Survive this lousy Smarch weather by collecting crystal poetry, fighting velociraptors and spike pits, nomming garbage food with a cackling floating skull, and seeing a new (well, an old) perspective on Homeworld. Enjoy!
Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor by Sundae Month
Mort from Planescape: Torment accompanies you (maybe) in this "super early build" of Sundae Month's spaceport janitor game. There's not much to do, and there is lots of scenery to clip through, but there's the beginning here of something potentially very interesting—even if I'm not quite sure what that is yet. "You feel hungry," says the game, and you can satiate this hunger with stuff lying around the low poly desert environment. It's mostly eyeballs at the moment, which turn the screen woozy when gobbled and make it difficult to get about. I have no idea what's going on, or why that skull is following me, and I like that.
There was a Caveman by aamatniekss
TwaC (I love that acronym) is a little like a freebie demake of Volgarr the Viking; it's a difficult platformer set in prehistoric times, when friendly checkpointing hadn't been invented yet. I'm not convinced by the physics in this early alpha version—jumping seems to send you forward a little against your will, making it fiddly to land with precision—but if you're looking for a good, old-fashioned platformer and your significant other has frozen your bank account, then you're in luck. Well, not with the bank thing, but what I'm saying is that you can play TwaC for free. Chrome doesn't like it, of course, but that only means you should play it all the harder.
Hoplite Challenge Mode by Douglas Cowley
After hearing people bang on about Hoplite for must be, no exaggeration, ninety billion years, I finally have a chance to play it without buying an iWhatsit or upgrading my android phone. Or a version of it at least. Hoplite Challenge Mode takes the apparently-very-good puzzley tactical roguelike and mucks about with the mechanics, giving players a fixed bunch of skills for each level and asking them to survive, which is extraordinary difficult of course. Not having played the original Hoplite, I'm in alien territory, but if you have had the pleasure and you're up to a challenge, this seems like a mighty extension of Douglas Cowley's game. You're given absolutely no help, so reading up on the base game is a must. (Ta, RPS.)
Here Is Where I Carve My Heart by Kitty Horrorshow
HIWICMH (I'm all about the acronyms today) is Crackdown but with poetry, and also there's a giant ominous purple pyramid. Blessed with a lovely big jump, your aim is to collect those blue crystals, which emit a lovely sentence when picked up. "A solitary pyramid that exists to remind you that you are wondrous," offers Kitty Horrorshow, and surely we could all use one of those at some point. This is serene, enveloping, and very purple. I like jumping around on a pyramid, because why wouldn't I?
House Globe by Oxeye Game Studio
My definition of "the best free games of the week" is pretty loose, but I'm surprised it hasn't snapped with this latest gratis offering. House Globe was made in 2008, which is ages ago unless you're a time traveller (and if you are, I imagine you'd be too busy rolling around in money and assassinating Hitlers to bother reading this column). Having stumbled upon it this week though, it seemed like an apposite time to bring it to your attention, particularly given it's subject matter. It's a 2D, pixel art demake of Homeworld, the elegant space opera recently spruced up by Gearbox.
You can play multiplayer online, you can play on your own, but whichever mode you choose you'll be greeted by a superb realisation of Homeworld's glacial resource-gathering, building, and frigate-exploding action. It even begins with bloody Adagio for Strings! It might take a while to find an enemy in the sizable map, but you'll need the time to shore up your army, using the gorgeous build menu, which is narrated by a GLaDOS-like AI.