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itch.io Recommends: smiling and puzzling

We’ve been hard at work on some secret projects at itch.io HQ (don’t worry, you’ll hear about them soon) but that hasn’t stopped us from checking out some games for you to play! Are you ready to fill your week up with games? Great! Read on!


Crystals of Amalgam

It’s hard for me to recommend a match 3 in 2019, after playing the genre for most of my life it feels like I’ve seen it all. So take that on board as I recommend Crystals of Amalgam. COA is a faux Sega Megadrive game that combines matching with shmups. You control your spaceship near the bottom of the screen and pick up and spit out orbs from and at the top of the screen. It’s familiar to anyone who has played games like Bubble Bobble but the game begins to show its shmup influence with the addition of the game’s timer. In order to keep playing, you have to clear orbs out as they sprint down the screen at you. This means that positioning your ship is just as important as in shmups and really starts to shape what makes Crystals of Amalgam unique. 

Fortunately you don’t need to take my word on Crystals of Amalgam. The game is free and can be played in your browser right now.


Smile for Me

Despite no one asking I make a top ten list of my favorite games every year. Some time in December each year I reflect on all of the games I played (both for work, and for fun) and distill it into the games that affected me the most. Why am I bringing this up? Smile for Me is currently jockeying for a position in my top ten so I can’t help but recommend it. 

Taking place in a surrealist mental health clinic, Smile for Me tasks players with helping all of the residents with their problems through conversation and point-and-click style item use. What makes this game mechanically unique is the limitation in the conversation system. Instead of choosing responses from a menu, you nod and shake your camera to simulate yes and no head gestures. It’s a cute gimmick that lines up well with the game’s equally cute art style. This would have been enough to make Smile for Me interesting, but what makes it truly great is its single-minded insistence on kindness. Solving each person’s problems comes with helping them with whatever has brought them to the mental health clinic. Each character is fun and unique and finding out their stories was enough of a joy that I ended up 100%-ing the game. 

I highly recommend Smile for Me as a great way to relax, heal, or have a nice time with colorful characters.

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Mentioned in this post

Match 3 with color blend
Puzzle
Play in browser
A Nod-N-Shake Adventure
Puzzle