Free games of the week

Paint Kart by Brendan Keogh

Paint Kart is a little frustrating to actually play, but I love the aesthetic, not to mention the story behind this top-down racer. As a kid, creator Brendan Keogh would play Super Mario Kart on his friend's Super Nintendo, before coming home to his distinctly SNES-less house and recreating the experience by opening up MS Paint, drawing a crude version of a Mario Kart course, and moving the mouse cursor along the track to simulate the game.

Paint Kart is an attempt to recreate that experience, while turning the cursor into an actual object you control with the arrow keys. It's pretty difficult to keep the 'kart' on track while you're racing around versions of iconic MK locations, but as you're not penalised for failure, it's hardly a huge deal. Press '2' to make the most of the fab Paint Kart, by spawning a second playable cursor, controlled with WASD.

City Clickers by Eigen Lenk

Created for the 1-Bit Clicker Jam (only two colours, mouse controls, and chiptunes allowed), City Clickers is a rather beautiful take on the SimCity formula. In this unhurried sim, you're given a big pile of money and an expanse of wilderness to play around with—oh, and access to a range of buildings to plonk on the ground as well. You do this, somewhat gratingly, by hammering the left mouse button, however it's worth the strain on both your finger and mouse, as there's a whole heap of virtual mayoring here to keep you busy. City Clickers will be expanded in the future, but there's a lot here already, and it only grows in complexity as you similarly expand your town.

Fairy Song by pixel-boy

Another Clicker Jam entry, Fairy Song is a lovely and strangely tactile exploration game starring—and the developer doesn't seem sure about this either—some kind of fairy? Whatever you are, you'll fly around a world that encompasses wilderness, a town, underwater sections and more, and that is rendered in scrumptious pixel art and in two contrasting colours (the specific colours will change depending on where you are). There are people to fly past, objects to interact with, and thing-a-ma-jigs to collect, all with the purpose of...actually, I'm not sure there is one, and that's just fine.

Libra by Ebriosus Beati

In this brief adventure seemingly inspired by the old Macventure games (Deja Vu, Shadowgate, and more specifically Uninvited), you have to investigate a spooky mansion, using only your mouse, and a slightly cumbersome control scheme inherited from those creaky old adventures. It's unfinished too, but I like the moody palette, the well-drawn pixel art, and the effectively staged environments of this creepy old black-and-purple house.

Click To Survive by dT_UNIVERSE

One of the few games in the Clicker Jam that actually plays like an idle/clicking game, Click To Survive is, well, a post-apocalyptic survival game of sorts—but one where you scavenge houses for loot by left-clicking, over and over again. You'll manage those supplies afterwards in CTS' less frantic item menus, but the meat of the game lies in that clicky interaction, which is not only against the clock, but supported by some wonderfully responsive pixel animation.