This week, Baba Is You. But also, Rock Is You, You Is Flag, and I promise this will all make sense soon. It's seasonably hot here in the UK, so let's not mess about: open the window, grab a Solero, and let's play some great freebies that came out in the last week (or thereabouts). Enjoy!
Void Quest by IceFall Games
An entry for this year's Adventure Game Jam, Void Quest is an impressive point and click that forgoes the usual pointing and clicking in favour of a fairly comprehensive parser system. To make your shadowy hero interact with the world, you type commands. 'Open door', for example. 'Drive tractor', for another. And to stop you pulling your hair out at your desk, as you attempt every mixture of words in the hope that something, anything will happen, developer IceFall Games has helpfully provided a Google-style autocomplete mechanic, which will suggest words you might like to try in combination.
I love this. It's big, polished, and looks just great under a scanline filter, thanks to the authentically Sierra-style sprites and interface.
Baba Is You by Hempuli
I'm going to attempt to recommend Baba Is You without spoiling why it's such a brilliant puzzle game. It won't be easy, but know that this turn-based puzzler has much in common with programming, in that words—specific words, and the order of words—have a big effect on the makeup of Baba's lovely little pixel world. It's a real “a-ha!” game, offering up enormous satisfaction, and no doubt inciting a beaming grin, every time you figure out each increasingly devious puzzle. Highly recommended (via Warp Door).
Sucker Munch by Oultrox
Your brain might need a rest after all that puzzling, so here's a top-down arcade shoot-'em-up starring a little green blob. In this twin-stick shooter, you have to balance your need to shoot waves of enemies dead, with your desire to hover near their corpses, to absorb their constituent monster bits before they vanish. When you've collected enough gruesome goo, your gun will improve, while (unless I was imagining it) the game's green, blobby hero will bulk up by a small amount. The Nuclear Throne-style aesthetic is nice, but what's more important is that Sucker Munch feels great to control, while offering a decent level of challenge.
A Growing Adventure by FrankieSmileShow
Here's an adventure that will really *wink* grow on you, because you see, that is also the name of the game. A Growing Adventure is a turn-based, sorta-roguelike set in a teensy tiny world, but one that gradually expands outwards, and in every direction save skywards or underground. You uncover new tiles in the traditional manner: by bashing up against them, causing a tense countdown to appear before the game will reveal just what you've uncovered. Will it be a monster, an inn, a bit of treasure...a patch of grass? To stave off death, it's important to prioritise which uncovered entities you'll bump into first—smaller enemies will give you the necessary experience to take on larger foes, for example.
Kozmyk Wurm by Terri Vellmann
The beautiful, terrible, inspired and cruel idea at the heart of Kozmyk Wurm is that it's Snake, right, only in 3D, and with such harsh limitations on both time and space that it's probably the meanest game I've played this year. It's so wonderfully cheeky though, this cuboid arcade game where you have to move a penis-esque worm towards a series of treats, while rotating the camera so it doesn't accidentally bash into a wall and die. I'm awful it, obviously, but I've no doubt that there will be others out there who will take to this like a 3D duck to 3D water: people who can endure games like I Wanna Be The Guy or Super Meat Boy.