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Excuses Galore is a free anti-adventure where you just want to stay at home

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As nice as it is to see people, and do things, I definitely understand the urge to stay inside your cosy, familiar home instead. Excuses Galore! is a richly varying text adventure where you have to avoid, brush off, or otherwise deter your many friends, who insist on wanting to see you, for some reason.

I love that this choice-based text adventure features such a fully featured character creator (you're basically creating a name and face), as it really helps you to connect with the protagonist: a person who'd "much rather be curled up under a patchwork quilt doodling imaginary creatures" than see their friends. Every day, those friends try to convince you to hang out, or to go to something, such as an impromptu shindig, a play, or a real ale festival.

There's no option to agree, so you have to select from several bonkers excuses instead, before another friend pops up to hassle you on the following day. And the following day. And the following day. And, well, you get the idea.

There's an element of random generation to the characters, and to the text, which should keep you invested in this (seemingly endless?) game for a while. That text is frequently funny, and usually enjoyably strange, both in the ridiculousness of the activities suggested, and the absurdity of your obviously false replies. Though the game doesn't make it explicit, it also feels like there's a sadness here, as you essentially play as a shut-in pushing all of their friends away.

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

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.