Flash games are supposed to entertain and provide a gentle distraction from our daily doldrums. Mashing and killing fellow creatures and animals is restricted to the 'Modern Warfare
' segment, and surely never
comes from lovable indie designers that bring us titles like 'Sushi Cat
,' right? Apparently, that is not the case, as this week's selection, it appears, has slightly more devious intentions. From organized suicide in games like 'Seppukuties' and 'The Company of Myself,' to the dark, homicidally charged 'Gretel and Hansel,' these games may relieve the tension of that frustrating board meeting... or prove to be just as gruesome as anything 'God of War' dishes out.
Here's a quick tip to Mushroom Madness 2
: have a mouse (this reviewer didn't, and her wrists are sure tired). Secondly, if you aren't in the mood for mid-'90s style arcade music, turn the sound down. Thirdly, don't feel guilty about the absurd violence you're about to unleash; it isn't your fault that those forest fellows just won't leave your damn mushrooms alone. So using your whacking apparatus, you take on bunnies, bears, birds and more. The best part is that each successful level wins you money, which you can use to buy better guns and traps -- so next time those suckers come for your fungi, you are locked and loaded.
This is the Only Level
Otherwise known (around the office) as "the elephant game," the trick to 'This is the Only Level
' is that, the level you are playing, is indeed the only level. Each run has a twist (e.g. inverting controls, removing gravity or changing the laws), however, so each time your play, the game gets increasingly harder. Not an insane time suck, but a clever little game to breeze through -- before you get too frustrated.
Gretel and Hansel
Once upon a time, a little girl and boy ventured into the forest to find food and ran into a witch's home made of candy. We all know the story, the breadcrumbs, the witch's demise and the moral of avoiding strangers with candy, but 'Gretel and Hansel
' adds a twist to the original tale. A morbid twist. A-parents-decide-to-off-their-kids-so-they-don't-need-to-feed-them twist. Beautifully painted with watercolors, this puzzler is a throw-back to Sierra-era adventuring games: use the doll to trap the spider, eat a mushroom to make yourself sick, etc. Stunningly rendered, but only for fans of the macabre.
Happy Tree Friends was a meme-turned-Web cartoon from the early aughts that should have never caught on, featuring saccharine critters getting the living pulp seared, sliced and slammed out of them. Seppukuties
works on the same level, but instead of senseless violence, large-eyed, hopeful-looking animals are lead through a platformer, hoping to find a home after deforestation. Unfortunately though, as with any exodus, some sacrifices must be made, and the cuddly little fur balls have to climb over one another's mangled corpses to get through levels. The survivors look on (pitifully holding a sign with how many are left alive, or how many lives you have) as you "assist" them to Paradise Valley. Not for those of weak constitution, or anyone who melts when faced with the ole' quivering lip trick.
The Company of Myself
Recently, we've been playing the console game 'Braid,' and its time-bending, puzzle-solving nature has intrigued us. 'The Company of Myself
' is emo, a bit overwrought and a little too sensitive, but it sure is fun. With unlimited lives, you use your "ghost" to overcome obstacles -- repeating the same set of actions every time. For instance, to reach a ledge you can't climb on top of, you stand in front of it, and start the level over again, and your shadow-self stands in front of the obstacle, and you literally hoist yourself atop of the spectre. Dark, a bit brooding, but certainly a mind-twister.
More Games on the Go: