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Free Loaders: Building tiny towns with a Little Land

The best free games of the week

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If anyone is reading this, I need your help. The apocalyptic thunderstorm happening in the clouds above me has already knocked out the power once, and there’s no telling when it might happen again, so I must write quickly, even it makes this opening paragraph sound like the last note written by a doomed character in Prey. I’ve collected some free games, please take them to safety and play the ones you think are neat. You can find them in the locker. The code is 1234.

Little Lands by Robin Field and Billy Hobson

Teeny weeny town clicker. Randomise the landscape (or create your own island) then start constructing your colourful little town. The ultimate goal is to funnel enough resources from time to time into your shipyard, so that you may escape this listless existence in a “space boat to freedom”. But pirate ships will come and attack you from the coastal waters, because you are soft and squishy.

But maybe you can build those archery towers. Oh wait you need workers. Build a worker’s house, then. Oh wait you need wood. Build a lumberjack’s cabin! Oh wait you need stone. Build a quarry! Oh wait you need food. Do you see what is going on here? A tight wee game of resource management and adjacency bonuses. Don’t worry if the pirates chip away at the land, new tiles generate randomly over time, meaning the island is constantly (if slowly) growing. Important note: pressing ‘R’ does not rotate your buildings. It restarts your game. Learn from my mistakes, young free loader.

MOLOCH by Seemingly Pointless

Corporate interview OS. I bet you really want that sweet job as [shift manager] in the MOLOCH corporation. This test will see if you are good enough. Or, it’s supposed to. I did it myself and I am none the wiser as to my suitability for the role. And I was extra obedient too, and efficient! I was probably only responsible for about 40 casualties. I guess I’m just not what they’re looking for.

Murdercide 2017 by Powerhoof

“Soft-boiled” cyberpunk. There’s been a “murder-killing” and detective Murphy is being brought in to investigate. An old-fashioned point and click adventure made of good jokes, bad jokes and some awful jokes. Arguably the whole thing – the murder, the machines, the inventory puzzles – is one big set-up for the final, fatal punchline, which is a joke of Airplane! proportions. I like that the inner monologue is that of a rough and seasoned Chandleresque P.I. but the main character’s actual voice is goofy, loud-mouthed and incredibly annoying. It’s good that the whole disaster is wrapped up within 15 minutes, because I probably couldn’t stand to listen to him anymore.

Causeway by Yarn Spinner

Short banching choices walkabout. You dander along a sandy bank, finding messages in bottles about your life and making decisions about where to go next based on the signs ahead of you. You’ve left home, you see, following some unspoken altercation with your parents – anything after that is a series of binary decisions for you to make. Oh, it’s a CAUSEway. I get it. A literal geographical representation of whether the decision to laugh at a thoughtless joke or speak up for yourself might have an effect on your life (or maybe not as much of an effect as you’d hope). I got Good End and Mediocre End. I don’t know if there’s a Bad End. Play it and find out for me, willya?

Carrocalipse by Pedro Paiva

Like Frogger, but filled with FILTHY COMMUNISM!

Depthgun by Leafo

Intenstinal shooter. Sphincter status: critical.

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Who am I?

Brendan Caldwell

Features Editor

Brendan likes all types of games. To him there is wisdom in Crusader Kings 2, valour in Dark Souls, and tragicomedy in Nidhogg.

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