The next entry is from Lopsidation of Maryland (US). A long-time JIG visitor, this is Lopsidation's first CGDC, so please give him a warm welcome with your feedback in the comments. Brownie Motion implements "ball physics" in a game based on a very simple idea that demonstrates a more complex one, too (Brownian motion). Simple to understand, and yet difficult to master. See for yourself.
The next entry is from Damir Srpèiè of Slovenia. You might remember Damir from our first competition with his popular and creative entry, Personal Universe. Roped! implements "ball physics" as well as 'rope physics' in this unique puzzle game that also includes and integrated level editor and save feature.
Hopefully the moment you've all been waiting for. We'll be rolling out the entries in the order we received them. Here is the first entry to our 4th Casual Gameplay Design Competition: Event Horizon by the_Corruptor (Canada). An action game of mouse-play that implements the "ball physics" theme and creates gameplay that revolves around it, literally.
A new stylish title from Game Pure has just been released: Micro Art. The hybrid puzzle combines elements of SameGame and your classic match-3 game with a unique line-drawing mechanism. A pile of puzzle pieces rises on the left side of the screen while matching pieces float freely on the right. Draw a line and collect the floating pieces to make matches and keep the stack from reaching the top of the screen.
Replay 2 : The Sequel is a unique sequel in that the first game never saw a release. Instead, the code was rebuilt from the ground up and a "2" attached to its name. This turn-based puzzle game also implements the "replay" theme in a unique and challenging way, one that will force you to think ahead and calculate your moves carefully.
Paracaidas ("parachute" in Spanish) is from Scheletro, a very talented newcomer to our competitions. It's the tale of a dedicated stunt performer who is never satisfied until he has either safely missed his target, or mysteriously closed his parachute and plummeted to his death.
Robot Goal is a simple puzzle game that involves programming a robot to collect green spheres and shoot them into goals before time runs out for each level. Programming is as simple as clicking on the icon representing the action you would like the robot to take. Sequencing several moves together before clicking play will help master each level within the allowed time limit.
Fitting in the webtoy category more comfortably than being a game, Music Dodge is an entry from Daniel Gutierrez into our 3rd game design competition. Colored bars streak across the screen in time with the background music. You control a colorful orb and must "scratch" against the edge of the bars to score points. It's a simple game of avoidance and precision made much more interesting when you use your own music.
Parley is a two-player strategy card game designed by Matt Slaybaugh and Joe Versoza for our 3rd game design competition. Similar to Rochambeau, the base deck is made up of three suits (Water, Fire, and Wood), each of which trumps one other suit and is in turn trumped by the remaining suit of the three. In addition, each suit is broken up into a number of different ranks: Queen, Duke, Knight, Spy, and Page (in rank order).
Manifold is a physics-based action/puzzle game created by artist and designer Joel Esler. Use special orbs that can alter gravity within a small radius to climb your way through dangerous situations. It's a simple idea that's been paired with smart artistic direction to create a game that pleases the senses as well as your sense of fun.
The latest from Bloons creators, Stephen Harris and Ninja Kiwi, Hotcorn is a game about popping corn... with heat. You control a smiling sun avatar with the mouse, moving it over kernels of corn on a top-down game board to pop them into some kind of exploded corn substance. Pop enough corn before time runs out and you win the level, simple as that.
DJ Sultan is in the house! His just-released Yoshitoshi Montreal collection is one of the most amazingly uplifting, feel-good mixes of songs I've heard in quite a long time. So good that it warrants interrupting the flow of game reviews to share with you the wonderful positive energy it contains. If you enjoy good dance music, you won't be disappointed by this absolutely spirit-lifting mix!
A game entered into our 3rd competition, The Turtles of Time is an action game in which micromanagement and careful planning are rewarded rather than reckless bouncing hither and thither. Properly played, the game looks and plays like a well-oiled machine, or an award-winning marching band. A clever time-rewinding Replay feature allows you to control multiple turtles as the levels progress.
From Aztec, creator of Escape from Island and Jinja (The Shrine), comes yet another superbly crafted point-and-click adventure game, Escape from Octlien. The sci-fi themed title drops you on a spaceship with very little information on what you're supposed to do. Explore the environment, collect items, and try and make your way through this lengthy and challenging game.
Yalpeyalper is a chain reaction game by the ever-inventive, Tonypa. There have been many chain reaction games made in Flash, and the formula is simple: click one object and watch as the rest of the objects react in sequence. However, while other chain reaction games leave your fate up to chance, Yalpeyalper forces you to make sure you've picked the right starting point.
A demo download for Windows only, Immortal Defense is a tower defense game with some aces up its sleeve. It's a game with impressive special effects and a captivating storyline, the latter of which is unusual in the tower defense genre. RPG Creations has put together a long-lasting demo experience should you be brave enough to take on the volunteer mission to fight millions of aliens using only the power of your consciousness.
Logi-Gun is an absolutely sensational puzzle platformer (free download for Windows only) from Darklink570. Most of the puzzles require skillful, even ingenious, use of the game's 6 guns, although some deft platforming will also be necessary.
Jill's back in a sequel to one of the most popular casual games of last year, Cake Mania. In Cake Mania 2 you reprise the role of the baker extraordinare with the task of helping one of two friends: Jack, who is looking for a bakery in his underwater theme park, or Risha and her bakery in the big city. Serve cranky customers piping hot cakes as quickly as you can to rake in the cash and expand your business!
Toytown Tower Defense is yet another game of the tower defense genre that provides a decent amount of polish and a twist or two. It is otherwise more of the same, but still fun if you're a TD fan. You place towers and upgrade them with money you earn from killing enemies marching on a pre-set path toward your castle, if twenty reach there you lose.
Hopefully the moment you've all been waiting for, here is the first entry to our 3rd Flash Game Design Competition. It is a point-and-click game that implements the "replay" theme in a literal sense, with a few surprises and twists that make the game both humorous and enjoyable to play.
Yin Yang is the latest platform game from Nitrome studios, in which twin gods team up across two parallel universes. Nitrome again delivers an interesting exploration of a concept, a platformer about metaphysical duality, and it offers a healthy plate of puzzle-levels to allow you to absorb all the flavors.
Space Pilot, by Alex Kaplan, is the spiritual successor to Asteroids, featuring the same vector-style graphics, the same ship, the same control scheme, and even the same asteroids. I was really tired of Asteroids itself decades ago, but picking this game up feels like I'm putting on a pair of old familiar boots and going for a stroll in a brand new town.
Platform Game is, believe it or not, an action-puzzle platformer. But wait, there's a plot twist! There are two characters that you have to guide to the exit! And most of the time, you'll have to guide them through separate routes, due to some exquisite level designs that require teamwork to get through.
Yoshio Ishii has just released a sequel to his enormously popular and quite elegant puzzle game Hoshi Saga. There are 36 new levels in which to find the star. Nothing very difficult, just exceptionally creative interaction design like the first one. This one is sure to please.
One of the fastest-growing genres in casual gameplay are hidden object games such as Mystery Case Files and the Hidden Expedition series. Fortunately not all developers are content to copy the same idea, place it in a new setting and throw in a few new items. Forgotten Riddles: The Mayan Princess is one such game, combining an intriguing storyline with dozens of riddles that must be solved in order to learn which items you're supposed to locate.
A pirate-themed adventure game that draws inspiration from the Monkey Island series in more ways than one. You play Nelly, a "fearsome pirate and lover of tiny and adorable creatures" who is charged with investigating the disappearance of a fleet of birds by a dead pirate's ghost. The visuals and dialogue are so much fun, even adventuregameaphobiacs will have a great time.
Speck Oppression is another unique an creative entry, qualities that are becoming standard expectations when learning of a new Komix game on the loose. The idea is to gather energy to fully charge a collector and to unlock the next level. You do so by manipulating the beautiful 'specks' that inhabit this game world.
The latest Grow game from On of Eyezmaze! Need we say more? This is without a doubt On's greatest work-to-date, and in it he embodies an optimistic philosophy. Following the correct order of things will lead to a society where men and women get along happily, the environment is protected and technology is harnessed to discover the secrets of the universe.
From Thor Gaming, creator of Thor Towers, comes Throw Me, a physics-based tossing game similar to Monkey Kick Off and Nanaca Crash. At the beginning of the stage you grab an orange eyeball and twirl it around with the mouse to build up momentum. When you're ready to toss, hit the spacebar to send it flying. Your only goal is to go as high and as far as you can!
Mountain Bike is a charming little 2D stunt biking game from Miniclip. Doing tricks will boost your score, but also make you crash a lot. Thankfully a trick tutorial is provided for those of us (myself included) who don't already know the difference between a toothpick grind and an icepick grind.
As if to whet your appetites for the upcoming game design competition, game authors have been putting out a number of excellent ball physics games. The latest offering is Ramps, put forth by web designer Tyler Sticka. Your mission is to guide a ball from the drop pipe at the top of the screen to the exit pipe at the bottom using — you guessed it — muffins!
Wink: The Game is a graphical adventure in which the emphasis is on stealth over brute force. Wink is not exactly a tough guy: his most useful skill is the ability to vanish into the shadows and, whenever one of the hooded, glowy-eyed baddies passes by, creep up from behind and knock the enemy out.
Plant Tycoon puts you to the task of planting seeds, growing plants of over 500 different species, and discovering the genetic secrets behind 6 magic plants that will make you rich! Become a master horticulturalist as you pollinate adult plants to produce seeds, and even cross pollinate your plants with other species to discover new and rare varieties.
Our most recent competition has shown some seriously inventive interpretations of the theme "Replay", and one of the standouts in that category is Carl Foust's Super Earth Defense Game. It's a typical side-scrolling shooter on its face but, in a unique twist, really shines once your ship gets destroyed.
Pile O'Bubbles is a new action/puzzle game from the creator of Gravity Pods, Keith Peters of Wicked Pissah Games. It combines fast reflex mouse clicking with a bit of thinking to create a game that's brain wrenching with a touch of (very) old-school arcade style as well.
Nightmares, the Adventures is a series of four episodic point-and-click adventures created by Sarbakan for AOL Kids. Aimed at a slightly younger audience, each installment is a short, colorfully drawn game where you must try and help the young Victor vanquish his nightmares. The catch is that you only have a limited number of moves to win each episode, putting just a little pressure on your puzzle solving skills.
Avalanche is a fast-paced climbing game in which your goal is to scale the mountain of falling blocks, without being flattened or falling into the river rising from below. The flood of cascading blocks starts slowly, with only a few blocks to start. Before you know it, you'll be madly scrambling to avoid being turned into a marshmallow pancake.
Karma is a unique game of rebirth that features simple gameplay and yet offers a reflection upon certain aspects of life and philosophy. The authors should be lauded for making Karma not only a game that is fun to play, but one that reaches people on a more spiritual level and still manages to incorporate the "replay" competition theme nicely.
From developer Sam Horton of Funface Games comes Oroboros, an action title that borrows from games such as flOw and Snake. You control Oroboros (the serpent forming a circle by swallowing its own tail) as you absorb energy clusters to unlock portals to new dimensions. As you progress, your tail grows to give you new abilities that let you combat the increasingly tough foes.
Venice Mystery is a new casual game download that puts a new twist on mahjong. Instead of clicking identical tile pairs at random, you choose from a small menu of tile types, then click matching tiles on the playing field. To complete the puzzle you must unearth a set number of keys buried beneath the piles of blocks. Set against a Renaissance mystery, it's enough to tickle any gamer's fancy.
Switchball is a 3D action/puzzle title in which your goal is to guide a rolling ball to the end of each stage, solving puzzles and crossing treacherous pathways all the way. The game places a heavy emphasis on realistic physics using the AGEIA engine and looks absolutely gorgeous to boot. It's an extraordinarily well-made title that balances action and puzzle solving for a thoroughly engaging experience.
The latest from prolific, UK-based Flash developer, Nitrome, Magic Touch is a "mini-game" that allows you to pop balloons by drawing corresponding symbols with your mouse. Why? Because you're a wizard, and your castle is under attack by robots.
The Sea of Glomp is an adventure-themed Flash game created by Paul Kramm that draws heavy inspiration from old-style adventure games such as ... Adventure! You play a young fish whose egg has been stolen by a creature that looks like a bat. An underwater bat. You set out on a quest to find the egg, a task that takes you through some of the strangest parts of the sea you could imagine.
Lonely House-Moving is the latest social metaphor driven arcade game from the folks behind everyone's favorite slapping game, Rose and Camellia. You play a lonely shmuck who, after watching his girlfriend leave him in a moving truck, suddenly gets the inspiration to act. Leap over moles, avoid crows and jump over stuff flying out of the truck and try to catch your girl!
Tower Bloxx is a captivating action/puzzle game originally created for mobile phones. Using the mouse button you must drop pieces of a skyscraper from a swinging crane at the top of the screen. Stack the blocks neatly or you'll be in for a tough time as the building reaches toward the sky and sways in the wind. A quest mode lets you build an entire city one building at a time and also adds a little strategy to appease the more hardcore gamer in you. It's a near-perfect blend of casual and serious gaming that everyone will enjoy.
The main focus of Knytt Stories is atmosphere, environment and exploration, not complex gameplay and a barrage of media. With Knytt Stories you'll spend most of your time wandering around sparsely populated worlds looking for a few rare items, enjoying the beautiful visuals and ambient music the whole time. It's a unique experience in gaming and will pull you in from the moment you start playing.
Beethoven's Hair is a psychological vignette of a game. The piece is "part of a cross media project based on the true story of a lock of hair that was cut from Beethoven's head and the story of how it passed down through history." Unlock the keyhole and you'll discover a thoughtful and intriguing take on the escape-the-room genre that infuses the usual search dynamic with free-form exploration and historical fiction.
MuseLock is a good-looking, highly enjoyable point-and-click room escape game with creative, interesting puzzles that only occasionally venture into the illogical. Surprisingly enough, the player wakes up in a room with no recollection of how he/she got there and an odd collection of objects as clues. A true pleasure for any point-and-click aficionado, this one will have you puzzling for quite a while.
Mythic Marbles is an action puzzle game of skill that is very simple to pick-up and play. It offers an engaging and rewarding experience to anyone that can appreciate the simple and subtle strategy of a good game of marbles. And even if you've never played marbles before, you're in for a treat. :)
The Animator vs. Animation Game takes the fun, desktop battlefield antics of the Animator vs. Animation episodes and turns it into a fully interactive fighting game! Control the animator or stickman animation and wage war against your opponent, grabbing common drawing tools and turning them into deadly weapons.
Zeta Flow is a Flash-based shmup in which you control an innocent little turret gun ship as you fight off giant mechanical enemies. Each level pits you against one evil ship, getting progressively bigger and badder from level to level. It's a fun game that plays great, and there's even a level editor, too!
Timebot is an action puzzle game entered into our recent game design competition. It's a game in which you must guide a robot throughout several levels. The objective is to roll onto switches that open doors or materialize platforms and make it to the exit within the time given. The replay mechanic in Timebot turns what would otherwise be a simple platform puzzle game on its head and creates something truly outstanding.
Just released from Dofi blog, creator of the World of Sand games: Adventure of Cat, a spiritual successor to Cat with Bow Golf. In Adventure of Cat your goal is to guide a hapless gray kitten to the end of the stage. Your only mode of transportation is an extendible stick that you can use to push against the ground, propelling the cat forward.
We are big fans of the original Dolphin Olympics and this sequel does not disappoint. Although the mechanic and aim of the game are pretty much the same, this has a slightly different look to it, with significantly more detail added to the sea bed and background. Once again, the challenge is in chaining together strings of successive tricks to boost your multiplier and amass some impressive scores. And the trick to that is ensuring that your re-entry to the water is perfect every time. Now other sea creatures will interact with you. In fact, you can earn more points by getting other fish to follow your lead and jump out of the water. There are some new tricks and secrets to discover as you try to swim, leap and tail-slide yourself onto the high score board.
Begin locked in a vacation home and try to find a way out to meet a mysterious woman. Move around the room using the arrows on the side of the screen, and click on objects to examine them. Puzzles force you to look in every conceivable corner for items and clues, so keep your eyes peeled for suspicious spots in the distance and objects that beg to be moved.
Bloons Tower Defense takes the Bloons concept—popping balloons, preferably with monkeys involved—and spins it in a new and intriguing direction. It's your standard tower defense game but with monkeys popping balloons with darts and various other sharp instruments. It's a flawed but engaging title that is sure to please die-hard Bloons fans.
A Good Hunch! is a charmingly illustrated and animated platform game of teamwork starring Harvey and Tina, a pair of very colorful goats. In each level you play first as Harvey making your way to one of two available exits. Then switch to Tina to find your way to the 2nd exit while your actions for Harvey are replayed simultaneously. Only one exit may be used per goat, and you may have to jump on Harvey's back to reach higher areas.
Torus Games from Jeff Weeks and Geometrygames.org is the name of a free downloadable set of 8 simple games for Windows and Mac that, rather than being played on a 2-D plane, are played on the surface of a torus. Here you will find a twist on classic games like tic-tac-toe, pool, Minesweeper (called Apples here), and even a bizarre version of chess.
One part shooter, one part visual/audio toy, Cubex by RoboJAM is a stunning Flash game reminiscent of the Dreamcast/PS2 musical shooter Rez. The first person view sends you flying through a futuristic corridor defending yourself against polygonal enemies that appear in the distance. With the mouse, simply move the target around the screen and pelt your foes with weapons fire. The throbbing techno beat in the background keeps things running right along, and each time you fire and destroy an enemy you add to the music.
Ok, so there's this ball. And then there's this square. You gotta get the ball to the square. How complicated could it get? Plenty complicated, it turns out, in this absurdly fun and addictive physics-based game from John Cooney and his prolific jmtb02 studios.
In Asteroids Revenge III, play the role of a blue-tinted asteroid up against all sorts of human enemies&8212;shooting ships, repelling fields, space mines, and many others. Your goal is to wipe out the treacherous human fleet by crashing into all the ships while avoiding getting hit by their fire. Apart from being a tad easy, this game is really fun to play!
Intriguing, complex, well-planned, fascinating, and fun, Time Raider is a multifaceted game, part puzzle, part timing, and part reflex, where no one of these parts dominates over the other two. As a result, it has a broad appeal to fans of different types of games, and is one of the most creative entries to be submitted to our recent game design competition #3!
The numbers are falling! Fortunately, you've got the fundamental theorem of arithmetic on your side! In Prime Shooter, a math game of prime numbers created by Philip Dorrell, destroy prime numbers directly, or reduce composite numbers by dividing them by prime factors less than 20. Each number you destroy scores you one point, and the numbers get larger and fall faster as your score goes up.
File this one under brain training games: Math Mountain is an addictive arithmetic game wherein you climb a mountain, competing against another person or the computer, by answering math questions correctly. If you're not very good at arithmetic, Math Mountain is a fun way to practice; if you're already good, then why not give your brain some exercise?
JIGorbit is an action puzzle game that incorporates simple gravitational force as the basis of its gameplay. The objective is to reunite the scattered limbs of the JIGster logo by propelling the body around the gravitational field created by the JIGster's 'head' while avoiding any vortexes. It was created by DDams, of France, and is the winner of the "Best use of the JIG logo" prize from our 3rd competition.
Harvest is an upcoming game by Oxeye Game Studio currently in open beta. It is survival-based game that combines elements from tower defense and other real time strategy games. Those familiar with either of these types of games should feel right at home.
Weeks after the mega-release of Hot Air 2: All Blown Up, Nitrome has unveiled another slick Flash game titled Toxic. It combines your standard adventure platformer with ... bombs! Destructible environments! And ... more bombs! Imagine a roaming platformer game sprinkled with elements from Bomberman and you have a pretty good idea of what Toxic is all about.
A while ago we asked Rob Allen to come up with a banner game for us, something reminiscent of his amazing Hapland series, with which visitors of the site could interact and have fun with while here. We wanted a goal-oriented game that involved lighting all of the letters of the Casual Gameplay logo, and he took the proverbial ball and ran with it. The result is what you see now at the top of this page.
Together with Sierra Online, we are pleased to announce our 4th Casual Gameplay Design Competition at Jayisgames.com! Up for grabs are more prizes than ever before: over $6000 in cash and prizes, including Adobe CS3 Professional licenses and a Nintendo Wii! Our thanks to Sierra Online, Free World Group, Armor Games, Arcade Town, Adobe and Nitrome for helping us bring to you our biggest competition yet! Update: Entries are all in!!!
Trapped is a series of 5 adventure puzzle, maze games that start with a minute long "training level" and progresses to 30 minute long (if you play it ten times and memorize the maze) high quality casual gameplay experiences. You are a lonely little arrow, trapped, as the title suggests, in a maze full of simply-shaped enemies set on keeping you there for eternity. Escape if you can.
ReMaze starts off easily enough, with only one corridor down which to guide the white squares. Then there is another, and another, and soon you are caught up trying to navigate several mazes at once, not just to reach the goals, but to reach them simultaneously. Then comes the red death. One misstep and you're toast!
Another simple idea executed almost perfectly, Andrew VanHeuklon's Rerun is a unique mouseplay game of collection and avoidance. And though we have seen this core gameplay mechanic in other games before, it is the creative implementations of the "replay" theme that elevate this title above others of its type.
It should come as no surprise to hear that great things often spring from the simplest of ideas. Gimme Friction Baby is one such simple idea turned into an award-winning arcade game of strategy and skill that will keep you coming back for more long after your first play. First place and audience prize winner from our 3rd game design competition, and now part of the elite selection of games to be called Best of 2007. Another exceptional game design by Wouter Visser.
Sick of all of this sudoku nonsense flying about the place? Need a break from all this one-of-each-in-every-row-column-and-square rubbish? I've got the perfect solution for you... sorta. Kakuro—or Cross Sums or Sum Totals, depending on what school of puzzling you were raised in—is another number puzzler that has gained popularity in recent months.
Cute pixelly monsters? Plucky soundtrack? Arcade-style gameplay? It must be the latest release from Nitrome! Hooray! In Square Meal, you play a cute boxy monster trying to escape from a sinister dungeon filled with monsters, floor spikes, exploding blocks, slippery patches, and other hazards. Luckily you're armed with a hearty appetite.
Your plane goes down on a mysterious and seemingly deserted island somewhere off the radar charts, and it is up to you to find a way to 'Escape from Island' using only the resources available to you. Thought-provoking puzzles and a well-illustrated environment together create an atmosphere ripe for adventure and captivating gameplay.
Dream Chronicles is a sensual delight, an intellectual challenge, and a very engaging twist on adventure, seek-and-find and puzzle games. It's been compared to Myst and Uru, and whilst it's certainly not as demanding as those mainstream titles, I found Dream Chronicles even more enjoyable.
DayMare Town is a strange and oddly deserted town that gives the unsettling feeling that eyes are peering from around corners. It is drab and dreary, not a very pleasant place to be. But now you're stuck, and you'll do anything you can to leave.
Gravity Pods is a physics-based vector shooting/puzzle title created by Wicked Pissah Games. The goal is to fire a projectile and hit a target across the screen. Barriers are usually in the way, but by using gravity pods you can bend the path your projectile takes to send it virtually anywhere on the screen.
A Flash version of the classic Denki Blocks originally made for the Game Boy Advance. The goal of each level is to maneuver blocks of the same color so that they touch. Use the arrow keys to move the entire set of blocks around the screen. Immovable black squares can be used to prevent certain blocks from moving, allowing you to separate adjacent blocks from each other. The twist here is that when blocks of the same color meet, they fuse into a single block. Although this is the ultimate goal of the game, you'll have to be careful, as you can easily render a level unsolvable through premature fusions. With 100 levels, Jelly Blocks contains more than enough puzzler goodness to satisfy the hunger of anyone.
Admit it: you've wanted to slap someone silly at least once today. Just haul-off and give them a good hard smack across the cheek. In Rose & Camellia you can do just that while taking part in a unique new game with high production values from Japan. Reiko has married into a noble family, but shortly afterwards her husband Siyunsuke dies. The women of the house do not respect Reiko, and she must beat them all in successive slap fights.
Kicking off a brand new series of point-and-click adventures, Mateusz Skutnik, creator of the Submachine series, has just launched Covert Front Episode 1: All Quiet on the Covert Front. In Covert Front you are a secret agent code-named Kara in an alternate history version of World War I. Assigned to infiltrate the mansion of a german scientist, Karl von Toten, you must discover the secrets that lie within and escape with your life.
After months of waiting, it's finally here! Nitrome has just rolled out Hot Air 2, the highly anticipated sequel to the balloon physics game Hot Air. The new incarnation is bigger, better, more intricate and more stylish than the original, proving it's possible to take an already polished game idea and turn it into something even better. Plus, you get to make your own balloons!
Game-Pure has already pumped out a pseudo-sequel to Bound Bears with more levels and an updated presentation. Bound Bear Quest Mode features the same Bloons-meets-Breakout gameplay along with the ultra-cute square bears, but now the music and backgrounds have been jazzed up and the levels are much more challenging.
Miss Management is, in fifteen words or less, one of the most entertaining, captivating and hilarious casual games I've played in months. Developer Gamelab has really gone out of its way to craft unique characters that fuel the game from beginning to end, making it play like an interactive sitcom rather than your typical time management game (such as Diner Dash or Nanny Mania).
Temple of Zoom is a great platformer that manages to use the features of the product it promotes (the Panasonic Lumix TZ3 digital camera) as integral elements of the game rather than as tacked-on graphics and splash advertisements. The shutter is the exit to each level, the zoom lens is a rising platform, and the hot lava is... well, I guess the hot lava doesn't come from the camera, does it?
Sound Energy mixes a simple color-matching game of collection/avoidance with a little bit of musical interaction to create a superb multimedia experience. You control a transparent orb that can change color from purple to blue to gray. By clicking the mouse you can switch colors and absorb pieces that match your color. Build up combos to earn a high score and keep the background music shifting as you play!
The Four Color Problem is a simple turn-based game in which the goal is to color in as much space on a map as you can, while a computer opponent tries to do the same. The catch is that no two adjacent areas can be filled with the same color. Can you dominate the majority of the map with your color?
Game-Pure continues to amaze us with the rate at which they can release new games. Bound Bear is a simple action projectile game that combines elements from Breakout and Bloons to create something wholly unique and enjoyable to play.The objective is to reunite baby bear with mama bear, and to do so you'll have to avoid the black bears that can block your path.
From the creator of Hot Air and Skywire comes Dangle, a physics-based action game where you control a spider hanging from a neon pink line of webbing. By swinging back and forth you must work your way down each stage, avoiding enemies and collecting coins along the way.
An astonishingly creative role playing game made by Brandon Abley and Teo Mathlein using RPG Maker XP. The graphics are eye-catching and have a great fairy tale look to them, while the story and gameplay are pure console RPG goodness. The game is laid out much like a classic Final Fantasy title but doesn't copy anything directly. It's a unique, deep and involving game that deserves your attention!
Azada combines elements from a number of casual genres to create a game that's one of the most unique titles I've played in months. Take a point-and-click game such as Myst, then combine it with item hunting from Mystery Case Files and throw in a dash of short puzzles just for fun. Everything is so elegantly combined that you can't help but keep playing, both to uncover the rest of the story and to experience more puzzles.
Detective Grimoire is a point-and-click carnival murder mystery in which you play the title character, a hatless (but not hapless) crime-solver assigned to track down the murderer of Hugh Everton, ineffective caretaker of the carnival funhouse. It contains a higher-than-average level of cheese, but what good cheesy mystery doesn't?
Luke Whittaker's Baseball is easily one of the best online baseball games I've ever played. The gameplay mechanics do a perfect job of capturing what it feels like to be several runs behind in the final innings of a ball game, and have only three outs to fashion a miraculous come-from-behind victory.
A new puzzle game with a distinct ARG smell recently popped on the scene without much known about what it is or who is behind it. Ethan Haas Was Right is a mysterious Flash-based website that presents a series of 5 unique puzzles, some original and some rehashed versions of classic puzzle games. Even if you don't care for alternate reality games in general, there's enough here for a few sessions of casual gameplay.
Bart Bonte's entry into the second Casual Gameplay Design Contest, Chicken Grow, once again showcases the mosaic-like artwork we have come to love from his games. The game centers around one impatient-looking chicken, waiting for you to feed and water it. Doing so requires you to solve two puzzles—one to turn on the water and the other to release chicken feed from a machine.
A throw back to the graphic adventures of days gone by, Phantasy Quest is a welcome and refreshing alternative to the myriad room escape games that plague the Web these days. Using only the items you discover as you make your way around the island, solve the puzzles and the mystery of what lies before you. Can you find the girl and escape?
A soothing sound toy with which to bathe the aural senses, Pianolina is a beautifully designed and gorgeously sounding Flash application created to introduce you to the sounds of the Grotrian piano. Choose between several different compositions and see how the notes react to gravity as they bounce around the display.
Most everyone has probably played an avoidance game before. They are generally based on a very simple gameplay mechanic. Orb Avoidance is a simple game of mouse avoidance with the added bonus of a combo system. It's a little mindless fun to get your gears turning, and it won't take more than 10-15 minutes of your time.
Venice is an arcade-style action puzzle game that takes some of the best elements of Peggle and Breakout and combines them into something new (and utterly fascinating). Various items appear atop your vessel floating on the waters of Venice, and it's your job to fire them into the empty slots hovering above. Fill all the gaps in the objects to cause them to vanish and continue your quest to save the sinking city.