What you should play this weekend: Tengami

What you should play this weekend: Tengami

Occasionally you'll find a game that's so beautiful you want to play it slowly and intentionally, savoring the developers' work. Tengami is one of those games. 

It's an adventure puzzler that has your character exploring his world, one scene at a time, unlocking secrets and moving ever forward. There's no clear objective other than discovery itself, and that's a big part of Tengami's appeal. Walk, look, and see what's next. Here's our look at Tengami

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What to play this weekend: Spyfall

What to play this weekend: Spyfall

At 2014's Internationale Spieltage (or “Spiel”) gaming convention in Essen, Germany, Spyfall by designer Alexandr Ushan made a splash as a great party game. It was difficult to obtain here in the US until June of this year, when it was picked up by distributor Cryptozoic Entertainment. Now you can grab a box and have a fun...or just go online.

Today there's a browser-based version that is mobile-friendly, platform-agnostic, free and every bit as fun and hilarious as its paper sibling. It's a game of bluffing, deduction, light role-playing and a lot of laughter. Spyfall is indeed a great party game that takes minutes to learn and often leads to hilarity. Here's our look at Spyfall. 

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What to play this weekend: Agar.io

What to play this weekend: Agar.io

Recently I was hanging out with some friends when someone showed me Agar.io for iPhone (free, universal). "You're a cell who eats other cells while trying to avoid getting eaten yourself," he said. 

"That's it?" I said.

"That's it."

Agar.io comes to iOS after a successful run on PC and browser-based play. This mobile version preserves the low-end, no-frills graphics of its siblings and is somehow just as compelling. I've pretty much explained everything there is to know, but here are a few more details.

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What to play this weekend: Adventures of Pip

What to play this weekend: Adventures of Pip

Let me set the scene for you. PAX East, 2015. My 10-year-old and I visit the Tic Toc Games booth, where a playable demo of Adventures of Pip is set up. He picks up the controller and begins playing this fun, retro platformer. He's doing well, and clears the first major hurdle. He figures out the first puzzle on the first try. "No one has gotten that on the first try," the developer says. A small crowd has gathered. 

He beats the next hurdle, and the next. Puzzles are solved. The princess is rescued, the demo level beaten. First try, first life. 

"Well, @!#*", says the developer.

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What to play this weekend: Her Story

What to play this weekend: Her Story

Her Story (Mac and iOS) is a nonlinear jigsaw puzzle set in the mid-90's. As the player, you must find and review snippets of archival police interview footage to figure out what happened to a woman called Hannah in 1994. Those snippets are brief and jumbled together; only careful observation will allow you to uncover what happened.

I took five pages of hand-written notes before I figured everything out. At 12:30 AM. I could not stop playing.

Even now that I've reached the end (there is a definite end), there's more for me to see, so the replayability is there. This will be a difficult review to write, as I don't' want to give anything away. Here we go with my look at Her Story.

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What to play this weekend: Transistor

What to play this weekend: Transistor

Transistor from Supergiant Games is a full-fledged RPG for iPhone and iPad. You play as Red, a famous singer whose voice was stolen after being savagely attacked. Now, you and your sentient sword must battle the Process, a robotic army hell bent on overtaking the city. Is a futuristic dystopian future with enough going on to engage RPG veterans. Here's my look at Transistor.

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What to play this weekend: 13 Thieves

What to play this weekend: 13 Thieves

13 Thieves (free with in-app purchases) from Space Inch is a tile puzzle game in the tradition of Threes! and 2048. This time, the "tiles" are numbered thieves who would rob you of everything if given half the chance. 13 Thieves is a fun game with nice graphics, goofy sound effects and familiar yet still engaging game play. Here's our look at 13 Thieves.

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What to play this weekend: Does Not Commute

What to play this weekend: Does Not Commute

"Dentist Charles Schneider skipped lunch and went to the library instead. He's heading back to this clinic with the books 'Temporal Paradoxes' and 'Retrocausaility in Practice.'"

There's an undercurrent of weirdness in Does Not Commute (free, universal) that Fox Mulder would love. The beautiful and challenging strategy game from Mediocre has you driving various vehicles -- from sedans to speed boats to ice cream trucks -- through several neighborhoods, being careful to beat the clock and avoid the other drivers. It's challenging, thematic and a lot of fun. Here's my look at Does Not Commute.

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What to play this weekend: Lifeline

What to play this weekend: Lifeline

The last time I texted Taylor, he was walking towards the plumes of smoke. He estimated they were about an hour away, but depending on the force of gravity wherever he is, that could be off. He said he'll text back when he arrives. In the meantime, I'm thinking about him.

Anticipation is part of the fun of Lifeline, ($2.99, universal, with support for Apple Watch), an interactive fiction game from 3 Minute Games. 

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