Gun crime is sky-rocketing in the United States and just last week the elected representatives of the country voted to keep as many bullets from unemployment as possible. And while that sentence may be a rabid simplification of a greater issue, we all know what’s fundamentally at fault here – we are just not praying enough.
Thoughts and Prayers by Everyday Arcade
Political point-making. There’s an epidemic of mass shootings in the United States and it’s up to YOU to stop it. And we all know how best to stop gun crime – that’s right, with the power of sympathy. Think and pray your way to the cessation of as much firearm-related violence as you possibly can by alternately mashing ‘T’ and ‘P’ on your keyboard in this latest addition to the GOP Arcade. You may be surprised at the results. But you may also be thoroughly unamused, depending on your affiliation in the great “guns vs humans” war.
Generate A Tech by Nathalie Lawhead
Less a game and more an invitation to randomly see some technical nonsense at the push of a button. Sick of Star Trek actors screaming about reversed polarities and particle subfunctions? Pulling your ears off with pliers whenever the hacker lady in your favourite crime show tells everyone she cracked the internet? Well, plier no more. You can get all your jargonistic needs fulfilled right here. Hardwarehack the basic runtime! Convolute the memory as hyper drives! Stream the ASCII lasers!!!
Scream Paint by Adam Hartling
I don’t usually list things I haven’t been able to play for myself, but this looks interesting. You have to scream into your computer’s microphone to get your paint flowing (I don’t have my mic) but apart from that it seems just like your vanilla MS Paint. I will let any regular free loaders tell me if it is rubbish or not. Mostly I wanted to include this in the week’s roundup because I enjoy the image of dozens of people screaming with blood-curdling enthusiasm at their computer screens on a Saturday afternoon. AHHHHHHH.
Super War Crime by Hot Cereal
Cold Warring. Get two gamepads and a pal so you can recreate all the terror and suspicion of the glorious days of the coldest war ever warred. Try to literally force the hand of your opponent into pressing a button that will commit horrific war crimes, while defending and dodging the hand-forcing attempts of your rival. You each have five buttons to press and protect, and when bashed they will prompt headlines and sweat beads for everyone involved. Nostalgic!
Just Feel by various peoples
The French have made a sexy game. Depending on how the UK-EU referendum went, you may not be allowed to have sex with French people anymore, as it is banned.
SUPPLEMENTARY WORD BINGE
Okay, the picks are few this week. I am currently working off a MacBook in sweltering jungle heat and it can be difficult to find small games that slip into this machine’s circuits with comfort. So I thought it would be a good idea to go over some of the ways in which Free Loaders is made. Gather round anyone who wants to know. The rest of you – you’re dismissed.
Where do you find the games?
Without wanting to give away all my secrets, there are a bevy of websites that themselves curate the hundreds upon hundreds of freebies that are splattered onto the internet each week. Warp Door is an essential source and I pillage their selections mercilessly for almost every column. But the lesser known Free Game Planet is sometimes also a profitable place to raid.
Aside from those, itch.io is an obvious source and I tend to spend most of my time scrolling deep into its free games pit under the ‘recently released’ tab, looking for bright colours and furious GIFs. Twitter also plays its part and I have a private list of all the desperate characters who I know make weird things, or have made weird things in the past. Lastly, I like it when YOU send me things. So do that: I am @Brendy_C. I don’t post about everything fired at me but I will play anything a person has gone out of their way to send. That’s my rule.
How do you choose?
A free game doesn’t need to be Dr Langeskov to get into the column. Occasionally we get things which are done with a mad amount of polish – things like NORTH, which can also be worth whole posts of their own. But generally, if a game is funny, unusual, political, eye-catching or championed by the myriad monsters who don the avatars of “indie game developers” on Twitter, then it will likely get far enough to reach the Free Loaders folder on my desktop. At that point it is about a 50/50 chance that it will get mentioned. I have turned great-looking games off after 30 seconds because they had garbage controls but I have also smiled with relief and joy when horribly illustrated games come out with fantastic moments. I pretty much have a three strikes policy for cliches in dialogue or writing though. Can’t stand that.
Why should I play any of these games?
You don’t have to! And I don’t expect you to. Honestly, if I was reading this as a player and not a journo or gamemaker, I would likely just pluck out the ones I was interested in (if any) and leave the rest. I suspect that’s what a lot of people do (is it what you do?) but I have also been told that a lot of people just drop in to look and see if there’s anything good and then leave not having played anything but feeling a little cheered about the state of the indie scene and all its strangeness. If this is all you get from Free Loaders, then that’s great. But there are also times when I am vehemently and obviously wearing my RECOMMENDATION hat. And in these cases, I implore you to get downloading.