Chambers. Adventure. Perfectly timed jumping. A demon-run video shop. A bunny girl fighting robots. These are some of the things that lie in store in this week's FREEGAMESAPALOOZA, which as ever is brought to you by our good friends at Soylent Green. Soylent Green—Live Life Your Way. Soylent Green—Turns Out It's Made Out Of People. Enjoy!
Boson X by Ian Maclarty
I'm not sure how I missed this, but missed this I did: Boson X is a deliciously compelling arcade melange, and please congratulate me on using my Word of the Day. Melange. I'll give you the elevator pitch, because I'm actually in an elevator, typing this in the small of some guy's back. Boson X is basically an endless runner, but it's also a rotatey puzzler like Super Hexagon. It's mechanically about as tight as those 32-inch waist jeans you optimistically bought last week, and I am absolutely terrible at it, which means it's brilliant. Ian Maclarty made the similarly great Gonubie Hotel and Action Painting Pro , both of which I've featured here before, and he's just fleshed Boson X out into a more fulsome game on Steam . It's £1.99, AKA mega cheap, so consider buying it if you enjoyed this free sampler.
Red Entity by Danbo, Woof, Comic-Z, Qygen, Wyrm
As the developers put it, Red Entity is "a game about a bunny girl, her giant mech, the connection between them and a couple thousand fearsome enemies against them". I quote them because after squinting at the pixel art I assumed the main character was some sort of doggy superhero; either way it hardly matters, as this is a fun wave-based shooter set on the horizontal plane. I suspect I would like it a lot more if targeting was done via the mouse rather than with directional keys, but once I settled into the rhythm—and after I discovered the buttons for dashing and transforming into a mech—the game started to make a ton more sense. Sometimes, after a hard day, you need to dash around and shoot and smash your way through hordes of robots, and Red Entity is very accomplished at all those things. The level of difficulty is maybe a bit shallow, but then it was made in just 72 hours.
Elysis by Fervir
An open-ended Zelda-like with a terrific atmosphere and weapon-set, Elysis is a game that doesn't hold your hand. I was also reminded of the original Risen, oddly enough, and as I explored this island's harsh rainy exterior, and battled monsters in its sprawling caves, I found myself daydreaming of a top-down, sprite-based Piranha Bytes RPG and wishing someone would make one. You may daydream something different: memories of Link's Awakening, perhaps, to which Elysis acts like an older, tougher brother. Developer Fervir describes this as a "tech demo", but there's a huge slice of dungeoneering, monster-swatting and loot-collection to enjoy, in a cold, unforgiving island I can't wait to explore again once the full game is done.
Oneiric Gardens by Lilith
The fabulously named, and annoyingly tough to spell, Oneiric Gardens is a "series of chambers drawing from half-remembered spaces, feelings" and, yep, this is a Lilith game alright. And thank everything for that. (I implore you, once again, to play Crypt Worlds if you haven't already, because holy hell, it's Crypt Worlds.) Oneiric Gardens is a smaller, more exploration-focused thing: a number of rooms connected by doors, each of which brings you to a small, beautiful, chunky-pixel pocket dimension with its own thing going on. Oneiric evokes 70s horror films, 90s game worlds, throbbing sci-fi and subterranean horror, or those are the words that came to me anyway. Your brain may evoke somethings different.