Skip to main content

Free games of the week

Joanie by Joey Schutz

Some of the actions that you're asked to perform are a little finicky, but that's my only complaint about this sweet narrative adventure that gives life to a collection of boxy robot people. With scenes transitioning for you, in the Brendon Chung style, you're free to focus on the more important business of chopping vegetables, and bunging stuff into a pot, as you follow the recipe for your grandma's potato soup—even as the story breaks the confines of the tiny kitchen. Joanie comes in two varieties, the other being a VR version, for added immersion inside this charming world.

Cyborg Seppuku by Malte Burup

Now that's how you draw a cyberpunk dystopia: in daylight and with Moebius' pencil case. Short point-and-click adventure Cyborg Seppuku asks you to go looking for your wife—however, to reach her you'll have to sacrifice parts of yourself. Your goal for the game is to rid yourself of your implants: an act referred to here as, well, the name of the game. It's great to see a cyber-world that isn't draped in trenchcoats and dazzling neon, and as such this is a lovely world to prod around in.

What Goes Up by Mati Ernst, Itamar Ernst, Yotam Frid

...Must come down, right? Wrong. You can jump in this thoughtfully made puzzle-platformer, but you can't come down again, at least via the normal means of gravity. With your usual platforming repertoire interrupted, jarringly, you have to rely on ladders, and your handy grappling hook to bypass spikes and fanagle your body to each stage exit. A good concept, this, developed with skill into a good puzzle game.

Sol Hemochroma by Aether Interactive

Sol Hemochroma is the latest from the developers of Arc Symphony and Forgotten, two games you should definitely play. This one's a more straightforward visual novel that reminded me a little of Brendan Patrick Hennessy's terrific Known Unknowns, in that it's a supernatural adventure starring a bunch of cool teenagers. After a long lead up that neatly lays the groundwork for this interactive horror story, you're dispatched to your town's requisite Spooky House to snoop around, a la Scooby Doo.

Last Gleam by Securas, QuijiPixel

The world has ended (boo hoo and all that), but there is some scant hope in the form of a light in the distance, that seems to indicate the presence of other humans. To reach it you'll have to run and leap and shove boxes about, keeping an eye on your draining HP bar, but also your stamina bar that will trip you up sometimes. Zombies lie between you and precious health-restoring food crates, creatures you'll dispatch with a seriously satisfying pistol. Some of the deaths feel a little unfair in Last Gleam, but the checkpoints are numerous, and it's great fun firing that (infinite ammo) pistol.