The Free Webgame Round-Up
Today is a SNOOOOOOOOWWWWWWW DAAAAAAAAYYYYYY, which hopefully means you're frolicking in the cold, building snowpersons and trying not to fall over in the street. When you tire of that, why not sit next to the fire with a hot beverage of your choice (must be tea) and play one or more of these fine browser games? Read on for puzzles, banditos, words and mirror images, deviously assembled in the wrong order.
Uirdz...Uirdz is great. And that's despite having a name that is literally unpronouncable. It's a platformy puzzle game that combines dare-devil, against-the-clock leaping with...well...crosswords? Tetris? A bit of both really. To progress, words must be dragged from the bottom of the screen to somewhere in the middle, but before long they're given a secondary function: stepping stones, with differing properties depending on the words. And, like all wonderful things, Uirdz features a fantastically catchy soundtrack, to soften the blow when it's sticking the knife in. (Cheers, Free Indie Games.)
Speaking of clever sidescrolling puzzleformers, Fractured is one the smartest I've seen for quite for some time. It's a normal platform game, but with a striking twist: the screen has been fractured like a broken mirror, the shattered pieces of each stage flipped around and upside down before being plonked back before your very eyes. Without a clear perspective (and with your character frequently mirrored or the wrong way up) even a simple platforming stage becomes a dastardly environmental puzzle. Play this - seriously, play this. Not only is it tremendously inventive, it's backed up by a rather...extraordinary choice of soundtrack.
More puzzley goodness abounds in the form of Steppin' Stones, a smoooooooth jazz track with a game attached. The good news here is that I'm awful, my pea-sized brain wilting after around three stages, possibly as a result of the aforementioned jazz. It really is relentless, though thankfully you can turn the music off. As for that game, it's stepping stones mixed with Sudoku. Is that something you were looking for? Well you've found it. I can attest that this odd mixture works, and works rather well. If I wasn't so jazz-addled I would probably be stroking my beard and nodding my head at how devious it is. (Via Free Indie Games.)
And now for something completely different, and totally ace. Westerado is a beautiful action/adventure/gratuitous western game, and stop me before I wax lyrical about the era-appropriate instrumental soundtrack. After banditos kill your family, you have to track down the responsible parties - or, instead, you could just shoot everyone in the face, foes and family alike. Westerado gets bonus points for making you unholster and cock your gun before you fire (and a million bonus points for letting you shoot the hats off bad guys). Little things, but they add a lot to the surprisingly fluid, sudden, tense combat. Between shootouts you'll solve problems, ride your horse, and stand in the breeze admiring the astonishing soundtrack. Westerado - play it now. (Thanks to Indie Games.)