The Valleys Are Alive With The Sound Of Music: The Bends

By Alice O'Connor on December 12th, 2014.

Laid back.

The Bends is short, free, pleasant, and even playable in your browser if you want. There, that covers the list of excuses you might have to not play it. It’s a walkable song, I suppose – a pretty little valley filled with megaliths that build a chilled-out song piece by piece. After a busy week, it might help you unwind or get pumped for the weekend. I don’t know what you’re into. I don’t know what you get up to. Please, don’t tell me.

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Freeware Garden: OverPowered

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on December 12th, 2014.

One of the many things that impressed me about Psychonauts all those years ago was the fact that it was funny in a way only a video game could be. That it used its medium and our expectations thereof to make the kind of jokes that, say, film could never really pull off.

Still, Psychonauts was first and foremost a game, whereas OverPowered is one elaborate joke wrapped around an insanely difficult platformer.

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Freeware Garden: offɭine

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on December 11th, 2014.

Do you know that sensation you get when travelling by train at night, looking out of the window, thinking and imagining things? Scaring yourself or deciding to let the hypnotic sights relax you? Well, offɭine is a game about this exact sensation. Really. I asked dev Pol Clarissou and he said so.

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A Kind Of Magic: Hex ‘Shattered Destiny’ Set Out

By Alice O'Connor on December 11th, 2014.

It's a kind of Magic.

Hearthstone’s expansion Goblins vs. Gnomes wasn’t the only big release in virtual collectible card games this week, mind. Tuesday brought the second card set for Hex: Shards of Fate, another free-to-play which I hear is awfully popular and quite good. (And Mojang’s Scrolls is due to launch today.) Looking at Hex now, I see so much of Magic: The Gathering that I should run screaming before it drags me in. But the ‘Shattered Destiny’ expansion is out and oh no I think I even know which Magic cards inspired some of these. Help don’t let me download this client.

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Have You Played… Sepulchre?

By Philippa Warr on December 10th, 2014.

A puppy, you say?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Point and click tale Sepulchre is a tiny slip of a thing, but that doesn’t stop it from being a curious and creepy story at the same time.

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Walking Simulator With A Gun: Ultimate Pâté

By Alice O'Connor on December 10th, 2014.

How tranquil!

Ultimate Pâté is a free walking simulator with a gun. It’s a big gun too, a double-barrelled shotgun. You can use it to kill exotic and whimsical animals like flamingos and unicorns. To process into cheap pâté. And yet… I do think it’s a walking simulator rather than a hunting game. We wander around low-fi woods, follow skittish animals, and listen to soft music in sterotypical walking simulator ways, so I feel a giddy transgressive thrill whipping out a shotgun to blow away a magical horse.

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Freeware Garden: Orion

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on December 10th, 2014.

Ludum Dare 31 has just begun and its theme is all about fitting entire games in a single screen. Developer feiss has made the most of the space by effectively fitting a sizable part of our solar system in one button-filled screen. Orion is a space shuttle sim, it evokes of old MS-DOS space sim Shuttle.

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Freeman Rush: HL2 RTS Lambda Wars Free On Steam

By Alice O'Connor on December 10th, 2014.

What a cute little Citadel!

Way back when RPS was a wee bairn, Alec gurgled and waved his flabby babyfists at Half-Life 2: Wars, a mod turning Valve’s FPS into a Company of Heroes-ish RTS. Pistol squads facing off against headcrab zombies, breaking out RPGs to take down Combine gunships, and all that. Well, RPS has grown a lot since then, as has Alec, and so has HL2: Wars too. Having renamed itself Lambda Wars (it tried Spike but the other mods at school were merciless), it’s matured over the years and is now available on Steam as a standalone game free for all. You don’t even need to own Half-Life.

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Thieves And Cowboys: Local Multiplayer Shoot-o-Bluffs

By Alice O'Connor on December 9th, 2014.

WHO ARE YOU?

One needs real guile to pretend to be as stupid as a background NPC. Can you mill about seemingly at random while still accomplishing goals? Can you fool someone else trying to catch you at? You may think I’m asking about Spy Party but no, I’m thinking of other new-ish games floating around at the moment. Both are competitive local multiplayer games where all players are pretending to be NPCs while trying to sniff out and murder the others. Contact Cowboy is a free two-player same-keyboard game, while Thief Town is paid but more elaborate. I’ll explain.

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Parcel Force: This Way Up Is A Cute Puzzler

By John Walker on December 9th, 2014.

Here’s a rather sweet little puzzle game, that’s yours completely free. It’s called This Way Up, in which you roll a packaging box around tiled levels, trying to reach a goal tile. But all the while attempting to keep your cardboard cube facing the right way to be able to, er, fire purple blasts of magic.

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Freeware Garden: Peen Peen (NSFW)

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on December 9th, 2014.

Ooooh, you sexy beast, you!

A sequel to the demented adventure game Psyche E has been released and its none other than the outrageous Peen Peen. A game that’s both funnier and way naughtier than the original and thus one definitely not for children or people who are offended by words that reference kinky sex.

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Have You Played… Skeal?

By Alice O'Connor on December 8th, 2014.

Oh, yeah, just a ski slope, nothing going on here.

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

“An endless stream of game recommendations,” says whoever wrote that intro when we started this. This, however, is a more literal question: have you played Skeal? (Now in browser form too!) Because I’d like to talk about it or maybe just laugh together if you have, but if you haven’t, well, I wouldn’t want to ruin anything. It’s a short, free, absurd, and awfully janky game about downhill skiing which becomes quite the thing. How do you feel about R&B singer Seal, by the way?

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Freeware Garden: Petrichor

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on December 8th, 2014.

A nice, big red umbrella.

Éric Chahi’s Another World did many things right, but what I believe it really excelled at was conveying the feeling that you were somewhere drastically different. Somewhere otherworldly yet also sensible and at times familiar and this is the exact same sensation Sundae Month’s Petrichor manages to re-create.

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