, and emotional story that deals with love, politics, forgiveness... and hate.
The three modes of play make the game attractive to a wide variety of hybrid enthusiasts, the story is intriguing, the gameplay amusing, the visuals stunning, and the overall experience is one that freaks out and delights in equal measure. Midnight Mysteries: Haunted Houdini proudly carries the series banner forward and provides great entertainment at a reasonable price. Give it a try and prepare to be both entertained and enlightened.
- • Invert
- • Hack, Slash, Loot
- • Dungeon Chaos
A little bit of looting, a little bit of inverting, and a whole lot of shooting in this edition of Weekend Download. In fact, if you tried to take Weekend Download through an airport security gate, you'd probably find yourself on the receiving in of some nasty stares and/or unusual search techniques.
Originally released in mid-2011 by indie game creator E. Hashimoto (Buster), Hydra Castle Labyrinth is an old school-styled platform adventure that was previously only available in Japanese. A brave soul recently translated the game to English, and now the cute metroidvania title is available for a much wider audience to enjoy. And enjoy it ye shall!
The fairytales you heard when you were young, the ones you thought stuffed with nonsense and meant only as cautionary allegories to frighten children into behaving properly, are not so far from the truth. So, as curious as Alice in Wonderland, you peek behind the veneer, following clues left by Fiona, a little girl trapped in another dimension, and become caught up in Otherworld: Spring of Shadows, a sumptuously-detailed fantasy adventurehybrid from Boomzap.
- • The Cat that Got the Milk
- • The Fourth Wall
- • Backworlds
How do you feel about... TACTICAL MISDIRECTION?!!! *flashing lights* That's good. Glad to know it. Now, how do you feel about a game semi-sorta doing that with its title? And what if that title involves felines?
The Kingdom of Fredicus is a place that loves its heroes. Unfortunately, Reemus, exterminator extraordinaire and overshadowed brother to the local dragon slayer, is having trouble convincing that populace that he deserves a little undying adulation. Sure, later in life he'll have Several Journeys to prove his bravery against invading death slugs. Right now, though, it's early in his adventure gaming career, and even after his first minimal-property-damaging bug slaying, he's have trouble getting people listen to the glorifying ballads written by his faithful bear companion, Liam. So a-questing he goes, in search of glory, gratitude, and, most importantly, a soft bed. It's The Ballads of Reemus: When the Bed Bites, the first premium downloadable adventure game in the popular series, produced by the newly minted Click Shake Games! And while the anticipation may have driven us all a little buggy, it was totally worth it.
Viggo and Christine thought they had escaped the evil that had almost destroyed them and left their lives in ruins before they found each other. One evening, Viggo is abducted by a mysterious figure, and Christine turns to you for help in finding him. The trail leads you to dark and mysterious Blackhill Manor... and now that you've arrived, it's quite clear someone doesn't ever want you to leave. Will you survive the Black Widow of Black Hill? Another installment in the wonderful hidden-object adventure Nightfall Mysteries series.
It's rough getting thrown in the Pit. Mainly because everyone there has the Plague, and nobody ever comes out... at least, not until you. Instead of dying, you, a mild castle librarian, unlock a hidden power within yourself that lets you and your friends battle monsters on another plane... and grants you the chance to save the world. A fantastic and engaging indie game from Level Up Labs that blends strategy, tower defense, fantasy, comedy, and even RPG elements for one wildly addictive game.
Dustforce is a speed-centric acrobatic platform game from Hitbox Team. A demo first appeared back in 2010, showing off the concept and basic design. Since then, the game has undergone some silent but effective changes, improving upon the controls and adding loads of content to sweep through. It's a fast, combo-centric arcade experience that emphasizes speed and perfection, and thanks to the online highscore boards and per-level badges, you'll be strangely compelled to keep playing until everything is just right.
The master of short-form adventure games, Ben Chandler, creator of Annie Android, Eternally Us, brings us another bite-sized retro game that has, perhaps, the most unusual name we've seen for a release we've seen in months. ˆ_ˆ is the story of Julian who is, apparently, the father of the were-bunny race, but he's not so happy about that role. Your job, then, is to help transform him back into a human being, using a combination of biting and headbutting! Not as smart or meaningful as Ben's other releases, perhaps, but it more than makes up for it with wackiness.
- • Deity
- • ^_^, Pitiri 1977
A rousing mix of games this week, featuring pleasantly strange free releases alongside some sturdy demos. A bunny who likes to yell? A demon that can live in a candle? That'll get you to sit up straight and start downloading some games!
A letter telling you about a relative you never knew you had brings you to the shadiest looking mansion ever in the dead of night, but before you can say "bad idea" you find yourself knocked unconscious at the gates. Things don't get much better for you from there out, as you soon discover there's some very bad magic going down and this house holds all sorts of bizarre and creepy secrets you'll have to conquer if you want to escape. A gorgeous and creative hidden-object adventure that's definitely worth a look.
The time has come for adventure!... well, a little one, anyway! This simplified roguelike from Ido Yeheili offers three different heroes ready to delve into a dangerous dungeon in search of an evil Minotaur what needs slayin'. While definitely not quite as complex as other titles in the genre, Cardinal Quest offers an ease of use and engaging gameplay that's hard to beat and harder to put down.
Rarely are there arcade shooters as epic, gorgeous, playable, and steeped in story as Jamestown. A release from Final Form, Jamestown combines stunning pixel art with a vertically-scrolling top-down shooter (shmup), all set in a 17th century colony on Mars where Spanish Conquistadors have teamed up with native Martians to keep the new settlers away. What you end up with is a superb arcade game that's easy for beginners to get into but still a challenge to master.
- • Split Party!
- • One Final Trek
- • Stray Whisker
Bringing in the end of 2011 with a happy little ring, the 22nd Ludum Dare competition challenged participants to make a game based on a given theme within a 48 hour time frame. Over 700 entries were submitted, and after some rounds of user voting, everything has been ranked and categorized according to awesomeness. We've featured a few of our favorites below, each one representing the compo's "alone" theme quite nicely!
Awem Studio has done it again, putting together a prequel sequel to the fun title, The Island: Castaway. In The Island: Castaway 2, play as the young tribesman, Yati, as he travels around the island during a time when everything was whole and right, just before any 'strangers' came. Using the same interface that worked for them before, Awem Studio offers another great simulation game that weaves a tale of wonder and mysticism.
A crazy, multiplayer romp through a visually lush game featuring three moderately-mad fantasy characters with their own unique abilities? Show us where to sign and we'll be there! Actually, now that you mention it, Trine 2 happens to be all of the things described above, plus a whole lot more. It's got action, it's got physics puzzles, it's got both single- and online multiplayer modes, and it's got a sense of humor that will probably remind you of Magicka. It's a modern-day version of The Lost Vikings, and any gamer will be proud to experience the world Trine 2 has to offer!
- • Bomb Detective
- • Seraphim Flame
- • FOLLY
A bountiful harvest of platform games? Sure, why not?! They're sort of the trail mix of the gaming realm. They're everywhere, and there are so many different flavors you can barely choose one to munch on at a time. Some of them have unsavory elements (like coconut flakes, who puts that in trail mix?!), but others are irresistibly delicious with all those banana chips and almonds and tiny bits of chocolate...
A ghost, a wolf, a dark and isolated castle, and possibly even a werewolf? Looks like you've got your hands full in the latest hidden object hybrid from Elephant Games, Grim Tales: The Legacy. A sequel to Grim Tales: The Bride, the story and setting are connected between the two games, only this time around, you're stalking through a castle while a peculiar wolf hunts you from the shadows.
When Sam's girlfriend Anna is kidnapped after his articles in the local newspaper about a crazed maniac begin to get too close to the truth, he has no other options but to bow to the madman's demands and come alone to an old mansion on the edge of town. What he finds inside is both disturbing and strange, but if he wants to save Anna and make it out alive he'll have to master the puzzles and unlock the truth behind the kidnappings. A somewhat campy but extremely entertaining hidden-object adventure that will keep you wrapped up for hours in a surreal, dramatic world.
A New Beginning is a classically-styled adventure game from the well-respected Hamburg-based publisher and developer Daedalic Entertainment. With A New Beginning, the team has created a great-looking game that's billed as an "eco thriller", two words you wouldn't necessarily want associated with each other. But halfway through the prologue, you'll realize Daedalic pulled it off, as A New Beginning successfully combines socially aware environmental messages with a smart, puzzle-driven storyline.
If you're a logic puzzle fan (both paper-and-pencil and electronic, alike), you've probably heard of a little game called picross. It's a crossword puzzle meets number logic with an artsy twist. Fugazo brings their puzzles to you in the next installment of their popular series, World Mosaics V, where you find a familiar experience with a new storyline and, of course, 100s of new puzzles!
- • Minicraft
- • Incomitat
- • Void
How about some diversions for the last day of the year? Two games pulled from the recent Ludum Dare compo, both of which share some of the same basic ideas and gameplay directions but end up being very different from each other, Then, just to make sure you're paying attention, a totally different game! Wow!
According to popular myth, werewolves are pretty much all over the place, leading normal lives just like the rest of us tax-paying citizens. For the most part, they're pretty normal. Walking around, visiting Starbucks, and maybe even holding the door for you when your hands are full. But when it's the full moon, werewolf kind has a difficult time blending in. And we're not just talking about the smell! In the new hidden object adventure game from ERS Game Studio, Shadow Wolf Mysteries: Bane of the Family, you get to dive a bit deeper into the family structure of a family of werewolves, learning all about their curse and how this odd transformation travels from parents to children.
Q.U.B.E.: Quick Understanding of Block Extrusion is one of those special games you don't get to see as often as you would like. It's a first person puzzle game, which is rare enough in its own right, but then you combine that with a stark method of storytelling, creative use of environmental puzzles, and an interface that's as smooth as the shiny blocks that make up the levels. What you're left with is a thoroughly satisfying game with masterfully designed puzzles from beginning to end.
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.
- • Fireplace
- • Frostbite
- • Home Sheep Home 2
- • A Little Epic
- • Zetanoid
Ice and fire! Hot and cold! Marshmallows! Sheep! During the holidays it's important to shout random things from time to time, just to make sure you're in the festive spirit. For bonus points, shout while playing these games. If you annoy a neighbor/roommate, achievement unlocked!
While the claim of holding a thousand doors may be a little much, Alawar's casual adventure game House of 1000 Doors: Family Secret is certainly packed with family secrets, not to mention a twisted plot that reveals information about as slowly as an episode of Lost. The story is the star, but the gameplay pulls its own weight, leaving you feeling confidently thrilled as you crawl through the hallways of the mysteriously vanishing mansion.
Natalie's got big problems. Or at least, to her they're big. With her parents threatening to cut her off unless she gets her priorities straight, the college student has no choice but to take a job over winter break in the sleepy little burg of Fairbrook. Will Natalie emerge at the end of 12 weeks just as aimless and self-absorbed as when she started? Or will the people she meets and the things she experiences drag her kicking and screaming into emotional maturity? A sweet and sentimental little visual novel simulation from Winter Wolves packed with charm and likable characters.
Bundling up indie games is what all the cool kids are doing these days, as is pricing them "pay what you want" while donating portions of the proceeds to charity. But here's something refreshingly different: The 99 Percent Bundle. This totally free collection of indie games aims to highlight some of the lesser-known developers out there, the people who continue to make the games they love and release them for free. It's sort of the indies of the indie community, and it's the perfect way to discover new titles you might have missed over the last few months.
Are you ready for a light science fiction adventure with some nautical flair? Nemo's Secret: Vulcania is an adventure/hidden-object hybrid offering you just that. With some unique puzzles and animated hidden-object scenes, Odian Games offers a refreshing hybrid game without the usual murderers and supernatural spooks. It's enough to make anyone want to hop ship and have a spin at the wheel.
- • Hyper Princess Pitch
- • Egress - The Test of STS-417
- • Dragon Fantasy
Hey—hi there! Welcome! Come on it, have a seat. Would you like a warm beverage? Cold one? Just a handful of games? All right, that's fine too. Although the hot cocoa is stunning... Anyway! You asked for games, and so you get them. One game to make you scratch your head, one game where you can shoot Mecha Santa, and one game where you can learn to be a thief. Game enough for you? No? Maybe some hot cocoa would fill the void, then?
Haunty spooky ghosty hidden object adventure games are as common as the dark nights they take place in, but Haunted Past: Realm of Ghosts felt like doing something different. Aside from its well-built interface and crisp visual presentation, Gogii Game's hybrid release offers a different take on traveling between dimensions and hidden objects in general. Instead of just looking for things, you must also hide them, a sort of treasure hunt you play with yourself!
Temple of Life: The Legend of Four Elements is a casual adventure game dusted with a sprinkling of hidden object scenes. Unlike most hybrids out there, Temple of Life ditches the whole spooky mansion bit in favor of a classic cursed burial chamber, complete with traps and some delightfully complicated puzzles. The plot may not be anything new, but the mini-games are crisp, and the overall sense of mystery and danger are as strong as any movie where the main character runs from giant boulders and wears superb brown fedoras!
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!
Dark, grim, and filled with ghosts. Yes, that's what most adventure/hidden object hybrids seem to be these days. But that's not necessarily a bad thing, especially if it's done really, really well. There's a new developer out there, Play Favorite Games, that has taken up the challenge and done just that with 9: The Dark Side, a spooky exploration of a cursed castle and town that delivers just about every bell and whistle you could ask for.
- • Lost and Found
- • Hyperbolic Rogue
- • Six
Ready for a nugget of the strange and unusual? Three games carved from the walls of the Cave of Indie Coolness, built with non-standard ideas and experimental concepts in mind. No copy/paste genre cloning, more like the genres wish they could copy/paste these games!
Stranded in a dusty, limbo-like town, a freaky sheriff marching around, a little girl running around the streets, and mysterious messages telling you to stay in your hotel room. This sure is a strange part of Resurrection, New Mexico, especially when you consider the bricked-up wall with Native American symbols preventing your escape! Time to explore a bit and find a way out. This puzzle-filled hidden object adventure game from Media Art, creator of Love Story: The Beach Cottage, has a vibe that sits somewhere between an old western tale and an episode of the X-Files. Only, you know, with more ballerinas and serpent/dragon tails slithering about!
If you've spent any time around the indie gaming scene, you're familiar with the name increpare, also known as Stephen Lavelle. Known for creating short, small, creative and artistic-type games, increpare has jumped from the realm of experimental games to the world of full-fledged releases, unleashing the fantastic English Country Tune for the world to scratch their collective heads over. The game looks fantastic and plays like several of your favorite logic puzzle games rolled into one superb, pseudo-3D package.
Based on an H.P. Lovecraft story, Mystery Stories: Mountains of Madness is a casual adventure game set in the snowy hills of Antarctica. As if pulling a tale from Lovecraft wasn't interesting enough, the team at Cerasus Media went on to create an adventure game fused with intricate puzzles and alluring locations that beg your cursor to go searching for every item and every object it can click on. It's a quietly impressive game that walks a different path than most casual adventure/hidden object games, making it a fantastic experience from beginning to end.
- • Ninja vs Samurai
- • ALTCODE
- • Johnny Platform Saves Christmas
Let's celebrate this weekend like it's a holiday! An ASCII shooter/Christmas/ninja holiday! We'll all rise before dawn, steal down to the local airfield, nab a jet, and fly around all day long! Also: gingerbread men for dessert!!!
The life of a fairy tale detective must be an exhausting one. For one thing, you seem to get called in at a moment's notice all over the world whenever anything strange happens. For another, you must then spend a lot of time fighting your way through fairy tales as they were originally meant to be: dark, scary, and dangerous. However, you are again up to the task in the latest adventure/hidden object hybrid from Blue Tea Games, Dark Parables: Rise of the Snow Queen.
The original freeware platform adventure game Cave Story was released by Daisuke Amaya (Pixel) back in 2004. An English translation from Aeon Genesis followed just two months later, opening the game up to a much wider audience and allowing to vault to the top of the indie gaming world. Featuring amazing music, a well-written story, power-ups, upgrades, and a big world to explore, saying Cave Story was a hit is a gross understatement. Several years later, the game has been ported to half a dozen other systems and re-released with remastered music and updated HD graphics. Now, Cave Story+ is here, upgrading the freeware experience to something your eyes and ears can more fully appreciate!
Think open world platform adventure games like Knytt Stories are falling out of favor? Treasure Adventure Game is happy to prove you wrong. With its massive open world stocked from end to end with treasures, secrets, characters, quests, puzzles, and more, this old school throwback manages to combine adventure, RPG, and platforming genres into the kind of game you'll only have the honor of experiencing a few times in your life. Also: it's free!
In gameplay as well as story, this hybrid-adventure from Vogat Interactive is laden with entertaining twists and turns and dynamic characters. Neatly-composed hidden object scenes and plenty of diverse puzzles fit thematically into the storyline so that, the more you play, the more involved in the story you become. If you've watched any number of late night movies on broadcast TV, you'll make a few summations long before our savvy blonde protagonist catches a clue. Yet that doesn't detract from the depth of story, superb character development and plentiful personality—all pulled together in a cheesy, soap-operaesque wrapper. If it's true there are only seven original plot lines, Guardians of Beyond: Witchville does a fine job scripting them all.
- • Tiny Plumbers
- • Space Chunks II
- • Trail
As much as designers and players would love it to be true, games don't appear out of magical elf dust. They take hours, weeks, months and years to create, stitching together every line of code and every piece of artwork. To that end, many programmers and studios have taken to releasing alpha and beta games to drum up support, snagging players early to help with feedback and bug reports while the developer gets to continue drinking coffee and coding. Everybody wins, and we get more games, better games, and games at a more rapid pace!
A letter from Christie's twin sister Stella brings her back home from schooling in London. It seems their parents have passed away, and with Christie the only family Stella has left, it may finally be the tragic catalyst the sisters need to bury the bad blood between them and come to accept one another. Of course, that's if Christie can survive the twister spider demon that seems to have taken up her family home as a holiday spot and has been drawing the souls out of those unlucky enough to wander near. Can Christie solve the puzzles and challenges in her way to save her sister... and does Stella even want to be saved? Find out in this creepy but gorgeous hidden object adventure!
Charles and his twisted son Victor are back in Mystery Case Files: Escape from Ravenhearst, the third and final (?) installment of the popular Ravenhearst adventures. Replacing the standard hidden object scenes with morphing objects, this is not your usual hidden object adventure hybrid. The mini-games are fun and challenging, and best of all skippable if they turn out to be not your cup of tea. There is a bit of back-and-forth backtracking, although not nearly as much in Return to Ravenhearst as Escape from Ravenhearst is divided up into more manageable sections. If dark and twisted with a side of gorgeous is your cup of tea, then this is definitely the game for you!
Girl with a Heart of is a sidescrolling adventure game that plays like an interactive, art-filled story. Making choices during conversations serves as the meat of the game, and what information you bring out and discuss with characters not only shapes the knowledge you take away, but it also affects future conversations. The characters, storyline, and backstory are all richly detailed and create a provocative dystopian science fiction setting, one that you'll happily dive into with each and every scrap of conversation.
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!
A photo with a single line of print on the back... it isn't much, but it's all you've got to potentially lead you to your family. You've been in orphanages all your life and you jump at the chance to find out who you really are when the picture shows up on your doorstep anonymously, but the truth may be more gruesome than you wish. A creepy yet stunning hidden-object adventure with a heavy emphasis on story... and more than a little gore.
- • Wither
- • The Thirteenth Year
- • The Caldwell Incident
We've got some serious subject matter on the plate for this edition of Weekend Download. Grief, loss, religion, philosophy, government conspiracies, and probably a whole lot more hiding beneath the surface! Only venture forth if you've got a mind ready to do some serious digesting...
Remember Titus? Sure you do, he's that dummy who got himself trapped in a magic book his malevolent uncle left lying around. Then he called on you to help free a library from an evil genie who was ruining the classic stories contained within. It's been a few years, but Titus is back in the latest (and greatest) installment of the Azada series of adventure/hidden object hybrids, Azada in Libro. That darned evil uncle is trying to take over the magical land of Azada once again, and this time it's personal!
How long has it been since you played a game of Arkanoid or any of its numerous modern-day children? A year? Five years? A billion-dy hundred years? Thought so. Tribute Games wants to fix that egregious error with Wizorb, an 8-bit-styled Arkanoid clone that adds a little bonus fun on top with the addition of magic spells, a shop, and some minor RPG elements. Sound awesome? You bet your slow-moving paddle it is!
If you're unfortunate enough to have the deserved nickname "Bluebeard", you'd better have a kickin' castle and a killer reputation to keep yourself from looking like a big lame-o. That's exactly the case with the antagonist in Bluebeard's Castle, a hidden object adventure release from Fanda Games. Focusing more on the adventure side of things, expect a full heaping of puzzles, unnerving settings, strange noises in the background, and ornate decorations that could use a serious tweaking from Dress My Nest.
In addition to having two games starring astronauts, this little piece of Weekend Download deliciousness happens to include some games that, in our humblest of opinions, display extraordinary amounts of creativity. Prepare to be intrigued! *spooky hand gestures*
A frantic letter brings you to France to help look for your missing brother, but you don't exactly receive a warm welcome when someone in a full suit of armor knocks you unconscious in your hotel room. Things go from bad to worse when you wake up to find the town dark and deserted... except for the people who will do anything to keep you from finding out the truth. An imaginative though slightly convoluted story combines with lengthy, engrossing gameplay in this hidden-object adventure from Elephant Games!
Death Under Tuscan Skies: A Dana Knightstone Novel is the latest hidden-object adventure hybrid in the Dana Knightstone series, and it explores the pitfalls of the life of a famous professional writer. Dana has decided to take a break from writing and accepts a gig as a guest lecturer at a University in Tuscany. Things start to take a turn for the mysterious when a handsome professor and a melancholy ghost make their appearances. Pretty soon Dana is blowing off research for the lecture to solve a mystery involving a girl that died young of a mysterious disease and her missing love, Giovanni. Those looking for a relaxed, non-scary adventure that still features ghosts should give this amusing and entertaining hybrid a try.
Johnny has one wish... to go to the moon. As he lays, a dying old man, his only hope to fulfill it lies in the hands of two doctors with a new technology that allows them to alter the memories of their patients and give them what they desire. As they dig deeper into Johnny's past, however, they'll find his wish isn't as simple as it seems, and the path to happiness isn't always a perfectly smooth one. By turns funny, touching, and eerie, this is one indie adventure game you shouldn't miss.
Striking a balance between highly tactical, challenging combat and one of the deepest, most engrossing stories of all time, Bioware's original real-time RPG series still holds up today, almost thirteen years after release. Create a character and discover the truth about yourself in this complex game filled with memorable characters, dangerous encounters, magic, plot twists, and much, much more. Enjoy this deep Dungeons and Dragons game "vanilla", or install one of the many fan-made mods from the robust community to give you even more reason to replay.
It's not Halloween, but there's always an open space for abandoned theme parks, midget jesters, and overweight clown ghosts in your gaming schedule! Weird Park: Broken Tune fits you in the fedora of a detective set on the case of John Flatter, a journalist who went missing in the town of Fairy Gate. You end up in an old theme park, complete with derelict equipment and dusty attractions that look like they're about to eat you. A journalist's work is never done, however, and the more you poke your nose around, the stranger things get.
- • NORD
- • The Mushroom and the Saw
- • Gravity Box
- • Rhythmical
What? An entire Weekend Download dedicated to shooters? Has someone gone mad? Apparently, yes! The shmup genre has a loyal fanbase of dedicated players, eating up crazy-difficult releases like they were candy and picking on the finer points of swarm-based action gaming. Casual players can enjoy a good shooter or two as well, and the games below will provide some challenge without alienating the less, shall we say, reflexually impared amongst us!
Storylines in the adventure/hidden object hybrid genre of casual games contain a massive range of scenarios. Some are set in the past, some feature magic and curses, some feature an orphan on a quest to find their family, some feature time travel, etc. But what do you think about a game having all of the above? And more? Check out Time Mysteries: The Ancient Spectres by Artifex Mundi to see how that's possible!
Few things are as exciting as a well-made casual solitaire game. Well, few things that aren't cake, hugs from puppies, or driving up to a traffic light just as it turns green and starts dispensing candy. In the absence of that miracle, though, the latest game from Big Fish Games Studios will certainly fill that fun-shaped void in your life. Fairway is an enormously well-polished game of golf-themed tri-peaks solitaire. Take cards from the pile, pair them with the face-up card below, uncover a few neat power-ups, and try to clear the screen without breaking par!
You thought you had it bad when you were forced to trick-and-treat with your twin, but things only get worse when he (or she!) is mistaken for an actual piece of candy by the real monsters that are pillaging the town! None of the adults will believe you, but unless you want to be in a lot of trouble when you come home alone, you'll have to embark on a rescue mission in this charming, laugh-out-loud funny adventure RPG from DoubleFine. Create and unlock new costumes and do epic battle as you become the very thing you're dressed up as, and stop a candy conspiracy that could threaten the world!
Can't decide if you want to play a rhythm game or a good old fashioned dungeon crawling RPG? Now you can have both, with Iridium Studios' hybrid gem, Sequence. Originally released on the Xbox Live Arcade platform, Sequence takes a little bit of music, adds in combat, spells, weapons and items, shuffles them around in a sort of time management kind of manner, and sets it before you with a side of humor and a dose of "what the heck was that I just fought and why did it insult my mother?".
- • the wall of our hearts
- • Yeti
- • Ragmeg Alleycat
- • Abduction Destruction
This week's games were presented before a panel of elite judges prior to publication. They were coffee tasting judges, but you gotta figure their impeccable sense of taste transfers from beverages to games, right? After rigorous screening, the scientifically-verified result is as such: three out of four coffee tasters think the games below are definitely very very fun! The fourth judge thinks they're "rather" fun, but that doesn't make for a very interesting pull quote...
A Day in the Woods is a sliding puzzle adventure from Retro Epic that stars none other than Little Red Riding Hood. It's a simple game built around simple, classic puzzle ideas, but it's lengthy and challenging enough to provide an afternoon of brilliant entertainment. Also, one look at the game and you'll absolutely fall in love with the visual style!
A remarkable sequel to one of the most engaging match-3 games ever, 4 Elements. Once again the elements are out of whack in the Magic Kingdom and it's up to you to make things right before all life ceases to exist. Prepare for tons of elemental delights!
This new puzzle-heavy hidden object adventure by Sandlot Games contains a generous blend of puzzles and hidden object scenes to keep you actively engaged throughout your adventure. Join Tess as she confronts nightmarish scenes of skeletons, monsters threatening to devour young children, and dungeons of trapped souls as well as imagination-inspired fantasies: a bee with a mechanical unicorn, a room covered in gold leafing, and an Escheresque hedge maze. Alternating from beautiful childhood fantasies to twisted fears and dystopic visions, every scene is a gorgeous piece of art. Playing Sphera is well worth the experience, just be sure to have a cheerful something or other standing by for when you're done.
Each year, the Independent Games Festival (IGF) holds a competition to showcase innovation in the indie gaming community. This year, a group of developers got together and submitted a pirate kart, a collection of "cheap", fast-made games packaged together into a single release. The kart features more than 300 titles created by over 100 developers, including some highly-recognizable names such as Terry Cavanagh, Adam Saltsman, Petri Purho, Bento Smile, Andy Moore, and plenty of others!
Normally you might want to avoid chasing maniacal tentacled Doctors into hellish nether-realms, but in this case you've got someone you need to rescue... several someones, as it turns out. In this imaginative hidden-object adventure, you'll need to delve into the nightmares of children whose fear is being extracted for... well, to find out why, you'll need to play yourself.
Drawn has returned. The third game in the series, Drawn: Trail of Shadows, dares to outdo its predecessors in what simply must be the most enchanting hidden object adventure game to date. The visuals have improved (if you can believe it!), the storytelling is even more intriguing, and the puzzles are as rich as before. Good hidden object games are hard to come by, so when you find a game this great, you'd best dive right in.
Not too long ago a relative newcomer to adventure/hidden object hybrids, ChaYoWo games, took us on a journey through the heart of Southern India in The Dark Hills of Cherai. Now they're back and once again the player will be transported to a place few will ever be able to visit in The Dark Hills of Cherai: The Regal Scepter.
The dead are still unquiet, and aspiring writer and awkward medium Rosangela Blackwell is having a more difficult time dealing with it than usual... especially when one of her friends turns up among the spirits. Together with her sarcastic spirit guide Joey Mallone, will she be able to break open a conspiracy before it claims even more victims, or is she more vulnerable than she thinks? Find out in this stellar continuation of the point-and-click adventure series from Wadjet Eye Games.