Free games of the week

The Intercept by Inkle

The Intercept

I'm telling you about The Intercept partly because it's an example game—and great showcase for—Inkle's recently released Ink engine, which I've been prodding at for the last few weeks (it's a powerful thing). But I'm also banging on about it because it's a solid text adventure in its own right.

Set in Bletchley Park during World War 2, it's a branching interrogation where you have to defend yourself against accusations that you stole a key component from the decoding machine. Did you nick it? I'm not going to spoil that, obviously, but I will say that you live in a world where certain truths will land you in hot water.

Doki Doki Densha Sekai by Jacob Hartmann, Astrid Sonne, Jon Michael Aanes

Doki Doki

This is just a lovely little thing: an exploration game where you hop about as an adorable creature, getting on lifts to visit other areas full of similarly cute animals. Created for the Nordic Game Jam, the developers describe it thusly:

"'Doki Doki Densha Sekai' is a first step to see when a world begins to form in the mind of the player. Try and visit all the unique stations such as complex 'Inu-shibuya', the religous center 'O-biiru-no-mizu' and curiously circular 'Manko-mae'. If you miss either your ride or stop, don't worry about it. Relax and listen to the easy-going music while you wait. It might be a while."

Star Surveyor by Taylor Anderson

Star Surveyor

This demo for a gorgeous sci-fi exploration game drops you on a planet chocka with friendly and violent creatures, armed with only a handful of tools including a scanner to gather data about the animal, vegetable and mineral inhabitants. The noise this scanner makes is particularly satisfying, and there's a real Metroid Prime-y thrill to scanning everything you come across. You can also feed the dinosaurs, and ride on their backs. So, yeah, play it.

Daily Chthonicle by Sinister Systems

Daily Chthonicle

You're the editor of a newspaper in a Lovecraftian city full of supernatural goings on, and whadda ya mean you're not downloading this already? Manage your reporters—trying not to get them killed, natch—as you investigate odd behaviour, in a wonderfully original take on the mythos every game developer ever seems to be using right now. (Via RPS)

Trajectory by Henrik Hermans

Trajectory

There's a neat idea here, in this minimal arcade game about a wibbly line thing that dies if it encounters any object. The neat idea is that you can control it while on the ground, but the moment your wibbly line thing travels over a chasm, you immediately lose control, and your character carries on at its current trajectory (hence the name). Succeeding is a careful matter of setting up these 'jumps' just right.

While the Endless mode seems to want you to go around in circles on a small platform (no thanks), the Story mode is worth playing.

Three-Card Trick by Chandler Groover

Three-Card Trick

I love this. Three-Card Trick is a devious piece of interactive fiction—created for Spring Thing—that asks you to decipher an apparently impressive card trick by a rival magician. I can't say much more than that, but I will say that it's worth persisting with the initially fiddly parser movement, as it soon becomes clearer how to get your jealous magician to move around. Dark, inventive, and wonderfully written.