This week's best free PC games
This week's pick of free games mainly sees you either killing or being killed in a bunch of hilarious ways. That's why one of these titles stands out somewhat. Soldiers are Dreamers might be extremely short, and it does at times feel like the setup to a more substantial game - but it's also thoughtful and thought-provoking, which is always a good sign for that type of experimental release. Read on to find out more about that, plus a few more delightful freebies to add to your collection.
Nitrome. Play it on the dev's website.
In the event of a zombie apocalypse, the thing you'll absolutely definitely still want to do is go to work and earn some money. After all, as you've been told, your continued employment depends on it. So, in Office Trap, that's exactly what you do on the way to the rescue helicopter that will take you to your safety.
It is, essentially, a high-score-chase game. You begin on the ground floor of your building, working your way up to the top, collecting coins and avoiding the undead as they burst out of biohazard canisters. When you reach the roof, you're taken away, then start all over again with a new guy.
There's also a two-player mode, but it isn't especially interesting, simply dropping another little guy into the mix and not really taking full advantage of him either co-operatively or competitively. Still, it's the trimmings that I really like about Office Trap. It's a game with a supremely silly sense of humour, featuring as it does a company called Corp Inc and a character named Godfrey Nectarine.
I am easily amused.
The Haunted Ruins
Gamedesign. Play it on the website.
This is the English language version of a Japanese title called Mamono no Iseki, originally released a month or so ago. It's a low-definition dungeon crawler that neatly combines maze exploration with basic RPG elements to create something surprisingly compulsive.
You've been summoned to the eponymous Haunted Ruins to slay some beasties. Doing so, through simple turn-based combat, gives you experience and money. Levelling up is automatic, but you'll have to find your way back to the town on the surface if you want to purchase new equipment or resources.
In some games that would get boring, but this is a strangely hypnotic game, one that quickly puts you into a trance of click-click-click. The music is also wonderfully mental. Try it.
Soldiers are Dreamers
Peter Willington. Grab it from the Introspect Podcast website.
This is probably one for the crowd who loved The Graveyard. Soldiers are Dreamers is over in just a few minutes, and there's no complex interaction to be found. Standing in a room, you simply click on various items, each of which giving you a new speck of information to add to the story that's forming in your head.
It was built in Adventure Game Studio as part of a project exploring the topic of war in computer games. Despite its minimalist nature, the little glimpse you get of a family which was most probably torn apart by war is surprisingly touching.
It's not for everyone, certainly. But if you're into experimental or short-form games, and don't mind not being able to shoot the enemy with a bunch of big bad guns, then this is worth checking out.
Don't Lose Your Head
Drogen. Get it from TIGSource.
Don't Lose Your Head is a flabbergastingly unforgiving platformer that requires you to dodge a variety of environmental obstacles with extraordinary reaction times. Fail to do so and you'll end up dead. Look - the game's even kind enough to print it in massive letters across the screen each time, just in case you hadn't realised the gravity of the situation.
Fortunately, the brutal difficulty is mitigated by the fact that you've unlimited tries at each level. It means you're able to take risks in a way that similar platformers don't allow. This is a game in which repeated death is expected - and that's all part of the fun.
Whether it's spikes, falling objects or gloop splattered from a strange, circular monster, there's always something around the corner to splat you against a hard surface in a satisfyingly stupid way. Good old masochistic entertainment.