A mix of the fun and serious is what I am bringing to you in this week’s roundup of great free games. We have wacky games about boxing and surgery, games requiring quick and precise movement, and a lovely adventure about someone looking to find a lost artifact. We then move into two more serious games: one about a girl trapped in a broken home, and the other about the effects of an eating disorder on an individual. Sometimes, sombering games are exactly what you’re looking for…
Boxing Surgery Simulator 2000 by Ponywolf
Not only do you need to be the boxer, fighting it out in the ring, but in Boxing Surgery Simulator 2000 you also need to provide all of the medical attention needed to keep the boxer going.
This game takes part in two stages: your time in the ring, and your time prepping for the next round. In the ring, you need to throw some punches and block some others, much like any other boxing game you’ve played. As you are in the ring, however, the audience will shout things out. Some of these shouts are good; ‘I love you!’, ‘Hit them!’, ‘Do a barrel roll!’. Others aren’t so positive; like ‘You smell bad!’ or ‘Punch him… I guess’. If you click on the positive comments, you will gain more strength and health but if you misclick on the negative, you end up taking some damage.
Once the round is over, you go into medical mode where you must figure out how to fix the boxer’s ailments. You have a drawer of different items: a razer blade, a scalpel, some cotton, some glue… and an ice pop? Each item fixes a different injury, and it is up to you to figure out which does what. Fixing the boxer will give you more life, while picking the wrong item for the injury will just do more damage. Your goal is to last for as many rounds as possible.
Batlight by Dan Gartman
You are a strange creature of light, running from platform to platform, trying to dodge obstacles, slash enemies and survive. Your goal is to make it to the end of this dark dungeon and destroy all of the monsters along the way.
Batlight is a challenging platformer, though it does provide checkpoints periodically throughout. You need to slash at the right time, avoid everything that can harm you, and avoid shots back at you. Once you get deep within the game, you will start to take on epic bosses, shooting them down and avoiding their wrath.
Descendant by Rarelikeaunicorn
Descendant is an adventure game that starts out on the dawn of your 15th solstice, an event which marks you becoming an important person in your home. You now must quest deep within the mines and find an ancient artifact hidden within. Many have gone before you, looking for the same item, but none have made it out alive. Once you get a blessing from an elder, you descend and try for yourself.
As you explore the mines via ropes and ladders, you will run into other people that are searching or researching the areas, each with their own stories to share. You might be able to find the artifact or chests with loot and potions, but you still need to make it out of the cave in the end, which is the one thing I struggle with. Descendant is a lovely game made in the Bitsy Engine, and it captivated me.
The Path by Taima
The Path is a short puzzle game in which you use your mouse to blow wind and interact with a young girl’s room, helping her connect with her late grandma. It is her grandmother’s birthday, but the girl is trapped at home while her parents fight. By learning more about her life through her surroundings, you find her a way out.
The Path is well narrated, and put me in the shoes of its trapped protagonist by forcing me to listen to the angry, muffled voices of adults fighting
Tip: just because the chest is open in the child’s room, that doesn’t mean you can interact with it straight away. You need to find another object to take with you before it will become interactactive.
Shrinking Pains by Bedtime Phobias
On an even more somber note, Shrinking Pains is a narrative-driven game in which you play as somebody suffering an eating disorder. Your love is concerned about you, but they have known about your condition for a while. You have been trying to hide how bad it is – how much eating scares you, how much anxiety you have over watching them take a bite of food. It hurts them to see you in this much pain and they are unable to take it any longer.
Now on your own, you have to live out your life. You don’t have a whole lot going on. You are tired all the time. Your friends might reach out to you, you might get frustrated and go out sometimes, but you are no longer happy in your life. You continue making decisions that harm yourself, in the hopes that in the end you will grow to like yourself.
Shrinking Pains is a short tale, one which shows the harm of eating disorders and the self-destructive path they can lead individuals down.
If you can’t wait till next week for more to play, check out our list of the best free games.
Disclosure: Jupiter Hadley is an apprentice games wizard at Armor Games, helping them to find released free games to sign.