Shooter fans! Has this ever happened to you? You're trying to enjoy blasting the latest wave of Galaga-inspired retro-baddies, but find that the old-school chiptune music and sound effects are drowned out by the relentless sounds of mouse clicking and space-bar tapping. There has to be a better way to launch a space bullet, right? Well, Devilish Games has heard your concerns, and the result is Tag Attack: a shooter that focuses more on the aiming than the clicking, while not sacrificing the intensity of the genre.
Escape from the Tatami Room 2 is one of Tesshi-e's more middle of the road efforts. There are some unique puzzles alongside old chestnuts like the wobbly corner picture. Not, perhaps, their most innovative, but still a nice combination of puzzles and construction make Tatami Room 2 an entertaining way to while away a few minutes.
First impressions count for a lot. In the case of Soul Redeemer, the new top down zombie action shooter by the Bekho Team, it introduces itself with a plot-explaining narration that cracked me up, though I don't think it was supposed to. Still, whenever a game starts by expounding on how, every couple centuries or so, the alignment of constellations somehow release demonic forces to eat our souls, and the only thing standing in their way is a warrior dude in asymmetrical armor shooting stuff... I'm going to stay around. And I'm glad I did! While Soul Redeemer is not the most original of games, it has a charm to it that fans of the genre should enjoy.
Elemental Box is a brand new physics webtoy from our beloved sandbox game creator ha55ii. Unlike previous releases such as Powder Game or Irritation Stickman, Elemental Box is focused on the physical interaction of solid objects, not so much the elemental properties of them. It's a bit like a building game, complete with a start/stop timer device, that gives you full freedom to let your creativity run wild.
How steady are your hands? Put your nerves and your eyes to the test in this follow up to Ttursas' popular physics puzzle series, Perfect Balance! Try and place all the shapes on the screen so that none of them fall off to achieve perfect balance, and then keep stacking with gems if you're feeling brave to chase down ultimate balance!
Help three would-be intrepid thieves in Paris towards the turn of the century as they try to escape various predicaments in this quirky, gorgeous point-and-click adventure game from 2DPlay. If you overlook this charming game with its superb presentation, you'd be denying yourself a moment or ten of really engaging gameplay.
Just released from On at Eyezmaze, a new a very different type of GROW game. In Grow Cannon, the objective is figure out the correct sequence for firing each of the 10 cannonballs by selecting the fire power on the large meter provided. Warning: charming animations and situations ahead.
Brawe is back! Not long after the first episode of Kaptain Brawe: A Brawe New World was released, Episode II of the retro-styled adventure series hit and picked up where the original left off. It's more pointing and clicking, more humor, more epic red beards, and more smart puzzles, all for you, starving adventure game fan!
It's a hidden object sequel that does nothing but improve upon the original! You won't be disappointed with Mishap 2: An Intentional Haunting. Now, the fun goes to eleven, featuring crazy ghosts, fun mini-games, and a whole lot more of what got the previous release voted the best hidden object game in 2009!
From Divo Games, creator of Sea Journey and the Be Rich! series, come a time management/simulation game that will really sweep you off your sandals. Jack of All Tribes is a bit like Virtual Villagers meets Gemini Lost while they're having a party at Build-a-Lot's house. You take on the role of Jack, unwitting chief of a tribe, and help the various prehistoric peoples get along better while you spruce up their villages. It's a very well-built game that hits that "one more level" mark perfectly, and you won't be able to put it down until the end.
A Claw Skill Crane arcade game played online for real prizes. It may require registration, the line may be long, and the chances of victory are the same as its real life counterpart, but the day you are no longer thrilled with manipulating a mechanical claw over the internet is the day you are no longer thrilled with life.
The goblins are mad as hell, and they're not going to take it anymore! After years of humans stealing goblin inventions and claiming them for their own, the goblins are ready to strike back by constructing an impressive (if somewhat unsteady) goblin powered war machine and rolling through the countryside. Crush the human resistance, earn upgrades and highscores across eighteen levels in this silly, bouncy action physics title from Big Block Games. Whose side are you on?
Tealy & Orangey is a retro platformer with a twist. You use the arrow keys to navigate the two colored protagonists from start to finish in each of twenty hazard-filled levels. The thing is, you can't control just one or the other; you always control both characters, whether you like it or not.
Warning Foregone is an addictive little pixelated shooter based heavily on previous games while managing to stand on its own. Featuring an evolving boss, several weapon upgrades, and achievements galore, Warning Foregone with feel familiar while driving you to see just what kind of boss evolves next.
Ttursas brings you a sequel to the original anti-balance game with this deceptively simple looking physics puzzle about using stuff to knock stuff off of other... stuff. With clean design and a nice pack of levels that will test your shape-fu, Imperfect Balance 2 doesn't add much to the original's formula, but still provides a nice midday distraction.
Orient Express Night has fun object finding, some challenging puzzles, and the use of combined objects that you expect from a decent room escape. Add in the atmosphere and the visuals and you have one fun ride, destination Istanbul (or a place more enigmatic).
What's a nobler cause than a cat stuck in a tree? None as far as the adorable protagonist of this simple, kid-oriented point-and-click puzzle adventure is concerned. Featuring wonderful art and animation to go with some cheery, fun puzzle solving, the folks at Pastel Games have provided you with a nice, light treat to bring a smile to your face today.
Nitrome wants to know how far you'd go to save a raccoon in this silly, tricky little physics avoidance game about a fish with a plant growing out of its head, and a bucket full of raccoons. It's the sort of crazy weirdness you'd only expect to find on the Nitrome Entertainment System done up with characteristic retro flair that you'll enjoy as long as you have some patience and a steady hand.
Pong and Space Invaders are two of the most beloved old-school arcade games of all time. Ikaruga and Portal both often make the short-list of modern classics. So what do you get when you combine Pong's bouncing, Space Invader's baddies, Ikaruga's polarity shifts, and a decent dose of Portal's plotting? ReflexION by FreeSparkGames. And while it might not be included in the gaming hall of fame like its inspirations, it's a more than worthy way to pass an afternoon.
Difficult to explain but fun to experience, this unique game features eight levels of strange gameplay controlled entirely with the mouse. Sina Jafarzadeh has created a weird but intriguing experience with a hectic pace and a very unique design.
Alexey Perepechko's The Deep serves up the same scintillating experience as Boomshine while giving players a bit more control over the reactions they precipitate. The graphics and animations are colorful and atmospheric without being distracting, and the ambient soundtrack really sets the mood, especially the joyful, ethereal theme that kicks in when you complete your goal. With its pretty production and well thought-out gameplay, The Deep is a clever twist on a familiar game that fully maximizes its potential.
In spite of my overwhelming lack of talent for the platform genre, I'm completely smitten with Nyxquest: Kindred Spirits, a side-scrolling platformer by Over the Top Games that proves lovely visuals do not always have to come with over-the-top full-motion videos.
It's the kind of choice you never want to have to make, yet you have to make it in an instant. You're at the scene of a disaster, and your loved ones are missing. The rescuers are saying it's too dangerous and they have to leave the area. Do you go with them? Or do you put yourself at risk looking for the ones you love? The heroine of Nightmare on the Pacific, a hidden object from Little Games, makes the latter choice. Join her in a modern day Titanic disaster as she searches a sinking cruise ship for her family.
More Treasure Seekers! The latest installment in the hidden object series, Treasure Seekers: The Time Has Come, preserves the story and layout of previous games and features a slightly older Nelly and Tom. Not only have the characters grown up, but Artogon seems to have matured bits of the gameplay as well, featuring a better-crafted series of puzzles and more interesting locations to search through.
In the futuristic world of Armor Mayhem, Loussi's new action shooter, the world has run out of energy. Thus, major corporations send teams of faceless space marines to discover a new source. And, of course, once they find a planet filled to the brink with Unobtanium, they land and immediately start blasting each other in the face with lasers... what it lacks in plot depth, it more than makes up for with enough frenetic blasting action to make Master Chief jealous.
By now you're an old hand at taking things apart, but can you solve the mystery of... THE BARBER POLE?! (Dun dun dun!) The popular point-and-click puzzle series makes a return with another batch of devious puzzles and mechanisms, this time hiding inside a seemingly innocuous bit of scenery.
Everyone's favourite sad but earnest little robot is back in a set of time trials. While it might lack a story, the spiritual successor to the original K.O.L.M. definitely does not lack a challenge. Can you complete these tricky platforming levels in under a minute flat? Just don't drag your feet, since failure is rather, uh... explosive.
Balls in Space is a retro-style platformer where you control a white ball determined to get from one door to the next. In your way are various evil-looking squares and other shapes. Can you stop them? Special powerups and secret levels add to the challenge. You need to run, jump, and shoot your way to victory... in... spaaaaacccceeee!
It's my unfortunate duty to inform you that GrinnyP has accidentally locked herself in a room and Sonic Lover is trying to help her out with a screwdriver. Therefore I've stepped in to welcome you to Weekday Escape, so let's get right to it, shall we? This week we're going to point-and-click our way out of some underground chambers in Mafia Escape 2, by Wild Harmony Studio.
Make a dream come true in this physics puzzle from the creator of Wake up the Box as you assist what is either the laziest or luckiest man alive. He doesn't have to work for his money when you're around, and if you can figure out how to get the cash rolling (literally) he'll have that dream life in no time.
While Dungeon Dice is in many ways a typical RPG, its twist on the genre is that instead of fighting monsters with sword and fang, you fight each other with dice, or "magical numeric cubes." In a way, this is no different from any other RPG, but moving a background mechanic to the forefront makes for a different experience.
A three phase fishing game from Vlambeer. First, cast your hook into the water, avoiding fish as you head deeper and deeper. Second, snag as much sea life as you can as you reel your hook in. Finally, fling them into the sky and use your weapons to blast them into sushi. An over-bloody and surreal, but quite addictive time.
Rebuild is best described as a survival sim with sprinklings of defense and strategy themes. You won't be put in the thick of battle... instead you'll be managing the town, using your mouse to send survivors to do the dirty work. It's after the Zombipocalypse and you're in control of a small group of survivors trying to stay alive.
Point-and-click puzzles are some of the most popular games featured here at JIG, and nobody does these types of games better than Tom Vencel for NinjaDoodle. Now he's back with a third installment of the popular ClickPLAY series, imaginatively titled... ClickPLAY 3. As always, in each level, all you have to do is click the triangular Play button. And, as always, that button is going to be quite hidden, and uncovering it will require a hugely entertaining number of clicks.
Warm up your fingers, defenders of Earth; this typing game pushes your skills to the limit as you struggle to hold back some horde of... spaceship... mmm... dudes. Despite the lack of a story, this fast-paced little arcade shooter is a sterling example of what HTML 5 is capable, all wrapped up in one sleek little package.
Fancy taking a mining convoy for a ride through underground tunnels? Can you do it fast and still get all the goods there? You're hired! Develop a case of slowly-rising blood pressure in developer AntKarlov's gravity-bound physics arcade game. The taste of success is worth it.
To paraphrase George Gershwin: I've got rhythm. I've got music. I've got DJManiax, Team Maniax's new rhythm extravaganza. Who could ask for anything more? I've been looking for a music game with excellent tunes, some well-designed note charts and levels of challenge that can appeal to both the casual and hardcore audience, I've got to say I'm pretty well satisfied.
Chicken House is a "break the platform" game where you need to eliminate a series of chickens and their eggs by breaking various wood, stone and ice structures. Some chickens are fragile, while others must be hit with falling debris or plummet a distance before disappearing in a puff of feathers. Slice carefully with your mouse while making as few clicks as possible for higher scores.
A nice mix of logic, use of found objects, and strangeness make Stamp Rally Escape 2 a worthy sequel to the first Stamp Rally Escape. Judging by the increasing difficulty of the puzzles the unseen RIDLRIDL (or Cogito Ergo Sum) are working towards something that will challenge Wan and Nyan to their very limits, will drive them further and further into the unknown of puzzle solving, will tax every cell in their bodies as they strive for the elusive prize at the end
Run, leap, stab, shuriken, and bomb your way to the bottom of a massive, ancient tower filled with deadly enemies and strange environments as you seek a legendary treasure... and die a whole bunch. Megadev and AdultSwim combine to deliver a fast-pasted and challenging arcade platformer with randomly generated items and layouts that will take a lot of skill (and a lot of lives) to beat.
Classic Battleships Light is the new addition to the Conceptis series of logic puzzle packs. So then, will you sink or swim? With this new batch of quality puzzles, any experience level can dive right in. Anchors aweigh! (And there's plenty more ship puns where that came from.)
Usually when you hear that a game has a bunch of new levels filled with water, it's a call for trepidation, especially when the liquid appears as brackish as it does here. However the Dark Liquid Level Pack, an add-on to Smart Code Games' popular physics puzzler Liquid Measure 2, is just as refreshing a drink as the original. Not much is new, but, after all, it isn't wise to fix a pipe that isn't broken.
In Nerdook's latest, you are literally a computer Artificial Intelligence (AI) who has gone rogue and insane, and has decided following orders isn't as interesting as turning on your superiors. Manipulate the surroundings in the high tech facility that is literally you, and herd the pathetic fleshy humans to their doom. It's what HAL would have wanted.
Available for a number of gaming platforms, Max and the Magic Marker is a creative platform game that utilizes drawing to complement its collectathon-style physics gameplay. You play the role of Max, an orange-haired kid whose drawing has come to life thanks to a magical marker he received in the mail. Now Max is running through three unique worlds trying to put a stop to this eggplant menace. It's a game that's as much creative thinking as it is platforming, and it'll tickle your inner child to watch it in action!
- • FRACT
- • Cities of Day and Night
- • City of Doom
- • How
So many games about cities, so little time! Whether you want a city that can't decide whether it's light or dark outside, a city that's infested with bugs, a city made out of colorful polygons, or, um, a city that's... not a city at all with blocks that change color... you're pretty much covered for the weekend!
When your car veers off the road one night following a bizarre episode, you have no choice but to seek help at the comfortingly named Drowned Dead Hotel despite the frantic warnings of one of the young women living there. It quickly becomes apparent that you're going to need more than a mechanic to get out, and both the crumbling hotel and nearby town hold more than their share of unpleasant little secrets. Codeminion's latest hidden-object adventure allows you to switch to match-3 on the fly if you don't like item searching, and also provides some genuinely creepy atmosphere to make one very engrossing game.
Prove you've got the best aim this side of anywhere in this realistic first-person rail-shooter that will challenge your eye and your reflexes. Take on a series of increasingly difficult missions as the seventh member of an elite group with special skills. Unlock new weapons, complete challenges, and complete objectives all over the world... just don't take any time to stop and smell the roses.
Breakout: This time its personal! Your friends (and some precious ores) are trapped in the over-hanging blocks, and it's up to you and your bouncing pick-axe of destruction to bust them out. Each friend you rescue grants you a power-up option to use in future levels. Watch out for stalactites though! A very familiar, but very fun entry of CGDC9.
FrankenFriend is the RPG/Visual Novel tale of Frank Von Friendenstein IV, a eccentric youth with a passion for the sciences who lives alone in his mountain castle high above the village of Frankenfriendsylvania. Though for years, his education and "unorthodox" experiments have satisfactorily taken the place of social interaction, he's found that, as of late, he's been lonely. So it is with great trepidation that he heads to the village below looking for companionship. A CGDC9 entry with excellent characterization but more than a few glitches.
Crystal Runner, the new action game release from Lionwood Studios, has quite the classic arcade sensibility. In it, you run around "Crystal World" collecting coins, rescuing people, rotating rooms, and dropping bombs in order to avoid being fried by malevolent black holes, all while racing the clock... I think Kevin Flynn was playing something like that back in 1982. However, while its inspirations are clearly old-school, its visuals and gameplay make for a nice modern remix.
Stripped down and basic, lacking music, decor, and some controls, Escape from a Building without Windows is a fantastic way to spend 5 or 10 minutes, and hottategoya is a room escape designer to watch, if only because they have mastered the first basic rule: make it logical, please. If you want to design room escape games or just love playing them give this little gem a try.
Combining classic card battling with RPG elements, Ninjakiwi's ambitious fantasy game provides a surprisingly engrossing experience. When you find yourself conscripted into service for a nearby town, you're less than thrilled at this seemingly dull turn of events. But of course destiny has a funny way of working things out. Complex and involving, with the promise of future multiplayer, Aetheron is a meaty experience for fans of the genre, and definitely something to keep your eye on.
Sarah finds herself trapped somewhere, and she'll need to make use of platforming, puzzle solving, and one very special ability if she wants to escape. Currently only available as a ten level preview, this beautifully smooth and easy to play game that showcases the capabilities of Unity is definitely worth your time to check out.
If you're looking for a game that will leave you wondering, "What was THAT all about?" then try this quirky Japanese escape game from Detaru. The slick graphics and smooth gameplay make this a title worth checking out, and fans of strange silliness will definitely love it.
For reasons that are never discussed, players in Robo Rampage will travel to Planet Junk in order to engage scary yet adorable robots in mortal combat with this action shooter. Fear not, you'll have a RoboMe to blast down your mechanical opponents as you strive to build the tallest Kill Hill. It's a stylish and well made little gem that, while slow to start, rewards players who are patient with tons of action.
Fire! In the Diner! Fire! In the Cake Factory! Another spree of accidental flame outbreaks is afflicting the land of Casual Gaming, and its once again up to the little robot fire-fighter that could to put them out. So is the premise of The Podge's puzzle platformer sequel, Inferno 2: Meltdown.
Make friendz in this monstrous puzzle game that has you chaining unhappy monsterz together. Created by Jean Privat for the 9th Casual Gameplay Design Competition's theme of friends, Monsterz has a simple presentation but offers just enough challenge to really make you think.
Back to the Future: The Game is the digital partner this iconic 80s trilogy deserves. Or it will be, once more of the episodic releases hit our virtual shelves. Marty McFly and the Doc are at it again, joining forces with Telltale Games and taking the Delorean (with Flux Capacitor upgrade) for a spin through time and space.
Dana Knightstone is a writer, but she would really prefer to be a best-selling writer. A trip to Scotland seems like just the thing to get the inspiration she needs for her latest historical romance, but the mystery she soon stumbles on to is anything but romantic. The old hotel hides a lot of secrets, and before long Dana finds herself trying to solve an ancient murder case. Uncover the truth in this gorgeous new adventure puzzle game from Boom Zap.
The creator of The Codex of Alchemical Engineering and Bureau of Steam Engineering (not to mention the grandaddy of Minecraft, Infiniminer) is back with a full-fledged indie game ready to provide a serious logic puzzle challenge. SpaceChem is anything but simple, anything but easy, and one of the most satisfying puzzle games released. If you can solve its challenges, that is. SpaceChem is a game you'll spend a few minutes learning but weeks trying to master, and its 50+ levels are more than enough to strain your poor brain matter more than it's been strained in quite some time.
Here is our massive walkthrough guide for Virtual Villagers 5: New Believers! Everything you need to get through the game is here, including a lot of spoilers, so proceed at your own risk.
It seems like just yesterday we featured a game about Rome. Today, more of the ancient city with Roads of Rome 2, a full-blown resource management/simulation game that calls upon My Kingdom for the Princess as inspiration. Not only will you be building a path through several unique environments, you'll also bribe barbarians, build settlements, and chop hundreds of trees as you wind your way up to the mountaintops to the home of the gods themselves!
Virtual Villagers 5: New Believers is a brilliant addition to the genre and ramps up everything that is fun about the series. The puzzles are tougher as are the challenges, which is a good thing for those who love this series of village sims. The story has a darker, more sinister edge as you explore what the destruction and grief have done to the original inhabitants of Isola. There's much to love and recommend in this fantastic new adventure. Go explore!
Cradle of Rome 2 takes us back to the origins of the ancient city, telling the (abbreviated) tale of Romulus and Remus and allowing you to build Rome in as many or few days as you please, one match at a time.
Enjoy beautiful monochrome photographs of Gdansk, Poland as you try to answer the question, Where is 2011? The new game's short length is similar to its predecessor, but it has a completely different feel, being heavier on the hidden object motif (like the 10 Gnomes games it's inspired by). It's a powerful testament to Skutnik's talent that he can create two games with such drastic stylistic differences and yet have each be unmistakably his work.
23:59 is short and sweet and shouldn't tax your abilities too strongly even if you have been sneaking the champagne all day. Just circle all the rockets and bonuses you can while avoiding the sleeping satellites. So grab your bowl or plate of cocktail shrimps, mochi, lentils, hoppin' john, grapes or what have you, curl up with your laptop or desktop, and give this a try today or tomorrow. From all of us at JIG, a Happy New Year to you!
Jake Elliott's surreal interactive art adventure is a slow, thoughtful game where you play as four different women who attempt to comfort a small boy who can't sleep. The stories they tell take you back into their memories to solve some rather unusual problems with rather unusual methods. Part dreamlike narrative, part abstract puzzle solving, it's a charming bit of storytelling that's just the thing to unwind with.
Isle of Tune is a fairly simple webtoy, with a mere six elements that you can control to create a variety of sounds. There's just enough tools available to let you create some rather intricate loops. The pre-made loops are a great way to get an island started, and the simple sharing system is good for spreading your island creations with everyone.
Never in history has one man worked so hard to collect so many that cared so little as to follow him properly. But that is just all part of the challenge in this noteworthy CGDC 9 entry. Zip through the colourful levels trying to gather enough friends to proceed, while trying to keep your massive human chain from blundering into dangerous obstacles.
On the Deck is a physics puzzle that has you manipulating different ships and rafts on choppy seas, trying to keep your passengers and cargo from tipping overboard. Its tough challenge and varied, ample levels will keep you occupied for a good while longer than most casual Flash games.
Fireplace fits brilliantly into Petithima's ever increasing catalog of escape games, a transition to bigger and better things, we hope. Amusing, entertaining, and original, Fireplace is not only a great escape game to play, it is the perfect mid-week, mid-holiday stress reliever you've been looking for.
What makes a friend, anyway? And what do your friends mean to you? In this simple platformer by Undi that explores the theme of "Friends" for the 9th Casual Gameplay Design Competition, your goal is to get to the top of the Professional Life... even if it means dropping everyone who ever mattered to you along the way.
Addictive, intense and unforgiving, Shattered Colony: The Survivors is a tower defense game from Jonathan Duerig doesn't really fit the normal definitions of the genre. Your only protection against the zombie apocalypse is a rag-tag group of survivors with limited expertise and supplies. How long can you last, and will the choices you make be the ones that keep you alive, or bring about an untimely end?
In the Child Of A Witch Trilogy, by Garbuz Games, three chapters of a spot-the-difference game, a somewhat touching story unfolds that may explain why gnarly old witches are, well, gnarly old witches. Scour each screen to spot the six differences in every level and click as you find them.
We are not alone, and they are not friendly. In this appropriately creepy and squishy sequel to the original, the gameplay takes a different course; manually control an alien parasite that has crash-landed to Earth right in the middle of Camp Happy, a vast campground teeming with all manner of creatures to eat. Devour different animals to take their unique abilities and figure out how best to use your environment to your advantage to reach your goal of tender human entrés. Mmmm!
While it doesn't break any new ground, Gravinaytor is a deceptively simple looking game that will have your gravity-grappling skills stretched to their limit. Flip switches to manipulate gravity and steer yourself around deadly obstacles, all in preparation for the last batch of nearly sadistic levels. Compared to the extremely simple beginning stages, the last seven to eight levels will leave you at the end of your wits.
Insidia, the new Metroidvania-styled platformer from Woblyware, revels in its simplicity, not only concerning its graphics, but also is its plot and gameplay. In fact, I think that I can give you the gist in fifteen words: Crashed Spaceship. Alien World. Explore Caverns. Find Repair Kits. Collect Upgrades. Avoid Baddies. Quite Fun.
Immortal Souls puts you in the role of John Turner, a street racer-turned vampire who out to protect New Haven from the forces of darkness. This comic-book like, turn-based RPG has detailed art and animation to go with its numerous epic battles. Can you help the forces of light overcome the forces of darkness?
Just like its predecessor, Awakening: The Dreamless Castle, Awakening 2: Moonfell Wood bills itself as a hidden object adventure, but it plays more like a fairy tale puzzle adventure with hidden object mini-games. That's to say, you won't spend too much time looking for objects from a list, but you'll spend plenty of time picking up items and learning how to use them to progress through the game.
Escape from Santa's Room is not Tesshi-e's best, perhaps, but it hits all the right notes for room escaping fun, and may help a little with the post-Christmas blues that tend to settle in around 7 pm or so, depending on when dinner was served. Cheer up, and join the escape!
A release that matches and beats its predecessor in every way possible. Not only is it rare to see a game this all-around good, but a sequel that carefully hits every mark is practically unheard of. Get ready for more landing strips, fueling stations, and cute, big-eyed planes in this amazing follow-up!
- • Brogue
- • Smart Kobold
- • LEDom
Roguelikes seem to be a lost love amongst most modern gamers. "Give me simplicity!" they cry, "Give me pretty pictures!", "Let me play without reading a manual or memorizing commands!". Well, while they sit in the corner and play FarmVille, we'll settle down with our deliciously intriguing dungeon crawling RPGs of yore. Even though the glory days of Nethack are gone, the roguelike is alive and very well today, and there are a number of great projects that aim to bridge the gap between fans and non-fans so that everyone can enjoy the deep satisfaction of exploring the unknown.
The best thing about Christmas as a kid is Santa, isn't it? Not necessarily the presents per se, but more the excitement of Christmas Eve. The anticipation, wondering what you're going to get. The excitement of trying to stay up late and catch a glimpse of Santa. But in this great little Christmas escape game by 58 works, Santa does things a little bit differently.
A spaceship filled with traveling orbs has crashed on a strange planet. The crates holding its living passengers have been scattered across the world, and as the lone captain, it's your job to find them all. Ballville: The Beginning is a matching puzzle game that emphasizes characters, unlockables, and action over tile swapping, creating an experience rich in variety that will keep you interested level after level just to see what strange new things you'll uncover.
Don a space suit and attempt to cross halls full of razor-sharp blades to find your sweetheart in this unique gravity puzzle game. By manipulating lights at the bottom of the room, you can change the gravitational character of the vertical span above a light. Find the pattern of colors that will guide the astronaut through the gauntlet and onto the exit. It's a process of trial-and-error that is surprisingly calming.
In Blue Knight, you control a human sent to purge a planet for future human colonization. This retro-looking platform shooter has you jumping and shooting your way through a large world, collecting powerups and facing off against various bad guys on your way to the final boss.
Bubble Tanks 3 takes the series to new heights by combining the best of the Bubble Tanks core gameplay with the customizing features from Bubble Tanks Arenas. The result is a solid sequel to a very popular Flash game series that's a lot of fun to play. The campaign is solid, the user-created tanks keep things fresh and the enemy editor is a ton of fun and will keep this version of the game living for a long time to come.
Point and click your way through several screens in this follow-up to Johnny Why Are you Late. Pick up items and combine them to solve puzzles as they present themselves, with the sure knowledge that somehow, these unrelated tasks will somehow coalesce into your final goal of rescuing your friends. Johnny Why 2 finished a respectable fifth place in the tight race of CGDC9, and point-and-click fans won't want to miss this one.
Pencil Kids' new release in the hybrid puzzle-arcade series is more fun than a barrel of monkeys. Players of previous games in the series should be familiar with the premise: a trio of monkeys is sad, and it's up to you to make them "go happy." Use the mouse to click on objects and locations, solve puzzles, shoot stuff etc. Some levels are click-fests in the Hoshi Saga model, others act like mini-escape games, others have a hidden object flavor to them, and still others are action-based. There's quite a bit of variation packed into the game's 16 levels and expansion pack. Let's monkey see what you can monkey do!
Strange Attraction is a standard shooter-platformer with a slick presentation and interesting gravity elements. Control the blobby-shaped Gus in his super suit as you try to rescue your fellow villagers from the vile clutches of a horrible cage-like machine. Jump, shoot, and invert your way through 24 levels across 3 unique worlds.
So what do you do when St. Nick turns your living quarters into a room escape puzzler for the holidays? Naturally, you try to escape. Endless X'mas is a good sample of what room escaping should be like. The puzzles are exceedingly creative compared to most, and the graphics and music are quite nice as well, bringing everything together into a quaint atmosphere.
Arkandian Crusade is the first chapter in the new Arkandian Legends series from Undefined, a turn-based RPG with defense elements. Create a hero who will venture out into the world at the behest of your kind to combat the demon threat. With over sixty dozens, hundreds of items, magical spells, quests, and much more, expect to be busy for a very long time indeed.
A defense shooter release from Evil Dog and Sick Death Fiend. Tis the night before Christmas, and all through the house, not a creature is stirring, save for the hordes of demon-possessed toys that have found their way under the tree, ready to devour the sleeping bodies of Mom, Dad, and little Timmy. The only thing that stands in their way is you, your hammer and lots of tacks, a ball, a whip that cracks, and a plethora of other gift-weapons. It's six hours until sunrise, with waves of toys coming every ten minutes... as Tiny Tim would say, God help us, all of us.
YFYIAR is a simple interactive fiction game where you must escape from a room. As play progresses, however, the conventions of normal text adventures begin to break down as the computer narrator begins to express its dislike for you, your humanity, and all it entails.
You play a plucky astro-pilot in this retro-styled action adventure game, with an ill-defined though doubtlessly heroic agenda, who keeps crash-landing onto planets with hostile, labyrinthine space bases, losing your steadfast feline companion in the process. Cat Astro Phi is a nice, short action game with retro appeal, and even players who aren't the targeted allegorical Internet Citizen will find something to appreciate.
Crafted in the style of classic 'choose your own adventure' games, Zebulon features the exploits of a somewhat wayward space crew. The story itself is relatively simple; you're the captain of a small ship that runs regular courier missions for Asmico, a delivery and service IT company. With you are your shipwright and communication officer; your shipright Hariett is a straight-laced, by-the-book stick in the mud while Reynolds, the communication officer, is unlikely to win 'Employee of the month' anytime soon. Your choices in your interactions with them, and certain events, will determine your outcome.
It's the Bloons 2 Christmas Expansion Pack, a gift from Ninjakiwi. Take control once again of the dart-throwing monkey (now in jaunty Santa cap) and clear the bloons, now arranged in Christmas-themed patterns that will test your puzzling skills anew.
Puzzle Dimension is a great-looking and extremely well-made 3D puzzle game from Doctor Entertainment. Your goal is to collect the sunflowers on each level. Roll the satisfyingly-solid stone block across the floating tiles, leaping over single-spaced gaps when necessary, and touch each flower to nab it. Now, factor in ice, vanishing blocks, and loads of other ingenious puzzle contraptions and you've got a satisfying and challenging game that never seems to get old!
After a letter arrives seemingly decades too late, begging for your help, you find yourself drawn to Mortlake Mansion, which holds more secrets and dangers than its run-down appearance suggests. Can you figure out who to trust in this story of magic and mystery? A stunning hidden-object adventure title that puts players in an intriguing story that will appeal to any fan of fantasy.
Very few people think creating a soap opera is a complex and time consuming process, but PlayFirst's new time management game, Soap Opera Dash, simplifies the formula even further. Assemble your actors, do their hair and makeup, make sure their wardrobes are set, and shoot each episode one scene at a time. It's a bit different than other games in the Dash series, but it's every bit as well-made and engaging!