The Best Free Games of the Week

Tom Sykes


In honour of Glitch Jam , I've clipped through my floor and I'm currently hurtling into the void beneath the world. Luckily I thought to bring along my laptop for the journey, so I'm able to bring you a few highlights of the jam, mid-hurtle, including super-purple glitch tourism, buggy medieval dungeoneering, and some other stuff that isn't quite so messed up. Now that I've typed the word 'glitch' so much it's beginning to disassociate in my memory, let us begin.

Escape Castle Galichi by Rosa

Play it online here

I'm not sure why you'd want to escape Castle Galichi when it's such an interesting place, although admittedly it is a bit of an unstable one too. Galichi is a medievalish firstperson shooter, with some lovely spritework and glitchy visual effects, and a dedicated button for making things even buggier (Q). I would have been able to explore more of it if the game's knightly/magely enemies weren't such bullet sponges – or, alternatively, if there were more ammo – but there's enough code-medieval atmosphere here to absorb you for a little while.

Glitch Dungeon by Jakiro Tatami

Play it online here

A smart, cute platformer that lets you muck about with its code a little bit. Glitch Dungeon gives you powerups that toggle various variables – deliciously, this code is represented on the screen – variables affecting the presence of invisible floors, potentially climbable walls, your overall friction/acceleration levels and more. It's always fun to play a puzzle game that doesn't rely on switches or block puzzles, and Jakiro Tatami's platformer soon puts your various code-breaking abilities to good use. I'm now imagining a VVVVVV/1001 Spikes-style bastard-hard puzzler based on this idea, and I can only hope that someone, somewhere decides to make it.

Error City Tourist by Strangethink

Play it online here

There are no overt objectives or win conditions or glowing quest markers or collectibles or hidden audio recordings in Error City Tourist – it's a slice of digital tourism in a city populated with strange Groke-like creatures, who shun you like you're radioactive as you approach. Things to do in Error City before you're dead: ride the endless monorail, read the many terminals spouting odd randomly generated messages, admire the extraordinary colour palette while trying to remember which old prog album you're reminded of. There are a few quirks in the procedural generation at the moment – I once spawned in a completely walled-off room, with no way out – but you can always restart, no harm done.

Garugol, Lord of Shadows, executively appointed Arch Duke of the Pyramid Realm by James Earl Cox III

Play it online here

After having moaned about the walk speed in James Earl Cox III's The World the Children Made a few weeks ago, I can't help but feel like Garugol, Lord of Shadows, executively appointed Arch Duke of the Pyramid Realm is a beautifully cruel joke at my expense. To tell more would be to spoil it like a huge internet jerk, but Garugol, Lord of Shadows, executively appointed Arch Duke of the Pyramid Realm brought a big silly grin to my face when I played it this morning – and after last week's devastating Bottle Rockets , that big silly grin felt very welcome.

You Only Get One Match by Wingless Little People

Download it here

There are no (intentional or otherwise) glitches that I could find in You Only Get One Match, but that's understandable as it's completely unrelated to that particular jam. Instead, Wingless Little People have made a charming, old-fashioned arcade platformer where you have to get to the end of the level – remember that? – by lighting a couple of fireworks with one rapidly depleting match. Match Guy travels the world in the excellently acronymable YOGOM, visiting the landmarks of Paris, Japan, Italy and more as he attempts to slake his insatiable thirst for fireworks. Let him, will you?

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