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Repair a frightful machine in free horror game Please

(Image credit: Tom Sykes)

Please continues one of 201X's grand traditions: the revival of late-'90s-ish horror games, like you might find on the original PlayStation or the Sega Saturn. (And, of course, the PC, but that's not really the look most are going for.) Somewhat's Please is the latest. It's a tense, short delve into an ambiguous world where a janitor looks after a great machine. You are that janitor. Please ignore the horrible noises and do your job.

The game works because it's vague, unclear, nothing is explained. You wake up in a building, seemingly a city apartment building where unsettling noises are heard behind the other residents' doors. Every day you have to nip down to the basement, where a huge clanking machine resides, and repair some boxes, or flip some big switches. There's effective use of jump cuts as you go about your janitorial business, and an exceptional ending lying in wait that uses the game's pixellated nature in a purposeful way.

I was reminded of Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs, but this is the short story version of that: all the feeling, the mood, with none of the exposition or characters to reassuringly frame it as a coherent narrative. Please is a nightmarish sketch that refuses to congeal into a story, something you can only really get away with in a free ten minute horror game. Long may this fine tradition continue. (Thanks, Alpha Beta Gamer.)

For more great free experiences, check out our roundup of the best free PC games.