Free games of the week

The best freebies from the last seven days.

This week, what's the deal with airplane food? This and other acute observations await in my forthcoming comedy career, which kicks off with a nervous five-minute wait to go onstage in Nick Bontrager's Stand Up Comedy. Elsewhere this week, we explore the inside of Jemmy's head, we dive for shiny treasure, and a misunderstanding between frogs turns, inevitably, into a deadly fight. Enjoy!

Goodnight Jemmy by Jeanine Newsome

This top-down puzzle adventure takes place in a surreal, occasionally nightmarish world that reflects the inside of a person's head. In that way it reminds me of Yume Nikki, but also of Jack-King Spooner's early games, as it involves travelling between artful environments, and chatting to the strange residents therein. However, Goodnight Jemmy features a little more 'game' in the form of puzzle and stealth sequences. It's fairly simple stuff, but it adds a bit more meat to the 'top-down dreamscape' genre—which I guess actually is a genre now? (Via Warp Door)

Stand Up Comedy by Nick Bontrager

It doesn't appear to have an ending, which is disappointing, but I love the concept behind this interaction-free game, which sticks you in a dingy green room while you wait to be called onstage at a stand-up comedy gig. The atmospheric sounds, and the occasional piped-in voice acting by (presumably) the stage manager or a security guard, help to support the mounting tension, which felt increasingly, and surprisingly tangible as the wait went on.

Spahlunking by Daniel

In this one-to-four-player multiplayer game (which, intriguingly, you can play online), you find yourself in a pitched, soggy battle to snaffle as much treasure as you're able from under the sea. There's bloody loads of the stuff lying around under there, but your goal is to acquire more than your rivals, while keeping an eye out for air bubbles, and planning your escape in case of equipment malfunction—or in the likely event that you forget how to get back. I just love the little pixel art, and the broad choice of playable characters on offer here.

Frogsmashers by Ruan Rothmann, Mike Scott, Ben Rausch, Stuart Coutts, Jason Sutherland

The fight at the heart of Frogsmashers begins after a misunderstanding at a bus stop, and the cutscene that explains it is so silly that Frogmashers endeared itself to me right there and then. It's a local multiplayer game where a bunch of frogs wail on each other with baseball bats, while also using their extendable, sticky tongues to manoeuvre their froggy selves around. It's silly, it's attractive, it's polished; grab a few friends and get brawling.

Scanline by rxi

Scanline is a procedurally generated platformer sporting a lovely, purpley colour palette, dictated by the recently concluded CGA Jam. And if you're wondering about the name, yes, it features scanlines. However, rather than simply overlaying the action to make everything look all nice and retro, these scanlines take the form of a deadly moving wall coming from the left side of the screen, which you have to stay ahead of at all costs. If you don't, you'll be scanlined to death, which doesn't bear thinking about.