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David Brown

David Brown's Free Play | UFOs, Sweatshops and SIN

Author:
David Brown
Category:
Features
Tags:
Browser games, Download games, Flash games, Free Play, PC games

David Brown's Free Play | UFOs, Sweatshops and SIN

The best way to get down to Sin City is obviously in the SIN Car, powered as it is by the evil thoughts and blasphemous deeds of its driver. That is, you. So if you've got the ladders and snakes, roll those loaded dice and and put the champagne on ice.

Enough AC/DC lyrics already. You get to drive a car and on the way you can collect tokens to boost your score. Simple stuff, except you control the movement of the vehicle by extending the track, which is formed like a sound wave.

Move the mouse up and the waves get longer, move the mouse down and they get shorter. Obstacles extend out from the sides of the course, so you've got to bend the waves to avoid them.

Not to worry. Dave's unearthed a trove of other free treasures this week to keep you entertained.

David Brown's Free Play | Zombies, Werewolves And Little Coloured Blocks

Author:
David Brown
Category:
Features
Tags:
Flash games, Free Play, Freeware, PC games

David Brown's Free Play | Zombies, Werewolves And Little Coloured Blocks

Can't you people just leave me alone? I'm right in the middle of a Champions League chase with Liverpool in Football Manager 2012 and you're asking me to stop to run through the latest puzzle-platformers and woeful art games? Have you no compassion for a man hopelessly addicted?

Right, so if you're still reading, you obviously are a cold, heartless swine who demands information on free games and will stop at nothing to get it. Fine, I'll just pause the game with Wolves and have a little rummage around, see what I can find.

David Brown's Free Play | Zombies, Werewolves And Little Coloured Blocks

Ah, here's something. Unlock is a puzzler involving breaking a pixellated man out of prison by moving blocks about. You do this by using the arrow keys to move a cursor about, selecting a set of coloured blocks with Space and then moving them so your guy can exit the screen.

It starts out farcically easy and gradually gets tougher until you give up, not wanting to bother any more. Until that moment, whenever you reach it, it's a reasonably simplistic-yet-interesting little number.

Click here to read more...

David Brown's Free Play | A Tactical Lunchbox Of Tricks

Author:
David Brown
Category:
Features
Tags:
Free Play, PC games

David Brown's Free Play | A Tactical Lunchbox Of Tricks

Taking things apart is one of the things we do in games. We take things apart with guns or swords, dismembering humans or used-to-be-humans on a regular basis without batting an eyelid. We disassemble (or deconstruct) tactical plans in strategy games, before developing our own based on the inner workings of the enemy.

But we don't often take lunch boxes apart. That's what you have to do in this Japanese language title, Dismantlement – Lunch, which involves solving puzzles to break/snap/take bits off or out of the box. First you have to crack the code to get into it, then remove individual pieces by mucking about with various conundrums inside, including a personal favourite involving letters.

David Brown's Free Play | A Tactical Lunchbox Of Tricks

There are no hints for any of the puzzles, so you'll certainly get stumped by at least one of them at some point, which can be off-putting, but otherwise it's a simple puzzle game that can wile away a few minutes should you tire of more exhausting pursuits, like running over pedestrians or snapping the necks of innocent guards.

Click here to read more...

NBA 2K12 Review | A Grand Slam Dunk

Author:
David Brown
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
"K Sports, Basketball games, NBA 2K12, Sports Games, Visual Concepts

NBA 2K12 Review | A Grand Slam Dunk

Platform: PC (version tested) | Xbox 360 | PlayStation 3
Developer: Visual Concepts
Publisher: 2K Sports

Another year, another basketball season, another NBA 2K game. And yes, another success. Except for ‘another basketball season’ bit, as it looks (at the time of writing) like the lockout will scupper it and you’ll have to resort to watching Deron Williams and Luol Deng strutting their stuff in Turkey or Spain.

But as for the game itself, it’s like there was never a pay dispute related to the odd million dollars here and there. Oh, except for the fact none of this season’s rookies are in the game, which is a bit rubbish, but not 2K’s fault. One would imagine that they would be patched in if the lock out is avoided.

NBA 2K12 Review | A Grand Slam Dunk

All the current stars are present and correct though, including a load of classic players like Dr J, Karl Malone and some guy called Jordan. They take pride of place on the redesigned front end in the NBA’s Greatest Mode, although there’s no room for Yinka Dare, perplexingly (sarcasm).

It’s a nice distraction, and will eat up a good deal of playing time, but obviously the meat of the game is in the regular team modes and, of course, the My Player mode, which is still the best example of its kind in all of sports entertainment.

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David Brown's Free Play | In Which We Learn How To Direct A Play

Author:
David Brown
Category:
Features
Tags:
Browser games, Free Play, PC games

David Brown's Free Play | In Which We Learn How To Direct A Play

It's Sunday morning, I overslept and now it's time to play some freeware games. Today, you see, I don't want to play freeware games, not at all. But you, you slavering pack of wild dogs baying for the blood and sweat of indie developers, you demand it of me. So I must obey, your humble servant. But it won't stop me calling you a bunch of ****ers for it, though.

Right, so you want games? Here, have Legends of Kong, which doesn't look like it has anything to do with giant monkeys or that female wrestler out of TNA. But is this Kong awesome or is it just sitting around stripping the leaves off twigs? (Actually it seems to be a tribute to Kongregate.)

You've been sent to deal with an 'incident' by the CEO of an international arms company, so naturally you don't get given any weapons until you buy them. I mean, come on, you're on a top secret, deadly serious mission but that won't stop them refusing to provide you with the tools you need to complete it. That's capitalism for you.

David Brown's Free Play | In Which We Learn How To Direct A Play

But anyway, once you get into the fight, armed only with your bare fists, it turns out to be a flick-screen action-platformer. Enemies have been mind-controlled by an unknown force and you and a cowardly robot buddy have to descend into the maelstrom and kick ass in the name of international gun peddling.

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David Brown's Free Play | May Contain Swears

Author:
David Brown
Category:
Features
Tags:
Bondage, Free Play, PC games

David Brown's Free Play | May Contain Swears

We're liberal folks here at Dealspwn and can handle even the most sensitive of topics with calm, balanced comment. So when a “lesbian dating sim with BDSM elements” plopped through our browser's mailbox and positively screamed to be played (possibly after being whipped or tortured into doing so) we knew that making cheap jokes about leather or chains would be right out.

But what exactly is an S&M date? The Case of the Vanishing Entree aims to explore this concept via the medium of text and via a website with the words “Encyclopedia Fuckme” on it. So, yeah, if your boss can't handle something with “filthy nasty dirty stuff” in it, you might not want to gather round the co-workers for a quick blast (as it were).

One thing first – she, one Ms. Anna Anthropy, uses the word “fucking” a lot. Far too much, in fact. I get that it's meant to be 'gritty', 'the language of reality' and so on, but it's gratuitous here. Too much and it loses its impact.

David Brown's Free Play | May Contain Swears

Anyway, you've got a date and it's got a lot of potential, but things don't necessarily go to plan. Playing out like a Choose Your Own Adventure story, you'll generally have two options to select to see what happens.

Click here to read more...

David Brown's Free Play | How To Defeat An Evil Trivial Pursuit Wedge

Author:
David Brown
Category:
Features
Tags:
Antagonist, Free Play, Netpack, PC games, Super Springbreak Speedboat Hero SD

David Brown's Free Play | How To Defeat An Evil Trivial Pursuit Wedge

Let's cut the pre-match team talk and walk straight out on the pitch to face this week's digital opponents, shall we? Lining up in goal for the enemy is a game about racing through a 3D world in a speedboat, avoiding the motorised seafarer's most common enemy: the dinosaur.

Sharks also pop up, but sadly they're not a patch on the Megalodon and this doesn't star a rampantly heterosexual John Barrowman suggesting he chew out the nether regions of a wooden co-star.

Anyway, you can choose to either race or, if you're ambitious, build and share a track. Racing is very easy to pick up, but difficult to master, with the arrow keys controlling your craft and the R key restarting should you screw things up.

Before each race, you can see the track being 'built' in front of you, providing a quick chance to plot a course in an attempt to beat your best time, which can then be shared as a “can you do better?” challenge on Twitter, Facebook or via the old school method of copying and pasting a special link to wherever you choose.

David Brown's Free Play | How To Defeat An Evil Trivial Pursuit Wedge

Along your way, you can get your speed boosted with handily placed chevrons, crash into the snapping maws of the aforementioned sharks or have the dinosaurs sweeping, bobbing heads knock you off course.

Even without the addition of the social media thing, it'd be addictive stuff, but with it there's a massive incentive to keep plugging away and shaving seconds off your time. And being browser-based, it's very accessible.

So for this reason, we're going to award a totally pointless and irrelevant Game of the Week award to Super Springbreak Speedboat Hero SD.

Click here to read more...

David Brown's Free Play | Nightmares, Voyeurism And a Bison

Author:
David Brown
Category:
Features
Tags:
Free Play, Freeware, PC games

David Brown's Free Play | Nightmares, Voyeurism And a Bison

'Do you like to watch? Yeah, I bet you do, watching away, too scared to get involved yourself. You make me sick!' That's what you'll be saying to anyone who plays The King's League, a game in which you play an elderly monarch looking to find an heir to his throne, a task he is looking to complete by inviting brave young things to battle it out for his vicarious pleasure.

The voyeuristic patriarch of this kingdom needs first to recruit units that will serve him and then train them up. Over time you'll get more units coming through of different types – soldiers, archers and so on – all of which need training in one of six attributes.

You have to pay them all a monthly salary, so you can't just hire indiscriminately. After a few days the King's League tournament begins, where you can pit your jolly japesters against those of a rival, let's say, nobleman from the area (no idea, just sounds like it could make sense).

David Brown's Free Play | Nightmares, Voyeurism And a Bison

Battle soon commences and you just sit back and do nothing, hoping the troops you've selected have enough of what it takes to win the day.

It's a strange one, really. There's a degree of tactics involves, in that you need to think about what the enemy might throw at you and try to field a balanced force. But, then again, you're not actually doing anything, just basically playing a management game.

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Rock of Ages Review | Keep Rollin', Rollin' Rollin'

Author:
David Brown
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
ACE Team, Atlus, Rock of Ages, Strategy games

Rock of Ages Review | Keep Rollin', Rollin' Rollin'

Platforms: PC | XBLA
Developer: ACE Team
Publisher: Atlus

The game’s called Rock of Ages, so that means we need a heavy metal soundtrack on while playing. So, to the sound of a Godflesh, it’s time to get our balls out and start them rolling.

Rock of Ages mixes an exploration of various historical periods and characters with bowling. And utter lunacy, of course. To describe it as ‘quirky’ would be wildly understating the game’s uniqueness. And naturally it’s absurdly simple as well. Perhaps a bit too much so, but we’ll come back to that.

Rock of Ages Review | Keep Rollin', Rollin' Rollin'

The object is simple: take your big boulder and roll it down increasingly complex courses until you see the gate of your enemy’s stronghold. Smash into it and then wait for your next rock to be constructed by an army of slaves. Then repeat.

While waiting for the next boulder to appear, you can place defences to stop your opponent from smashing your back door down (as it were). As you progress through the single player mode, you get more and more to choose from, and they get weirder as you go along as well.

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Dead Island Review

Author:
David Brown
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Braiiiiiiins, Dead Island, Deep Silver, FPS games, Techland, Zombie games
Discuss:
Dead Island | PC | Playstation 3 | Xbox 360

Dead Island Review

Platforms: PC (co-op version tested)Xbox 360PlayStation 3 (version tested)
Developer: Techland
Publisher: Deep Silver

Here's a question for you. What's the most important thing you'll need in a zombie apocalypse? Is it a weapon or a medkit? An ability to run really fast? Perhaps even an immunity to the infection, if that's what's making people 'go zombie' like it is here in Dead Island?

No, the most important thing, if you're stuck on the made up island of Banoi is to have loads and loads of cash, because it can do anything. Money can repair your broken weapons, it can provide an incentive to get you to go out there and find things for others and it can also resurrect you when you do get taken out by the undead.

Dead Island Review

Dead Island runs on the dollar and people are gree-f**king-dy. $2,000 for a Dependable Baseball Bat? In a time of crisis? Something seems wrong here. Surely the person everyone seems to be depending on to save them shouldn't have to buy the weapons he or she needs to survive? Wouldn't they just give them up in their own best interests? Or at least trade them so they still have something in case they get attacked?

Anyway, enough of that. For those who are unaware, this is an open world game set on a tropical island that's undergone an unexplained infection that's made 99% of the inhabitants develop a penchant for groaning, eating human flesh and given them the ability to respawn after a few minutes.

Click here to read more...

David Brown's Free Play | What To Do When Seagulls Steal Your Ham

Author:
David Brown
Category:
Features
Tags:
Free Play, Freeware, Ham, PC games

David Brown's Free Play | What To Do When Seagulls Steal Your Ham

Hello there, welcome to the premium free detritus of the web column, where you get all the news you'll ever need (ish) in one nugget-sized column. So cover these words in the invisible ketchup spewing from your eyes and read on, maybe dipping a chip into them every so often.

First into the sauce is Victory, a puzzle-platformer that doesn't exactly start out in a challenging way. The first few levels are simpler than a Premier League footballer, although they have ludicrously pretentious little quotes describing them.

Ignoring them in order to stem the riding tide of anger, it's fortunate that the easiness doesn't last for long. After a while of just hopping up onto a couple of platforms and up through the exit, you'll finally begin to notice the walls closing in from each side, forcing a bit more urgency in how you approach each level.

David Brown's Free Play | What To Do When Seagulls Steal Your Ham

Then you remember you can also spawn crates, which hasn't been an issue up until now. Eventually it starts to become, while not massively challenging, at least engaging enough to be worth a go.

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David Brown's Free Play | Detectives, Telepaths And Sake Wrestling

Author:
David Brown
Category:
Features
Tags:
Free Play, Freeware, PC games

David Brown's Free Play | Detectives, Telepaths And Sake Wrestling

After a weekend away, the last thing one might want to do is come back and immediately get stuck into the best of the previous week's free games, but such is the life of a columnist. Everyone else is tucked up in bed with their cocoa and their loved one/favourite sex toy in their... actually, let's stop there.

Let's just get stuck into the games instead. First up is a one-button puzzler called Ichi, which sadly has nothing to do with the Takashi Miike film, Ichi the Killer. That combination would have been an interesting game, but that's for another day.

This is 20 megabyte download and involves completing 15 levels by collecting the shiny yellow circle on each one. To do this, you need to guide a laser beam from its starting position to the yellow circle, or multiple ones on later levels.

David Brown's Free Play | Detectives, Telepaths And Sake Wrestling

You do this by rotating a red triangle so the laser beam deflects off it and continues on its journey. Sometimes the walls are broken or jagged, so if you send the beam into them, it's level over and you have to try again.

Click here to read more...

David Brown's Free Play | 40th Issue Special

Author:
David Brown
Category:
Features
Tags:
CryEngine, Free Play, Freeware, PC games

David Brown's Free Play | 40th Issue Special

Woo yeah! Free games! A column dedicated to them that arrives on or around the beginning of the week, but that's for some reason not appeared until today! That's what we've got here, folks, in case you were unaware of the reason for what we're doing.

Today, as it's the 40th column I've keyed into Dealspwn, we're going to celebrate by focusing on a sprawl of games, not three as is usual, or even one long glance like last time, but seven tasty little numbers.

Yes, seven. A magnificent number. Kenny Dalglish's number. A good number on a craps table, I believe (could be wrong, am reaching here).

One is a good number too, and there's no better place to start on a list going from, well, one to seven. Numero uno today is named after a David Bowie song, The Man Who Sold The World, and although I really don't like anything Bowie's ever done, except the Nomad Soul game he appeared in, why not take a look at this?

David Brown's Free Play | 40th Issue Special

It's 'artistic', which is usually another word for 'pretentious drivel platformer'. And lo, it is a platformer. What a surprise. But hang on, let's not get ahead of ourselves here. It might be ok, you never know. The music's pleasant enough, after all.

Oh, spoke too soon, the music soon turns into utterly dreadful bleepy shite. It's a basic platforming affair with reasonable controls, it turns out, with some pretty awful music blasting your eardrums during the first level. It does get better, audio-wise, but the platforming is too basic to be of much interest for long.

Check out the rest of Dave's extended roundup after the break...

David Brown's Free Play | Fight To Find Your Inner Self

Author:
David Brown
Category:
Features
Tags:
Free Play, Freeware, PC games, The End

David Brown's Free Play | Fight To Find Your Inner Self

Bet you thought that was the end, didn't you? “Where's my favourite ever internet column that I never feel compelled to comment on?” you would almost certainly have been thinking (We did actually get one or two concerned emails about this! - Ed.). Well, it was just on a little hiatus. People in the games industry are allowed to take breaks too, you know.

But yes, we're back in the free gaming house, full of vim, vigour, verve and maybe even some vinegar. And this week, we've got something that was obviously inspired by the disappearance of this column, namely The End.

David Brown's Free Play | Fight To Find Your Inner Self

The end is just the beginning, the site says. It also says there's an epic quest of personal discovery awaiting anyone who dares to start. Someone with less integrity might pretend to review the game by just looking at the handy summary text and images found on the main site and extrapolating from there.

But not us! Hit the jump for the rest of Dave's discerning appraisal...

David Brown's Free Play | Puzzles, Horror and Zomgies

Author:
David Brown
Category:
Features
Tags:
Browser games, Free Play, Freeware, PC games

Promising last week that this would be the end of us featuring games with zombies in them, the first title up for examination this time out features zombies. Promises are meant to be broken, after all.

But be fair, they're called Zomgies this time, and a G can make all the difference. Although it doesn't really. They're still zombies, unless the G is there to indicate that these ones don't stumble and shamble, but sprint and chase.

Anyway, this second installation features 14 levels and three difficulty settings, and lots of bloody explosions. That is, explosions of blood, not a cursed number of them. You'll be constantly moving from left to right, with zomgies chasing you and appearing in front. Shoot them with your pistol or whatever weapons you find, or toss explosives at them.

You can even get into vehicles and run them down, which is a good laugh. Health drops and antidote capsules can be collected, though what the latter do other than being there to collect and counting towards your end of level score is beyond us.

Click here for more Free Play goodness...

David Brown's Free Play | Astrology and Zombies

Author:
David Brown
Category:
Features
Tags:
Browser games, Free Play, Freeware, PC games

Do you remember those Choose Your Own Adventure books from the 80s? They were great, weren't they? I mean, not great in terms of the quality of prose or anything, but to young and impressionable minds, being able to alter the course of the narrative even just a little bit was a big thing.

Age grew into the Fighting Fantasy books, Lone Wolf and perhaps the pinnacle of that literary genre, the Way of the Tiger series. This is all relevant because this week's first game brings back a few of those (ancient) memories. Ah, to be young and full of ideas of what a Teeth of Tiger throw would actually look like in real life.

So, anyway, The Sagittarian is like that, reading a paragraph or two, making a decision and seeing where that takes you. There are three chapters, none of which are massively long, so it won't outstay its welcome and will be finished easily enough.

Click here to read more...

David Brown's Free Play | Fat Wizards and Little Balls

Author:
David Brown
Category:
Features
Tags:
Free Play, Freeware, PC games


Being in the middle of a house move makes playing games tricky, even if it's for work-related reasons. However, fret ye not, this week's collection of freeware efforts has been extensively scouted in the few minutes between filling mugs with brown paper and shoving them into boxes.

Fat Wizard is another AdultSwim effort with a 'humourous' edge, a pseudo-tower defence game that sees you as the titular magic user attempting to fend off enemies who want to destroy/steal your precious red egg. Presumably because they want to make a full English breakfast with it, who knows?

The motives of your assailants aside, you'll achieve your goal by erecting (giggle – childish Ed) fences, casting spells and beating off (giggle – childish Ed) your foes any way you can.

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David Brown's Free Play | Malaria, Dogfighting and A Game So Addictive It Could Get You Fired

Author:
David Brown
Category:
Features
Tags:
Freeware, PC games


The British summer is here, complete with reduced work ability due to high pollen counts and the need to down allergy relief capsules every so often. Even the ravages of hay fever won't stop your intrepid reporter from rounding up a collection of free games for you to consider, though.

Speaking of diseased creatures, here's Mosquito & Cow, where you play the titular insect trying to extract blood and spread malaria to your bovine arch nemesis. Actually, can cows get malaria? Of course, even if they couldn't get it, the cows still don't want to be drained of their life's blood, so you'll need to be a bit tricky, a bit devious if you want to suckle on their throbbing veins.

You may have learned if you read last week's entry that an … interesting art style will do a lot to attract your reporter to a game, and yes, Mosquito & Cow does indeed feature a washed out grey/slightly brown-tinged black and white environment, with the cows looking rather rectangular and, it has to be said, quite cute as well.

Click here for more Free Play offerings...

F.E.A.R. 3 Review | Doesn't Exactly Live Up To Its Name

Author:
David Brown
Category:
Reviews
Tags:
Day 1 Studios, F.3.A.R., FPS games, PC games, PS3 games, Warner Bros. Interactive, Xbox 360 games
Discuss:
F.E.A.R. 3 | PC | Playstation 3 | Xbox 360

Platforms: PC (version tested) | Xbox 360 | PlayStation 3
Developer: Day 1 Studios
Publisher: Warner Bros. Interactive

Boo! If that scared you, welcome to the world of F.3.A.R / F.E.A.R 3 / Fear 3 and watch yourself, things like that'll be happening all the time.

If it didn't scare you, then the third F.E.A.R (from now on, it'll just be Fear 3, as it's easier to type) will cause you no problems at all, because the shock tactic is the only method it employs to unnerve the player. Compared to something like Amnesia it's like watching Blue Peter. Admittedly a Blue Peter where Valerie Singleton is disembowelled by a maniacal Mark Curry, but still.

Perhaps it would have been scarier or at least more atmospheric if there'd been any real sense of connection with the world around you, but as you'll pretty much be asking the “wait, why exactly am I doing this?” question for most of your time with it, this connection never happens.

Why do you start in a prison? Why is the prison in Mexico? How come your brother's ghost makes very loud footstep noises? Why is the main character suddenly able to 'sync' with the souls of the selected dead?

Want the answers? Hit the jump for more...

David Brown's Free Play | How To Road Trip For Free

Author:
David Brown
Category:
Features
Tags:
Extreme Road Trip, Free Play, Freeware, PC games, Revolutions, Skinny
Discuss:
PC

FREEPLAY

Last week's effort was rather blighted by the curse of the E3 thing that happened over in that US place. Fortunately, that's all done and dusted for one year and the final dregs and previews-of-not-so-important-games have finally been put up, so people are beginning to release new freeware games again.

One of the cornerstones of this column is that the games featured have to be of interest to me, so sometimes we'll ignore the buzz surrounding a title if it doesn't strike any particular chords with your commentator here.

There was virtually nothing of interest last time out, but having done some digging, a few items have emerged from the primordial ooze, ready for inspection. The first of them is Extreme Road Trip, which caught the eye because of the name.

Click here for more Free Play goodness...