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Free Loaders: Rebuild your childhood with Tracks

We got our April Fool's japes in early with a FAKE NEWS special last week, so we'll be regressing back to reality now. Just pull that lever for me will you? That's it. Oh no! You've regressed us too far! We're back in reality all right, but now we're all toddlers and we're surrounded by wooden train tracks. Wooden train tracks as far as the eye can see! How do you always manage to get us into this kind of mess?

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Tracks by Dr Whoop

Toy train set prototype. Squeeze those childhood memories out of your brain like you're wringing out a wet sock. You can place down wooden train tracks in whatever manner you can think of using the limited turns, straights, rises and falls of the traditional toy. Make junctions and crossroads for a looping endless track and don't worry about building high. As you can see, the laws of physics hold no sway here. Then, when all is ready and your childish grin is at its widest, press ‘T' to ride the train in first-person along your track. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Nyoom by Cap²

Single-tap ball-bouncing puzzler. The ball gains momentum in the red bowls but needs to reach the star using the blue lines as well. Abstract shapes are all the rage, but you can't use them all at the same time. Click once to swap which shape is solid – bowls or lines, red or blue. I think the neatest thing about this is that even the menu screen gets in on the action, essentially teaching you how to play before you're even started the first level. That's the kind of puzzle design we need in the world.

Idra and the Little Fish by pikopik

"FPS, or Fish Person Simulator". This runs out of dialogue halfway through and is basically an undone jam game. But it has an interesting method of movement. You are a tiny little fish and to propel yourself forward you have to flap your little tail, moving from one side to another to go slowly toward your goals. A new pal has come into your home ruins and needs guidance, so you've got to swim around, open doors and ring bells to get your visually impaired mer-pal through it all. I reached a giant crystal and didn't really know what to do after that, but I like swimming around the gloomy submerged ruins as a tiny fishy. Maybe you will too.

Skateboard Joust by Kanosis

Quite difficult jousting for sk8er bois and goils made for the Bad Box Art jam. Pick your character at the prestigious Skateboard Joust, from roguish dog to knight to musclesome man to weak bean to, uh, a broomstick. Leap off your board and attack the enemy in mid-air. But you also need to land on your board again, which is continuing to travel along the ground. This is much much harder than I expected. I have lost three games in the opening rounds, never proceeding past my initial opponent. It's madness. I can do hundreds of combos in Olli Olli, but I can't do this.

Kaby's Computer Adventure by Kaiza

Kaby needs some ‘fractals' (whatever those are) to "extend her network reach" in the computer, and she has created you, a wee platforming sprite, to go and find them. It's mostly a "collect the eight bits of broken crystal" game, but the characters and creations you meet along the way are bizarre, computerised things, spewing questions or frustrations or sometimes just computer gobbledegook. The real game seems to be in finding them and wondering what they are all about. There are some devices and things that seem to do stuff, like a machine that "attracts the stars" but I haven't figured that out yet. And there are red splotches in the environment that will cause a fatal error to you and send you back to the start, so leave those alone. A weird, mostly-monochrome mystery.

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Video Game

Tracks - The Train Set Game

Xbox One, PC

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About the Author
Brendan Caldwell avatar

Brendan Caldwell

Former Features Editor

Brendan likes all types of games. To him there is wisdom in Crusader Kings 2, valour in Dark Souls, and tragicomedy in Nidhogg.