Free games of the week

The Last Act by A.W. Findlay

This is one of those finger-the-suspect adventure games that are seemingly everywhere now, although The Last Act is a lot more polished and successful at its aims than most. You are a perma-smoking detective by the name of (groan) Gros-Cliche, who has been summoned to a luxury hotel to solve a murder what's been done in one of the rooms. You do this by shuffling yourself around the fancy guest house, by stuffing objects into your elegantly art deco inventory, and of course by theorizing what exactly happened in front of the assembled suspects.

Short-term Battery by Carenalga

You play as a battery with a short-term memory in the appropriately monikered Short-term Battery, an enjoyably strange point and click that's a little like the film Memento. You find yourself in a room with a tantalisingly locked safe, and a tied-up battery that you seemingly restrained yourself—can you figure out why you're there, and what you have to do? Helping you out, at least a little bit, is a note full of instructions—but who wrote them, and can they be trusted?

Door by CMMN CLRS

Door is another side-scrolling adventure game with a mysterious setup, but one that takes place in some vaguely Saw-like puzzle chambers. I like the unusual control scheme, which sees you walking about with the arrow keys and interacting at contextual hotspots, and I love the crunchy, sorta-monochrome pixel art, which introduces a few colours for effect. You'll need to mix potions and manhandle machines to see this puzzley adventure through to its conclusion.

Alluvium by Powerhoof

Developer Powerhoof is a regular contributor to Adventure Jam, and Alluvium is my favourite entry of theirs yet. Stranded on a desert island with (at the very start at least) no hope of rescue, you have to collect and combine items in the traditional fashion, while enjoying a story that takes several surprising, dramatic turns. Alluvium does life-or-death scenarios particularly well, by rewinding to just before the fatal choice rather than making you endure a game over screen every time you make a bad decision.

The colourful pixel art feels appropriately eerie (if a little difficult to discern at times), but the best part of the game is the overwrought voice-over—yep, here's a jam game that's fully voiced, and that's voiced rather adeptly, as well.

Claude and the Phantom by Simon Reid

I bloody love the artwork, the character design, the setting of Claude and the Phantom: a point and click that puts you in the shoes of a balding shop-owner who has been tasked with exorcising the long-dead ghost of a friendly cat. I particularly like the shop itself, which is crammed full of interesting objects that can either be examined or, in a lot of cases, stuffed into your rapidly expanding bag.