Free games of the week

Roads by June Games

Roads is ostensibly a first-person Frogger-like, in that you have to cross a series of highways while avoiding the many cars, trucks and (for some reason) trains that are quickly passing in front of you. I say 'ostensibly' because the various vehicles shot straight through me when I played—however, the comments seem to suggest you're supposed to end up smushed whenever you collide with an oncoming motor. Even though it didn't function entirely correctly for me, I enjoyed my time on the road: there's a strong sense of place to its eerie black and white environments.

The Tower by Mr. Tedders

Let's not mess around: The Tower is fantastic, a top-down action-adventure with some of the best presentation I've encountered recently. It's a simple game, when you get down to it, but as you walk around a mysterious tower with WASD, and aim at monsters with the mouse, the world gradually unfolds from the darkness around you. Dark tiles flip away to reveal the walls and floor, using an extraordinary visual effect that gives each screen a wonderfully tactile feel. Those screens will rotate slightly at the edges, while even the text has a lurching feel to it that betrays the icky atmosphere of the spooky tower your character has foolishly elected to ascend. Excellent sound design and stark little sprites  round things off; the end result is this is a tower that feels powerfully present. (Via Warp Door)

Toryanse: Reel by Arcto Games

You're helping a mechanic fix things in her store in this short, sweet, and beautifully presented point and click. You play as a ghost, or something like a ghost, who can manipulate lights and other objects around the elderly lady, and you'll need to do just that—first by letting her inside the building, and then by landing a spectral hand with the knackered objects she's been tasked with fixing up.

Voice by Tony Coculuzzi, Ruth Bosch, Lisy Kane, Izzy Gramp, Farah Khalaf

Voice is very short, consisting of a couple of rooms' worth of cutely illustrated characters and objects, who you'll interact with by sauntering up to them and making a bunch of sing-song noises. I love the scratchily hand-drawn, isometric rooms on offer here; it's not entirely clear what's going on, but this is a world I'd like to see more of in the future.

Hi Polite Drifter by James Earl Cox III

Sometimes a pun is enough to secure my interest, and would you look at that belter in this game's title. Hi Polite Drifter is an interactive oddity in which you can direct a little scavenger towards objects he might like to take a look at. Invariably he's not interested in most of them, exclaiming to you that they look like junk, but while you're pointing him this way and that, be sure to hit the middle on-screen button now and again. This causes your unseen character to say “Hi, polite drifter!”, to which the scavenger will reply in an adorable way. “Hi, polite drifter!” Hi polite drifter. It's so gloriously silly, and even sillier that someone has made a game based around a single pun.