Hello everybody. My exile continues to pain me. To make things worse, Graham has already pilfered the best free game of the week by mentioning Spellrazor a few days ago. But I won’t let his treachery stop me from rounding up the best of the rest. I have never let you, The People, down before and I don’t intend to start now. VIVA FREE GAMES! VIVA THE PEOPLE! VIVA CAPS LOCK! ET CETERA!
RED by Creability
Speedy reaction test of colour and comprehension. You are a child genius flicking through every TV channel on earth. Each channel appears with a single word: “RED” or “CYAN” or PURPLE” and the like. But the colour of the text won’t necessarily match the colour denoted by the word itself. Left click if the colour and word match, right click if they don’t. In this way you hop through as many channels as you can, each channel a different country or territory. Engage your left brain and your right brain in mortal combat by trying to make it from Oceania to Asia to America and beyond. The furthest I got was 33 channels deep, before my eyes started to rebel and wander up the wall, seeking refuge in the pale green paint. Not suitable for the colourblind :(
Mainframe by Autophagy
My weakness for cyberpunk hacking games is no secret. Here’s a minigame-packed hacking misadventure full of IP addresses, green text and proxy servers. Mash the keyboard to bruteforce an admin password, guide the Mydoom worm through a maze without crossing it’s own tail, play breakout with walls of ICE to gain access to the database. The minigames themselves are simple enough but the faithfulness to the pop hacker lexicon is mighty. After a successful hack you’ll get a score and the chance to run again against a new corp. But fail a subroutine minigame three times and your proxies will evaporate, leaving you vulnerable to traces. HACK THE PLANET AND SO ON!
Military Industrial Complex by REPVBLIC
“The president has vomited on a foreign dignitary,” the report says. “Civil unrest is unchanged.” Welcome to your new job in the cabinet of President Thurmond, head of the North Atlantic Protestant Alliance. Press left to produce goods for civilians, press right to create military resources. Your job is to keep the country balanced and nothing more. Not enough war materiel and Premier Stalintron and his cyborg hordes will destroy your country utterly. Not enough “literal bread and circuses” and your people will grow unruly. Side note: it is worth reading the backstory for this one, as it is arguably the best part of the game.
437 Underworld by Unusual Cadence
Twin-stick faux roguelike in a dank underworld of letters and symbols. As the alphabetic designation ‘GR’ you must shoot undead knights, screaming zombies, sluggy archers, and giant spiders, all rendered in the ASCII stylings of old. But make no mistake, this is a shooty dungeon crawler all the way. Upgrade your skills at altars and gateways to shoot further and faster, and spelunk deeper into the underworld, each floor offering some wonderful names: Tomb of the Banshee’s Ending, Pantry of the Necromancer. “The game has an ending,” boasts its itch.io page. Well, LA DEE DA.
Glaring by TheWzzard
Jump and dander in a cavernous land of lazy felines. There are a number of cats littered around the subterranean landscape, with no object apart from to explore and discover them all. Move with the arrow keys and jump with space. Cling to the walls and jump again to climb. Each cat you reach will talk to you and tell you its name, as well as a few random sentences and that’s pretty much the game. It is like a defanged Neko Atsume, stripping out the microtransactions, fish economy and endless waiting and replacing them with deep holes, shifting platforms and relaxing electronic beats. There is also a “big cat” to be found, who legend says loves disco and who will give you a run-down of your cat antics.
The Perfect City by Alex Chahill
It’s the perfect place to be. Why would you ever want to leave? I know I am happy here, in the best city there is.
IF corner has been MIA from Free Loaders for various reasons, mostly because I am too easily distracted to use my eyes and brain to ‘read’ things. So here’s something by a one-time RPS contributor to spruce things up.
Vesp: a History of Sapphic Scaphism by Porpentine
“The wasplock depressurises” is possibly the most horrifying sentence I have read all month. No surprise it is the result of Porpentine’s leaky brain. Here is a world in which the citizens must wear rubber suits and masks outside at all times, to deter the storm of wasps that rages outside. A tale of paranoia, drugs, panicking crowds and possible entrapment by a therapist. I won’t be surprised if Porp is held as a phophetic writer in the years to come. A vending machine in this story dispenses ginger-kelp, broccoli-honey, and kudzu-rhubarb, any of which could appear at any moment on the menu of a Shoreditch pop-up cafe.