This week, we're dedicating our Letters In Boxes challenge to an event that occurred on July 4th, this week's contest deadline. Many Americans mark this historical date by remembering spacious skies, amber waves of grain, and purple mountain majesties above fruited plains. Of course, we all know July 4th as the day we mourn the passing of Bob Ross, who taught us all how to paint beautiful landscapes in the comfort of our own homes.
About as epic as any game about snails can be, Snailiad will take hours from you, and you'll be glad to see them gone. It's action-packed and adventure-filled, completely unlike the lives of real snails, who mostly sit around hoping they don't become escargot.
They pushed you down, then kicked you while you were there and stole your lunch money! Stupid Forces of Goodness! Can't tolerate a little badness at all, can they? Well now it's your turn to make them pay (and then some) in Cellar Door Games' quirky, addictive strategy title that puts you on the other side of things in a typical tower defense game.
Conceptis has come through once again with the next installment in their Conceptis Light series. Regardless of your experience with Slitherlink puzzles, Slitherlink Light offers a challenge to satisfy your logical cravings. Let yourself get wrapped up in the twists and turns of this puzzle, and you'll be slithering your way to a fun ti—BOOOOOM!!!
Kotorinosu is treading into Mya's Neutral territory with Mirror Escape in regard to variety and difficulty of puzzles. The game is fun, challenging, logical, and a joy for experienced room escapers looking for something fresh and new. Just remember, when gazing into mirrors it is sometimes wise not to look too closely lest you get lost inside with no hope of escape.
Here you assume the role of a wily mosquito whose main ambition in life is to subdue a cow with whatever means are available with the ultimate goal of filling that mosquito belly with bovine blood. Beautifully rustic artwork blended with the backing sounds of Spanish guitar really give this game its character, and you can't help but feel that mosquitoes work pretty hard to earn their daily blood, no matter how stupid cows apparently are.
Nerdook is back, and once again here to hybridize disparate game genres, this time as an entry for Ubisoft's Project Eden game contest. Jacob and the Magic Piano, a game which deftly combines platforming, music, and tower defense gameplay is the result. A starving artist's unknown Aunt has passed away, leaving him a cat, a chest of drawers, and a piano... a magic piano. Playing the piano releases the spirits resting within, but also the golden stars that are the key to accessing the possible riches of the chest. Can Jacob slay the spirits and save the stars? It's all up to the power of music!
Kayzerfish's latest epsiode in the point-and-click trilogy appears unrelated to the first two chapters apart from the glorious graphics and secrets to be found. The beauty of Imagia is immediately obvious with gorgeously crisp imagery that is somehow congruent with the natural world. Imagia 3: The Quarry may just be another tidbit to tantalise a gamer's tastebuds, but I seriously get the feeling that there will be more delightful and sweetly intriguing Imagia to come...
Boccia is a game that requires both careful planning and skillful execution. You can't just be thinking about getting this particular ball close to the jack. You have to think at the same time about what position that will put your opponent in, whether he will be able to knock your ball away, etc.
Can you beat the evil black space rectangle in the bullet hell vertical shooter? In Boss Battle, you will guide your ship through endless bullets and obstacles as you pump thousands of bullets and missiles into a boss that gets stronger each round. The game employs simple graphics and gameplay, but is ultimately a fun, short break game.
Those of us adept at folding space-time (with or without the use of spice) are very familiar with the concept of moving chunks of the universe around so we can easily step from one area to another. For everyone else, there's Continuity 2: The Continuation, a sequel to the familiar Flash puzzle game Continuity. Combining a little bit of 2D platforming and a lot of sliding puzzle logic, Continuity 2 is a unique and challenging experience made better by the battery of almost 50 new levels packed into the iPhone's tiny little screen. It's all the space-time folding you could ever want, without the blue-in-blue eyes to show for it!
Back to save the village once more, eh? Youda Farmer 3: Seasons is a time management game from the seasoned experts of the casual genre, Youda Games. Following the original Youda Farmer and its sequel Youda Farmer 2: Save the Village, the third in the series keeps the gameplay largely the same but introduces several great features, all adding up to a healthy and robust time management simulation experience you'll enjoy mastering!
If you love time management games in the vein of Build-a-lot, then there is a lot to like in The Timebuilders: Caveman's Prophecy. Fast, frantic, and fun this is definitely what casual gaming should be. Have fun building civilization and shaking the devil out of those mischievous kitties!
Push blocks, toggle little slug creatures, maneuver clouds and more in your quest for crumbly sugary goodness. You won't beat this one for the compelling plot, but rather for the sense of accomplishment gained from smooth, seamless teamwork between Paul & Percy. That can be as delicious as any biscuit.
Place of Light has nabbed you again, and this time you're trapped inside a very cozy, but very small, entry hall. Unless you're satisfied with the company of animal photos and can subsist on shoe leather for the rest of your life, you'll have to follow the clues, solve the puzzles, and find some way to escape!
Leap into a world of irresponsible driving and geometric collisions in Oslo Albet's simple but breezily fun and fast-paced 3D racing game! Swoop around the screen across 32 different courses, avoiding hazards and nabbing time bonuses, in an effort to lock in the high score and prove once again what all adults know... driving in the real world is boring.
Not very difficult but fun and occasionally challenging, Suntrap Room Escape is the perfect mid-week break, a light and airy confection as delicious as its designer's name implies. Dive in and enjoy the experience, even if it will leave you hungry for something, anything strawberry flavored.
Created by Japanese math teacher Tetsuya Miyamoto in 2004, Kashikoku naru Puzzle translates literally as "A Puzzle That Makes You Smart". Hitting that exact right combination of mathematical calculation and logical reasoning, it soon became an international sensation under the name KenKen. As the story goes, "Ken" translates as Cleverness, so KenKen (or, I guess Ken^2) is Cleverness-Squared. That's an apt description for this arithmetic grid-based brainteaser. At JayIsGames, we're always on the lookout for good online versions of pen-and-paper games, and Nextoy has provided with 6 daily, devious, and easily-printable KenKen. Why? Because they Ken Ken Ken!
The crazy snail is back, so make sure he reaches his grandfather alive in this skill/avoidance puzzle game sequel. In a strange way this is more of the same without being more of the same at all. Then again, it's about a snail with absolutely no Darwinian sense relying on your need for a high score. Normality doesn't operate here.
Once you pop you can't stop! Blocks, that is! Blast chains of coloured blocks in this simple, simply fun, and simply addictive action arcade game from Andrew Morrish! Coloured blocks fall from the screen and it's up to you to destroy them before they reach the top, while staying away from the spikes and racking up a high score in the process.
For everyone who enjoys Pencilkids games or point-and-click adventures Little Samurai is well worth the time, especially for the kicking animations at the end as our intrepid hero and the evil Emperor get their kung-fu on in a fight that spans several scenes. So travel back to an ancient Japan that exists only in fantasies and daydreams and help wipe out evil from the land
From Japanese developer Kairosoft, creator of Game Dev Story, comes another surprisingly deep simulation game for the mobile market. Grand Prix Story drops you in the shoes of a business owner trying to make it big in the world of grand prix racing. You manage everything from your mechanics and drivers to research, vehicle repairs, engine upgrades, and driver training regimens, all designed to vault you to the top of the leaderboards.
When you hear the phrase "dream resort", you immediately think of a lavish getaway locale that's so luxurious you could barely even dream of it, right? Well, that's not exactly the case in Chloe's Dream Resort, a new time management release from Fugazo. Instead of operating the resort of someone's dreams, you're operating the resort of everyone's dreams. In other words, when people go to sleep, they visit this resort to relax their mind, body and spirit. The problem is, the resort isn't working so well, so while Chloe slumber's on her work desk, her dream self is busily serving dreamers from around the world.
In this week's Letters In Boxes challenge, your task is to tackle those puzzles from the outside in. Each puzzle is a "common" logic puzzle, although not necessarily one you might have seen before. Your first goal is to determine what type of puzzle you're facing, then solve it. Even then, you still have to sort out where to get the letters for your next clue. It's a logic/word puzzle sandwich! Which are exactly like motorcycle/hot dog sandwiches.
Pixels and physics, two things just about every casual gamer is thoroughly familiar with. Pixel Explorer takes these simple ideas and turns them into a challenging and precision-oriented game of action and reflexes. Using just the mouse, you play a little pixel ball that can transform with nothing more than a [left click]. Turn yourself into a shooting ship that can blast in any direction and work your way through over 30 stages of increasing difficulty, encountering strange new types of pixels while you play!
Nitrome has done it again! We've guided the little blue piece of protoplasm test subject through two incredibly enjoyable series of experiments. Now, however, it (and you) faces its greatest opponent yet: a person sitting next to you at the keyboard! Yes, it's Green vs. Blue in Test Subject Arena
Described by the developer as a "five-minutes room escape game," Pearl Room Escape is not short on pleasing visuals, intuitively logical puzzles or enjoyment. While not all players will make their way out within the abbreviated time frame as advertised, the game is leisurely enough for anyone to dive into, providing a vacation from the ordinary milieu. Pearl Room Escape may seem too short or lacking in features to garner much attention, yet this mini-escape is a true pearl of delight.
Sad armadillo is sad because he can't fly like the birds. He can run and roll, though, and with your help, he can do something remarkably close to flying! Dillo Hills is a browser-based action game similar to the iPhone release Tiny Wings. All you do in this simple physics-centric title is hold the [down] arrow key to dive towards the hills. When you hit terra firma you start to roll, coasting along the slopes to gain more and more speed. Release the button and soar high into the sky, picking up speed and traveling to distant lands in the process!
Help the blocky-headed hero escape in this fun physics puzzle platformer hybrid from bart99. Labscape skews more towards the platform than the puzzle end of the spectrum when it comes to its challenge. While the level designs are clever and frequently charming, with my personal favorite being what I might call "razor blade surfing," it doesn't take more than a little thought to figure out where the missing pieces are that you have to draw. Completing this game won't necessarily turn you into a lithe athlete, but it will provide a fun little break for your day.
Go, Speed Runner, go! A superhero whose only super power is running really, really fast runs afoul of an evil genius whose extracurricular activities include building giant death machines and planting bombs all over the city. (... and... his... hideout?) Spring to the rescue in this bouncy, stylish arcade platformer that demands quick reflexes. Note: not for players with allergies to repeated spiky death.
You like Dino Run SE, right? And Nanotube? Well, imagine a game that's nothing like either of those games but co-created by the makers of each. Imagining that? Now stop and check out Super Space Rubbish, a game that satisfies the wildest fantasies you've had since starting this review, and does so with a fantastic retro style. Super Space Rubbish looks a lot like the classic Asteroids game on the surface, but really it's a mining/upgrading sort of experience where you customize your ship using materials extracted from asteroids smashed with your turret.
Mmm, delicious time management games. If slinging burgers, serving tacos, or making cakes doesn't get your appetite going, you probably need to play a little longer! Stand O'Food 3 is a new time management game that puts you in the chef shoes of Ronnie, a mega-talented restauranteur whose skills at making eateries popular rivals that of every other time management game hero! Now it's your job to run a series of burger joints that, apparently, sell burgers the size of a couch cushion. Business is booming, though, and you'll have a great time serving food and pleasing customers in this casual game!
Hotel Dash: Lost Luxuries is time management done fantastically well, challenging, amusing, beautiful, and frantic. Take a few minutes and get sucked into the world of Flo and Dinertown!
In Bug Tunnel Defense, bugs are in fact our deadly enemies after an atomic war has laid waste to the rest of civilization, and they're coming for what is left of humanity. So, not much different from the present day, really, minus the radiation and the end of civilization. With 5 levels of tutorials and 40 levels of gameplay, Bug Tunnel Defense is short but entertaining. If you enjoy tower defense games, then try out Bug Tunnel Defense with its fun new twist on an old classic. And for heaven's sake, get those darn bugs before they wipe us all out.
It's time once again for Letters In Boxes, the word puzzle game where Letters appear in Boxes. Crazy, ain' it? We've featured two puzzle challenges so far, featuring all sorts of literary twists and turns, and those 26 characters we all hold so dearly. It's nice to know that there's nothing that can ever disrupt their lexiconical harmony... OR IS THERE?
As per usual with Tonypa games the difficulty curve in Regrebluli is pretty steep, but that's about the only complaint there is with this addictive, entertaining game. The one thing we can always count on with Tonypa is a simple idea (plain stark graphics and elementary gameplay) done exceedingly well.
In a day when physics puzzles are as common as tax collectors, you can't just set a square block on top of an orange block and let your game loose on the world. Enter Steampunk, a simple sort of phuzzle game whose goal is to provide a sturdy challenge through 30 levels of puzzles while painting everything with a gorgeous steampunk art style.
Time to brush up on your culinary skills and get cooking in this latest Tesshi-e escape game! Explore the irregular dimensions of this out of the ordinary room as you enjoy the beautiful and stunning graphics that Tesshi-e is known for. You'll need to combine logic, puzzle solving, object finding, object using, and a few culinary skills in order to call your friend to let you out so you can enjoy the lovely breakfast you just slaved over a hot...hot-plate to create.
Tearstone is a fantastic first effort by a new designer on the scene. DragonsEye Studio has come up with a fantastic, challenging, fun, and entertaining point and click adventure of the old school, with a few hidden object conventions thrown in.
Love Chronicles: The Sword and the Rose, a new casual adventure game from Vendel Games, creator of the Magic Encyclopedia series, flings you into a gloomy world of alchemy, spells, sleeping trees, frozen puddles and glowing rose petals. As a prince who is on his way home from an adventure, you encounter a strange island filled with mystery. And ice. Lots and lots of ice. Your boat becomes trapped on the shore, so you set foot to sand and investigate the island's strange sights.
Sumo wrestling, as everyone knows, is a noble and ancient Japanese art where a rotund man bounces around like a ping pong ball, occasionally careening into other sumo wrestlers, and shoveling rice down his gullet as quickly as possible to increase his size and convert all adversaries into clones of himself. So loosen your belt, grab your industrial-strength chopsticks, and jump into Hungry Sumo for seconds. Or tenths. Or fiftieths. Yum.
Just when you thought it was safe to go back to regular ol' crossword puzzles, a wild Letters In Boxes appears! We had received such a warm response to last week's puzzle that we thought we'd follow up with another set of puzzles for your solving pleasure. This week, we've got a bit of a sideways challenge for you, with puzzles to play on a slight tilt. Can you keep your thinking straight as you solve this set of stumpers?
I appreciate the specificity of Space Arcade: The Game's subtitle. I was seriously worried for a couple minutes that I was going to have to deal with Space Arcade: The Hit Broadway Musical. However, as much as I crave toe-tappin' hits and elaborate choreography, I enjoy Galaga-inspired pixel shooter action even more. This appears to be music-meister Matt McFarland's debut game release, and it's so much fun that maybe he should consider quitting his day job.
10 Gnomes in Liege is pretty short, but that doesn't mean that you'll only spend ten minutes playing. Try it and you might get hooked, going back over and over again to admire the stunning black and white photography of the city whilst you try to ferret out every last gnome before time runs out.
Sym-a-Pix is a unique take on picture-logic puzzles. Like most of the Conceptis Light line, this edition features a selection of easier puzzles in three different sizes, to give you a good grasp of the concepts for solving these puzzles. If you're looking for a different logic puzzle challenge, give Sym-a-Pix Light a spin. You never know what will turn up!
Hermit Rabi is a satisfying little escape adventure chock-full of puzzles, logic, use of found objects, combining objects, and communicating with imaginary rabbits. With this designer you get the whole package: fantastic gameplay, intuitive and easy to use controls, and gorgeous visuals, making Robamimi one of our favorite room escape designers. So get ready for a perfect mid-week break with Hermit Rabi and Wonder Fountain.
Bloopers is a short physics game of destruction similar to Crush the Castle, Angry Birds, and countless other browser-based diversions of a similar type. Here, you play the role of little black blobs who own a really great cannon. One day, one of the blobs sees a lightbulb. He goes insane with rage, immediately smashing the bulb's delicate glass exterior. Only when the light has been extinguished is the blob happy, and thus they set out across the land, using physics to destroy lightbulbs that plague their very existence!
Antique Road Trip 2: Homecoming is a hidden object game that tells the story of a young couple, Grace and James, their newborn son Colin and their amazingly cute puppy. In the original Antique Road Trip USA they spent a ton of time traveling around the country, finding and selling antiques to fix up their own lovely antique store. Now all they want is a break, so they head to Montana to visit Grace's parents and enjoy some long-awaited relaxation.
When tornadoes strike Greefield Island, who you gonna call? The rescue team, of course! Clad in the finest orange overalls and wearing the highest-tech helmets available, the handy crew sails in, hammers at the ready, willing and able to clean up the debris covering the island and repair each and every building along the way. A time management sim in the vein of My Kingdom for the Princess and Roads of Rome, Alawar Game's Rescue Team aims to take its own slice of the road repairing, house rebuilding pie, one level at a time!
Dust off that old Nitrome Entertainment System and maybe even your super sneaky Game Muscle cartridge for a little old-school arcade glory! Help the world's cutest pink elastic puppy stretch his way around all manner of dangerous obstacles to retrieve gems in this beautiful nostalgic homage to classic arcade avoidance gaming.
Need a little puzzle diversion? Hop in line and get ready to strain your brain! Welcome to Letters In Boxes, a new puzzle series from us here at JIG. If you can work your way through the wordy woes, you could win a wonderful prize!
14 Locks, the latest game from Bart Bonte, is not strictly an escape game but it is still fun to navigate your way through the imaginatively decorated spaces, each one becoming more elaborate than the last. Bart has created something that is pretty exciting and amusing to play with this Unity platform, although it can be a little nausea inducing, so please be warned.
Created by five-year-old Cassie and her father, Ryan, Sissy's Magical Ponycorn Adventure is a stupendously silly and wonderful short little adventure game about a little girl able to travel through rainbows, who desperately wants a collection of ponycorns in jars. (Don't we all?) Short and easy but nevertheless cheerful and fun, this little game will put a smile on your face for the duration.
When a little yellow creature mysteriously named Red spies a sign advertising a free muffin, nothing's going to stop him. Of course, this muffin turns out not to be so much a "free as in no strings attached" muffin. It's more of a "free as in you must first complete a gauntlet of puzzles while pointing and clicking your way around a mysterious castle" kind of muffin. Made by Rob and John Donkin, The Adventures of Red serves up some classic challenges and a few twists of its own.
Fame! Romance! Excitement!... none of which are for you. After all, Count Thrashwoode is the hero here, and you're just his lowly assistant. It's up to you to properly organise all the treasure he uncovers during his adventures and then properly equip him for battle in this quirky, unique puzzle game.
From Papa's Pizzeria to Papa's Burgeria to the latest time management game Papa's Taco Mia, Flipline Studios consistently produces great-looking games that walk a delicate line between challenging and straight-up entertaining. The newest in the growing series of restaurant sims puts you in the managing shoes of a taco joint. Take customer's orders, grill up the right kind of meat, stuff the tacos, add the toppings one by one, and present each order to the customer for their evaluation. Make neater tacos, rake in bigger tips, and outfit your restaurant with the best equipment available as you work your way to a taco-making master!
Spite Cannon Reloaded is a truly casual game where you shoot cannonballs at various shapes with eyes and mouths. Play through 80 levels, complete with upgrades and a level editor. Can you unlock the lemur cannonballs and beat the game?
Time management game? We don't think so! Bistro Boulevard is a casual restaurant simulation from Fugazo, creators of the World Mosaics series as well as Fiction Fixers. In an unusual departure from the norm. Bistro Boulevard is focused on you as the manager of a restaurant. Hire staff, train them to cook ingredients, formulate recipes, and seat customers, all with a few clicks of the mouse. Your staff does all the drudge work, leaving you to focus on the important parts of the business!
Emma and the Inventor is a wonder-filled adventure/hidden object game from Tricky Software. A relative newcomer to the casual downloads scene, the studio makes a great impression with a game that is not only easy and inviting to play, but one that has been carefully put together with attention to the small details. The end result doesn't shatter records or break the genre's mold too fiercely, but instead delivers a supremely satisfying game with good puzzles, excellent artwork and music, and frustration-free gameplay scene after glorious scene.
I have to admit, if I was ever sucked into a Tron-like computer world, I don't know if I would be able to handle the games they would force me to play. Since getting my motorcycle, I think I could manage a draw in light-cycles, but Deadly Discs? Solar Sailor? Brawls at the End of Line club? I think I'd be derezzed pretty quickly. On the other hand, should the Master Computer challenge me to a game of hangman, I think I could take him. Such is the scenario presented by Langman, the new unity platforming word game from Von Lehe Creative.
Oh sure, you could say that Successful Experiment by Toffee Games is just another physics-based puzzler where you fiddle around with balls and targets, but just check out that sweet laboratory set you've got as a background, and the Einstein-look on the logo character. You're fiddling around with balls and targets for science.
Although Bla Bla is presented on a technological medium, many of the pictures and figures are hand-drawn or made through stop-motion animation. The combined effect of modernity and tradition produces a unique aesthetic and a visible human touch to the gameplay.
In this conclusion to the Stamp Rally Escape trilogy, the puzzles flow nicely from one to the next and the animals' special talents for jumping and punching are on display front and center several times around the room. All in all a nice, satisfying conclusion to the series, leaving the room escaper happy and content, at least until Cogito Ergo Sum's next epic trilogy.
Samegame Fighter cuts out all the nasty parts of adventuring (and most of the other parts, for that matter) and distills battling monsters to a matching game. Samegame Fighter is a solid choice for those of us who'd love to be heroes but enjoy changing our underwear regularly.
With its cute, cartoony visuals, throbbing music track, fast-paced action, and Super Mario-like platforming City Siege 2: Resort Siege is a wild ride through the world of special ops and hostage rescue. So you can't be a member of Seal Team 6 (which doesn't actually exist, anyway), try City Siege 2: Resort Siege and live out your wildest commando team fantasies of saving the day, killing the bad guys, and reducing some random unnamed resort to complete rubble.
Happy peasants harvesting grass. Peaceful people admiring the clouds. Then the bad guys come along and start sieging and such. You don't need much of a story when it comes to physics-based chain reaction games, but in the case of Siege Hero, from the creator of Sieger, you definitely need to know you're the one fighting on the side of good! This highly-polished iOS game features gameplay similar to Castle Crashers, Angry Birds, and even Implode!, although the sum of its well-made parts adds up to something much more intriguing.
Lume is a new puzzle adventure game from State of Play, creators of a few browser games you might know, such as A Short History of the World and A Break in the Road. The visual style is by far the game's most standout feature, as everything you see was created out of paper and cardboard before getting filmed in high definition. The awesomeness doesn't end with the graphics, though. Lume features some solidly challenging point-and-click puzzles that will cause even seasoned room escape veterans to stop and think on more than one occasion.
Dragon Keeper is an amusing and fun little time management diversion in which you need to raise baby dragons to help win back the princess and the kingdom. The animations are hilarious and the action can become fast and frantic, but not so much that this game is out of reach of the young or old, making Dragon Keeper literally fun for everyone. Dragon Keeper offers hours upon hours of addictive fun for the whole family, wrapped up in a cute little bow.
You can keep your CGI mippy-maps and digitally inserted explosions. In my mind, what the best movie stunts need is non-negotiable: An actual dude, in an actual car, making actual jumps (possibly with an actual dude hanging from the rear axle with an actual whip). I suppose then it's a little contradictory that I turn to computer gaming to recreate this real-life experience, but Stunt Crazy, the new physics driving game by The Podge definitely has the right spirit... and a ton of stuff that goes boom. Can't forget that.
Zounds! A movie-tie-in advergame that is a 16-bit platformer and doth not suck? And one that doth has been made by retro king Big Pixel Studios! Yea, verily! I personally may be a bigger fan of the Distinguished Competition, but any game that lets you control a Norse God that flings lightning and hammers around is certainly worth a look. Yes, it's Thor: Bring the Thunder, just released on the main Marvel site. Indeed, I've heard that the company has just released a 150 million dollar movie for the sole purpose of promoting this game. Was it a waste of money? By Odin's beard, I say thee nay!
As with most escapes, Button is set in a room filled with all manner of doodads and puzzles: a few paintings on the wall, a red couch, a grandfather clock mysteriously missing its hands, a bookshelf... and a tempting red button behind a metallic hatch beside the door, helpfully marked "DO NOT PUSH" in both English and Japanese. How you treat the button will affect the outcome of the game.
Be legendary! Be powerful! Be... pixellated? Kevin Glass' retro roguelike is currently in continued development, but don't be afraid to dip your toes into this top-notch casual experience designed to be picked up and played at any time by anyone. Sharped your sword, fletch your arrows, and... uh... spark your fireballs? There's adventure to be had!
Minerbot features a distinctive minimalist art style that might be confusing for the first couple runs. Once you get into the groove of the game, though, there's definitely an addictive quality to watching a collector hollow out a massive expanse of ore. The action's accompanied by a hopping techno soundtrack.
Platform fans are bound to enjoy Test Subject Green while puzzle lovers won't be punished for a lack of twitch reflexes. It's an excellent hybrid of the two genres made possible through the power of science, much like astronaut ice cream is a delicious fusion of strawberry, vanilla and chocolate. Aren't you glad we live in this modern world?
Dangerous Gen-Kan Escape 2 is not only a perfect mid-week break but a fantastic nod to the past oeuvre of point-and-click adventure gaming which spawned today's room escapes. Come on, you know you want to play, even if you might blow up. Be careful, it's dangerous.
Since the dawn of time, man has collected. This arcade platformer plays right to this compulsion by encouraging players to load up on diamonds like it's going out of style as they try to climb to the top of an endless cavern. This isn't a pretentious art game or a brain-wracking escape, this is down-and-dirty arcade action through and through and it succeeds spectacularly on that level.
Ready for a rhythm game that will make you feel like a musical mastermind while potentially sending your synapses into a frenzy? Pulse: Volume One has that power, and this iPad-exclusive from Cipher Prime, creator of Fractal and Auditorium, has both the visual package and musical variety to lull you into a brilliant trance of dot tapping and circle watching.
When Amanita Design's Samorost or Machinarium meets a smart, non-formulatic hidden object game, The Tiny Bang Story is the beautiful result. A point-and-click puzzle game at heart, this charming release from Colibri Games will hook you from the start, keeping your eyes busy and your cursor mobile from the opening screen all the way to the very end. It's a stunning and very memorable game that will make you wish more games followed its careful design concepts.
Yoshio Ishii is back with another installment of one of our favorite puzzle games here at JIG: Hoshi Saga Ringoen is the 6th in the series and in full color like the previous version. Still not nearly as difficult as the first few games in the series, which may disappoint the more hard-core puzzle lovers, but for casual players are sure to eat this one up. Whether you are new to the series or a veteran, a new Hoshi Saga is always a day to celebrate.
Welcome to Snark Busters 2: All Revved Up, a bizarre, colorful, steampunk-ish world of broken hidden objects, magical mirrors, and mischievous chandelier-breaking cats! As Jack Blair, famous Formula 0 racer, you follow in the footsteps of your grandfather who was not only a better driver, but a better Snark Buster as well! The sequel is every bit as whimsical and engaging as the original game, Snark Busters: Welcome to the Club, and it's a treasure of an experience from beginning to end!
Do K and S resent C for horning in on their territory? Is it agoraphobia or contempt for the other letters that compels Q to stay at home unless U is close behind? What sort of twisted inter-literal love triangle makes I go before E, except after C? And what happens when a formally happy literal couple decides to call it splits? This last is the premise behind The I of It, a unique puzzle platformer, in which the "t" of the word "It" runs off, prompting "I" to set forth on a quest find him.
Save the Princess is an adorable puzzle game, almost bordering on precious. It has just the right mix of colorful graphics and logical gameplay that makes me think that it would be the perfect game for parents and children to play together without either getting bored. Collect stars for extra (and slightly hilarious) achievements, but watch out for spikes and getting caught in an endless loop!
Take up the mantle of Gem Keeper and protect your glittery hoard from all comers in this official level pack from tower defense maestros Iriysoft. Make strategic use of three different terrains and towers, upgrading your offensive capabilities to stand firm against hordes of powerful enemies, each with their own unique abilities. Just remember, when the going get tough, the tough rain down a fiery hail of massive meteorites.
Buried in the dirt or sitting in the open pathways are letters or bones, simply run across them (or dig across them) to pick them up. Spell words to earn bones to buy bonuses and to move further in the game. Simple to learn with a lot of vocabulary complexity to be found, Word Up Dog! is casual gameplay that can suck you in and give you hours and hours of enjoyment. This fun, amusing, challenging game of spelling is entertainment for a wide range of ages, from those youngsters who want to improve their mad spellin' skillz to the older folks who enjoy a vocabulary challenge.
Where do all the bugs go? What happened between early testing of a game and final release? Jonas Kyratzes may make you wonder with this experimental platformer. Recruited to test an early build of Jonas's new game, you wind up falling through the cracks into a strange place you were never meant to see.
It's not your typical numbers-in-boxes challenge, but don't let that scare you away. Once you wrap your mind around the concept of using the empty boxes as the clues for filling in the black squares, you're on your way. This first batch of Nurikabe Light features a number of simpler, smaller puzzles to help you learn the ropes. Give them a shot, you might discover a new puzzle addiction!
You would really have to search hard to find anything wrong with Mild Escape 4, the newest game from Tesshi-e. Challenging, amusing, easy on the eyes and ears, with simple intuitive controls, you're looking at a near perfect classic one-room four-wall escape game, wrapped up in an anniversary bow. Perfect for the mid-week break, Mild Escape 4 is everything you could want in a room escape and more.
Some things in life are purely about experience, like bungee-jumping and rollercoaster rides. And there are games with no apparent meaning, that draw you in simply to enjoy something different, like Deliza. This point-and-click curiosity is essentially an advergame without the hard-sell elements, diffcult to define yet an experience in its own right.
My Little Army is clever strategy fun that wears its real-time nature on its sleeve, made from cutesy graphics and carried forward by purely-for-decoration storylines. You might even be fooled by thinking that this makes the game easy. See if you feel that way when a giant Jason is stomping your Khan Kong's face.
On of Eyezmaze is back in this bite-size installment of the Grow series of puzzle games! Made to highlight one particular beastie created by a fan of the games, Grow Nano 4 once again asks you to use a variety of unusual ingredients in the proper order. Combining a sense of wonder, silliness, and good old fashioned non-logic, On has once again delivered us a delicious little puzzle to bring a little strange sunshine to our week!
Lights! Camera! Puzzle! Everyone's favorite sawer of jig, Plexus, is back, with a new mind-bender of a visual workout. This time, the subject is the literal zoo that is Hollywood as some animal auteurs have gathered to film the latest boffo-box-office, fun-for-the-whole-family, critical-darling, summer blockbuster! All the pieces are here for a smash hit, but they'll be needing you to put them into place. Roll 'em!
Amanda Rose: The Game of Time, developed by Renergy, takes the idea of hurtling through a time-space continuum one step further by way of a small stone in an unfolding cube found by our heroine, Amanda, at the site of a plane crash. It's not an easy ride though and after several days of unconsciousness, she awakes to an adventure that will take her through the wild west of America to the amazing lost city of Atlantis. Of course there are multiple hidden objects to be found to help her on her way.
Note to wizards tinkering with space and time: if you're going to build a magical portal, be sure to calibrate it for humans before unleashing its unstoppable power on the universe! In the far away land of Sefirem, one such wizard failed to do this, and the high-tech portal he was working on went all wacky and trapped him inside. Now, an elfin girl and her rodent pal need a human — namely, you — to collect crystals and find the wizard, else the entire land will fall to ruin! So begins Allora and the Broken Portal, a gorgeously-drawn fantasy hidden object adventure from the folks at AZ Art development studio.
I'm always hearing about how the next evolution in gaming is right around the corner. However, for those shooter-lover who wouldn't mind evolution taking less time, there's DN8, the new dynamically-generated bullet-hell from intelligent-designer Squize of Gaming Your Way. It looks pretty fit to me.
Want a game with bite? Vampire Physics has you removing wooden blocks and platforms to get your cute vampire to reach humans to turn them into vampires. Avoid garlic, priests, and rival vampires across 36 contraption-filled levels. The game includes bonus user levels and level editor to share your challenges.
When you see the word "dismantlement" in front of a noun, especially when that noun is a gadget filled with nifty parts to dig through, you know it's time for another installment of the excellent point-and-click Dismantlement series! Just like previous releases, Dismantlement: Mini Keyboard charges you with the task of taking apart a gadget with nothing more than a screwdriver. The insides of this contraption won't be familiar to anyone who has actually pulled apart a keyboard before, and there might be a surprise (or six) waiting for you behind that rear panel!
Anbot 2 is short and sweet, but so totally jam-packed with action and excitment that it's much more than just a mouthful of gaming goodness. It might not take long to help Anbot through his second adventure, but you'll definitely feel like he owes you one for helping him out this time.
Monster Castle Defense is a retro-styled 2D tower defense game with cute little pixel graphics and a level of difficulty that will certainly get your attention. In order to keep the princess safe, you must deploy a series of creatures to fight off ever-advancing evil soldiers. Upgrade your warriors to bigger, badder fighters, and keep the hallways clear as you try to survive wave after wave of attacks!
Not long and nor very difficult, Blossom Spring Escape is a perfect mid-week break and a nice celebration of the season wrapped up into one. Amusing, easy on the eyes, logical, and just plain fun to enjoy the escaping madness. So take a few minutes out of your day and celebrate spring with a lot of pretty flowers and colors and logic puzzles. You know, just the way Grandma used to do.
It's an entire philosophy of bot-dom. UpBot is at peace with its purpose in life. It is UpBot. It goes up. It doesn't try to be something it's not. If UpBot needs to go left, then LeftBot is going to have to help it. The makers describe the game as "elegant," and that really is an apt descriptor for the solutions. When you figure it out, everything works together like clockwork. It's the figuring out that's the challenge, and the fun.