Think your amp goes up to eleven? Put your guitar where your mouth is in this rock career simulator slash rhythm game, as you attempt to rawk your way to the top!
Help guide Spewer, an adorable pink blob, through a series of diabolical tests put forth by a watchful scientist in this physics-based platformer. It's a journey of adventure, excitement, and child-like wonder. Also, vomit.
Pariboro is Tonypa's latest endeavour into the world of tile-based games of skill and luck. Forty tiles of three colors lie on the grid before you, and your job is to clear as many tiles as you can, before the random domino-generator produces one you can't match. Bonus: having a Casual Gameplay account saves your progress!
The bomb is going to go off in five seconds. This can't be changed. Your task is to guide a bunch of individuals through their final five seconds of life before the bomb does go off. Can you get 100% by helping all of the stick figures attain their goals before being vaporized by the big one? And will it matter?
If a three-year-old or a five-year-old were to make their own platform game, Androkids 2 is exactly what it would look like. If you never quite got over collecting coins and jumping on the bad guys, this is definitely right up your alley. Kid-tested and approved.
Rougoku falls into the category of more "realistic" escape games, those that concentrate in large part upon collecting and using items in practical ways (with, of course, a few genuine puzzles thrown in). It is a solid room escape game from a solid developer, familiar and proven with games like this.
With nothing onscreen but a few blocky characters and a short poem, Today I Die carves a slice out of an existential nightmare and serves it to you raw. You could classify it as an adventure game or a puzzle game, but it doesn't feel like it should be pigeon-holed with anything. The solutions are so well-integrated, applied with such holistic grace. You won't even realize how many puzzle pieces are displaced until you see how they fit together.
When your spaceship crash-lands onto an unknown desert planet, you regain consciousness to find yourself one of the only survivors. Red Herring Games presents an incredibly polished point-and-click adventure game that has to be seen to be believed.
Prince Peep is the last of the Whistle Knights, who have guarded the legendary Arrow of Time for generations against all invaders. Help Peep keep the Arrow safe in the new defense title from Super Flash Bros: The Arrow of Time.
In Crush the Castle, you control a trebuchet and fling rocks at a castle. Get off a good shot, and you get to watch it fly gracefully towards the castle, smash into a wall, and cause untold destruction, killing all of the inhabitants and turning the entire thing into a massive pile of rubble! Mwa-ha-ha!
If The Incredible Machine met the classic board game Mouse Trap, TubeTwist would be the result. Arrange tubes, accelerators and other contraptions to manipulate the path of the Macroton (a colored marble-like object) from the Injector Tube (the start) to the Reactor Tube (the finish). It's that simple!
Mevo and the Grooveriders is a funky music game that'll get your fingers a-snappin' and your toes a-tappin' (and your lips a-chappin' and your GPS a-mappin'?). You play as Mevo, a red alien that needs to reunite his band to save the universe from perpetual silence. (And the cats a-nappin'? Sorry, I'm done with that now.)
Fans of Samantha Swift's previous caper have cause to rejoice. Samantha Swift and the Golden Touch, the newest hidden object adventure in the franchise, offers a compelling combination of well-integrated mini-games and adventure-style item puzzles that do an excellent job of keeping the game feeling fresh throughout.
Put Paper Mario and Tim Burton in a blender and you get Paper Moon, a smooth, sophisticated example of how to integrate design and mechanics into a masterful casual game. It's a platformer with a twist, and with enough style and depth to keep you coming back for more.
Playing equal parts as a maze, a hide-and-seek game and a guessing game, the idea of Neon Maze is to run around a glowing labyrinth in your little blur-pod, changing colours to open up new areas, while attempting to find the exit platform. The graphical presentation and surprisingly intricate level design make this one a winner.
The Great War of Prefectures plays like a cross between Risk and an RTS, with Japan's prefectures (analogous to other countries' states or provinces) serving as the territories you fight over. Despites some interface flaws, this game has that elusive quality that will bring you back for more even after you thought you'd had enough.
Quest in the Dark is an exceptionally cute and surprisingly engaging point-and-click adventure. Navigate through the haunted mansion, collecting items and solving puzzles as you go. Beware the various ghosts and skeletons that stand in your path (or don't. They aren't that bad, as it turns out), and above all else, don't forget to find the magic potion that will set you free!
Finally we find out why we have been trapped in so many different rooms in the Great Escape series by Mateusz Skutnik and the Pastel Games crew. Apparently there have been ghosts at every turn, slamming doors and locking us in various areas of the house, and now it's up to you do deal with those ghosts, once and for all. The Great House Escape takes the locale from each of the six previous installments, plus hallways connecting them all, and turns them into one big final "great escape" game.
Are you feeling EVIL? As a demon, you must use your point-and-click skills to find a reincarnated soul and return him to Hell. Your demonic powers include levitation and the operation of simple machinery while your creativity allows you to get to no limit of utter mischief. Get ready to do EEEVVIIIILLLLL!
Loom Blend is another room escape game from Place of Light, who previously brought us Room Fake, Room Bath, Room Marine, and Loom Above. The game's scenario is nothing new: you are in a room filled with diabolical puzzles and more than a few secrets, and must employ all of your wits to escape. A simple premise, but one that Place of Light does very well.
Desktop TD Pro is a substantial new update to one of the grandfathers of tower defense, with new shiny graphics and menacing new "hopper" and "decoy" creeps. With the new Scenarios, Sprint Mode, and a completely customizable Sandbox Mode, this is a strong contender for Best Tower Defense Game Ever.
In the experimental game Gray, you are a white or black androgynous person in the midst of a rioting mob, filled with people of the opposite shade. Your goal is to talk to the people who are highlighted and attempt to convert them to your point of view. It's amazing how accurately such a simple little game can hold a mirror up to modern political discourse.
Windosill is the story of a toy car, a little blue box with wheels and a smokestack, who one day dares to journey outside of its confining storage shelf. You, armed with the power to touch, carry, poke, prod, and experiment, will lead the toy through a cool blue dream presented in stages, a series of shadow-boxes full of curious characters and structures, each with its own puzzle to be solved.
Virtual Families is the latest addition to the impressive lineup of simulation games from Last Day of Work, makers of the Virtual Villagers series. Virtual Families takes the basic concepts of Virtual Villagers and brings them home — literally. No longer are you concerned with a village of people trying to survive the ravages of the wild. Now it's just a single family in a single house. While the concept may seem over-simplified when compared to Virtual Villagers, you'll find that it's less about simplifying the game and more about concentrating on the details.
Building upon the classic franchise released over two decades ago, Defender of the Crown: Heroes Live Forever is an excellent successor to the original game. It keeps intact many of the important things from the original game, including the minigames, much of the strategy of the main game, and the beautiful graphics, while giving the game an update that helps to bring it into the modern realm of casual gaming.
A new hidden object mystery game has appeared: Cate West - The Velvet Keys! Following the style, story and gameplay conventions set by Cate West - The Vanishing Files, The Velvet Keys casts you in the role of the young scarlet scarf-wearing author/psychic as she digs through occult legends in search of a way to contact departed souls. It's a great-looking game with surprising variety and an enticing plot that gushes out as the game progresses.
To celebrate Earth Day (April 22), National Geographic has sponsored Plan It Green, a casual building sim in the style of Build-a-lot that joins the sparsely populated ranks of "green" games. True to its name, Plan It Green focuses on boosting your energy credits by designing green buildings and communities using four types of structures. It also manages to have an environmentally friendly message that doesn't smack you over the head at every turn.
This is a story of pop-up people who live in pop-up houses next to pop-up castles and pop-up trees. Your goal is to make the right side of this picture-book world into a mirror image of the left side. Headspin Storybook combines fabulous graphics with a creative twist on the "spot the difference" genre, and you'll want to keep playing it till the very end.
Look! Off in the horizon! Ships with flags with skulls and crossbones! And tons of peg-legged men hobbling right this way! We've got pirates on our hands, and the need to defend against them! Pirate Defense is Hero Interactive's (Storm Winds, Bubble Tanks) take on tower defense games, with a steep slant toward traps and chain reactions. Give those pirates the worst day of their pillaging life.
Snake Ball is a game of mouse skill, in which you, the snake, must quickly score points by bouncing and trapping balls into a pit with your body. Green balls are healthy but score low, while red balls score big but slowly drive your snake insane. An insane snake is a disturbing sight, I'll tell you what.
Can you feel it? That buzzing in the air? That's the feeling of the excitement of a new Nitrome tingling at your senses. Or someone just stuck a fork in the microwave, but it's more likely the former. Power Up is a physics-based puzzler with a high-voltage bolt of challenging fun that lasts for up to 32 levels.
G-Sensor is a solid, well-plotted and very enjoyable escape-the-room game from Japanese developer HILG. You, as a nameless business-person, have checked into the mysterious Uncle Boo's Hotel, and now you can't get out!
Puzzle Defence is a charming mash-up of the SameGame play mechanic with RPG elements. Scary, adorable monsters are attacking your castle, and the only way to defend yourself is to match them together, puzzle/strategy-style. You just want to hug this game and tousle its hair.
Tantrix is a friendly one-player version of the 1988 board game by Mike McManaway, a game that may not have the renown of Scrabble or chess, but still attracts devoted players for annual tournaments. Try to form loops of a single color out of specially-designed hexagonal tiles, in either a puzzle mode or the more improvisational Solitaire mode.
Planet Basher is a blast to play. It's like a gigantic, customizable pachinko machine in space. Your goal is to buy planets and position them so that your rockets bounce off of them long enough to collect the required 200 stars in one round. How many rounds will it take you?
Bipole is a physics-heavy spin-cycle of a puzzler. The goal is simple: annihilate all the cute, smiling particles by colliding them with particles of the opposite charge, taking advantage of gravity and electrostatic attraction/repulsion to gain momentum.
With a solid story and hours of gameplay, Cindy's Travels: Flooded Kingdom is a game that builds upon the basic match-3 mechanic with additional gameplay elements. While character perspective may take a bit to get used to, it certainly doesn't detract from the fun packed into this title. Take up Cindy's mirror, clear the land of refuse, and get back to the business of "happily every after."
Sentokun in Kamakura is a short 3D action adventure about a monk with antlers on his head, on a quest to defeat a giant, antlered cowboy. At the beginning, the monk is too weak to prevail, so to build up his strength, he must ransack a peaceful coastal town and raze it to the ground. If you liked Katamari Damacy, or you wish there were more browser games that let you throw houses at people, you may enjoy this.
Are you ready for adventure? Are you ready for mayhem? Are you . . . feeling a bit peckish? Then grab yourself some crackers and your favourite brand of cheese and get comfy in your favourite sweater vest. Telltale Games, developers of the equally tasty Sam and Max games, have just released the first adventure in a new series plucked straight from the popular British cartoon and movie, Wallace and Gromit. Fright of the Bumblebees is point-and-click adventure at it's finest in a rollicking good time with everyone's favourite cheese-loving inventor and his beleaguered pooch.
Acting as a prequel to the original, Gemcraft Zero tells the story of a wizard who has become so entangled in his search for the fabled Gem of Eternity that his colleagues have cast him out. Any fan of tower defense games shouldn't miss this one, but even those who may not normally be interested in them should at least give it a try.
How cute can you take it? If your answer is merely "pretty darn cute", that won't be enough. Even your cursor becomes pudgy and extra cuddly as you set out to help the little Euwins return home. Build bridges across 70 levels worth of waterways in Bridgecraft!
Hey look, it's Dream Chronicles 3: The Chosen Child! The latest installment in the Dream Chronicles series has arrived, and its as breathtakingly brilliant everyone would expect. A little bit of hidden object finding, a little bit of puzzle solving, but a whole lot of adventuring can be found in this superb sequel, along with some of the most gorgeous scenery you've seen since looking out your own window (assuming you live in a fantasy world with fairies, fountains, and vibrant gardens). It's an excellent follow-up to the previous Dream Chronicles games and a fantastic game in its own right.
Another haunting opening to another superb point-and-click game. New from Pastel Games and Mateusz Skutnik, creator of Covert Front, the Submachine series, and The Great Escape series, comes a sequel to last year's desolate adventure, The Fog Fall. The Fog Fall 2 is set in the same post-apocalyptic warzone as the original and is filled with gorgeous artwork, moody sound effects and frighteningly stark locations.
Jmtb02 brings us a cheerfully nihilistic look at traffic, in the form of a fast-paced, fun little reflex-tester. Click on the stop-lights to turn them on or off, allowing cars, buses, and semi-trailers to pass through intersections safely. Can you beat all 20 levels, oh Invisible Sky-bound Weaver of the Woof and Warp of Interlocking Automobiles? Or will the jabbering banjo music drive you insane first?
In this single-player Flash implementation of the card game Sevens, you play a stone cactus, locked in an endless death-match with a room full of other stone cacti, hoping to prolong the sweet breath of life for a few more rounds before The Claw hauls you off to the Great Gravel-Maker in the Sky. No, really.
Loom above is the latest room escape game from Place of Light, one of our favorite room escape game developers. It's not nearly as long or challenging as previous releases we've seen by this developer, and there are far fewer items to find. The puzzles are all fairly straightforward and the game is a joy to play because of how well everything fits together. See for yourself.
Scarygirl is a huge (hours long) and absolutely stunning platform game just released today by a collaboration of companies, including art direction by concept creator, Nathan Jurevicius, an Australian-born artist now living in Toronto, Ontario. Although currently marred by gameplay issues causing player frustration, it is without a doubt one of the most visually appealing browser-based experiences we have ever seen.
Using proprietary physics simulation technology, Collider lets you in on all the particle-smashing action you can handle! Simply annihilate all the charged particles by crashing the positive ones into the negative ones in this gritty physics-based puzzler.
Prizma Puzzle is a new tile-based puzzler by Silengames, strong on aesthetics and brimming with potential. Using your mouse, your job is to form a path of light beams from a source of your choice to all of the pyramid-shaped goals. It's a bit on the easy side, but the snazzy package and a variety of prism tiles make it interesting.
The Leon Wars is a solid gem of a turn-based strategy game, set in a fantasy world where monsters war against humans. It's surprisingly long and can be pleasantly challenging at times, and the tidy, gore-free presentation is easy on the eyes. If you've ever wanted to order a giant flaming sentient orb or a griffon rider into battle, this is the game for you.
Zerosum is an intense variation on match-3 puzzles, with strict policies on winning and losing but vast opportunities for strategy. Easy to learn, hard to master. Make matches by adding adjacent numbers together, but make sure you don't run out of digits to replace them! It's brain candy, once you get into it, like defusing a bomb constructed by an six-year-old arch-villain.
Force your affections on total strangers in Party-Tencho's Kissma, best described as… a shooter? Music game? Experimental whatsit? Retro crazy-fest? Anyway, it's very colorful, and it might change your life for the better. Or for the worse.
It's been quite a while since I've been genuinely excited about a hidden object game. They usually look fantastic with immense effort put into the artwork, but the hidden object aspect of things suffers from a lack of diversity along with a handful of poor mini-games thrown in because, well, that's the done thing these days, isn't it? So I'm very happy to say that Flux Family Secrets: The Ripple Effect is a quality addition to the hidden object genre. And I like it!
Bumps is the latest physics puzzler from Utopian Games, and it has cute coming out of its ears. It's a charming combination of games like Eets and Loco Roco-esque Tau-ri Bedrock or Rolando. Bumps is something a little different: a little bit of strategy, a little bit of experimentation, and a lot of bubbly-eyed cuteness. Bumps is a great diversion for any afternoon!
Paradoxion is a classic logic puzzle game from VSBgames. Not the head-pounding hurts-your-brain kind of logic, this one's a sit and stare, look and compare sort of game. Using gems, orbs and other materials from your inventory, arrange everything on the grid to set off chain reactions that clear the board. It's a relaxing game that manages to stay challenging without resorting to timed rounds or combo systems.
Is your current job getting you down? Does it feel like you need a microscope to look at your paycheck, or like your boss doesn't truly appreciate your creativity, knack for finding hidden objects, and aptitude at matching three or more objects of the same color? Are you at a dead end in your career? Cheer up! An exciting field is open and waiting for you as an Alchemist's Apprentice!
Orbital Decay pays homage to the Super Nintendo era of 16-bit graphics by incorporating some really cool and interesting strategy elements into the formula of a classic side-scrolling shooter. As the commander of a massive battleship, you must upgrade various weapons and fire your main cannon (the Ultragun!) to defend yourself against waves of crazy-looking alien ships.
It's been around for a while, so we expect many of you are already familiar with A Case of the Crabs, but if Nick Bounty's first point-and-click adventure missed you, now's a great time to give it a go. It's a hilarious parody of classic detective stories, a noir-but-silly tale of a down-on-his luck gumshoe solving the mystery of a murder and a crate full of crabs.
Effing Hail takes place during the worst hail storm in history, and you are the unseen power behind the devastation. By making updrafts with your mouse, keep hailstones growing in the air until they are large enough to crush houses, airplanes, and even skyscrapers. It's time for massive property damage!
These puzzles are the same type of chess mind-benders that still appear in some newspapers next to the word jumble and bridge game brainteasers. Given an endgame position consisting of a few pieces, try to produce checkmate in a given number of moves. The difficulty curve eases you in gradually, and if you're good enough, you can tackle 650 unique puzzles. Regardless of your Elo rating, you'll find a challenge that will suit you with MateMaster.
What's better than a game about a shuriken-chuckin', rope-swingin' cyber-ninja with green glowing eyes and powers of invisibility? Two games about that ninja. Final Ninja Zero is Nitrome's prequel to Final Ninja, with a secret weapon that puts it ahead of any other platform game in a browser: cyborg ninja monkeys.
With just enough challenge to engage, but not overtax, the mind, The Wedding Anniversary is a perfectly mellow respite from the workday world. A simple piano tune floats through the air. Relax, kick back and indulge in a bit of sentimentality... a wonderful room escape game that's more fun than a chick flick.
Bart Bonte knows that at the end of the day, sometimes the simplest rewards are the sweetest. Me and the Key is a series of mini-games that all have the same end — getting the titular key. That's right. There's no zombies, no spaceships, no power-ups. Just you and a slowly evolving set of puzzles designed to test your common sense, and your ability to think outside the box.
What-ho, my refined gentlemen and ladies! We have thus determined that you are the only ones who can help... Captain Dan versus the Zombie Plan! Stealth and quick feet are rewarded here, rather than running pell-mell into a level, gun blazing. Guide Monocled Man through the area using the environment to his advantage, for if he is spotted, he shall quickly be swarmed by ravenous zombies!
Zedray is a highly inventive action/puzzle game about matching beams of light with each other by... well, smashing them together. A mash-up of the Snake Game, Missile Command, and the light cycles from Tron, it's like untangling a living, angular ball of laser yarn. Don't let the beams hit the ground!
A short, character-driven side-scrolling shoot-'em-up, controlled with the mouse. Robot Dinosaurs will save the planet! RAAAWWR they shoot beams when they roar! Dino-tastic! ROOOOOAAAAR!!!
The Malstrums Mansion is a retro point-and-click game with a surprisingly tense atmosphere, in the style of old Apple Macintosh adventures like Shadowgate. The heavily pixilated black and white graphics are chunky but lovingly crafted. If you love games that give you the creeps, or if you just like to relive the early years of gaming, this is a title you simply can't afford to pass up.
In ooPixel's brilliant new action game Escape the Red Giant, the sun is about to die, and you have to keep yourself alive for as long as possible by jumping from one asteroid to the next. Between the detailed physics engine and the tight gameplay, you may find yourself addicted without realizing it.
The land of Wonderburg has been laid to waste by evil minions, and it is up to a wizard and a stalwart gnome to travel the lands putting right what has gone wrong. That is the premise of the time management strategy game Wonderburg. While it doesn't venture far beyond what games like the Build-a-lot series have established, it's a charming title that stands firmly on its own two feet.
The Legend of Crystal Valley is a mini-epic adventure game with an eclectic mix of fantasy and sci-fi elements. Gather items, solve both environmental and inventory puzzles, and examine everything you see as you travel through over 150 locations, each just as extraordinary as the last.
Tower Core is another shining star from John Feltham, the author of the previous "Core" series of games. It continues the story line established in Soul Core without a hitch, and even provides a recap accessible from the main menu. An alien being has decided to attack Earth while it was vulnerable. We can't let this happen. Unfortunately, the planet's defense systems are powered by a special Power Core Deluxe which someone forgot to charge before leaving.
Though it may appear to be just a slightly more colorful clone of Loops of Zen,, Colourshift starts to separate itself when you have to start blending colors together. With a gentle learning curve, plenty of customizable options, and a page of unlockable achievements, Colourshift may just take you by surprise.
A great game for fans of quirky physics puzzles, Civiballs asks you to drop colored orbs into the corresponding urns. Most orbs begin the level suspended in the air by chains and ropes. Your only method of interaction is to cut those cords, and let physics handle the rest, as the civiballs bounce and roll through a network of ramps and obstacles to reach their home.
The latest wacky puzzle from Nitrome, Rustyard has you indirectly leading a junkyard robot with a striking resemblance to Wall-E. You cannot control the movements of the machine, but you can manipulate the environment with its buttons and switches and trolley tracks. Get the robot to the generator and charge up! Bzzzap!
Redstar Fall is a short but wonderfully executed and atmospheric entry in the physics-based stacking/unstacking genre. you begin each level with a pile of oddly-shaped blocks sitting on an island floating in the sky. Click on a block and it vanishes, allowing everything above to shift with the pull of gravity. Your goal is to ease the red star down so it comes to rest on the island.
The sixth installment of Mateusz Skutnik's Great Escape series. By now you should know what to expect; beatiful cartoony backgrounds, quirky music, and improbable contraptions you must build to make your unlikely escape. Oh, and bats. Maybe you weren't expecting the bats, but they're in there too.
Neptune is quite different from GUMP's previous room-escape games. It doesn't begin with an interesting introductory movie in which a pink-haired character does not encounter a huge building and doesn't decide to enter it, not passing an enigmatic red ladies' shoe that isn't resting on the ground outside.
Monochro Observer is a lovely little puzzle/platform game by Japanese game developer Tatsuya Koyama. Control two people, one who lives in dark and one who lives in light, as they cooperate to reach the exit together. Just look at those little munchkins, staring at each other across the impassable divide between worlds. Lonesome. Longing. The fire of passion smoldering in their eyes…okay, not that last part.
There's delicious candy out there for those brave enough to mine it. Spin a giant orb made of coloured candy blocks to make the incoming bullets strike the blocks of your choice. But be careful you don't accidentally let the bullets strike the candy core! There may not be a lot of replayability or depth in Gregory Weir's Sugarcore, but there is a surprising amount of charm and cheek, and plenty of fast-paced puzzle blasting. Treating yourself to this candy won't make you feel guilty.
One of the more unique tower defense titles that's been released this year, Plant This! is a highly-stylized, maze-based strategy game. Instead of featuring a pre-defined path for "creeps" to follow like we see in most tower defense games, it employs the "open field" design, in which you create the path by using your towers to corral the creeps down the map as inefficiently as possible.
Be a King is a new fantasy strategy title from 300AD. It follows in the tracks of games such as King Mania, Forgotten Lands: First Colony, and the Build-a-Lot series and blends a streamlined building-centric real-time strategy game with a handful of casual knowhow.
Sea Journey is... well, it's Puzzle Quest with pirates! Built around a tile-swapping Bejeweled-like game, you venture into the great blue ocean in search of treasure, upgrading your vessel along the way. Each match 3 game you play is a fierce battle at sea, complete with cannon salvos and mystical spells conjured by talismans.
Labyrinth is not your average dungeon crawl, but instead an online riddle, with more than a few twists and turns to set it apart, and a horde of fiendish puzzles that just may trap you for eternity. The focus lies in code breaking and logic, the community and support features are outstanding, and many puzzles have multiple solutions. Can you emerge from this place victorious, treasure in hand?
Zachtronics Industries has come up with a new "Game for Engineers", and given its central concept you'd think playing it would blow up the space-time continuum. It's a computer game about programming computer chips. Though it may take some time to grasp its central concepts, Kohctpyktop: Engineer of the People is a rich and rewarding puzzle game.
Assembler 3, by Bryce Summer, is a game about TWITCHING RAGE or to be more specific, a physics-based puzzle game with 44 levels, in which you must carefully position green objects within their equally green outlines. Maddening and compelling, Assembler 3 is sure to scratch your itch for GRAAAAAAAGH JUST STAY ON THE STUPID WEDGE YOU STUPID CRATE! MRAAAAAAAGH!!!
Drift Runners is a rip-roaring overhead racer from developer Long Animals, with no brakes, a variety of achievements and a hectic pace. Due to the emphasis on drifting, you don't carve the turns so much as shred them. It gets the controls right, it looks pretty, it makes crashing sounds at all the right times, and it rewards you for breaking stuff. Give it a spin.
Quaint room is a relatively short and easy room escape game, but it is also impressively polished and well-made. The graphics are aesthetically pleasing in a tidy sort of way, and the interface is completely smooth and user-friendly. So, take a break. Relax, step back a few years and enjoy this lovely example of classic Japanese gaming goodness.
Double Fine president Tim Schafer is hosting at this years Game Developers Conference, and he's totally unprepared. Help him out by scouring the backstage area for jokes, scribbled on scraps of paper hidden in all sorts of unlikely locations. If you have even the slightest nostalgia for early graphic adventure games such as The Secret of Monkey Island, then this sharp, clever point-and-click adventure is made for you.
The graphic presentation is fairly simple, but this is a deceptively deep Dr. Mario-style puzzler with a unique color-matching mechanic. Whenever you make a match, you leave behind a ball of a new color, and your job is to work your way up to the top of the rainbow scale. This adds a lot more gameplay dimension than you'd expect, and once you get into it, you will be hooked, trying to make that last couple of levels. Definitely give Combine a chance.
Combining some of the best parts of Animal Crossing and Virtual Villagers with a sprinkling role playing know-how, Wandering Willows is something so incredibly alluring you'll burn through a few hours of game time before you realize what hit you. It's a pet-raising recipe-collecting item-bartering friend-gaining character-customizing leveling-up collect-a-thon!
Your job in Nosobow, the newest creation from Tonypa, is to eliminate the non-matching tiles from the screen, while clicking a member of a pair puts you in jeopardy of losing the game. Behind the brilliantly simple design lies a intricate psychological game of self-pacing and concentration that will have you groaning in anguish every time you have to start back at square one.
A sequel to Open Doors, one of the most interesting puzzle games of 2008, has arrived, with an arresting makeover and just the right amount of extra spice. Open Doors 2 features compact puzzles with just the right number of new doors and mechanical gizmos. With a sparkling presentation and superb level design, this is one of the best puzzlers we've seen so far this year.
From Spiritonin, creator of Adult Swim's Death Vegas, comes Capoeira Fighter 3, a 2D fighting game with a free online demo and full-fledged downloadable version. Featuring more than two dozen playable characters and a refined, logical system of combos, it's one of the rare fighting games that captures the nostalgia from the genre's heyday while updating everything to fit in with a new generation of gamers.
Curse of the Pharaoh 2: Napoleon's Secret is a hidden-object game with added puzzle elements, such as spot-the-difference games. It's a direct sequel to Curse of the Pharaoh: Quest for Nefertiti and captures the same sense of adventure as the original, now in a new setting with all-new puzzles to solve.
The Clockwork Man is a beautifully illustrated hidden object game from Total Eclipse. Set in a stunning steampunk world, you follow aspiring engineer Miss Miranda Calomy and her clockwork companion Sprocket as they travel from London across the seas and beyond. The adventure doesn't stray far from the hidden object standard, but the story and setting are exquisitely presented and the game itself a true joy to experience.
GlueFO 2.0, from the irRegular creators of Sproing Reloaded, has a simple premise: what if the heroic ship in Asteroids couldn't afford ammunition? What if the global recession were in fact universal, and the only way you could afford to bust space rocks was by sticking drifting pebbles to your hull, and then spraying them at the asteroids like deadly gravel?
Smokin' Barrels succeeds in wrapping the tension of a high noon six-shooter showdown in an intricate poncho of minigames and economics for a totally enjoyable casual experience where it's shoot or be shot! Will your name be rendered synonymous with "quickest draw in the west"?
What could be better than a game based on explosions? The goal is to get the yellow outlined cube to the bottom of the screen, and the only way to do it is by placing bombs in various locations and letting physics do the rest. The interesting part is how you can time the bombs to move blocks around the screen, one explosion after another.