With the success of games like Jetpack Joyride, the endless-game-with-currency-and-mini-objectives genre has become quite crowded. As with any artistic medium, when the current ideas start getting hackneyed and derivative, it's time to look underground: in this case, with a drilling machine. Gold Diggers has no half-baked frame narrative to justify what doesn't need justification. Boot up the game and you'll be drilling so fast you'll probably run into an obstacle before you realize the game has started.
- Remember when you were a toddler and snuck out of the house in the middle of the night? Then you hijacked the family car and used it to tour the cosmos all in service of your passion for amateur photography? In Sky Tourist, you'll navigate cubist floating isles as you perfect your photo trapeze act, the whole endeavor made sweeter by innovative controls.
- A capitalist mad scientist mouse has frozen a tropical avian paradise to boost his region's tourism. Breaking free from your frozen prison using powers you gained as an egg when the stork accidentally dropped you into an active volcano, it's up to you to overthrow corporatocracy and thaw your winged comrades. Can ex-Valve level and game designer Grégoire Cherlin make a successful iPhone game about birds, or is that simply out of the question?
- Welcome to Earth Blastron, where the robots killed their human creators, got bored, and decided to start killing each other. In this war of ennui, you'll take control of a young robot eager to start tallying his takedowns, but will you tire of automaton on automaton violence faster than these robots grew weary of prolicide?
- Your Wario-esque approach to finance has landed you in hot lava, literally. The lizard from The Magic School Bus has taken a hit of Ninja Turtle mutagen, and is prepared to pursue you relentlessly on his tricycle, determined to recover the aurum you pilfered. Fortunately, everyone knows that lumberjacks dwarves are expert mine cart operators, especially carts of the anti-gravity type. Ride on Greedy Dwarf, ride on.
- There's no denying that gameplay that revolves around staring blankly at a room dense with interactive people and objects, and putting the square peg in all the circular holes (pun intended) until something sticks is hopelessly dated. A more rewarding problem to ponder though is how the humor of a game like 1987's Leisure Suit Larry cannot be extricated from its gameplay counterpart and adapted into some other genre or medium. Banking on nostalgia and some twists thrown in for good measure, developer N-Fusion Interactive has re-remade the game from the ground up, seemingly certain that this classic speaks for itself. You apparently agree, since this game was funded on Kickstarter.
- Some days are all sunshine, and some days you're an orange praying the omnipotent finger of the player will successfully use physics and whatever junk may be lying around to create a ramshackle roof over your head, because there's a cloud with a face wearing the helmet from Skyrim hell-bent on stoning you to death.
- There are blocks moving toward the bottom of the screen and when they get there, you're done. CRUSH! is about as singular, straightforward, and intuitive as games get. While perhaps too determined to strip every atom of superfluity and chaff away, there's a real challenge here for the right sort of people, and a fleeting distraction for the rest of us.