Police Stories has a free alpha and a lot of potential

There’s always a risk in putting out a feature-incomplete early alpha. Will it leave potential purchasers coming away with the impression that it doesn’t yet meet their hopes, or will it inspire people to imagine where it could go? That’s the gamble developers Mighty Morgan are taking with Police Stories [Steam page] – a top-down police tactics shooter that wants you to think, albeit for a split second, before you shoot. Read the rest of this entry »

Battleborn goes free-to-play. Sort of. Half of it.

Battleborn

My brother’s elderly cat decided to start pooping behind the television rather than take himself outside. To combat this my mother set up a row of cacti at cat butt height behind the television and thus began a battle of wills which spanned that cat’s remaining years. Speaking of free-to-play competitive multiplayer scenarios you can enjoy from the comfort of your living room, Battleborn has now made its competitive multiplayer modes available free of charge. Read the rest of this entry »

Google makes games to help teach internet sense, safety and positivity to kids

Interland

Google has announced Be Internet Awesome; a collaborative project focused around teaching children how to be safe online. There are a bunch of teaching resources for parents and schools but I’m posting about it because the Interland section [official site] is a suite of four colourful games each focusing on a different aspect of safety. Read the rest of this entry »

Styx: Shards of Darkness demo sneaks out

Fantasy stealth game Styx: Shards of Darkness [official site] has released a free demo, letting all and sundry try sneaking around as a little goblin with gross magic powers. Our Alec’s review in March was not fond of Styx himself, the unfunny protagonist, but he did say that “The stealth game underneath this miserable skin is solid.” That’s got to be worth a crack, especially as the full game is on sale now too. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Loaders: Spruce up dead planets as little green men

Life is stressful. Missiles are flying, people in suits are arguing and, look, there’s garbage everywhere. We need some kind of menial yet satisfying task to sooth our troubled modern soul. Tidy up? NO WAY. Here’s a game about colouring-in imaginary worlds with grass and trees and then sodding off to the next one. That’ll do the job.
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Have You Unleashed… Rat Chaos?

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

How can one describe Rat Chaos? It is the light bleeding through your eyelids on a hangover. It is the creeping awareness of a strange man following you everywhere, with a balloon. It is the raucous noise of a military cafeteria when you drop your dinner tray on the floor, you foolish, foolish person.

It’s also a very funny game. Not to mention our “47th best free game on PC” Read the rest of this entry »

Vomit giant sausages to gain Gecko Ridemption

The humble gecko is a magnificent creature. Have you heard them scream? Well now you might, because Gecko Ridimption [official site] is a free frenzy of colour featuring sticky lizards with the ability to puke whole kayaks onto the wall and shoot lasers from their faces causing massive explosions. I’d give you a reason for all this reptile chaos, but the best I can come up with is: “Adult Swim”.
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Rising Storm is free for keepsies right now

The WW2 Pacific Theater FPS action of Red Orchestra spin-off Rising Storm [official site] is yours to grab for free right now. The Humble Store are giving the game away to celebrate the impending end of their spring sale. Tim Stone will tell you that Rising Storm is one of the best simulation games and Alec will add that it’s one of the best FPSs, which seems a strong pair of endorsements for a free game. Rising Storm 2 will launch in only a few days, on the 30th, so do come see what the series is about. Read the rest of this entry »

Side-scrolling MOBA Awesomenauts is now free-to-play

Awesomenauts [official site], Ronimo’s 2D side-scrolling MOBA, has switched to free-to-play after almost five years. After commercial MOBAs exploded, most of the next wave were basically Lolbuts (‘like League of Legends but with…’) but Awesomenauts had an interesting take. It’s an action-platformer built upon the MOBA fundamentals of waves, bases, neutral enemies, and all that, an interesting rejiggling which casts off a lot of the MOBA baggage. If you fancy a crack, hey, it’s now free to play. Have a gander: Read the rest of this entry »

The Witcher’s fave card game, Gwent, is now in open beta

Drizzle-soaked Welsh county and card game of tavern scoundrels, Gwent [official site], is now in open beta. Originally an in-game pastime from The Witcher 3, developers CD Projekt RED are casting it out into the world to see if it can survive on its own with naught but a pair of free-to-play clogs. It involves pitting your fightcards against the enemy’s fightcards on a wooden battlefield and borrows at least some ideas from the card game of sublime Italian cowardice Condottiere. But if you’re unfamiliar, we have a trailer below which explains it much better.
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IF Only: Magnetic Scrolls In Your Browser

Magnetic Scripts website

Starting with The Pawn in 1985, Magnetic Scrolls wrote some very successful text adventures. I missed them the first time around. I was strictly an Infocom and Scott Adams player, tied to games released for the popular US platforms. Magnetic Scrolls started out on the Sinclair QL, then moved to Atari and Amiga versions. I don’t think I even heard of Magnetic Scrolls in the 80s. By the time I became aware of them as a piece of IF history, it was difficult to get a legitimate copy. Read the rest of this entry »

Free Loaders: Risky Phone lets you be this asshole

People who walk down busy streets with their head buried in their phone. We’ve all seen them. Savage half-humans without dignity or grace. You try to go left as they approach and they slowly veer the same direction, ignorant of your efforts to avoid a collision. Then they turn around and start walking the other way. Now, you are stuck behind them! Clearly, you have died and this is your hell. There is no other explanation.

Well, what if I told you that, thanks to the power of videogames, you too can be this absolute plonker? It’s true. Just come with me to find out how.
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Original Shadow Warrior alpha and beta released

Shadow Warrior [official site] has never been my favourite of the Build Engine games (it’s Blood all the way for me) but that entire FPS era has a special place in my heart. It’s also worth nothing that Shadow Warrior is kicking Duke’s ass when it comes to remakes and sequels. As of today, you can explore the history of the original 1997 release by playing the alpha and beta versions of the game, which are now available free on Steam. The 1997 original has been free for some time, but now you can choose to play either the final release or either of the pre-release versions through the launcher.

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Deck-based beat ’em up Phantom Dust out now free

Phantom Dust is one of those games that lots of people talk about but nobody I know actually bought back in the day. Originally released for the Xbox None in 2004, it’s a 3D fighting game set in destructible environments. The twist is that all of your character’s abilities are determined by a deck of cards, so you can switch in new attacks, blocks and specials when you earn/buy new cards.

Today Microsoft re-released it free on both Windows 10 and Xbox One, with cards available as microtransactions. You can, I believe, unlock every card in the game by playing. Here’s a video from Microsoft explaining how it works.

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Yager’s spaceship ’em up Dreadnought hits open beta

Honking great spaceships are now blasting each other in the newly-launched open beta of Dreadnought [official site]. Made by Spec Ops: The Line studio Yager, it’s a multiplayer class-based shooter were folks play as capital-class spaceships. You know, the big ones. After a year in closed beta testing, now it’s open to all who sign up over here with publishers Grey Box. Read the rest of this entry »

Cowboy builders: Constructor demo erected wonky

A demo is out for Constructor [official site], System 3’s remake of their estate-building strategy game from 1997. I really dug the original and its classic silly British sensibilities, building up my own estates while sabotaging my rivals’ neighbourhoods with dodgy plumbers, killer clowns, gangsters, and thugs. This remake has been delayed a bit and the demo has troubles of its own, but I am still quite keen for this to launch in full later this month. Read the rest of this entry »

Hanano is a free block-puzzler from Jelly No Puzzle dev

I resist puzzle games, but it’s always a delight when I cave and give myself over to them. Today I’ve been lost in Hanano Puzzle [official site], a game about touching blocks to flowers to make new flowers grow. It offers repeated revelation in the way the best puzzle games do, by having levels that look impossible until you discover some facet of the existing rules you hadn’t previously encountered. It’s by the same developer as Jelly No Puzzle, which received a lot of attention and John adored back in 2013. It’s free; you could be playing it already.

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Free Loaders: Building tiny towns with a Little Land

If anyone is reading this, I need your help. The apocalyptic thunderstorm happening in the clouds above me has already knocked out the power once, and there’s no telling when it might happen again, so I must write quickly, even it makes this opening paragraph sound like the last note written by a doomed character in Prey. I’ve collected some free games, please take them to safety and play the ones you think are neat. You can find them in the locker. The code is 1234.
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