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Feature: A collection of nearly-missed gems

Priceless Play – 19 January

Before I started my PhD, I was an Inbox Zero kind of person. I used labels. Folders. Conditional filtering! These days, I might as well have a permanent out-of-office message. This isn't to say that I never read my e-mails, but rather that they get filed into a section of my brain which I have deemed, "Later." Within the distant confines of Later, I promise…

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15 hours ago

Dirty Bomb’s free design document is full of FPS engineering insight

Free-to-play team shooter Dirty Bomb never drew the crowds it deserved. Slightly wonky business model aside (now no longer an issue - the game is proper-free now), it was fast, satisfying and skilful stuff. Not surprising, as developers Splash Damage are as veteran as they come - they're the crew behind the excellent Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory back in 2003, and several iterations on the formula…

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3 days ago

Tech Support: Error Unknown lets you ask people to turn it off then on again

What if tech support helpline jobs weren't a crushingly unhappy grind for poor pay but a gateway to a world of intrigue? You can catch a glimpse of that in the Tech Support: Error Unknown free demo released today. It's one of those games where your whole view is presented as a computer desktop--Uplikes, as the genre is known far and wide in honour of…

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4 days ago

Aer studio Forgotten Key to shut down, release prototypes free

The past year has been rough for a lot of smaller studios, and the latest casualty may be Forgotten Key, developers of the rather lovely exploration adventure Aer: Memories Of Old. Despite the game being well received, the obviously talented studio say here that they've struggled to find investors and keep the lights on. Unless something changes soon, the team will disband. Kindly, they've released…

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5 days ago

Hocus Pocus Doom drags Apogee’s DOS platformer into the third dimension

Hocus Pocus Doom a dangerously potent cocktail of nostalgia. Doom 2 modder "Ravage" has been working on this since 2014, adapting an old 2D DOS game into a GZDoom-based (but kid-friendly) FPS. If you grew up playing DOS games in the 90s, you may remember Hocus Pocus, or at least the shareware version. Honestly, it wasn't the greatest - a simple platformer published by Apogee. Hocus Pocus…

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1 week ago

Feature: Keep cleaning up in 2019

Priceless Play – 12 January

Cleaning is miraculous. It is the ultimate de-stressor for me. I have no patience for an unmade bed or dishes left in the sink. I pride myself on my cable management, I love making to-do lists, and nothing makes me more excited than an itinerary. Perhaps it's why I love inventory management and city sims! But even I can fall behind on my organisational prowess.…

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Resident Evil 2’s time-limited ‘1-shot’ demo is live

As far as bad first days at a new job go, you can't really beat Leon Kennedy's - go on, try the new Resident Evil 2 remake demo and tell me I'm wrong. Released somewhat later today than expected, the thirty-minute demo for the upcoming horror rework is live. It weighs in at a hefty 7.2gb download, and expands to slightly larger than that. Grab…

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This random city generator is the best thing you’ll randomly-generate today

"hellll yes infinite procedurally-generated city" is the title of the Trello card left in the RPS organisation-o-tron 3000 concerning Wave Function Collapse, and yep, that neatly sums up what I want to say about this. An endless city, one of a kind, created just for you whenever you load the application. Close the application, and that city's gone forever. Maaaaan.

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Blast Zone! Tournament is basically Bomberman and free for keepsies on Steam

Blast Zone! Tournament is as close as you can get to Bomberman while still being legally distinct, and Bomberman is always good. Free Bomberman with a big single-player mode, full online and local multiplayer is just grand. Developed by Victory Lap Games, it entered early access last year, and if you grab it by January 16th you get to keep it free forever. From the…

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Marble Marcher is what happens when Monkey Ball meets math

Marble Marcher is equal parts mesmerising, fascinating, frustrating and educational - a short, free ball-rolling game by CodeParade, you've got a ticking timer, a goal, and a procedural fractal landscape to somehow navigate across, sometimes shifting and warping under you. It's a bit of a technical marvel despite its mechanical simplicity. Below is a brief look at the game, plus an explanation on the collision…

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What Remains Of Edith Finch free on Epic Games Store right now

Fantastic first-person walk-o-story What Remains Of Edith Finch (don't call it a walking simulator) is free for keepsies right now on the Epic Games Store, and I highly recommend nabbing it. It's a beautiful and melancholic tale with a magical realist bent, exploring the lives and deaths of the family who've lived in a strange and lonely house for generations. It's one of the best…

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Isotopium: Chernobyl lets you remote-control robots in Ukraine

Two minutes ago, I was controlling a robot in Ukraine. Thanks to Isotopium: Chernobyl, you can too - right from your browser and all. Remote Games have set up a scale model of Chernobyl and populated it with tanks hooked up to the internet. You can jump into one within a minute, though you'll probably only get to play for just as long before you're…

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2 weeks ago

Sonic Mania co-dev pitched a new Darkwing Duck, and you can play it

After giving Sonic the Hedgepig a retro revamp, one of the studios behind Sonic Mania hoped to have a crack at another 90s platformer: Darkwing Duck. Headcannon Studios had hoped to make a new game based on Capcom's 1992 NES platformer, even making a demo and pitching it to the publishers, but Capcom didn't bite. Games are pitched and rejected all the time, of course,…

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Space Scavenger is a neat DIY Spaceship builder with a free alpha

"Ooh, that looks a bit like Captain Forever", I thought, when I spotted the Space Scavenger alpha this morning. It's a streamlined take on Forever's DIY spaceship building, where you pile on parts during distinct levels rather than roaming endless void. It's more structured, more relaxing, and fundamentally more limited. It's got good whumphing noises though, and I quite like it.

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11:45: A Vivid Life is an intense game of body archaeology

Do you ever think about the human body? Just like, really think about it? About how it’s a complete mess of systems that somehow manage to hold together, even in the face of incredible damage, except that it doesn’t have a super great way of restoring that damage fully, so over your life it becomes a journal of all the especially physically dramatic occurrences you’ve…

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Feature:

Priceless Play – 5 January 2019

It's 2019 now. I know you know that -- it's been 2019 for at least several days or more by the time you are reading this. If you don't know that it's 2019, I hope that it is because by the time you're reading this it's actually 2020 or something equally as wild as the passing of time. In this new year, in this little…

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One Step From Eden goes crowdfunding with a challenging demo

Build decks, sling cards, dodge hundreds of bullets - One Step From Eden feels like a clever, twitchy little hybrid of excellent card-battling roguelike Slay The Spire and Capcom's Mega Man Battle Network series. Developer Thomas Moon Kang has taken his deck-building roguelike shooter-thing to Kickstarter, accompanied by a surprisingly difficult and replayable demo on Game Jolt here. Four quick runs through the demo and…

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Meditations is a thought-of-the-day calendar for games

The holidays are over, and now we've got to remember how this 'work' stuff goes again - it's stressful stuff. Meditations is like a mindfulness calendar but with games that may help soothe frazzled nerves. Organised by Rami Ismail of Vlambeer, each day the Meditations launcher serves up a short, personal game and a quote to accompany it - a little window into someone else's…

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Super Meat Boy free for keepsies on Epic Games Store

Splendidly deadly platformer Super Meat Boy is free to keep on the Epic Games Store if you grab it now. This is the second of the freebies luring people onto Epic's new store since its launch in December 2018, following Subnautica (and if the carrot doesn't work, there's always the stick of exclusive games). For now, hey, if you install Epic's client and register an…

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3 weeks ago

Feature: The Joy of Cooking

Priceless Play – 29 December 2018

I'm sorry, dear reader. I have failed you. I was unable to get this to you in time to save your Christmas dinners. Your beef wellingtons, unwell. Puff pastry, unpuffed. If only you had had this collection of free games about cooking -- only then could your Christmas dinner have been truly spectacular. I am here to rectify my error. There's always New Year's. Now:…

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