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Free PC games are awesome, thanks for reading about them

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Lewis Denby at

Writing a regular column about free games has been one of the most transformative jobs I've ever taken. Buried away in the depths of the internet are some remarkable things, and being able to unearth them, then share them with a huge number of like-minded people, is always an absolute pleasure.

It's also changed the way I think about games, changed the way I write about games, and even inspired me to make games. All this from spending one day a week playing mostly amateur creations then scrawling down some words about what I made of them.


This week's best free PC games

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Lewis Denby at

It would of course be a little cheeky to include my own short room-escape game, Masked, in a list about the week's best free PC games. So I won't. Instead, I'll hope you click on that link, and spend the space talking about quests for coffee, strange rhythm-action ideas, a game that's a bit like Uplink only different, and the chance to clean up a puddle of pee! Always fun. Read on for this week's picks.


This week's best free PC games

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Lewis Denby at

This week's best free game, Unmanned, took me through a range of emotions. But the two prevailing ones - discomfort and regret - are feelings games usually struggle to hit. It's a fine example of interactive storytelling, engrossing and interesting, and you should play it immediately. Also on this week's list: a lengthy plod down some creepy stairs, a big Dwarf Fortress update, a tangle of limbs, and one kid's desire for five minutes of peace. Read on...


This week's best free PC games

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Lewis Denby at

Last week played host to the annual Global Game Jam, in which developers around the world strive to create an entire game within the ludicrously short period of 48 hours. The sheer number of entries is overwhelming, and I've not managed to play nearly enough of them to say which are the best. Among this week's pick of free games are three I've found interesting so far, along with a collection of titles developed in association with the London Science Museum. Head below the jump for another week's worth of free PC gaming.


This week's best free PC games

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Lewis Denby at

It's the unsettling, frozen warzone of The Snowfield that's had me most intrigued this week: an experimental indie game that plays with original ideas in narrative design is always worth a few paragraphs of rambling in my book. But there are three other freebies of exemplary quality. The Cat That Got The Milk is a delightfully chaotic two-button title, and the wonderfully named Eunaborb is an intriguing take on crazy golf. Elsewhere, The Fourth Wall takes a single clever game mechanic and runs with it, in exactly the right direction. Read on for my thoughts on these lovely free games.


This week's best free PC games

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Lewis Denby at

This week, I've mainly been wowed by wonderful Half-Life 2 mod The Stanley Parable, which I finally got round to playing. Since it's a mod, and it's not from the past seven days, I figured it'd be a bit unreasonable to spend these column inches on that, which is why this week you get a wholly irrelevant introduction. However, read on, and you'll find such riches as: a rabbit that's been turned into a were-bunny, a tin man with one leg, a claustrophobic triangle and a game about setting up a business. Also: play The Stanley Parable.


This week's best free PC games

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Lewis Denby at

So, a Ludum Dare 48-hour development competition happened recently, and three of the games below are a result of it. Frostbite smartly works an entire game around the concept of deadly cold, Last Breath is about a dead dog, and ZERO2 sees you investigating something odd among snowy hills. Elsewhere, absolutely enormous point-and-click adventure Donna: Avenger of Blood is a dark and brooding title that demands many hours of your time. Read on for more juicy details on this week's best freebies!


This week's best free PC games

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Lewis Denby at

Oh, hello 2012. It's great to meet you. I hear you're planning to end the world, is that true? Oh my goodness. In that case, I guess we'd better get on with playing as many excellent free PC games as we can. We wouldn't want the apocalypse to arrive without having played a couple of decent adventure games, explored some woodland and caves as a fox, and moved around some pennies, would we? Read on for this week's picks.


This week's best free PC games

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Lewis Denby at

As Noddy Holder once screeched, "it's Chriiiiiiistmaaaaaaaas" next week, so the next time you see me rounding up the week's best free PC games it'll be either just before or just after the New Year. No bother, though: before then we'll be counting down the top 10 PC freebies of the year, and this week there's a nice collection of titles to get stuck into, including a gorgeous platformer, a point-and-click adventure set within an angry space station, and a game I enjoyed but in which I have no idea what the hell happened.


This week's best free PC games

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Lewis Denby at

This week's best free PC games are reassuringly dark, given that festive merriment has begun to encompass our entire universe. There'll be no Santa hats here, grump grump. Instead, we have games about fear, solitude, ice wolves and Cthulhu. Well, I suppose ice wolves are at least as cold as December. Read on for this week's picks - including a fascinating new title from VVVVVV's developer, and an awesome take on the maze exploration game.


This week's best free PC games

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Lewis Denby at

Time for a trip back in time with this week's best free PC games. In the days before Halo, Bungie made a different series of FPS games. The Marathon Trilogy has been available for free for a while now, but only this week has this carefully constructed update hit version 1.0. Elsewhere, top-down shooters, action-platformers, and music-rhythm-action-blast-'em-ups. Read on for this week's picks...


This week's best free PC games

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Lewis Denby at

This week, there's a war being waged. But whose side are you on? Fail-Deadly presents a smart twist on the tower defence genre, asking you to keep the battle going for as long as possible. Also: getting lost in space, being a miserable robot, and clicking on a lone flower on a grey screen. Exciting times in the world of free PC games...


This week's best free PC games

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Lewis Denby at

Have you completed Skyrim yet? Ha! Still, if you fancy a bit of a break, there are a couple of older Elder Scrolls games to revisit for absolutely no coins at all. If that doesn't float your boat, then how about high-speed racing, collapsing environments, and small blob-creatures that enjoy dismembering themselves? You can have them all in this week's best free PC games...


This week's best free PC games

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Lewis Denby at

It is a puzzling day when such an impressive, interesting, expansive and customisable game is released free of charge. That's why everybody needs to play Metal Gear / Super Meat Boy hybrid-em-up Stealth Bastard immediately. And in a week of lovely free games, there's also a vampire-centric adventure, a pole-vaulting multiplayer game, and a puzzler in which one of your characters appears to be a staff member on PC Gamer UK. Put Skyrim down for a minute and read on for this week's picks...


This week's best free PC games

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Lewis Denby at

My skin's a-crawlin' after playing Gyossait this week. It's an interesting and wholly creepy platformer about the creator of mankind burrowing deep below the planet's surface in search of his lost love - and despite its simplicity (or perhaps because of it?) it manages to be thoroughly disturbing. If you want a bit less darkness and a bit more colour, though, try out DC Universe Online, which is now free-to-play. Plus: the tale of Icarus retold, a two-player driving game where you can play as a road, and a simple but effective tower defence game. Read on for this week's best freebies...


This week's best free PC games

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Lewis Denby at

I love it when a game surprises me, and this week Yeti, a free adventure game from N developers Metanet Software, did just that. It's a delightful game that quickly heads in a direction you wouldn't expect. Meanwhile, [stranded] is an impressive but flawed top-down shooter, and both Abduction Destruction and The Art Piece as a Video Game are loaded with heaps of personality. Read on for more details on this week's best free PC games!


This week's best free PC games

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Lewis Denby at

Games about fishing aren't generally the most exciting ones around, nor are they the most artistic, but exploratory underwater shooter Fisher-Diver has an exceedingly good go at being both. If it's still a little too calm for your liking, though, assaults on the senses such as one-button platformer Braindead and the complete mind-splurge that is Keyboard Drumset Fucking Werewolf should keep you entertained. Or how about playing as a scientist working through a zombie apocalypse? You can do that in Lab of the Dead. Read on for more details about this week's best PC freebies.


This week's best free PC games

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Lewis Denby at

This week's pick of free games includes Nous, an abstract and colourful top-down blaster that manages to tell an engaging sci-fi story about psychology. It's thoughtful and immensely good fun, merging its various styles to present something that's both unique and accessible. Elsewhere, there's a Braid-influenced puzzle-platformer and a zombie survival strategy game, and we revisit BeGone, a browser-based multiplayer shooter that's undergone quite a transformation since we first looked at it in March. Read on to discover some of the best freebies currently doing the internet rounds.


This week's best free PC games

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Lewis Denby at

There's something almost eerily timeless about the best point-and-click adventures: despite showing its age on the surface, Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars still feels fresh and interesting once you get past certain elements of its presentation. It's 15 years old now. Can you believe that? Elsewhere, this week's pick of free games includes a Twin Peaks game that wishes it were on the Atari, a Tycoon game about kidnapping people and forcing them to join your cult, and an interactive fiction piece that sees the final dress rehearsal for a play going disastrously wrong. Read on to find out why you should play them...


This week's best free PC games

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Lewis Denby at

Two of this week's free PC games deal with sensitive subject matters, and while one is more successful than the other, both are worth a look for being confident enough to stray into territory that games rarely touch. If you need a bit of light relief after these titles' heavy themes, though, there's a lovely hand-drawn platformer and a high-octane, 2D version of Prototype to get stuck into as well. Read on for this week's picks...