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Free Loaders: No One Can Oust The King Of Herrings

This is the giant oarfish, also known as the "King of Herrings". I learned about this monstrous fish - the largest 'bony fish' in existence - thanks to one of the games in this week's line up. You too can learn about strange and terrifying marine creatures if you click 'read more'.

Also, please play some of these games.

Looking for more free games? Check out our round up of the best free PC games that you can download and play right now.

The Maitre D by SeaDads

Snakey table service puzzler. As the stretchy host at a fancy French restaurant you must guide your diners to their seats in an establishment of posh spikes and fashionably obstructive blocks. But you will need to summon the power of the Maitre D to achieve these ends. Stretch out with the arrow keys and retract with Q or E. Use your writhing body to get to unreachable clients. Collect lotion - every waiter's best friend - to stretch even further. The customers you carry don't "ride" your stretching back per se so you have to figure out the correct way to bend, writhe and worm your way to the seats without dropping them or hitting spikes or bombs.These are puzzles of slimey politeness, and all accompanied by some of the best balloon-stretching sound effects going. A game where your hero is so malleable, he is almost erotic.

Ultralight Beam by Tom Sennett

Space flyer and lifestyle advice-dispenser. Here is a balls-to-the-wall, hyper-colourful fly-em-up. Collect the stars and avoid the monsters until you can glide away to the next level full of pink bat-things and aggresive cat faces. Power-ups will get you missiles to disorient your foes or bulldozing claws to demolish blocks. Do all this surrounded by detonating spinwheels and rainbow trails. This game also doubles as a wise friend telling you to get your life into order by constantly exploding with small tidbits of helpful advice in full caps. "PAY YOUR BILLS", it bellows. "STAY OUT OF DEBT" it offers. "COMPROMISE". It is like a magic eight ball in shmup form.

Dawning by AlPixel Game

Relaxing countryside creator with fire-avoidance plotting. Plop down tiles of greenery, desert and mountains to fill the board with rural loveliness. More green stuff generates more points at the end (the minute you've filled the board) but wastelands and deserts get you nothing. Water tiles allow your deserts to blossom but fire tiles will ravage everything, spreading from one tile to another. You only get a set of three before getting more bits of land, so if you see some flames you have to use them. It's all about planning and isolating forests so that in the event of a catastrophic wildfire, you don't lose everything.

Get Your Licks by burgess

If you're not getting your licks I don't know what you're getting. Lick the ice cream with WASD and watch your dastardly licking foe do the same with TFGH. Collect as many 'flavour units' as possible before the time runs out by taking as big a lick as possible, or bash your tongue into the other licker's to knock a load of flavour out of both your flavour banks. Seems like a silly game for silly people but there is a subtle message here: Never share anything.

BlobWall by Sophie Houlden

You are a blob, here come the walls. Reform into the exact shape of the hole in the wall to make it through. Screw it up and you will either be pushed towards the edge or a layer of the floor will collapse away, leaving you one inch closer to blob death. Simple, fast-paced shapeshifting. My high score is 3.

Jolly Jail Jumper by Awesome Alliteration

Jolly Jail Jumper joins jillions of joyous jumpathons. Just by jogging and jumping to juicy jazz, this jailed John will jack out of the justice system in a jiffy. Dash through dull and dank doorways and don the dress of a delinquint. Tap tab to toggle your togs and coast by the cops in cobalt clothes. Wiggle down walls with your wily ways and make sure your main man don't mis-match next to his mardy mates. Sometimes these summaries stop suddenly.


Tangaroa Deep by Astrid Dalmady

Deep-sea diving science trip. Cramped into a tiny, one-man submarine you are tasked with descending deep into the ocean to log all the species of underwater creatures you can spot. You've got an air meter and a voice link to Jackie, your scientific help above the waves. As you pass sharks, sunfish, squid and whales you'll reach claustrophobic depths, constantly peeping at your O2 levels. At some point, you'll have to come back up but if you do you might regret not stretching your lungs just that little bit further in search of your own unique discovery. Good IF asks its player a question. Here, it's "when do you stop chasing notoriety?" It also presents you with a catalogue of all the sea creatures you encountered once you do finish the story, which resulted in me falling down an abyssal wiki-hole of my own, flipping from the Colossal Squid to Deep-Sea Gigantism to the "King of Herrings". I'm still down here, looking at the Seven-arm octopus. But I know at some point, I will have to come up for air.

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About the Author
Brendan Caldwell avatar

Brendan Caldwell

Former Features Editor

Brendan likes all types of games. To him there is wisdom in Crusader Kings 2, valour in Dark Souls, and tragicomedy in Nidhogg.