Troubleopolis! City of Action! And Adventure! And Driving! And Shooting! And, uh, Dating Sims! It's a real multi-genre kind of place in Retro City Rampage, a humorous open-world sandbox adventure game by VBlank Entertainment that sends up just about about every bit of 80s and 90s game culture you could hope to bring to your nostalgia-addled mind. It bears more than a passing resemblance to the early Grand Theft Auto releases (it actually began its decade of development under the name Grandtheftendo), but this wholly new and wholly comical experience stands on its own as a mad, mad parody with plenty of in-jokes to absorb!
Teletrooper is a mission-based arcade shooting game from Adam Butcher and Ben Claxton. Crafted over the course of seven years, Teletrooper draws inspiration from the likes of Star Fox 64, creating an experience that is a far cry from a mindless test of reflexes. Instead, you'll be treated to a storyline, accept and complete a variety of missions, deal with smart enemies and tough defenses, and maybe even grab a few power-ups along the way. It's a challenging and rewarding game you'll thank yourself for downloading, even if you spend the first half hour figuring out how to not die!
Hey, you there! You blocked my pixel in with your car. Wanna back up so I can get this thing outta here? What's that? You can't back up? Fine, let's just restart the puzzle and try not to be so daft this time, shall we? So goes the conversation (or something like it) you'll have with your self over and over again with Pixel Blocked, a rotation-based block firing puzzle game that has cute and casual written all over it.
It's adventure time and ape time! Adventure Apes and the Mayan Mystery is a retro-inspired platform adventure from ScaryPotato that shares a few genre points with games like La-Mulana, Cave Story, and many other metroidvania games. As you quest about through the jungle, opening up new areas to explore as you find new tools and power-ups, you'll need to keep an eye out for coins, keys, treasure chests, and relics, all while dispatching common enemies and squaring off against more formidable boss foes. It's all action and adventure, and it's all good fun, from beginning to end!
Probability 0 is a procedurally-generated arcade platform game created by Droqen that's all about working your way down. Most games make it pretty easy to move in that direction, as we tend to think of up as the win direction (just ask any tall person) and down as, well, not-win. With this moody little game, though, you'll have to fight your way to the bottom of the screen, squeezing through blocks, punching holes in the terrain, dealing with evil enemies, and upgrading your abilities at every opportunity you get.
Of Light & Shadow is a puzzle platform hybrid from 12 Angry Devs that focuses on two characters, each with different abilities as well as environmental weaknesses. It takes place in a crumbling world of chaos, with giant frogs, chomping machine monsters, flying platforms and bubbling pools of lava all waiting to take a piece of you with them to oblivion. But, since you're such a talented player, you can survive the surreal stages and work your way to safety at the end!
Explore a world of tiny gardens, shady parks, and secret glades. Grow gardens and enjoy soothing sounds as you travel through this happy little block-fitting puzzle game from Michael Todd. Just click to pick up pieces, use space to rotate, and drag into place. Enchanting and sweet, Little Gardens has that bit of magic and heart that makes a good game a true delight to play.
What... the heck is going on here? At first glance, you probably think Super Amazing Wagon Adventure is some sort of Oregon Trail-related simulation game. But then you see words like "arcade game" and "side-scrolling shooter" and you suddenly think "Maybe I'm going insane? Maybe I've forgotten what words mean and I've just started seeing random flan horse topple red maneuver?". You can relax, however, as we're here to promise you that Super Amazing Wagon Adventure is everything the title suggests, and it manages to be fast-paced, crazy, and entertaining all within the first five seconds.
Take one color-coded multipurpose vehicle, add a variety of shapes scattered all about, then throw in the ability to mess with gravity in just about every way possible. The result? Colour Bind, a brand new physics-based indie puzzle game from Finn Morgan. Controlling a simple little car (two wheels on a chasis, basically), you have the pleasure of working through dozens of levels as you flip switches and change gravity so you can reach the exit. Best of all, Colour Bind was built with old school sensibilities in mind, meaning you'll be rewarded for exploration and challenged with difficult levels from beginning to end. Hooray!
Ready for a puzzle that will run you rug-ged? Farsh, from the Persian word for carpet, is a tile-walking puzzler where you've got to roll and unroll your carpet to reach the exit. If you roll up just right, you can rotate the tiles around you to build a path. Just don't let your mind get frayed in the process!
Bigger, badder, and altogether better than the original, Runic Games' brings their action RPG back to life in this fantastically fun sequel. When old heroes fall and turn against the land as a sickness spreads across it, it falls to one lone wanderer to take up the mantle of hero. With multiplayer support, huge boss battles, sprawling environments, and new classes unrestricted by gender, Torchlight 2 is a sequel that delivers everything it promised and more.
Gateways, an exploration-based platform game from Smudget Cat Games, can be quickly summarized by saying it's like Portal, but in 2D. That's leaving a lot out of the equation, though, as Gateways goes to great lengths to provide a different kind of experience, one more akin to a metroidvania-type game than that other portal-making adventure. You'll realize that as soon as you start to explore the chunky pixel laboratory, smashing the glass domes over monkey's heads and wondering how on Earth you're supposed to climb over the next ledge.
ScrumbleShip is an in-progress sandbox-style game of ship construction and combat simulation, all accomplished using a massive list of building materials and a surprisingly smart heat simulation model. Built around simple block placements, you have complete freedom of movement in this game, allowing you to jet yourself in any direction so you can construct the most accurate (or most hilariously inaccurate) piece of space-faring machinery you've ever seen. Want a tiny escape pod all your own? Done. How about a massive star base? Orbital station? Or maybe even a Death Sta— er, moon?!
Described as a "spaceship simulation roguelike-like" by its developers, Subset Games, you won't be doing a whole lot of boldly going where no one has gone before in FTL: Faster Than Light. In fact, most of your time will be spent directing crew members and putting out engine room fires. But scifi strategy fans will love every minute of it, even with the hardcore difficulty.
Your life was just a simple one. But this morning, you've found this sparking mechanical creature in your front yard. Is it friendly? Is it hostile? Or, perhaps scariest of all... are you teaching it what to do? A Ludum Dare 24 entry by Paul Greasley, Soul Jar is adventure platformer that tasks you with directing the evolution of a robot companion, for good or for bad. Visually stunning, with a killer premise, Soul Jar is hampered by clunky controls, but demonstrates the creativity the Ludum Dare format can inspire.
Three different people, three different worlds, and one very strange common thread. Tyler Glaiel, now part of Eyebrow Interactive, brings us one drop-dead gorgeous dark puzzle platformer in the form of this upgrade to his 2009 classic browser game full of ingenious levels and stunning design. Manipulate light to change your surroundings, using shadows to wipe away obstacles, and, ultimately, find your way back home.
Combining elements of exploration, puzzle solving, and some good old fashioned robot building, Mobiloid from Montrezina plays like the best parts of Metroid and Q.U.B.E. blended to perfection. It's a game that allows you to use almost two dozen accessories to create functional (or, you know, not so functional) contraptions that help you stick your nose in every corner of the world, uncovering new items, new parts, and new puzzles along the way.
Auria Edith died, but for her it was just the beginning. When she finds herself resurrected and stranded on the other side of the world following a bargain she may regret making, things go from bad to worse. In this short but polished first installment of the free modern fantasy RPG by Project BC, Auria sets out to find her way home, but she might not be prepared for what comes looking for her instead.
Super Hexagon, the latest release from VVVVVV creator Terry Cavanagh, is the kind of game that makes you hate games. It will make you feel like an inept player who couldn't play an arcade game even if you were in Russia (where arcade game plays you, we hear). You might even get mad at Terry, who crafted this fast, stylish game seemingly just to show you how often you can fail. But after you lose ten times in as many seconds, you'll suddenly realize that Super Hexagon has you by the collar, has already taken your lunch money, and if you want it back, you're going to have to keep playing. Strangely enough, that's a challenge you'll be thrilled to undertake!
Like the classic adventuring PC games of old, here is the type of game you could easily lose chunks of time on as you switch between two characters, gathering anything not nailed down and working your way through hours of conversational threads, all in pursuit of Edna's freedom and sanity. Using the touch screen commands, your first job is to find you way out of a padded cell. Edna and her talking plush companion, Harvey, will win you over with their irreverent observations on life, sanity and the mundane world around us even as you sympathize with her situation. You, like Edna, might soon find yourself going in circles, vacillating between the joy of discovery and the frustration of confusion.
Flight to Freedom is the second in the series of Mission US educational point-and-click adventure game titles focusing on American History, created by Electric Funstuff under the auspices of New York PBS Station Channel 13. The year is 1848. The tenuous balance that had been struck concerning the issue of slavery wavers in the face of a nation expanding by conquest and treaty. Living in these tumultuous times is Lucy, a 14 year old slave of Kentucky's King Plantation. Lucy must balance her wishes for freedom with the risk of recapture, but an incident on the farm will force the issue sooner than she'd ever thought. What can a slave do? An intelligent and thought-provoking game that should appeal to both its student audience, and anyone with a passing interest in history.
In the medieval fantasy world of Trouble With Robots, robotic lifeforms from outer space have come to turn the world of Middle Turf upside down, destroying old villages and replacing them with futuristic highways and strip malls. You'll have to build your best deck full of spells, powerful trolls, dwarves, and elves (not to mention angry pitchfork wielding peasants!) to stop the invasion and bring peace back to the land in this lean little card battle game, that picks a few elements and does them right, rather than trying to juggle more than it can handle, leaving you with a satisfying experience that you can come back to and improve, even if you are a gamer on a time-budget.
Life is full of winners and losers and, if you are like most people, you are usually losing. Not so with Sangwoo Hong, Keyboardminer, and Pixelminer's surreal little mahjong-like game, Cubistry. Simply click on one kind of tile and then another of the same to make them both dissapear from the cube in a little flurry of 3D casino-style gratification that will be sure to stimulate your brain stem and keep you playing until each little cube is gone forever. And, if you manage to beat your best score, than all the better. But it's not necessary to enjoy this simple idea game done right.
Originally developed by Kepuli Games for the 7 Day FPS Challenge, then polished up to win 2nd in the Assembly GameDev Competition, Force: Leashed is a first-person gravity-based physics puzzle game. It combines the structure of the Quake engine with the mechanics of Auditorium and the overall design sense of Portal (if GLaDOS never spoke and handed out gravity guns). And despite the title, Jar Jar doesn't show up once. That's gotta be worth half a point right there.
It all begins with an innocent little robot drifting through a leaky cave. It all ends with... well, a lot more than that. Talawa Games' Unmechanical is a physics-heavy action puzzle game where you control a round 'bot flying through an underground factory, trying to find his way back to the surface. It looks like something unsettling happened here not too long ago, judging from the rockslides and blocked passages and all. But you don't have time to hover and ponder, you just want to get out. And as you soon discover, you're not exactly alone down here...
Who doesn't love climbing mountains? Clamoring across stone, breathing in the pristine air from high above the land, defying all sensible concepts of human strength and endurance so you can grab bags of gold floating in the sky. Sure, our experience with climbing real mountains might be limited, but we're pretty convinced ROCKMAN (no, not that Rock Man) from TwO Bros. Games is a realistic simulation of the sport. If it's not, well, we'll want a full refund on that CD box set of square dancing music we just ordered.
In the year 20XX, Dr. Wily has been defeated by Mega Man (again). He escaped capture and life returned to normal, his eight robot masters returning to storage until the day their circuits may be modified to aid society. As it turns out, that day is today! Dr. Wily wasted no time attacking once again, unleashing a super virus that has disrupted Mega Man's systems and turned computers across the globe into enemies of humanity. With no other options at his disposal, Dr. Light releases the eight robot masters, hoping their virus-free circuits can defeat Wily once and for all. So begins Mega Man: Day in the Limelight 2 by Fusion Team, a retro platforming action adventure that's sure to bring a twinkle to the eye of any child of the 8-bit generation.
In a universe torn asunder by a near cataclysmic event known as the Shine, there are those who fight to keep the peace and others who fight to steal whatever peace there could have been. You wake up on a space station surrounded by people who make you realize that you have no memory and absolutely no idea why they're so interested in you. Through exploration and space battles you'll find that not everyone has the best intents for you and that somehow you must make it out alive. In this beautiful prequel to The Reconstruction made by Deltree it's all up to you to be a hero for the universe.
Mooooo! Do you hear that? It's the sound of cows being abducted! In this tower defense game from Lightmare Studio, you and your pal Barney must use your wits and whatever you can find lying around the barn to protect the cows from the aliens who crave them. Be it an explosive grill or poisonous gasses, you'll find plenty of ways to keep the invaders out of the cow field.
This subtly terrifying indie horror adventure game doesn't have a soundtrack, but if it did, it would just be our reviewers mewling "No no no no no" over and over again. Search for eight missing pages deep in the woods at night with a flashlight as your only guide. But are you as alone as you think? And how long can you last when you can't even risk a look over your shoulder?
Originally released in 1983 by Tim and Chris Stamper's Ultimate Play The Game, Atic Atac was one of the most heralded games for the ZX Spectrum. A top-down action-adventure game, it was the deceptively simple looking tale of an adventurer trapped in a haunted house, who must battle his way from basement to "atic" to find the keys that would let him escape. Now remade by Retrospec, it is now available to frustrate and addict a whole new generation of gamers.
What springs to mind when someone says the word "maze"? Probably not an image of a butterfly dancing along a series of colored tiles to the sound of piano keys. Sergey Mohov, on the other hand, envisioned exactly that, turning the butterfly and piano vision into a gorgeously styled maze puzzle game by the name of Dedale. With music provided by Fractures, it is up to you to brave 100 levels of tile coloring, butterfly leading, maze escaping fun.
Peru, 1950. Strange signs have appeared in the misty mountains. You, a famous spelunker, head to the area to investigate them.. Such is the humble premise of Cavenaut, an exploration-based action-adventure game by Bruno Marcos. Don't think that the ruins of Machu Picchu will reveal their secrets so easily, however. Snake, Bat, Spike, and Spear stand in your path, and if you hope for mysteries to be unraveled, you must be quick of both mind and fingers.
Fhtagn! Cthulhu's powers have been locked away, and he needs to save the world to get them back... so he can destroy the world of course. This turn-based RPG from Zeboyd Games affectionately sends-up both Lovecraftian horror and RPGs themselves, but it's also a game with more than ten hours of solid play for an amazing price.
I Wanna Be The Guy was a small indie platform game released way back in 2007, and if you're wondering what took it so long to get a sequel, you obviously never played the original. A quick refresher: you could be killed by falling apples. You could be killed by apples that fall upwards. If you avoided the apples, a cloud could drop out of the background... and kill you. And that would be how you got past one screen. The sequel ups the insanity and makes you wonder if you really do want to be the guy.
Night after night, you dream of her. Anna. But... they're not dreams, they're nightmares. And now, you find yourself staring at the very house you see each night in your sleep. This isn't a dream, but it isn't quite real, either. Welcome to the haunting world of Anna, a first person horror adventure game by Dreampainters that will leave you too frightened to turn your back on a dark corner for the rest of the night.
- • Ib
- • Hydorah
- • Botanicula
The following is a selection of favorite games compiled and reviewed by JIG community member, Wally. It is also one of the winning entries from our previous call for submissions for community favorites, for which Wally will receive some gifts from us of his choosing. Thanks to everyone who shared their favorites with us! Look for more community favorites in the coming weeks.
Back in 2005, Takumi Naramura released a retro-styled exploration game called La-Mulana. Starring an archaeologist professor named Lemeza, it introduced modern players to an aesthetic not seen since the days of the MSX home computer, bringing with it all the convoluted puzzles, items, and high level of difficulty retro gamers love. Fast forward to 2012 for the worldwide release of a graphically enhanced update to La-Mulana that carefully reworks the look and feel of the old game to spruce it up for a new audience. Nigoro has done a fantastic job with the new La-Mulana, and the translation to the slightly-less-retro modern version is almost flawless!
A cinematic simulation of hacking that owes more to Wargames and Sneakers than Kevin Mitnick and Adrian Lamo, Uplink: Hacker Elitecyberpunk intrigue. Originally released by Introversion Software in 2001, and streamlined into the Hacker Elite version for the US market, the latter is now available for purchase from the lovely indie and retro game outlet GOG, and it's a worthy addition to any gamers library.
What happened, Marina? If it's a primary power failure, they're going to enact Protocol 13. If you don't make it to the shelter before that happens... well, it's best not to think about that. Or those sounds of wet slithering you hear from the corner... Wages of Darkness is a horror adventure game developed by Baron that got top prize in Aprils Month of AGS competition. It's pixel-hunting premise probably couldn't be sustained in a longer game, but at just ten minutes, it's perfect for a little stomach punch of dread.
Created in 72 hours for a recent game jam, Disillusion by True Valhalla is a short, somewhat abstract platform adventure that focuses heavily on atmosphere and exploration. You begin with a sword and a vague goal in the back of your mind: go to the end of the world and find the Holy Artifact. If you don't, your people won't survive. Sounds like motivation to us! You quickly head out into the hazy world, ready to tread down branching non-linear paths, defeat enemies both small and gargantuan, and pull off some tricky jumps with the greatest of ease.
In order to play all of the latest surreal puzzle game from prolific purveyor of awesome, Eyezmaze, you'll need to donate at least a dollar, but you can still play the first portion for free. Discover the strange and strangely adorable secrets of a mysterious black box by clicking on it and trying to figure out what you need to do and when in order to proceed. It's weird, it's cute, and like all of Eyzemaze's games, definitely one of a kind.
Quantum Conundrum is a light-hearted puzzle adventure game from Airtight Games. Taking pages from releases like Q.U.B.E. and, of course, Portal, Quantum Conundrum pits you against a series of challenges that require some fine manipulation of physics in order to solve. In this case, you have the dubious honor of being able to switch between four unique dimensions that affect everything in the game in a different way. Work your way through your uncle's mansion as you help him attempt to solve the riddle of where exactly he's gotten himself lost this time!
Strap on your pistols and saddle up, pardner, there's a new card-based strategy game in town! From Cryptic Comet, the maker of Solium Infernum, comes Six Gun Saga, a game that combines cards, heavy strategies, and all the fierceness of the wild, wild west. Choose your boss then go at it with guns-a-blazing! Build up your town (or sell your cards) to make money, and form posses, then use them to collect victory points by defending story cards or just blow your opponent's men away! Turn by turn, you will either play as, or match wits with some famous characters like Wyatt Earp, Dirty Dave Rudabaugh, and others.
Necro Gaia is a short arcade defense game from Lazy Brain Games, creator of a few other freeware indie games such as Mecha Spider Island and Infernal Edge. This intense little release puts you in control of a small blue planet called Terra, a lovely little Earth-like rock orbiting a sun that is traveling to another galaxy. You have to stay along for the ride, but the trouble is, all sorts of dangerous things are floating in the blackness of space. By changing your orbital position as well as summoning some temporary planetary friends, you can help Terra survive her journey to her new home, defeating the all-consuming Necro Gaia in the process!
Michael Molinari uses basketball and surreal, dreamlike imagery to explore love and family in this stunning indie title. Go one on one against nightmare creatures in your quest to find your sister, or solve platform puzzles in strange dimensions. It's a swanky, gorgeous, strange journey that overcomes somewhat clunky controls to deliver a beautiful and unique experience you don't have to love sports to enjoy.
As the new girl transferring for her final year of school, you've got a lot on your plate, especially if you want to get into a top-tier university. But in Roxanne Chen's gorgeous, funny, and charming visual novel simulation, you've also got the potential to make friends that will last you forever... and maybe even find love, too. Packed with colour, energy, and tons of replay value, this is well worth checking out. You've only got one year... make it count!
Penny Arcade and Zeboyd Games combine to deliver this turn-based RPG with a distinctly retro feel that both fits with and stands apart from the previous two installments. Join Tycho and Gabe of the Startling Developments Detective Agency as they attempt to learn the secrets of the mysterious Necrowombicon... while dodging time-traveling dinosaur spies, murderous caterpillars, ancient cults and more in the process. Exceptionally heavy on combat but more than a little funny, it's a surprisingly engrossing little title with a lot to offer in the way of humour and charm if you don't mind a lot of strategy with your gameplay.
On the surface, it's easy to put Thomas Was Alone in the puzzle platform genre, citing games like The Lost Vikings when you discuss the gameplay mechanics and mentioning VVVVVV as another possible source of lo-fi indie inspiration. But after you've spent some time with the game, you suddenly realize it's much more than just a platformer. Thomas Was Alone is an interactive, character-driven puzzle experience with a beautiful audio visual presentation and gameplay controls/physics that were no doubt fine-tuned with fastidious precision.
The Story of Red Cloud is a massive adventure-style mod for the sandbox building game Terraria. Citing inspiration from The Legend of Zelda and Dark Souls, the mod takes a massive step away from its source, knocking out most of the creative aspects in favor of traditional combat and exploration. This isn't the Terraria you've grown to love, nor is it a happy romp through a flower-filled land of bunnies (though there are bunnies). The Story of Red Cloud is a challenging game filled with secrets to find, items to hoard, dungeons to explore, and gruesome deaths to narrowly avoid.
What makes a hero? Is it someone who keeps fighting, even when everyone around them insists there's no point? Or is it someone who is willing to give the most precious thing they can just for the promise of a better tomorrow? Made in just under a month as a half hour lunch break game, Sailerius and Hirei have crafted a short but remarkably atmospheric action adventure release with Finding Eden, a thoughtful game about friendship, the end of the world, and sacrifice. The story follows two young girls struggling to stay alive after an unspecified disaster befell the world and left it stripped of Mana, with virtually everyone left sleeping husks littering the street... except for the sinister Harvesters who are always on the girls' heels. With their own Mana, their life force, constantly dwindling and scraps being harder and harder to come across, is it worth carving out an existence in this bleak world... or can they find something worth giving everything they have for?
Deep within the spaceship, a lowly garbage worker tosses clumps of trash into the incinerator. Outside, asteroids begin pelting the hull, eventually causing the ship to crash on an uncharted planet filled with strange creatures. And now you, lone survivor, must explore and fight your way through an intricate maze-like world as you gather power-ups, fight bosses, and collect every little green square you see. In Wade McGillis's downloadable and mobile game Astronot, you get a good strong dose of pure retro metroidvania-style platform adventuring, and you'll love every minute of stranded torture it brings you.
What could be worse than some cretin named Big (who also happens to be your brother) stealing the pair of mystical underpants left by your departed grandfather? Nothing, as far as the folks at Black Pants Studio are concerned. With the team's first release, the sandbox-oriented action and physics game Tiny and Big: Grandpa's Leftovers, we get to see just what happens when you give a guy a raygun, a grapple-device, and unlimited rockets, then turn him loose in a sun-parched ruined desert world to find his pants-thieving brother. To put if briefly: a whole lotta rocks will get sliced, tossed, juggled, and destroyed.
Long has it been dictated that a woman in a fairy tale had better be either beautiful, meek, humble as apple pie, or a mix thereof. Someone hates her, a prince wants to save her, and some sparkly fairy dust is going to cause some type of dilemma. Throughout it all, this princess is going to hmmm and sigh but ultimately go along with the ride because, hey, she's a damsel in distress and you best not forget it! Fortunately for us, Moacube didn't just forget it, they threw it out of the proverbial tower turret to the alligator infested moat below. In the team's dazzling visual novel Cinders, they charge headfirst into the outdated and come out the other side with brand spanking shiny and new.
Are they conveyor belts? Are they fallen trees? To be completely honest, we can't figure out what those strange laser-emitting bricks in increpare's aptly-named Puzzles are supposed to be. All we know is that they cause trouble if you touch them, but yet that danger might be the key to solving the eight enigmas in this game.
From the world's favorite developer of quirky indie games, bentosmile, the Easy Quest series is a set of three tiny action RPG-style games that take place in the same setting with the same creatures and the same basic goal: save the world! You do this by defeating enemies that are weaker than you, running them over until they bite the dust. With each hit, you suffer damage, too, so you have to balance your attacks and seek healing potions only when they're absolutely necessary. It's a game of watching the numbers and being aggressive when it's a smart thing to do, and despite each game's short length, they're still a set of quests you'll love to undertake!
When a physicist researching a world-changing project ends up dead, it's up to you to figure out what happened. In Resonance, a stellar point-and-click adventure by Wadjet Eye Games, you control four strangers who are forced to trust each other to help you solve the mystery. Use the unique long and short term memory system to explore the world around you and uncover clues. Can you recover the research before someone else ends up dead?
In Cipher Prime's new puzzler Splice, you've got to rearrange cells in a strand to match the given pattern. Your moves are limited, so you've got to plan each step carefully to succeed. It's kinda like making a dangling chain of coathangers, except with MORE SCIENCE. (And an awesome soundtrack and sweet graphics.)
To quote the intro of Fallen City, Channel 4 and Big Robot's educational puzzle/real-time strategy game: What is a city? It is a machine; a machine for living in. But all machines can break down. The inhabitants of Fallen City (Angries) have become distracted by their individual lives and dreams and have let the once gleaming metropolis fall into disrepair. Frustrated by their inability to live the lives of fame and fortune they were told could satisfy them, many of the Angries fell into boredom or rage... and the city sunk ever deeper into its gloom. But broken machines can be fixed, right?
No one likes being stuck inside city walls when all they want is the sweet freedom of open land. Problem is, getting out is quite tricky when there's a war raging outside the city walls and the guards are under strict order to not let anyone in or out. In Shifter, you have a trick or two up your sleeves, but in order to make use of that trick you need to get to know people. In this point and click escape adventure use your charm to help shift into a new point of view, literally.
While chunky pixel goats are nothing new to the indie gaming scene (see Llamasoft's iOS release GoatUp), MagicalTimeBean has done something special with Escape Goat, a retro-inspired puzzle platform game that recently made the leap from Xbox Live Indie Games to Windows-based PCs. And you're going to be glad it did, as Escape Goat is an exceptionally entertaining game that strikes a perfect balance between challenge and frustration, reflexes and puzzle solving, and, well, goats and sheep.
Cute adventure game get! Robo Quest is an adorable point and click adventure created by Glauzer and Adm244 using Adventure Game Studio. One could easily compare it to Machinarium in general layout and style, but the story, setting, and artwork are something else entirely. It's a short experience but an uncommonly engaging one, and you'll fall in love with the little robo's plight from the moment you see him napping
The developers at Stolen Couch Games have captured that child-like kindergarten drawing time feeling with the one-button puzzle game Ichi, a mobile port of the downloadable version available for Windows and Mac systems. It is only the team's second commercial creation for the iTunes App Store, but they understand that quality is much better than quantity. If the simple visual style makes you think "oh, this game will be a piece of cake!", well, my friend, you'll think twice when level 'some-odd-number' comes around and you can't master it!
One of the most surreal RPGs you'll ever encounter has finally been translated into English. Play as the mysterious companion to the even more enigmatic Batter, who has arrived to rid the world of spectres through violent purification. Packed with memorable characters, strange locations, and a seriously engrossing storyline that at times manages to be a bit unsettling too, it's one of the strangest, swankiest free titles around that won't be for everyone, but is definitely worth a look.
You wake in the middle of a night during a thunderstorm with your head and your body aching... but you're not in your bed. In fact, you're not even in your house. And when you discover the body on the floor, you begin to realise that you might just have woken up in a very personal nightmare. A short but engrossing horror adventure mystery packed with atmosphere, replayability, and chills galore.
Red Riding Hood was once a normal girl baking sweets, skipping through enchanted forests, wanting to visit her grandma without any ulterior motives. Little did she know that she was about to be thrust into a nightmare when her poor Granny was taken by some rude wolf. Now it's up to you, as Red, to brave 96 levels of puzzles to save Granny and show that wolf it's never good to mess with a girl who can master gravity.
Winter Wolves serves up a huge visual novel adventure RPG with deep tactical combat. As a slave to the Amazon empire, you're sent out with your princess, Loren, in search of a missing queen. In short order, you discover Loren's problems are only a tiny symptom of a greater evil plaguing the world... but will she be able to overcome her own shallow world view and limited life experience to become the hero everyone needs her to be? And does she even want to?
As you've no doubt noticed, indie game bundles are the new "it" thing, sort of like the modern equivalent of slap bracelets or the musical stylings of Harvey Danger. How long this trend will last we're not sure, but in the meantime, everyone with a bunch of string and connections in the indie gaming market are gathering games together for new and exciting bundles. Here's a look at a few of the big bundles currently running.
In a city where the wicked never sleep a brave hero shall rise. Jeff the Sanitation Worker has come to save the day. Er...well, he's come to clean things up so that people can at least walk around without catching the plague from the rats that seem to be everywhere. That's heroic right? Still, prepare yourself for the high energy thrill ride of cleaning the streets as Jeff.
It starts with a letter from an old friend inviting you to dinner. How can something so simple, so innocent, throw you into a dark world of murder, mystery, and the supernatural? Set in London in 1603, this enormous Lovecraftian interactive fiction adventure will challenge and immerse you in a world that feels real and dangerous. Available as a free download or as an enhanced edition for Kindle devices and Nook tablets, this 12 to 15 hour adventure is a challenge, but one well worth undertaking.
One part physics-based slinging game, one part RPG, and one part tactics, SQUIDS from The Game Bakers is a many-layered game that gracefully passes gameplay elements back and forth, creating a dynamic yet cohesive experience. While it starts out with a little Sling-like action, it ends up playing more like Ogre Battle, all without adding too much complexity or foregoing its casual roots. To top it off, SQUIDS looks as good as it plays, featuring top-notch visual design and a storyline and characters that are legitimately fun to engage with!
Underhome is under attack... by red tape! In this big adventure game by storyteller Jonas Kyratzes, return once again to the surreal Lands of Dream when The Mysterious Druid calls you in to help with what he feels is an erroneous foreclosure attempt on the biotechnological dwelling. A sweeping, engrossing adventure about mystery, magic, money, and family, it's packed full of pop-culture references, intelligence, and unexpected heart.
Let's not mince words. Tyrian 2000 was the best PC shoot-em-up of the 90s, and it still holds up remarkably well today. Originally developed as shareware by Eclipse Productions and published by Epic Games, Tyrian 2000 is now available as legit freeware, and every fan of space shooters should check it out. The amount of customization, the hilarious but loving prose, the gorgeous VGA graphics... all of them come together to make a true classic.
A trip to an art gallery takes an unsettling turn for nine year old Ib. When the lights go out, she suddenly finds herself alone, and something is begging her to journey deeper into the belly of the building. A free horror adventure game that delivers some fantastically freaky scenes and a ton of scares, both subtle and otherwise, for a memorable experience that's far more effective at times than its big budget peers.
Recluse is a short, cute, and creative metroidvania-style platform adventure game from chambers that tied for eighth place in the most recent Ludum Dare compo. Centered around the "tiny world" theme, you play a snail who has never left its shell and is now ready to emerge into the world. While much of the gameplay is standard platform fare, there is a unique mechanic that makes Recluse worth experiencing: screen shoving!
Short but striking, Cyanide Tea's second free indie visual novel tells the story of two people who have seemingly little else in common beyond the elevator they both take to work each day. David is a former police office who can't let go of his past, and Elena is a bright young girl who just happens to share the elevator with him daily. Will David be able to open up to her? And should he?
One of the cornerstones of indie game development is, if you'll allow us a moment on our soapbox, freedom. The freedom to make the game you want exactly how you want to make it. While this doesn't always pan out to be as glamorous as it may seem, creating and releasing indie games is an art mixed with a science tempered by the cold hard realities of business. And in a world where distributing your game across multiple platforms is commonplace, there's some very real competition to tangle with out there.
Dinos in Space is, apart from being a very cool thing to draw in your notebook while ignoring the math lecture going on in your class, a cerebral flow-based logic puzzle game from John Saba. Using arrows, switches and teleporters, your goal is to send dinosaurs from their dispensers into the appropriately colored satellite elsewhere on the grid. Sure, it sounds simple on the surface, but get your head wrapped in this game, and when you take a break, you'll still be solving puzzles in your brain.
Lexcavator is a wonderfully chirpy word-based puzzle game by Adam Parrish that combines elements of Dig Dug with spelling games like Bookworm. Your goal is to bash away at the letter tiles by spelling out words, clearing the way so the protagonist can hop further down the level. It requires a lot of careful thinking to prevent capturing yourself in a corner, so enter only if your vocabulary and tactical skills are up for a challenge!
Ever wanted to do something, found out how unbelievably overwhelming the task would be, then decided it'd be a better idea to stay home and have a sandwich? Our hapless knightly protagonist in Climb to the Top of the Castle knows that feeling all too well, only in his case, sandwiches probably haven't been invented yet, and he's got a king breathing down his neck pretty much forcing him to haul his armored rear to the top of the castle and save the princess. Did we say "castle"? Because really, it's pretty much a mountain!
It is up to a green cosmic wanderer with a chain grapple arm to rescue some grounded birds from certain destruction in this retro adventure grapple game. Ladd Spencer (think classic grapple game...) may have had it rough, but the Chain Champ here has to swing over boiling lava pits, dodge pitfalls, and focus on collapsing grapple surfaces. A quick casual game packed with loads of gameplay, chiptune sound effects, and helpless birds to keep you swinging during a lazy afternoon.
It's been said that people create because they're not satisfied with the way things are; they feel that the world needs more of 'them'. Well, if Dark Scavenger is any indication of what Psydra Games 'is', then I am eager to have more! In the team's darkly-humored point-and-click adventure game, you are an alien who has to forage through a planet looking for a source of energy to power your failing ship. With combat and mystery at every turn, this game will have you humorously pointing and clicking your way through the storyline.
Across the universe, no matter the time period or location, delivering the mail is a rough job. Take the poor sap in charge of the space-based mail delivery station Meteor Mail, for example. (It's you, by the way.) That lonely technician has to fire packages from one end, then tweak the exact position of gravity orbs to thread each delivery through worm holes, asteroids, roving pirates, and other obstacles. But, if it were easy, we wouldn't have the delightfully challenging puzzle game that is Meteor Mail, so from adversity comes entertainment!
Miley's got dreams of being a comedic superstar, and the first step is to follow in the footsteps of Cherry Tree High's greatest and start a comedy club. The only problem is the student council insists she needs a minimum of three more members, and she only has a month to find them! Are her ambitions on the rocks, or can she hunt down and convince a bunch of unlikely recruits to join her? A gorgeous, energetic, and light-hearted game that blends adventure with visual novel and simulation elements.
If you grew up in an age where dithering was a a common graphical trick to get around color limitations and were excited when CGA was succeeded by EGA which gave way to VGA, just seeing a screenshot of You Have to Win the Game will turn you mad with nostalgia. The exploration platformer from Pirate Hearts shares a lot of design elements with Terry Cavanagh's VVVVVV, Lyle in Cube Sector, and Celestial Mechanica, though its main trick is emulating the computing environment of a decades-old PC. But even if you don't get excited by 16-color CRT monitors, You Have to Win the Game is a thoroughly enjoyable ride!
Become a mare of action in this crazy but colourful homage to the classic bullet-hell shooter series. Playing as Fluttershy or Rainbow Dash, blast your way through fields of bizarre enemies, mini-bosses, and more with frantic action you'll need to be at least 20% cooler than most to pull off. This free download might be simple, but it's an excellent source of shooter gameplay to make you feel like a boss and get your heart pounding.
And Then There Were None... an old English detective book that has been adapted for the stage, silver screen, and radio has given inspiration to an indie platformer game. As you quest through the blanketing snow and eerie white noise, the game follows a man known only as Hughes as he tries to defend himself from a roaming serial killer. Tensions rise and fear sets in as danger lurks around every corner, tunnel, and platform. Your only glimmer of solace is the voice emanating from a radio, leading you along and aiding you in your struggle until... it's too late.
We are not alone. Life has been discovered on Mars, but it's nothing like we ever expected to encounter. In this gorgeous, one-of-a-kind moody action adventure game for iOS, you'll journey deep into the red planet and uncover the secrets buried within its soil. Discover new life forms and challenging puzzles that force you to use the environment to your advantage as you help the planet grow... and ultimately decide its fate.
Some people lie. Some people tell the truth. Others tell lies every other sentence, while still others tell things that are part truth, but part lie. Then there are robots, vampires, philosophers, and rabid sheep to contend with! Professor McLogic Saves the Day is a creative game of logic puzzles that is a rare gem in a sea of lookalike games. Play it, puzzle over it, and then figure out which part of the first paragraph of our review is a lie!
Miniature Golf: The Tranquility Course isn't a game you probably pictured yourself playing. On the surface, it's a simply-made 3D mini-golf game with nine basic holes to run through and an easy, intuitive interface. Just beyond the thin film of golfing, though, you'll find a game world that presents you with more than enough reasons to run around and explore.
The best games are ones that make you believe you are a part of one story, while another story plays out quietly behind the scenes. In The Ultimate Celebration, a poignant indie platformer from Brian Soulliard, you play a jolly little Party Dude who's only desire is to throw a party for all 20 of his friends. In the real world, you would just call them up on their cell phones and invite them, but where's the fun in that?!
The Walking Dead shambles on to your computer in this visceral, vicious adventure game from TellTale. Lee, a convict on his way to prison, wakes up after a car accident to find the world has gone to heck while he was unconscious and the dead walk the streets. In short order, he finds himself responsible for the well-being of a little girl and trying to decide how much to tell the people around him, in between trying to survive. A shockingly violent and unapologetically brutal adventure that succeeds in spite of its flaws.
Domestic abuse is not easy to escape, especially for those who feel trapped by circumstances and an apathetic culture that turns a blind eye to the problem. Please help Masha find her son who, along with his kite, has disappeared while she was in a violent dispute with her husband. This moody, atmospheric point-and-click adventure from Anate Studios has stunningly gorgeous graphics and a pleasant soundtrack. While somewhat melodramatic, The Kite has heart and soul, well worth playing for the overall affect.
Time to get your Sokoban-like on with Tom 7's puzzle game, Escape. The built-in tutorial levels start you off with a good challenge, but it's the thousands of user-made levels (and a great sorting system for them) that will heap on the entertainment and have you playing for hours. Try your hand at creating a level of your own to share with the public to see if they can succeed to escape.
Imagine yourself serving as a communications officer in the German Wehrmacht, during World War II, doing your duty in an underground bunker. After developing a mysterious sickness, you are quarantined in solitary confinement. That was a few days ago, and you haven't heard from anyone (including the mysterious Dr. Klein, who put you here in the first place) since. Sound intriguing? It is, and with the release of Escape The Bunker: 1944 by LeviW, you can experience it firsthand. But, you know, in a non-terrifying-life-ending sort of way.
It was supposed to be a quick and easy heist. Break in to the museum, snag the Lupine Twine Amulet, sneak out. Profit! But then, something unfortunate happened: Lucas MacGuffin put the amulet on. With the amulet permanently attached to him, Lucas now had the unfortunate ability to turn into a werewolf whenever he was exposed to moonlight. On top of that, the entire city went into lockdown as a result of his bungled theft. Making delicious lemonade out of those lemons, though, Lucas turned his misfortune into a boon, using his lupine skills to work his way through town in a sokoban-style adventure. MacGuffin's Curse is one of those light-hearted, funny, challenging and visually gorgeous games you won't be able to put down.
Based a decade-plus old arcade game called XKobo by Akira Higuchi, KoboDeluxe is an updated and enhanced version of the original arcade shooter, porting the concept and gameplay over to modern platforms while introducing better animations, high resolution visuals, additional control options, a difficulty selector, and more. Whether you want a nostalgic arcade fix or are looking for a sturdy action challenge, KoboDeluxe will absolutely satisfy your craving.
Life for Lily, like any other visual novel heroine, is fairly typical. She feels like she's adrift after college and is only working at her uncle's restaurant for the money. But is there more to the eclectic staff than anyone might suspect? A free game made in just a month by Cyanide Tea, packed with romance, restaurant hi-jinks, and more than a few surprises you may not see coming.
A lonely, lost robot wakes up to find itself floating towards a strange island. It has no memory of where it came from or what it's doing, but as the little raft touches stable ground, it does what any amnesiac creature might do: runs forward to see what's out there. Gear World may not be the most original concept this side of Cave Story, but the hyper-difficult platforming action and carefully designed levels more than make up for the conventional setting.
When a deadly parasite infestation begins sweeping through a massive tree, crippling it and gradually killing off its inhabitants, heroes are found in the most unlikely of places. Five tiny friends band together to save one last seed and find the source of the monstrous parasites in this surreal point-and-click adventure from Amanita Design that is by turns stunning, otherworldly, engrossing, and even a little frightening.