Hello, cheap players of the world! Welcome to another exciting edition of this free gaming thing that I write every week. Remember last time when I hoped for another bumper stocking full of cool stuff to look at? Guess what? It didn't materialise. In fact, this week's been a real struggle, for while there's just as much new stuff out there to look at, very little is of interest. In fact, when I started writing this column, I only had two games of note jotted down on my little notepad.
The first of these is Guppy, which tries to simulate the experience of being a little small fish in a big pond. Tap the left and right keys to wiggle your little tail fin and move around, while avoiding the big fish who want to chow down on you. Points are scored by finding flies to eat yourself, perpetuating the food chain.
As a concept, it looks interesting, but in reality there's just not enough to it. I've pretty much explained the entire game right there. Perhaps there are some hidden depths that aren't immediately obvious, but to be honest, there's not a compelling reason to find out if there are.
What might make it more interesting is a more exciting art style, full of bright colours – kind of like how Spore's initial section was. It's just a bit drab at the moment. Ah well.
The other game I found in my initial foray was Marvel Brothel, and yes, that's exactly what you think it is. The concept is that you're running the bordello that all the superheroes go to when they need their desires satiated and can't get back to any loved ones who'd do it for free.
Starting off with just a couple of bare rooms, you have to refurbish the building, hire more female superhero workers and deal with the needs of the male customers. Girls earn XP for each satisfied customer, just like in real life (what?) and are then allowed to upgrade their kinkiness and stamina skills, among other things. These match with the requisite male stats so they can 'keep up' with demand. All this in the name of keeping the world a safer place.
Unlike most games with a similar sexual theme, there's no titillation whatsoever, as it's all done in big pixel cutesy graphics and dealt with in a clinical fashion and a straight face. It's like Theme Hospital but with less vomiting and more handcuffs.
It's actually an interesting little thing, if rather clunky to control. It only takes 30 minutes or so to reach the climax, as it were, which is apparently a world-saving orgy. It's a policy that might just work in problem areas in real life. Can't hurt to try, right?
After some more scrabbling around in the indie dust, Skydive emerged from the detritus. As you'd imagine, you're falling through the air and have to collect parachutes to allow you reach the ground as quickly as you can. Makes sense. If you don't collect the chutes, you'll splat into the ground.
Challenge is added by having a competing suicidal maniac who's also trying to steal the parachutes, so if he does manage to grab one, you'd better sabotage him quick. So how does it play?
Not too bad, really. Press the down arrow to speed yourself up, as well as hitting space to boost yourself. If you missed a single chute, you don't land and die horribly. It's quite fun, as with any game with ragdolls, to watch your tiny character bounce all over the scenery, but it's not too hard to keep yourself on the right path. Gold times are tricky to beat in the online leaderboards, so there's something to aim for in the long term, at least. Oh, and it needs the Unity Web Player installed too.
Sometimes it's worth scraping the barrel, because you can find little gems like Escape from the Underworld hidden away down there at the bottom. You play as a fallen angel – literally, as you end up falling down into the nether regions. Naturally, revenge is all that's on your mind, but you need to rediscover your lost powers and, most importantly, your wings that'll allow you to fly all the way out onto the surface once more.
This is done by negotiating a tricky platform underworld with spike traps, cherubs with arrows (I think) and blob creatures, all tainted with the foul white colour of 'good'. Find your blade and wings and seek revenge, that's all.
While it's simplistic and not breaking any boundaries whatsoever, it's what you want in a platformer really. Challenging, simple and accessible, it'll give you a good time while never outstaying its welcome. Well worth a punt.
Finally, we've reached the point where I've got nothing left. Zip. So, in that case, I'll recommend you go try out the Farming Simulator 2011 demo, which can be found here, just because I find this shit amusing and all.
Apparently, it's been optimised for use with NVIDIA graphics cards, which is nice to know. The full game features a career mode with cattle breeding and even multiplayer! As usual, all your favourite licensed tractors will be included from the likes of Krone, Horsch and Vogel & Noot. If you're dedicated enough, why not slap on a steering wheel to the desk and get really crazy.