Melrose's life hasn't been easy, and when she hears about a device that could let her live inside her dreams, she jumps at the chance to live out her fantasies and escape her hardships. But she's about to find out that you can't outrun your problems, and everybody has to grow up sometimes. From Rose Portal Games comes this turn-based RPG fantasy with over 40 hours of playtime, and an entirely original soundtrack and design.
Wispa Forest is a new hidden object game from Reflexive Entertainment. It immediately stands out from the dark and gloomy crowd of hidden object games with its gorgeous watercolor scenery and light-hearted storyline. Forget insane asylums, being trapped in castles, and relatives going missing while searching for ancient artifacts. Wispa Forest is about fairies, fairy friends, fairy enemies, and a curious little human girl, too!
- • Fail-Deadly
- • Unarmed and Dangerous
- • The Lair of Fungal Wonder
- • Isolation
Another Ludum Dare, another bunch of cool experimental games to play! This competition's theme was "enemies as weapons", and each entry did something slightly different with the concept.
Things are not going well for Hannah. A motorcycle crash separated her from her husband, and she wakes up in a creepy castle staring at a strange figure in the window. Her head hurts, she can't remember anything, and the people in this place won't let her leave. A ghost named Isabella appears who says she once suffered the same fate, trapped in the castle and kept from the one she loved. Now, Hannah is determined to find freedom in the new casual adventure game Escape from Frankenstein's Castle.
Instead of playing the usual part of "hero who saves the world", Recettear fits you in behind the scenes as shopkeeper, the thankless job of providing an endless supply of items. You'll haggle with customers, make smart purchases as the guild, and even hire adventurers to strike out on your own, looting dungeons in true action/RPG form!
Royal Trouble, the latest from Heartwild Solitaire creator Orchid Games, is a casual point-and-click adventure game that focuses on Princess Loreen and Prince Nathaniel as they try to escape the dungeon without driving each other mad in the process. Players in search of an amusing script with memorable characters and looking to solve some logical puzzles shouldn't miss out on this escapade.
Daniel wakes up on the floor of an ancient castle, unable to remember anything but his name... unfortunate for him since his past might be out to get them. Frictional Games delivers one of the most tense and frightening horror titles in a long time, using superb atmosphere and physics controls to plunge you into a story you won't soon forget... assuming you survive.
After taking over her grandfather's failing cafe and turning it into a thriving business, intrepid barista Amelie returns for more in Amelie's Cafe: Summer Time, a new time management game from Boolat Games. Summer Time trades the bustling city setting of the original for a summer beach motif, but the gameplay is just as enticing
- • Jables's Adventures
- • L'Abbaye des Morts
- • PlasmaPig
We've been fortunate enough to receive a number of big indie releases these last weeks, but the "even more indie" small devs aren't sitting on their hands, as evidenced by the games below. Behold, free awesomeness!
A new casual adventure game from Ghost Ship Studios, Nightmare Adventures: The Witch's Prison takes you on a dark and creepy tour of an abandoned asylum. The grim setting and somewhat unhinged events that transpire set an interesting plot that drives the game's thoughtful, fluid puzzles. Your reward for solving puzzles is more of the story, and you'll devour every tidbit of information the game gives you.
The road to magical greatness is difficult, littered with dragons, enchantments, adventure... not to mention test scores, rival students, detentions, and trying to keep your ghostly familiar in check. This incredibly ambitious text adventure from Black Chicken Studios is one part life simulator, one part fantasy RPG, and a whole lot of fun if you have the patience to let yourself become immersed in the tale of the making of the greatest mage of all time... you.
Out of the capable hands of Youda Games comes a time management game that will have you hooked for days on in. Youda Survivor combines some of the best elements from Youda Games' previous efforts with some stylistic influences from games like Farm Frenzy. Not only are you gathering items and converting them to better products, you're also boiling them into new and exciting potions to make you look more impressive in the eyes of the island chief!
Sam and Max cap off the final episode of their new season of adventure games with The City That Dares Not Sleep.
From the experienced casual game forces of Reflexive Entertainment (Simplz: Zoo) and Anawiki (Soccer Cup Solitaire) comes GabCab, a way-too-cute time management game starring the big-eyed taxi cab, Gabby. People need to get to where they want to go, and seeing as how you seem to be the best (and only) taxi in town, it's your job to drive them there! Answer the call of the customers and take them to their destinations, picking up tips along the way to spend in the game's well-stocked upgrade store.
- • MADRIS
- • Infinity Bit
- • Tales of Unspoken World
- • Under the Garden
A Game By Its Cover competition has ended, all the votes are in, and the games are ready to play! The competition asked artists to craft cover art for imaginary games, then the programmers stepped in and made games based on the art. We've already featured a few of the contenders in the competition (Cat Poke, 8:Capsule, Dot Order Tie, and Love Letter), so below we'll highlight a few other favorites from the competition.
Drawn: Dark Flight is the direct sequel to last year's hidden object/adventure hybrid Drawn: The Painted Tower, and it spins another intricate tale of dark mystery and intrigue. It pulls you in with a delicious atmosphere crafted by sublime visuals and strong storytelling, and its adventure-centric gameplay builds upon that by getting you to think about the environment, the items you find, and the puzzles in front of you. It's easily one of the best casual adventure games ever released.
Give the rural life a go with this fast-paced management game. Plow, sow and harvest your crops to keep the local towns fixated on your watermelons (and other crops). And shoot a few crows for relaxation.
Built like an adventure game from the ground up, Robin's Quest: A Legend Born is a cure for the common hidden object game. The gorgeous release from Gogii Games puts you in the now-feminine shoes of Robin Hood as she escapes prison and starts doing what the legend is famous for: taking money from the rich Prince John and giving it back to the people!
- • Sugar Cube
- • Mr. Blocko: Super Tournament Edition
- • Alex Adventure
CUUUUTE games this week. So unabashedly cute. Sugar cubes and tiny block guys. Squeaking mushrooms and elevators that play elevator music. Ohhhh, I'm gonna burst with sugary sweetness.
My Kingdom for the Princess has returned in an aptly-titled sequel, My Kingdom for the Princess 2! Nevosoft brings back its casual resource management/building game with a new story, new levels, new settings, and some other little twists to give players of the original something to look forward to. If you love games like Build-a-lot but can't stand keeping track of so many things at once, My Kingdom for the Princess will suit you just fine.
Far to the north in an ancient tower a paladin may have gone astray and awoken something dangerous deep beneath the ice. It's up to you to investigate... provided you have the stones for it. The smash-hit rpg/match-3 puzzle hybrid returns with all the addictive adventurous gameplay you remember plus some significant additions. Clear your agenda for the next week and turn off the phone... adventure awaits.
When her childhood friend gets locked up by the evil emperor, Yu sets off in a journey through ruined towns, haunted woods, underwater palaces and alternative realities where snails fly in this brand new hidden object/adventure game!
Enlightenus II: The Timeless Tower, a sequel to the original Enlightenus, is an utterly intriguing adventure game. Calling it a hidden object title is not only inaccurate, it doesn't do the game's style justice. Think of it as a modern-day casual Myst, complete with hidden worlds warped by magic, puzzles that require toting inventory items around, and mini-games worth their weight in pixels. Enlightenus II is exactly the kind of game any casual adventure (or even hidden object) fan is craving.
- • Momodora
- • Nudo
- • Cat Poke
- • 8:capsule
Pop quiz! The fact that there is now a game about poking cats is: A) Awesome or B) AWEsome. Your answer will greatly influence your future. Think carefully.
Snark Busters: Welcome to the Club is a new hidden object game from Alawar. If you're tired of dime novel-quality storylines, cheesy settings that go from haunted mansion to haunted castle and back, and protagonists whose missing family members you couldn't care less about, this game is your savior. Snark Busters doesn't pretend to be anything new and original, but by doing that, it succeeds at both. It's a hidden object game with wide appeal, enticing fans of the genre and encouraging everyone else to hop in and give the genre a try!
With his egg-bound siblings scattered all over the level, Toki Tori has to harness the powers of bridge building, block drops, ghost traps freeze rays, teleportation and waddling to rescue them all in the return of this brilliant puzzle/platform game.
There's another world inside a painting, another time period, and one that needs your help. After the events of Royal House of Stone you thought the witch had been dealt with, but when you suddenly find yourself stranded in a realm where the inhabitants have been cursed into shadow, it's up to you to put a stop to her once again in this fun point-and-click/hidden-object hybrid.
Being a good nanny is tough work. Gwen, though, seems to be a natural. In fact, taking care of the little ones is so second-nature to her, she gets invited to Fantasy Town to help care for all sorts of unique families. From robots to frogs, plants to undersea critters, Gwen uses her magical abilities to keep the young ones happy and fed through dozens of levels. Gwen the Magic Nanny pours on the creativity in a simple but alluring time management game from Namco.
- • Typomagia!
- • Chawp!
- • Liquisity 2
- • Warlock Bentspine
The exclamation mark. It is thought to have originated from the Latin word for joy, lo, and made an appearance in printed English literature in the 1400s. Now, developers can append it to the end of their game titles to denote happiness, excitement or, indeed, to encourage you to exclaim the name outloud.
Jumping on the picross wagon with a new downloadable release is World Riddles: Seven Wonders from Funny Bear Studio. Similar to the World Mosaics series, World Riddles sends you on a journey as you fill in picross grids across the globe, learning about the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World as you go. One key difference here is the addition of mini-games, small diversions that break up the logic puzzles for a quick round of jigsaw, picture completion, missing objects, and more!
Today, Carrion is struggling to hold off an enemy attack long enough to allow civilians to escape while his country burns around him. But how did he get there? As a respected soldier, Carrion has lived in his father's shadow his entire life, and keeps butting heads with the new regent. When he and his adopted brother Maric are assigned a task by the prince, Carrion has no idea it will start him on a long path that will threaten the fate of the realm and cause him to question not only those closest to him, but himself. Will he make it out alive? Find out in this high quality retro RPG that will keep you adventuring for a long time.
Marking the fourth game in the series, Samantha Swift and the Fountains of Fate starts off with our tenacious heroine out-surfing the bad guys over some serious waves. This girl never rests, not even between sequels! Still on the trail of Cortez, Samantha embarks upon a quest to recover the Emerald of Judgement, an artifact that may unlock the secrets of the Fountain of Youth!
Build-a-lot is back with a newly-themed release that takes us all the way back to the time of Shakespeare. Build-a-lot: The Elizabethan Era is more of the same building/management sim we've grown to love, only this time there's a distinct 1500s England slant. Gone are fancy upgrades, modern conveniences, and indoor plumbing. In are pubs, apothecaries, outhouses, and wall sconces. That's right, sconces!
- • D.O.T.: Dot Order Tie
- • The Moonkeeper
- • Mind Jolt
- • Tricky Truck
A lot of indie games have rolled off the presses in the past week, including several as entries in the TIGSource "A Game By Its Cover" competition (which ends today). We've featured one of these games below, but look for more in the weeks to come!
The dead are restless, but lucky for you they want your help and not your juicy, juicy brains. After a car accident, you wake up to find yourself in a cemetery; very much alive, but still unable to leave. If you help the anguished souls lingering around their graves complete their unfinished business, you may be able to escape, and set some wrongs right in the process in this stylish point-and-click/hidden-object hybrid from the makers of the PuppetShow series.
Totem Tribe GOLD is a new and expanded follow-up to the original Totem Tribe, the series of simulation games sprinkled with real-time strategy and a hidden object elements. Not a proper sequel and more than an expansion, expect to find new challenges, ten new levels, different puzzles, and almost twice as much gameplay as the original Totem Tribe. Translation: say goodbye to the rest of your day.
mania for cake. She'll just have to do it sitting down. With a movie in town and a ton of hungry people clamoring for her delicious desserts, she'll need to rely on her husband Jack—and you—to make the crowds happy in Cake Mania: Lights, Camera, Action, another fun time management game from Sandlot Games.
Hunting for what remains of her family, Christine heads to her Grandfather's last known location; a remote asylum, now abandoned... or is it? The prequel to Nightfall Mysteries: Curse of the Opera is unfortunately a little easy, but this hidden-object/point-and-click hybrid is still beautiful, freaky fun to fill your evening.
Originally released in Japan back in 2007, Recettear is the story of an item shop, a girl, and a fairy. Recette's father took out a loan and then skipped town, leaving her to pay off the debt. Soon, she meets Tear, a fairy who is as persistent as she is... well, persistent. She teaches Recette to run an item shop out of her house, purchasing stock for adventurers who head out into the world to slay monsters. Buy and sell swords, shields, food products and more, haggling with each customer and placing items in ideal locations to attract business.
The platform adventure will never die. And that's a good thing! Frogatto & Friends injects a little more life into the classic genre, placing great-looking pixel art and a satisfying action/exploration game in front of your eyes for the low low price of free!
Poker. You're either hopelessly addicted to it, or you can't tell a flush from a straight. The word itself conjures up high-stakes games in Vegas, dusty saloon matches between cowboys, and crummy online games played with real money. Fortunately for us, Youda Games has brought back its casual poker-meets-simulation game in the delightfully accessible Governor of Poker 2. No matter if poker scares you or excites you, this game's got something great in store for you.
Now here's something you don't see every day: an adventure/hidden object game that tries to tell a story. A real story. And succeeds. Not only does Elixir of Immortality know how to weave an intriguing plot, it knows how to do it with pictures, setting, and presentation instead of loads of words. You won't find blocks of text or terrible voice acting in this game. All that's to be had is a delicious tale of intrigue, a lot of fantastic mini-games, and scenery so packed with so much mystery you'll want to wade in and start messing around with things yourself.
Strange visions are making Claire doubt her sanity, and she thinks a trip to visit her aunt is just what she needs to clear her head. Unfortunately, when she arrives, she find her aunt is missing, and the woman may have been involved in much stranger things than Claire ever suspected. Although it falls short on originality, this atmospheric point-and-click/hidden-object hybrid offers up unique locations, tricky puzzles, and a lot of mystery.
- • Sulkeis
- • Nation of Reincars
- • EverEternal WinterWorld 2
One of the games featured on this Weekend Download is a product of the GameJolt Indie Game Demake Contest, a recently-completed competition that tasked game creators to strip their favorite indie game of anything more complex than a few elements and scale it down to a retro size. The results were excellent, and you can find dozens more to play on the contest page, including some browser games!
Golden Trails: The New Western Rush is a new hidden object game from Awem Studio. Set in the frontiers of the old American west, you fill the boots of Jack, a sheriff on a forced vacation to the "quiet" town of Sunnyvale. Trouble finds him as soon as he arrives, however, as the bank has just been robbed and everyone else seems to be in a predicament of one kind or another. Good thing Jack wasn't interested in relaxing, anyway!
REVENGE. That's the only thing on sixteen-year-old Merui's mind when a valuable item is stolen from her... inside a popular online game, that is. The thief, Alistair, offers her a deal; if she can figure out his identity before a month is up, he'll return the stolen item. Of course, that's easier said than done when Merui's schoolwork and personal life keep getting in the way of this polished, charming visual novel from developers Sake Visual.
In Empress of the Deep, Silverback took gamers to a gorgeous and mysterious undersea world. Now they're back with a new hidden object adventure, Secrets of the Dragon Wheel, featuring the plucky Epiphany O'Day in a quest which evokes the pulp fiction style of classic film serials. Can you keep the Dragon Wheel from falling into the clutches of the one who killed your mentor?
Caught somewhere between a time management game and a restaurant sim (but leaning heavily in the direction of the former), Burger Bustle puts you in charge of a busy cafe that somehow has the ability to exist in many locations throughout time and space. Flip burgers, create desserts, swap employee roles and collect tips as you work your mouse hand off keeping everything running as efficiently as possible!
- • Robotz DX
- • Man Enough
- • Illuminator
- • Mirage
It's not often you find songs with lyrics in a video game. It's even less common that those lyrics explain how to play the game. Man Enough does both of those and somehow manages to squeeze in an image of a manly moustache between each round. Be impressed with catchy expositions!!!
Have you heard about Gatsby? He's a millionaire, but that's all anyone seems to know about him. Some say he's a thief. Others say he killed a man. And what's the deal with his curious preoccupation with his neighbours? Find out in the remarkably well presented hidden-object game adaptation of the classic novel.
The Silver Lining is a fan-created King's Quest adventure game that got the unlikeliest support: the backing of publishing giant Activision. This ten-year old project has nearly been shut down twice by lawyers, but it has finally seen the light of day in the form of its first episode, What Is Decreed Must Be. But is it what fans of the series wanted? And what about people who never donned Graham's cap?
Soccer Cup Solitaire combines a card game with mahjong solitaire-style gameplay and a great sports theme. It works a lot like Fairway Solitaire and Heartwild Solitaire, though there are plenty of bells and whistles that make this one ace. Also: GOOOOOOAAAALLLL!!!
Need to chill out? Stress being a little extra stressful today? You should stop by Sally's Studio, a new time management game that isn't all about pulling your hair out trying to get everything done. Sure, customers come in, they want things, and you need to deliver them, but in this world of yoga, exercise, and spa treatments, it's more about taking it easy than clicking faster than your mouse can handle.
- • Uchuusen
- • Ultra Mission
- • Shoot First
Weekend Download contains 80% of your recommended weekly allowance of awesome. It is recommended you supplement your intake of downloadable games with a balanced diet selected from other sources, including Flash games, mobile games, and that game you play with a paddle where you hit the ball on the rubber band.
Kate Arrow: Deserted Wood is a new hidden object adventure game created by relative newcomer to the casual gaming scene, Mariaglorum. Kate's grandfather, an explorer with all the trimmings, saved a native tribe decades ago, and now he's devoted his life to tracking down the sacred idols the tribe has lost. He finally accomplished his goal, but in his haste to return them, he left the final idol at home. Your first tasks in this gradually unfolding story are to find the idol, find grandpa's map, and locate your camera so you can set off to adventure.
Gaius James Rover is really having a bad day; first the ship he was escorting to the governor was captured by pirates, and when he finally manages to escape he finds out that not everything is on the up-and-up. Also, he's a dog. Jolly Rover is a weird and funny point-and-click adventure with some of the scurviest dogs and cheekiest humour you could ever hope to see.
A Gypsy's Tale: The Tower of Secrets is a fantasy-themed hidden object title from Amaranth Games, creator of Grimm's Hatchery and the Aveyond series of role playing games. You play the part of Reylin of Winderalth, a gypsy who has a strong sense of magic of both the good and wicked kinds. You are hired by a monk to locate a lost tower and rescue a girl within, but getting to that tower involves solving loads of puzzles and working your way through the maze-like landscape that surrounds the mysterious place.
Divine Divinity is a classic action RPG that borrows a few style points from the Diablo series. Despite its appearance, this isn't a game for "serious" role playing fans, though it still tells a fun story and features a lot of engaging gameplay.
- • Cut It
- • Tower Bombarde
- • Rise: Sea of Static
Wait, so you mean, these games were just sitting there? Waiting for someone to grab them? Nobody was watching, no one at all? What about cameras or electric shock thingies? Nothing? Hmm. So I guess it's ok you downloaded them, isn't it? K whatever, let's play.
Hey, you! Go Be a King! In fact, let's do one better. Be a King 2! The casual strategy/simulation series from developer 300AD has returned, boasting excellent visuals, lots of house upgrading and farm building, and tons of ruined villages to spruce up, all in the name of making the medieval world a better place to live. Awww!
The Oil Blue is a clever mixture of a time management game and a tycoon simulation where you lead a crew of workers who strike out into the sea to discover new locations to drill for oil. Each island you reclaim opens the way for your employer, United Oil of Oceania, to establish a permanent operation there. All you have to do is manage the drills, sell the oil, and do everything as efficiently as you can.
Little Space Duo is a platform puzzle game that puts you in control of two unique characters: the young girl Lucy, and a floating robot named Sunny. Similar to the classic The Lost Vikings in many ways, you switch between character to use their unique abilities to make it through each level. The animation is soft and fluid, the pacing is slow and thoughtful, and the puzzles are challenging even from early in the game.
In 4:50 from Paddington, it's Agatha Christie of course, so the plot is better than 95% of the hidden object mysteries out there. If you don't know the story, you're in for a real treat. If you've already read the novel, the murderer is the same, so it won't be surprising for you, but the hidden object finding and mini-games are still high quality enough to make this game worth the purchase.
- • Attack of the 50ft Robot
- • A Picture is Worth a Thousand Orbs
- • Techno-Drone Alliance
What goes into a Weekend Download feature? The recipe is a secret, but it involves lots of game playing, internet searching, and cinnamon. Especially that last one.
A birthday party goes awry when Lyra suddenly finds herself teleported to another dimension by an unknown force. Lyra learns she must seek out someone named "The Clockmaker" if she ever wants to return home... but some unknown force seems determined to thwart her at every turn. The iconic point-and-click fantasy series Dream Chronicles returns with a new trilogy in this captivating first installment.
We've just finished a complete walkthrough (with images) for Dream Chronicles 4: The Book of Air! Be warned: contains major spoilers, so proceed only as a last resort. Be sure to read our review of Dream Chronicles 4.
When the ghost of Nathaniel Hawthorne appears to you and asks you to solve the mysteries surrounding his untimely death, the last thing you expected was to get caught up in a centuries old mystery where you'll have to race to prove one woman's innocence. Hunt for clues and discover secrets in this challenging but beautiful hidden-object/point-and-click hybrid.
When a small town falls under a sinister curse, it's up to you to investigate in this point-and-click/hidden-object hybrid. Why have all the children fallen asleep? Why has everyone else abandoned the place? And what's going on in that suspiciously ominous castle atop the mountains? Find out in this beautiful, ghoulish followup to 2009's PuppetShow: Mystery of Joyville!
- • Surphasm
- • Rein
- • Dubloon
Nothing like a tall, cool glass of game to wash the week out of your system and get you ready for the weekend. Dubloon could easily keep you busy until Monday morning rolls around, but Surphasm is unique enough to deserve your attention. Rein is a great diversion when you're ready for an adventure that won't take you a week to complete.
It's picross time again! One of the few big-release downloadable picross games has returned with World Mosaics 3: Fairy Tales. Continuing the fine tradition set by World Mosaics and World Mosaics 2, the third installment introduces plenty of new puzzles, a new story, and keeps the same smooth interface that makes it one of the best picross games around.
Blue Lacuna is one of those rare experiences that turns your set of assumptions about a medium on its head. Like Memento or The Usual Suspects or The Outsider, Aaron Reed's game transcends its medium to become more than the sum of its parts, an artwork that leaves a measurable change in the player. You might finish this game, but it may never leave you alone.
Crisscross America, help your antique loving friends, and build your own antique shop in this hidden object game that is a return to the genre's roots. What makes Antique Road Trip USA work is that it does what it does exceptionally well. It gives fans of the genre a tasty morsel to chew upon, and here, much like soda and cheese puffs, it does a pretty good job.
FBI Agent Claire Ellery wakes from a nightmare to find out her worst dream has come true; her partner has been murdered, and all the clues point to a tie-in with a case she already thought was solved and barely managed to live through once before. Featuring tricky hidden-object gameplay and old-fashioned point-and-click adventuring, the next installment in the Strange Cases series is engaging, involving, and fun.
- • GunGirl 2
- • Baggage
- • Beeps and Blips
- • Lackadaisium
Piling on the clichés can be fun, and the heaviest-hitting release this weekend, GunGirl 2, does just that. So, ig releases come in small packages. Also, a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. And there's no time like the present.
Following the events of The Ripple Effect, Jesse, having recently discovered she belongs to a family of time travelers, is stuck thirty years in the past. To get back to the future (snicker), she'll have to make sure history happens the way it's supposed to... and uncover more secrets buried in her family's unusual legacy. The Rabbit Hole is a hidden-object/point-and-click hybrid presented in beautiful High Definition, and will keep you enraptured for a good while.
There's something hidden in a mine deep beneath the ice in remote Greenland. Phillip follows a map to the location despite a letter from his missing father begging him to burn the documents he discovers. Phillip wants to find out what obsession could have taken his father from his family all those years ago. Instead, he may find more than he could ever be prepared for in Frictional Games' survival horror series about dark and secrets. What you can't see can hurt you.
Eternity is a unique sort of hidden object game in that there aren't so many objects to find. Instead, you pick up a few items and spend your time using them to solve inventory puzzles or complete tasks in each area. The set-up is different than usual, giving Eternity a different flavor than most hidden object games you come across, and the variety of locations and strength of puzzles make it an interesting experience.
What lies beneath the shifting sands of the desert? Could it be untold riches? Or sweet, sweet love? In this cute little sim with tones of resource management and good, ol' fashioned puzzling, take control of a team of archaeologists hunting for treasure in the desert. Dig up ancient artifacts, solve puzzles, and maybe even play a little matchmaker. Just hope you don't mind sand in your socks.
- • Blind
- • Hydorah
- • The Life of a Pacifist is often Fraught with Conflict
Multiple endings HURRAH! Different outcomes to the stories you are playing are nothing new, but it isn't often that the games are short and entertaining enough to encourage you to gather them all. It's interesting to play through several times just to see how your actions affect the game world. Two of this week's games feature different endings, and you'll definitely want to experience some of these alternate conclusions!
More than a time management game, Farm Craft 2 combines pieces of gameplay from simulation genres into an extremely captivating (and satisfying) game. Grow and harvest crops, raise livestock, pick fruit from trees, hire workers, it's all there, and it's all great!
In Fractal, a puzzle game by the authors of Auditorium, your goal is to create "blooms" which are composed of six hexagons of the same color. On the surface it sounds like a simple matching puzzle, but the web-like nature of the gameplay and the gorgeous presentation makes it so very much more.
Pizza Chef 2 does what few time management and match-3 puzzle games care to do: try something different. Instead of fusing the former with the latter or the latter with the former, Pizza Chef 2 has made both genres equally reliant upon the other, meaning you can't take the matching out of the time management and vice versa. What you get is a strong casual game of simple strategy, quick thinking, and spatial reasoning combined in a very rare balance.
We've all played the hidden object game where you have to piece together clues to some long-lost relative's hidden past. Most of the time it's fairly dull, but in the case of Tiger Eye - Part I: Curse of the Riddle Box, it's quite the opposite. The story in this hidden object game was written by author Marjorie M. Liu, and even if you're not a fan of her work, you'll appreciate the characters who have a little more depth than usual. Wrap that around a sturdy core of puzzle solving and mini-games and you've got an excellent hidden object game on your hands.
- • Punishment: The Punishing
- • BulletZORZ
- • ProtoType
One of my favorite things about independent games are not the games themselves. It's the games' names. When you don't have to attract a certain demographic to plop down cash for your game so you can keep your massive studio in California air conditioned, you're free to have fun and call your game Mr. Heart Loves You Very Much, Squid Yes! Not So Octopus!, or Punishment: The Punishing! We love you too, indie game creators!
It's Youda time! Youda Safari takes time management to the carefully-controlled realm of animal photography. Failing safari businesses are being turned into hunting grounds, and as the ever-helpful Lucy, you have agreed to help a friend liven up his tours. After all, shooting animals with cameras is better than with guns.
Fire Nuclear Crocodile Killer (FiNCK for short) is a puzzle platformer, but don't let the title fool you. In fact, out of the four rather unrelated things it suggests, I only encountered one during the whole game. As a Nifflas game, FiNCK must live up to a certain standard of cool relaxation instead of firey, manic arcade action. However, it differs from the author's previous offerings in that it forgoes atmospheric exploration in favor of a puzzle-driven, often hair-pullingly-frustrating experience.
A call in the middle of the night drags you out to an abandoned hotel out in the middle of the English countryside. Find yourself thrust into a night time ghost hunt in this enthralling point-and-click adventure from the past.
Royal Envoy is an incredibly addictive mix of strategy, city building and wack-a-mole. Hopping across a series of islands, you have to visit the respective villages on each and repair them. In reality, though, you are playing little logic puzzles. Each village has a set of goals — build certain buildings, meet upgrade requirements, attain a specific level of civic happiness or make a set sum of money. In your way is the clock, obtuse pirates and the odd piece of undergrowth.
Oh no! The Illiterati have broken into the Hall of Fiction and stolen Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, and are now trying to permanently change the story. In this kid friendly Hidden Object Adventure, you play a cadet Fiction Fixer tasked with following the Illiterati agent into the story to stop him from wrecking it before it's too late.
- • Visit
- • Aztec God
- • You Found the Grappling Hook
Certain conventions in video games will never change. Platformers always involve hopping on enemies' heads. Zombies want to eat your brains. Role playing games will always start with the main character being woken up from sleep. And swinging from walls and ceilings is fun. Let's keep it that way for a very long time, shall we?
Did you graduate high school and step right in to a high-paying, prestigious career? Well, now you can make up for that in the certifiably crazy Life Quest, a quirky simulation that's all about one-upping your old high school friends.
Emberwind is an adventure-themed platform game from indie dev TimeTrap. The city of Grendale has been overrun by gremlins commanded by the evil CandleFinger. As the short, stout gnome Kindle Elderwood, it's your job to comb through the villages and dispatch the evil little buggers from every nook and cranny. Along the way you'll get to learn new abilities and collect a whole lot of loot!
BugBits is a light-hearted real-time strategy game built around a war between hives of bugs. Unlock and send troops across the paths to your foe's base, all while harvesting bugs dash out to gather nectar. Each unit has strengths and weaknesses that can be used to leverage your victory, and with each passing stage, you uncover more details in a sinister plot.
What if Hamlet wasn't? Hamlet, I mean. When a curious time-traveler accidentally lands his heavy spaceship atop the iconic literary protagonist, the show must go on. Point-and-click your way through a quirky and decidedly non-cannon interpretation of the classic Shakespearean tale in this short but fun and original title from Alawar Games.
- • Blackfoot
- • STREEMERZ
- • Amphibix
A few games for your weekend perusal, all of which summon that coveted "oh, neat!" moment at least once! Also, it's a miracle I didn't type a D instead of a T at the end of the first game.
Resurrected from 2007 where it rested in relative obscurity, Crazy Machines: Inventor Training Camp is a follow-up to the original Crazy Machines game that features more Rube Goldberg-like physics puzzles. Use a variety of objects to assemble crafty "devices" that accomplish different tasks. The setup is something you might see in The Incredible Machine, though Crazy Machines streamlines the process with much simpler building mechanics, fewer pieces to fuss with, a better visual presentation, and more directed goals.
Strap on your point-and-click shoes, because these robots are assembled and ready for adventure! In this latest from Wadjet Eye games take control of a group of newly invented miniature robots with unconventional abilities who unwittingly cause trouble for their human creators when they stumble across a villain's strange secret. Fun, funny, and cheerful, Puzzle Bots is a quality adventure that, while short, is great for everyone.
Clearly, sticking diligently to your academic studies is just going to end up making a lot more work for you, as aspirant wizard Catherine discovers in Magic Encyclopedia: Illusions, the third game in the hidden object/adventure series. While studiously hitting the books at the academy library, she escapes the wrath of a mysterious wizard who uses a magic book to cover the world in illusions and trap her teachers. Can Catherine stop him before he raises an army and destroys the academy?
KrissX ("criss-cross") is a rare and well-polished entry in the downloadable word game category. It's not a spelling game, it's not a word search/scramble game, it's not a guessing game (well, it kinda is); instead KrissX combines a familiar mechanic from matching games with letters and clues, creating something that resembles a mixture of Bejeweled and a crossword puzzle.
- • Eternally Us
- • Hero Core
New releases from either Daniel Remar or Ben Chandler, both highly-recognizable figures in the indie community, is always cause for fun-type celebration! Their games aren't as widely known in the mainstream gaming community as they should be, giving us cool people that smug, superior feeling of having a secret source of great entertainment.