Free games of the week

Little Lands by Robin Field

As is so often the case, we have Ludum Dare (well, and developer Robin Field) to thank for this strikingly gorgeous city-builder, which was made to fit the theme 'small world'. Rather than endlessly expanding upon a fixed stretch of land, you're improving your town on a lovely floating island here, a landmass that gradually expands in the background as you futz about collecting resources, the game bolting new, randomised tiles onto the sides of the world every now and then. (Via Warp Door)

Spikes 'n' Stuff by Alan Hazelden

Alan Hazelden's latest puzzler combines two elements in an ingenious way, fusing the twin challenges of deadly arrow traps and equally deadly floor spikes. It's PuzzleScript, so Spikes 'n' Stuff is a grid-based, turn-based experience that tasks you with traversing a series of dungeon rooms. If you step on a spike tile, it doesn't kill you immediately, but it will if you move off and then back on. Meanwhile, if you step out in front of an arrow trap on a parallel wall, it will fire a missile that will kill you in, I think, another two turns. Put these two things together and you have another devious puzzle game—as you'd expect from something from the prolific Hazelden.

Beeswing by Jack King-Spooner

Jack King-Spooner's excellent Beeswing is now playable, obviously for free, in a browser, and if you've not had the pleasure, then get on it. It's a handmade and heartfelt tale set in a rural Scottish village (Jack's hometown), featuring moments of warmth, sadness, humour, nostalgia, and watercolour—seriously, it's one of the nicest towns you can visit in games.

Cycles by Galen Drew

Here's an impressively rendered, low-poly scene of a little lake and the environment around it, that you can load up, rotate and zoom in, and just generally observe as day turns to night, and as night turns to day all around you. If you've ever been transfixed by a snow globe, and wish that maybe snow globes had day-night cycles (and, er, no visible snow), then Cycles is the game-toy-thing for you.

Monolith by Sam Loeschen and David Carney

Monolith shares a problem with Space Harrier, in that it's an into-the-screen shoot-'em-up where it's tough to really get a sense of depth perception, meaning bullets will kill you, and it's not entirely your fault. Despite that, oooh, would you look at it? As it's a fast, fluid, and beautifully minimalist arcade game with a cleverly streamlined control scheme.