Free games of the week

It ain't over till the fat lady sings.

Succulents

Prepare to make your own comic books, discover the origins of famous phrases, bat away skulls and play a reinvented Pong. Enjoy!

FIN by MEGAMYTH

At first play, the various choices you're given don't make a whole heap of sense in FIN, but things soon become clear at the end of this brief, wonderfully replayable choose-your-own-adventure. It's a CYOA in that you're choosing the constituent parts yourself, building an eventual comic page from a bunch of seemingly random choices. That's essential for the final punchline that grafts your choices into one consistent story, with added splashes of humour and some nicely drawn art.

SKULL CHAINZ by Chaoclypse

This very Devil Daggers-y arcade avoid-'em-up tasks you with steering clear of waves of enemies, for as long as you can manage it, or until you get bored. That's easier said than done when you're a skull dragging a bigger skull around on a chain, but the advantage of that (admittedly odd) setup is that the passenger skull can be used to whack baddies into tiny bits.

There's a neat idea here, and some lovely presentation. I particularly like how the game freezes when you take your finger off the mouse button, removing the need for a separate pause button.

panGEMic by Supertino Presents

A Speccy-style game starring a dog, at least I think it's a dog, whose sworn mission is to collect gems because, hey, it's the 1980s, and it doesn't matter why. There's room in all our lives for a suitably polished, old-fashioned arcade platformer now and again, and here's one of those, but with unusually well-designed levels that make the most of the horizonal and vertical screen-wrapping.

Prong by iLKke

I don't know who or what iLKke sacrificed, and to which eldritch god, to get Pico-8 to display such nifty, pseudo-glitchy visual effects (perhaps it's done instead with exhaustive pixel animation), but they take this arcade game to another level. It's basically Pong mixed with Breakout sprinkled with imaginative extra twiddly bits; you bat a ball from the bottom of the screen, but you can move the paddle about freely, and you'll have to in order to gather gems and to avoid spiky enemies. This is tough, eminently replayable, and the animation is just tops.

Note that when the game asks you to press O, it's referring to the Pico-8 virtual console; on a computer, it actually wants you to press Z.

It ain't over till the fat lady sings by Tim Garbos and Veronyka Jelinek

Comprising a series of interactive, animated scenes, It Ain't Over falls somewhere between webcomic, cartoon and game, using the space between all three to impart some wonderful gags. It's too short to say much more, but here's a bonus gif showing off the lovely artwork:

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