Free games of the week

Emily is Away by Kyle Seeley

Emily Is Away

A wonderfully presented and authentically written adventure game set in an MSN-style messenger client. The look of this early-2000s-set piece of interactive fiction is spot-on, mimicking Windows XP, and Microsoft's popular chat program, in a pretty nostalgic way. The game itself plays out like a more hands-on Digital: A Love Story, but with added Telltale-style "Emily will remember that", and with branching dialogue.

Good Luck Gardener by Farfin

Good Luck Gardener

There's no ending that I can find, and no challenge really in this cutely dark gardening game, but I enjoyed the repetitious nature of Good Luck Gardener enough to see it through to its non-conclusion. To spoil pretty much everything—oh yeah, spoiler warning—you're a helpful gardening ghost, except you're not helpful at all, you're a spectral jerk. Plant cards, dice and coins in the expanding graveyard, then feed them to some happy humans. Some worried humans. Some ill-looking humans oh they're all dead.

Man, ghosts are assholes.

Binoculars Game by Jake Clover

Binoculars Game

Wander around a couple of swampy locations in this sludgy, atmospheric game from Jake Clover. You can move right, and you can use your binoculars to look at a scene that resembles the one you're in. Look at all the little details, lose yourself in the weird scene. I love his clip-art-looking pixel art so much.

Skeleton Flower by Loren Schmidt

Skeleton Flower

Similar to Emily is Away, or a lot of modern adventure games, Loren Schmidt's Skeleton Flower gives you control over a fake operating system. You're looking at photos from someone's life that have been compressed into 1x1 resolution images—not much to go on, perhaps, but the accompanying capture date and description text help to illuminate things a bit.

A bit. It's still a very cryptic game, but a masterfully fake-glitchy one with it.

Where is Cat? by Bart Bonte

Where is Cat

This is basically Where's Wally, but with a cat. Bart Bonte worked with his kids to make this—they drew a lot of the objects, came up with the story, and made the artwork you can see above—and the result is one of the loveliest hidden object games I've played. It's possibly the funniest, too, capturing the greedy, mysterious, and cute nature of real cats everywhere.