Procedural Schoolgirl Intrigue: Black Closet Out With Demo

By Alice O'Connor on May 18th, 2015.

INTRIGUE!

Long Live the Queen had players fend off armies and sea monsters, but all those pale in comparison to the viciousness of a private girls’ school. That’s the setting for the latest from LLtQ developers Hanako Games, Black Closet [official site], which came out on Sunday.

Black Closet’s about mystery, scandal, secret societies, crime, and romance afoot at the illustrious St. Claudine’s. As Student Council President, you must keep things in check and save the school’s reputation by investigating procedurally-generated intrigue, and hey, living a life of your own too. It has a demo, so you can see for yourself.

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Free To Play: Demo Technobabylon Before It Launches

By Emily Gera on May 17th, 2015.

You’ve got a few days to wait before Technobabylon [official site] officially launches on Steam, but in the meantime publishers Wadjet Eye have sounded the Free Stuff klaxon and are offering a tasty morcel of demo for the price of a mere link click.

Remember this game? It might jog your memory if I say “that thing what was Blade Runner meets Police Quest.” Technobabylon is essentially a throwback to the olde point-and-click adventure of the 90s, built for the bleeding hearts of cyberpunk fandom like myself. The game will hit PC on May 21st for $14.99, but you can download a nice little demo for free from both Steam and its website.

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Free Honda: Ultra Street Fighter IV Free Weekend

By Adam Smith on May 15th, 2015.

There was a period in the mid-nineties when Rise of the Robots and One Must Fall: 2097 were the only beat ‘em ups available on PC. Believing robotic participants to be the future of combat sports, Colin Computer, CEO of PC Incorporated, banned all fighting games containing living combatants. When it became clear that people might accidentally play Rise of the Robots in a two-game market, Colin was chased out of town.

Times have changed. Now you can play the latest Dead or Alive< ! and Mortal Kombat games and a whole lot more. And this weekend, starting right now, you can play Ultra Street Fighter IV for free through Steam.

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Striking A Discord: Ossuary

By Adam Smith on May 15th, 2015.

I choose to see the funny side of Ossuary, a gloriously strange Discordian adventure game from Future Proof, home of Gregory Avery-Weir, creator of (I Fell In Love With) The Majesty Of Colours and Looming. Upon its initial release back in 2013, I found Ossuary baffling. “What could it all mean?” I asked, never expecting anybody to answer. I played it eventually and while I never managed to answer that initial query, I found a hundred more deliciously clever questions.

If you’ve ever stared at a list of upcoming releases and wished for something extraordinary to shake things up, pay attention to Ossuary. It’s coming to Steam on May 27th and deserves a second helping of devotees.

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Free Steam Key For Nosferatu: Wrath Of Malachi

By RPS on May 14th, 2015.

We’ve got 250,000 free Steam keys to give away for Nosferatu: The Wrath of Malachi [Steam page]. It’s a survival horror first-person shooter that is, according to its Steam reviews, quite good. More importantly: it’s free.

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Be Graham: The Westport Independent Demo

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

Maddeningly, it won't let me correct that mistake.

The Westport Independent [official site] may well remind you of Lucas Pope’s dystopia-o-deskjob games Papers, Please and The Republia Times, which are fine games to be reminded of.

It’s a game about editing a newspaper in an oppressive state where the government is increasingly trying to censor and control everything. As you edit articles and put issues together, you can fight The Man, support Him, or just put your head down and try to keep your paper running and your staff happy. As you can see for yourself in a new alpha demo.

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Bum-Sliding Fun: Action Henk Leaves Early Access

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

Keep on sliding, Nathan.

Our Nathan, back when he was our Nathan, was really into sliding around on his bottom. Wait for it, ladies and gentlemen: …and in the game. He dug Action Henk [official site] back when it was on Steam Early Access and, now that it’s properly launched and has a demo, I see the appeal.

It’s a time-trialling, leaderboard-chasing 2D racer about grotesque action figures running (and sliding on their bottoms) around courses constructed from toys, all wooden blocks, toy car tracks, and a floor that is literally lava.

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First-Person Parkour: Lemma Released With Demo

By Alice O'Connor on May 12th, 2015.

They call this parkour move 'le uh oh grand'

I never knew how much I wanted games to have a button to let me forward-roll whenever I jolly well pleased, and now I don’t want to leave Lemma [official site]. AND! You can look down to see your arms and legs and body. If you’re a bitter cynic who demands more than SEEING LEGS! then I suppose the first-person parkour with mantling, wall-running, and wall-jumping might please you. Or the voxelicious world which materialises walls and platforms as if by magic as you run.

Lemma launched yesterday, and has a demo you can give a whirl.

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Sins Of A Dark Age Launches Out Of Early Access As F2P

By Alice O'Connor on May 11th, 2015.

Even by the time Sins of a Solar Empire folks Ironclad Games announced their MOBA Sins of a Dark Age [official site] in 2012, the genre was a little overcrowded. SoaDA was originally billed as a MOBA/RTS, but later dropped bits like base-building. It’s still trying to be more ambitious than you average Dote ‘em up or Loller, though.

Now, after a lengthy stretch on Steam Early Access, where it costs $5 (and it was $25 for beta access before that), Sins of a Dark Age is out free-to-play for all to manage lords. It’s on Steam.

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Fiddle With Fate In This Starry Midnight We Make’s Demo

By Alice O'Connor on May 8th, 2015.

Does the movement of the planets and stars influence your behaviour and your destiny? Other than making you giggle when astrologers talk about “Uranus rising”, I mean. Story-o-puzzler This Starry Midnight We Make [official site] gives the power to shape the sky and change the world.

Starry Midnight is the latest Japanese game being localised and published by Carpe Fulgur, the folks who brought Recettear: An Item Shop’s Tale westward. They plan to release it later this month, but for now it has a demo you can try.

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I Knew It: Telepath Tactics Demo Released

By Alice O'Connor on May 8th, 2015.

“What am I, a mind reader?” is the kind of hilarious joke I’d crack if I did have telepathic powers, trying to shirk responsibility for casually smashing my flatmate’s favourite mug (the final gift from their dead gran) while making it clear that I don’t care if they’re upset: I’m better than them.

I haven’t played Telepath Tactics [official site] so I don’t know what the tactical RPG is about. Is it about using telepathy to uncover exactly what will rile up your flatmates most? Alec’s Wot I Think suggests not. If you fancy turn-based squad action rather than petty cruelty, you can see for yourself as a demo is now out for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

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Turn-Based Ball-Kicking In Football Tactics Demo

By Alice O'Connor on May 7th, 2015.

Back in September 2014, I wrote my one good RPS post, feigning ignorance of football and describing FIFA 15 as real-time squad-based tactical ritualised combat. Oh, what japes! But look who’s the fool now: it’s you, you rotters. Football Tactics [official site] takes that real-time action onto a grid with team management and turn-based ballcombat.

Developers Creoteam have released a demo to support their Steam Greenlight campaign. On the balltlefield it’s all pretty JRPG-ish, which proves me entirely correct.

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Say It Fast 3 Times: Touch Pianist Is A Fun Browser Toy

By Graham Smith on May 5th, 2015.

I own three keyboards: one for typing, two for playing music on. The one for typing is the only one I know how to use though, so I’m pleased with Touch Pianist. It’s a website in which you press any key in order to advance a piece of classical music one note at a time. It’s unlike Guitar Hero in that, if you stop typing, the music stops playing, but there’s still challenge if you need it in trying to match the rhythm of your key presses to that of the original piece. It’s quite lovely.

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