This week, let's fight for our right to bare arms. Sorry, our right to Bear Arms: a fun new shooter made with the delightful Pico-8. Elsewhere this week, we enjoy a very warm fire, we do some cooperative gardening, and if you don't like it, you can quit any time you like. Enjoy!
Quit the game to win by Andrea Pignataro
Inspired by similar knowing games that play around with conventions and expectation, Andrea Pignataro's Quit the game to win is a short and playful conversation between you, the game, and, well, the quit button. That quit button, in all its forms, isn't terribly inclined to perform its function, so the only way to exit the game is to Alt-Tab out of it, to Ctrl-Alt-Delete, or, if you want to engage with the terms of the game, to talk the darn quit button around.
Reap Together by Daniel Linssen
I've talked about Reap before, but here's a quick reminder: it's a gorgeous top-down survival game where you explore a strange island and cultivate turnips, while the size of the game world expands and contracts in a fairly mesmerising fashion around you. You need to plant those turnips in order to acquire more turnips, before consuming them for precious energy, energy you expend to explore farther in the mysterious environment—and perhaps to piece together your scattered treasure map.
Well, I'm talking about it again because developer Daniel Linssen recently added a new (offline) multiplayer version, letting you tackle the island with a similarly stranded chum in tow. It's been designed with co-op in mind, but if you don't want to work together with a common goal and twice as much manpower, you can become bitter rivals instead, and nick each other's turnips till one of you starves to death. However you choose to play it, I'm glad to see this inventive freebie making a return.
霊夢 by bedstuck
A bullet-hell shoot'-em-up that differs from the usual fare in that it doesn't have you controlling a floating spaceship. You're also, er, not actually shooting anything. Instead you're dashing around the screen, slashing at enemies with your sword while you avoid the many bullets those enemies are spewing out. As bullet hell games go, it's actually rather easy, seeing as your little character can absorb quite a few hits before she croaks. 霊夢 (it might also be named Hakurei, although I'm not entirely certain) isn't quite finished, so there's no music or sound effects, but there are the makings of a fun arcade shmup in this short jam game. (Via Warp Door.)
A Very Warm Fire by Jusiv
A top-down survival game that's a little like a pared-back version of Klei's Don't Starve. The flames are your friend in the aptly named A Very Warm Fire, although they won't stay toasty for very long, and they sure as hell won't protect you from the hostile critters roaming about. In this engaging and spooky survival sim, you need to venture out into the untamed wilderness for supplies, before high-tailing it back to your roaring bonfire to recover your strength.
Bear Arms: The Revenge of the Wild Gunner by gymcrash
Now we all know that bears love pickernick baskets, but I never realised the extreme lengths they'll go to in order to safeguard their ill-gotten al dente lunches. As a greedy grizzly protecting a stuffed wicker basket, you'll use firearms to fend off hordes of hungry, hungry insects, who are making a beeline for your tasty, tasty grub. I love the cute premise and sorta-3D look of this arcade shooter, which, as with the above browser freebie, has been made using the increasingly dazzling Pico-8 engine.