Free games of the week

Don't Do That! by Martin Gebske, Martin Beierling, Huu Long, Thi Hong Duong, Johannes Freimuth, Max(-Michael) Klostermann

In this fun, top-down, Pac-Man-ish game you play as a wizard attempting to perform a (surprisingly meat-based) ritual. This involves pootling around an arcane library in search of said meaty chunks, before depositing them in your cauldron, and then beginning the entire process all over again. A clowder of cats is, of course, out to stop you, following you around and nipping at your heels—however, they can be distracted by dropping catty treats, or indeed by dropping bombs that will explode them to smithereens.

Response by Ryan Dombrowski, Kale Brownell

The wonderfully animated Response, meanwhile, is a game about intervening in troubling situations—you play as a sort of capeless crusader who appears out of nowhere to fix strangers' problems. These problems include rescuing a cat from a tree or fixing a car's broken engine, but if you explore far enough you'll come across a far more pressing event that seems destined to end in tragedy either way. I love Response's dense little neighborhood, its spritework and music, and the overall atmosphere that these things help to create.

Ground Floor Z by Ink

There's a little bit of Elevator Action in this lift-based action game, in which you have to juggle your need to save people, with your need to blast monstrous zombie people into gory chunks. You do this by moving up and down floors inside a particularly brisk lift, shooting from your stationary position to eradicate the undead threat, while doing your darndest not to fire at innocent civilians along the way. It's a concept that works well, and that escalates nicely—before long, this turns into a game of spinning plates.

The Gate by ThirtyThree Games

OK, so The Gate didn't quite come out this week—it debuted back in 2014—but it's new to me, and it's just arrived on itch.io, so same difference really. It's an interesting, wonderfully presented bit of interactive fiction set by and around a mysterious gate. Can you unravel its secrets, using an...irregular set of verbs: Walk, Look, Smell and, er, Rhyme? Finally, a game where you can rhyme your way out of trouble—or deeper into it, depending on which ending you get.

Takume: The Dreaming Daughter by talecrafter, Lara Kaaa, James Dean, Chris Early

There's a wonderful sense of depth to the environments of this stonking adventure game, which eschews traditionally presented scenes for the sidescrolling stages you might expect from a platform game. As you explore this eerie and beautiful forest in search of your lost sister, you'll encounter odd spirits, people and animals, who will help to illuminate (however briefly) the enigmatic world.