Free games of the week

The Visible City by Colestia

Lampposts are more than just dog lavatories: they're a tool used by the state to keep order and ensure the status quo. Or at least, that's what they represent in the pretty real-time strategy-ish game The Visible City. You're trying to stop a district in Paris from succumbing to revolution, something you achieve by distributing bobbies (to tackle revolutionaries) and engineers (to fix broken street lights). It's a simple, strong idea, delivered with elegance.

Ministry of Synthesis by Impbox Games

I think we can all agree that waveforms are cool, and it's those wobbly, chunky, spiky lines you have to manipulate to progress in the tough but novel Ministry of Synthesis. To unlock each door, you have to connect the correct sound device to the appropriate switch-a-ma-jig, by physically dragging cables from machine to machine. It's a lovely, original idea that will test your knowledge of waveforms in all their, er, forms.

Air Mail by rubna

In a parallel dimension, one likely full of plane enthusiasts and short on sensible people, letters are delivered, one at a time, by one overworked delivery pilot, who drags the missives from hither to thither, probably all day long. That's more or the less the setup for the wonderfully tactile Air Mail, which puts you in the shoes of a little pilot with a lovely plane in a peaceful, pastoral environment.

It's a bit of a shame that it's so difficult to find the correct recipient for each letter, but I just love how you have to manually drag each missive to the rear of your plane, and refuel by doing the same with cans of gas. There's a knack to getting off the ground too, making flight feel somewhat skillful and highly satisfying. (Via Warp Door.)

Everust by Breogán Hackett

“Your robot body is failing you. You need to be somewhere safe. There's a blip on your radar.”

What a fantastic setup for a first-person sorta-climbing-game, where you have to ascend an industrial structure against the clock. Well, not exactly the clock, but against a harshly depleting power meter that has to be satiated constantly by scattered energy orbs. I couldn't make it very far into the delightfully titled, less delightfully challenging Everust, but I enjoyed navigating the great, factorial structure that lies at its cold, robotic heart.

Earthling Priorities by Konstantinos Dimopoulos, James Spanos, Daniele Giardini, Chris Christodoulou

The long, long, long-in-development Earthling Priorities was very much worth the wait, as it's a politically aware, attractive, and funny freeware adventure set in a futuristic dystopia. In this traditional point-and-click, you're a worker so low down on the pecking order that your door one day forbids you to go to work, because you're so inessential that it would be an utter waste of time. Your bad day only continues from there, in this fairly puzzling, slightly rough-around-the-edges adventure, accompanied by a fab soundtrack from the composer of Risk of Rain.