Free games of the week

The best freebies from the last seven days.


Are you adequately prepared for this week's veritable piñata of free games? Oh, have a few more minutes then, before joining us below in a bit of point-and-click adventuring, some fast-paced, rhythmic platforming, a couple of games of competition, oh and one about being trapped in a spooky car.

Standby demo by Noclip

This demo/"first level pack" for kinetic platformer Standby—which we apparently covered back in September, but which has since been updated—suggests that the main event could be something pretty special. It's a game about shooting your way through a sidescrolling level as fast as you're physically able, with fantastic, flashy visual effects, and wonderfully fluid animations accompanying your journey from left to right.

You can dash, wall-jump, shoot your gun and down-smash yellow blocks, and as most (or all) of these actions are bound to the same key, their use depends on your current state: whether you're already running, whether you're in the air etc etc. There's a rhythmic element to pressing the button at the right time, and not much time at all to think about it, so this is one for people who are really good at really hard platform games. I imagine you'd get a lot out of Standby, if that sounds like you.

Cosmic Rochambo by dean_sick

A two-player game of bashing and dodging set in dazzling outer space. Imagine sumo wrestling mixed with Nidhogg, and that's something like this colourful, attractive duel-'em-up. If you're using a keyboard, be sure to check the controls before you play, however, as player two's attack is bound to the comma key, strangely enough.

Fancy-Ass Tennis by warlloyd

A pleasantly illustrated and excitingly silly game of tennis that more closely resembles Breakout—if you're playing Fancy-Ass Tennis single-player, anyway. You have to use your racket, actually your entire body, to prevent the ball from leaving your side of the screen, while objects including cutout tennis players and cars scroll back and forth on the other side. It's simple but amusing, and sometimes that's enough.

Kith: Tales from the Fractured Plateaus – Issue 1 by Screwy Lightbulb

The episodic Kith is quite lovely, in a rough sort of way. It's a monochrome adventure game set in a strange and fascinating isometric world: a planetoid where life exists on little plateaus, surrounded by lots of fractures. The art is charming and nicely drawn (even if the font used looks worryingly like Comic Sans), and I appreciate the light-hearted tone, particularly when there are so few silly fantasy worlds around at the moment.

It's a bit odd that there's no object highlighting (you have to click on items to see if you can interact with/look at them), and I couldn't find a way to close text boxes after I read them—but then again it's easy enough to see objects/people of interest, as there isn't really any visual clutter to have to pick through in each scene. The first “issue” of a small adventure series, I'm looking forward to seeing where Kith is heading in future installments.

Anxiety: Lost Night by Circus Horse

You're trapped in a car—nightmare—in a spooky forest—nightmarier still—oh, and there are creatures around the vehicle that want to gobble you up. Cripes! All you can do in this impressive jam game is scour the car for clues, or for items to help your dire situation, while those creatures do their best to jump-scare your cup of tea right out of your hand.

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