Squishy the Suicidal Pig

Squishy the Suicidal Pig Title

Summary

Your goal is to die in this puzzle platformer so that you can join your parents in pig heaven.

Review

Squishy the Suicidal Pig Screenshot
Broken screenshots

Disclaimer: I’ve only spent half an hour playing this game.

When I first launched Squishy the Suicidal Pig, I was surprised by how small the window was (960 x 540 pixels) with no option to change it. The only setting was to stretch the game to fullscreen; there weren’t even audio settings. I couldn’t even use my mouse to navigate through the menus. Then I tried to take a screenshot via Steam’s built-in screenshot functionality, which didn’t really work (see screenshot on right). All of that plus a semi-hard-to-read font and misspellings like “basicly” make for a game that is severely lacking polish.

That said, I think Squishy is a pretty clever concept because the goal is not to survive, but to die. The puzzles are well-designed and challenging and I like the bright, colorful art.

I’m not sure what I paid for this game, but it’s currently on sale for $0.33. At that price, it’s worth picking up in spite of its flaws. You’ll even get some of your money back by selling trading cards.

You might like this game if you like…

  • Puzzle platformers
  • Killing pigs
  • Frequently restarting levels
  • Unforgiving obstacles

Want to play?

$0.33 on Steam (currently 67% off) | $0.99 on Google Play

Morphopolis

Morphopolis logo

Summary

Find hidden objects and solve mini puzzles as you go through a colorful insect world, transforming into a new insect with each chapter.

Review

Currently on sale for only 24 cents, I picked up Morphopolis without really knowing anything about the game. Colorful art, positive reviews, and trading cards I can sell to recoup the cost of the game? Sure, why not.

Morphopolis is pretty short; the 5 chapters took me 1.5 hours to complete. The art is gorgeous and probably the game’s biggest selling point. The gameplay itself isn’t unique; it’s a hidden object game with a handful of puzzles thrown in. For what is intended to be a relaxing game, though, the insects’ slow walking speed really hurt the experience, because it was frustrating to move between screens.

Not a bad game, but not a great one either. Worth the 24 cents.

Morphopolis

You might like this game if you like…

  • Hidden object games
  • Beautiful, colorful art
  • Mini game puzzles
  • The world of bugs
  • Machinarium
  • Slow-paced, casual games

Want to play?

$0.24 on Steam (on sale 95% off) | $3.99 on Google Play and iOS

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

Summary

After their father becomes sick, two brothers search the world for a cure. Guide the brothers through various puzzles by controlling each brother separately on a single controller.

Brothers - Climbing a rope

Review

Brothers is a truly unique game that demonstrates how video games can be art. It is driven by its heartfelt story and although there is no dialogue (except gibberish), the message gets across through body language and tone. The scenery and lighting are gorgeous, too.

You control each brother separately on one controller, making it like a single-player co-op game. The brothers have to work together to get past obstacles. They have some unique abilties, too; for example, the older brother is stronger, but the younger brother is small enough to fit through bars. The puzzles themselves are simple, but satisfying… although they sometimes feel repetitive.

Brothers is a downright beautiful game and I loved it. My biggest complaint is that it’s pretty short and not very replayable. Whether the $15 retail price is worth 3-4 hours of gameplay is up to you, but I definitely recommend picking it up when it’s on sale. It was only $1.49 when I picked it up during the Winter sale.

Brothers - Snowy city

You might like this game if you like…

  • Beautiful, emotional stories
  • Video games as art
  • Gorgeous fantasy worlds
  • Unique gameplay

Want to play?

$14.99 on Steam (requires controller), Xbox, & PlayStation

Papers, Please

Papers, Please

Summary

You have been selected to work as an immigration officer for a fictional dystopian country. As arrivals come to your booth, inspect their documents and look for discrepancies. You wouldn’t want to let in a criminal or terrorist, would you? You can also request for more information, like fingerprints or a full body scan. Sometimes, they will even bribe you or ask you to pass documents to other people.

At the end of each day, you receive your pay (less any deductions from mistakes you made). Hopefully, you made enough to pay for your family’s rent, food, heating, and medicine.

Papers, Please

Review

My family was grateful that I got a job with the government. I worked hard, but I was slow and I made some mistakes. After my second day on the job, we had to go without food. On the next day, we were all hungry, but I only had enough money after paying rent to afford medicine for my sick son. By the end of day 7, we were all cold, sick, and hungry and I couldn’t even afford rent. My family was sent back to their village and I was thrown in jail. I let down myself, my family, and my country. I am sorry. 🙁

Papers, Please is a surprisingly good game. Sure, it is a paperwork simulator and the graphics are terrible, but it’s thought-provoking, engrossing, and unlike any other game I’ve played. There are also 20 different endings depending on the choices you make while playing.

Glory to Arstotzka!

You might like this game if you like…

  • Pretending to be a toll officer
  • Bribes
  • Crushing the hopes and dreams of pixelated people
  • Looking at documents
  • Tearing apart families
  • Nerve-wracking desk jobs
  • Turning people away from your beloved mother country

Want to play?

$2.49 on Steam (75% off) | $7.99 on iOS

Bad Rats

Bad Rats

Summary

Bad Rats: The Rats’ Revenge is another Rube Goldberg physics puzzle game. Use specialized rats, barrels, boards, balls, and other objects to violently kill cats via chain saws, explosions, microwaves, etc.

Review

At $0.19 during the Steam Autumn Sale, I bought Bad Rats because it was super cheap and at ~8-10 cents per card, the game would pay for itself via the trading cards.

The game itself was awful, even when you cut it some slack for being 5 years old. The highest supported resolution is 1280 x 1024 and the graphics look super old. The main menu is illegible, the tutorial glitched out on me twice, and gameplay sucked because of unreliable physics and oddly-behaving objects.

Bad Rats is bad… but at least it paid for itself. If you’re looking for something similar, get Contraption Maker instead.

Bad Rats

You might like this game if you like…

  • Rube Goldberg machines
  • Blowing up cats
  • Unreliable physics
  • Cartoon violence
  • Terrible games that no one should ever play

Want to play?

$0.99 on Steam (I got it on sale for $0.19)

Contraption Maker

Contraption Maker

Summary

Solve puzzles with ridiculous Rube Goldberg machines using lasers, crocodiles, flying saucers, zombies, and more. In each level, you are given an objective (like, blow up the pumpkin), a partially completed contraption, and a set of parts to add to the contraption to complete the objective.

There are 160 official puzzles and thousands of user-created puzzles available via the Steam Workshop that you can play single-player or co-op multiplayer with your friends.

Welcome to Contraption Maker

Review

Contraption Maker is a fun and goofy puzzle game. The puzzles haven’t been terribly challenging, but I haven’t gotten to the hard difficulty puzzles yet (or any user-created puzzles). I’m not a fan of the cartoony and childish look of the game, but I get that it’s meant to appeal to kids as well as adults.

At $1.49 for two copies of the game, Contraption Maker is a steal. It includes Steam Trading Cards, so you’ll even recoup some of the cost. It’s a good game and I recommend it (especially at the current sale price), but it’s not one of my favorites.

You might like this game if you like…

  • Rube Goldberg machines
  • The Incredible Machine computer game series
  • Motors powered by hamsters
  • Physics
  • Solving puzzles
  • Feeding bowling balls to bears

Want to play?

$1.49 on Steam for two copies of the game (90% off during Steam Autumn Sale)

Portal

So I finally got around to playing the original Portal game last week. I know, it’s about time.

Portal logo

Summary

Portal is a 3D first-person puzzle game that won all sorts of awards for its innovative gameplay. You play as a laboratory test subject who is challenged and chastised by an artificially intelligent system known as GLaDOS. A special portal gun lets you place two portals, which allow objects to pass between them. With the aid of the portal gun, you use your wits, creativity, and physics to get through the series of test chambers.

Portal
One of the Portal test chambers

Review

Portal is a brilliant game that uses a unique mechanic to create fun, physics-based challenges. On top of that, the story is interesting and I love the sense of humor.

I highly recommend Portal, because it’s amazing. The biggest criticisms I have are that it is short (only a few hours, although the advanced maps and challenges give it some replayability) and single-player only (Portal 2 added co-op).

Want to play?

$9.99 on Steam

LYNE

Another game I got during the Steam Summer Sale is a puzzle game called Lyne, available for only $0.74.

LYNE

Summary

LYNE is a minimalist puzzle game in which you connect the shapes to move on to the next level. Each shape has to be used a certain number of times in order to complete the level.

There are hundreds of levels and a new puzzle gets released every day, so there is plenty of content to keep you entertained.

One of the levels in LYNE
One of the levels in LYNE

Review

LYNE starts off very easy, but this simple game gets more challenging as it introduces new colors and mechanics. I really love the minimalism and the soothing audio. The game is beautiful, relaxing, well executed, and challenging.

I highly recommend picking it up (especially while it’s on sale). It’s also available on Android and iOS and while I haven’t played either of those versions, I can tell that it would do really well as a mobile app.

Want to Play?

$0.74 on Steam (75% off during the Steam Summer Sale) | $2.50 on Android | $2.99 on iOS

2048

The other day, I was introduced to a brilliant and simple game called 2048. The concept is so simple and I’m kicking myself for not having thought of it myself. 😛

Summary2048

You start with a 4×4 grid in which two of the tiles have 2’s on them. You use your arrow keys (or swipe) to move all of the tiles on the board as far as they can go in the given direction. If any two tiles with the same number touch when moving, they merge into one and the number on the tile doubles (ex. merging two “4” tiles results in one “8” tile).

The goal is to get a tile with 2048 on it.

Variations

You can play the official version of 2048 for free in your web browser, which works great on both desktops and mobile devices.

If you’re looking for an app, there seem to be lots of unofficial copies, like this one for Android and this one for iOS.

There are also some goofy themed variations like: DOGE2048, 2048-Tetris, Flappy 2048, and 2048: Doctor Who Edition.

10000000

10000000

10000000 is a hybrid RPG/Action/Puzzle game that combines match 3 puzzles with fighting monsters and improving your character’s gear and skills. You wake up in a prison and the goal is to score 10000000 points so you can escape.

Gameplay

10000000: Dungeon
Running a dungeon

Move rows and columns to match tiles while your character runs through the dungeon battling enemies, opening chests, and unlocking doors. There are several types of tiles and each have different effects when you match them:

  • Swords/Staves: physical/magical damage to the enemy you’re fighting
  • Shields: defense against enemy attacks
  • Keys: unlock chests and doors
  • Backpacks: chance at getting an item
  • Stone/Wood: gain some amount of that material (used for repairing and upgrading the castle)

Because of the different matching effects, you really need to pay attention to the board and what your character is doing or you could waste a good damage effect when you’re supposed to be unlocking a door. I like that twist on the classic match 3 game, because you have to plan and save your combinations. You still need to act quickly, though, because the game is time-sensitive.

10000000: Upgrading
Upgrading my weapon

You can also have up to 3 items at a time, which you get from backpacks and chests. They can be used at any time to do things like transform some of the tiles into another tile or give you more time.

At the beginning of each dungeon run, you’re also given objectives to perform a certain number of matches, acquire a certain amount of resources, etc. When you complete the objectives, it rewards you with resources.

Between dungeon runs, you can upgrade your character with the resources you’ve earned. Wood and stone are used to repair and upgrade rooms in the castle (blacksmith, trainer, staffmaker, etc.). You can then spend your gold and experience to upgrade your gear and skills in the rooms.

Review

I bought 10000000 when it was on sale for 99 cents earlier this month and I started playing this morning. I’ve played primarily on my tablet so far, but I also briefly tried it out on my phone (it looked and played the same as on my tablet).

10000000 is a clever combination of match 3 and dungeon crawler and the result is a fun game that’s well-suited for mobile devices. It also doesn’t have ads or require any special permissions, so that’s a plus.

Want to play?

$1.99 on Android and iOS | $4.99 on Steam