Even in the deadly heat of summer, the free games revolution marches on. Stopping for no-one, catering for everyone. Want to be a cowboy playing dice with death? Got you covered. Want to seize the means of production from your capitalist overlords? There’s a game here for you. Want to summon some drizzle over Brighton? Well, just follow me. Yes sir, yes ma’am. Free games never stop.
The Downward Road Is Crowded by George Royer
Dice with the devil. The Mystic Western jam continues to provide nourishment for this column, like a warm tin of beans, and this is one of the slicker looking sumbitches. You sit down at a barrel under the prairie night sky, and in the bluish glow of the campfire a strange man with a deep voice tells you its time to play a game of dice. You get five rolls. Roll higher than a ‘7’ three times and you win. Lose and you’re “his”. Between tosses the stranger regales you with tales of those who have come before and who now make up his collection of scoundrels and cutthroats. The only question is: will you end up among them? This is made by thon rogue who created Psychic Cat way back when. And it is just as odd, unnerving and visually weird. Good luck, pardner. With odds like this, you’ll need it.
High Noon Revolver by Mwaayk
And now for something a little more traditional. Wesley the cowboy has been preparing for this day his whole life. Shoot the bad dudes and leap from one level to the next in this multi-tiered rouguelite shooter. Different characters have different weapons and powers – Wesley can launch dynamite that blasts in two directions, Annie and her shotgun have a bubble shield, and Chick’n has a second life. Everything starts off simple enough. Shoot the mens, collect the coins, and spend your monies on upgrades between rounds (bigger ammo capacity, coin magnet, and so on). Then things go a bit bullet hell. The first boss is a huge step up in difficulty from what comes before. And after that… well, I don’t know. I couldn’t get past that. Get ready to die, fella. Get ready to die.
Crisis Theory by Colestia
“In Crisis Theory you play as the spirit of capitalism,” says its creator. SOLD. Take on the role of the invisible hand, controlling the invisible mouse cursor, as you tangle with the Marxist model of accumulation. I do not know what ANY of those words mean but I know how to press a button when a warning light starts flashing red. Here, lots of warning lights will flash. Maybe Nature will begin to run dry and your resources dwindle. Press that button to expand into new territory! Maybe your Labour Power will grow too much and begin to affect the Means of Production. Hit the down button to crush the unions! Oh no, it looks like Consumption is starting to wane. Press the button to force state intervention! I’ll be honest, I’m still not sure what I’m doing here but I think I have everything under control. Oh no wait I’ve just killed nature.
Punch Your Way To Heaven DX by Chaoclypse
Do What The Game Tells You. Punch and uppercut all the men who fall on you from above. Climb atop their piled corpses to get higher and higher. Watch out, this man is trying to kick you! And that man has a gun! Punch them all, with as much enthusiasm and strength as you did back in 2013 with PUNKSNOTDEAD. Keep punching everyone to the 8-bit beat. Punch your way to heaven. And when you get to heaven, punch God.
And Now, The Weather by Oli Carson, Jim Scull, Bianca Iancu and Jack Gill
British apathy simulator. Spread as much ambivalence and groaning non-care as possible by shifting around sunshine and rain clouds as the freakishly dull god of weather in the UK. Topical! Areas that are becoming too happy will start to go yellow – dampen their hopes with some rain. Areas that are becoming too sad will become blue – shatter their depression with sunshine. Never allow anyone to feel too much of anything. At the end you will receive a Britishness ranking. I got four cups of tea.
Don’t Mind The Trunk by Fredrik Stedenfeldt and Kristian Torgard
Inter-dimensional dungeon tourism. Enter a castle of three-legged creatures that look like baby elephants yet grunt like lazy pigs. What is going on? Don’t hope to ever find out. But you can make your way through this world, hopping from place to place one “tile” at a time and turning only at 90 degree angles. It seems like you are bound by the same physical laws as these angry elepigs are. Elepigs? Pigaphants? Who knows. Wait, this one looks angry. I wonder what happens if I click on – OH JESUS CHRIST I’VE OPENED ITS HEAD.
FIN by MEGAMYTH
Cartoon strip creation. Begin at the end with Fin the ill-fated cartoon character and work your way through a six-panel tale of turkey-stacking, self-stabbing, nipple-having nonsense. Whenever the arrows are displayed you can press up or down to select the panel you want, which determines what panels will come before on the timeline. At the end of a few choices, the whole comic will be displayed. Some compositions are ridiculous, depicting completely unrelated incidents. Others make a kind of quasi-sense. All of them result in Fin’s death. Happy death, Fin!
It ain’t over till the fat lady sings by Tim Garbos and Veronyka Jelinek
This game is full of clichés.
OKAY GOOD NEWS Y’ALL
Free Loaders now has a collection on Itch.io, a huge gallery of excellent games – and all completely free! It’s called the Best of Free Loaders. Check it out.