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Free games of the week

Damascus current by Andrea Pignataro

Andrea Pignataro's latest adventure game curiosity gives you control over the flow of time, in the form of controls that allow you to shift forward and back along a linear timeline. Quite who you are is unclear, as you hop around a spread-out world clicking on shadowy people until mysterious little glyphs pop out of the screen.

There's a little story in each largely static scene, from that of a robber pilfering possessions from city rooftops, to a lonely janitor cleaning a swimming pool, to a woman hiding in fear from her abusive husband. Some give you puzzles to solve, but most give you shadows to click on, until a sparse story resolves in some manner. It's an intriguing world, one in which you act as a spectral visitor, phasing from one snippet of human life to the next. In some of the scenes you can even alter the outcome, redirecting the flow of the river of time.

Kimono by Trashgames

A violent, stylish puzzle game where you play as a kimono-clad woman in a series of colourful arenas, each one populated by a smattering of enemies. Clicking to move from enemy to enemy in a turn-based fashion, you have to plot the correct course to ensure that you can take everyone down, without getting so close to a baddie that they'll slice you up instead. (Die and you'll only have to replay the current stage.) I like that you can rotate each scene, to better scheme your slaughtery approach, and I love how fast, how fluid the action seems when it's being performed near-instantaneously between clicks of the mouse.

Fetch Quests Anonymous by DDD Wares

If your favourite parts of RPGs are the repetitive fetch quests, then boy are you in for a treat with Fetch Quests Anonymous (really, the clue was in the name). OK, I kid, a little. Even though you're merely ferrying items from one sketchily drawn NPC to another, ad nauseum, in this small, first-person RPG, there's something strangely refreshing about its lack of drawn-out plot, or huge expanse of world to disguise its grind.

Using an enjoyably interactive PDA thingy, you'll collect items from NPCs, before delivering them to other NPCs in this procedurally mashed-up game, with your wallet gradually embiggening after every job. Given how hard it is to acquire money in the real world, it's actually fairly therapeutic, becoming rich so easily here.

Whirling Blades by DaFluffyPotato

Whirling Blades brings back memories of the superbly atmospheric Devil Daggers, the one-room, endless arcade game that Steam says I have played for nine minutes in total (and I will likely play no more than that). That's because I'm rubbish at Devil Daggers, and I'm equally rubbish at Whirling Blades, a similarly hectic survive-'em-up that gives you a sword and a pile of enemies to use it on.

I like the 2D, isometric world that animatedly expands with new tiles as you romp around. I like that, often, tiles will fall away into the void, to be replaced with patches of purple ground that will slow you down. I even appreciate the feel of combat, as you swing your blade with the left mouse button, and use the right to dash about. It's not for me, obviously, but this whirling dervish of a game will be a shining jewel for some.

10 Gnomes in Paris by Mateusz Skutnik

I do like a good slideshow adventure game: games like Myst where you explore and solve puzzles by clicking from one static screen to another. 10 Gnomes in Paris has deposited 10 cheeky little gnomes around a section of Paris, and guess what, it's your job to find them, by poking around in drains, flower pots and the like. Try and ignore the timer at the bottom of the screen, which adds an element of pressure at odds with the gentle, ambient puzzling you're asked to perform, and get stuck into this sweet, small game of hide and seek in gay Paris. There's no place like gnome, as the saying goes. (Via Warp Door.)