Thinky Third Thursday

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Thinky Third Thursday
March 2024

Welcome to Thinky Third Thursday, curated by Alan Hazelden of Draknek & Friends - a monthly roundup of thinky puzzle games that have caught my eye.

Often I'm using this newsletter to highlight commercial games that I think are worth buying, but I don't want to neglect the many great games available for the low price of free. This past month I've played several web games that impressed me, so I wanted to put the spotlight on a few that particularly stood out.

Recent free webgame highlights:

CO-DOOR, by yuji_ap
This is short and sweet - just four floors of puzzles, each containing a mysterious black door connecting to a featureless void. If you only have 15-30 minutes to spare, this is the one to check out.

Maintenance, by lethargic
I don't know what a "calibration inspector" is, but this game doesn't make me want to become one. It's heavy on the vibes, with simple "what order do I trigger these" puzzles that are satisfying to execute.

All the games in the "Tiny block-pushers" series, by Hempuli
Not content with having made Baba Is You, one of the most impressive and most successful puzzle games of all time, since the start of the year Hempuli has been making and releasing about 5 new block-pushing games every month. Each of them has a smart and surprising gameplay mechanic strong enough to be the core of a game that anyone else would take months or years to craft - instead he makes them in just a handful of days and I'm delighted every time.

Thinky releases from the past month:

Upcoming games to watch for:

Here's a trio of thinky games which all look great and have recently announced a release date a few months in advance.

ANIMAL WELL, by Billy Basso and Bigmode
On the surface this doesn't look like a puzzle game, but everything I've heard about it makes me very intrigued. They just announced a release date of May 9, so there's not long to wait to discover its secrets.

Paper Trail, by Newfangled Games (Windows/macOS demo available)
Fold the world to uncover new paths in this origami puzzle adventure. I've been talking to this team for a while now and their attention to detail is impressive. It's releasing just a couple of weeks after ANIMAL WELL, on May 21.

Slider, by boomo (Windows/macOS/Linux demo available)
The world is made of sliding block puzzles you control. This won Best Student Game at the Independent Games Festival last year, so you know it's going to be worth checking out. It's coming out on July 24, and keeping with the subject of today's newsletter, it's going to be completely free!

That's it!

I know, the "thinky releases from the past month" section seems like it's getting bigger every month - hope you didn't have anything else to be getting on with. For my part, I'm not allowed to get too distracted because... in two weeks I'll be announcing an exciting new project that Draknek is publishing!

If you want to be amongst the first to hear about our new game and also get every edition of Thinky Third Thursday sent to your inbox, please join the mailing list!

By the way, did you notice the shiny new logo we have? Thanks to subscriber Timothy Aste for doing a great job - if you're ever looking for a logo for your project, I've worked with him several times and he's never let me down.