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.
Leroy Smith's 2 on 2 Hall of Fame Challenge is an off-the-charts, old school basketball game featuring the self-proclaimed motivator of Michael Jordan. Use the keyboard to control your teammates as you attempt to defeat Team Leroy in three periods of no-holds-barred, high flying dunk action. Shazaaaam!
I don't know how to pronounce it, or even what it means but I love the game! Detarou's latest release is completely Detarou; in other words, it's a wonderfully weird, surreal, delightfully presented and maybe even a little unsettling point-and-click game with three endings to discover. The game itself defies any sense of reality, but it's funny, quirky, surprising and a real pleasure to play. And each ending only adds to the enjoyment of play with startling humour.
Crazy Over Goo is a physics-based projectile platformer that puts you in the gooey guise of a spheroid on a quest to find his pink-bowed friend. Use the mouse to aim your trajectory and try to reach each level's flag in as few jumps as possible. Contend with mid-air leaps, variable environments, gravity, spikes, and many other platform game elements.
The riddle of the sphinx is invoked at the beginning of Convergence, the flixel-based platformer/life simulator/interactive art piece that serves as the first release from Streetlight Studios: "What walks on four legs in the morning, two legs in the afternoon, and three legs in the evening?"... No, the answer isn't "William the Performing Dog". It's that miserable pile of secrets itself: man. And you'll be be spending an interesting three days in a life herein. Wake up, fall out of bed, drag a comb across your head and check it out.
It's the Era of Automation! We automate everything from manufacturing, to financial transactions, to blog updates. So why not automate creativity as well? Okay, that sounds horrible, but there is something fascinating about pre-configured, automatic processes that produce beautiful and seemingly random results. Depending on how you start your composition, you can either create regular repeating patterns, or patterns that subtly shift in interesting ways. It can be difficult to predict how a given setup will act, but that is part of the joy of Otomata.
Dream Chronicles: The Book of Water is virtually a pure point-and-click adventure experience of the old Myst school of gameplay, with some minor hidden object elements mixed in. Book of Water picks up where Book of Air left off, with the heroine Lyra making her way back home to the land of Wish after her adventures with the Clockmaker. Stunning to look at, a joy to listen to (the soundtrack is lovely as always), challenging, entertaining, and downright fun, Dream Chronicles: The Book of Water is a worthy successor to the previous games in the series, while setting the stage for the (hopefully) big wrap up that is to come.
Card games: love 'em or be just sorta "meh" about them. We happen to love them, and when it comes to downloadable solitaire games, you'll always be hard-pressed to outdo the card masters at Anawiki. New from the developer that brought you Soccer Cup Solitaire comes the smooth, attractive, and long-playing tri peaks sort of game Avalon Legends Solitaire. One you start, you probably won't want to stop. And hey, we won't blame you!
They say the price of fame is steep, but when Lisa signs on for a TV show, little does she know it's about running a farm — and she's the star! Think Old McDonald meets Paris Hilton. Fortunately for Lisa, you'll make sure she's awesome at farming in the time management game My Farm Life.
Spirits of Mystery: Amber Maiden offers a lot of fantastic adventuring and hidden object gameplay. The beautiful scenery, the competent voice acting, the amusing animations and the fine interface guarantee lots of fun for fans of the genre. So take some time and explore this gorgeous world while saving the kingdom from a fate that is, while visually very pretty, in reality not all that pretty.
Cathode Rays starts out simply enough (with only one ray to handle), but the difficulty quickly ramps up as you're required to thread the rays through tight passages and time your movements to match moving and fading planks. Soon you'll be trying to manage four beams at once in sparkly vector glory. Can you wrangle these ridiculous rays?
Edutainment!... Commence eye-rolling, people. For some reason many are skeptical of any game that claims to "make learning fun". Perhaps it is the feeling that, since most believe learning (if not necessarily schooling) to be naturally fun, any subject that has to be made fun must be really dry. That said, while Mission US: For Crown or Colony is unlikely to redeem the genre for everyone, the tale of a teenager coming of age in Colonial America makes for a solid adventure, whose gentle challenge is balanced by excellent production values and historical detail.
Front Runner's protagonist would rather sit unaccosted on his asteroid outpost, playing his space-recorder, but all the quirky locals just won't leave him be. And as arcade games have taught us for years, such aggravation can only be answered by taking the wheel of an absurdly overarmed runabout and showing all comers what-for. It takes the vastness of space and turns it into a strange, colorful neighborhood of oddly shaped planets and goofy, irksome monsters. Empty space is rarely this lively, or this silly.
Escape from the Living Room 2 is a fun stand-alone room escape, a bit of a nostalgic nod to the past while incorporating all of the elements that make the more current Tesshi-e games much more fun and playable. Whether you are young and new to the genre or an old, old veteran like myself, Escape from the Living Room 2 is quite a fun classic room escape game, perfect for the mid-week break.
While the Sun from a distant universe falls from a sky, it's up to you and a magical mask that manipulates time to help him get back up in this short but beautiful little point-and-click adventure from a talented team of students at DADIU.
Fresh from the bronze halls of Nitrome comes Steamlands, a game that mixes strategy, defense, and building genres with a steampunk exterior to make a final product that begs you to become addicted. A great war has left Europe in ruins. Even though the last of the machines have been disassembled, pirates still roam the land with their patchwork tanks built from scrap. As a lone mercenary commander, you must pick up a spanner and build your own war machine by scavenging parts from defeated pirates. Embark upon dozens of missions in this expertly-crafted game of combat, strategy, and on-the-fly steam tank construction!
If to be 'stalwart' is to be filled with resolve, courage and physical endurance, then it's fair to say that Jonathan Whiting's game may bring out the little stalwart knight in all of us. This is a game that presents simply with pixel art and easy to master controls, but a closer look reveals its true side-scrolling, platform and challenging avoidance essence. And all with rhythm!
In the first Youda Survivor, your job as a ragged castaway was to impress the chief of the island by brewing potions and living off of the magic of the world around you. Prove you were the stuff of legend, and you would be rewarded! After saving both the island and its inhabitants, you settled down for a nice and quiet civilized life of your own. But as Youda Survivor 2 begins, the island chief calls you back, and it looks like some serious trouble is brewing this time around!
The passing of a season always makes me nostalgic for it. Lord knows that I'm never too thrilled with skidding my Honda on the icy roads of winter, but now that the May-Flowers-bringing showers of April are upon us (in the Northern Hemisphere, at least), I find myself wishing for one last walk in a swirling frozen cloud of flurries. While Chione is quite unlikely to heed my prayers, I can take solace in January, an interactive art webtoy release from Rich Vreeland. It's an impressive debut release that manages to truly capture the beauty and melancholy of a walk of a blustery winter's evening.
A new-agey, color-based puzzle game reminiscent of Auditorium, Subtle Energy succeeds in being a pretty relaxing puzzler. The soundtrack is inoffensive aural Xanax, and it is always soothing to watch colored pixel streams flow about the screen. The puzzles themselves are few, and while most are not too difficult, you will likely find that some make you stop and think.
Shadow is a quiet yet solid escape game by Kotorinosu, which stands apart from the crowd of point-and-click puzzle games with its simplicity, appealing graphics, and honest escape game fare. If you have an appetite for honest-to-goodness escape games, then loosen your belt a knotch and enjoy a hearty helping.