Have You Played… My Father’s Long, Long Legs?

By Adam Smith on December 20th, 2014.

Free Twine game My Father’s Long, Long Legs manages to capture some of the uncanny horror of Junji Ito’s Uzumaki using nothing more than a fine selection of words and some cleverly applied sound effects. There are no jump scares here, just a gradual build toward…something. The story gains much of its power through the distorted vagueness of the threat – if it is truly a threat at all – and the obscure reasons for the changes that are occurring.

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Jobs Worth: Dwarf Fortress Update 0.40.20 Released

By Graham Smith on December 19th, 2014.

Dwarf Fortress updates come in two flavours: those that impress non-players with changes to world generation or patch notes about spitting dwarves, and those that impressive experienced players by changing some small UI or control thing in a small but significant way. Version 0.40.20 is the latter, because it allows you to set job priorities and it makes it so dwarves will regularly change activity in order to complete whatever is most important.

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The Bestest Best Being Pleasantly Lost Of 2014: Bernband

By RPS on December 19th, 2014.

Give up on trying to find your way around Bernband‘s neon alien futurecity. Give in to wandering, see where your tippy-tappy feet and the turbolifts take you. One minute’s wandering might take you through a bustling club, over a bridge with hovercars zipping past, to a horrible trumpet performance, then bumping into an alien weeing in a corner. Variety is the spice of life, They say.

Graham: Science fiction says that people living in crowded, loud, futurist cities will turn to virtual reality in order to visit peaceful forests and remember what the sky looked like. What it won’t tell you is that the reverse is true, too: I can see trees outside my window, but I long for a crowded metropolis full of strange aliens and jazz bars.

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Catching Up With Eyezmaze: Grow Clay

By Alec Meer on December 19th, 2014.

AWWWWWWWWWWW

I used to love the Grow games, that series of hyper-cute, hyper-inventive free puzzlers/animation treats from Japanese dev On, aka Eyezmaze. Then I grew up and decided I hated them. Put away childish things and all that.

Nah, ‘course not, I’ve just been busy trying to grow another lifeform. I was both saddened and relieved to discover that On hasn’t exactly been prolific while I wasn’t paying attention, with the most recent release being February’s Grow Clay. Which is, needless to say, lovely.
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Ghost Run In Pac Man: The 8 Pages

By Philippa Warr on December 19th, 2014.

Blinky, NOOOOOOO

As someone trying to overcome a fear of horror games I downloaded Pac Man: The 8 Pages.

It’s a riff on Slender: The Eight Pages, a game which scared me so badly I could only play it in broad daylight while eating a nice sandwich and STILL managed to drop my mouse out of sheer terror.

What you do in the game is pretty much what you would expect – wander a Pac Man-style labyrinth looking for pages pinned to the walls as a monstrous ghost (Blinky) pursues you. The thing with the game is that it isn’t scary, but I did really like the connection it draws between the collection/evasion in Pac Man and in Slender.

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Freeware Garden: Goat Herd and the Gods

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on December 19th, 2014.

Over their long, illustrious history point-and-click adventures have starred everything from wannabe pirates and odd teenagers to private investigators and obnoxious wizards, but never a goat herder. Happily, the aptly named Goat Herd and the Gods has just been released to right this heinous wrong by casting Atl the Aztec goat herder as its protagonist.

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Be Exactly What It Says: The Watcher

By Alice O'Connor on December 19th, 2014.

Hey, what are those little fellas up to?

Whoa whoa, hey there! What are you doing in such a hurry? Are you trying to play The Watcher? There’s a fairly big clue in the name there, buddy. It’s a short game you can poke at in your browser for free. You might want to play with the little aliens building a spaceship, but they’re a skittish sort. Don’t touch anything. You’ve got to wait. Sit back and watch the hand-drawn cuties scampering, and enjoy the music. When your time to interact does come, you might wish it hadn’t.

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A Gift From Simogo: The Sensational December Machine

By Adam Smith on December 18th, 2014.

You may know Swedish developers Simogo as the developers of frights and folklore game Year Walk, which came to PC in March. Since that game’s original iOS release, Simogo have released two other astonishingly clever and beautiful interactive narratives on fruit-based gadgets. 2013’s Device 6 was my favourite handheld game of that year, converting the iPad into a future-book from the best possible timeline. And this year’s release, The Sailor’s Dream, has been a tranquil companion in the small hours of the morning.

Now, as a little pre-giftsmas treat, Simogo have released a new narrative, The Sensational December Machine, for free on PC and Mac.

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Freeware Garden: Cat-Ana

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on December 18th, 2014.

Silly puns. Got to love them, really. Even more so when they come dressed up in detailed and lovely isometric graphics straight from the revered tradition of Cadaver, When Time Stood Still and the recent Shadowrun Returns. Yes, Cat-Ana really does look this good.

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Time To Admire Art In Secret Habitat

By Alice O'Connor on December 17th, 2014.

ART.

I like Secret Habitat. I like it an awful lot. I’ve been playing this latest from Strangethink Software for a fortnight and I keep returning to see more but it’s taken me this long to post because I want to do right by it. Oh, this’ll have to do! Secret Habitat is wonderful and special, okay?

It’s a free walking simulator on a procedural island covered in procedural art galleries with procedural layouts and procedural wallpaper and procedural collections of procedural artwork with procedural names by procedural artists, accompanied by procedural sound exhibits.

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Freeware Garden: bird song

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on December 17th, 2014.

♪ Grumpy, grumpy bird, grumpy grumpy bird. ♪

Daniel Linssen of Roguelight fame has once again been inspired by a Ludum Dare competition to do wonderful things with the metroidvania formula. Namely, to fit a delicious and beyond hefty platformer into a single screen and call it bird song.

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Freeware Garden: A Date In The Park

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on December 16th, 2014.

Awww, young love. Can seem so tacky when you are cynical, so naively passionate and yet so very adorable. Even when it involves a slightly obsessive young man and, as in the case of A Date In The Park, pointing-and-clicking at things that include at least one duckling. Then again, this relatively short adventure game does come from the creators of Mudlarks and thus both a decent amount of strangeness and some ’90s styled digitised graphics are to be expected.

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Stop! Sign Motion Demo Ahead

By Alice O'Connor on December 16th, 2014.

My favourite road sign is the graffitied 'STOP for me it's the CLAW'

A world where people in traffic signs and other warning notices are alive, and can run, jump, and swing on bits from other signs? That’s a nice setup for a quirky aesthetic, that, and it’s the idea behind Sign Motion. We’re taking a child escaped from a school crossing sign on a merry adventure of puzzle-platforming, doing all the rope-swinging, crate-pushing, obstacle-dodging, poison gas-avoiding one would expect from the genre. What’s going on beneath an interesting look? You can feel for yourself, as a demo has arrived a while after its release on Steam.

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