Puzzles, puzzles, puzzles and...not-puzzles – it's a good week for webgames, particularly if you enjoy, y'know, puzzles. Escape Goat shows what happens when a goat and a mouse (and a magic hat) put their wits (and their stitching) together; Olav & The Lute asks you to solve puzzles with sound rather than by merging stuff; Puzzle Script, meanwhile, lets you create your own puzzle games relatively easily. When your brain's suitably worn out it's time to hike home from Burning Man...something far easier said than done. Enjoy!
This week's roundup is all about time. In TIMEframe, your time – in fact, the world's time – is slowly running out, while Speed Warp starts with 0 and goes from there. Other developers have toiled under the challenging conditions of the Indie Speed Run, to create memorable experiences in just 48 hours. It's been a particularly good week for browser games, all told, so be sure to make time in your busy schedule to get stuck in.
An isometric world gradually succumbing to the nothing. A deeper sleep. A nested multiverse and a psychopathic Pac-Man. Dun-dun. Dun-dun. Dun-dun dun-dun dun-dun dun-dun – it's a particularly good week for browser-based indie games, five of which we've collected for you below. Just don't go in the water, OK?
There might be no such thing as a free lunch, but there is certainly such a thing as free lunchtime entertainment. Over the following pages you’ll find a list of the best free indie games on PC – from 20-minute diversions to weekend-consuming, endlessly-expanded strategy epics.
All of the games on this list are free in their entirety. That means no microtransaction-supported free-toplay games and no shareware. We’ve also excluded ‘pay what you want’ games on the basis that developers who give you the ability to chip-in would probably like you to consider doing that. That said, there are always exceptions and you’ll find games on this list that sit in a grey area – normally where there’s a substantial free version with the option of also buying an upgraded paid edition. In these cases, we’ve gone with our hearts. Which is to say that we argued about it for hours.
You've all played SuperHot, yes? Then we can begin. This week's roundup features a utopian paradise, a very punchy sailor, and a couple of dancing secret agents, among other things. Unless it turns out this was all some sort of daymare, you can join me to hear more after the break.
This week's roundup is a particularly gorgeous one, and not just because of my recent cosmetic surgery. (After much deliberation I opted for the rhinoplasty – I'm now primarily encountered in the African outback.) Beautiful glitches, garish peoplescapes, a cute wickle bunny rabbit and more await your peepers after the break.
Continuing last week's theme of games either disappearing or not working by the time I come to try them, I wasn't able to play Cookie Clicker in time for this week's roundup, but I've just had a quick go and it's bloody wonderful in a Candy Box/A Dark Room sorta of way. So play that! But also stick around for another collection of cracking confectionary, which this week is brought to you by the letter, I dunno, Q. Enjoy!
Well I was going to include Space Email in this week's roundup, but the novel communication experiment was taken offline before I got the chance, thanks to internet jerks once again ruining everything they touch. It's not all bad news though - this bankest of holidays will be enlivened with the likes of Eastward Quest, Robot Planet, Socrates Jones (think Phoenix Wright for philosophy) and a game that uses the pause button to startling effect. Enjoy!
Typing. Invisible objects. A form of echolocation. A be-hatted Minecraft creator pitting zombie against man. Nightmares. Knightmares. That Sort of Thing. All that and more awaits in this week's Free Webgame Roundup, which as you may have guessed collects the very best in browser-based entertainment, saving you the trouble of wading through those muddy, muddy waters for yourself. Enjoy!
StarCraft Universe, the fan-made MMO under development using the StarCraft II engine, is now on Kickstarter with Blizzard's blessing. The team, Upheaval Arts, is asking for $80,000 to fund the free-to-play project, with stretch goals that can add playable zerg, new PvP content, and an extension of the original storyline being developed.
Self-aware triangles, the thought police, real-time chess – reality is falling apart at the seams in our regular webgame roundup, which this week is brought to you by [OUR GLORIOUS LEADER]. Click on for rebellious isosceles, stacks of minigames, a randomly generated roguey adventure and a revitalised board game classic (not Kerplunk). Enjoy!
Forget about smashing voxel castles for a second—that's crazy, but EverQuest Next is also kicking down the pillars of its own D&D foundation. SOE is changing fantasy MMO tropes it helped define and which its fans are used to—we're talking getting rid of traditional leveling and introducing a multiclassing system, as well as handling expansions with Rallying Calls, which are grand scale, multistage storylines that permanently change a server's world. These aren't totally new RPG ideas, but they sure are for EQ.
EverQuest Next's entire environment—hills, forests, deserts, and cities—will be made of voxels, little bits of matter which can be smashed apart by explosive spells and giant Golems. Before we start breaking things, though, SOE wants us to start building—the developer is announcing today that it will be sharing its voxel building tools in EverQuest Next Landmark, a separate free-to-play MMO going into beta before the end of the year.
Chain games/worlds are a fantastic idea, and we need to see more of them. Case in point: indie mega-collaboration Experiment 12, for which 12 indie developers (including VVVVVV's Terry Cavanagh, Lone Survivor's Jasper Byrne, and Kairo's Richard Perrin) each developed a chapter of a wonderfully strange, often hallucinatory story, before passing it onto the next creator in the chain. The results can be found here.
Praise the rain! Over the last seven days or so, precipitation has saved the UK from becoming a parched post-apocalyptic wasteland, a woman has had a baby, and the great elder god Cthulhu has risen from the ocean depths to enslave mankind. Of course, that last one barely got a mention in the press, thanks to the arrival of that royal sprog. In more exciting news, some bleak, compelling, beautiful and juvenile browser games have been released. I have assembled them below for your edification.
"You wanna be a space ninja?"
That was the cry Digital Extremes PR settled on at PAX when tempting booth loiterers to play Warframe, a PvE third person shooter involving space ninjas. Turns out, because booth loiterers are only human, the answer was a resounding yes.
The game is currently in open beta and has been since March. You might have seen it hovering around the periphery of the Steam most-played top ten and, occasionally, venturing in. With its ninth update the developers announced 3 million registered accounts and you might see anything from 10,000 to 30,000 concurrent players on its servers.
The Steam Summer Sale has begun. Your wallet is doomed. Gaben is currently feeding off your purchases in much the same way a dementor might absorb your happiness. But if there's one thing better than ridiculously cheap games, it's ridiculously free games, some of which you may actually play one day. Read on for time travel, treasure-hunting and a make-your-own-Adventure-Time – that is, if you can bring yourself to Alt-Tab Steam for just one second.
Children are a tricky subject for an often violent medium. They are evil, but society still seems invested in protecting them. Luckily we have Teacher Story: a free-to-play JRPG in which you beat up children with education, using a turn-based battle system to shoot knowledge and inspiring speeches into their uninterested heads.
It's The Day After Independence Day, which as legend has it is the day an exhausted Will Smith had a bit of a lie-in after he punched that alien and met film's Jeff Goldblum just hours before. What better time to get lost in an ancient ruin, interrogate a bunch of animals, play Breakout 17 times simultaneously, or take part in a cruel, unusual puzzle game? Read on for those things I said – that is, if you've managed to find your spectacles first.
Commander Video takes the rhythm based auto-running of BIT.TRIP RUNNER and (deep breath)BIT.TRIP Presents... Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien, and retrofies it into a browser-based endless platformer based on the sequel's 16-bit bonus stages. Think Canabalt, but instead of the catastrophic destruction of an invaded cityscape, you've got spiders and springboards and a constant stream of rainbows. Much better.