Overdue books are the least of your concerns in Octavi Navarro's brilliant The Librarian, the second beautiful point and click adventure from the acclaimed pixel artist. The Librarian is a notably bigger and more complex adventure game when compared to Navarro's previous freebie, Midnight Scenes: The Highway, with more scenes, more impressive visual effects, and environments that blends 2D and 3D elements.
Technology aside, this is an inspired point and click set in a lightly sketched fantasy world full of strange practices, and supernatural creatures. There's no dialogue, but there's a palpably creepy atmosphere, and several satisfying puzzles to solve.
Nuts. Squirrels love 'em so much that they'll hide some for leaner times, and because you're some sort of jerk I guess, you've made it your mission to dig them up in the appropriately titled Nuts. To aid you in your investigation, you have a bunch of TVs and three video cameras, which you can pick up and place around a small wood to help you work out which other tree the squirrel is visiting at night. You can only move the cameras and examine the footage during the daytime, while the squirrel will only move about at night, leading to an asynchronous game of cat and mouse, er, human and squirrel that's one of the more inventive, clever things I've played this year.
Crikey, what a gorgeous game. The Herbalist—a top-down exploration-based adventure that reminded me of Hyper Light Drifter and Pol Clarissou's Orchids to Dusk—puts you in the role of a dying wanderer searching desperately for a specific healing herb. You'll wander a mysterious desert, admiring beautifully drawn scenery as you compare the many native plants to the one, frustratingly rare variety you're looking for, in this short, impressive game that's essentially a top-down walking sim. (Via Warp Door.)
If you can forgive a little, well OK a lottle bugginess, I'd urge you to give The Colony a play. It's a strange first-person adventure set on a delightfully alienalien planet that reminded me, more than a little, of Pathologic. This surreal sci-fi murder mystery takes place in a boldly stylised, wonderfully textured universe (and one that will hopefully be patched up before too long).