Play with perspective in psychedelic puzzler Mirror Drop

Mirror Drop

Some say that the arms race for graphical fidelity is only good for chasing photo-realism. Mirror Drop by former ThatGameCompany developer Ian Lilley is a stunning showcase of the kinds of borderline-mystical tricks a modern GPU can pull, all while delivering a mesmerising and engaging little puzzle game. You’ve just got to roll a ball from A to B by shifting gravity, simple enough, but the spaces are a beautiful but baffling perspective-warped labyrinth of spaces within spaces. Just watch the trailer inside to see what I’m rambling on about.

While the game did make its debut on Steam recently, you can also pick it up free and devoid of DRM on its official page here, so now you’ve got no excuse not to try it.

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Steam’s Spring Cleaning Event wants you to clear your backlog… Or just try a bunch of new games instead

Steam Spring Cleaning

I’m not sure if Valve’s latest promotional wotsit on Steam knows whether it’s coming or going. On one hand, it’s nice that the Spring Cleaning Event (running until Monday, 28th May) is nudging players into trying out games they may have bought in sales and never touched, but pairing that with nine simultaneous free weekend events does somewhat undermine the message.

Ah well, it’s an excuse to play videogames all weekend. Can’t grumble about that. Plus, there’s an actual free game giveaway running – take a peek within. Oh, and yesterday’s big Steam giveaway is still live until tomorrow, so try that too. Oh dear, there’s just too many games.

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Craft ridiculous gunstacks in Mothergunship’s demo

“Give the guy a gun and he’s Superman,” Humpty Dumpty said. “Give him two and he’s God.” I’d like to add to this, “Give ’em five guns stacked up and clicked together into one huge megagun, and they may well be playing Mothergunship.”

That’s the next bullet hell first-person shooter from the creator of 2014’s Tower Of Guns, and this time it’ll have players build our own guns. A bit like Serious Sam: Double D, we snap bits and bobs into honking great guns covering half the screen. You can see quite how that works in the ‘Gun Crafting Range’ demo released today. Read the rest of this entry »

Co-op/Versus shooter Raiders of the Broken Planet is free to grab (and keep forever) for the next two days

Raiders of the Broken Planet

The problem with launching a multiplayer shooter is that players are part of the content. Without players, you’ve only got half a package, even if there is a single-player mode. MercurySteam’s Raiders of the Broken Planet (a Gears of War-styled co-op shooter with a light PvP twist) has always looked rather nice, but without people playing it, it’s a hard sell, and the game just never got off the ground.

In an attempt to zap some life back into Raiders in time for the next episodic campaign release, for the next two days, you can grab the entire game (including three DLC solo/co-op campaigns) free on Steam to keep forever. Grab it now, and you’ve got something for your crew to do over the weekend.

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Battlefield 1 & 4 serve up free Russian winter DLC today

Battlefield 4

Battlefield V is practically upon us already, but its two immediate predecessors are still very well populated games. Still, thanks to their old focus on season passes, many players just stuck with the base games, a problem which EA have been rectifying lately with giveaways. Today, owners of Battlefield 1 can snag the In The Name Of The Tsar expansion for the game, while Battlefield 4 folks can get the Final Stand expansion, both completely free. Summer is coming, and looking at the frozen wastelands on offer, a trip to the Urals seems awfully tempting.

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Unreal is free to celebrate its 20th birthday

“Dearest Alice, I do not play video games but fear I am insufficiently aware of my own mortality and am exploring every avenue to remedy that,” begins one of the many letters I received in the post this morning seeking my advice as a reputed expert in the field. “Which gaming platform would most frequently remind me that my youth is so very far behind me and all flesh is grass?”

Well, Margo From Bishop’s Stortford, PC gaming can definitely help you. Observe how the assembled commenters wail, weep, and tug at their scant remaining hairs as I say this simple sentence: Unreal came out twenty years ago today.

“What is Unreal?” Well Margo, right now you can download it for free to see for yourself. Read the rest of this entry »

Free games of the week

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From relaxing in a cute world full of flowers, to being a ninja relying on coffee to do their job – this week’s free games cover some interesting topics. Did you ever wonder what a world populated by potatoes would do if an asteroid was to strike? What if you, a potato with a super power, were their last hope? Maybe that’s too much pressure and you’d rather just be a swordfish trying to survive inside your ocean by destroying other fish with your sharp face. If you are up for a challenge, you can try being a knight that can only attack in time to music – if the note isn’t hit, the music punishes you. Read on… Read the rest of this entry »

RTS-inspired deckbuilder Prismata goes free-to-play(ish) for the weekend

Prismata

Prismata is a bit of a hard sell because I can’t think of any other strategy game quite like it. It looks and controls like a Magic: The Gathering inspired card game, but flows like an RTS, and while you do gradually expand your construction options between matches, there’s no randomly drawn booster packs or loot boxes.

While previously the only way into the game’s early access release was to buy the $25 Founders Edition, this weekend you can jump in and play multiplayer and the start of the solo campaign free, from now until Monday, 10am Pacific, with those who get in on the free weekend seemingly able to keep this cut-down edition of the game.

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Feed, chase, and pet fat pigeons in this cute free game

I do have a soft spot for pigeons, strutting around city squares and cooing like a flock of gossips fussing over a biscuit tin. Better dottering pigeons than murderous seagulls, that’s for sure. But real-life pigeons can be a bit manky and mangled, so thank goodness that modern technology has enabled the creation of simulated pudgy pigeons in the aptly-named Pigeon Game. It’s a free little doodad set inside a small virtual park, where we can throw sunflower seeds to orbic pigeons, chase them, and even pet their squidgy bodies if they come to like us. What a future we live in! Read the rest of this entry »

Conquer the galaxy, gratis – Galactic Civilizations 2 free

Galactic Civlizations 2

I’m honestly taken aback by how good game giveaways have been in recent years. In the past few months alone we’ve seen some genuinely great stuff given away for nothing but the time it takes to click a button. Even if most of the giveaways are promotional in nature, there’s enough available for nothing to keep even the most fervent player going for months. For the next 44 hours (give or take a few minutes), you can score the Ultimate Edition of Stardock’s well-received sci-fi 4X strategy game Galactic Civilizations 2 here on the Humble store, free to keep forever.

Galactic Civilizations II may not be the greatest strategy game ever made, but according to our once-resident master of war Adam Smith, it’s in the top 25, and that’s not to be sniffed at.

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The Curious Expedition demo ventures forth

Say, have you played The Curious Expedition, the turn-based colonial-era exploration game which we declared our favourite roguelikelike of 2016? You can’t all have, as otherwise developers Maschinen-Mensch wouldn’t have released a demo today. It contains two expeditions. So whoever you missing-outers are, go on, get in, give it a go. You needn’t even download anything special to play, as the demo runs in your browser. Read the rest of this entry »

Undertale’s fan-game scene is alive, well, and has produced a full-length Team Fortress 2 crossover

The game's free, man

It’s hard to believe that it’s been two and a half years since Undertale was the talk of the town. While pangs of early nostalgia are still easy to feel, a recent return to the underground reminded me that yes, it really was every bit as good as the hype suggested. Possibly moreso, even – it’s a modern classic, which makes it quite unsurprising that its fans are still picking it apart and reassembling it in fun new ways.

Undertale’s fans continue to be an industrious and driven lot, using the game’s rich blend of gameplay systems and easily-written characters to piece together their own stories inspired by Toby Fox’s low-fi RPG opus. Among them, a full-length Team Fortress 2-themed retelling of the tale. Step inside for a tour of this and other great free games you could play today.

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Free games of the week

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There’s tons to offer this week. Take on a magician in a boss battle which seems never-ending. Or move through two worlds simultaneously in a challenging platformer. Maybe you would rather be non-violent, and solve puzzles based on the movements of Chess pieces, or instead bounce a colourful ball around, smashing coloured blocks along the way. This and more await in this week’s free games. Read the rest of this entry »

Time-looping hack n’ slasher Stories: The Path of Destinies is free today

Stories: The Path of Destinies

It is apparently a good week to not spend money on games. Not only is The Flame in The Flood still gratis via Humble, but the similarly delicious-looking cartoon action-adventure Stories: The Path of Destinies by Spearhead Games is currently free on Steam. Grab it now, keep it forever and play it a whole bunch of times because this one is built for the long-haul, if you don’t mind a little repetition.

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Rafting adventure The Flame in the Flood is free today

The Flame in the Flood

Is it any wonder that people are struggling to sell games when everyone and their dog is just throwing lovely free stuff at us? This time, they even threw in the dog to sweeten the deal. Apocalyptic rafting survival adventure The Flame in The Flood is free for the next 48 hours (minus a couple) via the Humble store, and you should probably pick it up while the going’s good.

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Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee is free right now on Steam

Even in these days when we have so very many wonderful free games to play, it’s still a little exciting to be offered for free a game that usually costs money. Today, it’s Oddworld: Abe’s Oddysee going free for keepsies. Free! No pennies at all! And only twenty years after the puzzle-platformer first came out and I missed it because I bought Blade Runner instead. Well well well, looks like I was savvier than I knew. Gotta take the long view, yeah? I bet anyone who bought Oddworld in 1997 feels a right mug. Read the rest of this entry »

Free games of the week

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Organise your life by talking to your friend, organise a postal warehouse by filtering out illegal packages, and solve puzzles in a creepy library to stay alive. Save all of humanity from giant bugs by controlling a giant mech with your estranged sister, or fight monsters by firing projectiles at them in a story-driven Breakout-inspired game. All of this is waiting for you in this week’s free games. Read the rest of this entry »

Midair soars out of early access, becoming F2P

The high-flying first-person shooter action of the Tribes games had returned in a roundabout way with the full launch of Midair, a game oh so very heavily inspired by the classics. Strap on a jetpack, skim across big rolling levels, raid the enemy base while defending your own, shoot baddies, and generally Tribes it right up. Sure, it doesn’t have the Tribes name but mate come on. Crowdfunded in 2016 and launched into early access in 2017, as of yesterday it’s properly super really out. Midair cost money during early access but, as was always the plan, it’s now free-to-play. Read the rest of this entry »

Dead In Vinland demo offers a week of Viking survival

A demo is out now for Viking survive-o-management RPG Dead In Vinland, inviting us to play through one in-game week and see if we can hack life on a mysterious island.

“At its best, Dead in Vinland is compulsive, and a great example of systemic roguelike storytelling,” Nic Rueben said in our Dead In Vinland review. But at its worst… ah, it’s good that a demo is out now so people can see for themselves, because the game does have some quirks. Read the rest of this entry »

Free trial weekends for XCOM 2, Offworld Trading Company, CoD WW2 & For Honor

Whatever your weapon of choice–plasma rifle, axe, M1 Garand, or raw capitalism, baby!–you may well be able to dabble in your favoured violence this weekend for free. The full versions of XCOM 2, For Honor, Call Of Duty: WWII‘s competitive multiplayer (okay, so not really the full version), and Offworld Trading Company are all available in free trial weekends for the next few days – mostly through Steam. Read the rest of this entry »