The Best Free Games of the Week
Cyberpunks, cyberjam, cyclopses and co-op collide in the most C-heavy edition of The Best Free Games of the Week yet. So much so, in faqt, that I've now used up all my alloted Qs for the week and have replaqed them with Qs as a result. I hope nobody notiqes. Read on for stealth, kissing, jumping, multi-singleplayer, and a qreepy game about a one-eyed qyqlops.
The Nightmare Cooperative doesn't involve a hellish encounter with an overzealous manager of a UK supermarket – it's a turn-based roguelike, like even FIFA will probably be in a couple of years' time. The twist here is that it's a four-player roguelike where you control the entire quartet yourself. Every time you move – once you've rescued your three chums, at least – your three chums move along with you, attacking or avoiding or collecting stuff too, providing there's something adjacent to attack, avoid or pick up. TNC is as much a puzzle game as a roguelike, then, particularly when you take the characters' teensy number of hit points into consideration. Special attention must also be paid to the sound design, which manages to conjure a surprisingly evocative sense of place. (Via IndieGames)
The Cyberpunk Jam (Mmm, cyberjam) has ended, and it's going to take a little while to go through all the entries in order to pick out the highlights. Here's one of the highlights in the meantime, an endless runny platformer that might remind you of The Fifth Element, specifically the bit where Leeloo is jumping around on taxis to escape the Future Cops. The cars won't throw you off, but the physics might: you'll need a run up to clear the gaps between flying vehicles.
This fourth Bad Dream game supplements its sinister adventuring with a tone of melancholy, which may or may not be wholly down to the game's evocative soundtrack, something that made me rather sad while I was poking around in Cyclops' rubbish-strewn world. The other elements of this wordless point and click series remain wonderfully intact: collectible body parts and creepy characters converge in a minimalist, mostly static, gradually unfolding game map.
Perhaps I spoke a little too hastily last week, when I thought I'd found my favourite 'find the bad guy' detective game. Hunter (created, once again, for the Cyberpunk Jam) also channels Blade Runner, which appears to be the future-noir film du jour. It begins, like all the best things, with a blast of 80s sax, before putting you in the blocky body of a bad-guy hunting cop, on a mission to find and shoot a target from a sea of very similar-looking people. You only have ten bullets, and you can either use them to accidentally/on purpose slaughter innocent civilians, or fire a bullet into the air to scare a good chunk of the milling crowd out of the way. You'll need to, because – as with finding the proverbial needle in the proverbial stack o' hay – discovering the bad dude here is an immensely tricky process. (Via IndieGames)
In most stealth games you're creeping around in order to do something a little thiefy or murdery – often both – but in A Russian Valentine you're simply a guy trying to kiss his boyfriend without the cops beating you up and throwing you both in jail. When you fail – and you will, repeatedly – you're given an Olympics-style game over screen that relays the pair's ultimate fate, and it's suitably depressing stuff. (Via Free Indie Games)