Free games of the week

gamesoftheweek

Racing cars around, bashing into each other, throwing yourself or your friends off of the edge. This week you can play a fiendishly fun yet deviously simple car game, or scroll down and read about some strategic roguelikes where you must destroy your enemies and try to survive.

If neither of these ideas take your fancy, I’ve also been playing an astoundingly adorable platformer about a baby bird that is learning to sing, and one about a ghost longing to be a great knight and a hero for the kingdom. Each of these games contain within them their own unique charm and adventure – read on and find a game for you to explore. Read the rest of this entry »

Ace Jam created a space for games with asexual characters

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Asexuality is one of the most misunderstood identities under the LGBTQIA+ umbrella. Among other issues, it’s extremely rare to see asexual characters in games or wider media, and when they do appear, they often fall into harmful stereotypes. January’s Ace Jam invited developers to go some way to change this by creating games that feature characters on the asexual spectrum, and treat them respectfully. Read the rest of this entry »

Free games of the week

librarycrimes

When you’re a bartender in space, there’s not much to do other than hear gossip and pour drinks. I am not a bad person, just one of opportunity. So if you offer me the chance to sell space weed, after knowing me for one day, and give me a plant… I might just snitch on you and start running the business for myself. I also might meddle in people’s relationships after learning recipes to drinks, influencing who ends up together and who breaks up. Who knew so much power came with serving drinks?

You can have this power too, and it’s up to you how to use it. If you don’t want to sell weed or meddle, you can just stick to serving drinks and building relationships. Or, if bartending isn’t your thing, why not save people from the dangers of molasses, explore a whimsical world full of comic books, or become an adorable blacksmith with a hammer? Simply read on! Video games are full of worlds just waiting for you to explore. Read the rest of this entry »

In Other Waters explores an alien ocean through a unique interface

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I’m almost ready to leave the enticing waters of Subnautica, so I was pleased to find another alien ocean to submerge myself in this morning. I’ve just played the demo of In Other Waters, a narrative-driven exploration game about investigating a strange planet and doing xeno-biology.

Unlike with Subnautica, my impression of what that world really looks like is entirely in my head. All I actually see of planet Gliese 677Cc is a real-time map, with dots and contours that represent the wildlife and terrain. It’s a great reminder that your imagination can do far better graphics than any video game, and developer Gareth Damian Martin is looking for funding on Kickstarter.

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Crossing Souls gets a generously sized playable demo

Crossing Souls

When it comes to crowdfunded indie games, patience is a virtue that is often well rewarded. Kickstarted back in 2014, we’ve had our beady eyes on Crossing Souls for a long time, and it looks just as tempting now as it did then.

After a lengthy development cycle, the game launches next week on February 13th, but to ease potentially skeptical players into its quirky world of movie-inspired 80s nostalgia, developers Fourattic have released a generously portioned demo to both Steam and GOG.

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Cortex Command is free for keepsies right now

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The side-scrolling shoot-o-platform-a-strategy Cortex Command is free right now on Steam–free free, forever–but you’ll need to be quick. You’ve only got another day-and-a-bit to grab it, so hop to it. Is certainly is worth ten seconds of effort to get for free. Here, check out some of what resident RPS tactface Tim Stone thought of it in Cortex Command review: Read the rest of this entry »

Fallout 4 blasts another free trial weekend

Going anywhere nice this weekend? Have you considered the irradiated ruins of post-apocalyptic Boston? You might fancy a crack at Fallout 4, as this weekend Bethesda will hold yet another days-long free trial of the full game. The speedrun record is under one hour so you certainly could ‘complete it’ in one weekend, but myself I like the sound of wandering aimlessly. While I find Bethesda’s open-world RPGs quite flat and have never finished the main quest of a single one, I do always enjoy spending a while pottering and seeing sights. That’s my weekend sorted. Read the rest of this entry »

Nuts is a neat game about squirrel surveillance

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My dad used to take me and my sister badger watching. We’d head out into some nearby woods and spend the day building a hideout from sticks, then camouflage it with ferns and settle in until dusk. What we didn’t do is set up a camera system and camp out night after night until we’d uncovered their secrets, as is the aim of free squirrel surveillance game Nuts.

That squirrel has a stash, you see, and it’s up to you to track it down.

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New Kentucky Route Zero ‘interlude’ out now, includes sinister half-hour TV show

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Hopefully this is a sign that the long-awaited fifth and final episode of the incomparable, theatrical road trip adventure Kentucky Route Zero is not far away. Devs Cardboard Computer last week snuck out another of their brief, experimental ‘interludes’, free game-ettes which also act as as previews and alternate perspectives on scenes and themes in forthcoming episodes. Previously they’ve done VR theatre, mystery phone calls and installation art, and now ‘Un Pueblo De Nada‘ adds live-action TV into the beautifully unpredictable mix.

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Go for a colourful, glitchy walk in Beyond R’proach

One of my favourite touches in first-person video games is your virtuahands reaching out to objects in the world. This is used to lovely effect in Beyond R’Proach, a nice little new walking simulator where we stroll through dense underwater foliage, pushing plants out the way as we go. It’s short, it’s colourful, it builds a nice little song along the way, we touch lots of plants (a bonus in any game, to be sure), and that’s all nice. Then it brings in my favourite magical video game element: that old ‘hall of mirrors’ glitch, which still delights me more than most fancy special effects. Read the rest of this entry »

Remember this: both Amnesia games are free right now

Hey, come here a second. I want you to stare at this dank room full of eerie machinery. Really give it a good stare. Drink in the atmosphere, maybe play with some of the meatblobs, think about how small we are in the universe, and

BOO!

Liked that, did you? If you quite like a spot of spooking with cosmic horror and science gone meatwild, you might enjoy more free scares in Amnesia: The Dark Descent and Amnesia: A Machine for pigs. The pair of first-person puzzle-o-horrors are free for keepsies right now, see, Steam keys and all. Read the rest of this entry »

Seven: The Days Long Gone snags a demo, an update and a sale

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I was really tempted to pick up stealth-action RPG Seven: The Days Long Gone over Christmas, but three things stopped me. 1) I wasn’t sure I’d like it, 2) most people said it was buggy and 3) it was priced just a little bit too high. Yesterday, those sneaky devs and publishers launched a three pronged attack to win over me and my fellow free-running fence sitters, and by ‘sneaky’ I mean ‘smart and good’.

The game now has demo that lasts about an hour, an update that’s cleared up a bunch of bugs and improved some core parts of the game, and a 30% discount that lasts until January 29th. After playing the demo, I’ve somersaulted off my fence of indecision and landed on the side that’s left me £19.59 out of pocket but with a promising RPG to sink my teeth into.

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PSA: mystery roadtrip game Hitchiker is currently free

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote with some appreciation of Hitchiker – First Ride, the initial chapter of a game about catching lifts across an uncanny America with a series of oddball strangers. They tell you their stories, and as, as they do, you become embroiled in a wider mystery – and the landscape shifts and drifts into weirdness too. It pulls from Lynch and the Cohens, and it’s perhaps a little to blunt about that, but its best trick is to evoke both the pleasant tedium of a long journey and the awkward getting-to-know-you conversations with a perfect stranger.

The big problem? Well, it was a Humble exclusive, bound up in their monthly subscription package – too tall an order for a purely curious mind. More ideal? Making this first chunk of the game free to all comers. Which is exactly what they’ve done, though only for the next few weeks.
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I rolled my afternoon away in Dunno Dice Incremental

Y’know those browser games where you click things and numbers get bigger and bigger – you like ’em? If so, you might enjoy a spell of clicking on Dunno Dice Incremental (“I didn’t know what to call the game”, says creator Psidereal Games), which has us rolling dice and hoping to hit combos which each big bucks. We start with only one dice and ten rounds to each play, hoping to earn a few measly dollars, but before long we’re jacked full of persistent perks and flinging great handfuls of dice to rake in a million dollars a roll. It’s not new but it’s new to me (thanks, Adam) and I’ve happily rolled away a fair chunk of the afternoon. Read the rest of this entry »

Mount & Blade/World Of Tanks hybrid Tiger Knight relaunches on Steam

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Somehow, the original release of Tiger Knight flew completely under my radar. I’d have expected the blend of historical Chinese warfare, familiar siege and mounted combat mechanics and massive-scale PvP warfare (7v7 matches, each player leading a regiment of up to 30 AI soldiers) would have caught my eye, but apparently not. I even missed the game shutting down last year.

Thankfully, 2018 is set to be a year of new beginnings, and Chinese publisher NetDragon Websoft have dusted the game off for a second, international-geared release via Steam. It’s a bit patchy, but might be worth a look, given its free-to-play nature.

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Cult horror Yume Nikki now on Steam, follow-up teased

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I’m not a card-carrying member of the Yume Nikki cult. If I were, I’d be able to tell you how to pick your way through the dreamscape, and might even be able to decipher some of the mysteries that it contains. Since it’s original release over a decade ago, Yume Nikki has fascinated me but I’ve never spent enough time in its surreal environments to become a true acolyte. I hope there’s still room for me if I do decide to sign up because the cult of Yume Nikki is about to expand.

Yesterday, the game arrived on Steam. It’s still free, still weird as heck, but something has changed, or is about to change. Ten years on, solo developer Kikiyama is working on a sequel of sorts. Looks like we’ll know more in a couple of weeks.

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Surviv.io is a free, browser-based 2D Battlegrounds

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I’m hiding in a bush with my AK at the ready. There are only 6 players left, and the encroaching zone of death has left us all with very little room to manoeuvre. Someone approaches. They could spot me, if they looked hard enough. I hold my breath as I let him draw just a little closer, then pounce out and secure my place in the final five with a barrage of gunfire.

How many dimensions did you imagine that in? If your answer’s 3, then… hah! Jokes on you – I’m actually playing Surviv.io, a free browser-based top-down take on Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds. It’s the Battle Royale game that everyone will poor depth perception has been clamouring for! If your answer was 2 because it’s obvious from the header, then… aw. You win this round.

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Go on a beautifully-lit adventure in The World Begins With You

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The World Begins With You does two things well: mystery and sunbeams. I’m a fan of both, so enjoyed my half an hour with this little platforming adventure. It Begins With You waking up inside a ruined temple as a small boy with a glowing light sticking out of your skull, and an ominous warning that you’ve slept for too long.

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Go for a free stroll through a surreal wood in Forest Egg

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It’s my second day back after the break, and it turns out a magical forest adventure was exactly what I needed to dispel some of those post-holiday blues. Forest Egg is a brief, free little atmospheric game by Marek Kapolka, and it’s both an homage to and an extension of the ‘Egglike’. This page has a crash course in what that means, but the gist is that they’re “ironically shitty” games characterised by the use of pre-existing, flat image assets.

Forest Egg throws out the irony, takes that shittiness and turns it into loveliness.

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Yorkshire Gubbins is a funny comedy adventure game

I don’t write reviews so this isn’t a review. The news is: Area Woman Plays Yorkshire Gubbins, Really Quite Likes It. That’s news, yeah. Released in October 2017, Yorkshire Gubbins is an anthology of comedy point ‘n’ click adventure games featuring all the local touchstones you’d expect in god’s own country: tea, ginnels, pies, slugpeople clones, robots, and the greeting “ey up”. It’s funny, it’s warm, the puzzling flows nicely, and it’s all a tidy length. The prequel and tutorial are free and all, so have a go. Read the rest of this entry »