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Hidden Folks, released today, offers a delightfully handmade iOS experience

Hidden Folks, which Kill Screen‘s Kathryn Madden originally covered last year, can best be described as an interactive Where’s Waldo? overflowing with personality. With little to no focus on goals, points, or challenge, players simply explore intricate landscapes in search of specific “targets” (or “folks”)  hidden throughout each scene. So much of the digital toy’s charm derives from its handmade feel, with illustrator Sylvain Tegroeg’s heavily inked art style creating lively scenes that feel populated without seeming overly busy. Indeed, the unusual joy of Hidden Folks is just how human and authored it feels, especially when most games (particularly in the free-to-play saturated app marketplace) tend to come…

Castles Made of Castles
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Castles Made of Castles lets you easily create complex architecture

There’s a sort of serene pleasure that comes from uniform design schemes. Whether it’s a car with two identical sides, a train that could be perfectly split in half, or a skyscraper in an evenly cubical shape; orderly architecture gives off a sense of harmony and pleasure to the viewer. These endeavors are testaments to the power of organization and stability. But why should we be confined to simply enjoying these designs as onlookers? Why not create our own? Nico Disseldorp’s online project Castles Made of Castles is a love letter to orderly architecture. Described as a “geometry toy,” Disseldorp’s…

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Vignettes will tell a wordless story through shapeshifting objects

Vignettes is an adorable looking game about rotating adorable tiny objects in such a way that transforms them into other adorable tiny objects. The little shapeshifting things tell an “underlying story,” making each individual item a vignette of their own. A telephone becomes a television set which becomes a cooking pot. What is at first a mandolin is suddenly a bowl, then a crown, then a ring. And it goes on and on. Its creators Pol Clarissou and Armel Gibson call Vignettes a “contemplative game,” something they aren’t strangers to. An older game of Gibson’s, Gulag Paradise, turned forced labor…

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Three music toys for when you’re feeling drowsy

I used to call The Tiny Bang Story my “lullaby game” on account of its reliability in sending me to sleep at my desk in the late hours of the night. It’s a gentle, soothing hidden object game with hand-painted artwork that you can complete in less than an hour. I used to deliberately put it on while I was feeling dozy in order to put myself to sleep with a smile (I used to struggle to nod off and, sometimes, still do). Its soundtrack was the main culprit in this somnial ritual. Seriously, listen to this—it’s music that’s meant…