Free games of the week

We Become What We Behold by Nicky Case

You represent the media in this short, punchy browser game that's one of the best things to hit this column in ages. And as the media, you're interested in reporting unusual fashions or acts of violence, something you achieve by snapping photographs of people milling about. See a person with a lovely hat, take their image, and before you can say “Holy influential media, Batman!”, you'll see a load more be-hatted people, who have been inspired to adorn the items after seeing your news story.

We Become What We Behold starts off funny like this, but things soon take a nasty, and eventually shocking turn when you begin to take photographs depicting prejudice and violence. That violence begets other violence, and before long the world you're chronicling/influencing has turned to ruin.

Paramedium EX by dinmoney

A brief, fun visual novel that puts you in the role of a paranormal investigator—one who exorcises ghosts by shooting them in the head. There's a nice amount of interaction here, along with some lovely artwork, and writing that will (probably) make you smile. It feels like a chapter from a bigger game, from a more fleshed-out world—one where spooks are sent to a purgatorial prison for the crime of haunting.

SHE by Rémi Bismuth, Maxime Ferrieu

That eye. That creepy, lidless eye that seems to take great delight as it squashes your little dot-people into mush. Escape is impossible, but you can help them survive a little longer by moving them through a Labyrinth (the board game)-style maze. SHE begins a bit like Super Hexagon, but it quickly shirks that comparison by introducing secondary dot-people, who you will also need to keep alive and oh my God I can feel the pressure just by writing about it.

Escape the eye, that horrible eye, if you can. And when you can't, swallow the scream and try again.

Image Striker by terarin

Some days call for a good old-fashioned shoot-'em-up, and here's one that's both good and distinctly old-fashioned. Using a (mostly) monochrome art style that skirts, but somehow avoids, readability issues, Image Striker gives you a ship, and a bunch of enemy ships to explode into tiny bits—and it's very good at putting both those things together. There are a load of different weapon types, some crafty attacks to avoid, and a pretty high level of challenge. (Via Warp Door)

From Darkness by gold extra

A “documentary video game” that—wait, don't run away just yet—isn't quite as edutainment-like as you might expect. It's theatre, essentially: multimedia theatre where the story is transmitted via audio diaries, holographic screens and straight-up FMV, as you wander around a shifting stage in first-person. An intriguing blend, featuring interesting subject matter, and a wonderfully fresh method of delivery.