Free Loaders: This Library Is Fully Booked

You love my wordplay.

You turn on the tap in your kitchen only to see a rusty spray of water splutter out. That’s odd. You just had the plumbing fixed last week. You twiddle with the faucet, hoping to do some good when you hear a low moan coming from the plughole. You freeze. You lean in to listen carefully. The gurgling is coming closer… closer… A FREE GAME splurts out of the plughole! It wraps its flagella around your neck, its bioluminescence flickering rapidly, its mandibles undulating wildly by your eyes, oh god, now there are more, coming out of the faucet, out of the dishwasher, out of the fridge. Free games! Free games everywhere! Who keeps doing this to you!?

Library of Blabber by Ivan Notaros

'Like all men of the Library, I have traveled in my youth; I have wandered in search of a book, perhaps the catalogue of catalogues; now that my eyes can hardly decipher what I write, I am preparing to die just a few leagues from the hexagon in which I was born. Once I am dead, there will be no lack of pious hands to throw me over the railing; my grave will be the fathomless air; my body will sink endlessly and decay and dissolve in the wind generated by the fall, which is infinite.'

Imposing recreation of the Library of Babel from Borges’ Ficciones. Listen to your footsteps echo through the infinite hexagonal rooms as you search for some meaning hidden among the words in the bookshelves. The books themselves are made of a handful of alphabets – Cyrillic, Greek, Latin, etc. I couldn’t find any Asian script, although I think I saw the copyright symbol somewhere… I also found plenty of individual English words but most of them were short and the longest “sensible” string was only 5 words long. But that’s what happens with infinity. A whole lot of noise and no signal. The creator notes: “Although it does not posses the mathematical correctness and ‘purity’ of the original story, it still does contain enough pages of nonsense worthy of several hundred lifetimes.”

Dino Dearest by Ben Caulkins, Anthony Licata, Perrin Mercer, and Sam Suite

What did the Stegosaurus say when he was bitten by the T Rex? -- 'Ow! That was dino-sore!' HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA AAAAAAHAHAHAHAHAHA AAAAAHAAHAAHAHHHHHHGGGRRRGHGZHHAZGAHGZZHAGGGHRZZGHH

Dinosaur friendship and higher education resource. Begin your new life at Cretaceous Colleges, where you have been somehow enrolled in a class with a bunch of dinos. Some of them have stutters and scarves. Others have sharp, immaculate teeth, probably without fillings or anything.  There are lots of good lines in this one, and the writers have clearly had a lot of fun. A pterodactyl called “Stilts” is sitting in the cafeteria, vaping to look cool. “Does it have the drug in it?” you ask. The only misgiving I have is that there are so many (great) dead ends to the adventure that you will restart a lot. But the characters and the dialogue make it worth wading back in. You can’t spell ‘paleontology’ without ‘pal’!

Groove Club by Antoine Josset

Non, je ne comprende pas.

Indescribable descent into polygon terror. You start off in a place that could conceivably be your home where a woman who could conceivably be your wife tells you (in French) that everything will conceivably be okay. Oh yes, and you have a rendezvous at the Groove Club. Step outside and go find your way. I won’t say much more but I will say this: I have never been more frightened or unsettled by an abstract collection of geometric shapes. Groove Club disturbed me more than anything in the Spooky Halloween Special. And I have no idea why.

Down Ward by fisholith

Animal fact: The Hibernian Owl can turn its head 780 degrees, and speaks only in consonants.

Flappy platformer featuring an owl armed with a mystic sword. You can fly from place to place in this Game Boy-coloured platformer but to do so you have to maintain forward momentum, so the minute you move against something you start to lose height. For the first few minutes this feels a little sticky and annoying but once the idea settles in it is actually a pleasure to control. Every flap of the wings feels more measured, more precise. Moving becomes about seeing where you can perch and where you can get a good line of flight. The owl is also very good-looking. I love owls.

THEY’RE A HOOT.

*is crushed by collapsing scaffold*

Plangman by Ehren von Lehe

F _ C K / T H _ / S N O O P _ R S / C H _ R T _ R

80s fusion of hangman and puzzle platformer. Each level contains a word that you have to find. Do this by stepping on blocks and activating them. If a letter is correct, it solidifies. If wrong, it falls away. So the levels actually deteriorate as you go around guessing. Very early on you realise you need to use fallen blocks as an aid to reach other parts of each level. The words themselves aren’t random but spell out a story of geek love. Spaceships, Hobbits, Jane Austen. It’s all there in the words as you go along.

SOME SMALLER GAMES NOW!

Echidna by ketteringbug

It's the Sonic game we all deserve.

Catchy music platformer full of colours and sheep and stars and echidnas on bicycles wait what.

Super Black Friday Sweep by Sore Thumbs

100% OFF CYANIDE & ARSENIC! LIMITED STOCKS!

“SALE! SALE! SALE! Hurry! Don’t stop saving!”

Don’t Let The Red Cubes Touch by davetech

Just To Clarify, If The Red Cubes Touch You Will Lose The Game

A game in which you must Do What The Title Says.

IF CORNER!

Brain Guzzlers from Beyond! by Steph Cherrywell

Brain Guzzling is also teenage slang for a naughty act it's true I read it on Mumsnet

Last week’s ProcJam Superblast distracted me from mentioning any IF, while everyone paying attention would have noticed that the results of IF Comp 2015 were announced. This was the winner. As poor Bonnie Noodleman you have just seen your date have his brain straight-up guzzled. You leg it down from Make-Out Mountain and thus begins a textual parody of 1950s B-movie shlock. There is a magazine personality quiz which you do at the beginning of the story that determines your characteristics and what things you carry (I got a handy switchblade!). It’s something Bethesda probably wishes they could have come up with for the beginning of Fallout. I smiled and chuckled a lot. Between this, Midnight Swordfight (3rd place) and Birdland (4th place), there have been lots of giggles in the competition. Well done, everyone! You done writed good.

Know a game Brendan would like? Maybe you made one? GET IN TOUCH DAWG: @Brendy_C. Need more free games? Check our list of 50 best free games on PC.

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15 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    yhancik says:

    Somebody also tried to make a web version of The Library of Babel link to libraryofbabel.info

  2. Cryptoshrimp says:

    The Library of blabber looks neat, definitely going to see if I can find some order in the vast sea of nonsense.

    As for the IF Corner: it’s a little scarce, so I’m going to be cheeky and recommend . It’s also an IFComp entry, and it’s lovely – though to say just /what/ I loved about it would be spoilers, alas.

  3. LionsPhil says:

    The best strategy for Super Black Friday Sweep seems to be to let everyone else deal with all the faff of picking things up off of shelves, then beating them senseless and claiming the goods off of their broken bodies.

    Much like the real thing!

  4. montfalcon says:

    I need to talk to someone about Groove Club.

  5. TheAngriestHobo says:

    What is the with the sudden deluge of anthropomorphic __________ classroom simulators recently? There’s No Pineapple Left Behind, Classroom Aquatic, and now Dino Dearest. Has this always been a genre and I just haven’t noticed?

  6. pepperfez says:

    I’m unreasonably disappointed that Blabber doesn’t follow the exact Borgesian construction. I don’t even know why, but it just makes the whole thing feel pointless.

    • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

      So glad I wasn’t the first to think and/or post this.

    • melancholicthug says:

      Maybe because it is really hard?

      • pepperfez says:

        Oh, definitely. I’m certainly not faulting the developer; more reflecting on my own irrational reaction. I mean, it’s all going to be nonsense to me anyway, so why should it matter how the nonsense is generated? Yet for some reason it does.

  7. Premium User Badge

    zapatapon says:

    Down Ward starts with making you worried that it might be some kind of flappy bird, then soothes that worry successfully by offering you some nice, relaxing levels with cool music, and finally stabs you in the back (by level 6 or so) by turning into flappy bird after all.

    • Fisholith says:

      Hey zapatapon!
      Your comment cracked me up. I’m pretty sure I know which part you’re talking about. :D
      Happy to hear that you had fun with the first five levels. :)

      As a fun fact, when I was getting ready to submit Down Ward, I had three levels done. The three levels ranged in difficulty from easy, to medium, to hope no one ever finds my home address. At the last minute, I opted not to include the 3rd level in my final submission, as I didn’t have time to fully play test it.

      Ultimately, after the game jam had ended, I refined the level and added it as one of the secret extended levels. It’s now merely pretty-brutal, but I still sleep with a brick under my pillow just in case.