Free Loaders: The puzzling rooms of M.C. Escher

So you want to know where the free games are this week? Up those stairs and on the right. No, not those stairs, the other stairs, the ones that are perpendicular to those stairs. Now if you just go through to the next room, which is actually just this room but viewed from another perspective, then you can take those stairs. No, I mean the original stairs. No, you go down this time. That’s right, to the left. Under that staircase, yeah, but kind of like, over that staircase as well. At least I think that’s where they are. I’m not Escher.

Fragments of Euclid by NuSan

Mind-tickling land of puzzles based on the work of M.C. Escher. Wander through chambers while looking around and going “huh!?” every time you see the place you had been mere moments ago now appear as a sideways staircase. Rooms and stairwells are all connected here by Portal-like doorways that change the orientation and gravity of the rooms as you come and go. Mostly the puzzles centre on getting boxes to land and stay on switches that open new gates and doorways. But the central hub of the chambers, once you reach it, is excellent. There are four “rooms” you need to complete but to get to each new room you have to pass through a set of looping central doorways to get the whole hub to… I guess “rotate” is the correct word?

Character Creation Is The Whole Game by Rob Beschizza

Live out an entire RPG in the character creator. Pick your gender, name, hair, skin tone, beard, clothes, colours and props. Then pump points into whatever attributes you want. Each point will tell a little story about what happens in your life. When the points run out it is time to retire. Here’s the tale I was presented with at the end, after my frail and feeble yet super charismatic stagehand lived a dangerous life of mostly cleaning things.

You’ve retired at 31 years old, with 53 gold, 325 experience points and the position of Stagehand. You found the remains of your childhood hamster, dirty mold, tarnished pins, moldy stools, decayed eggcups, mundane mold, icky bricks, decayed rugs, dusty pins, ordinary eggcups, gross eggcups, scroll of the clear donkey, scepter of the dog, feldspar of the horse, banded mail armor of darkness, nunchaku of curse, club of the alien, scimitar of calm

This is good. Sometimes I start up Skyrim and go through the character making process and then, when I find myself freely wandering, I just switch the game off, the whole appeal of being a new person completely gone at the same old dialogue of a Stormcloak soldier.

Train Bandit by Rusty Moyher

Two-button banditry. You’re a blue outlaw on the roof of a moving train and there’s green dudes coming to shoot you down. But you have something they’ll never have: a tremendous kick. Press left or right to boot each lawman off the roof as they come. They will slowly raise their guns while you are doing nothing and the rate at which they do this seems to get faster and faster with each passing kick. One wrong button press, however, and BLAMMO. You are dead. A tiny arcade reflex-tester with a fierce pair of boots.

Argon Swamp by Connor Sherlock

Walking simulator in an alien bogland. Green gas is clouding up the air, skinny trees with great pink baubles grow out of the ground everywhere, like creepy fingers with giant blisters. A mountain rises here, a clearing with a different, more earth-like tree is over there. In other words, another jaunt for jaunting’s sake. No ruins (that I found) or buttons to press or people to chat to. Just some strange sights to see. I know some of you love this stuff. Weirdos.

Melonpoop by Nicole Voec

You are in a melon and you must get the poops.

Want more free games? Check out the Best of Free Loaders collection or check our list of the 50 best free games on PC. Got a free game yourself? Give it to @Brendy_C or just hide it under some stairs. He’ll find it, eventually

4 Comments

  1. Premium User Badge

    Andy_Panthro says:

    The best character creators were Darklands and Megatraveller. I spent far more time on making my characters than I ever did playing Megatraveller, especially since it was possible to die during character creation.

    • mgardner says:

      Agreed on both counts! All my Darklands alchemist or clergy types always seemed to end up starting their adventure at age 80.

  2. Shazbut says:

    Fragments of Euclid is clearly a thing of majesty. I wish I was smart enough to appreciate it / get anywhere with it

  3. Michael Anson says:

    Considering how the big draw of PC gaming is supposed to be mods, I’m honestly surprised at the number of people who balk at the Skyrim intro given the presence of the Live Another Life mod. link to nexusmods.com