Free games of the week

Caveman Harry by Flatgub

Let me whisk you back to the days of Jet Set Willy, with the authentic, tough, and just plain lovely to look at Caveman Harry: a game where an example of early man has to navigate a connected, prehistoric world. Paleontologists will tell you that ye olde earth was full of deadly traps and equally deadly monsters, able to kill the unprepared in a single hit. They'll also tell you about ancient relics known as 'checkpoints', which would mitigate those deaths somewhat, allowing you to explore this side-on labyrinth with only a medium amount of trouble. If you like the old ZX Spectrum platformers—and, more importantly, if you can still play those games without completely tearing your hair out—then Caveman Harry, my friend, is the game for you. (Via Warp Door.)

Help! by Retrific

Developer Retrific is planning to expand the scope of Help!, so consider this an early demo of the top-down, fast-paced shoot-'em-up. It's the Wild West, right, and you're planning to rescue your kidnapped girl (yeah, I know), a setup that sees you plonked in a stretch of desert, looking for cowboys to shoot to bits with your trusty revolver. Help! feels great to control, with a satisfying heft to the movement and combat system that means the quick, Hotline Miami-style gunfights can be a lot of fun. If you get low on health or bullets, remember that you can bash open barrels to replenish your supplies.

RetroHOT by Lunar Labs

This is Superhot, or SUPERHOT, or however the developers want you to spell it, only 2D and pixellated, and with a lovely curved scanline filter that makes it look like you're playing on an old TV. True to games like Doom and Wolfenstein 3D, there's no mouselook, although thankfully you'll move with WASD, and shoot and turn with the arrow keys: a control scheme which might be the next best thing. As in the game that inspired it, time in RetroHOT only moves when you do, and you'll need to take advantage of that if you want to survive, as it will only take one bullet to do you in.

Night and Fire by Aihasto

I couldn't untangle the mysteries of Night and Fire: a game that starts out dark, and somehow gets even darker, until you (or, at least, me, the guy who wasn't prepared to turn his monitor's brightness up) can't see a ruddy thing in this strange, fireside adventurey game. Playing as a woman in a forest scene, you can walk about and interact with various things: things that might help you avoid a terrible fate, if actioned in the appropriate order? Look, I dunno, but this is a beautiful little game with a terrifically eerie atmosphere.

Bare Bones by trelemar, VonBedmar, RushJet1

This unfinished jam game is a little, er, bare bo—oh, alright—at the moment, but I love some of the ideas present in this top-down, Zelda-style action adventure. You play as a skeleton, and every time you get hit you lose a part of your anatomy, for example your pelvis, your arms or your legs. That's an ingenious replacement for a health bar, and to replenish it you have to stomp over to your belongings, and automatically socket them back into your corpse.