The Best Free Games of the Week
Parties! Parties are great, as Andrew WK is fond of shouting at anyone who'll listen. You get free food and drink, several free awkward conversations, and a free fridge to hover uncomfortably around while the person you came with saunters off to talk to their friends. If only our parties were a bit more like the ones organised by Major Bueno, and almost entirely revolved around dancing on the spot to hilarious electronic music. This week: notorious partyhound Caesar throws a box social, hip new system the ZX Spectrum gets a roguelike, and a bunch of sailors head to sea to please their king. Glitches and weirdness also await after the break.
It's pronounced 'Fooths', obviously, and as you can probably guess it's a game about driving around an ominous desert/robot graveyard looking for artefacts with which to...nah, you should figure that part out for yourself. I almost love Фùþç: the glitchy art and the droning, malevolent sound design are both spot-on (rubbish artefact collection noise aside), and it contains one of the more interesting worlds I've rumbled my way across lately. Unfortunately, it's undermined somewhat by the intentional glitchiness, which sees your vision being gradually obscured the more artefacts you acquire. My screen was so obfuscated by the end that I could barely see anything – so I eventually switched off and played something else instead. While Фùþç is available for free, the team are accepting donations if you feel it's worth paying for. Either way, I think it's worth playing – there are the makings of something exciting buried here. (Via Indie Statik)
Speccy Jam – which is sadly not about glasses-wearers such as myself, but rather that up and coming personal computer system, the ZX Spectrum – was responsible for some appropriately garishly coloured games towards the end of November. Are You There Theseus? stood out to me, partly because I'm a sucker for roguelikes, but mainly because I'm a sucker for roguelikes that are, like, really good. AYTT features everything you could reasonably expect from a game made in a weekend, and then some. It has a multi-level procedurally generated dungeon, along with shops, enemies, items and spells – not to mention one of those adorably overbearing interfaces games used to have before developers realised they could implement separate menus. It's fun, it concerns the ancient Greek legend of Theseus and the Minotaur, and it looks and feels pretty much exactly like a Spectrum game – what more could any self-respecting Speccy/Minotaur/roguelike fan want? (Via Indie Games)
Nulle Part is an adventure game in the Will You Ever Return? sense, which is another way of saying that it's batshit crazy. You're in a sort of dreamworld (or is it?) populated by freaks, weirdos and people called Paul, and aside from an infuriating couple of minutes spent down a pitch-black hole, it's fascinating stuff. Barnaque's game is fantastic in the truest sense of the word, taking you to a series of otherworldly places I'm /reasonably certain you'll have never visited before.
A warm and witty adventure game that sees you gathering a bunch of items to please a local king. Your four-man team (including one cat) sails the seven seas collecting the assorted objects, encountering cannibals, mermaids, and some surprising other creatures you should probably discover for yourself. There are no real puzzles as such in this brief nautical adventure, but there are a number of great jokes, and some wonderful dialogue – before landing on each island, you get to pick which two members will set forth on the expedition, decisions that influence each encounter in tiny but fun ways.
Major Bueno celebrate their extraordinary run of One Game a Month games with a big-ass party, and everyone's invited – literally. Well, almost literally: you will need an invite first. Party Bueno's hundreds of guests have been supplied by that great scary conglomerate known as The Internet; you play as a randomly selected partygoer determined to meet the great Julius Caesar, the thumby Roman leader hosting this banging mansion shindig for all his chums. (You might remember him from Major Bueno's Caesar's Day Off earlier in the year.) It's mostly a game where you enter rooms and hold D to dance, but there are few puzzles for you to solve in order to gain access to the swinging party's upper echelons. (Via IndieGames)