Free games of the week

The Colony by Hidden Fields

If you can forgive a little, well OK a lottle bugginess, I'd urge you to give The Colony a play. It's a strange first-person adventure set on a delightfully alien alien planet that reminded me, more than a little, of Pathologic. This surreal sci-fi murder mystery takes place in a boldly stylised, wonderfully textured universe (and one that will hopefully be patched up before too long).

The Herbalist by Rónyai Balázs

Crikey, what a gorgeous game. The Herbalist—a top-down exploration-based adventure that reminded me of Hyper Light Drifter and Pol Clarissou's Orchids to Dusk—puts you in the role of a dying wanderer searching desperately for a specific healing herb. You'll wander a mysterious desert, admiring beautifully drawn scenery as you compare the many native plants to the one, frustratingly rare variety you're looking for, in this short, impressive game that's essentially a top-down walking sim. (Via Warp Door.)

Dogness by molleindustria

You're in control of the puppy state in this satire of exclusionist, racist nationalism. Your job is to create a 'pure', homogeneous dog park with as little diversity as possible, by picking up and dragging pups onto other pups, having them mate to create new dogs, ad nauseum. Time is on fast-forward here, so your little puppers will grow up in an instant, while older members of the park will eventually keel over and die. Against a fairly strict time limit, in this briefly entertaining, silly game, you have to selectively breed the park into the sort of place that would make Adog Hitler proud.

Nuts by Joon

Nuts. Squirrels love 'em so much that they'll hide some for leaner times, and because you're some sort of jerk I guess, you've made it your mission to dig them up in the appropriately titled Nuts. To aid you in your investigation, you have a bunch of TVs and three video cameras, which you can pick up and place around a small wood to help you work out which other tree the squirrel is visiting at night. You can only move the cameras and examine the footage during the daytime, while the squirrel will only move about at night, leading to an asynchronous game of cat and mouse, er, human and squirrel that's one of the more inventive, clever things I've played this year.

Hot Dog Dreamer by ahintoflime

Dreaming of hot dogs is a sure sign that you really enjoy hot dogs, and maybe you're not getting quite enough of them in your waking life. If that's true for you, then you might want to give Hot Dog Dreamer a go. It's a mildly infuriating 3D platformer with a final stage that makes all the falling and flailing worth it—provided you're a keen fan of the bready, sausagey, how-much-is-actually-meat treat. Finally ascend to and claim the fabled golden hot dog, and you'll be transported to a realm of infinite hot dogs, in which you can fly around without worrying about gravity.

Also, you're entirely starkers in Hot Dog Dreamer. Don't ask me what that represents—you're on your own.