|Zoo Keeper DX ||ROBOT||Puzzle||Browser||Click here to play|
Zoo Keeper DX is a matching game by ROBOT which involves swapping tiles around to make matches of three or more. This updated version includes special tiles which can be used as a substitute for any tile on board, a helpful hint feature, and the handy checklist to keep track of your level objectives.
|Opera Omnia |
- Windows, Mac
|Stephen Lavelle, increpare||Puzzle||4.58 MB||Click here to download|
In Opera Omnia you play a state historian who is charged by his politician friend to come up with convenient theories about migration in the past. Basically, you have to think backwards: if people were in this city during a plague, and if plagues reduce population, that means that they had to have had a lot of people in order to survive that plague: thus, plagues actually increase population if you work backwards in time.
The challenge of each level is that you're given something to prove -- such as prove that 300,000 people lived in this city a long time ago -- and you adjust migration patterns that will show how 300,000 people could have lived in that city a long time ago.
The gameplay may be a bit hard to "get" at first, and a lot of the people I've recommended the game to had a hard time wrapping their mind around the concept, but if you do manage to do it you'll find it a clever gameplay mechanic and some interesting challenges unlike most other games. There's also a pretty well-written story over the span of its 20 levels. - Paul Eres
|Snowblind Aces |
- Windows, Mac, Linux
|C.E.J. Pacian||Adventure||0.92 MB||Click here to download|
Snowblind Aces is another IF adventure game by Pacian, author of Poizoned Mind and Gun Mute. The game is linear and short, though there's plenty of conversation threads for the curious to follow and explore. A helpful hint system is accessible at any time.
|Castle of Elite ||Daniel Remar||Puzzle||1.59 MB||Click here to download|
Castle of Elite is an excellent puzzle platformer by Daniel Remar that has the distinction of using both keyboard and mouse for controls. The game eases you in slowly with easy-to-follow tutorials for the first quarter of the adventure, offering hints as needed with the press of a key.
Pick up blocks resembling Tetris shapes and place them using the mouse to create new platforms. Beat devious traps and perform death-defying jumps.
NES-related tributes and unlockables exist as well, making this a definite keeper.
- Windows, Mac
|Michael Mateas, Andrew Stern||Adventure||167 MB||Click here to download|
Facade is an artificial intelligence experiment by Michael Mateas and Andrew Stern, an attempt to move beyond traditional branching or hyper-linked narrative to create a fully-realized, one-act interactive drama. Within this architecture they have built a dramatically interesting, real-time 3D virtual world inhabited by computer-controlled characters, in which the player experiences a story from a first-person perspective.
The character you play is a longtime friend of Grace and Trip, an attractive and materially successful couple in their early thirties. During an evening get-together at their apartment that quickly turns ugly, you become entangled in the high-conflict dissolution of Grace and Tripfs marriage. No one is safe as the accusations fly, sides are taken and irreversible decisions are forced to be made. By the end of this intense one-act play you will have changed the course of Grace and Tripfs lives, motivating you to re-play the drama to find out how your interaction could make things turn out differently the next time.
Somewhere between a video game and a drama, Facade takes advantage of voice acting and a 3-D environment, as well as natural language processing and other advanced artificial intelligence routines to provide a robust interactive fiction experience. Using full typed sentences the player can coach the couple through their troubles or drive them to be more distant from each other.
This work is unlike hypertext narrative or interactive fiction to date in that the computer characters actively perform the story without waiting for you to click on a link or enter a command. Interaction is seamless as you converse in natural language and move and gesture freely within the first-person 3D world of Grace and Tripfs apartment. AI controls Grace and Tripfs personality and behavior, including emotive facial expressions, spoken voice and full-body animation. Furthermore, the AI intelligently chooses the next story 'beat' based on your moment-by-moment interaction, what story beats have happened so far, and the need to satisfy an overall dramatic arc.
The player can take an active role in the conversation, pushing the topic one way or another to provide an interactive stage-play. These stage-plays are saved as scripts which can be saved after the game is finished.
|Journey to the Center of the Earth ||Dot Zo Games||Platformer||12.8 MB||Click here to download|
Journey to the Center of the Earth is an exploration platform game in which you play the role of a treasure hunter, out to retrieve forty pieces of relics from the ruins of an ancient civilization. You carry an unlimited number of bombs that can be used to hurt enemies or launch yourself higher into the air. A treasure map showing location hints and relics collected is accessible by pressing the A key at any time.
The game runs at a resolution of 1280 by 720 pixels, but you can also play it in full screen mode by pressing the F4 function key. There is no progress save feature, so you will have to spend about half an hour or more to complete the entire adventure in one go.
|Beacon ||Chevy Ray Johnston||Platformer||3.36 MB||Click here to download|
Depending on how good you are at overcoming difficult challenges, Beacon can be a rather lengthy platformer that will take some time to beat. Shadows are lurking in every corner waiting for our protagonist to make a wrong move, but as luck would have it a beacon of light appears out of nowhere to help him illuminate the way forward.
The beacon will occasionally take a branching path that is out of your reach, and you would have to rely on the light from blue and red crystals just as often to progress.
|Squid and Let Die ||Oddbob||Action/Arcade||15.1 MB||Click here to download|
Squid and Let Die is a fast-paced arcade game in which players have to collect all dots on screen to progress to the next level. Cannons will try to home in on your position and fire a shot at you, but you can dodge them with ease if you move quickly enough.
The key to advancing in this game is to trick those cannons into shooting, since the cannons are immobilized while their shots still remain on the grid. The controls will take some getting used to, but players with a fondness for classic gaming will certainly want to add Oddbob's latest to their collection.
|Grid Wars |
- Windows, Mac, Linux
|Mark Incitti||Shoot 'em up||2.98 MB||Click here to download|
GridWars is basically a PC version of the popular Xbox 360 game, Geometry Wars. Made by Mark Incitti, this release features less special effects compared to the original but also new controls to cater for players who do not own a dual analog joypad.
The hybrid option control allows a player to use both mouse and keyboard for ship movement as well as aiming their shots. There's a Mac version as well.
|White Chamber, The: International Edition |
|Studio Trophis||Adventure||358 MB||Click here to download|
Warning: Contains strong language and graphic scenes.
The White Chamber: International Edition is a new version of Studio Trophis' debut effort. Smaller than it's predecessor, it includes four new endings and voice acting as well.
There are plenty of easter eggs to be found, and some are hinted at the end of each adventure. Fans of the original certainly won't be disappointed with the extras.