This week's best free PC games
Would you like to join me on an adventure? Good, because that's what the majority of this week's best free PC games have been. It seems it's been a week of indie point-and-clickers, and a handful of them are absolutely worth a play. One was even made by a five-year-old girl, if you can believe it.
Alas, I've only stumbled upon four truly awesome freebies this week, but they're all sure to pass the time quite nicely. Read on for PC Gamer's picks...
Sissy's Magical Ponycorn Adventure
Untold Entertainment (and five-year-old Cassie). Play it on the dev's website.
I don't think I've seen anything more adorable. This is a point-and-click adventure game created by Ryan Creighton of Untold Entertainment, along with his five-year-old daughter Cassie. She came up with the idea, wrote the titles, drew all the artwork, provided the main character's voice and even designed some of the puzzles. Her father pieced it all together.
What's lovely is that an initially cute idea quickly blossoms into an actually fairly decent adventure game. Spectacularly, it has a sense of style and a brilliant sense of humour, in the way that five-year-old kids can make you laugh hysterically without even trying.
Play the game, and also have a read of the story of how it came to be: it's properly heart-warming.
Alone in the Park
Cheap Drunk Games. Play it on the dev's website.
Another adventure game, but of a slightly different ilk, Alone in the Park combines a few different takes on the genre into something quite interesting. With the written narration of a text adventure meeting the graphical touches of something else entirely, this is an intriguing and slightly unsettling treasure hunt around a national park, seemingly orchestrated by someone who might well be stalking you.
It's consistently weird, well-written and compelling, and the unusual presentation is a particularly strong draw. It'll also last you a good couple of hours (and you can save the game at any point). Well worth trying out, if only to experience something a little different.
Plus, what a delightful punning name! It wins points for that immediately.
Ian Snyder. Play it on Kongregate.
Ambia is a lovely, floaty, dreamy platformer in which your aim, quite simply, is to destroy each enemy and reach the level's end-point. Getting rid of your foes and collecting the glowing orbs they emit levels up your weapon, giving it more power and additional abilities.
That might not sound so remarkable, but Ambia has another trick up its sleeve: it's all about the game's aesthetic response to your actions.
Basically, the music is procedurally generated, and additional sounds are layered on top as you go about your business. Meanwhile, the background bulges with your presence, creating an eerie, atmospheric vibe. It makes the game more tactile, somehow. It feels like you're a part of this world.
The challenge ramps up nicely as the levels progress, and it never loses its sense of style. A lovely game.
Rob Donkin/RobotJam. Play it on Kongregate.
The Dreamerz doesn't always explain itself quite clearly enough, meaning that to begin with I hadn't a clue what was going on. But once you realise that this is a point-and-click adventure in which the aim is to fix a dream machine so that people can sleep softly once more, it begins to make a lot more sense.
There's a written diary that updates as you go through the game, which gives you hints as to how you might progress. But other than that, everything is conveyed via the world itself - not unlike you'd expect from an Amanita Design adventure.
What follows is a delightful game with a wonderfully strong aesthetic. Tiny planets make up the adventure's locations, where you'll need to generally collect and click on various things in order to progress. It's all very much like a children's story, but one of the abstract, wandering ones you half-remember from your childhood, knowing that you'll never be able to find them again. For that reason alone, The Dreamerz comes highly recommended.