Free games of the week

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This week, Cats are Assholes. But then how is that different from any other week? Also, puzzling mushrooms, a good old ramble in a strange environment, and muggins here has to tend to a boxer's wounds. Enjoy!

Acephalus by David Cribb

I'm pretty sure the title has something to do with mushrooms, but ever since my brain read it as 'Ace phallus', I can't get that pronunciation out of my head. Anyhoo, Acephalus is a beguiling and clever first-person puzzler that reminded me a little of the similarly spatially tricky Antichamber. This is one you'll have to figure out for yourself, as you interact with the assorted doodads in a rather blank room, to fulfill a very mushroomy request. I feel that puzzle games really benefit from creating an appropriate atmosphere, and Acephalus' soft, minimalist environment is the perfect place in which to engage your puzzling brain.

Ramble by Jacob Potterfield

I do love a good ramble, so Ramble is a game that is very much, as nobody says anymore, in my 'wheelhouse'. Let's not think about what the hell a wheelhouse actually is, and instead take a look at this attractive sorta walking sim that boasts a painterly, watercolourly visual style. On the itch.io page, developer Jacob Potterfield makes mention of a few "loose objectives" to perform, but you'll get just as much out of this if you ramble about without a purpose, as the name suggests. One for fans of Proteus.

Cats are assholes by deepnight

I very much agree with the sentiment of this (surprisingly deep) jam game, which I feel would have slotted in nicely on the Commodore 64 or ZX Spectrum (albeit with less sophisticated spritework, obviously). Playing as a cat lady whose clowder of mogs grows worryingly larger by the minute, you have to clean up their poop and keep them well-fed, or they'll turn their hungry attention to you instead.

Cats are assholes is a stressful spinning-plates game, where the money strangely dropped by cats can be used to acquire food and other helpful upgrades. In a particularly wonderful touch, you have a glued-to-his-smartphone grandson who's available to do your bidding, and you'll need him to keep on top of the feline dervish. I made him endlessly empty the litter tray, naturally.

Magical Mystery Cure by Tor, Lin, Nick, dotoriii

A cat-caused magical accident results in your girlfriend's face turning monstrous in this silly and sweet browser game. To restore it back to its usual configuration, you have to do a little chemistry, trying various combinations of spell ingredients until you stumble upon the correct concoction. That might take a while, and before you reach one of the different endings you'll contort her face into a number of amusing forms.

Boxing Surgery Simulator 2000 by Ponywolf

A boxing game where you don't actually do any boxing. Instead, you'll yell encouragement to your bald, punchy champion, while tending to his wounds after each round in the ring. The hands-on, medical point-and-clicking reminded me a little of the comically gruesome Wunderdoktor, however Boxing Surgery Simulator 2000 is a lot more obtuse about how to use its medical instruments. It was only by watching a YouTube video in the comments that I was able to work out what did what, and even then the various tools are tricky to use, as the time limit for each appointment is cruelly short. Despite that, this is a lovely, charming game that evokes the spirit of the Newgrounds/flash games era.