It’s E3 and we are now building our annual cocoon, woven together by a single thread of strong, silky videogame news. But this festival of buzzwords and bright lights isn’t for everyone. So (just like last year) we’re doing alternative coverage to calm everyone’s nerves, starting with FREE 3 – three days of three games, all of them free, which you can play instead of waiting for all the upcoming hits. Come in, come in.
Instead of State of Decay 2 play…
Raft by Redbeet Interactive
Survival but not the zombie kind. Raft puts you on tiny yet expandable piece of floating wood with a single shark circling you at all times. Build nets to catch flotsam like wood and barrels full of good stuff. Catch fish and cook them over a rubbish stove. Make a crappy spear and poke the shark in the eye when it comes to munch on your raft like a giant Jacob’s cracker. Both John and I enjoyed it earlier in the year and it is now slotted to become something bigger and wetter. But the devs have left this small proof-of-concept freebie up on Itch.io for people who yearn to shout “Wilsoooooon” at inanimate objects as they float helplessly away.
Instead of Red Dead Redemption 2 play…
Words Must Die by Paper Nerds
Words are hateful. “Immersive”... “Visceral”… “Going forward” - what despicable creations. I wish I could shoot words right in their letters with a gun. Oh wow, I can! This is a work of interactive fiction, like those Twine games you’ve been hearing so much about, but this one is set in a first-person western and you have a six-shooter instead of a cursor. Enter the saloon looking for your foe, Nasty Jack, and select your choice of action by pumping a bullet into the right words, knocking them from the air and making a total mess of things. A funny and short blending of genres, proving that putting a gun in a game where it doesn’t belong isn’t always a bad idea.
Instead of Dishonored 2: Death of the Outsider play...
Samurai Lantern by AdventureBit
Whip-quick samurai slicer that puts any fancy-schmancy magic man covered in whale oil to shame. Think Super Crate Box but with a single reliable katana but also deadly buzzsaws. You need to collect 15 lanterns to unlock a door to the next level. Simple. NO. NOT SIMPLE. The platforms are consistently filling with tiny, angry demonthings, obstacles will make you turn around in midair in a panic, and you will die hundreds of times. But these controls, oh man. That slice. That dice. That single-hit death.
Another three free games will be suggested tomorrow. Until then, spear, shoot and slice.