Free Loaders: The Cat Who Would Be King
The week's best free games
What would the world be like if it was ruled by a despotic feline? Do dung beetles possess a deep knowledge of physics? What is France? All these questions and more will be answered in this week's Free Loaders - your one-stop shop for the best free games on today's internet.
Looking for more free games? Check out our round up of the best free PC games that you can download and play right now.
Frank & Stein by vegapomme27
Flesh-encrusted, character-swapping puzzle-shoot thing, which won "overall winner" title of Ludum Dare 34. Frank and Stein are connected by a long umbilical string of sinewy tissue and must travel everywhere together. But only one of them has a gun. Eight levels of self-teamwork as you guide Frank with one button and Stein with the other. Press both at the same time to have Frank fire a blast of lead.
There are lots of clever touches and it generously introduces new problems or tools. One level might separate the heroes across two floors, while another floods you with mutant "cousins". It doesn't let you get comfortable. You can never go backwards with either character, so from the start of the game I got used to pressing forward with Frank, gun in hand, ready to take on the feral muties. Then Stein found a metal shield and I had to recalibrate my brain to press the opposite button first, to avoid death by turrets. Then the globulous bag of flesh that linked us ATE a turret and became our friend and I had to factor in the range of our new organ-gun. Clever flesh.
Seven Weeks of Cat Monarchy by Fathom and Scuffy
The Cat Monarch has discovered a particularly alluring ray of sunshine and has gone on a multi-week sabbatical. As regent you are left in charge of the kingdom. Many ethical dilemmas await you at the behest of your cat subjects. Food is scarce and there are peasants with poor hygiene to wash. But you must always balance your good deeds to keep the kingdom's financial supply of cheese snacks at acceptable levels.
Your advisers in either wing of the castle will help you. Or you can shun them entirely. But be careful, for your choices are important, my liege. For example, babies keep getting into trouble in the forest for some reason. You can organise a search party or a "snake party". When potatoes run out you are given the choice to help or simply to ban all potatoes "thus solving the crisis". Has a peasant come to you fretting about their farm being on fire? Send out your men to "burn all the farms everywhere". Excellent decision, your grace. Very regal.
No Humanity by sweatytian
The most hellish of bullet hells. You are a tiny UFO on a sheet of paper bombarded by countless missiles, claws, eyeballs, teeth, lasers, spores, octopus tentacles and more. Try to survive for more than 10 seconds. (You won't).
Radical Rockits by RageSquid
Funk-filled jetpack muckabout in ragdoll world of Rockitwood. This is like Pilotwings 64, if Pilotwings 64 was 10 times more difficult to control and your pilot was randomly generated to become a mummy, a lagoon creature, a robot, or a skeleton, and was constantly flailing their limbs around at the whim of gravity and air resistance.
Like last week's Loss of Fluid, each thruster is mapped to a separate button, making precise movements tricky. Split-screen with up to four players and a quick restart key makes it like you are practicing for The Worst Airshow but the funky soundtrack and the bright 'n' breezy style puts me in mind of a more free-form Jet Set Radio. There's a low gravity option for training purposes in the control options, which I'd recommend for anyone having trouble getting through the 'O' in the 'Rockitwood' sign. Which I definitely achieved. On the first try. On purpose.
Le Petit Architecte by Theo Triantafyllidis
J'ai architecture. Ou est l'edifice? Mais oui. C'est en le jeu. Quelle Francais? Quelle chat? C'etait vraiment vrai, et bon et c'est posible magnifique aussi. Viola! Le jeu est un chose. Un creature monument historique. Il y a gomme à mâcher en la chaussée. J'ai quatorze ans. Je voudrais café et frites. Tu jouerais le jeu? Je ne sais pas! Bon nuit!
Super Sea Serpent Simulator by Cosmic Adventure Squad
Be a sea monster and capsize all the dreadful spear-weilding Ahab wannabes. The serpent follows the mouse cursor as best it can. Eat the sailors like you're snacking on popcorn to grow larger and increase your health, or dive down to the depths to munch on the less fighty fish. However, humans are awful. They will bring reinforcements, depth charges and bigger boats. As the last of your species, you cannot let this stand. EAT THE HUMANS.
Pool Party Pummel by teammilktoast
Deeply chlorinated two-player ruckus, starring twitchy bears riding on the backs of wide-eyed birds. What. Make your way across the pool and bash your friend across the bonce three times to win. Sounds easy. But wait! The controls are funky. Each birdy mount will constantly face their dreaded enemy in a staring deadlock. Which means you have to sort of spiral in towards them and navigate according to your foe's position. Yuck.
What is an otherwise fairly straightforward duel becomes an assault on the senses. Colours attacking your eyeballs, music abusing your eardrums, bears hitting you in the face. Why is any of this happening?
Stomp Time! by NecroMac
Endless runner through an long streak of undulating skyscrapers. You are some sort of Mothra-sized box-man and you are compelled to stomp ever onward to the sound of what I can only assume is a 90s dance anthem. Avoid the missiles by shrinking yourself down and stomp right over the electric barricades by growing tall and wide. Be big as often as possible to destroy more buildings for more points. Stomp stomp stomp stomp! Techno techno techno techno!
The Travels of the Dung Beetle by Louie Zong
Scatological arthropod whimsy. Roll your little ball of fecal matter around 4 levels of the mildest poo-centric peril ever to grace the free games scene. Garden birds will patrol the grasslands, ducks have conquered the ponds, and space carries with it the threat of an eternal fall into the abyss. Collect ten poops to proceed.