Praise the rain! Over the last seven days or so, precipitation has saved the UK from becoming a parched post-apocalyptic wasteland, a woman has had a baby, and the great elder god Cthulhu has risen from the ocean depths to enslave mankind. Of course, that last one barely got a mention in the press, thanks to the arrival of that royal sprog. In more exciting news, some bleak, compelling, beautiful and juvenile browser games have been released. I have assembled them below for your edification.
World's End Chapter 1 by Mezzanine Stairs
The writing is a little juvenile, and the art is a little 'my first pixel art', but World's End soon reveals itself to be a slick tactical RPG set in a well-developed world. The player characters are, essentially, scumbags, something that makes a nice change from all the princes, knights and fancy mages that typically populate these sorts of games. Worth a look for fans of Vandal Hearts or Final Fantasy Tactics, even if the combat system's nowhere near as fleshed-out. (Via Paul Hack )
Do Anything by Jason Meisel
This Molyjam game is beautifully silly, and explaining just why would rob it of some of the surprise, so I'm going to keep this short. Do Anything is a game where you can – in the confines of its strange little world – do anything , while walking around with the head of Nathan 'whoosits from Firefly' Fillion on your shoulders. I think we can all appreciate that. (Via RPS )
A beautiful, bleak, surreal adventure set in one of the most architecturally interesting game worlds I've come across. No Future contest entry Journalière is silent and wordless, universal and alien – it also has a dancing minigame. Reminiscent of Jack King-Spooner's stuff – and if you haven't yet had the pleasure, please rectify that immediately. (Via Indie Statik )
Oh great . Candy Box-a-like Gold and Gems has sucked me in, just like the similarly excellent timesink A Dark Room did the other week . I kind of had things to do today - that washing-up isn't going to ignore itself - but no , I'm going to be sat here watching a counter slowly increase all flipping day. Unlike its predecessors, Gold and Gems boasts a graphical interface and pixel art, though it's still the kind of game you leave running in an open tab, occasionally clicking on stuff to slowly expand your fantasy empire.
I think that's what make these games so engaging: the fact that you make progress, that you earn gold/wood/whatever even when you're not playing. They essentially reward you for dicking about on the internet. Gold and Gems could stand to be a bit more generously paced, especially in the beginning – you might want to let your gold build up a bit first before giving the game your full attention. (Via IndieGames )
Off To Work We Go by Bart Bonte
Another No Future entry, the darkly funny Off To Work We Go is a short first-person puzzler with one hell of an ending. Bleakness really seems to bring out the best in indie devs – I wonder whether an Everything's Going To Be Okay contest would have yielded similarly wonderful results. (Via IndieGames )