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Free Loaders: Phantom pain in the Ghost Hospital

The best free games of the week

Boo! Ha ha ha. I got you, you genuinely believed I was a ghost. You foolish person. I’m not a ghost, just a guy with some free games. But one of those free games has ghosts in it, which I understand give you the willies. Don’t worry about that, most of these ghosts are the Caspery kind. They’re there to make you feel better, after all, they work in a hospital.

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

Ghost Hospital by Lilly Lefton, Rosemary Arnold and Maggie K

Haunted RPG health clinic. You wake up in a locked hospital room and promptly begin to panic. But don’t worry, here comes your doctor, who is a… g-g-g-g-ghost!?!?!?! Cue spooky and silly antics as you roam the hospital trying to find out how you, a human 12-year-old girl, ended up in a place for phantoms. Get help from Dr. Poe, fight corrupted spirits in the forbidden wards, cower in fear at the monstrous matron who runs the whole shebang. “A game about anxiety, depression, despair, mental rock bottoms, and, of course, ghosts,” say the creators. There’s an Undertaleishness to it, as per many an indie RPG, but the real antagonist is that recognisable yet otherworldly voice, delivered here in interruptive and disembodied red font, that says you aren’t good enough, that tells you to stop trying, give it up, that you’d be better off dying here and becoming a ghost yourself. Of course, you should never listen to that voice. That voice is a jerk.

Monolith by Sam Loeschen and David Carney

Ultrafast monochrome bullet hell. Fly toward the monolith and lock onto any of the enemies that appear before blasting them with missiles. It takes time to lock-on, staying in one place for a few seconds, meaning your foes have time to zero in on you. This leads to all sorts of mad dashing about as you try to lead their fire else where and get a decent window to send a volley of your own explosives. The baddies quickly get repulsively difficult, filling the world with twisting cones of spherical white fire in a way that made me loudly giggle at the overwhelming display of bullets. I think my highest score was, like, 8 or something.

W.R.L.D (World Reconnaissance eLite Defense) by Terracottafrog

Shmuppiest of shmups. The earth is beset by their old foes, the ALIENS, an enemy which is always presented in the surrounding literature of this game as such - full-caps, italicised, and bold. That’s just how ALIENS be. Scoot around our wonderful globe and shoot all the bad ones. They will fight back with missiles and bullets and all the nasty stuff, and you should note that, according to the creator’s description, the ALIENS outnumber you “∞/1”, which are not great odds, I’ll admit. On top of that, your health is draining all the time and can only be replenished with green satellites or by demolishing the next wave of extraterrestrial baddies. Solid, old-school, and full of staticky explosion sound effects.

Garbageboi by noxlof

Live your dream of becoming a streetcleaning robot trash can. Garbageboi must pick up litter thrown around by reckless humans, including all the bolts and cogs that erupt out of their cars when they collide in the crossroads. Stupid humans. But don’t get hit by a car yourself and don’t let a human see you running around for too long. Otherwise, you will explode with shame. As a game it is simplistic but the animation is super. Just look at Garbageboi waddle around and hide under his bin lid. I have never seen a more adorable means of disposing of coke cans.

Dress Code Human by Ghostbutter

How dare games such as this go unseen by me. 255 days have gone by without these skeletal party-goers gracing my scouring eyes. No matter, free games “of the week” really means free games “of whatever week I want.” Here, you’ll be going to a party in 2 minutes and you have to get your skelebod dressed FAST. The dress code: human. Slap flesh, shoes, moustaches, eyeballs, earholes, tattoos and more onto your boney frame to ensure you do not go underdressed, which would be a disaster. Then enjoy as your flashy, fleshy creation dances the night away. Party party party.

El Mandamas by Juan Rodríguez and Jorge Ortiz

Panamanian citizen cheerer-upper. You have awoken to discover you are in control of the Central American country and must, as all world leaders do, click on provinces and order them to produce pottery. This is a very quiet management game about keeping citizen sadness at bay by shuffling goods around – coffee to Bocas del Toro, crops to Herrera – and hosting festivals or “attending to minor issues”. But the nicest thing is that you can click on any province and then click an info button to get a couple of short paragraphs about the history of that particular place. In a world filled with faraway lands of which we know little, that’s a pleasant thing to have.

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