This week’s roundup of free games and interactive curiosities includes mysterious alien flowers, complicated bomb circuitry and romantic ice cream cones. Get in here, ya big lug.
Orchids to Dusk by Pol Clarissou
Devastatingly pretty wandering game. Your escape pod has crash landed on what seems like a barren planet of sand and rock. Walk into the distance and you’ll find small oases of strange plant life and spore-like organisms floating among the trees. Settle down for a rest, look around, relax. You’ll never be less panicked about your oxygen meter running out. There are some other mysteries too. Footprints in the sand, bodies of old crew mates, spacesuit helmets without any sign of their owners. Where did they go? Play the game. Find out.
Wrassling by Colin Lane
Daft and simple Atari-styled wrestling game for one or two players. Try to throw as many opponents out of the ring as possible by dashing from side to side and flailing your one good arm around like a maimed octopus. A monopus. Has a bit of Sumotori Dreams to it, and that’s no bad thing. Survive long enough and things will get heated. Huge musclebound wrestlers fall from the sky to challenge you, the ropes around the ring disappear, the ring itself starts to rock back and forth. Also, unlockable hats.
The Bomb Squad Academy by Zilhk
Bomb defusal with crazy true-to-life circuit boards. Keep Talking And Nobody Explodes has got asymmetric co-op bomb defusal covered (brilliantly), but here’s something for the lone wolves. The bombs in question are made out of honest-to-goodness circuitry, with components explained by the tutorials. Capacitors supply electricity, switches change where the current flows, and pulse chips fire current every second. You have to contend with all these ideas and more while a timer ticks down. It’s a logic puzzle in a pressure cooker. Mess up, cut the wrong wire, or run out of time, and you are out of the Academy (because you are dead (from an explosion)).
SneakR by Joseph Gribbin
Tiny stealth game of adorable cuboid bots. Five levels of buttons, briefcases and corridors. Get the goods and make your way to the exit. You can find lockpicks and dart guns to help you on your way but you can only hold one of these items at a time, so choose wisely (ie. choose dart gun pew pew). You can also dash or run around at speed but this causes waves of noise which can alert the badbots. Badbots alerted? RUN, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, RUN.
Type Security by StuffBySpencer
Hi-score speed-typing game. The President is being swarmed by protesters with unhappy signs. “Animal,” some signs say. “Jerk,” reads another. “Fuck off,” reads one particulary angry placard. As the President’s personal bodyguard you have to type the words on the signs as the waves of protesters get faster and more vocal. There’s a ‘safe for work’ version, but I can’t think of any reason anyone would want to use it.
SOME SUPER SHORT GAMES HOORAY!
Snow Cones by Team Lazerbeam
Cute cute cute cute cute cute cute cute.
Gum Will Never Go Out Of Style But You Will by René Rother
A sad truth that we must all acknowledge.
Patent Processor by GRiMPunch Games
All rejoice at the death of the loading screen minigame patent!
MELON SIMULATOR by Chris Nobrega
NaNoGenMo is like NaNoWriMo, except instead of writing a book over the course of a month, programmers create a code that generates a novel. It’s not so much interactive fiction as fiction that has been pulled kicking and screaming from random repositories of information. If anything, it’s a good excuse to make some clever nonsense. Here’s two highlights from this year.
Cartography of Known Spaces by Loren Schmidt
Purveyor of tantalizing work-in-progress tweets, Loren Schmidt, has created some kind of astronomy and coding miscellany that has all its creator’s usual hallmarks of mystery and maths. I won’t pretend to understand the algorithms behind this composition, but it sure does look neat. One of the codes takes apart images of the moon’s surface (pictured above) and attempts to recombine them in a small scale simulation of “human memory”. Obviously, the moon soon dissolves.
Kevan (of browser game Urban Dead fame) created a novel using Wikipedia’s API and Jules Verne’s Around the World in 80 Days. Here is an extract:
“Passepartout and I walked to Metro Central Heights. Passepartout told me it was originally known as Alexander Fleming House. It was clearly not known at the time of construction. Passepartout was unimpressed by some 400 studio to three-bedroom flats which are in constant demand. We met Ernő, a college friend of mine who was passing by.”