Welcome to your weekly dose of beautiful, interesting or just plain fun games minus a price tag. If you're safely strapped into our special free games papoose, we may begin. Prepare yourself for Zen and the Art of Trying to Prevent Your Own Death, ascii affectation in a first-person letter-'em-up, a flappyglitchycandythisone'sgoodhonestgame, a singular javelin, oh and tennis-playing vampire girls on the moon. Enjoy!
Samurai might be more famous recently for turning their swords and gunns on each other, but they were pretty zen dudes back in the day, fond of calligraphy and tea. These are things I have learnt from movies anyway, and it's a philosophy well represented in Schizoid's elegant, enigmatic The Way of Iji. I can't claim to have unravelled all its mysteries yet, but I know that it involves mushrooms, bells, animal husbandry, and unexpectly dying when you leave the game running to make tea. The Way of Yiji is guarded in a Starseed Pilgrim sort of way, and I can't wait to poke around in its calming world further. (Via Indie Statik )
Yiji's actually part of an "album" of games, consisting of five pay-if-and-what-you-want titles exploring a variety of genres and themes. You can download the lot here .
Illuminascii takes the ascii-based roguelike and turns it into an FPS, an act of blasphemy akin to twisting a Twine into a mascot karting game, and one that works pretty well. As per tradition, you're the @ symbol, plunderer of a million dungeons and facilitator of a billion grisly deaths. Your enemies are T, Y, K and 23 other alphabet bastards, while your arena is a procedurally generated mess of narrow sidealleys and doors upon doors upon doors. Illuminascii isn't finished yet, and you can tell, but it's an interesting game to explore for half an hour or so, if only for one of the cheapest – and best – tutorials I've seen. (Via Giant Bomb )
Yet another entry in the tired Vampire High School Girls on the Moon genre, Love is Zero is not as silly as you may be expecting, presenting its stationary, unfolding story of bullying, eating disorders and (worst of all) tennis lessons with a giant heaping of style. Predictably, I love the Crystal Castles-esque soundtrack best of all, which is a perfect fit for all the GIANT TEXT and teenspeak. (Via IndieGames )
A singularity of Flappyness, cloning, glitch affectation, pretend arcade presentation and fist-pumping chiptunes, Ridiculous Glitching should win some sort of award for being the most on-trend indie game around. Thankfully these elements merge to form one cheeky, unpredictable and bastard-hard game you'll want to replay, and replay, and replay and replay to see what other visual and aural tricks it has up its sleeve. (Via Rami Ismail )
Remember Ludum Dare 28 and its You Only Get One theme? I somehow missed Javel-ein in the rush, but this beautiful, serene platformer was worth the wait. As with a McDonald's happy meal You Only Get One Javelin, which you'll use here to skewer enemies in order to unlock the door to the next stage. The physics, the feel of the thing is just right, and much of the joy here is gleaned from lodging your pole into the ceiling, walls or the ground, or simply watching it arc through the air. Lovely.