I’m no certified freeware gardener. I couldn’t advise you on freeware landscaping, freeware for south-facing computers, or the best freeware for dog owners. However, even the most amateur freeware appreciator can grab a little freeware wrapped with elastic bands from by the Tesco checkout, plonk it into a vase on the desk, and write a little card pretending it’s a gift.
This morning I’ve been gazing at Awe, a brower-based musical little puzzler about discovering patterns to plant a planet. Gosh, freeware? For me? But who could it be from?
The answer to that question is one-man, two-cat team Oddly Shaped Pixels, the trio also behind Super Rocket Shootout. They made it in the big old Ludum Dare 30 game jam, which had the theme “Connected Worlds”.
Awe gives you a little planet of hard-edged polygons rotating in space, barren at first. You’ll need to plant trees, mountains, clouds, and other things by discovering and playing tunes. Each colour plays a different note, see, so you click around to discover the tunes, warbling out little melodies as you go. Each new object you unlock and plant brings new colours. Colours change depending on whether they’re in light or not too, so a solution might involve a certain tree on the sunny side and another of the same type on the dark.
It’s pleasing, soothing, and short–though I’ve left the game running in another tab while I write this because its soundtrack’s very nice anyway. If only all freeware left in my care didn’t wilt and die. It has multiplayer too, though I don’t believe my attempts to get it going worked.
(Pr0 tip: if you get stuck, watch the little code triangles jiggle as you click on different colours.)