Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Free indie games: Part 3


I have been sitting on these games for a while, depriving you of them, for which I apologise. Here are five more short, free games made by small teams or individual developers that I am happy to recommend to you. Please read, play, and let me know in the comments what you think of these games.

Screenshots / logos are taken from the games, and belong to the games' creators.

Icarus Needs

Daniel Goodbrey describes his work as "experiments in fiction", and his website has several examples of interactive comics. Icarus Needs occupies the blurry space between game and narrative, and it does it very stylishly, with lots of wit and surprises. The whole story wraps up in a few minutes of gameplay, but you are sure to be delighted by Icarus' bizarre adventures in the land of squirrels.

If you like this game, also well worth a look is A Duck Has An Adventure, by the same author, which leans even more towards comic than game, but is still unique and interesting fun.

Gods will be watching

Gods will be watching was created for Ludum Dare, an indie game jam, where it won multiple awards. Since then, the creators have gathered crowd funding to make a much bigger and better version. In the mean time, the original is still a brilliantly atmospheric and challenging game.

It is a survival game in which you, as the commander of your crash-landed team, must lead them to survive on a hostile planet until rescue arrives forty days later. Each decision is crucial, and get it wrong and your friends will die - of starvation, of the medusa virus, of cold, of animal attack, or just through the insanity that comes with crushing depression. It's a game that you play and play to try and figure out the right strategy - but a single game only takes a few minute, so give it a go now!

The game's art and music build beautifully, lending a depth to the theme. I am looking forward to seeing if they can expand on the minimalistic set-up of the original without compromising its qualities.

Castle of the Red Prince

"Welcome to Amaranth, foreigner. The Red Prince haunts your dreams, you say? If you want to overthrow our tyrant, you’ll need to consider this whole blighted land at once.

"Castle of the Red Prince is a small text adventure with a different perspective on how locations can work in a parser game."

This is game is a great text adventure that quickly builds a Gothic landscape and story to go with it. It won't take you long to play, and if you get stuck you can always sleep and receive hints in your dreams - but I encourage you not to use this too quickly, as you may spoil the fun for yourself.

Icarus Proudbottom Teaches Typing

This is our second game in this post to feature the name Icarus, but this hilarious spoof of "learn to type" games is no relation. Out of the five games on this list, this is certainly the one that made me laugh out loud the most. It is a surreal journey through the land of typing with the titular character, which quickly lets you see "behind the scenes" of the game to where the characters talk about a sinister conspiracy that is overtaking their world...

There's a lot of humour here for gamers, as they reference lots of gaming conventions and poke fun at them.


Knytt is the only game on this list that I didn't play for the first time in the past few months. I was introduced to Knytt several years ago, and it was my first experience of what you might call "exploration games" - and I still think it is the best example.

Knytt is a 2D side-scrolling game in which you wander across a strange landscape in the search of the parts of your crash-landed ship. Nothing original there. What is astonishing about Knytt is the way in which the simple graphics contain such beauty. As I explored the heights and depths of the world of Knytt I was repeatedly surprised by the sudden vistas that came into view.

It looks like that there have been several sequels since then, each more beautiful than the last... I know what I need to play next!


  1. There are now more games in the Icarus Proudbottom series:

  2. I have now played the sequel to Knytt, called "Knytt Stories" as well as the demo of the most recent release in the series, "Knytt Underground". I recommend to you the original - I think the more recent games in the series compromise on the qualities on the original game, although that may just be my opinion.