Prey finally has a real demo on PC (but is calling it a trial except when it calls it a demo)

Prey

Oh, nice! After trying to highlight a few games that have PC demos recently (I do like a demo – it’s far friendlier than a refund scheme and can actually be really interesting as a piece of curation or editing in and of itself, although obv it then requires more work and doesn’t contain the possibility of someone forgetting to get a refund or straying outside the no-questions refund period) there’s now one for the sci-fi adventure, Prey [official site]. Read the rest of this entry »

Deadlight free on GOG as lucky dip sale starts

It’s never been easier to buy things you don’t want. Back in the day, random purchase enthusiasts would tour village fêtes to play lucky dips and tombolas. Hardcore ‘luckers’ (as they called themselves) would even visit Argos to order random item numbers. Now with subscription services delivering boxes of tat to your door monthly and loot crates offering random skins for video games, it’s never been easier to buy things without even knowing what they are. Digital store GOG are in on the fun too, today launching another ‘piñata’ sale where £2.39 buys a random game.

If you don’t want to do any of that, you can simply swing by for a free copy of Deadlight: Director’s Cut. Read the rest of this entry »

Devil Daggers & free Pony Island in new Humble Bundle

John might tell you that the highlight of the bargain Humble Bundle is a free copy of Pony Island, an “Oh I’d tell you what it is but even that would be giving too much away” game he declared the smartest game of 2016. Me, I’m here to tell you that the bargain bundle’s highlight is actually Devil Daggers, a deadly fast score attack FPS which feels like it escaped from an alternate timeline where everything’s all skulls and satans – and is RPS’s actual official Bestest Best game of 2016. Mate, you could have both of those — and more — for just a couple of quid. Mega-deal! Read the rest of this entry »

Bet on battles in the splendid Radar Theatre

radartheatre

The web people seemed like a good bet. They’d be facing off against a lich and its minions, some triple-shot soldier types, and some windy warriors who can propel their enemies backwards. As it turned out, the web people were not a good bet. Their ability to snare their targets wasn’t much help when those enemies were firing twice as many bullets, could take twice as much damage, and could run rings around them.

Radar Theatre [itch page] is a pay-what-you-want game about placing bets on the participants in a gladiatorial battle and I am terrible at it.

Read the rest of this entry »

Join a 1337 warez team in b00tl3g kr3w

Join a 1337 warez group and distribute some top bootleg games in b00tl3g kr3w [Itch page], a splendid little free game out now. Fire up your expired trialware IRC client, get chatting with your kool krack krew, read the NFO, slam that warez into an FTP, then have a little play yourself. It’s a short game so I won’t say too much but I laughed like a drain at these bootleg games. It’s funny and it’s free so hop to it. Read the rest of this entry »

Epitasis offers a lovely dreamy alien puzzler demo

Epitasis

Today I’ve been trying to find and push some games with demos because demos are a dying art (or at least a shrinking art because of Steam refunds and the like) so let’s look at Epitasis [official site]! Epitasis has a demo to support a Kickstarter campaign which is running until 20 August. The game itself looks to be a non-linear dreamy puzzler with influences like Myst and Talos Principle. In his email the developer, Lucas Govatos, mentioned that people sometimes compare it to No Man’s Sky and I think that would be because of the setting – all big moons on horizons and red grass and strange structures. That said it actually reminds me far more of the monthly-ish walking simulator projects of Connor Sherlock because of the colour palettes combined with the alien landscapes. Read the rest of this entry »

The Universim offers lizard candy and updated demo

The Universim

The Universim [official site]- the planetary management/god game we last wrote about in… *checks* 2014? That can’t be right?! Oh dear! Has a new demo up on Steam and GOG. It came out last month and I’ve just started tinkering with it this morning, spinning its pretty planet and plonking down water wells and pumps. Read the rest of this entry »

Solarium offers plant-centric edutainment!

Solarium

I downloaded free game Solarium [official site] pretty much entirely on the strength of the following negative Steam review: “I didn’t play it very long, but it’s literally all about plants. I guess I should’ve read more reviews about it prior to downloading, but unless you’re really interested in learning about plants, I wouldn’t suggest playing.”

Literally all about plants! Learning about plants!

What I found was a kind of Encarta ’95 Mind Maze-ish style of game as a kind of odd fusion of slightly stilted graphics and educational information. Read the rest of this entry »

Village Monsters is a life sim set in a dead game

village

What happens to forgotten games? I’d like to think some of them just turn into after-hours parties, like a lock-in at proper old boozer. When nobody new comes to play, the characters just grab a pint or do a line of shots and hit the dance floor.

Village Monsters [official site] sees things differently. Here, the baddies inhabiting an abandoned RPG have moved on and are now living the good life. You can join them in this Harvest Moon inspired indie game.

Read the rest of this entry »

Trim grass and dodge missiles in Law Mower’s demo

Law Mower

At first I thought Law Mower [official site] was going to be a nice little game about keeping your garden tidy (the Steam description talks about you mowing “every blade of grass in the world”). Nope. I’ve just played the demo, and I got turned to a pulp when I ran over an exploding gopher.

If I’d watch the new trailer first then I would’ve had a better idea: you’re a man with a mower, and you have to run over dogs, avoid missiles (mowing is serious business) and run over other people trying to peek over the garden fence. There’s a single player campaign that frames the madness, and online multiplayer too – it’s all out on 8th August.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Evolution of Trust is a cute explain-o-game about cooperation

The evolution of trust

Here’s something nice, but also depressing. I started playing The Evolution of Trust [official site], a short browser-based game, expecting it to show me why trusting other people is a good thing. Ten minutes in, it’s taught me that I need to cheat more.

It has you playing a quick ‘Game of Trust’. If you stick a coin into a machine, the person at the other side gets three coins, and vice versa. So, should you co-operate and play the slot, or cheat, withhold your money and hope the sucker on the other side is feeling generous?

Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Urban Dead?

Browser-based biting

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

Urban Dead [official site] is the zombie apocalypse MMO I’ve always wanted, stuck in the body of a web browser game. Back when I played, you’d begin life as a doctor, fireman or just a mall rat. But inevitably you’d forget to board up the house you’re in and log in to discover yourself a walking corpse, only able to communicate to other players through groans and grunts. With some luck and compassion, however, those human players might actually understand you. Read the rest of this entry »

LawBreakers open beta back once again with the ill behaviour

Cliff Bleszinski and his Boss Key Productions are holding another open beta test for their gravity-bending multiplayer FPS LawBreakers [official site] this weekend. It’ll start Friday then run until Monday, and you can prepare by preloading the client now. The last beta was one month ago and the game will launch in a fortnight, so this is a chance to see basically what it’ll be like. Changes since the last beta include a sandbox tutorial mode, balance tweaks, matchmaking improvements, and all the character customisation doodads. Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… Tribal Wars?

Actual footage of me running from my responsibilities

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

Oh god. When I think of Tribal Wars [official site] all I feel is a deep, clamouring shame. You see, as a stressed and skint student I became the leader of a hundred villages. I walked to the university library to check on my vassals – all real players with their own villages to run and armies to manage. I rounded up all the clans and unified them under a single banner, using nothing but private messages and internet diplomacy. Then, when our power was at its zenith, when all seemed possible… I abandoned my tribe. Read the rest of this entry »

Destroy all monsters! Gigantic released

Gigantic, the free-to-play multiplayer brawl-o-shooter where each team has the support of a honking great monster, has left early access and launched in full. It offers class-based 5v5 fisticuffs, and did I mention the big monsters? Matches climax with the two bigguns scrapping, see, each team trying to help their megafriend out. It’s a bit MOBA-y, but what isn’t nowadays? Here, have a look in the launch trailer: Read the rest of this entry »

Lick a soulslike: The Surge demo is now out

A demo is now out for The Surge [official site], the new Dark Souls-inspired sci-fi action-RPG from the studio behind Lords of the Fallen. Our boy Brendan declared it a “serviceable” action game, one he had fun with for a bit but ultimately didn’t feel compelled to finish. Which sounds like a game that might be a lark to poke in a demo. Read the rest of this entry »

Soldat dev’s Butcher gets free demo

Butcher

If you were on the fence about whether you’d enjoy Butcher‘s [official site] chainsaw-wielding, blood-splattered, ultraviolent take on 2D platforming, then you can now dip your toe into the red pool without paying anything. The game, from Transhuman Design, the developer of Soldat, just got a free demo.

There’s also 50% off the full game until Monday, so if you like the free stuff it’s only £3.49/4.99€/$4,99 to get the full shooty-bang experience.

Read the rest of this entry »

Strike Vector EX’s dogfighting blasts into open beta

Strike Vector EX, an expanded version of 2014’s flashy game about transforming ships dogfighting through sci-fi industrial structures, has launched a free open beta test. The EX releases is updated and expanded with new modes including, crucially, a singleplayer campaign. The original game suffered the fate of so many small multiplayer-only games, failing to achieve a critical mass of players. Which is a bit of a shame, as our former Jim (formerly ours, not formerly Jim – he’s neither dead nor living under a new name) quite liked it. Read the rest of this entry »

Grrg! Arrrg! Unturned leaves early access

Free-to-play DayZ-o-Minecraft ’em up Unturned [official site] has launched in full, after three years in early access. The biggest part of the update taking it to full release is a new sandbox map set in Germany. Chris Livingstone had a crack at Unturned after it rocketed into Steam’s top 10 most-played games within a week, a position it has impressively clung close to ever since (it’s twelfth right now, with around 32,000 players in-game). Perhaps we should feel guilty about how many early access survival games he played for us. But this, this one is meant to be pretty good as they go. Read the rest of this entry »