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Free Loaders: Spruce up dead planets as little green men

The best free games of the week

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Life is stressful. Missiles are flying, people in suits are arguing and, look, there’s garbage everywhere. We need some kind of menial yet satisfying task to sooth our troubled modern soul. Tidy up? NO WAY. Here’s a game about colouring-in imaginary worlds with grass and trees and then sodding off to the next one. That’ll do the job.

Check our list of the best free games you can download and play on PC right now.

Floraison by Mojo

Absurdly relaxing interplanetary gardening. Pilot a chilled spacecraft around a globe and spread grass, trees and flowers wherever you go. Fly through the hoops to unlock the telepad to the next dry and lifeless rock, where you can fill that whole world with colour too. You also get a crystal for germinating the whole place, which comes with a very Crash Bandicoot “ker-ching!” Essentially this is just an interactive colouring book with planets instead of pages but it has the same strange tranquillising effect on the human brain. I must colour in all the edges, you think. Nothing else matters. Only green must remain. Only grass, only trees. Ahhhh, that’s the stuff.

Deadlines by Ianiselsewhere

“Be the taller line, eat the smaller line” is about as succinct a description you can get for an abstract freebie such as this. It’s a two-player face off in which your single keypress (A or L) keeps your ‘line’ from automatically falling into the centre of the arena. As it falls into the middle, it becomes shorter, and as it rises out, it becomes longer. You want to collide with your opponent when you are longer than them, ie. on your side of the arena. But rise out too far and you’ll hit the edges. Quick-paced thanks to how difficult it is to measure your own line’s weight and momentum, it’s also strangely pretty for something that only involves a box and two lines. The lines themselves leave gassy trails behind, and the hard-edged font has all the authority of a serious-faced referee.

Medieval Fantasy City Generator by Watabou

Click to make a city. Not much in terms of making-things-happen here but good for indulging an idle curiousity in medieval maps. You click on the type of settlement you want, from small town to large city, and peep at the neato map that gets pooped out. Hover your mouse over the quadrants of the town to see what makes up each neighbourhood – craftsmen, slums, the temple, the market. “The generation method is rather arbitrary,” says the creator, “the goal is to produce a nice looking map, not an accurate model of a city.” Goal accomplished, I’d say.

The Witches Maze by Tom Sykes

You’ve become trapped in a restaurant placemat. I know, it’s always a pain, isn’t it? Scramble your way through the maze and type the correct answers to riddles to unlock doors and proceed. The witch responsible must face justice, trapping children inside paper exercises. Although that would fit the purpose of said placemats – to keep children out of their parents hair for a few minutes. At one point, another child trapped in the maze says to look up, where your empty body is still glaring down with glazed eyes into the paper. Which, as a brief storyelling image, is surprisingly dark.

Anatomy Attack by Davetech

Cartoonish microbal shooter. You are a Good Cell and you have to find and destroy invasive pathogens inside this goopy human form. Who’d have thought it, but the immune system fights off foreign infection just like a top-down shmup. At the end of each “room” you get to pick one of three anti-body types to have as mates. There are ones that shoot with you, ones that heal other anti-bodies, ones that hurt anything that comes near them, ones that hunt down and attack enemy pathogens, and so on. Eventually, you gather all sorts of weird-looking pals and have to fight mixes of different enemies. Speedy, explodey bacteria, angry and toxic microbes, and shooty jerk balls.

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Who am I?

Brendan Caldwell

List Goblin

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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