Login | Signup

David Brown's Free Play | 40th Issue Special

David Brown
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.

Second on the rack is Tanooky Tracks, which has a name that doesn't appeal at all. What it does have is the ability to confound you, as it isn't a bollocks racing game (actually, a testicle racing game might be interesting – Ed) but actually a really quite nicely visualised adventure.

Tanookys are playful spirits, apparently, and they're playing silly buggers in the house of a man with a quiff and a woman with green pointy hair.

David Brown's Free Play | 40th Issue Special

It's one screen and a hint book, basically. Get a riddle, solve it to find an object and uncover the, groan, tanooky that's hiding. Do that for all of them and you're done.

Not too much, but it looks nice and hidden object games with a twist are, perversely, not the worst thing to play as a time waster. Plus you can get a non-gaming partner to play it too, convincing him or her that gaming isn't just Mario and massive phallus-shaped guns.

Flee Buster is next and isn't about crushing misspelled insects. It's about helping three friends run away via the medium of running and jumping. On platforms.

Yes, it's another platform game, but this time at least it's more intriguing than our first entry. You have to avoid being beamed up into an alien space ship, where no doubt probes will be inserted and the footage leaked to the Fox Network. Avoiding this means using the trusty arrow keys and collecting tokens, with the twist being every so often, you'll suddenly switch to the next character.

David Brown's Free Play | 40th Issue Special

This really helps keep things interesting, as one second you're playing a platformer, then next you're guiding a spaceship away from some massive chomping, well, heads with sharp teeth. Then you are platforming again, but this time in control of a spider creature.

It's actually good fun and proves you don't need pretentious cobblers about saving the spirit of the Earth to make a decent platformer. Well worth a look. Only real issue is the lack of any checkpoints and having to go right back to the start when you die. Other than that, gold.

Everyone loves crazy golf, and if you don't, you're a ****ing idiot. Yes, I went there. Anyway, Wonderputt is a putting game on Kongregate. That's kind of it, except, as a putting game, that means it's instantly fun to play.

The music's off-putting (geddit?) but the game is quite delightful. Well, yeah, it's not that good, but it is fun, promise. There are 18 holes spread across a couple of levels. Get past a hole and you get rated, and you move to the next. Simple stuff.

David Brown's Free Play | 40th Issue Special

As you go, the holes get harder. Actually, what else am I supposed to write here? It's a putting game, that's it. Just go play it and expect to putt balls into holes. It's just that, with colourful graphics and music you'll want to mute.

Oh, I suppose there is one more thing – it's really quite difficult on the later holes. Just a warning. And the visuals are more than just colourful, they're very imaginative, especially in the way the new holes are created. Great stuff.

Rainbow Jail is more traditional, mixing elements of Tetris with block-matching games and a prison simulator (eh? - Ed). You play an orange-suited crim seeking to earn his escape from the brutal-yet-colourful penitentiary he's holed up in.

To do this, he has to collect diamonds by smashing coloured blocks. The trick is that when you smash, say, a blue block, all the other blue blocks nearby will also be destroyed. Sounds simple, but you've got to make sure you don't get spotted by the ever-present kill-o-tron robots that will fry your convicted buttocks if you get caught.

David Brown's Free Play | 40th Issue Special

If a route to you is opened by you destroying blocks, there's no escape. You've got to think about all the destruction you wreak, rather than blundering ahead and hoping for the best.

It's quite easy to box yourself in and leave yourself with no escape routes and, to be honest, it gets a bit dull quite quickly. Still, for block heads (those that like block games) it's colourful and different enough to be worth a quick shot.

Next is Neotokyo which I will admit to not having played for this column. The reason? I played it years ago for PC ZONE, that's why. It's gone through a number of changes since then, but it'll still going strong and is based on the Source engine, so any computer capable of running Half-Life 2 should be able to keep up with it.

David Brown's Free Play | 40th Issue Special

It's a bright, colourful first-person shooter affair, with neon-hued visuals, three different classes to pick, two factions that are battling it out and loads of content in there. I don't really remember it that much in terms of gameplay, but I do remember it being fun.

A bit of a cop-out for the sixth game there, so we'll end things with... wait, another cop-out? Ah well, you've had more than your fair share this time, so just take the news that the CryEngine SDK is now available to download for free.

David Brown's Free Play | 40th Issue Special

Who knows? Maybe it'll be you making a freeware game for me to go lazily cast an eye over in a few months. At least with the CryEngine, I'll be able to say it had nice graphics. Just don't make it all pretentious, ok?

Add a comment0 comments


Leave a Trackback from your own site

Email Address:

You don't need an account to comment. Just enter your email address. We'll keep it private.