Christmas and New Year's are both over, and your browser could probably do with a workout after looking at pictures of hilarious cats/dogs all holiday season. So here are five free games you can play from the safety of your browser - read on for mendacity, memories, metamorphism, mystery and MURDER.
SPOTLIGHT by Seven Cuils(opens in new tab)
Remember that Indie Speed Run (opens in new tab) jam we mentioned yesterday? Spotlight - sorry, SPOTLIGHT - was conceived as part of that. The team (which includes Sergey Mohov, developer of Paradis Perdus (opens in new tab) ) was given the randomly assigned theme of Gossip and the element of Submarie (?), and in 48 hours they came up with this interesting 3D diorama-ish narrative experiment. It's more than a little bit sepia. (Thanks to Free Indie Games (opens in new tab) .)
BENEATH by Alcapa Games
Another Indie Speed Run game, this time with the theme Misinformation and the element Caves. BENEATH is a procedurally generated platformer version of Cluedo; in just eight minutes, you have to work out which of your differently coloured colleagues collapsed the entrance to the mine where you work, and with what tool. Having to bring each tool to each colleague might be cumbersome and annoying, but this is still a neat idea with a pretty good soundtrack.
GRIEF by Diamond Dust(opens in new tab)
GRIEF, thankfully, isn't about grief but is instead about griefing, in this case from the guy/gal what does those annoying tutorials for platform games. In this short, fun, one-level game you have to decide whether to ignore what they're telling you or follow it to the letter; about half the time, Tutorial-face is a massive LIAR. GRIEF is kinda like Dark Souls, in that you're never quite sure if the messages are speaking the truth.
Escuro by azurenimbus(opens in new tab)
A sort of evil rhythm game, Escuro bills itself as "a game about murder", although in this case you're 'murdering' coloured squares by turning them into black ones. YOU MONSTER. You do this with the arrow keys, but be careful - if you hold the wrong one you'll often end up turning it (or another one) white. That's bad, by the way. I'm not entirely sure I understand Escuro, but it's a smart idea and you can't fault the presentation. (Spotted on IndieGames (opens in new tab) .)
Morf by Big Bad Wofl(opens in new tab)
People often say 'you are what you eat', but as I've still not turned into a giant peanut butter kit-kat, I never believed them until now. Morf isn't quite finished yet, but it's worth a look if you're a fan of roguelikes. The twist here is that you transform into whatever enemy you've just stabbed to death, taking on their form and getting a unique special ability for your trouble. But the best part is that every time I see the name I think of Worf from Star Trek - and then I imagine a Worf-based roguelike. Will someone hurry up and make that, please?