Whether you’re looking to listen to a story, find unique meaning in signs, or just enjoy a small world of your own, this week we have the free games you truly need. You can be a robot-human bartender listening to stories from a regular, or represent all of humanity in a difficult puzzle game. Or you can take on the life of a game developer, hoping to make ends meet. If something more mysterious, like trying to understand scenes placed before you in a dying world, pings your interest then we have brought you that too. Or, finally, you could play within a cheerful window to a world you are creating as you move…
Strawberry Daiquiri by Bishounenp
Listening to some futuristic stories between two maybe-not-quite-humans is a possibility in Strawberry Daiquiri.
This visual novel has you observing the lives of a few people in your bar: two regulars and a new customer. It seems like a normal Tuesday – your local drunk is passed out on the bar; no one else is really around – until a regular called Antonio comes in. He’s almost human, but with a red, machine-esque eye. Antonio is very good at telling wonderful stories – although not really to you.
Soon, the person meant for his story comes in. You just serve them drinks, listening to their conversation, and soaking up the stories Antonio has to offer. This game does take place quite far into the future – so people like Antonio are common – you’re even described as a half-robot yourself – but not everyone is as obvious in their appearance, and not everyone uses technology for good. Strawberry Daiquiri is short, but the stories you get to hear are captivating.
Kitrinos: Inside the Cube by Yaz Orius
If solving puzzles is your thing then try Kitrinos: Inside the Cube. It’s a mysterious sci-fi adventure game that takes inspiration from games like Myst and Zork – one where you must figure out what the cube wants from your people, because it definitely wants something.
You are an archaeologist who has discovered the Black Cube, a strange device that absorbed your mind after leading you to it in the first place. By being the first to find it, you’ve become the representative of your people, and you have a limited time to pass the Cube’s tests and return to your world before your physical form rots. You’ll never remember this important quest, but you have to undertake it regardless.
Your new world inside this strange place is a mix of uncannily realistic photos with dots that you can interact with. Some provide puzzles with no further explanation, merely hoping you have the knowledge to figure them out. Others reveal notes to help you slightly on your adventure – but everything is up for interpretation, so be aware of your surroundings as you try and solve them.
The game developer suggests having a pen and paper ready while playing Kitrinos: Inside the Cube – and I very much agree. The challenge in this game will really have you thinking, all as you try to represent humans the best you can.
DON’T GIVE UP: A Cynical Tale by Trisbee
Follow the life of a game developer named Tris in the action packed adventure game DON’T GIVE UP: A Cynical Tale, where you rotate between very strange dreams and your normal life as a game dev. Tris’s approach to development doesn’t see you chilling in the sunshine, or talking to people around you. But you do have to take on day-to-day tasks like ordering pizza and going to a party, all while battling strange creatures in your dreams.
Battling, both in dreams and with annoying humans in real life, comprises fighting with your strange weapon by blasting towards the enemy, whilst staying off of tiles that are being attacked in return. Once you’ve mastered this (and attacked for long enough on the enemies turn) you’ll move in for close combat where you can hit keys to combo your attacks. You have a lot of inner demons to face, as well as annoying people that don’t respect you. This game does follow the life of someone who is slowly breaking down, so dealing with your demons becomes more and more of a struggle as you try to follow your dreams.
The Shape On The Ground by Somewhat
The Shape on the Ground is a different type of experience – a very creepy, interesting experience where you wander around a strange, dying town. This town, despite being devoid of humans, is full of black walls. Each wall gives you a scene and a question: “What do you see?” followed by three choices. You can pick which word best describes the scene in front of you, and that word will be recorded before you’re able to move on, leaving the scene on the screen.
These questions take some exploring to locate, and you have to find them before you can move on from this world. The town around you is starting to rot. The earth turns to what looks like blood, pulling you into the dying ground. Once you’ve answered all of the questions, explored each and every scene that has been presented to you, and decided what they mean, you can finally go to the church and see what’s inside.
The Shape on the Ground will mean something different to everyone – much like the pictures you are presented with, it’s completely up to your own interpretation of it.
This Hole in my Chest by Alberto
Small games that are made for a friend always hold a special place in my heart. This Hole in my Chest was made for someone who, well, felt as though they had a hole in their chest. This game (or interactive toy, really) was meant to help mend that hole.
You’re a small ship, able to swiftly move around the screen whilst eating strange vines that are growing into the titular hole. As you munch away, a circle-face appears, bouncing around delightfully.
You can choose to run into this face, but instead of destroying it a planet appears. These planets can be pushed around, grow vines, and may eventually disappear. More faces will appear, vines will continue to grow, and if you make it happen, more planets can appear too. Cheerful music plays in the background – the entire screen breaths with movement and pure joy. This Hole in my Chest can lighten whatever sadness you’re feeling, all just from moving your ship around and watching your own world grow.
Disclosure: Jupiter Hadley is an apprentice games wizard at Armor Games, helping them to find released free games to sign.