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Steam dusts off some free weekends for the Spring Cleaning Event

Valve are joining all those great internet thought-leaders and telling you to clean your room, or at the very least to play the games that you've bought on Steam. Running this weekend until May 28th, 6pm GMT, the Steam Spring Cleaning Event provides a front-page checklist of games to try or return to, and rewarding the diligent with goodies to decorate their account page with.…

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Heavy Rain demo pours onto PC

Quantic Dream are making good on their threats, today releasing a demo of Heavy Rain ahead of its PC launch in June. Heavy Rain is arguably the least awful of their recent quicktime event thrillers, telling the branching and intersecting stories of people hunting for a serial killer. The start is pants and it completely stacks the ending but the middle has some interesting bits,…

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22 hours ago

Chex Quest 3 officially released free, and only 22 years late

Today, General Mills cereal (owners of all things Chex) officially released Doom-alike advergame FPS Chex Quest 3, free and Windows-friendly. It's just slightly delayed compared to the first two episodic releases in 1996 and 1997 respectively. Today's release via an adorably '90s themed page isn't entirely new, but the previously-unofficial work of original Chex Quest developer Charles Jacobi, who has been carrying a torch for the…

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23 hours ago

Jalopy is free on Humble, but you may have to race for it

A barely-functional car, a weird uncle in a bad jacket, a quest of self-discovery and seemingly endless machine-exhausting roads between you and your destination. Jalopy is free today, and a messy, unpredictable road-trip worth taking, although you might want to get a move on. Humble are giving away MinskWork's eastern european driving adventure free for the next two days, with the offer vanishing on Saturday,…

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1 day ago

With reason: Rime free on the Epic Games Store now

The latest game Epic are giving away free on their digishop is Rime, 2017's nonviolent explore-o-puzzle-a-platformer made by Tequila Works. Y'know, the one that people may have tried to explain to you with comparisons to Ico or Journey, a great deal of handwaving, and the words like "kinda" and "sorta". I still haven't bought a game on Epic's store but I sure am nabbing all…

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2 days ago

Feature: If the zoo bans me for hollering at the animals I shall face Zon and walk backwards into the Basement

Dwarf Fortress Diary: The Basement Of Curiosity Episode Twelve – Pressure Cooker

Last Time on the BoC: After a catastrophic goblin attack slaughtered the entire military (except Id), as well as their bloodthirsty mayor/captain, the Basement began a frantic programme of fortifications. Former mayor Urist, transformed by grief, was re-elected, and pledged to put aside her differences with Lorbam the Founder in order to make the Basement Of Curiosity the finest zoo in the land.

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3 days ago

Overwatch celebrates three years with old brawls, new looks and a free trial

Overwatch has now been kicking around the multiplayer shooter scene for three years, although it feels like longer, thanks to the game's constant barrage of seasonal updates and events. Blizzard are kicking off their anniversary celebrations with a trial week, so anyone still on the fence can try the game free here, and newcomers will get to try all of the notable event modes of…

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4 days ago

Restage photographs to explore the past in Snapdragon

Y'know that photographic trend of trying to match an old photo by snapping a new pic in the same location? Snapdragon riffs on that, taking a handful of old photos to a wee deserted island where things have changed quite considerably. Scrutinising ruins and landmarks to line up my view and recreate the photos also reminded me of Photobomb, and I'm always happy to remember…

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6 days ago

Feature: Head to your local mass photocopy outlet today!

Priceless Play – 18 May

To this day, one of the most powerful things I've experienced is printing my own zine. Opening the box shipped to my door and seeing the neatly stacked little booklets with my handwriting inside is the sort of pride I imagine is reserved for published authors or narcissists. "Zine," for those not in the know, is short for "magazine," and it's honestly a lifestyle. Typically…

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1 week ago

Signs Of The Sojourner turns dialogue into a deck-building demo

I've seen a lot of dialogue systems in games. Some with dice-rolls, some with obscure glyphs, but none quite like Signs Of The Sojourner, which transforms conversation into a deck-building puzzle. Just announced by Echodog Games and aiming to release later this year, they've just released a playable alpha demo, available via their Discord channel to gather feedback. It's a story about leaving home in the…

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Winter sports sandbox Steep is free to keep this week

Ubisoft's open world winter sports sandbox (snowbox?) Steep is the publisher's latest giveaway. Available to snag and keep forever between now and Tuesday, May 21st, it features skiing, snowboarding, wingsuit diving and paragliding - four fun ways to hurl yourself down a mountain without dying. While sadly not coming with its copious collection of DLC, it is, per Ubisoft standard, still more than enough to…

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Epic Games Store starts its first big sale with a Stories Untold giveaway

It's a busy day over on the Epic Games Store. On top of the expected fortnightly giveaway - this time the excellent horror-adventure Stories Untold - they've launched their first big sale. You can snag Stories Untold here for free, and I highly recommend it even if point & click (or even parser-based) adventures aren't usually your thing. Developers No Code's upcoming followup, the space-disaster…

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Experience eternity in five minutes with Ancient Greek Punishment: Chess Edition

The ancient Greeks are at it again. Or rather, Dr Pippin Barr is, as he continues his game-making katabasis with Let's Play: Ancient Greek Punishment: Chess Edition. LP:AGP:CE is the eighth in a series of lo-fi nightmares released by Barr, in what he calls “an investigation around what it means to make the ‘same game’ multiple times”. Each iteration of the series is themed around…

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2 weeks ago

Kato is a free prototype dog simulator

Life and game development are full of cruel struggles, but dogs make everything better. Kato will sadly never be a finished game, but developers Cliffside (students from the Institution Of Game Design at Uppsala University) have released a prototype version for us to enjoy. Players control Kato, a dog, bringing happiness to a cliff-side village recently beset by tragedy. You do this by barking, digging…

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File://maniac hides a serial killer on your hard drive for free

Games which kick over the fourth wall and involve the inner workings of your PC have always fascinated me. File://maniac isn't the first of its kind, but it is an intriguingly dark take on it, and possibly the start of a larger series. Described by developer Born Frustrated as a "pilot episode" about a cyberpunk investigator, delving into the virtual dream-worlds of killers. In this…

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Peek at Heaven’s Vault in its free demo

"Do the rivers unite us, or do they divide us?" I've translated my way through a good chunk of Heaven's Vault, and I keep coming back to that question. I found the relevant statement on an urn, I think, amidst some ruins on the bank of a celestial river. My grasp on the ancient language has lent me confidence about every word, except the most…

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Stellaris celebrates three years in space with a sale & trial weekend

Stellaris, the sprawling and much-expanded 4X space strategy game by Paradox, is free to try out from now until Sunday, May 12th. If you like it, you can snap it up for cheap. The game has now been out for three years, and while it may have been considered a little bare-bones at launch, a trio of major expansions (and some smaller DLC) plus some…

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Minecraft Classic is a free browser-based piece of history

As part of Minecraft's tenth anniversary celebrations, Mojang have dusted off an early 2009 iteration, packaged it up into free, browser-friendly format and called it Minecraft Classic. This nearly-decade-old build is an interesting museum piece, not quite a game yet, but it was still unmistakably Minecraft at this point. Players are free to generate and explore procedurally generated worlds and build with a palette of…

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Occupy White Walls adds creepy clockwork vendors and portals linking galleries

I may have lost my family to a freak accident involving a sentient Edvard Munch painting, but I still find Occupy White Walls enthralling. That's not the first time I've used that word to describe Stiki Pixel's free-to-play virtual gallery MMO, currently in early access. It likely won't be the last. Especially not if they keep adding features like those included in the recent Cambrian…

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