Please, Don’t Touch Anything is part puzzle game and part adventure game, even though you never leave the confines of your office. Actually, “adventure” might be a little much. It’s more of an exploration game in which you are trying to figure out just what the hell is going on. You begin with a single button and, from there, can work towards 22 different endings ranging from nuking the city that flickers on your screen to summoning Cthulhu himself and unleashing hell on earth. Regardless of the ending you discover (helpfully marked by a glowing LED on the bottom of your panel), you then hit Restart, revert back to your one-button state and try for something new.
It’s an incredibly strange game, but can be hugely rewarding when you get that one clue that pushes you forward. Please, Don’t Touch Anything is currently available for PC/Mac on Steam, but is making its way to iOS later this year. Much like the somewhat similar (yet infinitely darker) Papers, Please, this seems like a perfect fit for a touchscreen device.
Do not adjust your set, this is an actual screenshot.
Despite its chess-sounding title, Shibuya Grandmaster has nothing to do with rooks or kings. It’s actually a simple color matching puzzle game, but one that Owen has been praising since its first iteration on the App Store back in 2010. This is one of the better puzzlers out there and, of course, it had to arrive last week when Pocket Tactics was experiencing abandonment issues.
Shibuya Grandmaster is an incredibly simple game, borrowing its theme from Tetris, but somehow making it even more basic. Colored blocks fall from the top of the screen. When 2 or more of the same color are adjacent, you can choose to remove them from the screen. You might choose to not remove them in order to add more of that color to the stack and rack up more points but, of course, you’re tempting fate by doing so.
Unlike Tetris which had multiple shapes floating down, Shibuya’s blocks are all one size and all stack neatly in one column. I know, this doesn’t make any sense. You really need to see it in action to believe it, but be ready for the urge to give it a go yourself. To help you do just that, developer Nevercenter has made Shibuya Grandmaster a free-to-play game. Before you run off screaming, realize that it’s not just any free-to-play system. This one is entirely free with no catches: no timers, currencies or ads. In fact, the only thing to spend money on are customizations of the backgrounds and color schemes. Each new background or visual change will run you $1, but they’re all completely optional. You can spend $5 to get the “forever” mode which will buy you everything now and everything that’s released for the life of the game. Again, however, completely unnecessary.
After the break, check out a trailer for Shibuya Grandmaster and then head over to the App Store to pick it up for iOS Universal or Android.
One of the first games I downloaded when I bought my first iPhone was Spider: Secret of Bryce Manor which was a fairly standard puzzler/platformer with a twist: your avatar is a disgusting, evil-hearted spider. Gameplay included examining locations inside the titular Bryce Manor and filling it with dust-collecting, fear-inducing webs. If you haven’t figured it out, I hate spiders.
Bryce Manor was a darling of the early App Store, offering a unique take on platformers and might have been the first game to truly understand the strengths and weaknesses of the touchscreen interface. There were no virtual joysticks or buttons, just tapping on where you wanted your eight-legged critter to jump. Couple that with a mysterious story that was told entirely with the graphics and environments, and Bryce Manor became one of my favorite games.
It’s been nearly six years since Bryce Manor debuted, and now Tiger Style has announced a release date for the sequel, Spider: Rite of the Shrouded Moon. Gameplay looks very similar to Bryce Manor, however the location is now Blackbird Estate and they’ve added a few new features. First is real-time night/day and weather cycles. Basically, if it’s raining outside where you’re playing, it will be raining in the game. Also, the sequel is bigger. There are over 30 different levels inside the mansion with seven main puzzles to solve.
Spider: Rite of the Shrouded Moon will be released for iOS on August 6th with an Android release coming shortly thereafter. Check out the trailer after the break. Arachnophobes need not apply.
I thought we had gone a week without missing any good Wednesday night releases, then Lines popped up in my inbox this morning. Lines the Game, as its formally known, is another puzzle game with a minimalist aesthetic that’s all the rage these days. Yeah, that made me roll my eyes a bit, too, but Lines has a few things going for it. First of all, it’s a premium game with a $3 price tag, over 200 levels, and no IAP. Also, I’ve been playing it a bit this morning, and it’s actually a good bit of fun.
The point of Lines is to create the longest line of a single color, but there are other colors streaking through the rather complex line drawings and blocking your path like Tron light cycles. Your color is indicated by the color of the level’s border and you place points on the drawing where your color will begin, and then its a race to fill up the entire picture. To “solve” the puzzle, you just need to be the one taking up the most real estate. It’s incredibly simple at the beginning, but turns into a real brain burner as you move forward. What makes it more interesting is, when you fail, the board resets but the other colors begin in different locations. So, you cannot just replay a puzzle repeatedly and change your starting spot, you need to analyze where everybody else is each time a new puzzle begins.
Lines is available for iOS Universal for $3. Check out the trailer after the break.
Owen here, covering for Dave while he attends an evil sidekick symposium. Did you know that henchmen are more than twenty times more likely to be injured on the job than sinister masterminds? Well, not at Pocket Tactics — safety is the most important thing in our volcano lair high atop Mount Hexmap. Well, aside from the volcano. There’s a few unavoidable risks associated with that. Some.
Anyway. Tonight is an excellent release night, you know? Maybe the best of 2015 so far. I’ve played almost everything in tonight’s crop, and I’m pretty enthusiastic about, oh, 75% of the games going. Let me tell you all about it after the jump.
While not normally associated with having a great time, working in a bureaucracy can still make a rather interesting setting for a video game. Papers, Please immediately comes to mind as the crown jewel of the genre. While that title dealt with subjects darker than a Spinal Tap album cover, Human Resource Machine takes a lighter approach. Actually, the paper pushing aspects of the game turn out to be a rather elaborate skin hiding a functional computer. Human Resource Machine turns out to be a puzzle game in which writing code is the solution to every problem.
The “office” in Human Resource Management is a basic computer. It has inputs, outputs and slots to hold items, or memory. You will program your workers–using a simplified coding language–to manipulate these items to solve problems that the boss throws at you.
If that doesn’t sound cool enough, realize that the developers of the game are the same guys behind the phenomenal World of Goo, so they know what they’re doing. Unfortunately, the game is only scheduled for release on PC/Mac at this point, but they are keeping their options open for other platforms. Here’s hoping for a tablet version down the road.
Check out the trailer after the break. Looks too good not to give it a go, doesn’t it?
We love Auro. You love Auro. As far as I know, everyone loves Auro. Why wouldn’t we? It’s another fantastic puzzly romp from famed developer Keith Burgun and Dinofarm Games. I get the feeling that Keith doesn’t think it’s the perfect game, however, because today he started a Kickstarter project to raise cash for an Auro expansion.
The biggest promise offered in the expansion is a Quest Mode, which will push Auro towards a fully-fledged RPG where you explore, loot, and do all the other stuff kids are doing in RPGs these days. There will also, of course, be new monsters and spells as well as new versions of all the existing content as well. Basically, what they’re promising is an entirely new game with Auro at its core.
The Kickstarter just opened, and Keith is looking to collect $32,000 over the next month. Head on over and check out all the details and goodies and see if an Auro expansion is something you want. (Hint: it is.)
If Game of the Year were decided on June 1st this year, there’s no doubt that Card Crawl would be one of the finalists. It might be the perfect iPhone game, offering decent strategy, tactics, and luck in quick bursts. It’s fairly incredible that this solitaire puzzle game which consists of a small deck of 50+ cards has the legs it does, and yet I’m still not bored with it. Chances are I won’t get bored with it for a long time, because Tinytouchtales just announced that Card Crawl is getting a major update next week.
The update is bringing a load of new content to Card Crawl, starting with 3 new unlock able avatars: the archer, the assassin, and the woodlouse-lord, whatever that might be. These new characters will be unlocked via quests that you can obtain from a new Quest screen on the main menu. Other quests will unlock new dealers as well–Undead and Alchemist–so we can give the minotaur a rest every now and then.
There will be 10 new special ability cards to obtain, and many of the original cards are having their powers updated. There will also be two new modes of play: streak mode which opens once all the ability cards are gained and rewards you for consecutive wins, and daily dungeon mode in which players will be given a fixed deck and try to get the high scores on the online leaderboards.
On top of all that, some of the card art is being updated, and a new save mode is being introduced to prevent games from being lost when the app is closed. They are also incorporating a statistics screen to give you more info on your wins and losses.
The update for Card Crawl is coming on June 11th, and on the same day the game is going on sale for $1 until the 14th. Currently the game is $2 for iOS Universal, but will be jumping up to $3 after the sale ends. Teaser for the update after the break.