This week: melons. Lots and lots of melons. Also, a tricksy mist (sorry, myst), a reworking of Rapunzel, protest photography and a happy game about delivering happy mail. Enjoy!
Myst by watabou
It's pretty bold, naming your jam game after one of the biggest games of all time, particularly when it has absolutely nothing in common with Cyan Worlds' interactive QuickTime file. No, this Myst is a turn-based roguelike set in a constantly shifting world. When you lose sight of a section of the forest, it's surreptitiously shuffled around, revealing passageways that were previously blocked off, or shutting off avenues you might otherwise have stepped down. Collect runes to survive, and to summon the end boss. Or—more accurately—die countless times before you succeed in doing that.
Lavender by Clockwork Prince
This dark reworking of hirsute fairytale Rapunzel takes the form of a monochrome puzzle game set in a creepy, and alarmingly purple tower. Those puzzles are quite meaty, the hints of story are intriguing, and the pixel art is just lovely (in a Parma Violets sort of way).
Melone in the Dark by Merius Winter
Melone's commitment to a ridiculous idea is admirable. This short game is basically Alone in the Dark, see, but with a melon-loving guy in place of Edward Carnby, and with sentient fruit instead of zombies that will kill you in a couple of hits. This looks so much like AITD, from the sharp, low poly character models to the awkward animations and static camera angles. And yes, this is a joke game, made by and (mostly for) good friends—but it's polished and broadly silly enough to be enjoyed by everyone else too.
Gob! by Aaron Steed
Ending creator Aaron Steed is back with another genre-mangling roguelike. Whereas Ending was a procedurally generated puzzler, Gob! is more or less a turn-based twin-stick shooter, giving your happy little character a bunch of four-directional fireballs that he can spit out while travelling in any direction. I like it when the inherent strategy of real-time genres is revealed, or enhanced, by slowing them the heck down, and that's exactly what's happening here. You have to be careful not to walk into the staccato flow of an enemy's bullet stream, while planning your own attacks sometimes several moves ahead.
Morning Post by Happy Snake
Here's a happy game about delivering letters to colourful blob-people—blob-people who like they've emerged from a children's picture book, or a toddler's cartoon. It's not entirely clear whether these blobs are expecting letters, or whether you've intruded into their house with the intention of firing paper missiles at their cheery faces, but hey, there's lots to enjoy about this sorta-walking sim either way. It's a joyous little world that's well-detailed and full of charm, and you don't get many of those to the gallon.
Freedom Through A Lens by Zoe Lovatt, Nic Lyness, Nicholas Staracek
Freedom Through A Lens explores the ethical responsibilities of a photojournalist taking snapshots of protestors—responsibilities that are outlined in some detail at the beginning of this visually striking game. While there's no real freedom for the player to explore the boundaries of these responsibilities (you can only take images of specific NPCs, while the game automatically blurs their faces, so they don't suffer repercussions for being featured in a magazine), I did leave the game with more of an appreciation for good photographers, and I'm grateful for that. (Via Warp Door)