I’ve been on a little bit of a retro arcade shooter binge lately. I’m not sure how this started, but sometimes you just want to shoot lasers at something. No Stick Shooter delivers with an intense, frenetic game that’s like Missile Command turned up to 11.
Posts tagged with "game day"
I live near a huge arcade called the Galloping Ghost that’s packed with classic arcade games. I visit once or twice a year and am always struck by how hard some of the early space shooters, like Defender, are. I got the same feeling the moment I launched Steredenn, a fast-paced, insanely difficult space shooter from French indie game studio Pixelnest that is equal parts addictive and fun.
Old Man’s Journey by Vienna-based Broken Rules is equal parts game and story. You play as an old man who receives a letter that seems to upset him. He immediately grabs a backpack and walking stick and sets out into the countryside on a journey. Along the way, you clear a path for the traveler by manipulating the landscape to solve a series of puzzles. The puzzles aren’t difficult, but they help draw you into the beautiful interactive environment and pique your curiosity about the man’s story. Before long, I found myself completely absorbed by Old Man’s Journey.
Brian Mueller’s CARROT series of apps serve up healthy doses of snark along with the weather, fitness, tasks, and alarms. It’s a style that is immediately recognizable and adds an element of humor and fun that give his apps personality. That unexpected game-like quality, combined with utility and productivity apps, is what makes Mueller’s apps stand out from the crowd. Watching the family of CARROT apps grow over the years, it’s not surprising at all that Mueller has taken what feels like the next logical step and made an iOS game. A.S.I. brings CARROT, the star in his apps, to life in a sprawling and fun sci-fi sendup of artificial intelligence and tech culture.
The clean, elegant design of Antitype caught my eye immediately. It’s a scrambled word game from BorderLeap that’s all about opposites. From its design to its gameplay, what makes Antitype unlike other word games is its unique approach that requires you to think about its puzzles differently than you would other word games. That makes the rules a little hard to grasp when you first try Antitype, but once you have the system down, it’s addicting.
Invert from Copenhagen-based Glitchnap stretches the concept of tile flipping games in new directions. The only constants in the game are that each flippable tile has two different colored sides, and the goal is to flip them, so the board is one, uniform color. Glitchnap describes Invert as a 2D Rubik’s cube-like puzzle game, which is apt on many levels.
Invert starts with fairly simple puzzles laid out in a grid with only a few flipped tiles. The challenge is that you can only flip whole rows of tiles at once requiring you to consider the impact on other tiles in the row. As the game progresses, Invert introduces the ability to flip tiles in patterns other than rows. The buttons at the end of each row of tiles indicate the shape of the flip pattern. It’s a small difference that adds complexity because it forces you to consider how each pattern interacts with the others adjacent to it.
Any game with Dropbears has to be good, right? Maybe not any game, but it works for Mallow Drops, a title created by Gritfish Games and published by Green Stripe Snake. Mallow Drops debuted on Steam late last year and landed on the App Store earlier this week. Part platformer, part sliding tile puzzle, the real key to Mallow Drops’ success is its unique gameplay.
Pocus is the latest mind-bending puzzle game from Ankara-based developer Gamebra.in, a husband and wife duo that is known for their challenging puzzles. The game shares a common visual style with Gamebra.in’s earlier titles but has the most in common with the hit game Hocus as the names of the two games suggest.
Whereas Hocus is about navigating a cube around a variety of Escher-like geometric structures, Pocus is always played on three sides of one or more 3D cubes. Each side of a cube is composed of a 6x6 grid. Most of the squares in the grid are gray, but others are black or other colors. You play as a red with a black dot on it. The goal is to move your red square across the three sides of the cubes to collect green squares.
Simple puzzles that make you think are a great way to unwind. Getting the hang of playing them is easy, which eliminates any up-front frustration. The challenge is all in the puzzle itself, which is an excellent distraction from whatever might be on your mind. There is virtually no friction to getting started with Trilogic, the follow-up to developer 1Button’s game called Bicolor. That makes Trilogic’s progressively tricky puzzles a perfect escape for brief moments throughout the day.