Free games of the week

The Journey to the Party by Grace Bruxner

It's your party and you'll die if you want to, in this silly and dumb (in a good way) freeware game. The disaffected twitterspeak writing felt a little forced to me, but I did smile every time a new companion was introduced, in this brief adventure where you walk in a straight line to a hip party held for skellingtons, ghosts, and other horror creatures. My favourite little detail? Look behind you, and you can see those companions trailing in a conga line after you.

Midnight Scenes: The Highway by Octavi Navarro

I've long admired the exquisite pixel art of Octavi Navarro, and now we can play a whole adventure game comprised entirely of those deliciously chunky pixels. Midnight Scenes: The Highway is styled like an episode of The Twilight Zone: it's a short mystery set in a small, spooky location, introduced as if it's just one story in an ongoing anthology. And... it's pretty brill, that intro setting just the right tone, and that pixel art creating a tangibly moody atmosphere. It's a little fiddly, as you don't seem to be able to look at items or even see an explanation of what they are, but that's a small complaint in a terrifically Autumny game.

Haunted Cities Volume 2 by Kitty Horrorshow

Kitty Horrorshow makes some of the very best game worlds: realms that tend to reclaim horror themes and environments, robbing them of much of their inherent menace. Instead, these foggy or dark or alien spaces feel strangely inviting, and even comforting. The first volume of Haunted Cities offered three such worlds to explore, but there are four in Haunted Cities Volume 2.

They include the fantasy-RPG-themed Gloompuke, complete with odd NPCs to chat to, the Silent Hill 2-esque Scarlet Bough, and Roads, a "love story" set in a surreal, rollercoaster-ish environment. Actually, while I'm listing them, there's also Monastery, a dark adventure set in, er, a monastery. Each game feels like a relic from the PlayStation era, featuring (generally) low-poly characters and scenery, pixellated textures, and atypical control schemes—and I am a huge sucker for all of that lovely stuff.

Embuscade by maxparata

I can't say too much about Embuscade, as it would rob this first-person horror of its surprise, but know that you should play it, and you should play it to the very end. You'll wander around an eerily abandoned city in Embuscade, fishing around in bins, and generally appreciating the beautiful combination of low-res pixel art and sophisticated 3D lighting.