'Do you like to watch? Yeah, I bet you do, watching away, too scared to get involved yourself. You make me sick!' That's what you'll be saying to anyone who plays The King's League, a game in which you play an elderly monarch looking to find an heir to his throne, a task he is looking to complete by inviting brave young things to battle it out for his vicarious pleasure.
The voyeuristic patriarch of this kingdom needs first to recruit units that will serve him and then train them up. Over time you'll get more units coming through of different types – soldiers, archers and so on – all of which need training in one of six attributes.
You have to pay them all a monthly salary, so you can't just hire indiscriminately. After a few days the King's League tournament begins, where you can pit your jolly japesters against those of a rival, let's say, nobleman from the area (no idea, just sounds like it could make sense).
Battle soon commences and you just sit back and do nothing, hoping the troops you've selected have enough of what it takes to win the day.
It's a strange one, really. There's a degree of tactics involves, in that you need to think about what the enemy might throw at you and try to field a balanced force. But, then again, you're not actually doing anything, just basically playing a management game.
If you don't mind that, then this will definitely appeal, and it may well have more long term appeal because it doesn't bog itself down with repetitive combat mechanics that could be exploited. There are also quests to embark upon, which involve going somewhere and watching your men fight again. If this appeals, get your peep on over at Armor Games.
A melding of RPG and match-5 games, Glissaria sees you gathering resources, kitting out your soldiers with appropriate weapons and armour and then preparing to defend yourself against the hordes of evil. As you do.
It's primarily it's a tower defence game, with those two previously mentioned genres bolted onto the frame. You've got to build said towers and prevent monsters from progressing. To do this, you need wood and to get wood (chortle) you need to play a match-5 game in the top left of the screen, dragging rows and columns around to match resources together.
Towers can be upgraded with magical stones to give them special abilities, like the chance to slow down enemies or do more damage. Stones can also be collected via the 'resource field' (the match-5 bit).
Remember the bit about it being an RPG? Well, your character can also get stuck into the enemies, so you need to buff him up with weapons and armour, with extra stuff available through, yes, the resource field.
As your off-screen resource gatherers go about their work – that is, you match things up and it's like they were off gathering – they will move onto new areas, where you can mine for metal to build better towers and so on. Experience stars can also be matched to level up your hero.
As you can see, there's quite a lot to this and this time you can actually get to feel like you're making an impact on the game, unlike with King's League above. Definitely one worth playing over on Kongregate.
In case you can't get enough of defending those towers, here's another one very much in the Plants vs Zombies mold. Well, not so much in the mold but more a total copy of it, even down to the title. But the freeware scene is full of such... inspirational material, so we won't hold that against it. Unless it turns out to be rubbish, of course.
This one's called Toys vs Nightmares and involves saving a child from the objects of his foul imagination by using his collection of toys against them.
He must be a spoiled brat, as he's got a lot of toys to protect him, although they can only be summoned via the use of books that empower his mind with the goodness of their words. Or something like that.
It really couldn't be more of a … tribute to PvZ, but as that was so good, it's just about acceptable. It's lacking that charm that PopCap seems to be able to infuse into its creations, of course, but it provides enough of a cutesy tower defence challenge for those who've just about exhausted the lawn-based title.
Give it a go over here at Newgrounds and marvel at just how much it resembles PvZ. It has to be seen to be believed, really.
Finally, we've got a game about a bison who is kidnapped by a blue hand appearing out of a bag of candy and thrust into an arena of insane gummi bears who beg for blood. Remember that Itchy and Scratchy sequence where the big brain Scratchies telekinetically hurl blades at an ancient Itchy? Like that, just more edible.
Anyway, Burrito Bison seeks his revenge on the evil chewable bears and by Irish whipping himself into the ropes (he's in a wrestling ring) he can propel himself out and attempt an escape.
Like all games like this, it's a futile attempt, but it's fun to see just how far you can get and how much cash you can make to spend in the shop. (Why would he have access to shop that would help him escape?)
Inside said boutique, you can buy more elastic ropes, the ability to sail further in the air, things like that. It's obviously not got that much longevity to it, as you'll get bored quickly, but if you can find someone to compete with, that might inject a bit more life into proceedings if there's a bit of rivalry going on.
Play it over on the previously unseen on these pages Not Doppler.