Free games of the week

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Recover from the rampant commercialism of E3 with some free games! Below you’ll find a puzzle game about love and making the right connection, a wacky platformer where you are a hatched human looking to get to the castle, and an interactive poem explaining why one person cries. If those concepts don’t pique your interest, you can run a restaurant and fight off zombies at the same time, or check out a single person’s daily routine as it cycles through. Explore this week’s five free games and see what you find.

The Crying Game by Sophie Mallinson

Everyone needs to cry from time to time. In The Crying Game, you get to cry – watching the tears roll down the screen as you read a poem written by someone who has been crying lately.

This poem explains the reason they cry, whether crying over cute things or over things that are sad. It is okay to cry sometimes. Your heart settles afterwards and you feel better. Although The Crying Game is a short experience, it is a personal one. The Crying Game shows you what it is like for this developer to cry. Cry with them.

Reunited by rarelikeaunicorn

Finding your true love and being able to kiss them is quite challenging in the puzzle game Reunited.

The game has you move one character at a time, moving them a single square. Then you must move the other character in turn before it switches back. As you move them around, your goal is to get the two cubes to kiss. This becomes quite challenging when single paths block them or you’re not facing the same way. You will need to push blocks out of the way and move these characters around until they do end up kissing! Then you will move on to a new, more challenging level to continue trying to reunite them.

10 Mississippi by Karina Popp

Follow a young adult’s day, played out through stop motion photographs you progress by hitting keys on your keyboard. 10 Mississippi is a stop motion game that takes you through a young adult’s average day.

You wake up, get ready to go to work, ride the train there, and do bits of your job before returning home. Each task, each part of your day is a quick minigame, the screen populated with keys that need to be pushed on your keyboard quickly before you move onto the next moment. You can either attempt to accomplish as much of the task as possible in the time available, or just look at the scene to understand more about this person’s life. There is something strangely beautiful about being this close to someone’s daily routine, seeing them do intimate tasks like shaving their legs or buttoning their shirt.

Silent Grill by Pancha

You must fulfill orders while also shooting the pests inside your burger joint! The pests are the undead.

Customers walk into the restaurant who you must click on to see their orders. Then you can complete those orders, cooking burgers and gathering ingredients together onto a tray before handing it back to them. There are a variety of different items to prepare and you will receive $100 for each order you complete correctly. This isn’t a very challenging task, however, occasionally, hordes of zombies will enter your restaurant instead of customers, looking to eat your delicious brains. You must grab the gun off of the counter and shoot them down before they reach your customers. You need to be both on top of your orders and good at your aim.

The Royal by Noxlof

In The Royal, a visually quirky, puzzle platformer, you must journey to meet the King.

You are a newly hatched human, a prince, looking to reclaim your throne from the current king. You must quest all the way to the castle to do this, collecting crowns along the way if you can spot them. In each area you must face a new type of puzzle, from quick sand that you slip through to disappearing platforms. There are also a few cute characters you can meet and they will help you along the way – until you get too close to the castle. Then you might start to hear some weird rumors about the king. Hopefully you can make it there and figure things out for yourself…

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.

4 Comments

  1. Person of Interest says:

    Welcome back, Jupiter! It’s so nice to read and watch your distillations of these games. The GIFs especially are always great at capturing the essence of a game in a few seconds. I wish Steam’s gameplay trailers were so succinct.

    I rarely make time to play these games myself: my downloads folder is full of cryptically named zip files from itch.io that never get opened. Maybe you can do a seasonal/annual retrospective where you curate a few games that left a particularly lasting impression on you? Hopefully not just “A Top 5 Goodbye” at the end of your contract!

    • ThTa says:

      I’d suggest using the Itch.io desktop app, it’s made it a lot easier for me to just get going with these games. Since it just “installs” them: That’s to say it extracts the zip and gives you a “Launch” button immediately, all the while tantalizing you with the developer’s page to the side. (It also keeps track of your local library.)

      Anyway, Reunited and The Royal were sweet little games. And I do wonder if the latter has a third ending… (I’ve done no crowns, all crowns, and all crowns without killing anyone. But the last one doesn’t seem to differ from the second. Maybe no crowns and no killing? Maybe it doesn’t matter aside from making me feel better?)

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        alison says:

        Can you buy games in the itch.io desktop app now? I remember downloading it a while ago in the hope it would be similar to Steam, but it seemed like a very thin version of the website that didn’t have a useful search or any purchasing capability.

        • ThTa says:

          You can search for and buy most games using it, but it does seem like there are some exceptions. Like Dead Cells, which offers a PDF with “how to get your Steam key” (and nothing else) on the website, but can’t be bought through the app (saying it’s not compatible with Windows). But this isn’t to prevent games which offer Steam keys, as Cultist Simulator is fine.

          It is ultimately still an (Electron) Chromium wrapper for their website, with some relevant native functionality (installing, auto-updates and keeping track of your library), just like how most of Steam’s store functionality aside from installing games is offered through their (custom) Chromium wrapper.

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