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.
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 )
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 )
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 )