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!
This week's Best Free Games of the Week is brought to you by detachable robot heads, two plastic dolls doing it, a procedural ninja, “these are small, but the ones out there are far away”, a unique perspective on puzzle games, and an even uniquier perspective on science fiction. It's been a particularly good week for free games, and below you'll find the pick of the harvest.
I have a tale for you friend. It's the story of the Domovoi, Slavic house spirit. It's the story of an elderly, lantern-wielding woman who enjoys incinerating bats. It's also the story of that most underrated of video game elements, the block. Typing and potion-brewing also await, in a fable storytellers everywhere are already calling “The Best Free Games of the Week”. Thank you friend, I'll continue.
I get told off by the community every time I suggest that C&C Renegade wasn't a good game. Let's try this instead: C&C Renegade was a heaping pile of shipped software that was technically unable to match its conceptual ambition, instead providing a shonky singleplayer experience, and a multiplayer mode that, despite being reasonably entertaining, was largely forgettable. There, that should keep people happy.
Before you run over to the comments to call me a blithering idiot, take a peek at this new video for Renegade X, the fan-made C&C shooter that is due to be released next month. Formerly a UT3 mod, it's now a standalone game that will be freely available to anyone seeking a tactical multiplayer fix.
Death. Glitches. Mouse-people with cyber-legs. Dog-people enjoying picnics. It's fair to say this might be the strangest free games roundup yet. If you like jumping, noiring, repeatedly dying or occasionally transforming into a spaceship, you're going to want to read on.
That headline is misleading, of course. All cats are jerks. Even that one you really like. Especially that one you really like. Still, it's hard to blame the little fluffy bundles of destruction. I mean, if you went through your entire life with deadly weapons attached to your hands, you'd probably be a bit psychotic too. Just look at every FPS protagonist throughout the history of games.
All of which is to say that a cat is a pretty natural character to take the lead role in an FPS. Catlateral Damage was originally created as part of the 7DFPS gamejam - a competition in which entrants have a week to make a first-person shooter. The original build, while a fun game about knocking things off shelves, was relatively basic - a forgiveable consequence of its rapid development. Now, though, it's being expanded, with a new update to try, and a Steam Greenlight campaign to vote on.
This week is all about creation, destruction, poking around in nightmares and taking on terrifying monsters of the sea. Build a world of blocks (then smash it up) in the beautiful Bokida, hunt the great sea-land-whale in the tense From Hell's Heart, and make use of your dead, blocky body in the clever Transcube. That and more gratis goodness awaits in The Best Free Games of the Week. Enjoy!
It's entirely possible that you haven't spent enough of your day racing around procedurally generated, abstractly beautiful landscapes. Fortunately, you can boost towards your recommended daily allowance with Permutation Racer. The free time-trial race game was created by Big Robot's Tom Betts, and is now available to download from the Sir, You Are Being Hunted studio's blog.
Happy new year! Things are pretty darn quiet in the world of big budget shoot the men/drive the car fast gaming, but in the less explosiony provence of indie games, 2014 is already off to a cracking start. If you've quite recovered from the hootenannying and rampant boogie-woogying of New Year's Eve, read on for desert adventures, spaceship puzzle combat, contest-winning dungeon exploration and an art game that is literally about art. Enjoy!
You've devoured all your chocolate coins. You've tired of festive telly. You've grown bored of or broken all your new toys - Christmas is officially over, and the New Year's drunken festivities are lurking tantalisingly around the corner. How to fill the void? Well, you play a bunch of free games, selected by yours truly to minimise the amount of time spent watching Christmas episodes of terrible talent shows with your parents. Read on for titans, bad dreams, digging and darkness, and absolutely no Christmas-themed games. Enjoy!
Christmas is nearly upon us, and what better way to celebrate than by playing a nice story? Playing a nice story about COUNTER-TERRORISM. If that's not up your alley, how about a childrens' classic that's now been preserved for future generations, a first-person find-'em-up featuring everyone's favourite non-dog family pet, a game with a single bullet, or a game that's, like, really freaking hard? Read on to open some of your Christmas presents early – all made by Santa's industrious elves, of course.
Zoom. Wizards. Zoooom. Clothes. Zoooooooom. Sheep. What else is lurking inside this week's roundup of the best free games? It's time to go deeper. Zooooooooooooooooooom. How about a robot-based shoot-'em-up, a camera-based shoot-'em-up, and an isometric mix of Syndicate and Deus Ex? That'll do nicely – now how do you make this camera zoom out?
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.
For all its gruesome acts of rhythm violence, maybe Hotline Miami's lasting impact will instead be one of trippy visual distortion and ace tunes. That's a damn fine legacy to leave. Hotline Trail doesn't feature brutal murder, ruminations on the nature of violence as entertainment, or a stupid stealth section. Instead, it's got a wibbly camera, some cool electronica, and endlessly twisty top-down roads. You can play it for free in your browser. And you should.
Damn near every retailer is holding some sort of mega sale at the moment, but if there's one thing better than cheap games, it's free games, and this week saw a bumper crop of fun, weird titles released for precisely no-monies. Read on for the best piece of theatre I've ever played, a stunning sci-fi glitchfest, theft of the highest order, Driver from Drive's favourite browser game (probably), and a game where oh God what have you done. Enjoy!
Someone somewhere in some capacity probably once said that there's “no such thing as a free lunch”, but as everyone knows they were dead wrong because soup kitchens. If you substitute 'lunch' for 'games' they were even dead wronger, because there are free games coming out of the goddamn walls. We've scoured through all the Slender clones and zombie games to bring you the very best gratis games released over the past week or so. To put it another way: The Free Webgame Round-Up has levelled up. This week: slime, bobcats, vagabonds, knife parties and murder...murder most foul.
This week saw the return of *spit* Bubsy the Bubcat, but not quite in the way you may have been expecting. He's not the star of a misguided Kickstarter project - we've so far managed to avoid the likes of Zool and Cool Spot
and Boogerman - but rather the hero of a fantastic indie platformy thing from the equally fantastic Arcane Kids. This week also features a lot of clicking, a lot of reading, a lot of dying repeatedly, and a lot of fun, free rogueliking - enjoy!
Fans of shapes are well catered for in this week's roundup, which features all your favourite geometric configurations: circles, rectangles...even the mythical 'triangle'. There's shapes shooting at each other, shapes just trying to fit in, and shapes obscuring deadly drops of doom. There's also a lightly harrowing adventure game and a prototype that sets out to be the antithesis of stealth - the latter featuring our old friend Mr Triangle. Enjoy!
"Free-to-play" and "microtransactions" are dirty terms to some. That's understandable. Famous Facebook Skinner boxes like Farmville have clouded attitudes toward today's free-to-play games, and there's an assumption all microtransaction-driven game design is handicapped by the need to create ways to charge players. For some games, this is certainly true, but there are excellent free-to-play games out there that represent good value for money. Below we've assessed some of the most common methods used by free-to-play games to make money from players, and highlighted some of the fairest examples of free-to-play that are worth your time.
Having ultimate control over the shadows sounds awesome, but in real life there aren't many practical applications to such a power. Yes, you could mess with sundial owners, but other than that? Pretty limited. In video games, it's a different matter. Just take the resurrected warrior from Path of Shadows, a student-made indie stealth game that is now available as a free download.