|Hoshi Saga 3 ||Yoshio Ishii, Nekogames||Puzzle||Browser||Click here to play|
Hoshi Saga 3 is a new collection of puzzles designed by Yoshio Ishii, where the objective of the game is to search for stars hidden in each of the thirty levels included. Practically no instructions are given, and players are expected to solve puzzles by experimenting with random elements found in every stage.
|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.
|Lethal Application ||Daisessen||Action/Arcade||148 MB||Click here to download|
Lethal Application is a 2D action game that introduces a unique gameplay system for moving your character around each stage. Instead of a jump button that most players are accustomed to, we have here a weapon so strong that its recoil effect can propel the protagonist in the opposite of her shot direction.
Using the weapon does deplete your energy resources, which fortunately can be replenished by collecting items marked 'E' scattered around the area. Press the Z key to shoot and the X key to activate your special move. You can swap special moves by pressing the C key but only after acquiring its corresponding power-ups.
The game was originally sold as a commercial doujin title, but was later released as a free download on the developer's official site. There are ten stages to play in total, although this count doesn't include the boss battles that await the player after every one or two normal levels beaten. You might also need to have the Japanese language pack installed on your Windows operating system to be able to run this game.
|Shift ||Antony Lavelle||Platformer||Browser||Click here to play|
Shift is a platformer with puzzle elements based on the idea of shifting dimensions, not unlike one of Nitrome's controversial release from last year. Use the cursor keys to move your character, and press the space key to jump. The left shift key can be used to switch positions.
The game is rather short, but an online high score table which tracks players with the quickest completion time has been included to increase replayability by a small measure.
- Windows, Mac, Linux
|The Freecol Team||Strategy||22.9 MB||Click here to download|
FreeCol is an open version of Colonization, a Civilization-like game in which the player has to conquer the new world.
You start the game with one vessel and two colonists. In the beginning you'll be able to send ships back to Europe in order to sell the goods you've produced or to bring back some colonists. Getting colonists into the new world is an important aspect of the game as each turn takes one year and later on even one season and as a result colonies don't grow as rapidly as they do in Civilization. You can pay colonists to come to the new world or you can attempt to persuade them with the religious freedom of your people in which case they will hop on your vessels for no money at all.
Another important aspect is trade, the source of all income apart from Inca and Aztec gold. In a land filled with precious resources it is important to build your colonies at the right location and to place crafstmen where they belong. This is not only to have an income but also to be able to live off the land when you can no longer count on the support of Europe.
Through all this you'll have to decide whether or not you want to live next to the native americans peacefully. They can teach your colonists new skills that cannot be taught anywhere else and they will offer you goods in case you choose to treat them as your friends. On the other hand, their villages can be attacked and their valuable goods can be taken from them and sold in Europe.
Other European forces are also busy occupying their piece of the new world. Should their borders go too far then take over some of their colonies by force because they wouldn't hesitate to do the same thing to you.
The object of Colonization is to declare your independence and survive an attack of the King's forces. Before declaring your independence you need to have the majority of the people behind you. This can be done by promoting free speech and by providing a strong governmental system.
|Hero Core ||Daniel Remar||Action/Arcade||2.41 MB||Click here to download|
Hero Core is a Metroid-style action shooter that tells the story of Flip Hero, on a mission to destroy his nemesis Cruiser Tetron for the final time. But before taking on the machine warlord in his hideout, there's a bit of exploring to do since every weapon, item or suit upgrade found will actually assist you in completing the main and secondary mission objectives.
The first few rooms act as a tutorial that teaches new players about their suit and weapon controls, the autofire feature, progress saving, and the teleportation ability that warps your hero to a save point previously visited. Because of its non-linearity, you can choose to fight the end boss whenever you want, although players are advised to power-up both their main weapon and suit by at least a couple of levels before tackling that last challenge.
It takes about two hours to explore the entire map in the main story campaign, but there are also other bonus modes to try out, while the hard difficulty offers a completely different gameworld to explore.
|A Game with a Kitty ||Bernie||Platformer||2.86 MB||Click here to download|
A Game with a Kitty is an excellent platformer developed by Bernie in two weeks. The premise is simple, guide Kittey on a quest to investigate the mysterious tower that has magically appeared on the outskirts of his hometown.
The cute little protagonist can jump on enemies to eliminate them. Collect coins to unlock special skills and access unexplored areas, while health can be restored at save points.
|Space Funeral ||thecatamites||RPG||45.8 MB||Click here to download|
A departure from his usual AGS offerings, Stephen's Space Funeral is a role-playing game created using the RPG Maker engine. The story is about a man named Phillip, who is on a journey to reach a place called the City of Forms.
You get to recruit only one travelling companion during the entire adventure, meaning that there is very little party management and individual character stats to worry about here. The exercise of grinding for experience is also kept to a minimum, and you can beat the final boss even before either of your party members reach level twenty or above.
The game takes about two hours to play from start to end, but you have to remind yourself to save often because there are no inns or checkpoints to record your progress for you. Should the random encounters becomes tedious over time, players can also use the auto option to have battles resolved for them automatically.
|Shift 4 ||Antony Lavelle||Platformer||Browser||Click here to play|
In Shift 4 you're in control of an astronaut whose ship was attacked by a giant squid, forcing our protagonist to make an emergency landing at the closest planet. Waking up to find your family members missing, you decide to explore a deserted facility nearby and search for clues about their current whereabouts.
This particular episode is a little more challenging than previous releases, since players are required to switch between two or more characters often to solve some of the harder puzzles. New gameplay elements such as gravity and contact-sensitive switches are introduced at a steady pace, which is a boon considering that the map is a lot less linear and there is a bit of backtracking to do as well.
|Winged Gear ||ZAP||Shoot 'em up||9.56 MB||Click here to download|
Winged Gear is another superb freeware title from Japan that could be described as a mix of Smash TV and SHMUP-type gameplay elements. The game is essentially a top down shooter where you have to guide a ship from room to room full of enemies to shoot at.
You're only allowed to exit a room once it has been cleared of every single hostile unit. There's a time limit that makes matter difficult, but it is usually replenished when you enter a new room.
Special items can be collected to increases your ship's firepower for a short while or replenish your bomb supply. The developers have also thrown in a two player mode as an added bonus.