Last summer, Error300 Games released Mosaic Chronicles, a unique puzzle game where the main task is assembling pieces of stained glass to create art (and reveal parts of a story). Until now the game was a PC exclusive, but it’s soon coming to mobile devices too.
Australian indie duo Melting Parrot had our attention with their three-word pitch for their new horror adventure game DAP: “Mononoke meets Pikmin.” And looking over the promotional materials, that is indeed what you get. In DAP, you’re trapped in a haunted and hostile forest, but you seem to have made a friend — in the form of small, white, ghostlike creatures called Daps. They’ll do whatever you say, and they just may be your ticket out of there. Command the Daps to fight monsters, break through barriers and solve puzzles. If you explore deep enough you might be able to analyze the cause of the forest’s corruption and cure it. Just be careful, as you can’t lead the Daps everywhere. There’s a deadly virus going around, and it doesn’t just harm you — it turns any Dap it touches into an enemy!
Good news! Beth Harmon from The Queen’s Gambit and Crazy Harry from The Muppet Show just had a baby, and its name is CHESSPLOSION! Clear each stage of enemy pieces by placing bombs and avoiding fire from their moves. If you’re worried anything with “chess” in it might be too heady for you, don’t be — this isn’t really a chess game, it’s more of a bomb-themed puzzle game that happens to use a chessboard as its point of action, though the pieces you use follow chess movement rules (some can only move forward, some can move diagonally, etc). Chessplosion has multiple modes: in Adventure Mode you face off against rooks, knights, bishops and several boss battles. In Puzzle Mode you are given over 100 puzzles to complete by strategically laying out a limited number of bombs. In Survival mode you try to last as long as possible against never-ending waves of chess pieces, and in Battle Mode two players can challenge each other, or even play something akin to tennis but with chess bombs. Features
Stained glass art is pretty, but making it is painstaking, backbreaking work. Good thing, then, that you can get the experience virtually in a new puzzle game from Error300 Games: Mosaic Chronicles. On each screen, you’re given a canvas and many pieces of stained glass. Each piece will only fit in one spot, and you must find it, much like a cardboard puzzle (but prettier to look at). The art you’re assembling illustrates two stories from Belarusian author Olga Gromyko: “A Bit of Horoscoping” and “The Lucky Knot.” Each completed piece tells a part of the story and you’ll learn more as you play. Marina Makarevskaya, the director and designer of Mosaic Chronicles, says she got the inspiration from staring at art created for another game. “While working on a different game, I looked at Lena Maćków’s stunning art and realized that it would be just perfect for a puzzle game,” she says. “But a game also needs a story. Since I read a lot and used to work as a translator, I kept in touch with some of the authors I worked with in the past—such as Olga Gromyko, who has written captivating short stories and novellas. The rest, as they say, is history!”
Publisher Hatinh Interactive and developer Nerd Monkeys are bringing their new puzzle platformer Out Of Line to PCs later this month. You name is San. You’re an expressionless young man in a parka who’s never known any world beyond the factory you grew up in and were possibly created inside. But that ends today…with your trusty spear, you’ve escaped and are determined to get as far away from the factory as possible. The bots in charge are out searching for you, and the environment itself has plenty of obstacles. Good thing San can wedge his spear into the wall and use it as a platform to bounce up tall ledges. The spear is capable of other things too, depending on the situation. It can activate switches, operate platforms, or render the gears of a pursuing boss bot non-functional. As you venture further, the puzzles get tougher, and so do the memories, revived via collectible fragments. San will eventually learn the full story behind his origin, and he may not like it.
Remember Professor Lupo And His Horrible Pets? They’re back. Famed studio BeautiFun Games, creators of 2012’s award-winning game Nihilumbra, are returning to their puzzle adventure with a new story and a new protagonist in Professor Lupo: Ocean. The gameplay is similar to the original: enter room after room, solve a puzzle to make a safe passage for yourself and avoid the monsters roaming about. This time, you’re a young amnesiac trying to escape an abandoned ship. Who are you and what does the Professor want with you? Solve the puzzles to find out…
When you think about, the success of escape rooms owes a lot to video games. If an entire generation hadn’t grown up with puzzle-solving mechanics in virtual rooms, they wouldn’t have a desire to re-enact those mechanics in real life. Now things have come full-circle with Mad Experiments: Escape Room, a video game version of the phenomenon borne from video games. The premise: you’ve been invited by the reclusive Professor Cheshire to his remote mansion, to participate in an experiment. Little do you realize the subject of that experiment is you. You’ve now got to solve Cheshire’s puzzles and escape his mansion alive! The game cane be played in online co-op and single player modes. This is an Early Access title that has just been released….so as it is, Mad Experiments consists of just one room. But since this is a work in progress, other rooms will be added to the game gradually. A second room is scheduled for release this June.
Publisher META Publishing and indie developer NEXT Studios have released Biped on Steam! What’s a Biped? It’s a creature that walks on two legs, and it describes the two characters at the center of this game. You and a friend control two bipedal robots one leg at a time….meaning your left control stick moves the left leg and your right control stick moves the right. Or if you’re on a keyboard and mouse setup, the left and right mouse buttons work the same way. Traversing the landscape this way is tricky, but it’s part of the fun. You and your partner cooperate to solve puzzles, move blocks, roll platforms and much more. Biped can be played solo, local multiplayer or in online co-op.
Polish game developer SONKA is putting Mars Power Industries on the Nintendo Switch next week. You won’t be colonizing Mars in this one…because it was already colonized a long time ago, and it doesn’t seem to have gone very well. THIS trip to the Red Planet is for the purpose of figuring out what went wrong. It’s a solo mission. As you explore the colony and solve the mystery, your ultimate goal is to power everything back up, and you’ll do this by solving puzzles in each area. It’s a pretty chill puzzler, with no real penalties for doing anything wrong (unlike the last time they tried doing something on Mars). SONKA calls this a “Zen Puzzler” (sounds like something slightly above the waterfall puzzler we just covered).
There are fast-paced, twitchy, edge-of-your-seat games….and then there’s Spring Falls, designed to be as soft and calming a gaming experience as possible. This upcoming puzzler was designed by developer SPARSE//GameDev, which is actually a one-man studio….so let’s call him Mr. SPARSE. Mr. SPARSE has created a game where your goal is to direct the flow of water as it travels down polygon-shaped mountains. The idea is to create the best environment possible for plant life, so if you can make the mountain blossom with flowers, you win. Onto the next mountain, where the solution will be a bit trickier.
Flying Beast Labs, a game developer out of Madrid, is hard at work on their puzzler Magic Twins. It’s an arcade co-op for one to two players where the titular characters, Abra and Cadabra, must use their color powers to defeat waves of hued enemies. The strategy is basic (one color will defeat another) but challenging to master. And it’s the foundation for a great variety of gameplay: you’ll have different objectives in every level, you’ll have large bosses to take down, and special events will mix things up further. Flying Beast cites Puzzle Bobble, Plants vs. Zombies and Overcooked as inspirations behind Magic Twins.
These days it takes a lot for a game to stand out visually, but William Chyr Studio’s Manifold Garden manages to pull it off. It’s a spacious puzzle game where you’re wandering an Escher-like world of staircases and platforms in first-person. This world was once filled with plant life, but it’s fallen on bad times. Your main task as you explore is to reroute the flow of nutrients and revitalize the vast garden. The puzzles may be obtuse at first, but gravity is at your command…you can walk up walls and on ceilings by shifting the center of gravity to your needs. If you fall, no worries…you’re in a repeating void, so you’ll just loop back around to where you fell from. One puzzle block at a time, you’ll figure Manifold Garden out.