There’s been a sudden and unexpected lurch from hardcore games to casual games over the last few years, with the deadly combination of smartphones and social networking sites meaning the smallest, seemingly least impressive games have found massive audiences. Take Angry Birds, for example, which is a simple concept featuring visuals a three-year-old could replicate, and yet it’s more popular than Call Of Duty.
The great thing about this revolution is that it’s led to many indie developers taking a punt on making games, whether to test their skills, to show off to future employers, or to seek fame and fortune. Some of the titles these people are creating are works of genius. And most of them are completely free to play too. Like the titles on Stabyourself.net, home to more awesome than a James Bond convention.
Stabyourself.net is the home of Maurice Guégan from Germany and Sašo Smolej from Slovenia. The pair founded the site in early 2011 in order to “make awesome games for the masses.” And they’ve managed that with considerable aplomb.
Not only are the games free to play and available on Windows, OSX, and the oft-forgotten (when it comes to games) Linux, they’re also open source. This means anyone can use the code featured in the games under a Creative Commons 3.0 license.
At the time of writing there are six games available to play on StabYourself Games, three of which are twisted versions of famous games, and three of which are original titles. There’s also a simple music sequencer called Rimshot.
Mario, Tetris, Pacman… With A Twist
What do you get when you cross an old-skool Super Mario Bros. game with the legendary Portal? Mari0, of course. This game is a full recreation of the 1985 title from Nintendo with elements of Valve’s 2007 smash hit mixed in. It shouldn’t work but it most certainly does, to the point that Joshua featured it in full at the beginning of last year.
Having recently compiled a list of the best Tetris clones available to play online I then find a new one lurking on Stabyourself. And it’s a fantastic take on the original game that probably should have been included. Not Tetris is exactly the same as just plain ol’ Tetris except for the fact you can rotate the blocks fully, meaning one hell of a mess can form at the bottom of the screen.
Not Pacman is the newest release from Stabyourself, and it’s Pacman with a twist. In the Pacman we all know and love the arena is solid and immovable, and you control the titular Pacman as he moves around the level eating pills and avoiding the ghosts. In Not Pacman you control the arena itself, with Pacman and the ghosts all affected by real-life physics. It makes for one hell of a challenging game.
Ortho Robot is a game that deserves much more attention than it currently seems to be getting. It’s a deceptively simple puzzle game that messes with your head by using perspective to affect the path you can take across each of the 16 levels. Your character starts out standing on a 3D shape, but by manipulating the perspective so that you can only see two sides of the shape, you can progress with ease.
Trosh is simple, unrefined, and slightly less worthy of your time and attention than the other games on this list. But it is fun, in a weird kind of way. You control the titular Trosh, who goes on an epic adventure to space and back while fighting off foes with the laser beams that shoot out of his eyes. It sounds great, and it is great. Just don’t expect to grow any new brain cells while you’re playing this one.
Order Of Twilight
Order Of Twilight has nothing to do with the books and films that probably entered your mind when you read the title. Thankfully. Instead it’s a puzzle platformer which sees you using a set of magic spells to traverse the levels in the guise of a purple unicorn. In other words, there’s more plot to this little game than the entire Twilight saga. Better acting too.
While not all six of the games currently hosted on Stabyourself are works of genius, at least four of them are absolute must-play titles. The other two are, well, fun at the very least. I suspect more titles will be added in the months and years to come, meaning it’s definitely worth bookmarking the site to gain instant access to future releases.
What’s your favorite game currently featured on Stabyourself Games? Did you find any of them so addictive you couldn’t stop playing? Are you, like me, wondering how on Earth these guys have got away without being sued yet? As always we’d love to hear your comments on the subject in the comments section below.