This week, the world either ends or begins with you, depending on who you ask. When you've finally figured it out, it's time to face (shoot) your demons, to walk through some mysterious portals, and to go for a lovely walk in Cumbria. Enjoy!
The World Begins With You by Fabian Denter
Fans of ICO will be right at home with this rather astonishingly gorgeous game set in a strangely empty world. Waking up in a prison cell, you're soon exploring ancient monuments, caves and other structures, leaping across perilously bottomless chasms while you do so. The low-poly 3D art is lovely, and made even lovelier thanks to the lighting, which always happens to fall in just the right place to make a massive visual impact.
Silverybield Foss by Twisted Tree
Would you just look at this cromulent Bitsy title, which tells a scant story as it guides you around a delicately illustrated pixel landscape, loosely based on rural Cumbria. Despite the obvious limitations of the engine, the ruggedness of the natural landscape comes across pretty majestically in Twisted Tree's teeny browser game.
Demons by Sebastian Scaini and Liam McAlinden
Battle the monsters in your mind by literally shooting them to bits in the aptly named Demons. OK, so it's an overly literal illustration of someone fighting their inner demons, but it's also a pretty good top-down shoot-'em-up, and a fun way to wile away a few minutes of your time. The game begins with a brief quiz, seemingly put to you during a psychiatrist or therapist session, with your answers changing the difficulty in a mysterious way. (Via Warp Door)
BEYOND R'PROACH by tak
Beyond R'proach captures the feeling of walking through a bubblegum-pink swamp, pushing giant plants out of your way, which is an experience I'm sure we've all had at one time or another. The animation on that plant movement is just tops, by the way, so I can understand why creator Tak would build this odd, tactile thing-a-ma-jig around it. When you've walked far enough into the swamp you'll discover a door, well a portal really, which will transport you to another very similar, but differently coloured quiet swampland area. Repeat as required in this bewildering experience.
SyntaxBomb by Adam Strange
The ace SyntaxBomb obviously recalls Bubble Bobble, and the original Mario Bros. game, but with the added quirk that you can't jump, and that you can only attack by dropping timed bombs at your feet. These bombs will satisfyingly explode some enemies, but not all of them, so be prepared to dodge the lettered jerks scampering around. This is a wonderfully polished, compulsive arcade-style game, but my absolute favourite thing about it is the sound effect your character makes while he skitters about. It's so good! And quite impossible to explain, so please, play this.