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!
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.
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.
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!
How great is it to be a detective? You wear expensive suits, your hair always looks perfect no matter what angle you're seen from . . . oh! And of course you get to utilize everything from hidden objects, spot-the-difference, fun puzzles and more to catch your man! And if you do it by playing one of Big Fish Games' newest releases, CSI:NY, you get to do it all with a substantially decreased likelihood of getting shot! And hey, who doesn't like not getting shot?
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Have you been wandering around in a haze since the first Perfect Balance, your heart crying out for the opportunity to wedge more things together? Do you miss the wedging like a starving shark misses bluefish? Then Perfect Balance: New Trials is here to offer you sweet, sweet, soul-crushing relief, in the form of 30 more levels of tough block stacking.
The vikings and the ice that trapped them have returned in an expansion on Nitrome's original physics-based puzzle game, Ice Breaker. Ice Breaker The Red Clan introduces lots of new obstacles to deal with strewn about an all-new set of levels. Vikings are trapped in the ice, walled-in by rock, or otherwise prevented from reaching the ship. Using your cursor as a cutting tool, it's your job to set them free. Manipulate each environment to provide a clear path from viking to ship and carve your way through 40 brand-new levels.
Another Room, by Japanese designer Mofuya, is a sweet, semi-short example of classic point-and-click that is executed with near-perfect competence. The game's puzzles are simple but well-crafted; while not wildly creative or different, they nonetheless offer a satisfying variety of problems to tackle. The room's neat, somewhat subdued appearance is pleasing to the eye and makes it simple to navigate the surroundings.
You remember Labyrinth, the board game where you turn knobs to roll a little steel ball to the exit, without hitting any holes along the way? Tilt is an example of the wooden labyrinth in 3D digital form, and an excellent one it is, too. Of course, one of the advantages of a digital version is the fact that the maze configuration does not have to stay static, and it certainly doesn't here. There are 66 different levels, many of them devilishly hard.
4 Elements combines classic puzzle matching gameplay with a hidden object game and just a dash of fairy tale fantasy for good measure. Help restore the power of the elements to protect the land from an evil power.
Back to the basics again with Kagi Nochi Tobira 2, the simple and original puzzle game sequel to the very well-received Kagi Nochi Tobira from September of last year. There's not much else to say other than the raw creativity and sense of discovery in these simple puzzle games create an exceptionally engaging and appealing experience. Another example of why simple ideas are often among the most fun!
50 Comedies asks you to identify the titles of fifty movies (of the comedic variety) based on visual puns. Despite some interface issues, we found ourselves addicted to the clever puzzles and the challenge to our cinemaphile sensibilites. Good for movie buffs, trivia toughs, and fans of fun, light-hearted stuffs.
If you celebrate Arbor Day and always thought a logic puzzle was just what the holiday needed, then Leaf Blight is for you. In this relaxing game, snip off the infected leaves in the correct order to keep your trees healthy and strong.
You're in a cell, seemingly with no chance of escape. But wait, what's this? A letter tucked into a chink in the wall. Apparently your captivity is due to one Simeon Meade, a member of the mysterious Talos Organization. He can't help you escape directly, but it is possible to unlock your door from inside the cell...
The player starts in the present day, but with a push of a button can be transported into the same room some indeterminable span of time into the past; press another button and the operation is reversed. Two separate, subtly different rooms to zoom between, each one affecting the other... interesting, no?
An engaging and easy new puzzle game from Joey Betz and the Super Flash Bros. Featuring 30 levels filled with blocks to push, switches to switch, creatures to avoid as you negotiate monkey to the goal for each level. Isometric perspective and a retro look give this little puzzler lots of charm and potential for fun.
The Serpent of Isis is a new hidden object game by Gamgo with some considerable mystery and adventure game elements added into the mix. Beneath the ever shifting sands of Egypt, untold treasures remain buried. These are the kinds of treasures that drive men mad, possessing the minds of the adventurous and luring explorers into catacombs that twist and writhe beneath ancient pyramids. The Serpent of Isis was just such a treasure, and your grandfather was just such an explorer.
A mash-up of casual gameplay from the match-3 and RPG genres, Knightfall plays like a cross between Mr. Driller, Same Game and Puzzle Quest. It's a well-balanced and well-executed game with a fun story mode and an unlimited purgatory mode to keep you coming back for more. Achievements add to the addictive quality that Knightfall will bestow upon you.
Planetarium is a story-puzzle in twelve weekly installments, into which is woven a fantastical fable and many marvelous puzzles. Follow the tale of the Mathemagician and a strange girl with no memory but perfect foresight, as they search for the source of a mysterious love letter sent from the future. Don't be surprised if this brilliant, unique and beautiful game soon becomes one of your favorites.
The idea, as always, is simple. Get the red ball (or square) to touch all the flags by drawing physical objects directly onto the screen with your crayon-like cursor. This sequel to Magic Pen features 32 more puzzling levels, all selectable from the moment you start the game, mostly set in various crayon-rendered versions of historical locations. The level designs feel a bit more intricate this time, with more on-screen obstacles and even a few moving contraptions to cope with. There are no major improvements to the formula, but such a childlike, pure idea doesn't need them. This is a heap more Magic Pen for everyone who loved it the first time. Enjoy.
Exploit is a tile-based puzzle game with a computer hacking theme from Gregory Weir, the creator of The Majesty of Colors and Bars of Black and White. Plot out your moves carefully and pay special attention to incoming emails, and not only will you help the oppressed people of Locha, but you might, just might, prevent a terrorist attack here on our own soil. Good luck, hacker, you're going to need it!
Enter the Kid's Room. You left your myPhone behind when visiting your friend's house, and he hid it in the kid's playroom. You go to get it, possibly to get away from your annoying myRobot for a while, but some prankster locks the door behind you when you enter. Of course. It is an excellent piece of work, with puzzles that make sense, fine 3D graphics, and just the right amount of satisfaction when you figure something out.
Tortuga Episode 2 is an escape-the-room game set on a pirate ship; the second installment of the Tortuga series. You have just escaped the locked room from episode 1 and the pirate is still sleeping off the sleepy spray you got him with prior to your escape, but you are still locked up on the pirate ship. You must look for items and clues to reveal a solution on how to get off the ship.
The writing's on the wall at The Glassworks Company for Kapowski, who just got fired for getting a little too creative at work. Now you've got to prove to your boss that you're capable of making it in the window-washing world with your new power gloves and a little high-flying daredeviling. Enter The Glassworks, the latest platforming experience from the talented crew at Nitrome.
The ray gun: time-honored weapon of choice for protection against baddies of all kinds. But if there's nothing to protect against, what good is it? Transmover, a puzzle platformer by Japanese game developers Polygon Gmen introduces a new function for your favorite hand-held emitter of energy: transmotion. In layman's terms, this simply means when you fire your gun at a block, you and the block switch places, a tactic that injects new life into the block-maneuvering platform genre.
In Ice Blast you take control of Skye, Luna, and Sun and destroy ice crystals to restore the world to its happy warm-like state. Using a fun puzzle/strategy layout reminiscent of The Lost Vikings, you must find the most efficient way to clear each field of ice to earn points and upgrade the girls' abilities.
Unwell Mel is a light-hearted and humorous match-3 puzzle game. In the grid comprised of Mel's organs (some of which are shaped like dogs and birds, which we'll assume is normal), click two adjacent pieces of food to swap them and form a line of three in a row to clear them. Thrown in with the food are medical packs, which can restore your power-ups, and bugs that, in some instances, actually help you clear away disease.
A short demo of a larger point-and-click adventure to be released in April, this is the latest by Gateway series creator Anders Gustafsson. It uses similar play mechanics to his previous games, and yet the graphical engine looks like it has received a complete makeover. A compelling teaser for the beautiful new world of adventure that Gustafsson has in store for us.
A game for anyone who loves tromping on bubble wrap, Popopop by Bad Viking offers you 42 puzzles of color combo popping action, plus a level editor and all the user-generated puzzles you could want. Just drag one of your starter bubbles into an empty space to burst all the adjacent bubbles of the same color, starting a chain reaction of popping that hopefully ends in obliterating all the bubbles on the screen. Special bubbles like needles and thunderclouds turn the game into a gauntlet of precision timing and mouse dexterity.
Spin-n-Match, by Jess Hansen, is a simple puzzle game that will torque your brain to its limits. On the left, you see a grid of jumbled up balls. On the right, you see your target formation. Your task is simple: Make the left look like the right by rotating 2x2 clusters, similar to Bejeweled Twist. You can try to simply beat all 40 levels, or you can go for the developer's target scores. Either way, Spin-n-Match is a nifty little puzzler that'll keep your head spinning. (Fifty bucks says you saw that coming.)
All room escape games have secrets. Some room escapes, however, keep their cards especially close to their chests, relinquishing their grasp bit by bit; these are sometimes the most frustrating, and often the most intriguing. Sagrario's Room is such a game, and a superb one at that.
Yoshio Ishii (Nekogames) has just released a sequel to his unique, if no frills, self-cooperative game, Cursor*10. The update, aptly named Cursor*10 2nd Session, offers a whole new set of levels with the premise and objective still the same: You're a cursor in a tower. You have to reach the 16th floor in 10 lives, but your lifespan is rather short. And not only that, all your previous lives are being replayed, in real time, at the same time as you play. You will have to think on your feet and use cunning and puzzle-solving prowess to get through all 16 levels before your lives (and time) run out.
Dreamsdwell Stories is a unique match-3 type puzzle game with some strategy game (as in the village building variety such as Totem Tribe or Westward III) elements that build into the experience. Wrapped in a package of crisp, sometimes beautiful, graphics and catchy theme music, the core of Dreamsdwell will have you enjoying the game for hours.
Boonka is a cute, kid-safe and surprisingly challenging puzzle game with unique gameplay that combines strategy, timing and satisfying explosions. A luscious green paradise has been invaded by Skours, nasty black clouds who cut down trees and turn the whole world grey, chasing away the adorable rainbow-coloured Boonkas and generally being total downers. The sage Bababoonka introduces you to each tree, and gently encourages you through the process of growing them from a stunted stump to a magnificent specimen of hardwood by doing what you do best: making color matches and blasting them skywards!
Exorbis 2, by Editundo, is a tile-based puzzle game about shunting orbs into targets. The clever thing is that your controls for doing so are tile blocks themselves. Arrow blocks come in pairs. By clicking on one, both move in that direction by one tile, taking any orbs between them along for the ride. 100 tricky levels and a level editor await you in this colorful and absorbing puzzle adventure.
An uncommonly lovely escape game that is also, for better and for worse, unusually difficult. We've come to expect great things from Place of Light; their previous games are both excellent and well-executed. With Room Marine, however, they have positively outdone themselves. While the difficulty of the game can be at times taxing, the reward is more than worth it; if you're a serious connoisseur of escape games, you're gonna love this one.
A uniquely engaging, captivating and relaxing puzzle game that will be both fresh and familiar every time you play since all levels and even the music for each level is randomly generated. Author Dan Russell-Pinson set out to create a game with wider appeal than the Tipping Point series of adventure games he is known for, and the game's redeeming qualities certainly don't end there.
A new addition to the Wonderland series, retro-themed isometric puzzle/adventure games that are of the best around. They retain the spirit of what makes the genre so enjoyable while adding new, more modern twists to the experience. Wonderland is threatened once again, only this time the quest to save the world goes terribly wrong. Shipwrecked and marooned on the shores of Fire Island, its your job to maneuver through sets of puzzle challenges and make your way to freedom.
Welcome to Mirror Image 101. We're going to start with the most basic of teleportation spells, the Mirror Jump. Everyone spread out, please. It's a very simple spell to use. Just stand up and use your scepter to draw a straight line perpendicular to your line of vision in the direction you want to warp, and at half the distance. Poof! You'll warp to the other side of that line! It's the latest from Nitrome; it's unique and it's sure to please.
Sentences is a word game by Pictogame that allows you to recreate famous sayings, combining familiar game elements into one fast-paced language-fest. Each of ten rounds tests your speed-typing, word-rearranging, or Hangman skills. There are 200 quotes to unlock, and each round has a bronze, silver, and gold medal score that require tremendous accuracy and speed. It's simple to play, tricky to master, and has a little bit of an educational edge. Give it a try.
Panda: Tactical Sniper 2 is a friendly-looking, cheery little sniping game where you're not actually expected to snipe people. You're going to have to think outside the box of bullets and shoot other objects in your environment to achieve your goals, and help Panda pull of a major fuzzy-wuzzy diamond heist. It's a quirky concept that will appeal more to fans of puzzle games than shooters, especially given the perky aesthetic, and it's definitely worth a look.
A delightful sliding block puzzle game packed with every idea for a tile-based puzzler you can think of, including pushable blocks, lasers, mines, key-and-lock combinations, and so very, very much more. Basically, it's just a mammoth game with an incredible amount of variety. It could be tighter, but it couldn't be much more ambitious.
A lovely escape game that does nearly everything right; the graphics are good, the puzzles varied and inventive, the interface clean and user-friendly. Completing Cosmo does take just a smidgen of comprehension of mathematics and astronomy, but it is easily one of the better room escapes to come along recently.
Following the success of the first game in the series, Totem Destroyer 2 is bigger and better. In each level you must bomb all of the destructible blocks, without allowing the golden idol(s) to touch the ground. It's a beautifully executed follow-up to the excellent original, and it should not be missed. There's way more levels, new types of blocks, new types of idols, and even a level editor!
Yes, that's exactly what cerebral puzzler The Codex of Alchemical Engineering needed. A longer title. Anyway, there are fifteen new brain-teasers here, created by both the author of the original game and its fans. When Zach (the author) says that this expansion may destroy the minds of those who haven't finished the first game, do not take his words lightly.
BubbleQuod is a physics-based puzzle-platformer from Ukrainian developer Garbuz Games. To free yourself from your self-constructed prison to keep out the dangers of the world, you must roll across fifty stages and seek the bubble-bursting pin. The developers offer two levels of difficulty: "normal," which allows for in-air control, and "hard," which is more realistic.
As any guy with a bottle of super glue and his ex-girlfriend's CD collection can tell you, it's fun to stack things on top of each other. So here's the deal: Super Stacker 2 offers 40 levels of shape stacking, ranging from pathetically easy to hand-crampingly difficult. If that's not enough, I have three very special words for you: Level. Editor. Booya.
It may feel like someone's pulling the old switcheroo on you, but don't be fooled. It's The New Switcheroo, a puzzle game based on the Lights Out template, where the object is to turn all the bulbs in a formation to the same color. Over the course of 30 tricky and creative levels, The New Switcheroo adds a handful of twists, both figurative and literal, to that formula. It's more than enough to keep you pondering for an hour or two.
Perfect Balance is an 80-level brick-stacking puzzle game that asks you to… wait for it… balance a collection of shapes… wait for it… perfectly on a tiny jutting spire, or maybe a slanted line, or a sprinkle of floating cubes. You'll enjoy how the puzzles ask you to understand different properties of physics, including friction and inertia. Solve two realms worth of challenges: "Harmony" and "Inferno".
T2B Escape 4 offers all the complexity, creativity and whimsy that we've come to expect from this popular escape-the-room series, with the difficulty ramped up a generous handful of notches. It has simple puzzles, complex puzzles, puzzles that cannot be solved until the very end, puzzles that can be cracked with nothing but a little clever thinking... the number and variety are really amazing.
Tyler Glaiel, the programming and musical composition half of the team behind Aether, has released this amazing platform-puzzle game with a unique look and gripping, oppressive atmosphere. Whether you're looking for fresh new gameplay, or you're interested in games with subtle emotional values, Closure is where it's at.
PrismaPix is a logic puzzle game that uses elements of Minesweeper and Conceptis Puzzles' Fill-a-Pix to create a new kind of experience that's both challenging and intriguing at the same time. Use clues to fill in spaces on the grid, switching between different layers (colors" to complete the entire image.
In a world where vehicles are made up of cute, abstract creatures raptured by a conveyor belt, and everything is made of crazy blocks floating against a sky background, only the puzzle solvers will survive. Gurabitchon, another game by the Polygon Gmen, is a real zany stew of physics, gravity manipulation, and conveyor mechanics.
Terminal House is the first of a series of four escape-the-room adventures by developer, GUMP, that chart your oddly pastel-blue hero's quest to gain freedom from mysterious captors; perhaps the least sophisticated of the group, it is nonetheless excellent. I love the game's quirky sensibility, its commingling of surreal elements and standard escape-the-room tropes.
Fighting robots plus brain-taxing logic-style puzzles? Sounds like a winner! Bureau of Steam Engineering, from the author of The Codex of Alchemical Engineering, is a visually stark game of planning, building, testing, tweaking, and building some more. You are an engineer outfitting robots who are about to go into battle with deadly weapons. Using pipes and valves you must connect each mechanical part to an engine and ensure it functions properly before unleashing the machine.
Grow Tower follows the standard formula that On created with the first Grow game over 5 years ago. Play by clicking on the icons, one-by-one, with the objective being to reach "level max" for each of the items. Order matters, and depending on the order you click, the items will combine and react with each other to reveal a wide array of fascinating outcomes.
A new, creative puzzle game has surfaced, and it rocks:
A little gem from Candystand that's called Electric Box.
The premise is quite simple, and I'm sure you'll agree:
You've got some power at point A, so get some to point B.
There's many tricks and gadgets you will have to use to win,
Like doodads that give power out, or things that take it in.
We are introduced to the odious yet adorable little green goblin, Griswold, in his first flash adventure, as he tries to retrieve his shiny red rock from some nefarious ne'er-do-well. It's a light-hearted and charming point-and-click romp, one that will leave you with little doubt as to why a sequel had to be made.
Actionscript guru Keith Peters has released a sequel to Gravity Pods, his unforgiving physics puzzle challenge from last year. Place gravity pods to direct a projectile from your turret to a purple exit gate. The level design is stunningly difficult, but that kind of adversity can be rewarding.
Griswold the Goblin: Islands of Fire -- Chapter One is a beautifully compact and well-produced point-and-click adventure game from B-Group Productions. Take the reins of Griswold, a droopy and half-alert fellow with ridiculous posture, as he embarks on a sure-to-be-epic quest, for no other reason than that his TV broke and he's just bored enough to look for some treasure.
Blocks With Letters On is a game that seamlessly combines language riddles with physical tile puzzles. Each level provides you with an assortment of blocks (with letters on), and you must find a way to position them in the supplied pink spaces so that they spell an English word. This sequel's difficulty picks up at the point where the last game left off. Which was already freakishly difficult. Be warned.
Color Infection and Color Infection2 are a pair of puzzle games based on the useful Box2D physics engine. They feature a bare-bones presentation and no music or sound effects, but their puzzle designs are incredibly devious. These are the kind of puzzles that make you sit back and bask in their cleverness, even as they taunt you with their arcane complexity.
They call him Mr. Sweets. He makes a living selling delicious candy to children with the help of music and a match-three puzzle game, developed by SKT Products. Make combos with magical expanding candy and fill up the customer's happiness meter! It's hard to bring a new twist to a classic and do it well, but SKT know what they're doing.
Two Rooms is a new action/puzzle game from Lilley Design that will test your skills of both logic and finger agility. Two cubical robots are stuck in two neighboring rooms, one on the right and one on the left, and they must work together to escape. It's a satisfying chunk of blocky shifting puzzle action.
Petri Purho of Kloonigames has a reputation for churning out experimental prototypes in a matter of days. In 2007 one of these prototypes was the sandbox-style puzzle game Crayon Physics. The premise was simple — use a "crayon" to draw shapes that immediately come alive and interact with each other, the ultimate goal being to collect a star somewhere on the screen. The experiment was a hit, and soon it was announced that a full-fledged version of the game was in the works: Crayon Physics Deluxe.
Now here's a new genre-crossing idea: a hidden object game and mahjong-style tile matching. Bet even your strangest of late night dreams wouldn't have paired those two, would they? Liong: The Lost Amulet dares to try something different with the Chinese-themed item finding/tile matching game. The visual presentation and soundtrack are nothing short of exotic, and the gameplay mashes some interesting ideas into an unfamiliar frame that works better than you might imagine.
Crossblock is a simple and rewarding puzzle game with a sublimely deceptive difficulty curve. Your goal is to eliminate all the blocks on a level by dragging a line across them, one horizontal or vertical group at a time. It's hard to believe that such straightforward, honest-looking piles of blocks can hold so many baffling complications.
A new retro-styled puzzle game from Ryan Chisholm and Bennett Foddy, Evacuation puts you in control of the fate of a space station invaded by aliens. Click on escape hatches to open them and evacuate the aliens to space without sacrificing any of the human inhabitants of the station. Randomly generated levels provide enough reason to keep coming back to this one.
Newly thawed from Nitrome, Ice Breaker is a great-looking physics-based puzzle game involving vikings, chunks of ice, and vikings frozen inside chunks of ice. Using the mouse, simply draw lines to cut the ice and drop vikings onto the ship. You'll often need to manipulate the frozen environment to create a smooth path for the vikingcicles to slide down, so timing and a little experimentation with physics are your two best friends in this game.
DropSum is an elegant puzzle game by Nick Harper, who describes it as a cross between Tetris and Sudoku. Burst bubbles and form complicated chain reactions by forming groups that add up to 9. If you ever find yourself yearning to lay down some damage with the power of sums, this is as good as it gets.
Andrew the Droid is a retro-looking title that utilizes the familiar level rotation concept found in a number of games. Work your way through over two dozen levels, avoiding hazards as you unlock exits, collect chips to grant you new abilities, and rotate the stage to let gravity pull you where you need to go.
A simple and charming room escaper from Japan that is just right for an afternoon tea. Filled with objects to find and puzzles to solve, and just a few smallish pixel areas to give you pause. It's simple, short and sweet, like a new year's baby offering promise of a better life ahead. So Happy Birthday 2008!
Take the simple kid's game Concentration, disguise it as something even easier and more kid friendly, then make it much more challenging and evil with each passing level. Flipped out is a super-polished and all around entertaining twist on a familiar game mechanic.
Grid is a moody, deliberate puzzle game from two-man development team Atomic Cicada. Your job is to rotate the available tiles so that every space has power and none of your tiles have any unconnected ends. The catch is that you can only rotate a tile if it already has power flowing through it, which bumps Grid up a few notches on the thoughtfulness index.
The latest brilliant-yet-simple logic puzzle game to hit the Web goes by the intriguing title of The Codex of Alchemical Engineering. Called a "game for engineers" by its creator, your goal is to build machines out of mechanical arms that move and transform basic elements to create compounds required to pass each level. It's a cerebral puzzle game that tasks you with arranging and tweaking objects on both a small and grand scale, the final result of which is a burst of euphoric gaming bliss.
Cottage is an escape game that manages to successfully combine cleverness with a relatively low level of difficulty; while the puzzles may seem simple, they are still creative and inspired enough to delight even the veteran escape gamers among us. Fabulous graphics, fun puzzles, and an adorably surprising ending... it warms even my cold, grumpy New Yorker's heart.
Aaaarrrrr you ready to push some crates and unlock millions of doors, matey? The next installment in the pirate-themed Phantom Mansion II series is here to satisfy your need to steal from the dead. This one has lots of ice, because it's about the North Sea. In the North. Where they keep the ice. That means you often get to sit back and watch Hector skate around helplessly, in between avoiding ghosts.
An entrant into the 2009 Independent Games Festival, 2DEngine's Chains is a game of color connecting that puts a new spin on the same-game genre. Twenty unique levels challenge the player to clear circles while balancing a coat hanger, cleaning a clogged pipe, painting a pyramid, and dodging giant pinball flippers. But of course, we all do that every weekend, don't we?
For those who don't have the time to devote to those addicting match-3 games, Tonypa may have found the perfect alternative. Pushori pares things down to a much more simplified match-2 concept. It is a refreshing and simple new puzzle game from a game designer who has a knack for creating simply refreshing new ideas.