As ever, your humble guide to the world of free games has poked, prodded and evaluated the week's many freebies, shoving the best ones into a handy roundup for your consideration. Read on for ghost wheels, faceless wizards, GTA-style tplosjons (it's not a typo), oh and THE BEST PUN IN GAMES. Enjoy!
The Wizard by Hypnotic Owl
You're a man without a face, a bit like Mel Gibson in that film 'Lethal Weapon'. Unlike Gibbo, however, you're a fully fledged wizard – I mean, you've got the cowl and everything, which comes particularly in handy now that your face has been rudely stolen by a bandit. Just because you're facially challenged, however, doesn't mean you can't chuck spells at rats and slimes and other violent nasties, while chugging potions, destroying barrels, and generally jerking around in a turn-based dungeon-crawler stylee.
It's kind of crazy that The Wizard is free, given how polished and robust an RPG it is, but there are a few quirks that make it feel a little laborious with it. 'Drawing' spells via a simple gestural system might sound like a neat idea, but just like every other similar spell system out, it becomes a bit annoying through repetition. You need to perform the same motions every single time you cast a spell – given that you don't have a melee weapon, and that you're totally a wizard, you're going to be casting spells a lot. There's a great sense of weight to the turn-based combat and exploration, however, along with a pretty decent level of difficulty. It's also nice to see a dungeon crawler really focussing on one class – the spell system is pleasingly complex, despite my gripes.
Tplosjons by Tom van den Boogaart
Tplosjons, in Tom van den Boogaart's own words, was “inspired by a GTA moment I had, some days ago”, and that moment appears to be the bit when you steal a car, shoot some people, and before you know it the police have dashed your hopes of climbing the city's criminal underworld, primarily by making you dead. Tplosjons replaces cars with FLYING CARS, and cop cars with FLYING COP CARS, but the illicit thrill of nicking a vehicle and causing havoc is present and correct. I'm not sure there's any chance of successfully getting away in *checks spelling again* Tplosjons: it's that one moment of theft, destruction and your eventual elimination, with all the surrounding faff left at the side of the road. Survive as long as you can, enjoy your death, then give *damn I really should have copy-pasted this* Tplosjons another riotous go.
Sokoboros by Trevor Newton
The name. The name is delicious. And if you haven't got it yet, know that the star of Sokoboros is a snake. Oh god, it's even good to say. Sokoboros. Sokoboros. Sokoboros stars the snake from Snake, maybe, or if not them then a similar creature that grows in size each time it gobbles down a tasty piece of fruit. Your goal is to hit switches simultaneously to proceed, but you can't move backwards in Sokoboros, or pass your own tail, two facts that make navigating its windy environments quite a troublesome affair. Sokoboros is lovely to look at, full of smart puzzles, and it's called Sokoboros. That's really all you need to know to click the above link. (Via IndieGames )
Ghost Wheel Bundle by Various Artists
The Ghost Wheel Bundle comprises nine games based on the theme 'ghost wheel?', a question posited to and by the folks at DEVCHAT . This might be the best jam theme I've heard, and it's responsible for a nontet of fascinating game fragments, including: adorable iPhone-based ghost porn (it's not as seedy as it sounds), a night drive in a car chauffered by...the dead, and a few games that take the theme a little more literally, but are still a lot of fun to explore.
The absolute highlight for me was the moody Prowl, a game about sitting and absorbing and craning your neck around (protip: you can interact with one thing). Really, you should give them all a go – you'll have to download them all anyway. Each game in the collection comes with its own (beautifully drawn) poster as a special bonus. (Via Indie Statik )