Quing’s Quest VII: The Death of Videogames is a game about starting over by Squinky.

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Why Try It: A very sparkly text adventure about defeating the forces of evil through fashion sense and joie de vivre.

Mood: Joyful

Author’s Notes: "You are a young monarch of mysterious and indistinct gender, valiantly trying to survive exile from your home planet — or whatever’s left of it since the invasion, anyway."

From the forest ambassador: Check out more of Squinky’s games, including the highly-recommended Dominique Pamplemousse, at their website.

Intimate, Infinite is a game about infinity by Robert Yang.

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Why Try It: Beautiful visual design; a first-person interactive narrative inspired by Borges.

Mood: Introspective

Author’s Notes: "Some short singleplayer first person games about gardening, chess, history, infinity, and a murder."

From the forest ambassador: Intimate, Infinite is pay-what-you-want — the developer accepts your support by letting you pay what you think is fair for the game. You can find more of Robert’s work and excellent writing on games at his blog.

Jazu is a game about conversations by David Laskey, Eric Huang, and Benn Marion.

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Why Try It: Beautiful art and sound design; a short story told through audio and imagery rather than text.

Mood: Atmospheric

Author’s Notes: "A musical conversation with two unusual patrons at a bar."

From the forest ambassador: Jazu was made for the Space Cowboy Jam, in which participants made games inspired by the ‘space cowboy’ aesthetic/genre, exemplified by media like Cowboy Bebop.

Secrets Agent is a game about help by Jonathan Kittaka.

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Why Try It: Cute, hand-drawn visuals and charming voiceover.

Mood: Soothing

Author’s Notes: "Retrieve the stolen gemstone from the mansion of traps, guided by a friendly voice."

From the forest ambassador: More of Jonathan’s games can be found on itch.io; writing and other work can be found at Jonathan’s tumblr.

How To Be Happy is a game about fitting together by Elizabeth Sampat and Loren Hernandez.

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Why Try It: Takes a simple aesthetic and mouse-based interaction and conveys a lot of different ideas.

Mood: Introspective

Author’s Notes (Elizabeth Sampat): "A game I made with my dear friend Loren Hernandez for the Pulse-Pounding Heart-Stopping Game Jam. We call it a “physics-based dating sim.” It was important to me that we toss the idea of what’s typically considered a “dating sim” by the wayside; I didn’t want a lot of text with multiple endings and torrid affairs. I wanted to make something that accurately portrayed the feeling of dating— the frustration of trying to find someone who fits with you, the twitchy anticipation of trying to read social cues on a first date when you don’t even know what to look for, the process of finding out how you and your partner are both different people than you assumed. I hope that comes across."

From the forest ambassador: Elizabeth Sampat makes nontraditional tabletop roleplaying games — you can buy PDFs of them at her website. More of Loren Hernandez’ digital work can be found at her site.

Simulator Simulator is a game about simulators by Mr QQN.

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Why Try It: A simulator that simulates itself — you’ll never need another simulator again!

Mood: Silly

Author’s Notes: "The update everybody’s waiting : the zoom into the screen ! It’s now possible to play this game FOREVER !"

From the forest ambassador: Start by hitting the power button on the bottom left-hand site of the keyboard. You can use the backspace key on the right of the keyboard to back up if you make a mistake.

Corgi Simulator 2071 is a game about being a dog by Ryan Wiemeyer, Jamie Sanchez, and Watson the Corgi.

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Why Try It: Full-motion video animation; be a corgi in space.

Mood: Silly

Author’s Notes: "There are several reasons for the FMV approach: my animation skills are limited, two weeks isn’t a lot of time to learn animation, we didn’t want to ignore our corgi during the development of our corgi-based game, and we have easy access to a green screen. We used the Indie City Co-op webcast room to capture video and drop out the background, chroma keying twice due to software limitations and dropping out most of the audio because verbal commands every five seconds are fairly distracting. Fortunately, Adobe Premier was easy to learn. We ended up with 50 usable video clips that corresponded to each of the actions in our script and design. Filming and editing took roughly 20 hours."

From the forest ambassador: The goal of the game is to hack the computer in order to mess with the ship of the folks who have captured you. In order to do this, you’ll first need to draw the attention of your captors, then wait for them to leave their computer unattended before you can hack it. Taking different actions will recharge some of your status bars and deplete others, so play around and figure out what works.

You can read more about the development of the game at Jamie Sanchez’ blog.

Coming Out Simulator 2014 is a game about important decisions by Nicky Case.

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Why Try It: A compelling, branching, illustrated personal narrative. 

Mood: Introspective

Author’s Notes: "Be careful what you say. In this conversation simulator, everyone will remember every dialogue option you pick, and your choices drive the story. This game is semi-autobiographical. You play as a fictionalized version of this game’s author in the year 2010, during a night that changed their life forever. If that seems confusing or awkward, well, that’s the gist of being forced to come out to one’s parents, isn’t it?"

From the forest ambassador: Check out Nicky Case’s other work, including the previously-featured Nothing to Hide, at ncase.me.

Realistic Kissing Simulator is a game about tonsil hockey by Jimmy Andrews and Loren Schmidt.

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Why Try It: Experience all the tongue-mashing fun of kissing without the messiness; a game about sexual activity that makes consent part of the action.

Mood: Rowdy

Author’s Notes: "Two people sit together, and contemplate kissing. If both wish to kiss, a robust kissing simulation is provided! Tongues that expand, wobble, squish and lick! As the players are satisfied, the kiss ends. This is Realistic Kissing Simulator: a co-operative, goal-less, kissing simulation game."

From the forest ambassador: If you like Realistic Kissing Simulator, you can check out more of Loren Schmidt’s work at their website. Also, take a look at Jimmy Andrews’ How to Be a Tree.

Journalière is a game about melting by Mason Lindroth.

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Why Try It: Unusual and compelling art style; relatively free-form exploratory gameplay without mandatory reflex or skill-based challenges.

Mood: Creepy

Author’s Notes: "Mostly aimless wandering around a whimsically bleak surreal world, with a few moments of rudimentary platforming action. Proceed to the office tower at the top of the world map."

From the forest ambassador: Check out more of Mason Lindroth’s art and games, including the previously-featured Weird Egg & Crushing Finger, at his tumblr.

Party Business is a game about efficient partying by R Hill.

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Why Try It: Great sound design; interesting and amusing sense of movement; play as a cake.

Mood: Silly

Author’s Notes: "You are a cake, and must collect presents for a party. Your boss at PartyCo tells you that parties are serious business. Forks try to eat you, because you are a cake."

From the forest ambassador: You can spot presents over the hedges by the balloons they’re attached to, and you can usually avoid forks when they launch at you by speeding right past them rather than trying to turn or back up.

Capsule is a game about time and decisions by PaperBlurt.

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Why Try It: Creative use of visual effects to convey mood & atmosphere; an interactive deep space sci-fi story.

Mood: Creepy

Author’s Notes: "What’s happening in Sector 24-R?"

From the forest ambassador: Once you finish the story, you can see the other endings without having to replay the entire thing. Check out more of PaperBlurt’s Twine works at The PaperBlurt Twine Album.

BRICK[bricksmash]SMASH is a game about recursion by Alan Hazelden.

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Why Try It: A cute, recursive take on Breakout and similar games.

Mood: Chill

Author’s Notes: "BRICK[bricksmash]SMASH is bricksmash inside BRICKSMASH."

From the forest ambassador: Losing a ball inside one of the bricks doesn’t cost you anything, but if you lose your main ball and still have an inner brick game going, you can finish it to transform the brick into a new ball.

Check out more of Alan Hazelden’s games at his website, including the (commercial) chemistry-based puzzle game, Sokobond.

Shower Sim is a game about getting clean by chrisamaphone.

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Why Try It: Cute prose wrapped around a simple system that asks you to make difficult choices.

Mood: Silly

Author’s Notes: ”~~cutting edge, cinematic crappy apartment shower realism~~”

From the forest ambassador: Check out chrisamaphone’s other work, including the previously-featured and highly-recommended Spoken.

The Dark Third is a game about running away by Mark Wonnacott.

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Why Try It: An interactive music video that makes effective use of a very limited control scheme.

Mood: Atmospheric

Author’s Notes: "based on the first three tracks of The Dark Third by Pure Reason Revolution. they run together quite nicely and i’ve had an idea for a kind of video based around it for a while”

From the forest ambassador: Check out more of Mark Wonnacott’s work at itch.io.