Free Loaders: This News Will Make You Sad And Afraid

Tuesdays are for making a cup of tea, compiling a short list of the best free games of the past week, and then stealing the introductory style of Sunday Papers. That’s right, who’s going to stop me? Not you, that’s for sure. You’re just a digital waif floating on the cyber winds. You’ll take what you’re given. So here’s some short games that will entertain, frighten, bewilder, and educate in that precise order.

We Become What We Behold by Nicky Case

Game of news values and fear-mongering. Take pictures of little people as they go about their day and the photographs will be broadcast on the screen in the centre of the room. Remember, you’re a photographer, so you have to find something interesting. In the meantime, the game will put up your pictures with a #hashtag, telling the waddling viewers what’s what. A picture of a man with a hat? That’s #fashionable! A picture of some people wearing hats fifteen seconds later? That’s #solastclick. Watch as the little square-faced and circle-faced peeps follow the whims and suggestions of the fickle media. Keep taking photos and see where the cycle of news and judgement can get you. I bet it won’t end in tragedy.

Sudden Mountain by Elliot Davis

The GameBoy homages will not end. This is a metroidvania featuring a lady with a spear. Find the mysterious components held by odd Egyptian-looking statues and plant them into the machines to find new pathways and save your progress. Poke giant beetles with your spear and stand on their exo-skeletal backs for giggles. Hold up and press the poke button to fire your spear at a foe, or stick it into the wall to create a platform. There aren’t enough games with spears. Lots of guns and swords and missiles but not enough good, old fashioned pointy sticks.

The Disappearance of Eileen Kestler by Connor Sherlock, Cameron Kunzelman and Rebecca Lamarche

Eerie traipse away from a burning house. This is a prelude to an upcoming game, say the creators, but it is still spooky by itself, if a little mysterious. But we like mysteries here. Mysteries like: ‘OH GOD WHY IS THAT HOUSE ON FIRE’ and ‘WHAT IS THAT NOISE????’ Begin in front of the roaring flames engulfing a country house and walk the only direction you can – away from it. A voiceover gives you some clue about its occupants, and possibly your own identity. But creepy things happen in the creepy woods (creepily).

Buds by Secret Tunnel

Blue man and puzzlesounds. Each level of this is a platform puzzle about coming up with the right combo of tunes. Walking left will produce one sound, walking left another. But stop walking or hit a wall and the tune ends. The locks for each level are released when you figure how how to combine your chiptuney footsteps in the order the game wants. Jump to see what kind of tune is needed, then try and figure it out. Walk left once, right twice, left once. Hurray! Unlocked! But then the levels start to feature pitfalls, spikes and walls, all of which get in the way of your sweet unlocky music. Keep beeping, bud. I believe in you.

The Catacombs of Solaris by Ian MacLarty

Eye-boggling maze of colour and confusion. According to the game’s description, the aim of this is “to find your favourite room in the catacombs.” I have yet to discover mine. They are all terror. As you make your way through the maze of noisy colours, the walls shift and change, taking on the presentation of the walls you were just looking at. What results is a sickening labyrinth of bright static and disorientation. This is a special kind of hell and it is certainly worth taking a walk around and trying to understand, until you too succumb to the warping reds, the invasive blues, the deadly yellows.

From Darkness by gold extra

Interactive documentary about the lives of refugees living in Kenya. You can walk from place to place in a limited way, but mostly it’s a collection of interviews and stories framed through the tale of a mother retracing the steps of her journalist daughter. It’s not clear at the beginning what happened to your daughter as you make your way through the streets of Nairobi or the avenues of a UN refugee camp, but you talk with social workers and volunteers all the same. The interviews are real video clips and the sentiments can be hard-hitting. One of the girls interviewed talks about tribal violence, others mention working with former child soldiers who have to be taught that violence isn’t the right response to every problem, other interviewees working in a slum neighbourhood talk about domestic abuse. It’s a big ol’ download at 2 gigs, because of the amount of video footage but it shows what goes on at the ground level for volunteers, refugees and aid workers in East Africa.

Want more free games? Check out the Best of Free Loaders collection or our list of the 50 best free games on PC. Got a free game yourself? Give it to @Brendy_C


  1. walrus1 says:

    I really miss having Free Loaders on Saturday morning. I’d wake up, make some tea and play a few before the GF got up. Made for a nice way to star the weekend.

    • GunnerMcCaffrey says:

      It does feel a bit… unwholesome, Tuesday Free Loaders.

    • MajorLag says:

      I agree. I work on Tuesdays. What good does a temptingly short free game do me on Tuesday mornings? You expect me to remember and care about that long enough to try it later?

  2. Baines says:

    Using the word “metroidvania” to describe a game, but calling the Chozo statue an “odd Egyptian-looking statue”?

    • Brendan Caldwell says:

      soz i never playe the original Metroidvania is it gud?

      • Baines says:

        There is no “original Metroidvania.” There is (Super) Metroid and Castlevania (Symphony of the Night).

        It isn’t even a “bad” thing to call out. Just more a combination of an “age” thing and a term getting so popular that people no longer even necessarily know what it originally meant. Like people using “Roguelike” without even knowing that it is a reference to a game called Rogue (versus thinking it is a reference to Rogue Legacy, or thinking it is a reference to some generic dungeon crawler that had a rogue in it, or whatever.)

        It makes me feel a bit old, because then I think about how many people not only didn’t play such games, but were too young (or not even yet born) when said games were in their prime. Super Metroid is 22 years old. Symphony of the Night is 19. Both Metroid and Castlevania are 30.

        • Unclepauly says:

          I am now .013% smarter. I thanks you for that.

        • Unclepauly says:

          Although I’m pretty sure everyone knows what metroidvania means, as the games it’s derived from are ongoing franchises.

        • Brendan Caldwell says:

          thx baines i’ll downlod the original metroidvana tonight and play it with on ROM

        • ButteringSundays says:


  3. fishyboy says:

    catacombs of solaris was neat, managed to trap myself in a chartreuse-colored void so i guess the game really does end when you find your favorite place

  4. frightlever says:

    We Become What We Behold should be on every school syllabus.

  5. dethtoll says:

    We Become What We Behold is very pessimistic, bordering on nihilism, about how the “media” (so sick of that word) shapes public opinion. I don’t think I much like it, or agree with it. The little happy couple are cute though.

    • grimdanfango says:

      The reason the UK are now set to leave the EU is due to this vicious cycle of idiocy steadily convincing a majority of the country to hate foreigners and blame them for economic problems that only 8 years ago were *clearly* caused solely by unregulated mass corporate greed – we barely even remember that now though, as it was all shunted out of the media spotlight as quickly as possible – now we all *know* that the problem is unchecked immigration, despite there being clear, concrete data that proves otherwise.

      I wouldn’t say I *like* the game either – it’s horrifying… but I do think it’s effective. If you don’t think this cycle is happening, and you disagree with people who attempt to show it for what it is, then well… the cycle is doing its job effectively.

      • PandaCoin says:

        So disagreeing that the media causes violence means… the dissenter has been brainwashed by the media? That’s some pretty insular logic, there.

        • grimdanfango says:

          Imagining for one moment that *anyone* isn’t strongly affected by the media they’re given to consume, is basically ignorant. There’s no logic about it. Mass media sways the masses to their own agendas, just as reliably as advertising convinces people to buy stuff. If you’re convinced it doesn’t, it simply works more effectively.

          Saying I’m deeming such practices “brainwashing” is just an attempt to make it sound far-fetched. Of course, it’s part of the same self-supporting system that typically anyone who points out these plain facts *tends* to be decried by the very people who are convinced it’s not the case as some nutjob conspiracy-theorist, and lumped in with moon-landing-deniers and so forth.

          …at least it would be that way, except for some reason I’m unable to fathom, that moon-landing-denial crap seems to have garnered enough attention in certain media channels recently that I’ve noticed more than a few people actually starting to parrot the nonsense like it’s fact! Another example of it only taking for enough people to watch an authoritative-enough-sounding TV show on something to start presuming it to be true.

  6. heretic says:

    From Darkness is worth the install, though it would have worked better as a video documentary – the first person view doesn’t add much in my opinion.

    Regardless the refugees’ testimonies are quite shoking, bit of a reminder of how good we have it here…