Repair a frightful machine in free horror game Please

(Image credit: Tom Sykes)

Please continues one of 201X's grand traditions: the revival of late-'90s-ish horror games, like you might find on the original PlayStation or the Sega Saturn. (And, of course, the PC, but that's not really the look most are going for.) Somewhat's Please is the latest. It's a tense, short delve into an ambiguous world where a janitor looks after a great machine. You are that janitor. Please ignore the horrible noises and do your job.

The game works because it's vague, unclear, nothing is explained. You wake up in a building, seemingly a city apartment building where unsettling noises are heard behind the other residents' doors. Every day you have to nip down to the basement, where a huge clanking machine resides, and repair some boxes, or flip some big switches. There's effective use of jump cuts as you go about your janitorial business, and an exceptional ending lying in wait that uses the game's pixellated nature in a purposeful way.

I was reminded of Amnesia: A Machine For Pigs, but this is the short story version of that: all the feeling, the mood, with none of the exposition or characters to reassuringly frame it as a coherent narrative. Please is a nightmarish sketch that refuses to congeal into a story, something you can only really get away with in a free ten minute horror game. Long may this fine tradition continue. (Thanks, Alpha Beta Gamer.)

For more great free experiences, check out our roundup of the best free PC games.

Tom Sykes

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.