For about three years, the A.V. Club ran Sawbuck Gamer, a regular column reviewing the week's most notable free and cheap games across all platforms, from web games to handhelds to console downloadables. It's a treasure trove of content, especially since more literary sister site The Gameological Society took the helm, and it's publicized great desktop projects like the luscious platformer Frogatto (previously), feature-rich Super Mario Bros. X (previously), the evocative faux-web Digital: A Love Story (previously), interactive fiction gem Rover's Day Off, and the hyperkinetic RunMan: Race Around the World (previously). But if you're in the mood for something more immediate, why not start with a list of all the original column's free A-rated online titles? [more inside]
Snakes on a Cartesian Plane is a collection of delightful variants on the classic Snake game. "The Viper is the Derek Zoolander of snakes." (SLFlashGame)
"You are invited to the fantastically flamboyant final performance of The Fabulous Screech and His Trained Humans." A whimsical, surreal, and surprisingly touching little point-and-click game from the maker of The Book of Living Magic and Infinite Ocean (previously and previouslier).
Steambirds: Survival (flash) is a sequel to Steambirds, the steampunk turn-based shooter, and is as addictive as patent medicine.
You'd better get the robot those letters so he can be awesome. One of the most technically challenging banner games JayIsGames has developed, Robot Wants Jig is a metroid-ish platformer in which you acquire upgrades by collecting the letters of JAYISGAMES and unlock new areas of the map. A map of the game world is below in case you get hopelessly lost. [more inside]
Friday Flash Fun: Color Theory is a puzzle platformer about... um... color theory. And gravity switching. And aliens. Via the eternal font of pleasant time-wasters, jayisgames.
Starlight - (late) Friday Flash Fun.
The Company of Myself is a poignant, puzzle-solving Flash platform-type game featuring some gameplay mechanics reminiscent of Braid. Each level furthers the game's tale of loneliness and alone-ness. [via JiG]
Small Worlds is an exploration game created by David Shute for JayisGames' Casual Gameplay Design Competition 6 (the theme this time around was "exploration"). It's short and there are no enemies to kill or items to pick up but it has faux pixelly gorgeousness and decently atmospheric music. [more inside]
Have you ever been playing Double Dragon and just thought, "You know what would make this game better? Some gigantic swords!" Or have you ever been hacking your way through a Golden Axe game and thought to yourself, "If only I could headbutt these dudes into a fine red mist!" Then you need BO. [more inside]
Auditorium is a musical flash game where you influence a stream of particles with gravity-based nodes. A steady stream of particles past a collector enables a layer of music. Good fun! Via Jay is Games
Oiligarchy is a resource management game reminiscent of their earlier McDonald's Game. Build your empire and keep the shareholders (all old, bald, white men) happy. Social activism wrapped inside an (admittedly simplified) game! via [more inside]
I never hear the rattling of dice that it does not sound to me like the funeral bell of the whole family.
Mastermind: World Conquerer puts you in the role of the evil Mastermind, supergenius bent on destroying* the world. A great ending and some hilarious dialogue make this game a gem. Hey, it's Friday in Australia by now, right? (via jig) [more inside]
The Tall Stump. Jump around, shoot pellets, solve puzzles, collect hats. Winner of Jay Is Games' fourth casual game design competition. You weren't getting anything done today anyway. previously [more inside]
Jay is Games is holding its 3rd Casual Gameplay Design Competition. I love short games (the kind one can play in the course of a conference call) and there's a couple of goodies in here. My favorite is Gimme Friction Baby and my current high score is 16.
Fingerjig is a six minute typing game that pulls random words from a large dictionary (and during one section, random letters). I like it because it plays cool percussion hits when you make a mistake, and because sections of it test your left hand and right hand separately. (via)
Remember Dice Wars? Remember how everyone wanted it to be multiplayer? Well, Ryan Dewsbury, creator of gpokr, has loosed kdice on the world. Your gpokr login works for kdice, too. (via jayisgames)
Escape from Detention. It's the last day of school (well, yesterday was, technically) and you've been not just locked but trapped in the detention room; framed for a crime you didn't commit. You've got to get three crazy Canadjun youngsters out alive; but you can only succeed if you work together. Can you point and click your way toward victory? This game's fairly straightforward, but there are a few puzzles to make you scratch your head. Just about the right difficulty for a lazy Saturday afternoon. Found via jayisgames (thar be spoilers in the comments at that link).