Free Loaders: There’s A Storm Coming

A series of bizarre typhoons struck coastlines in dozens of countries last week in a global phenomenon many are calling the ‘Ludum Storm’. The tempests appear without warning and produce a heavy downpour of free games, leading many to suspect the Ludum Darists to be somehow behind the surreal weather. Our sources say that elements calling themselves ‘the 35th Division’ have taken responsibility for the storms. Forecasters are warning people to stay inside, close their windows and to play only “safe, expensive videogames.”

Windowframe by managore

Whip-smart puzzle platformer about vampires and resizable computer windows. Say whaaaat. The game begins with you boxed into a tiny window and the window itself following you around as if it is a camera focusing on you. Then you get “6 stakes for 6 vampires” – special projectiles that you can pin to the screen’s borders to resize your window and manipulate the environment. Fire one at the edge of the screen and hold right-click to drag it towards you. Hold down ‘R’ to retract all your stakes from their pinpoints.

This makes for some very sly puzzle-solving. Can’t reach that ledge? Pull the edge of the window toward you and use the narrow gap to wall-jump your way up. Spikes all over the ground? Get high and fire a stake below you. Pull up the bottom and viola! Instant flat ground. Kill the six vampires in increasingly fiendish puzzle-fights to best this cunning little ditty. I love it when small games pull off such neat ideas so well. Definitely the most impressive puzzler I’ve seen come out of this Ludum Dare, Windowframe doesn’t just make you think outside the box – it makes you thinks WITH the box. Get it done.

Wobble Yoga by Jenny Jiao Hsia

Yoga yourself silly. Strike the correct pose to continue your yoga routine. Use the keys as displayed to move each joint, limb and body part so that you pull off that perfect ‘happy camel pose’. Contort yourself into a mess of knees and elbows in a vague attempt at the ‘sad stand pose’. Obviously, it will not be easy, as you fling yourself around in a jumbled daze and accidentally adopt positions hitherto unknown to the Western World. Basically you are the QWOP athlete doing relaxing exercises on your day off. And you are just as terrible at yoga as you are at running.

Infinite shifter by Martins

Shape-raining experimentation. Blobs are falling from the sky without end and each time they hit the ground you are getting CA$H MONIE$. Use those dollars to buy shape-shifting gates and drag them to wherever you want. With each new gate the shapes will change in colour and/or shape. Some are valuable, some aren’t. A simple, relaxing game of minor experimentation and peacefully watching numbers go up, where the real goal becomes discovering every possible combination.

Cutting Hedge by Headmade

“The most advanced hedge cutting simulator ever created”. You’ll get a grid-based picture on your right and a description of what your customer wants. Black Moustache wants a hedge that looks like his finest vessel. Mario wants a star-shaped hedge. The Minecraft creeper wants a self-portrait. They’ve all got their demands. Do your best with the laser-like accuracy of your supremely powerful hedge trimmers and submit your works of garden art to see how satisfied your clients are with each attempt. Or just go wild and chop up everything for the craic.

Special Delivery by OnlySlightly

Fragile. Handle with care.


It’s interactive fiction corner! Where the interactive fiction goes!

Click Faggot by CJKinni

Or non-fiction, in this case. This is a biographical story about coping with a worrying incident years after the fact. Small things can sometimes drive us to despair. No matter how brief, they can latch on to something inside us which would otherwise be a  minor source of anxiety and make it balloon out of all proportion. This is about that, the effect that words and the threat of violence can have even if that threat isn’t carried through. Personal and reflective, this one contains some language (obviously) and scenes that folks may not like.

Sisters of Claro Largo by David T Marchand

Story of two sisters and the sinister towns they called home. This is a twine tale constructed in an unusual way, beginning with a couple of words, expanding into a sentence, and expanding further into paragraphs. The narrative jumps from one paragraph to another, always adding things where they belong in the chronicle. It is all told from the mother’s perspective and her gradual piecing-together makes it feel like history is unfolding as you click. Years pass in sentences, girls grow into leaders, the town expands and eventually it all comes to a tragic end.

Kingsbane City by Jody Macgregor

Text-only walking simulator in an old city preparing for a siege. Walk around and get to know the pubs of the odourous docklands, the residents of Grabwhore Street, the snooty butlers of Bastard Hill, the cigarillo puffing gravediggers of the cemetary. There’s a lot of colour in the descriptions of the city and its history. My favourite image is probably Boatbridge, a bridge that was once a giant ship – it got stuck in the narrow river and the city officials simply paid the captain to leave it there because it would be cheaper than building another bridge. There are bodies in the river and undead hordes on their way to sack the place. It’s all very Ankh-Morpork – something I have no problem with whatsoever.

Have you seen any free games? Tell @Brendy_C all about it

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  1. GWOP says:

    People say that quirky 2D indie side scrollers are played out… and then every so often, something like Windowframe comes along to make them eat their words.

    Once again, great collection.

  2. Premium User Badge

    DelrueOfDetroit says:

    I thought that said “girls grow into ladders.”

    Disappointed. :(

  3. CJKinni says:

    I always love reading all these collections of games that come out of Ludum Dare on RPS. I learned about LD through an RPS list like this. This compo I decided to put in an entry myself, and to see it on this list has been an amazing way to wake up.

  4. Phasma Felis says:

    I was just thinking the other day that I missed that brief but charming era of Windows 3.1 games when devs were experimenting with using multiple windows for one game, so an RPG might have the dungeon view in one window, the minimap in another, stats in a third, and the equipment paperdoll in a fourth.

    There was one game–Metal Marines, I think–that was an RTS about islands at war. Your island was in one window, the computer’s island was in another window, and they fired missiles at each other across the desktop. It was delightful. You don’t see stuff like that anymore.

  5. nootrac4571 says:

    I just want to say: The freeware roundup has been my favourite RPS segment for a long while, regardless of who’s curating it (by which I mean, all the curators have done an excellent job.) I’m so glad that RPS does this, it’s part of my Saturday schedule now to put aside an hour or two to try as many of them as I have time.

    In case anyone might care, these are my thoughts on the games I’ve played so far:

    Windowframe: A really excellent little game that takes an inventive gimmick and fully explores it. Some of the later puzzles are wonderfully clever. The final boss is a misstep though, introducing a bullet-hell quick-reaction challenge that comes out of nowhere and requires skills that the rest of the game does not.

    Special Delivery: Weird for weird’s sake. I’m sure the creator had fun making it, but I was nonplussed.

    Kingsbane City: I really liked this, and was sad when I exhausted all the options. I’d very much like to see more of this world, either as another text-based walking simulator or as something mechanically deeper. Either would be great.

    Click Faggot: I don’t know what to say, really. I found it really moving. Twine is such a good medium for this sort of thing. I’m very glad I played it.

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      caff says:

      Yeah I agree – love the fact RPS curates some of these games, and Brendy has carried the torch superbly.

  6. fishyboy says:

    secret technique for true wobble yoga masters: space + C and V or M and N activates the levitation ability

  7. slerbal says:

    Oooh some intriguing games here for me to try. Looking forward to it when I get to my pc.