Well I was going to include Space Email in this week's roundup, but the novel communication experiment was taken offline before I got the chance, thanks to internet jerks once again ruining everything they touch. It's not all bad news though - this bankest of holidays will be enlivened with the likes of Eastward Quest, Robot Planet, Socrates Jones (think Phoenix Wright for philosophy) and a game that uses the pause button to startling effect. Enjoy!
Typing. Invisible objects. A form of echolocation. A be-hatted Minecraft creator pitting zombie against man. Nightmares. Knightmares. That Sort of Thing. All that and more awaits in this week's Free Webgame Roundup, which as you may have guessed collects the very best in browser-based entertainment, saving you the trouble of wading through those muddy, muddy waters for yourself. Enjoy!
StarCraft Universe, the fan-made MMO under development using the StarCraft II engine, is now on Kickstarter with Blizzard's blessing. The team, Upheaval Arts, is asking for $80,000 to fund the free-to-play project, with stretch goals that can add playable zerg, new PvP content, and an extension of the original storyline being developed.
Self-aware triangles, the thought police, real-time chess – reality is falling apart at the seams in our regular webgame roundup, which this week is brought to you by [OUR GLORIOUS LEADER]. Click on for rebellious isosceles, stacks of minigames, a randomly generated roguey adventure and a revitalised board game classic (not Kerplunk). Enjoy!
Forget about smashing voxel castles for a second—that's crazy, but EverQuest Next is also kicking down the pillars of its own D&D foundation. SOE is changing fantasy MMO tropes it helped define and which its fans are used to—we're talking getting rid of traditional leveling and introducing a multiclassing system, as well as handling expansions with Rallying Calls, which are grand scale, multistage storylines that permanently change a server's world. These aren't totally new RPG ideas, but they sure are for EQ.
EverQuest Next's entire environment—hills, forests, deserts, and cities—will be made of voxels, little bits of matter which can be smashed apart by explosive spells and giant Golems. Before we start breaking things, though, SOE wants us to start building—the developer is announcing today that it will be sharing its voxel building tools in EverQuest Next Landmark, a separate free-to-play MMO going into beta before the end of the year.
Chain games/worlds are a fantastic idea, and we need to see more of them. Case in point: indie mega-collaboration Experiment 12, for which 12 indie developers (including VVVVVV's Terry Cavanagh, Lone Survivor's Jasper Byrne, and Kairo's Richard Perrin) each developed a chapter of a wonderfully strange, often hallucinatory story, before passing it onto the next creator in the chain. The results can be found here.
Praise the rain! Over the last seven days or so, precipitation has saved the UK from becoming a parched post-apocalyptic wasteland, a woman has had a baby, and the great elder god Cthulhu has risen from the ocean depths to enslave mankind. Of course, that last one barely got a mention in the press, thanks to the arrival of that royal sprog. In more exciting news, some bleak, compelling, beautiful and juvenile browser games have been released. I have assembled them below for your edification.
"You wanna be a space ninja?"
That was the cry Digital Extremes PR settled on at PAX when tempting booth loiterers to play Warframe, a PvE third person shooter involving space ninjas. Turns out, because booth loiterers are only human, the answer was a resounding yes.
The game is currently in open beta and has been since March. You might have seen it hovering around the periphery of the Steam most-played top ten and, occasionally, venturing in. With its ninth update the developers announced 3 million registered accounts and you might see anything from 10,000 to 30,000 concurrent players on its servers.
The Steam Summer Sale has begun. Your wallet is doomed. Gaben is currently feeding off your purchases in much the same way a dementor might absorb your happiness. But if there's one thing better than ridiculously cheap games, it's ridiculously free games, some of which you may actually play one day. Read on for time travel, treasure-hunting and a make-your-own-Adventure-Time – that is, if you can bring yourself to Alt-Tab Steam for just one second.
Children are a tricky subject for an often violent medium. They are evil, but society still seems invested in protecting them. Luckily we have Teacher Story: a free-to-play JRPG in which you beat up children with education, using a turn-based battle system to shoot knowledge and inspiring speeches into their uninterested heads.
It's The Day After Independence Day, which as legend has it is the day an exhausted Will Smith had a bit of a lie-in after he punched that alien and met film's Jeff Goldblum just hours before. What better time to get lost in an ancient ruin, interrogate a bunch of animals, play Breakout 17 times simultaneously, or take part in a cruel, unusual puzzle game? Read on for those things I said – that is, if you've managed to find your spectacles first.
Commander Video takes the rhythm based auto-running of BIT.TRIP RUNNER and (deep breath)BIT.TRIP Presents... Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien, and retrofies it into a browser-based endless platformer based on the sequel's 16-bit bonus stages. Think Canabalt, but instead of the catastrophic destruction of an invaded cityscape, you've got spiders and springboards and a constant stream of rainbows. Much better.
If Wimbledon and Glastonbury aren't exciting enough for you, why not spend this weekend playing the latest browser games from the non-muddy, entirely strawberrys-and-cream-free comfort of your own home? (Feel free to pitch a tent or tennis rink in your living room, if it helps to establish the same sort of atmosphere.) Read on for battle penguins, dark rooms, daymares, second chances and a very slippery game of capture-the-flag.
Futuridium EP, a new 3D re-imagination of a classic Commodore 64 shoot'em up, is now available for free download from Italian indie developer Mixed Bag (via Indie Games). The game puts you and your reflexes to the test as you pilot a nimble, laser-armed spaceship against giant alien vessels.
Snakes. Why'd it have to be snakes? Because snakes are brilliant, obviously, and because they go great with bacon jam. Sorry, they go great with the Bacon Jam, which continues to throw up tasty indie games created in just 48 hours. Elsewhere this week, we're dodging things. Sound, triangles, chasms, our own tails - the lot. If you're suitably intrigued, I'll be waiting with a pot of bacon jam after the break.
Vampires, werewolves, snakes and, um, worms – all the best monsters appear in this week's roundup (sorry, Mummies). However, there's a twist to each: stick around for an even more bloodthirsty version of the Wall Street, a guilty lycanthrope, and Indiana Jones' least favourite game. Enjoy!
This week's roundup is dedicated to the hybrid, the mash-up, the unholy amalgamation: games that fuse two or more genres together to startling and often brilliant effect. Fishing meets Rhythm Game in the appropriately named FISHJN', while SimCity collides (no really) with Scrabble in VerboCity. There's also a surreal apartment block, a game about punching, and yet another browser game featuring werewolves. Enjoy!
If you've ever tried to count cards (I can count to...32), you'll know that Las Vegas is a place you're unlikely to ever escape from – so I've no idea why the four heroes of ASDF: Escape to Las Vegas are attempting to, well, find their way in. In addition to multi-character platforming, this week also brings you the experiences of exploring a forbidden forest, rolling around as a big ball of slime, and clicking coloured spheres together like some kind of kaleidoscopic circular god. Enjoy!
The latest free-to-play title to hit Steam's virtual shelves isn't a cutesy MMORPG with a cash shop full of glittery hats and staves, nor is it a brutal MOBA with an arsenal of buyable heroes. Nope—surprisingly, it's the late-90s classic Shadow Warrior! And unless somebody's gone to the pains of tweaking some 16-year-old code, it's pretty much guaranteed this isn't a pay-to-win kind of deal.