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Free games of the week

Gift by rxi

There are many ways a game can impress me, but the surest is to give the main character a swish sliding move. It worked for Dishonored and the recent Far Cry games, and it's worked for rxi's nimble platformer Gift, which allows you to skate under small gaps like a Winter Olympian. In this physicsy jumping game, you can fling objects, such as rocks, at enemies, but your main task is to carry keys to locked doors, while skillfully evading ghosts and other critters. Use a key on the wrong lock and, as far as I can tell, you'll need to restart, but aside from that wrinkle this is a neat platform game that feels great to control.

Mobility! Accessible precision platformer by Auroriax

I'm less keen on the strange movement mechanics of Mobility—perhaps I would come to appreciate them over time—but I do like the 'school exercise book'-style artwork and the breadth of options on offer, not to mention the original tasks required of you here. Rather than simply leaping towards exit points, you're attempting to make contact with every platform in Mobility's many stages. How exactly you do that—the order in which you touch them—is up to you.

Winter, 2001: Someone tell Luigi I love him by Joey Schutz

In this strange, sad and funny little game, you're reliving childhood nights spent playing Luigi's Mansion with your brother, while Mario sits in front of  TV screen ordering multiple versions of his brother around. It's...yeah. I don't know exactly what's going on here, but every part of this odd tapestry feels appropriate. It might be brief and held together with duct tape, but there's something at the heart of this lightly unsettling game. (Via Warp Door.)

Hyper DOS by Ulydev

I'm no good at Hyper DOS, which means it's probably at least tough enough for fans of this particular genre of game. That genre is: arcadey rotatey shapey puzzle-'em-ups (although I'll happily concede that name if someone can think of a better one). In Hyper DOS, you have to rotate the player shape until it matches the outer shape closing in on you, by tapping the left or right cursor keys. The animation's tops, the music equally so, but as I've already mentioned, I don't have the patience for this type of thing. Maybe you do?

Cosa Nostra by Berudil

In this vaguely Reigns-y management game, you're deciding not for your medieval kingdom but for the Italian Mafia, which is perhaps more appropriate as you're the don of the city's mob. Sitting in your cushty office, you'll hold court with a procession of folks who'll ask you to make interesting choices, related to mob, police or city concerns. Each of these decisions will affect a bank of stats one way or the other; if, for example, your available money dwindles to nothing, or your reputation with the cops increases to 100, the game will end.

Therefore, it's important to keep everything in a state of balance. When you've accrued enough power to attempt a takeover of the city, you can attempt just that—fail, and you'll be deposited back at your desk. This is far less punishing than other, similar games, so don't be afraid to experiment with your choices in this satisfying simulation of mob rule.