Freeware Garden: Zest

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on October 14th, 2014.

Shotgun!

Being a Lemonista in Sufferette City during the year’s hottest week doesn’t really sound like the ideal thing to do. Not when you have a drug addiction to support, face a severe lack of funds and are battling with the notion of religion. Then again, splashes of humour aside, Zest really isn’t trying to be a jolly game.

It’s about depression, drugs, metaphysics, personal hygiene and the many irritations of being a wage slave; humour just fits there because, frankly, it fits everywhere.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , .

4 Comments »

Visit Dystopian Manchester In Beyond Flesh And Blood

By Alice O'Connor on October 14th, 2014.

AND IN THE GAME.

Bath, the Georgian crown of England, the enthusiastic voice track on the open-top tour bus barely stopped short of calling it. After official RPS business (a nice big lunch) took me to the UK’s unofficial home of PC games word writing yesterday, our Adam t’up north is the only Rock, Paper, Shotguneer whose manor I haven’t visited. No worries. A demo’s out now for Beyond Flesh and Blood, a shooter set in a dystopian future Manchester. Our kid gave it a look with his beady eye before, recognising a few bits, so I shall be sure to grill him after playing.

“ADAM how long have those warbots been there? ADAM is Manchester always this dirty? ADAM what species of tree is that growing through the office blocks?”

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , .

14 Comments »

Competitive Grabby Claw Shoving: Fortune Catcher

By Alice O'Connor on October 14th, 2014.

Grab that ball!

Grabby claw games are difficult, you’ll know if you’ve ever tried to win a cuddly toy to silence a bawling sprog or woo a romantic interest in some weird knowingly-performative courtship ritual. This is mostly because they cheat. Claws can be calibrated to have the grip of a kitten, or even grow weaker a few seconds after grabbing. Some are merciful, while others make you look a ruddy fool for trying so hard to impress that girl. That’s not why grabby claw video game Fortune Catcher is difficult. The prize wandering about makes it tricky, sure, and the claw controls randomising every round is a problem, but the two-player local multiplayer means jostling for control of the keyboard.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , , , .

4 Comments »

Free-lude: The Talos Principle – Sigils Of Elohim

By Adam Smith on October 13th, 2014.

‘Free-lude’ – a terrible term never to be used again in reference to a prelude given away for free. Sigils of Elohim is just such a thing, being a puzzle game that you can download and play right now without spending a penny. The video below does a good job of explaining the format of the puzzles, which seem easy enough but will undoubtedly cause me to pummel my keyboard with my fists as they become increasingly complex. I’ve got about as much spatial awareness as this chap. Success with the sigils will “unlock helpful items and relics within The Talos Principle“, which is the philosophical first-person puzzler due from Croteam later this year. Crap at puzzles I may be, but I’ll be playing for the writing of Tom Jubert and Jonas Kyratzes, and hoping to blunder through.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

8 Comments »

Freeware Garden: Middlegrounds

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on October 13th, 2014.

What a whimsical, whimsical world...

So, I’ve got the keys, the sword and the axe. I know that the goat-like things enjoy talking to adventurers and giving out cryptic hints. I’m also aware of the fact that the black, bipedal beasties are mesmerized by flames and can’t pass through those golden fire hydrant things that go ding. Or is it a whole group of terrains they treat as impassable? Who cares? As long as they don’t surround me, thus forcing a restart, or follow me in conga line from hell, all is fine and I’m free to keep exploring the Middlegrounds.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , .

2 Comments »

Roll The Bones: Let Your Mind Fall To Rest

By Alice O'Connor on October 13th, 2014.

This is what inside your head looks like.

I don’t believe tarot has occult powers, but I do think anything that throws a load of symbols at you to interpret can help get your thoughts in order. Let Your Mind Fall to Rest does this quite literally. The latest from increpare, of English Country Tune and Slave of God fame, it has you roll two dice covered in esoteric symbols and leaves the rest up to you. Dice Man where you figure out the commands after you roll.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

15 Comments »

Moon Waltz: Sometimes Like The Wolf

By Philippa Warr on October 13th, 2014.

Wolfing about, doing my wolf thing

After a series of events I don’t want to get into involving trying to decide whether to start a blood feud with someone or not, I ended up playing Moon Waltz, a game about sometimes being a werewolf who rips people apart and sometimes not being a werewolf who rips people apart.

It’s by Major Bueno – the same people behind cat posing sim Musclecat Showdown – and lets you control the clouds covering the moon as your werewolf character strolls through the town. Holding space down reveals said moon and triggers your inner lethal werewolf.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , .

6 Comments »

Marvel Puzzle Quest: No, Really, It’s Good

By Ben Barrett on October 12th, 2014.

No, don’t run screaming from the jaws of free-to-play tie-ins, they’re your friends! Okay, that’s a lie, but Marvel Puzzle Quest is different. It’s almost exactly what it says on the genetically-modified tin: a take on the classic match-3 formula with Marvel’s endless stream of heroes, villains and miscellaneous others injected for framing and plot. By all rights, mathematics and universal laws it should be at best a cash-grab and at worst a soulless husk of un-fun. Somehow, it’s neither.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

45 Comments »

Supersize Me: Evolve Big Alpha Signups Now Available

By Ben Barrett on October 11th, 2014.

While I maintain that the best thing about Turtle Rock’s asymmetrical co-op shooter is its fabulous logo, Evolve is also starting to grow on me as an idea. They’ve done everything they can to put me off with impressively terrible shoutcasted trailers, but the central idea of controlling a giant monster and killing my friends is very solid. Equally, ganging up on one-another is what we spend most of our time doing anyway. If that sounds familiar, you can now sign up for the mysteriously named Big Alpha that’s running through Halloween. To get in you’ll need one of the two codes below.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , .

10 Comments »

Freeware Garden: Space Gardener

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on October 10th, 2014.

I call myself Neil the Shrubber.

Freeware gardening aside, I really am not much of a gardener in real life. I’d love to, but I don’t have a garden. Anyway. Seems like virtual space gardening could make for quite the substitute. Despite not being certain as to how such things would work on a real, very physical and appropriately deadly planet that’s not Earth, the terrific Space Gardener makes it sound like a lovely prospect.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , .

13 Comments »

Control The Winds Of Venus With A Repurposed Radio

By Philippa Warr on October 10th, 2014.

Actually Venus seems sunnier

Updated to add Petri as a co-creator

You know what’s cooler than being cool? Being absolutely freezing. Also custom controllers which augment the experience of playing a game in interesting ways. Long story short? We need to talk about The Winds Of Venus.

I’ve been tinkering with the free keyboard-controlled version (you can do that too if you fancy). In it you are piloting a Space Dirigible on an expedition from Helsinki to an alternate universe version of Venus in 1927. You must contend with strong storms while seeking the harvesters you need in order to escape the hellish environment. And then there’s the controller.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , , .

11 Comments »

Lovesick: Because Bodily Fluids Are All Romantic

By Philippa Warr on October 10th, 2014.

Kinda like that scene in Bridesmaids

In a slight change of pace from games about Hieronymous Bosch and game jams aiming to overturn social stigmas, I have been playing Lovesick.

Lovesick is a romantic game by Deep Plaid Games about competitive projectile vomiting and explosive poop. Because, look, nothing says romance like exchanging bodily fluids so why be so prescriptive over exactly which bodily fluids those actually are?

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , .

8 Comments »

Bish Bash Bosch: Cave! Cave! Deus Videt

By Philippa Warr on October 9th, 2014.

Capes are compulsory in art museums

Today I have spent part of my morning as a teenaged Spanish boy who has St Anthony thrust upon him as his psychotherapist. Or, to put it another way, I’m playing episode zero of CAVE! CAVE! DEUS VIDET* – a game based on the work of Hieronymous Bosch.

The reason I was particularly interested to play it is that Bosch is famed for his complicated fantastical scenes, yet this game deals in stylish minimalism. You know those minimalist movie posters? This is that but for Bosch’s artwork. It also won the Bosch Art Game competition last year so I wanted to see how it dealt with the artworks in question.

Read the rest of this entry »

, , , .

3 Comments »