April 8, 2012
Prolific indie author Increpare has released two new Flash games today: Crab Planet is a bit like minesweeper, but the player is embodied within the game board and the mines might be moving. Coca T is a bit like pick-up sticks, but focused more on the vertices than the lines. Both leave their game-logic up to the player to suss out.
February 21, 2012
Increpare has released two new simple browser games in rapid succession, each with rules left up to the player to discover: Promises is a brilliant little single-screen game that demands a mere 5 or so minutes of your time. Answer that demand. Negative Space looks like Tetris and controls like Tetris, but does not respond like Tetris. [more inside]
February 8, 2012
MIRRORMOON (windows, mac) is a brief first-person puzzle-exploration game that might last 5 to 15 minutes, depending on how quickly you figure things out. You are given very little context for how to proceed. You are on a mostly barren red planet. Another planet is visible in the sky. Perhaps it's blocking your view of the sun, perhaps not. Text on screen tells you to use WASD to move. Later the mouse will start working as well, but not in the way you're used to.
December 5, 2011
Snake on a Plane (adobe flash, free) shares some elements with classic Snake. But by adding gravity, we end up with a surprisingly brilliant puzzle game. You can stretch upward (or wriggle around in any formation) as long as part of your snakebody is still on solid ground. Eating a pellet will extend your body one square further, thus allowing you to access portions of the screen that were previously inaccessible. A few environmental elements are introduced throughout the meager 10 levels currently on display. Perhaps you could convince the developer to make more.
October 31, 2011
Against the Wall (in-browser through Unity, download also available) is a 3-D, first-person perspective game current in Alpha in which you are tasked with traversing a sheer wall-face. Clicking the mouse will cause the blocks that make up the wall to protrude or retract, allowing you to puzzle your way through a path that will lead you (presumably) higher and higher. Some small touches make this utterly compelling: the blocks have momentum and can push you off your footing; if you're standing on a block as you command it to protrude, you'll be carried along with it, away from the wall. There also appears to be at least one civilization built up along the wall. In this Alpha build, there are at least three events/surprises for you to discover. The final release (date unspecifies) promises much more. [more inside]
October 10, 2011
Beret (freeware, Win/Mac/Linux) is the best game I've played this year. It has gotten a shockingly small amount of press despite sporting some of the most consistently well-crafted level design I've seen. It may on the surface look like an early-90s 2-D platformer, but it is in fact a brilliant puzzle game in disguise. Its central mechanic is limited-range telekinesis, and while it steadily introduces new, novel elements throughout the game, your little avatar gains no new abilities. It also makes use of a save-/restore-state feature to distill what might otherwise feel like action sequences into their pure puzzley essence. And while the developer has implemented an unlockable level-editor, at the moment no user-crafted levels have been posted to the game's burgeoning forum. Please fix that. [more inside]
February 1, 2011
SpaceChem is an excellent sci-fi puzzle game about making chemical compounds using a circuit-like interface. Rock, Paper, Shotgun gave it high marks and generally has lots of nice things to say about its designer, Zach Barth. Sound familiar? It should - he's the genius behind the now-defunct Infiniminer, cited by Notch as the inspiration for Minecraft.