January is usually a slow month for the games industry. The festive rush has finished, and few publishers want to take a risk on unleashing their big game when there's no opportunity for someone to buy it as a present. Fortunately, those making games for no financial reimbursement - or, at least, games whose money-making prowess doesn't equate to the need to shift a full-priced boxed product - don't have this to worry about. Maybe that's why January has seen some of the best free games to grace the PC in ages. Read on for our picks...
I've just taken down my Christmas tree. This means that the festive period is officially over. I've eaten turkeys and pigs, and turkeys wrapped in pigs, and pigs wrapped in pigs. I hope there aren't any pigs reading.
What this all means is that I'm sitting here feeling like I should do some exercise. And what better way to exercise than jabbing my fingers at a keyboard while playing some of December's best free games? Here are the five notable ones I've played in the last month.
You know what? When I got up this morning it was snowing. Snowing. Stupid crystals of liquid falling from the sky, too obnoxious to even bother defrosting themselves. The snow makes everything cold and no one knows how to get on with anything. I am absolutely allowed to hate the snow. So what I'm going to do is stay indoors until it's over, playing all six of the following free games over and over again until I know I can leave my house without someone hurling a ball of solid weather at me. Are you in?
You know what time of year it is, right? It's almost Halloween. That means it's almost time for those snotty-nosed little blighters to turn up on our doorsteps, identities disguised, demanding confectionery in exchange for not being squirted in the eye with a water pistol, or something. I think we all know what we need to do: close the curtains, disconnect the doorbell, and settle down to have a blast on the best free games October's had to offer.
Two of the most interesting "free" games this month were, alas, only free for a couple of days each. Eskil Steenberg's ethereal online shooter Lovehad a free weekend, as did blocky-buildy-destructy indie gem Minecraft. They don't make the list below, as they've since had their respective prices reinstated, but they get a mention anyway for being delightful. Meanwhile, here's six more free games without catches, all launched in the final month of our glorious summer.
I type this with icy white fingers. It's August - normally king of the summer months - and yet here I am, very seriously considering digging out some gloves. Serves me right for living in the north of England, I suspect. But all is well, for in these disappointingly chilly times I've managed to locate six more fabulous free games. Read on for the best of the bunch from August.
They say you don't get something for nothing. They're demonstrably wrong. For example, in July, you've been able to get at least six somethings for nothing. They're all PC games as well, as it happens. Here's the best in freebie entertainment from the last month, ready to play on your personal home computer video game entertainment systems.