Free stuff

Hotline Trail: a free '80s endless rider that you should play

Phil Savage at

For all its gruesome acts of rhythm violence, maybe Hotline Miami's lasting impact will instead be one of trippy visual distortion and ace tunes. That's a damn fine legacy to leave. Hotline Trail doesn't feature brutal murder, ruminations on the nature of violence as entertainment, or a stupid stealth section. Instead, it's got a wibbly camera, some cool electronica, and endlessly twisty top-down roads. You can play it for free in your browser. And you should.

Time To Live announced: multiplayer deathmatch from the creators of Surgeon Simulator

Phil Savage at

If you're anything like me, I'm going to have to quickly manage your expectations. When I first heard that Bossa Studios - the folks responsible for Surgeon Simulator 2013 - were making a multiplayer deathmatch game called Time To Live, I assumed it'd involve slicing and/or dicing organs in a two-way surgery off. Not so, as the trailer reveals. Instead, it's a top-down, arena-based shopping battler, in which only futuristic commercialism can delay your impending demise.

Google Doodle takes you on a Doctor Who adventure through time and pixels

Phil Savage at

You'd be forgiven for not having heard about Google, an internet search engine that never really took off. If you've not visited it before, here's the link. Alternatively you can Bing it, or Yahoo it, or Lycos it, or AltaVista it. I'd also suggest you Ask Jeeves, but the poor guy must be rushed off his feet serving new internet minutia to his billions of users. Here's a fun idea: imagine an alternate universe where Google was somehow the most popular search engine, and today celebrated the 50th anniversary of Doctor Who with an enjoyable game playable from its front page?

Path of Shadows: a free student-made stealth game, now available to download

Phil Savage at

Having ultimate control over the shadows sounds awesome, but in real life there aren't many practical applications to such a power. Yes, you could mess with sundial owners, but other than that? Pretty limited. In video games, it's a different matter. Just take the resurrected warrior from Path of Shadows, a student-made indie stealth game that is now available as a free download.

N v2.0 released, adding new levels and local multiplayer to the hardcore platformer

Phil Savage at

Let your attention drift from this video for even a moment and you'll miss the feature list for the updated N version 2.0, which is appended to a slightly maddening gallery of split second level shots. Think of it as a test. If you can't stay focused for the one minute and two seconds required to learn about the new levels, 2-player co-op, integrated level sharing and "Fun-lockables", you're going to have a really tough time progressing through the game itself.

Ludum Dare 26 round-up recommends over 260 games

Phil Savage at

The theme for the 26th Ludum Dare gamejam was Minimalism, which is a principle that doesn't apply to the competition's number of entrants: all 2,346 of them. While we've been seeding their sparse delights into the weekly Webgame RoundUp, my basic calculations suggest that, at the current rate, it'd take between 9 and 11 years to feature them all. Fortunately, Sebastian Standke of spent two weeks playing every single entry, and has distilled them down into a still-mammoth list of 269 recommendations, delivered in a 20-minute chiptune backed video.

BRAIN THEATRE EP: a gamejam bundle designed to entertain your grey matter

Phil Savage at

Indie collective Braingale has compiled a seven track "EP" of rapidly developed free games. Called BRAIN THEATRE, the aim is to provide tiny synaptic bursts of electronic entertainment. It's a handful of ideas, each whipped up in anywhere between 12 hours and a month, focusing on the weird, experimental, or the instantly gratifying.

Mumble Indie Bungle features free word-warped indies - including World of Glue and Carp Life

Phil Savage at

We've seen roughly a billion different game bundles since their invention by Dr. Herbert I. Bundle back in 2010. But this, Pippin Barr's Mumble Indie Bungle, might well be the first created entirely as a joke. The free collection features twisted titles parodying popular indies - including World of Glue, Proteas and 30 Flights of Loathing - with the games often being literal interpretations of the new names. It's like the indie equivalent of the budget software you used to find lurking in a dusty corner of a game's shop. Only funny.

GDC 2013: Terry Cavanagh and Porpentine reveal their top free indie games of the last year

Phil Savage at

Last night, Terry Cavanagh and Porpentine of free indie gaming site - and developers of Super Hexagon and Cyberqueen respectively - hosted a GDC 2013 lecture on "Curating the DIY revolution". As well as discussing the rapid proliferation of the free indie scene, and how journalists have often been lax in their coverage of it, they offered their own picks for their favourite free games for the last year and a bit.

Green Man Gaming are giving away free copies of Commandos 3

Tom Senior at

Fancy a free game? Green Man Gaming are giving away Commandos 3: Destination Berlin (72%, PCG UK 128). It's not quite the high point of the classic strategic squad management series, but it still presents a sturdy challenge for anyone who likes the idea of guiding a burly squad of chain smokers in berets through some hand-drawn warzones.

The Green Man Gaming blog has details of the deal, mentioning that each free copy of Commandos 3 comes with a 10% off voucher that can be used to shave some bucks off the likes of the delightfully smart Quantum Conundrum, SpellForce 2 and Sleeping Dogs. The selection of discounted games is set to change every so often, so keep an eye on the site if you don't fancy using the voucher on the games listed. The offer is live now, and will run until midday tomorrow GMT. Yay for free stuff!

Should you join League of Legends' new referral program, or stay in the old one?

Josh Augustine at

"Go big or go home" is a motto that's doomed many a board game night for me. I want the big prize or nothing at all—it is my curse. But those more eager for mid-tier rewards are going to be excited about League of Legends new referral program, which removes the top-tier real-life rewards of the original program, but makes it significantly to get the in-game perks. Transitioning to the new referral program is optional, but permanent, so take a careful look at what each offers before you decide.

Lord of the Rings Online is five years old today, so we're giving you free stuff

Josh Augustine at

Would you like free satellite broadband for a year?

Adam Oxford at

Do you live in rural Britain and can't get a decent internet connection over ADSL? Satellite provider Tooway is offering to hook up 20 broadband 'not spots' with access to its 10Mbps service, completely free of charge for a year.

Competition entries must be submitted by a local council, but the equipment can be installed in any way the application sees fit. So if you've got a convincing case as to why your home, street, community centre or library should get a dish, you'll need to convince your democratically elected representatives of your argument first.

World of Warcraft is seven, free stuff for all players

Henry Winchester at

If World of Warcraft were an Indian child, it would have just reached the age of criminal responsibility. This is a round-about way of saying that World of Warcraft is seven years old. To celebrate the game being legally responsible for its actions - if it were an Indian child - developers and publishers Blizzard are giving away a “Celebration Package” item, according to their official blog and reported by our chums at CVG.

The item consists of a few fireworks, a “feat of strength” added to your achievements, a visual only tabard and a 7% bonus to experience and reputation gains while active. To get the package, you’ll need to log in between now and 3 December. "It’s been a truly incredible seven years, and we’d like to thank you all for joining us for yet another fantastic year," say Blizzard, adding a request that players "please observe all goblin and gnome fire hazard warnings and celebrate responsibly."

Download Burnout Paradise for free on Origin

Henry Winchester at

Those clever folks over at HotUkDeals have figured out how to get open world racer Burnout Paradise for nowt via EA's Origin service - in the UK, at least.

You'll need to install and open the Origin client, do a search for Burnout Paradise, add it to your basket, check out and then enter the word "PARADISE" (in caps) as the Promo Code. Et voila, free Burnout. It's worth noting that if you choose to pay by PayPal you won't have to enter any credit card details during the checkout process. We have no idea how long the offer will last, so get it while it's hot!

Portal 2 DLC out Wednesday, adds new co-op missions, challenge mode and leaderboards

Tom Senior at

Wednesday October 5. That will be the day in which the Portal 2 Peer Review DLC will be released. The free mission pack will extend Atlas and Peabody's co-op adventure and add a new challenge mode for single player and co-op maps.

Back when Valve announced first DLC pack, they also mentioned leaderboards so all your friends and a bunch of strangers will all know how exactly how smart you are (or aren't), which explains the 'Peer Review' handle. That means your performance will be graded by both Glados AND the conglomerate hivemind of the The Internet. NO PRESSURE.

In more 'free stuff from Valve' news, the third volume of the Portal 2 soundtrack, Songs to Test By, is available now on the Portal 2 site, featuring such classic hits as Some Assembly Required, Your Precious Moon and Robots FTW.

Battlefield 3 beta release date confirmed. Pre-order for early access

Owen Hill at

Hold smoke grenades! The Battlefield 3 beta will begin on September 29 and run until October 10. Pre-order the game from Origin beforehand and you'll get early access on September 27. You also get early access if you pre-ordered Medal of Honor. Yes, that Medal of Honor. We predict Battlefield 3 will be significantly better.

If you're wondering whether you'll be able to get a playable framerate, check the Battlefield 3 system requirements.

Players who sign up for the beta will also get access to Battlelog, EA's new social networking system. We're not quite as excited about that part which will let you track stats and share progress with chums. You'll also get the option to join the EA Gun Club. That will provide early access to an M1911 pistol and come special badges. When did buying games get so confusing eh?

The Beta will take place on the Operation Metro Map which will have you sharing bullets across the outskirts of Paris, a bombed out metro station and the city streets. You'll be playing the Rush mode and attacking and defending M-COM stations, just like in Bad Company 2.

For more on Battefield 3 visit the official site, follow @Battlefield, and read our most recent Battlefield 3 preview. The game's due for release on October 28. Click through for the most recent trailer.

Steam Summer Camp offers free stuff and a prize draw

Tom Hatfield at

The Steam Summer Sale launched earlier this week, and brought with it something new. The Steam Summer Camp offers a whole host of new achievements for Steam games. Earning them can get you a selection of prizes.

Every achievement you earn counts as an entry into a prize draw. 100 people in the draw will win their top 10 Steam wish-list games. So if you don't have a Steam wish-list now is the time to make one. We take a look at some of the prizes and the easiest way to get them inside.

Portal 2: Songs to Test By Volume 2 now available

Dan Stapleton at

The free stuff just keeps on coming. Today: another 18 tracks worth of completely free Portal 2 original soundtrack tunes, now available from the official site (you can also grab the 22 tracks from Volume 1 from that page). This batch contains some fast-paced action, such as You Will Be Perfect, and more dramatic and haunting fare like I AM NOT A MORON and PotatOS Lament. Give it a listen to it as you download all the games you bought today on the Steam Summer Camp Sale.

Download Portal 2: Songs to Test By (volume 1) for free

Dan Stapleton at

Move over Lady Gaga, here comes LaDY GLaDOS. While the latest Jonathan Coulton single will still cost you, Valve has posted 22 tracks - totaling more than an hour - of Portal 2's electro-trippy ambient soundtrack for free download, complete with album art and Android/iOS-formatted ringtones. Even if you're not a Portal fan, this is worth grabbing for tracks like Science is Fun and the hauntingly catchy Turret Wife Serenade.

Bonus: the fact that this is labeled "Volume 1" implies more free tunes will be coming sooner or later!