Dads are a notoriously angry species, we all know this, we’ve seen the documentaries. But what is it like to be a dad? What goes on in those strange, otherworldly minds? Washing up worries? Beer? I can’t answer that question, for I am but a humble games journalist, and thus banned from procreating. But maybe I have something here that can help us decode these dadly mysteries. That’s right, the dadification of videogames continues in this week’s roundup of free games.
Check our list of the best free games you can download and play on PC right now.
Angry Angry Dad by Allshar, DennyR, Derzo, Jakayaki & Slapunas
Furious paternal minigames. You are a dad and you are fundamentally unhappy. The only thing that can help you through your anger is watching the football game and maybe glugging on a beer or six. But the house and its inhabitants need tending to. Various tasks will flash up and you’ve got to get ‘em done and back to the footy before a goal is scored or your rage meter fills up. You’ll be washing dishes by swinging your mouse around, clicking on leaks in the boiler room to fix them, typing in obscenities to scare off the Jehovah’s Witnesses who ring your doorbell. Taking a beer can cool you down but it also makes the screen go wonky and difficult, which makes rocking the baby back to sleep – a matter of gently matching an on-screen symbol with soft mouse movements – a lot harder to do. There’s also rudimentary arithmetic in the form of helping your son with his homework, and a jar you need to open for your wife. As a man with gaming-addled wrists, this last stereotypical man-duty is as far removed from my reality as I can get.
Fairy Song by Pixel-Boy
“You play a kind of fairy, I think?” That’s the creator’s pitch for you. This is a duochrome (?) world with simple controls. Fly around by holding the mouse button down and doubleclick to give your fairy a speed boost. Explore, touch stuff, pick things up, play with a beach ball, press buttons, say hello to musicians, hold onto this … piece of cake? I don’t know. There are levels and pull-switches and doors and gates and underwater bits and all sorts of crannies to explore. I’m not sure if there’s any goal to it all, but sometimes it’s pleasant to just float around in a world with toyish stuff.
HoloJam by SlimeMaid
Messy, misspelled JRPG of slimes and humies. The blurb for this promises that it only uses eight colours “throughout entire game” but it certainly doesn’t feel that way. This looks like a rainbow vomited into a Nintendo cartridge and the cartridge somehow still functioned when slotted in. The slime princess is nowhere to be seen and it is up to you to find her and save the kingdom, because you are a jam and that is what jams do. Deadly humies have been seen prowling the place, so watch out for that. You will need to use all your powers of grace and skill to navigate the battle menu without going momentarily blind from clashing colours and deaf from noises and music that can only be described as “the uncertainty of a sad whale broadcasted through a transistor radio”. I completed it by cheating with the debug menu that was incidentally bound to the same key I use to take screenshots. Don’t judge me. Any jam worth their goo would do the same.
City Clickers by EigenLenk
Click-click city builder. Described as “the quintessential SimCity clone but not really” this puts you in charge of a plot of land where you can build housing, shops, markets, parks, water towers and factories. But they can only be built beside roads, so you have to go around snaking your tarmac everywhere like a long flat worm. Of course, this was done for the 1-click Bit jam, which we also covered last week, so there is much clicking to be done. I made a small village with enough room for 9 people and nobody came to visit. I need human friends. Please come to my crap village. There’s trees and everything.
Idle Invaders by One Pixel Monster
Turn-based space invaders with clicker upgrades. Of course! This is like normal Space Invaders except it only proceeds whenever you click. Click on alien dudeboys to kill ‘em and get cash. Use said cash to upgrade your gun, shields and spread, or to repair damaged buildings. If just one of your buildings is destroyed it’s game over, and the invaders become more numerous as they go. Cleverer than it looks, since you also unintentionally move the game forward with each click on upgrade menus, which means taking time out of your busy shooting schedule can cause problems. Well done, clicker game!