Free Loaders: Flipping the bird in Helping Hand

Humans are great communicators. We’ve developed not only spoken langauges, but reams and reams of written ones throughout history. Not to mention Braille and sign language. Truly, the human ability to express emotions, needs and desires is an unparalleled proof of our shared greatness as the planet’s most wonderful species.

Hey! Quit doing that rude gesture! Stop it! I mean it!

Sigh. Here’s some free games.
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IF Only: Apocalypse Eve

Prospero Cover Clip

Apocalypse is a popular topic of IF. Brian Moriarty’s Trinity explored the threat of nuclear annihilation, back in 1986; Phantom Williams’ 500 Apocalypses got several mentions here last year, from me and from Philippa Warr. Max Kreminski’s Epitaph takes a more Spore-like approach, as you’re allowed to try to nurture procedurally generated civilizations to survive longer than a few turns, and instead (most likely) rack up an impressive collection of failures.

Whatever kind of apocalypse you’re trying to model, interactive fiction probably has something to offer. Here are some of the most interesting.

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Atlas Reactor goes free-to-play, adds new character

“If Frozen Synapse and Battlerite had a baby, it would bear an uncanny resemblance to Atlas Reactor,” said Matt Cox, which reminds me that I’m grossly failing in my duties as his self-appointed moral guardian. I should have given that young lad the ‘copulation’ talk years ago. But if you’re interested in tactical team combat played out through simultaneous turns, you might be interested to hear that developers Trion World have chucked a uey — again — and turned Atlas Reactor [official site] free-to-play. This switch comes alongside the launch of a new season with a new character. Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… RetroArch?

Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.

Hey, you know all those old console cartridges you have all the originals of and painstakingly took ROM backups up yourself? Turns out there’s a way to use ’em. Who knew?
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Get cricked on: Don Bradman Cricket 17 released

I will be very excited to see a futuresport game which does for cricket what Rocket League did to… football? Hockey? I want cricket with robots and/or cars, basically. 100 Foot Robot Cricket. Crocket League. That sort of thing. In the meantime, we’ll have to settle for regular vidcricket. Don Bradman Cricket 17 [official site] has arrived on PC, simulating the game with the best theme song in all sportdom. I’ve picked at the game’s demo over a few months and yeah, of course it doesn’t feel anything like actually playing cricket but it feels like a decent enough approximation in that abstracted sports game way. Read the rest of this entry »

Donut Wrangler serves up endless beautiful donuts

While I’m sorry we can’t yet join our playsiblings on consoles in gushing over the sumptous foodstuffs of dine-o-dating sim Final Fantasy XV, I am delighted by the donuts of Donut Wrangler [Itch page]. These are good-looking donuts. Look at those donuts! Lovely. Donut Wrangler itself is a simple physics-based stack ’em up about a tiny fork building a huge tower of donuts but just look at these sweeties! The perfect balance of realism and cartoon that makes me want to reach out and poke at their goo-filled doughbellies. Cracking donuts. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Loaders: Fend off sharks and build nets in Raft

You know that bit in Castaway, starring Tom Hanks and Fed Ex, where he’s drifting at sea in a raft and the poor football he’s been absolute best mates with for years and years croaks it in the big blue and floats away with a sad smile? Would you like to relive that moment, except instead of a friendly football your closest friend is a huge shark? And instead of floating away from you he’s travelling towards you at a menacing speed and with a vicious and unstoppable hunger for your flimsy human flesh?

Me too! Come on in. Read the rest of this entry »