The Evil Within 2 free trial lets you play the opening chapters

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If the prospect of spending time with your family this holiday season isn’t horrifying enough you can always download The Evil Within 2‘s free trial, which is available now on Steam. In her The Evil Within 2 review, Olivia White called the game “a definitive, well-produced classic survival horror experience” so it’s worth a go if you fancy a spooking. Read the rest of this entry »

Spend 10 minutes bringing books to life in Librood

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Here’s something to brighten/darken your Thursday. Librood is a free, ten minute game where you play as a little girl with a strange illness that makes everything she reads manifest in the real world… if you can be sure that’s where you are. It’s like a darker, short-form take on the Inkheart books – or the mediocre Inkheart movie, if you insist. It’s a game about surprises, so maybe you should just go and play it before you read on.

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Ubisoft giving ace-o RTS World in Conflict away for free

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DID YOU KNOW: one of the first-ever posts on this here website was about Massive Entertainment’s alt-Cold War real-time strategy game World in Conflict, and for years we even had a screenshot of one of its very impressive explosions on our About/mission statement page. It was a game we liked so much that we even ran photographs of TV’s famous Kieron Gillen wearing a delightful promotional WiC hat. As such, it’s been a minor tragedy that WiC was removed from Steam a while back (though it is on GOG).

Its excellent tanks and incompetent captains are not entirely lost to us, however – Ubisoft are giving it away for free until Monday.
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Hupsi is a musical children’s picture-book for the digital generation

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Whether you’re an old and creaky adult or a precocious tyke that has somehow found themselves on this dark and scurrilous corner of the internet (Run while you still can! Crawl if you can’t!), you should give Hupsi – an interactive musical storybook from 5pm Kids – a look as your free browser pick of the day. It’ll put a smile on your face, I promise.

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It’s official: playing Skeal is now a Christmas tradition

Let’s create a Christmas tradition, you and me, today on December 1st. We already play Dracula Cha Cha every December, that’s for certain, but let’s also make Skeal a Winterval staple. It has snow, it has sleigh bells, and it has a song, so it must be a Christmas game. Skeal is also a whole heap of fun. Part of the pleasure (not the mention the power and the pain) is seeing that joke unfold for yourself so I’ll simply say: Skeal is a free skiing game that will take you three minutes and should leave you grinning from elven ear to elven ear. Do it for Santy Claus. Read the rest of this entry »

The Bureau: XCOM Declassified is free right now

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XCOM’s 2013 squad-based shooter spin-off The Bureau: XCOM Declassified is available free for the next day-and-a-bit from the Humble Store. Our Alec will tell you it’s one of those enjoyable-enough 7/10 perfectly average action games, which makes it not bad as a freebie. Me, my interests are slightly more morbid: I want to see the game which changed form wildly as its development dragged on and ultimately was the final game from BioShock 2 studio 2K Marin before 2K killed them. Also I want to shoot aliens with zapguns. Read the rest of this entry »

Desert Bus VR remakes vintage joke drive ’em up for free

Vintage joke game Desert Bus, where players drive the eight-hour journey from Tuscon to Las Vegas in a wonky bus which veers slightly to the right, is now remade in full modern fancy-o-vision as Desert Bus VR. Published by Borderlands devs Gearbox, this new version is completely free, it adds online multiplayer, and yes, it has a non-VR version too. The original Desert Bus was part of an unreleased Sega CD game, Penn & Teller’s Smoke and Mirrors (yes, Penn & Teller the wizards), which leaked online then came to fame through Desert Bus for Hope, the annual charity fundraiser marathon. Read the rest of this entry »

Tour a virtual gallery in The Zium Museum

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Have you ever been wandering around a museum, turned a corner, and been baptised in a never-ending stream of confetti and balloons? I hadn’t either until I took a stroll around The Zium Museum, a virtual gallery “composed of eclectic and wonderful things”. There’s more to see than confetti and balloons, promise.

The gallery was curated by Michael Berto, who’s used the work of 37 developers and artists to construct a virtual museum. I’ve only walked around it for ten minutes, but you can bet I’ll be heading back this evening for a more thorough investigation.

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Wolfenstein 2 now just £20/$25, and you can try it free

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Rejoice FPS fans, for Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus is now down to just £20 / $25 to celebrate the day of sales, deals and discounts that is Black Friday. Whether your preferred digital merchant is Amazon US, SteamGreen Man GamingGames Planet or Fanatical (other digital game retailers are available), now is definitely the time to buy if you haven’t got the game already. 

Also mourn, FPS fans, since such sweeping discounts so close after release most likely means none of these games have been selling well. Read the rest of this entry »

Meet some strange characters in this procedural doodad

Some character creators these days allow you to create your exact likeness, but that’s not you. That’s how you see yourself, and that’s the surface – not who you are really. Only software can solve this. Thanks to highly advanced algorithms, you can discover your true self today using Benjamin Vedrenne’s Random Access Character tool. It procedurally generates strange characters made from different objects, in different colours and patterns, with different body shapes and different ways of walking. It asks you to enter your name at the start so it MUST be using some kind of science magic to capture your essence. There’s no other answer. It even outputs GIFs to share so here, come see the true spirit of the RPS gang. Read the rest of this entry »

Type stuff and see what happens in Constellation

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Forget ‘God Games’, because Super Hexagon creator Terry Cavanagh has come up with something that that shows you what it’s really like to be a deity. Constellation is a free game with a five word premise: type stuff, see what happens. You can run it in your browser, and while it’s designed to be played at events I’ve been having fun poking at it on my lonesome.

There’s little consistency to the results of whatever you type in, but that’s part of the joy of it. It’s probably best if you go in completely blind, but there are enough possibilities that I can tell you about some of the weirder stuff that went on when I took it for a spin.

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Let’s get Raynor to rhumble: StarCraft 2 launches free version

Blizzard have released a big free version of sci-fi real-time strategy game StarCraft II, offering one full singleplayer campaign along with all the multiplayer. This launched overnight, available now if you sign up for Battle.net and download its client doodad. The free version contains the campaign from 2010’s Wings of Liberty–the one focused on humans–plus bot battles and online competitive, casual, and co-op action. That’s a fair chunk of clicking for free. A big ol’ SC2 patch has launched alongside this for all players too. Read the rest of this entry »

In HyperParasite, your enemies are your extra lives

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I hope that I never get tired of the synthwave deluge. Inaunthentic as it may be to the 80s as they actually were, the burnt neon tones, awful fashion and the dark, aggressive synth beats are entirely my jam.

The latest to tap into this rich and lurid vein of pseudo-nostalgia is HyperParasite, a twin-stick shooter from Italian indie outfit Troglobytes Games. It’s still relatively early in development, but the developers have been kind enough to share their current prototype build with the world. Only one level, but thanks to the magic of procedural generation, it might be worth a few spins.

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Be a dog chasing birds in Chasing Birds

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Every now and then, I just want to take some time out of my day and pretend to be a dog chasing some birds around a park. Luckily, someone’s made a game that lets me do exactly that. Chasing Birds is a simple little thing, which recognises that you only need a few ingredients to properly simulate the experience: a dog, a generous helping of birds, and – if you’re feeling adventurous – some water to splash around in. Oh, and a bark button. Every dog-based game needs a bark button.

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Warning: there is an official D&D idle game (and it’s giving away free DLC)

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Well, there went two hours of my life in a haze of clicking, fountains of gold coin graphics and repeat, fleeting senses of achievement that were immediately eradicated by desire for the next achievement. “I’ll just have a quick look at this official, free to play Dungeons & Dragons clicker game”, I thought when I saw an announcement that Idle Champions Of The Forgotten Realms (download via Steam here) is offering some free DLC for the next couple of days, “then I can bash out a quick news piece on it and get back to my day.”

Somehow I forgot two very important things: 1) even all these years on from Baldur’s Gate, I remain a sucker for anything Forgotten Realms b) if I start playing a clicker, aka idle game, I am DOOMED.
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Battle right now: Battlerite leaves early access and goes free-to-play

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Battlerite, the not-a-MOBA top down champion brawler, has been hazed in the battlefield of early access for long enough. The full version is out today in free-to-play form, though the release has been delayed until 3pm. I checked the game out last year, and it pushed all the right buttons.

To celebrate, Stunlock Studios are also launching a new bramble-based hero. You can see him in action in the trailer below.

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Bam! Bif! Pow! Injustice 2 hits open beta

Your favourite DC Comics superheroes and villains — including Poison Ivy, Swamp Thing, Black Canary, Catwoman, the animal fella, the angry one, Seaman, Jared Leto, and the one who’s definitely miffed but I wouldn’t say angry per se — are now BAM!ing, BIF!ing, and POW!ing all over PC in a free open beta test of Injustice 2. It’s the sequel to 2013’s superpowered fighting game from Mortal Kombat developers NetherRealm Studios, and is coming to PC a few months after its console debut. NetherRealm want to be sure it’s in decent shape before launching, though, so everyone is invited to try the multiplayer for free this week. Read the rest of this entry »

Interactive Fiction Competition 2017

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Fans of interactive fiction! IF Comp 2017 is currently in progress, with 79 entries — the largest field in the competition’s more-than-20-year history.

The selection includes parser, choice, and hypertext stories, a PDF gamebook, a joke game from the perspective of the grues, two parser games of Viking-era menace, three branching narratives translated from Chinese, and a game where part of the intended play experience is to read the source code.

If you feel overwhelmed by all that bounty, here are a few standouts:

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Bossa bet Decksplash’s future on a successful open beta

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It’s never been a better time to play video games – wherever you look, you’re spoilt for choice across almost every genre – but it’s hard to shake the feeling that it’s a dangerous time to be making them. Studio closures are announced with worrying regularity at the moment and countless talented developers struggling to break even.

Bossa Studios (of Surgeon Simulator and I Am Toast fumblecore fame) are hedging their bets, and the fate of their upcoming weird competitive multiplayer skateboarding-thing, Decksplash, hangs in the balance. If the game – seemingly Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater mashed up with Splatoon’s turf-control-through-paint element – hits 100k total players during a free trial lasting until the 10th, it launches as a paid early access game. If it falls short, they cancel it.

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