English Country Tune
English Country Tune is a 3D puzzle game which forces you to think in one extra dimension than you may be used to with most puzzle games. You play as a rather non-descript square that flips end over end as its method of locomotion. It maneuvers over sometimes excruciatingly complicated polygonal maps which resemble 3D tertis pieces stuck together. Tough to imagine, but then again, this is a game unlike any other puzzle I've played. You're ultimate goal is to lead spheres, called larva, into cubes on the map by pushing them. However, the larva will fly off the map if you push them off; they are weightless, but simulate gravity by "falling" in the perpendicular direction to your little flat square's plane. That makes pushing them from the right surface imperative. You can have many of these larva on the same map, by the way. The levels will increase with difficulty to ridiculous levels.
The best thing about this game is the reward from completing a puzzle. Once these puzzles really start get challenging, you start to battle against your mind's preconceptions of what it is capable of. These puzzles are not intuitive, so solving them requires a lot of experimentation to attune your brain to the puzzle's physics and orientation. Solving the puzzles which previously looked impossible is where the best of "English Country Tune" shines through.
Realm of the Mad God
'RotMG' brands itself as the first mmo bullet-hell game, and I'm not going to dispute that. Designed in the currently retro-hip large-pixel/minecraft fashion, RotMG is a simple looking game with a simple plot to go with it. In summary, kill monsters, collect better gear, kill oryx as many times as possible with as much individual contribution to that damage as possible. The game, as an MMO, requires that you have some friends (often very many) to help you kill some of the bosses, but you are always in competition with others to get the best loot (the more damage you do personally, the better loot you get.) Servers fill with up to 85 people each, and you will find yourself teamed up with them all in at least one dungeon.
So there's not much with regards to plot or graphics (aside from their 'cute' factor) to keep the player interested in the game. The game's value comes in at it's difficulty. You will die, often, and sometimes in very frustrating ways. The highest level you can achieve is 20, but that alone will offer almost no protection against the stronger enemies. Stats are boosted after level 20 by collection rare "stat pots" which raise your character's stats by 1. These pots have become a sort of unofficial currency among players who wish to trade for better items. Still, even the maxed out character is doomed after absorbing a few closely placed bullets. Lag is rampant in RotMG, so you will die through no fault of your own more than a few times. And all that hard work spent getting the rarer gear is lost. You get a free vault with room to hold 8 items, but that won't satisfy the player after he gets better. The game is free to play, but some in game luxuries cost real life money.
The rewards for creating a strong character and collecting better loot are what will keep the player coming back. Showing off rare gear, collecting fame for your guild and increasing your rank through personal fame achievements provide replay value.
Play it through your browser here. You can also pick it up on steam. Oh, and turn off the crappy background music before it rots your soul.
i was going to write more but forgot that I only got to two games this week. Oh well, next time then!