Free Loaders: The Recreation Of Sam McGee

Have you ever wanted to visit Alaska? Well, now Yukon!

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

Here is a game about freezing to death.

The Cremation of Sam McGee by Nicholas Jennings

I like that Bob Service fella, so the chance to play a short recreation of one of his best and creepiest poems is something I wasn’t going to pass up. This is a straightforward tramp through the snow and ice of a harsh blizzard, investigating glowing areas along the way, each of which prompt a verse from the Johnny Cash reading of the poem. I like it. As you get closer to the derelict ship stuck in the ice of Lake LeBarge, the snow eases off and night begins to fall. The stars come out, the wolves howl and the sky goes all sorts of Ted Harrison colours. As a chump with both this and Dangerous Dan McGrew on his bookshelf, I give this rendition a healthy nod.

Leaf Me Alone by Mark Foster and David Fenn

“Soar like a leaf carrying a seed hauling an acorn on the wind,” as the old saying goes. This is a stubbornly 2D exploration and discovery platformer in the style of all those green places with cheery music that you remember from your days on the Snestendo. Born as a seed you come to life and wander around looking at all the neat things, entering the hollow tree rooms and asking all the right questions. Who owns this funny underground bedroom with the Wind Waker poster on the wall? Who is the big friendly lug sitting in the branches with the remains of a picnic scattered around him? Why does that squirrel always skitter off when I get close? It opens up when you find a leaf that lets you glide across gaps and from that moment this little world becomes much bigger, leading you up to the windy canopy, where king rodents reign and clouds are trapped in strange devices.

Sanix The Edgehog Adventure 2DX by VirtuaWave

A fan remake of the best era of Sanix, the friendly and determined Edgehog we all remember so well. Guide your blue buddy in his most recognisable form – as a realistic hedgehog with blue-dyed spines. Leg it through the loop-the-loops and collect the rings lest poor Sanix be bashed by a badbot or shot by a bulletwasp. Be careful in the Marble Zone, where lava is an Edgehog’s worst enemy, and rip it up in the deadly lair of Dr Robotanix, before facing the fierce man himself in his flying machine. Best your own times and those of your friends, avoid spikes and pitfalls – it’s everything the great Sanix franchise was built on. Man, I wish Seega was still around. Or that someone would at least do a HD remake of the Adventure DX games and bring back all the great Sanix characters. Tailman, Knucklebones, Aimee the Rat. Perhaps in another reality Sanix is still alive and they are still making games about him. What a wonderfully lucky world that must be.

Aftergrinder Arcade Edition by Grave Danger Games

Nah mate. Nah. You can’t get past level 1 of this game. I’m calling bullshit. You just can’t. Go on then, let me see you try it. Ha ha ha, you messed up bad. All you have to do is boost forward and swap between hoverboarding on the floor or the ceiling. Oh sure, whatever man. Not so easy now that you’ve tried, is it? I hope you never get past the first level. I hope you sit here, swapping gravity like you have for countless other runner games, unable to complete even a single level. Because you’re rubbish at games, mate. You’re as rubbish at videogames as I am, and that bothers you doesn’t it? Well, look who’s eating their sour chips now, eh. Look who’s fallen into the cabbage patch, look who’s wiping up the mayonnaise now. It’s you, mate. It’s you.

Noodle Ball by KevKev

Local multiplayer football game featuring noodle people who are not good at football. Wibble your way up to the ball as the blue or red player and attempt to score a goal with your useless noodly feet. You can jump into the ball too, if you like. But it will leave you flat on your face and vulnerable to an attacking opponent. Get up, you noodle, and get back in the game.

Loathsome Piano by theRatWives

Don’t you hate it when you’re a piano?

Want more free games? Check out the Best of Free Loaders collection. Got a free game yourself? Give it to @Brendy_C for safekeeping

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5 Comments

  1. wykydtronik says:

    I was hoping for an Alaskan survival game, but it’s a poem game? 😅 I guess I can still check it out since it’s free.

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      DelrueOfDetroit says:

      There are strange things done in the midnight sun
      by the men who toil for gold.
      blah blah blah….
      it was on the marge of lake LaBarge we cremated Sam McGee

      We had to memorize the first verse back in school. As you can see it stuck very well. Used to be you had to memorize the entire poem.

      • PikaBot says:

        There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who Mobil for gold.
        The arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.
        The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see
        Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
        I cremated Sam McGee.

  2. racccoon says:

    These look amazing :)

  3. atarimae says:

    I finished Leaf Me Alone just now, so I’ll write a mini-review for reference. It’s a really charming game that’s surprisingly large scale. It took me around three hours (even after consulting a walkthrough when I was stuck), but I really really suck at platformers and puzzle games so expect to take less. There isn’t really a plot, but beware of spoilers I guess.

    The puzzle sections are alright and there’s really nothing breaking the mold gameplay wise. Some gripes: a lot of the game is just backtracking (where does this damn thing go?) and there isn’t really a clear goal for what ends up being a pretty linear routed game. The lack of an HUD at all does feel immersive, but also makes things confusing. For example, numerous times I emerged from a level, jumped left instead of right, and found myself at the bottom of a hub world, having to redo an entire section again because I had no idea where I was. After beating the main “puzzle” section of the game, there’s another part where you find “secrets”. There are also “owls” you gotta find if you want 100% completion, and they are literally located in completely arbitrary, impossible unfindable locations you can’t get to without a lot of hacky button mashing. And the reward for this toil is…knowing the names of the maps? Am I really going to play through the entire game for the third time so I can go to each map and see what text pops up on the screen (which is the only sort of story the game really has)? After a while, the fun vs time graph decays enough so that you’re probably better off looking through a playthrough to see what happens in the final part.

    However, the one good thing about the mechanics is that they fit with the game’s design theme (nature/rain/wind/growing/maturing/you’re literally a tree) perfectly. That’s good, because the atmosphere and feeling of the game are really its strong points. A big reason for playing this game is the art: has that same pixel like aesthetic every indie game has nowadays, the whimsical organic tones make the game both visually pleasing and surprisingly nostalgic. Though the open-worldish structure is a little confusing, it makes the game world feel much larger, and each map really nails whatever mood its going after. Like Brendan said, the game is basically “looking at neat things, entering the hollow tree rooms and asking all the right questions”. Whether you’re riding the wind across a floating rain collection facility, trying to feed a tower-reigning squirrel acorns, chasing that mysterious figure with the red mask, or riding the rainbow to final tree sprout enlightenment, there’s plenty to explore that makes the experience worthwhile.