The Vault №159
Okay. I think I have this all planned out: first I'll rig the motion detector to turn off the lights. Then, when the guard goes to flip the switch, I'll duck behind him into the elevator. I've rigged the light switch open the door on the second floor, and the I walk through it to the stairs, the security camera will register my presence, opening the door on the third floor that I've rigged it to, slamming into the guard as he walks by. Then, a few more sound detectors, hacked laptops, and entirely necessary leaps through panes of glass, and I'll finally, finally, be able to walk through the door of the JiG Vault! Jeez. Next time I'm just going to borrow that stungun cane from that crumpled-fedora guy. This week, we've got a trio top-notch platform, adventure, and shooter games from our archives and, thanks to my careful planning, they shouldn't set off any alarms! I think.
- Apples in the Tree - With Tim Burton dedicating himself to remaking his own movies, and Jhonen Vasquez having started an exciting new career as a professional Invader Zim-fan troller, there is a definite need for a creator of stark-yet-charming, color-desaturated characters to put on the sweatshirts of disaffected youth. If this 2010 platform game is any indicator, MasterMerol is a perfect applicant for the job. All snarkiness aside, the world created in Apples in the Tree makes for a marvelous encounter, with creativity bursting from the secrets to be unlocked in every screen. Games that reward exploration and experimentation are to be cherished, and the not-too-spooky world of Apples in the Tree is one of the greats
- Do You Have A Grudge? - Apart from Bond, Riddick, and, uh, Ecks/Sever, film license games proving as entertaining as the the movie that preceded them are rare, especially in the browser window. 2004's Do You Have a Grudge? is a nice exception. Building from the psychological tension of the J-Horror-remaking SMG-starring horror-film that inspired it, Do You Have a Grudge? takes players through a list of daily chores turned horribly wrong. It may show it's age in a few of the game mechanics (be sure to keep moving!), but overall it is still a demented and disorienting trip even nine years later.
- Postal Panic - We don't get the chance to go postal nearly as often as we should. Fortunately, the frantic action of this 2008 shooter by Isaac Williams is here to fill that void. With its inventive enemies, comedic storyline, and happy retro aesthetic, Postal Panic makes delivering missives into the epic it was always meant to be. A side-scrolling shoot-em-up that will appeal to both fans and un-fans of the genre, neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night should keep you from checking this one out.
While we welcome any comments about this weekly feature here, we do ask that if you need any help with the individual games, please post your questions on that game's review page. Well, what are you waiting for? Get out there and rediscover some awesome!