Sylvie Lime

by Sylvie and Aria of Love ♥ Game.

It’s a new Slyvie platformer! Actually, this one’s already been out for a little while, but I was reminded to finally go and check it out thanks to its recent Nuovo nomination at the IGF!

In typical Sylvie fashion, it’s an untraditional-traditional platformer. Press the keys A through R to activate any of the many powers you’ll find across the game’s world, or press S through Z to become a lime.

I think the game is best experienced without being too over-explained – but I do recommend reading Andi McClure’s post about the game over on Cohost, which does a great job of talking about what’s cool about the game and why it’s so interesting from a design perspective.

[Download for Windows/Mac/Linux (itch.io)]

Émile et moi

by Philippe Grenon.

Write a poem by jumping between platforms containing the next word. A bit like Action Painting Pro, but for Poetry! Here’s one I made earlier:

Brazen and despair 
Shall the moaning air and dead 
Nobody shall sing 
Cities all blood 

I was able to retrieve this because the game is set up to automatically tweet poems created in it (though, that might just be for the version currently running at the PoetryGames exhibition here in London). Here’s another less successful attempt I made.

[Play online (French)] | [Play online (English)]

STEEP STEPS

by py4d.

STEEP STEPS is a multiplayer mountain climbing game. Use your ladder to climb up higher and higher, and cross dangerous gaps. But be careful – fall, and you go all the way back to square one!

So this is basically a bit like a well made Bennett Foddy esque frustration game, in Roblox. But what makes it really special is the same thing that makes all Roblox games special: it’s multiplayer! It’s not just you climbing the mountain with your little ladder, it’s all of you! And the game is completely neutral – you can help each other out, or you can hinder each other. You can triumph together, or you can fail together. Absolutely brilliant.

(one small tip: you can press Shift to activate shift lock, which makes ladder placement a lot easier)

[Play on Roblox (account signup required)]

(via Roblox Underrated Games, thanks!)

My top 10 free games of 2022

Surprise! I’m doing a 2022 best of list!

Making these kind of lists is really hard for me; hard enough that last year I just ended up not doing it at all. Ultimately it’s a totally subjective thing – I played lots of freeware games this year, and the games I ended up picking are the ones that I found myself thinking about the most afterwards. Or, in some cases, just the ones that I remember having a lot of fun playing. Your mileage may vary! I dunno! Look, the site literally has my name in it.

Anyway, without further ado, here are my top 10 freeware games from 2022:

BABBDI

by Sirius Lemaitre and Léonard Lemaitre.

The only way out of the vast, brutalist city of BABBDI is by train – if you can get hold of a ticket.

Exploring Babbdi is a delight. It pulls off this amazing feat of feeling like a tightly designed videogame, but at the same time, like a real place that doesn’t care that you’re there. It’s packed with carefully placed secrets, progression enabling items in the exact right place, every building carefully planned out. But also; like nothing was planned, like this city was always here, and you just happened to come along.

Absolutely floored by this – one of the most inspiring things I’ve played this year.

[Download for Windows (Steam)]

(via FreeGamePlanet. Thanks, as always!)

Noelle

by taco360.

Ho ho ho! It’s a new holiday themed Celeste Classic mod, from the creator of last year’s Forever Red!

It’s fairly common for Celeste mods to be implausibly difficult, so I think the most important thing to tell you about Noelle is that it isn’t – I completed this one in my first try, in about 15 minutes, getting all the strawberries that I could see along the way. Reading the comments, it seems like there’s maybe some more difficult optional content buried here, but the main route is fun, well designed, and, refreshingly, pitched at an average player!

[Play online (Lexaloffle BBS)]