Posts Tagged ‘free’

Have You Played… UnReal World?

By Adam Smith on October 20th, 2014.

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

This has nothing to do with the popular FPS series, Unreal. It’s much more interesting. UnReal World has been a mainstay on various hard drives that I’ve owned since I first discovered it at some point in the mid-nineties. The first release was in 1992 and to describe the game as being ‘a bit ahead of its time’ would be like describing Usain Bolt as ‘quite fast’. Unfamiliar at the time, the elements of play are now a genre in and of themselves. It’s an RPG about wilderness survival, with borrowings from the roguelike ocean, and an enormous amount of things to craft.

It’s also, quite possibly, the best example of its type.

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Pro Chess Simulator 300 Makes The Tough Guys Tumble

By Alice O'Connor on October 20th, 2014.

I sank your battleship.

Goat Simulator. Accountant Simulator. Door Simulator 2015. Corgi Simulator 2071. Turtle Simulator. Going Right Simulator. Room Cleaning Simulator 2014. Grass Simulator 2014. Cat Simulator. Tree Simulator 2013: Treeloaded. Teabag Simulator 2014. Alien Probe Simulator 2014. Tea Party Simulator 2014. Barbershop Quartet Simulator. Dish-washing Simulator 2014. Butt Touching Simulator (obviously I showed that one to Cara).

You might have noticed that joke Simulators are all the rage nowadays. They’re often not very funny. Usually their mere name is meant to be the punchline. Pro Chess Simulator 300 is a single-joke Simulator too but it’s a good joke. Not one to retell at your Britain’s Got Talent audition, but worth a few smiles.

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Freeware Garden: Hill 160

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on October 20th, 2014.

Horror.

Very few games attempt to convey the complete and utter terror of war, to avoid any sort of jingoism, and to still create a sense of desperate excitement. Even fewer succeed. Hill 160, rather impressively, is one of the latter. What’s more, as one 2014′s more traditional IFComp entries, it accomplishes that using nothing more than text.

Glorious, evocative text that paints an atmosphere of complete dread.

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An Inkling Of Adventure: Octopus City Blues Demo

By Adam Smith on October 20th, 2014.

Octopus City Blues is an adventure game set in a city built around a giant octopus. So far, so weird. The player character sounds about as odd as the setting, as well as containing an apparent nod to fans of the Franz in his name – “Assume the role of Kaf Kafkaryan, a cowardly middle-aged octopus blood junkie and tentacle trimmer”. Plagued by strange dreams, Kaf journeys into Octopus City’s underbelly and uncovers a conspiracy, which looks like it might involve a cast of wretches and bizarre enough to make you cough up your naked lunch. The demo is available now and there are some suggestions as to how it should be played below.

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Don’t Panic: System Status 100

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

They don't like it up 'em.

“Interstellar panic simulator.” It’s not immediately clear why System Status 100 creator Jonothan Rubock calls his free browser game that. It’s easy-peasy at first, simply giving you a little froggy space robot and a steady stream of space bullets to jump over. Survive for 25 seconds and another box will open on the screen, starting another one-button minigame. Oh. Then another comes at 50. And another at 75. Then you’re experiencing interstellar panic. I’ve never quite reached 100 seconds, so I don’t know what happens, but the game has space for another four games. Crumbs.

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Have You Played… Sacrilege

By Alec Meer on October 17th, 2014.

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

Sacrilege is a free interactive fiction game about trying to pull guys in a nightclub. It’s by Cara Ellison.

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Freeware Garden: Platdude In A Bit Of A Spin

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on October 17th, 2014.

Platdude.

By fusing a slot machine with a puzzle platformer, prolific indie developer Jayenkai has come up with the completely random puzzle platformer. A new sub-sub-genre perfectly summed up in the colourfully retro Platdude In A Bit Of A Spin. A game that, not unlike solitaire, might just deal you a hand of platforms, ladders and traps you simply cannot win with.

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Freeware Garden: CastleMania

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on October 16th, 2014.

The heroic girl with the axe is out to get them chandeliers.

I sadly have to admit that CastleMania is far too difficult for me. It doesn’t love me back, and no matter what I do or how hard I try the thing just won’t let me reach its finale. But, that’s okay. Really, it is.

CastleMania didn’t merely entertain me in the most masochistic of ways for a couple or so hours. It also enlightened me, as I finally understood that those few console games I tried and was never able to beat when I was a kid had less to do with my inherent incompetence and more with the brutal design sensibilities of the average NES game. And that nasty mechanic which has you bouncing back whenever an enemy damages you.

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Tape To Tape: Small Radios Big Televisions

By John Walker on October 15th, 2014.

Small Radios Big Televisions is described by creator Owen Deery of Fire Face as, “A game about exploring digital places stored in analog media.” I describe it as, “A really pretty weird thing that’s fun to click on.” You can see for yourself in a short demo that runs within your web browser itself.

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Game On, Man: Aliens Versus Predator Free On GOG

By Alice O'Connor on October 15th, 2014.

Only forgot their 'FREE HUGS' sign, didn't they?

Years of pining for a decent Alien game have been ended by Alien: Isolation, a right little stonker, which probably means it’s time to start hoping for another good Aliens game. That little extra s makes a huge difference, calling for space marines with big guns yelling “Let’s rock!” then melting in sprays of acid blood. If you fancy a fun interspecies rumble on PC, you’ll need to look back a good decade.

As luck would have it (or a convenient marketing opportunity), you can now grab one of the last good Aliens games for free. GOG are giving away Rebellion’s Aliens Versus Predator (the nice one from 1999, not 2010′s so-so Aliens vs. Predator) to get folks testing the infrastructure for the upcoming Galaxy service.

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Freeware Garden: Heroine’s Quest

By Konstantinos Dimopoulos on October 15th, 2014.

This is what the beginning of a beautiful adventure looks like.

In our year of Quest for Glory (a.k.a. Sierra’s Hero Quest)  revivals, re-imaginings, revisits and remakes, Heroine’s Quest: The Herald of Ragnarok is the adventure-RPG I have unashamedly fallen in love with. A beautiful game about selfless, old-fashioned heroism that brilliantly captures the spirit of Quest for Glory. An adventure, that unlike the saga’s very own final installment, proudly stands up to its progenitors’ lofty standards.

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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.

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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.

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