A blog about casual gaming

New games round-up

New games round-up

Worried that you are running out of casual games to play? Don't fret, for we have just found another ten great new games to keep your gaming withdrawal symptoms at bay.

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Published by Andy Jowett on 22nd March 2011

We're back once again with the best new games on the web that are free, free, FREE!!! So what have we got this week? Well, the question should really be what don't we have. And the answer would be nothing.

There's gems and bulls and bears and flappers and hamsters and robots and zombies and more robots and sushi. Lots of sushi. Oh and The Great Gatsby. That really is everything isn't it?

1 GemCraft Labyrinth

It began with something like an eclipse... Thus opens another chapter in the incredibly popular GemCraft saga. After the darkness and the storms come the fierce creatures of the wilderness. Like a bunch of wusses, the simple townsfolk skidaddle leaving you to face the hordes alone. Bloody peasants. You also have the pressing matter of taking the Great Test, for which you have been practising your sword and sorcery for so many years.

So off you go to negotiate the local labyrinth. Thankfully, there's no David Bowie prancing about in pixie tights, but that doesn't mean you won't encounter other, perhaps event more disturbing, scenes. To do battle with the monsters within, you need to create some bad-ass gemstones and place them around the labyrinth's paths to protect your magic orb. Very important, your orb.

It's your classic tower defence stuff. You'll need forethought and strategy to watch over the various routes to the source of your power - and the truly massive labyrinth is sure to keep you playing level after level against the forces of darkness. Play GemCraft Labyrinth here. For a twist on the theme, you might also want to check out Ghost Hacker here.

2 Ninja Hamsters vs Robots

The title says it all, really: Ninja Hamsters vs Robots. How could this possibly be anything less than brilliant? This good old cartoon arcade adventure pitches your furry master of all arts martial against parachuting metal machines intent, no doubt, on wreaking havoc and anything else they can wreak while they're at it. Doing battle with the waves of artificially intelligent baddies requires some fancy mouse clicking, which flings our hero hamster around the screen building up combos and basically knocking three shades of bits out of the computerised blighters.

As you go, you can pick up sushi, which can then be used to purchase upgrades to make your little fella the hardest hamster this side of Hanoi. Or Hawaii. Or Huddersfield. There's also a sushi chef, who'll dish out sage advice to help you on your way (most of which, it has to be said, seems to revolve around you getting more sushi). Putting together combos, beating up bosses and picking up upgrades will also unlock special sushi recipes - round up all eight to win!

Limber up your clicking finger and play Ninja Hamster vs Robots here.

3 BiteJacker

This brilliantly gory and wonderfully realised retro effort takes you back to the glory days of Commodore 64 and Spectrum gaming, when a mere 20-odd minute wait would take you on amazing adventures in blocky worlds of fantasy. The action in BiteJacker starts, funnily enough, with a games review that goes awry as one of your TV film crew has gone and gotten themselves turned into a zombie, which has got to put a question mark over their employer's health and safety record.

Anyway, you can choose to play as either not-too-sharp presenter Anthony Carboni or his reliable cameraman sidekick Jonathan Rivera as you sprint through the city blasting the walking dead back into the ground, become the heroic saviour of frightened survivors and nick off with any unguarded loot that's been left lying around.

You quickly realise there's no time to hang around as the brain-dead bounders accost you from every angle, so keep moving, keep shooting and keep an eye on your awesome-o-meter. Play BiteJacker here.

4 Cube Android Saves the Galaxy

More trouble with robots here. This time, we learn from the Star Wars-inspired intro, mysterious metal cubes have started to enclose the planets of your home galaxy. To put an end to this beastly behaviour, you must take charge of the little android from the scrap world they forgot to invade and steal the batteries powering the invading fleet's boxes of oppression.

Doesn't sound too tricky does it? Well, you'll need to liberate each side of each en-cubed planet using a mixture of puzzle solving, good timing and Pac Man-esque nimbleness as you dodge rollersaws, block canons and run for the safety of your little droid ship.

Can you save the day and free the galaxy from an eternity of cube-based tyranny? I don't know, do I? I just write the reviews. I've never even met you. Find out for yourself here.

5 Sushi Cat 2

More sushi now. In the follow-up to Armor Games' Sushi Cat, you find yourself cast as a blue cartoon cat (obviously) who is chasing a mangy mutt through a garishly coloured shopping mall in an effort to recover your beloved squeaky toy. And how is your goal to be achieved?

By dropping yourself from on high into varying and increasingly elaborate arrangements of raw fish delicacies so you can munch your way to victory. If only all problems could be solved in such a civilised way. Take note, UN.

Part-puzzle, part-physics game and with the cutesy factor cranked all the way up to 11, Sushi Cat 2 is incredibly simple but also extremely addictive. Plus, there's lots of little touches that give it the character to lift it above the run-of-the-mill. For instance, collecting golden sushi unlocks a variety of outfits for your feline - pirate, ninja, archer, diver etc - for no particular reason.

It's also strangely satisfying to see your character grow rounder and rounder the more he gobbles up and as he's squeezed and squashed through through turning wheels, forcefields and pinball flippers. Makes you hungry, though. Play Sushi Cat 2 here. Tackle the original Sushi Cat here. If you still want more cute (and frankly if you do, you should probably seek professional counselling), then take on Casual Girl Gamer favourite Pig Detective here.

6 Hack Slash Crawl

Never let it be said that browser games lack ambition. Because they don't. So there. Want proof? Well, cast your peepers over Hack Slash Crawl, the action game where no two experiences are the same. Taking its cue from the sword and sorcery quests of Dungeons & Dragons, even choosing your character is a mind-bogglingly open-ended affair, as you can pick from a variety of mythical species (werewolves, dragons, demons and, er, humans) and warrior classes, each of which has their own strengths and weaknesses.

Once you've got yourself kitted out, it's off to the deep, dark recesses of the dungeons to find your fortune (although why do dungeon designers always leave truckloads of riches lying around in what are supposed to be prisons?). Like any classic roleplaying games, you pick up armour, spells and nifty new weapons on your odyssey, which help to turn you from a wimpy novice into a battle-hardened adventurer who is most definitely not to be trifled with.

Developer Void claims no two dungeons are the same, so don't look to me for any tips on success. Just get in there, gallop around and beat the living bejiggery out of anything that gets in your way. Play Hack Slash Crawl here. For more dungeon-based antics, try out Glorg here.

7 A Mother in Festerwood

Time for a change of pace. This rather touching game from Missouri-based developer Austin Breed takes its inspiration from that difficult period of adulthood when your grown-up kids fly the nest, without so much as the decency to settle their bill first. The ungrateful little... Erm, anyway. It's all about letting go while hoping you've equipped the carriers of your genetic material with enough know how to get through this rough, tough world while encountering as little disaster and despair as possible.

The simple set-up of A Mother in Festerwood illustrates this rather beautifully. Your little house sits in a clearing surrounded by deep, dark woods wherein lurk all manner of ghouls, ravenous animals and creepy crawlies. Your adventurous young sprog is keen to get out and about to explore and it's up to you to ensure they can rove around picking up XP points without venturing beyond the safe boundary around the homestead before they're ready.

It's a thoughtful, even philosophical, game in a similar vein to Gregory Weir's dreamy Majesty of Colors. If you're up for more mulling of the metaphysical, then check out our 20 games that make you think about life. Oh and play A Mother in Festerwood here.

8 Tasty Planet

The next entry on this week's round-up is Dingo Games' B-movie inspired Tasty Planet. Once again, man's folly has unwittingly unleashed a dangerous force against the world - namely you. You, in this case, is a amorphous blob of grey gunk designed to be the ultimate bathroom cleaner. However, after escaping from the lab, you soon start to gobble up more than specks of dirt and grime. Not content with wiping out nine out of ten household germs, you now want to eat anything smaller than yourself.

Using the arrow keys, you whiz around the screen following target arrows to consume everything lower down the food chain. The clever part is, as you munch, you grow in size, which means you can start eating bigger and bigger stuff. The story progresses thanks to little comic book cutscenes that follow your journey from petri dish to planet-botherer. Tremendous fun, provided you have no qualms about gobbling up little mice, doggies and cats. Sample Tasty Planet here.

9 Burrito Bison

Juicy Beast would have a good chance of taking this week's award for best game intro with the wonderful artwork for Burrito Bison. But, er, we don't have an award for best game intro. Not to worry. The basic premise of the game is simple enough, if completely bizarre. Abducted into Candy Land by sinister little gummy bears while doing your grocery shopping (following so far?), you find yourself in a wrestling ring facing an extremely unsympathetic-looking... thing.

Are you going to man (or bull) up and face this behemoth toe-to-toe? Well, no. You're going to launch yourself out of the ring to beat the merry hell out of the little gummy swine in the crowd. Well, they started it.

That's it, really. But this is a game with legs, for with each jump, you collect money as you pound the candy bears to bits, which you can use to boost your strength, bounciness and all those other attributes that are so important to good flingy-bear-bashing. Play Burrito Bison here.

10 The Great Gatsby Game

In my younger and more vulnerable years, my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since. "Whenever you read a book," he told me, "remember to finish the whole thing instead of just scanning the first page because you never know when you might have to write about it in a completely unexpected situation, like doing an online game review."

He didn'?t say any more, but we'?ve always been unusually communicative in a reserved way and I understood that he meant a great deal more than that. Well, actually, he meant exactly that. But I didn't listen. So I couldn't really tell you if The Great Gatsby game is actually anything like F Scott Fitzgerald's novel - but it does have a lovely rendering of the original cover. Thanks Wikipedia.

Anyway, the game itself is a charmingly retro side-scrolling platformer in which you, Nick Carraway, charge through the roaring 20s despatching waiters, squiffy bottle-throwing cads and Charleston-dancing flappers with your trusty trilby as you search for the mysterious Gatsby. To make this little number even more curious, this was originally an unreleased version of a Japanese game based on the book. Well fancy that.

Play The Great Gatsby here. If you like the sound of Great American Novels turned into free online games, why not play Moby Dick: The Video Game? Yes, seriously.

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Add comment

Published by Game Interlude on 11th April 2011
There's 2-3 of them that I didn't know about. Gonna add them on my site soon!
Published by cheryl on 1st April 2011
nice list! :)

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