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.
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...
'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).
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.Click here to read more...
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.
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.Click here to read more...
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.
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...
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?
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...
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.
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...
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...
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...
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.Click here to read more...
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...
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...
I'm kind of all typed out today, having just spent hours... actually, that's a lie, all I was doing was playing FIFA 11 all day, then Football Manager. Oh, and I was watching some Stewart Lee clips on YouTube, inspiring this truth-telling introduction slightly. But the last thing I really wanted to do was write about some browser-based games involving inflatable penises or whatever crazy character I was being asked to control with the arrow keys this time.
But you know, a faint veneer of professionalism needs to be shown so... WAHEY! Free games are great! How's about we discuss one right now? Yeah!
I originally read this as Divas Mortis when in fact it's Divis Mortis, which isn't a game about the death of Naomi Campbell and Beyonce Knowles. Sadly. What it is is a text adventure about grim, horrible things. So I guess it kind of is like those two.
It reminds me of a text version of a rubbish adventure game I played a long time ago, the name of which escapes me. It's post-apocalypse time, lots of dead people around, you're in a hospital and have to figure out how you got smacked over the head with a pipe and left for dead.Hit the jump for the rest of Dave's findings...
We've had inflatable Japanese characters on these pages before, and it seems the tradition of stuffing your avatar's face for profit is a popular one. Instead of a heroic cat bouncing down a Peggle-esque level, this time we've got a sumo wrestler who needs a bit of nourishment before he can defeat his opponent.
Hungry Sumo is very simple. Hover the mouse over your gluttonous gladiator and he'll expand, chowing down on the fattening substance in his rice bowl. Perhaps it's helium.
Combat is initiated merely by colliding with an opponent, and the trick is to stop inflating your sumo before this occurs. If you are feeding him when he makes contact, he'll pop like a rice-filled balloon, although sadly there's no animation of his entrails smearing the level as they fly from his distended body.Click here to read the rest of Dave's free play roundup....
One thing we can be thankful for in this modern world is there are always hired goons ready to be mown down in waves. Without their selfless efforts, games like Raid Mission wouldn't exist and our shooters would be devoid of unintelligent scum to eliminate.
A turn-based strategic combat game, you take control of a group of police cops intent on stomping on the throat of crime. As their commander and general god-like figure, you order them around, equip them and change their underwear when things get all dangerous.
Your first mission is to arrest a 'gangster boss' who has been disturbing the peace in a place called Springville City. Once in game, two goons start shooting at you, but naturally they miss. Then it's your turn, and you get to choose whether or not to take a look at the tutorial. You should, really.Click here to read the rest of Dave's roundup...
Has it really been 30 weeks since this column was first spewed forth from the idea hole in Dealspwn headquarters? Apparently so, although it's actually been a few weeks more due to holidays and such. Even those who delve into the seedy underbelly of the freeware scene need a break every now and then.
To celebrate this landmark occasion, nothing out of the ordinary has been done. It's a celebration in name only, and we'll kick things off by just talking about a Japanese Virtua Cop/Time Crisis homage called Nobuyuki Forces 4.Click here to see what freeware goodness Dave has uncovered this week...
It's a mixture of reviews and news this week, as there are some important bits of information to share, but don't worry, you'll still get your weekly fix of free-to-play fun, starting with a Japanese combat-strategy, er, thing.
Called Samegame Fighter, it sees your hero having to defeat enemies via the medium of object matching. You know, just how like David beat Goliath when he matched three slingshots and his opponent couldn't find three helmets on the same grid. Games = just like real life.
Joking aside, you have a number of options when you step up to the grid. Match weapons and you deal damage to your foe, green potions to restore your own lost health and blue shields to provide yourself with defence. The strength of your attack can be boosted with the collection of fireballs, which will also boost any other item you collect as well. However, match fireballs twice in a row and you lose the effect of your previous set.
The creatures you go up again, one after the other, have different levels of toughness and ability, so some will be hard to take down but weak in attack, while others will be able to ignore the effects of your armour and wound you regardless of how strong your shields are, so you'll need to plan your strategy accordingly. For example, your first enemy gets one attack for every three you have, and although each strike does five base damage, you should be able to take it out easily just by focusing on matching weapons exclusively. The second enemy can do seven base damage, so you'll need to consider defence for the first time. It also has three shields-worth of defence, so your own attacks will need to be stronger. You'll also need to consider boosting your attacks with fireballs too. The third enemy has no defence, but attacks every turn like you do.
As you can tell, there's quite a bit of strategy to this, more so than many other match-and-fight games. It's well worth giving it a shot.Click here to see what other freebie gems Dave has uncovered this week...
It might have a crazy and potentially offensive plot (allegedly, according to people who read Japanese) but that doesn't mean the less than originally named Tetris-inspired Brain Breaker should be avoided. Taken out of context, a game where old people are beaten to death with baseball bats if you fail a level should be a winner.
The objective is merely to drain all the blood from a thug that's threatening the elderly, or something close to that. You do this by going through the Tetris motions, although I couldn't actually find a way of rotating the pieces as the controls aren't immediately obvious. Once you've noticed the 'how to' button on the main menu, you can piece together how you're meant to do things, and the elusive rotation keys should be found via trial and error.
Occasionally you get huge blocks or long rectangles to make things slightly different to usual and there are also syringes to watch out for. These turn all white blocks they point at into red ones, which isn't what you want to happen, but it can be useful for filling in a gap that you might have created all the way in the middle of the cluster.
There's not much else to it, other than that there's some... interesting music and sound effects in there. There are also only three levels, so it doesn't take long to get to the end.Click here for gooey delights and teddy bear hunting...
Ni hao everyone. Yes, you can stop chiselling pieces of your flesh off your bodies, I'm back from my extended vacation/holiday/new relative-meet in the … interesting land of China and the first thing to do, naturally, is find out just what interesting freeware games have been released. The bags are still packed and the jet lag is furiously biting at the back of my eyelids, but I've got a job to do and by crikey I'm going to do it.
So without further ado, the first game for your perusal this week has been around for a while, but that doesn't stop Straw Hat Samurai being of interest. It's not quite China-related, but if you pretend you're controlling, say, a Shaolin monk instead of a samurai, it links to my first paragraph quite well.
Anyway, as the aforementioned Asiatic antagonist, you've got to battle ne'er-do-wells using a relatively novel mechanic, which usually only gets used in games like Cut It and such. That means you'll be drawing lines to indicate a slash of your sword instead of mashing buttons to attack, while using the arrow keys to scroll the screen left and right.
You're given the task of preventing the enemy building up fortifications that will make them impossible to drive from your lands. The gameplay is split into two parts, one on a map that allows you to choose your path forwards, each spot taking you into a combat situation.
Combat takes place on a 2D plane with enemies coming at you from both sides. To kill them, draw a sword slash and your guy will move swiftly to that location swish his blade about. If there are no enemies there, he'll miss and might take damage, so you have to predict the movement of your foes before striking.
Along the way you'll grab items that improve your hit points, your chance to dodge and so on. After a little while, you'll get a bow, which allows you to change up your tactics if the sword is going to be too dangerous a weapon to use in a given situation. Once archers come into play, it gets tougher to stay alive, as at first it does seem a bit too easy. When guard towers start to appear, you'll know you've been in a fight.Click here to read the rest of Dave's roundup...
In development for over eight years, packing nineteen playable characters from Streets of Rage 1-3 (all sporting new moves), 103 playable stages, 64 enemy variants and a boatload of customisation options, the freeware fan remake of Streets of Rage is finally here...and it looks pretty damn sweet!Find out more after the jump...
When you've got a good thing going, it makes some sense to continue to go down the same road. Ben Foddy, the creator of the sublimely difficult QWOP has again cropped up with another four-letter expletive of a game to bemuse, befuddle but, most importantly, entertain us.
This time it's called GIRP and it's the equivalent of a typing tutorial programme mixed with a rock climbing game. It still retains the notorious and often ludicrous difficulty of Foddy's previous games, but at least you can make it more than a metre without tumbling to the ground.
It also retains the insane addictive quality of Foddy's previous works, mind-bendingly tough but there's always enough progress each time to make you want to have another go. It's kind of like Twister but on a keyboard with your fingers. Press a key to grab hold of a ring, then another to grab another.
You've then got to ascend the rock face by letting go of one key and pressing another, using Shift and/or Ctrl to flex your arm muscles and propel you upwards. If you let go accidentally or get confused, you'll plummet into the water and die.
If you end up on the wrong keys, you might have to try descending before you can go up an easier way and as usual with Foddy games, it's amusing just to watch someone flailing with the controls.