Posts Tagged ‘free’

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 »

The best missions for free Thief tribute The Dark Mod

I have this clear memory of playing the first Thief, crouching against the wall in a dark stairwell as a guard walked closer. I held my breath until he passed, hidden in a shadow inches away. The games in the original Thief trilogy were all about light and darkness, with a “light gem” at the bottom of the screen to indicate whether you were really in the dark, reducing the guesswork created by the oddities of first-person bodies and your own screen settings. It’s an obvious idea more stealth games should borrow.

A a lot of things from the original Thief games didn’t become standard in the genre, and even the 2014 reboot/sequel didn’t pick up on some of them. For that we have The Dark Mod [official site].

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Realm Grinder is the new AdVenture Capitalist, and it’s destroying me

I like to think I am strong. I am not strong. I am weak.

I have fallen for another idle, aka clicker game. I thought I had fallen through the black hole that was infinite money generation game AdVenture Capitalist and come out the other side wiser, armoured and immune against such manipulation of my lizard brain. Then, while researching games for this week’s Unknown Pleasures, I came across Realm Grinder. Yeah, yeah, clue’s in the name.

It fuses that same, insidiously compulsive concept – make numbers get bigger, for ever and ever, in part by furiously clicking on the screen and in the main by automatic accumulation over time – with trace elements of a town management game and a fantasy RPG skin. It has me. Pray for me.
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Nadia Was Here is an RPG with some fascinating combat

It’s not enormously likely you’ve heard of Nadia Was Here [official site]. It came out at the end of last month and I’m not sure anyone noticed. Turns out, after stumbling on it today, everyone really should have. My early impressions are that this pixel RPG is something rather special. And that’s a lot to do with some completely intriguing combat. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

Pathologic remake demo now available to all, for free

a demo, you say?

When you woke up this morning, you probably didn’t realise what a joyous day this truly is. This is the day of bewilderment and wonder, of mystery, mirth and miasma. This is the day of Pathologic [official site].

The new version of Ice-Pick Lodge’s absurdist theatrical masterpiece won’t be ready for release until Autumn but you can download a new build of the two hour Marble Nest demo, which was released to backers late last year. It’s now free to everyone, in a new build, which you can download via Steam. I’ve played the previous build and it is everything I ever wanted from Pathologic: weird, unnerving, amusing and fantastically clever. It’s the most delicious poison of all.

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Oh my goodness, I completely love Raft

Browsing Itch.io the other day, as is my wont, I couldn’t help but be reminded about Raft [Itch.io site]. Brendan previously spotted it, and I forgot to grab it then. Proving rather popular on the platform since its launch in December, the shots immediately reminded me of my old love, Salt. But this is even more specific than that stripped down of survival sims. This is stripped to a single raft, endlessly bobbing through the sea. And I’ve loved it! Read the rest of this entry »

Takume is a five minute parable with beautiful pixel art

One of the finest strengths of the tiny game is their potential to evoke the narrative structures of fables, parables or fairy tales. The larger the game, the more explicit plots tend to get, with a player’s patience for ambiguity or esotericism stretched too far over multiple hours. But when a game last five or ten minutes there’s, ironically, more room to be vague, elusive, and open to interpretation.

Takume [official site] by Death Trash developer Stephan Hövelbrinks is a fine example of this realised, a five minute game rendered in beautifully animated chunky pixels, a fable of two sisters. Read the rest of this entry »

Wot I Think: Tiles & Tales – A ‘free’ game that forgets to cost money

Free to play is obviously an effective model on mobile, as despised as it may be. ‘Free’ games don’t get world-famous Hollywood stars to appear in their commercials if they’re not raking it in. It’s clearly here to stay while companies get millions and millions of dollars from it. And, of course, no one is obliged to play them. (My opinions get a lot more specific when such pay-to-play aspects are hardwired into games aimed at kids, but that’s another day’s discussion.) However, there’s another aspect to these games that I don’t think gets talked about so much: that bizarre tension of playing one, hearing the ticking countdown of when it’ll stop being fun and start wanting your cash.

That’s very much the case with Tiles & Tales [official site], a nice, simple puzzle-RPG that is so clearly intended for mobile that the PC version is in portrait. That outrageously lazy porting aside, it hasn’t gone through the transition that many such games make for their Steam release, and has remained “free”. Albeit with the option to start spending ridiculous amounts of money from the off. It’s just… you don’t need to. Here’s wot I think. Read the rest of this entry »

Have You Played… RetroArch?

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

Hey, you know all those old console cartridges you have all the originals of and painstakingly took ROM backups up yourself? Turns out there’s a way to use ’em. Who knew?
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The World before time: original WoW, revisited

Last year, I tried to indulge my nostalgia for Dun Morogh, the wintry original Dwarf & Gnome starting zone in World of Warcraft, by returning to it as it is now. It did not go entirely well – in the 11 years since WoW’s launch, much has changed. Where once this was a slow-starting MMO, defined by long wandering, hard work and a certain degree of solitude, these days its early questing is an explosion of instantaneous rewards and high-speed levelling. I thought that this first World of Warcraft was lost forever. But there is a way back.
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Resident Evil 7 demo puts the evil back in Biohazard

Debate’s long raged/wanked on about whether we in the West should really call the Resident Evil series by its Japan-given name, Biohazard. With the demo for the upcoming Resident Evil 7 [official site], that debate is over. There could be no more fitting name for its new house of horrors than Resident Evil.
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Have You Played… Cross Stitch Caper?

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

Cross Stich Caper [official site] makes a surprising use of the homespun home-spun art style – it’s not what you’d think.

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The 50 Best Free Games On PC

The best free games are on PC, and if you want to know what the best 50 are then you’ve come to the right place.

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The Right Stuff: Astronaut – The Best

Astronaut: The Best [official site] is a game about training a bunch of people who definitely do not seem to have “the right stuff”, in preparation for a trip into space. There are four days left in its Kickstarter campaign and it’s only half way to its $26,000 goal. There’s still enough time to make up the difference, I reckon, even if the odds are against developers Universal Happymaker. Astronaut: The Best, you may remember, is one of the first titles to be backed by Fundbetter. That means Failbetter, the studio behind Sunless Sea, will match the $26k if the Kickstarter succeeds.

If the description “King of Dragon Pass meets Look Around You” isn’t convincing enough, there is a demo available.

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4 Free: DICE Giving Away All Battlefield 4 DLC

All five DLC expansions for Battlefield 4 [official site] are now free. With Battlefield 1 coming out next month, DICE and Electronic Arts are letting everyone get properly tooled tooled up in the last proper Battlefield before it’s time for shiny newness. It’s nice for folks who are hankering for a bit of BF right now but hey, if BF1 proves disappointing this means you can always drop back to the full BF4 experience.

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Rick, Morty & Stanley: Accounting Is A Surreal VR Game

Accounting [official site] is the latest game from Crows Crows Crows, the studio directed by William Pugh, one of the brains behind the Stanley Parable. Made in partnership with Rick and Morty creator Justin Roiland, it looks like precisely the sort of hilariously harrowing cartoon nightmare I’d hoped for when news that the two were working together on a Vive game reached us around this time last year. This is precisely the sort of place we should be pushing our eyeballs into.

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Firewatch Adding Free Audio Tour, Free Roam Mode

You may think Firewatch [official site], the utterly spectacular first-person adventure from Campo Santo, may not be the most obvious choice for free DLC. But rather than meddling with the original game, Campo are adding a new mode called Audio Tour, a commentary mode in the form of a scavenger hunt! And later this year, the much-requested free-roaming mode will come our way. We’ve spoken to Campo Santo’s Sean Vanaman and Jake Rodkin about the new bits and pieces, along with new screenshots and the first look at the new trailer.

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