The Best Free Games of the Week
A playable music video. Images seared into your retinas. A copywrong-inspired puzzler. Two-player art. Two-player...duelling. Free, short games continue to explore virgin territory where Gun-Man Shooter 3: Now With More Controversial Bits fears to tread. Read on for new ideas, nicked ideas and a game where you crush puny humans with your massive fists. Enjoy!
The most amazing thing about After Thought is that it's central mechanic works. It's a puzzle game of sorts that asks you to move your character – which I've never quite looked at, for reasons that will soon become clear – into a blue circle to complete each stage. Simple enough, right? Your only obstacles are a bunch of pink rectangles, which are turned invisible the moment play begins. To navigate around them you have to rely on their after-images, which as the robotic announcer lady puts it will remain “burned into your retinas” after staring at them for twenty seconds or so. After Thought is the Magic Eye of games, offering a smart collaboration with our funky human bodies and their even funkier peepers.
A “playable music video” from Ben Esposito, one of the Arcane Kids, and musician bo en. Interaction in these happy few minutes is limited to tilting objects with the arrow keys or stretching your fingers – well, stretching somebody's fingers – with the keyboard, but it's just enough to make you feel part of this bouncy, brightly coloured world. (Via Free Indie Games)
Two-player art appreciation is the order of the day in Museum of Parallel Art, though if I was going to compare it to a game it would be All Star Mr & Mrs (yes, the one with Phillip Schofield). Every new round randomly selects a bunch of great artworks (Picasso, Sad Keanu, bone-chilling brony art) and asks Player 1 to put a card down that resembles closest how they feel about it. Player 1 then leaves the Museum, giving P2 the opportunity to do the same. At the end of the game (you did obey the instruction to look away when it wasn't your go, didn't you?), both players compare notes, before you realise you have absolutely nothing in common and you have that argument again, you know, the one about the washing. Thanks a lot, Neverpants, you jerks.
King's copyright shenanigans are so last week – EA has won back the prestigious Most Evil Publisher title thanks to their shameless Dungeon Keeper – but it did result in some cool protest games, which you can find in the deliciously named Candy Jamsite. Ian “MagicalTimeBean” Stocker's Candy Escape Goat Saga is one of these games, and its block-pushing puzzling fits in with Candy Crush's match-3 mechanic incredibly well. Stocker's used the engine for the tantalisingly close Escape Goat 2 to build it, and the game's gorgeous artwork and reliably fantastic soundtrack are signs that he may be onto something special. (Via IndieGames)
Robin Hood's response to ridiculous taxation was to form a merry militia filled with drunks, tall people, and guys who get overtures named after them. Geschwindigkeitsbegrenzung's response in the game 'Geschwindigkeitsbegrenzung' – thank god for copy and paste – is to transform into a stone giant and smash everyone in the surrounding area to itty bits. Fair enough. Geshw...the above game is pretty much a simpler version of Rampage, with a great chiptune soundtrack and a load of tiny people/villages to crush into a fine medieval paste. (Via Indie Statik)
A two-player duelling game where you fight with fleshy swords. Knock your opponent's dick off with your own to win the point – man, I had no idea these things were so powerful.