Skip to main content

Free games of the week

Ready Set Dress! by Shinbaxter

Imagine Out Run, right, only instead of keeping an eye out for other drivers, you're keeping both eyes on the reckless ladies who have for some reason decided to hold a changing room on the roof of your moving car. That's surely the worst place for a changing room, except perhaps for an active volcano—every time you miss a bend, their fab outfits revert to the default. It's unclear what synaptic explosion resulted in the bizarre idea at the heart of Ready Set Dress!, but it's an original game with excellent sprite art and animations. In it, you have to steer the car around bends while using a couple of keyboard keys to alter the ladies' outfits; it's difficult, is what it is, and I'm awful at it. (Via Warp Door.)

Black Room by Cassie McQuater

The dreamlike Black Room makes excellent use of borrowed pixel art, with developer Cassie McQuater curating and assembling art from other games with great attention to detail. The protagonist, I believe taken from one of the Clock Tower games, treads slowly to the right against some wonderfully surreal backgrounds, which don't actually clash but instead coalesce to form a cohesive dreamscape. There's truth there, as the premise is that you've fallen asleep while browsing the internet, and Black Room is your brain glitching out in a state of semi-consciousness. It's a wild experience that mashes various genres into one, and you should play it, right now if you're able.

All Alone in a Small Island by Frances

All Alone in a Small Island gives you just enough breadcrumbs of narrative that you'll want to perform its repetitious tasks over and over again. Those tasks: walking around your little island to the plot of land where you'll dig, plant, water and gather crops, as you've been told to by the village elders. It's a well, if sparsely written, gardening game, and while it's very basic with it, it's a game that feels rather lovely to play. I like the strict—but not too strict—grid movement, and the inherent snappy clickiness as you move about.

YOU LEFT ME. by Angela He

A beautifully sad, short visual novel about a woman lost in grief and loneliness. Stranded in a depressive state, one day you wake up in a strange world where familiar places, people and objects are turned on their head. It won't take too long to investigate this world, and to interrogate your feelings and memories, but what a slick, gorgeous experience that's far more stylish than a lot of visual novels.

33 Grams by Martin Cohen

An atmospheric sorta-dungeon-crawler where you play as a single silkmoth, no wait, two silkmoths, OK five, OK ten, all flying about in a cavernous dungeon in one elegant swarm. You're trying to expand your silkmoth gang as much as possible before you migrate to each stage's exit, while avoiding (pretty easy to avoid) spike traps along the way. Excellent sound design, sprite art and coding combine to form this confidently minimal, soft freeware game that just feels great to play.