The founder of Valve, Gabe Newell, will write the script for a Half-Life movie adaptation, as well as being named the director, it was revealed today. However, he is also slotted to act the part of the hero of the classic 1998 shooter, physicist Gordon Freeman. This was all said in a public announcement that sent fans of the series into a frenzy. It was expected that the company was going to announce Half-Life 3, and when that didn’t happen the eyes of the crowd turned an unholy crimson and smoke began to appear from inside everyone’s clothes. The writhing mass of human rage left the announcement venue and swarmed into the nearest lake, where they dissolved into a thick particulate and melded into a horrifying 300 ft beast that went on to destroy downtown Bellevue.
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BUT NONE OF THAT IS TRUE, YOU FOOL. That’s right, you’ve been duped by FAKE NEWS into reading our weekly round-up of free games: Free Loaders. To learn more about the perils and pitfalls of FAKE NEWS, just play the first game on our list.
Fake It To Make It by Amanda Warner
Management sim about FAKE NEWS. Establish your own FAKE NEWS website and fill it with the most preposterous click-coaxing guff imaginable. People will believe it because people are people. You get a little dashboard and some guidance about how you’ll copy and create your own made-up stories. I wrote one about a veteran freezing to death because a rich man refused to let him take shelter in his house, then I bought a credible profile of a man called Tyrell from the black market of phony people and told it to join a group for veterans, where he posted the false story. People lapped it up, the fools! As it goes on you need to earn money toward a goal like an apartment or some new equipment. You have to target particular groups and take advantage of political hordes to generate likes and shares.
It’s a game of getting your numbers to go up, yes, but ultimately it’s about teaching you the process and mindset of the people who make this stuff. It wasn’t long before I started having dedicated profiles of my own making, some in the purple party, some in the orange party, and some who were just interested in cute animals or the funny things children say. There was no political motivation or one-sidedness to what I posted. Bullshit is universal and, with my help, everyone can step in it.
A Day In The Life of a Slice of Bread by The Bee’s Knees
This came out a year ago and you know what? I don’t even care. I played it this week and these are my best games of my week. Don’t @ me. You play a slice of bread who has sponteously developed consciousness. What you do from there is up to you. Make a break for it out the door? Accept your fate and wind up in the toaster? How will it all end for you? A successful life in the suburbs with your loving husband, or perhaps you’ll die doing what you’ve always loved – bowling. As the author comments: “This is an extremely serious game, I recommend going to the closest convenience store and buying a box of tissues... You've been warned.”
Liberation Circuit by Linley Henzell
Programmable RTS. You control a bunch of computer processes with lasers and have to take over data wells and destroy the enemy base. There’s wee units and big units and super units. There’s harvesters and builders and all that. Click about through the darkness, build and destroy. Expand, explode, expunge, examine entrails. But there’s a deeper level to all this for those with the knowledge or the bravery to dunk their heads under the surface – you can code all the actions of your little dudes in a “simplified” version of C. There’s an editor panel for the instructions and a designer for the ships you’re using. Talk about micro. It feels like this might be the only way to win big in the game, as the third level left me crushed by raiding AI every time, unable to get enough troops and expansion going with enough speed or foresight. But if you know some code magic, you might find lots to like here.
KoN: King of Nothing by by Tinytouchtales and Max Fiedler
Itty bitty rouguelike on a 4x4 boar of tiles infested with guard rats. You’ve gotta get that acorn and make it to the door. There’s only three weapon types. The sword slices rats up. The crossbow shoots arrows. And the shield reflects both or bashes enemies into a stunned state. Your weapon changes according to the tile you’re standing on and using the weapon involves moving toward an enemy. Survive 20 turns and a new baddie gets added to the board. This turns into more of a randomly generated puzzle game, as you to move and shuffle about a cramped area without triggering one of the rats to shoot you, or accidentally firing an arrow while they’re holding a shield and killing yourself. Small but firm, like a good fruit.
Torn Sails by Grzegorz Dałek
Two-player sumo sailing with cannons. Or one player with an AI opponent if you are lonely today like me. Dart around the small disc of ocean and volley cannonballs at your foe. Collect power-ups and perks to make yourself more monstrous. Use a controller, fool. The joystick moves about and the face buttons fire in their corresponding directions. Press the right bumber to dodge. Don’t fall off the edge of the world. Kill your friend. Kill all your friends. There is no world in which your friends are permitted to live.
Low Desert Punk by wischutz
You’re a car. Avoid the chasing doodads and nip along the red landscape, collecting the pip things you so badly need to increase your high score. It is the only way to reaffirm your place in the world. But watch out for the feet. The feet have not mercy nor malice. The feet live only to stamp.
Jukebox by antform
It’s a jukebox. It makes music. But not YOUR kind of music.