What are you gawping at? Oh, I see, the car. Thanks for the concern but, honestly, it's fine. Really. It's supposed to be like that. I was just out here in the desert looking for Paradise. You don't happen to know where it is, do you? As soon as I have a better idea of where I'm going I'll be back on the road. Yes sir, back on the trail. Anyway, you had better be going. I'm sure you have places to be. Don't worry about me, haha. I'll be fine. Yes, haha, I'll be all right.
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In Search Of Paradise by Henrik Hermans
Open country road trip to the mysterious "Paradise". When you rock up to a gas station on the road and ask about Paradise, the attendant tells you to forget about it, that he's seen tons of folk disappear down the dirt road behind his filling station, never to return. Well, that sounds like a challenge don't it? And this won't be the first time you'll be warned against something on the road. If you drive too crazily, for instance, you can flip your car right over. And you can run out of petrol too, both of which will force you to pause and order your car towed back to the last gas station. Driving at night is also pure folly, since you won't be able to see the road clearly (the "road", such as it is) or any signs directing you to the next fuel pump either. Luckily, you can wait out the day for as long as you want when parked at any garage.
I have to warn you now, this is a long game (by the usual standards of this column) with a lot of "empty" time and 30 minutes in I found myself wondering if I should just quit. But I'm glad I didn't because it has a strong finale. It's also important to note that it is inspired by a podcast Idle Thumbs did about racing games, which I listened to while driving across the desert sands, hand on the wheel, sun in my eyes, car in the air, oh god, my car's in the air, I'm crashing, oh God, help I'm crashing.
Onwards and Upwards by Drinking Wind Games
Extra low resolution first-person-shooty. Follow your fellow blue soldiers into battle with the dread reds, utilising all three gun types: rifle gun, burst gun and machine gun gun. If you want a better image of how this looks, just look at the picture above and step back from your computer screen a few paces. Or just storm through four levels of intense tracer rounds and brave assaulting, including a D-Day style invasion complete with bunkers, trenches, attack blimps and anti-air turrets. Shoot incoming laser rounds out of the air to protect yourself, shoot the red men to become courageous, shoot the everything, never stop shooting.
Giraffes Volleyball Championship 2016 by sandwich puissant
Compete in the premier sport of the Savannah. Face off against merciless AI giraffes or go head-to-head with your friend, your sibling, your significant giraffe other. Reach to the sky with your dangly legs, like some kind of terrible super-insect, and headbutt the ball into your opponent's space. Take on the personas of multiple famous giraffe volleyball players such as: Amazing Giraffe, Wonderful Giraffe, Phenomenal Giraffe, and more! First to five points wins the day.
Muses Sexton by Deconstructeam
Grave-digging epitaph generator. You have a shovel and a cart full of coffins ready for the cold ground of the prairie. Find some flat earth and get digging, then slug your cart and its restful passengers to the grave and throw one of those coffins into its new home. But that's not your only job. You also have to write epitaphs for the dead. Look around you and find inspiration in the land. The pine trees, the stones, a bear skin, burned out houses, the gallows, a totem pole, a bloodied gate - all of them offer lines for you to use. You only need three lines for each gravestone but there's enough here for you to play with, forging your own small mini-stories about the people in the coffins. The controls can be a bit janky but aside from that there's something very atmospheric about this frosty, howling cemetery, something that reminds me of Robert Service poems and Jack London books. It's probably just the snow.
Robot Heist by Anna Anthropy
Meet Val, the Vertical Bot, expert of pushing things vertically. Val's got a plan - to bust his old friend Harry the Horizontal Bot (master of pushing things horizontally) out of high security robot prison. Is he doing this for friendship? Hell, no. He's busting him outta here for One Last Job. Embark on the ultimate robo-heist with the best cyber thieves in the business. Puzzle through laser-lined levels and barrel-pushing conundrums, swap between 'bots and use teamwork to steal the most valuable block of gold you've ever seen. But will Val and Harry get out of there with the loot? All robots have their limits.
Eight Millimeters by Dancing Eagle
Post-invasion documentary FPS. The humans of Earth have fended off an alien invasion and as a documentary filmmaker (and veteran yourself) you are making a short film about the soldiers who fought. Shoot the aliens in flashbacks and ask questions in the present. There's a hint of Blendo Games' outings in this, with it flicking through multiple stories and scenes in quick succession. But it is also a lot more wordy than those games, and I can't tell if this improves the storytelling or detracts from it. Probably a little of both. Anyway, WAR, huh? What is it good for?
Brume by Robin Moretti and Juiliano Gil
I won't even pretend to understand this one.