In honour of the recent Ludum Dare (theme: minimalism), this week's Free Webgame Round-Up was so minimal that it was invisible to the naked eye when it was originally published this Friday. Unless you were in the know, it was almost as if it hadn't actually been written – but it definitely, definitely had. I'm reprinting it here for no particular reason, so prepare yourself for dancing llamas, sci-fi survival, wabbit-hunting, scepters and dungeon-crawling. Enjoy!
Things students like: being drunk, being poor, being the subject of tired clichés... Oh, and being the creators of interesting Unity-based first person action-puzzle hybrids featuring a variety of experimental systems and ideas. Much like Fragment: a sci-fi stealth game about swapping bodies with remote-control holograms and shattering enemies into thousands of glass-like shards.
Mankind has finally discovered the Yeti, hiding in the undergrowth of Kongregate – although it isn't quite what we were expecting. The mythological creature spends a lot of time helping worm-things and barely any time posing for out-of-focus photographs on snowy hilltops. Dreams: shattered. Elsewhere this week, get ready to play ccatch, fight punks in the future, and attempt to steer a crash-prone ship around a deadly obstacle course. Enjoy!
Here's your mind-breaking, assumption shaking, hyper-weird free indie game for the day: Memory of a Broken Dimension combines DOS command prompts, landscape exploration, and massive amounts of head scratching confusion into a short web-based preview. On the plus side, it's nowhere near as weird as Nowhere.
Stemshock Interactive's Barely Floating was released last year, as part of the pay-what-you-want Summerbatch adventure game bundle, but it's just been re-released with the price tag removed. What is Barely Floating? Well, apart from that [TOILET HUMOUR]. Barely Floating is a well-drawn 2-3 hour long adventure game, putting you in the slippers of a grumpy old man on a luxury yacht. Before you can say 'Speed 2: Cruise Control', the yacht is taken over by pirates, and it falls to you to put things right. Head here to do that, if you've remembered to pack enough humbugs and Werther's Originals for the trip.
PCG Towers has been plunged into darkness, after some malevolent external force - possibly a wizard? - left us trapped and without essential PC-powering electricity. Marsh has alreadyfallen, his burning carcass providing the dim light by which the team manically scribbled pictures of desktops onto dusty notepads. Before the next sacrifice could be chosen, I escaped through a half-covered trap-door into a creaky basement. It was in this warren of tunnels I found it - a glowing orb of pure power. Behold! Electric! Internet! Life!
I should send an SOS, so that the madness upstairs can be stopped. But hey, look! ArenaNet have turned the 2D platformer from their Super Adventure Box trailer into a browser game that you can play right now.
Super-powered volleyball, an intergalactic dust-up, a small black square and a couple of guys on the lam - this is what awaits you in the small corner of the internet that I like to call The Free Webgame Round-Up. So take off your cyber-shoes, give your coat to Ask Jeeves, and rest your feet on that pile of old GeoCities websites, because things are about to get browsery.
I've typed the words 'procedural generation' into this here text box so often that they've lost all meaning - what procedures are being followed, exactly? Are they the same ones they flout in every procedural cop show? I'm no closer to understanding, but it's nice to see the methods employed in games that aren't roguelikes every now and again. Mok Force is such a game, a vertically scrolling shooter with procedurally generated stages - well, stage, which will go on forever and ever or until you die.
If you haven't dipped your toe into the world of Tyria yet, here's your chance to try it without having to pay the usual toe-dipping toll. We've got 10,000 codes to give away that will give you access to Guild Wars 2 at no charge from Friday the 19th until Monday the 21st. Read on to find out how to claim one!
Indie collective Braingale has compiled a seven track "EP" of rapidly developed free games. Called BRAIN THEATRE, the aim is to provide tiny synaptic bursts of electronic entertainment. It's a handful of ideas, each whipped up in anywhere between 12 hours and a month, focusing on the weird, experimental, or the instantly gratifying.
Destroy The Porn creators The Drunk Devs have sobered themselves up long enough to release another free game, in this case the wonderful platformer Full Moon Rising, which involves a gentleman's attempts to transform into his werewolf alter-ego to please his lady love. It's a dirty, hilarious, and rather tricky adventure, and one that surprises until the very end. (Clue: you get to be the wolf.) Download it for free here, then play it immediately because, well, what else do you have to do today?
We've seen roughly a billion different game bundles since their invention by Dr. Herbert I. Bundle back in 2010. But this, Pippin Barr's Mumble Indie Bungle, might well be the first created entirely as a joke. The free collection features twisted titles parodying popular indies - including World of Glue, Proteas and 30 Flights of Loathing - with the games often being literal interpretations of the new names. It's like the indie equivalent of the budget software you used to find lurking in a dusty corner of a game's shop. Only funny.
I don't like mornings. Being even semi-conscious through them requires a finely balanced system of alarm clocks, snooze buttons and caffeine. Now, thanks to free indie game PUNKSNOTDEAD, I've a new wake-up call to add to the list. It's loud, brash, obscene and very pink. It's a game about punching things that is, appropriately enough, like a punch in the face for your senses.
Porpentine is a game designer, writer, and curator for freeindiegam.es. She primarily makes Twine games, which are choose your own adventure style games that are accessible, short, and welcoming. You can play them in a browser on your lunchbreak with some headphones on.
But in my mind Porpentine looks like a hot cyberpunk cyborg, eyes aglow, a textual goddess alight with burning fluorescent punctuation. She does not walk anywhere: she glides, riffing in smeared lipstick, sly grin, sylph-like limbs; those she touches have typography bleed up their arms and flash into their bursting hearts. I am Molly from Neuromancer interfacing with her as I listen to percussive pop beats, type questions to her in IM. Gchat is now an early 90s cyberconduit to the Porpentine mainframe. She’s a queer tranarchafeminist, a cyberqueen, a Twine weaver, and so many other things besides. Her tendrils stroke the internet, provoking.
A tweak of the mouse is all it takes to resolve Simian.interface's vivid collages into sweet, straight-lined order. Each screen presents you with a scattering of geometric shards that shift according to cursor movement along the x and y axis. You start by resolving cross-eyed double images into a single bright whole, but as the parameters tied to motion on the x and y axis change your mouse twitches can shift the scene's colour palette or balloon shapes to to different sizes.
The correct arrangement changes from level to level. Sometimes you'll be shuffling Tetris silhouettes into into boxy outlines, sometimes you'll have to overlap red, green and blue lenses to form a white shape that completes the symmetry of the scene. Figuring out what the game wants is half of the fun. You get a moment of exploration, a moment of experimentation, and then the sudden satisfaction of wrestling order from chaos. It's a straightforward idea, elegantly rendered. Also, it has a subliminal cat! Did I mention that before? No. Subliminal cat.
Piranhas get a bad rap. Contrary to popular belief, they're not actually all that interested in devouring human flesh – a misconception that renders the entirety of Piranha 3DD, and that bit in that one James Bond film, obsolete. You'll find that and more deceptive things in this week's Free Webgame Round-Up, which also features "Tim Schafer" (yeah, right) and a so-called "honest rogue". Enjoy!
Last night, Terry Cavanagh and Porpentine of free indie gaming site freeindiegam.es - and developers of Super Hexagon and Cyberqueen respectively - hosted a GDC 2013 lecture on "Curating the DIY revolution". As well as discussing the rapid proliferation of the free indie scene, and how journalists have often been lax in their coverage of it, they offered their own picks for their favourite free games for the last year and a bit.
Barbarians, monsters, rainbows, rogues and ever-so-slightly different shapes – it's all here in this week's edition of the The Free Webgame Round-Up, which as usual collects the best browser-based games released over the past week. So follow the following links, angle your monitor away from your boss so they can't see you slacking off, and look busy while playing this fine assortment of online games. Enjoy!
This week, we're taking a look at how to effectively control a pet and use it to its full potential in Dota 2. It's not just fanboy rage fueling Dota 2 players who insist their game be labeled as an ARTS instead of a MOBA—there are some very distinct RTS elements that have evolved with the game since it's early days as an RTS mod, including how pet handling functions. Let's break down the mechanics and see how we can use them to our advantage.
It's been a good few months for Pac-Man, the aging arcade mascot who appears to be undergoing something of a revival of late – or someone who looks very similar to Pac-Man, at any rate. He turns up in this week's clever Pakkuman's Defense, while keeping his dotty mitts off a Wild West poker game, a cyberpunk puzzler, a cute dungeon crawler and Bump!, a game that thoroughly earns that exclamation mark. Enjoy!