Sling Spells At Chums In Grimoire’s Trial Weekend

By Alice O'Connor on April 24th, 2015.

Which sort of a wizard would you be? I don’t mean Gryffindor or Hufflepuff or whatnot, no, the cool stuff: do you want to fling fire, summon earth golems, heal people, or skip that hippy junk and draw upon the consuming powers of the void? Perhaps you might find Grimoire: Manastorm [official site] a helpful, and violent, sorting hat.

Though the multiplayer first/third-person arena wizard war is still in Steam Early Access, it’s opening up to let everyone have a look at how that’s working out through a free full trial weekend.

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Side-On Slide-O-Cover Shooter Not A Hero Gets A Demo

By Alice O'Connor on April 23rd, 2015.

The release of a demo for Not A Hero [official site] is wrapped up in a marketing campaign with a load of guff about UK politics and Nigel Farage and immigrants and fake hackings but look, let’s ignore all that. It’s a side-on shooter where you can duck into cover and slide and murder men in cool ways, made by OlliOlli folks Roll7, so let’s set that baffling angle aside and focus on the fact that it has a demo out now and is pretty fun.

The demo’s on Steam (look for the ‘Download Demo’ button on that jumble of a storefront) and Dropbox ahead of the game’s release on May 7th.

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Flowers And Entropy In Free Game Menagerie

By Alice O'Connor on April 22nd, 2015.

The fine folks at Oleomingus have released another curious little free game, Menagerie [official site]. Based on a script and performance by Prayas Abhinav, Vidisha Saini, and Agat Sharma, it’s a gorgeous room filled with replicating men and deteriorating conversation. Pip and Alice had a look.

Pip: Alice, I feel like we’ve both drooled over Oleomingus screenshots and teasers and game snippets independently. What say we convene and discuss the leafy bathroom chat that is Menagerie TOGETHER? I’m launching it right now so I can tell you all about my favourite leaves, by the way.

Alice: Pip, a game about a chat which becomes increasingly incoherent sounds ideal for us. Also, it is the prettiest dang thing I’ve seen in a while.

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Cutesy Speedrunning FPS Lovely Planet Has A Demo Now

By Alice O'Connor on April 21st, 2015.

It is a nice planet, isn't it?

I know: you saw that screenshot, read the name Lovely Planet [official site], and rolled your eyes at ole Alice posting another one of her little wander ‘em ups. The joke’s on you, clever clogs. Those colourful cloud islands? You go there to dash and leap around and murder things with your stargun. It’s a first-person shooter, see, about honing short runs to top leaderboards, dodging one-hit-kill enemies, optimising routes, and trying not to miss.

Lovely Planet came out last July, but now it has a demo out through Steam.

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Pleasant Puzzling In Free Game Nine

By Alice O'Connor on April 20th, 2015.

How do you feel about games like Samorost and Windosill? You know, quiet, gentle puzzlers in surreal worlds which follow their own rules. The sort of game where solving a puzzle is often simply a happy side-effect of playing with something interesting, and you don’t mind if what you’ve been fiddling with isn’t the correct solution, because the interaction alone is pleasing. Those games. Do you like them?

If so, do have a peek at Nine [official site]. Released last week for free and playable in your browser, it is one of those games. I enjoyed it.

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Run Through The Internet: Free Platformer 404Sight Out

By Alice O'Connor on April 20th, 2015.

Hack the planet!

“Auntie Alice! Auntie Alice!” the younglings cry, tugging at my skirts of badger pelts and kingfisher feathers. “Tell us again about before The Crash! Tell us again about being an Internaut.”

Ah, little ones… pure white landscapes stretched out before me, angular shapes floating in datafog, datapaths branching and merging, and I sprint down these, jumping, rolling, choosing the quickest path to deliver my precious packets while dodging and smashing The Man’s obstacles.

Well, describing free run-o-platformer 404Sight [official site] excites the younglings more than the sorry truth could. I don’t have the heart to spoil their dreams.

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Endless Legend Free On Steam This Weekend

By Graham Smith on April 17th, 2015.

Endless Legend [official site] is the Bestest Best Game Of 2014 says we, but it’s possible that you still haven’t found time or money to sink yourself into the clever, fantasy, 4X strategy game. Good news, then! The game is free this weekend on Steam, from now until the end of Sunday. That seems like long enough to see whether its hexagons are for you.

Alternatively, its cousin Dungeon of the Endless [official site] is also free for the same period.

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How I Lost My Soul In AdVenture Capitalist

By Alec Meer on April 16th, 2015.

AdVenture Capitalist is a free game, in theory. AdVenture Capitalist is an idle game – i.e. one which plays itself – in theory. AdVenture Capitalist is a satire of everything that is wrong with Skinner Box games and free-to-play games. In theory.

In practice, I have dishonored myself.

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I See You: Colourful Stealth Horror Brighter Day’s Demo

By Alice O'Connor on April 16th, 2015.

Brighter Day [dev’s site] is certainly the most colourful stealth horror game I’ve played, though that’s little comfort when giant hovering eyeballs are chasing me down a hospital corridor and I’m out of ways to distract them. Perhaps I should’ve taken my medicine rather than try to fling it at awful eyes.

It goes down in what appears to be a sunny little psychiatric hospital where everything from doors to showers make cheery music. Though I think it’s delightful, apparently we want to escape. The game’s still in development, but you can have a crack yourself in the demo that’s out now.

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Bang Bang Battleships Boom: Free Game USS Tlancy

By Alice O'Connor on April 15th, 2015.

Kersplode!

Vlambeer’s games are big, loud, colourful, and exciting but, y’know, they’re also hard. What if you want noise and colours and flashes and hordes of enemies and torrents of bullets and explosions and screenshake without really having to try? What if you simply want to ‘splode stuff real good?

You might fancy a crack at USS Tlancy [official site], which follows the Vlambeerian explode-o-style. It’s a flak-blasting, torpedo-launching, cannon-firing, screen-shaking point-scoring arcade battleship explosionfest made by Armel Gibson, and you can download it for free.

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Way Down In The Hole: Tunnel, A Free Soundscape Game

By Alice O'Connor on April 15th, 2015.

Do you like long, slow, uncut shots in films where the camera moves steadily through a dark, intimate, and eerie hole and through an unsettling soundscape? You know, the sort of thing where you think it’s going to be inside an ear or a bottom but then feel confident nah, it’s fine, then come back around to suspecting it really is guts isn’t it. I like this one from series 2 of Twin Peaks (consider yourself on spoiler alert).

I also like Tunnel [official site], a short free game about journeying through a murky, mysterious tunnel and a moody soundscape. Play it with headphones.

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Exploration And Reflection In Minkomora

By Alice O'Connor on April 14th, 2015.

I may read readme files but I don’t read video game manuals. What kind of a rube do you take me for? However, I made an exception for Minkomora [official site] and I urge you to as well.

It’s a gentle free game about exploring a hand-drawn world filled with varied places and characters doing their own thing. That’s nice, y’know, but then I followed the urging to read its manual and oh! what a lovely thing! I over-use “lovely” but it’s a warm, caring game encouraging self-reflection. I am reminded, narcissistically, of my time with Dark Souls Nites.

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Push The Button: ICBM Is A Free Nuke Launch Control Sim

By Alice O'Connor on April 13th, 2015.

The Cold War! A conflict immortalised in such action-packed movies as Rambo III, Red Dawn, Red Zone Cuba, and Rocky IV. But what about the real threat of the Cold War, the thousands of intercontinental ballistic missiles pointed at the USA and USSR? ICBM [official site] is a free game which puts you – yes, you! – at the heart of the action.

Across four missions, you’ll be the one sat at the desk with the big red button, waiting patiently for orders to turn the key and unleash the end of the world. And waiting. And waiting. And waiting.

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