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Freeware Recommendations

From time to time I find freeware games that are interesting and worth a play, but that don’t really warrant a full review.  Here’s the latest, this time with a bit of a theme: each of these games was made for a game design competition.  All are playable in your browser, so check them out!

EvoLand - Created for Ludum Dare 24 (which had the theme of “evolution”), this game is a top-down, Zelda-like that lets you basically play through the evolution of games.  When you start, the screen is a sickly green color, and you can’t move very much, but you can see a treasure chest.  That chest unlocks the ability to move around more.  Then you can find more chests that unlock more colors, sound effects, BGM, wider viewing ratio, NPCs, etc.  It’s a really neat idea, and very well done.  I don’t know how far it goes because even though I activate save points, they never seem to work and I always have to restart.  Anyway, this is a damn fine LD entry so give it a play.

Predicament - Created for Ludum Dare 23 (with the theme of “tiny worlds”), this game has you trapped at the bottom of a cave and tasks you with finding a way out, using only what you have with you.  You use one button to pick up, combine and use items.  It’s short and can be a bit trial-and-error at times, but the art style is cute and it’s fun to see what item combinations work and what they create.

[Together] - Created for the Casual Game Design Contest #8 (with the theme of “sandbox”), this is a game where two (presumed) lovers fly together throughout a very large world, trying to avoid a huge beast that is pursuing them.  The pair follows your mouse, speeding up the closer to the edge of the screen your mouse is.  The object is to find 5 or 6 hearts scattered throughout the world, but they are moving nearly as fast as you are, so it takes some fancy flying to get them.  And while that’s the “object,” the “point” is really exploration.  You can fly from the bottom of the ocean to the far end of the galaxy and everywhere in between.  You basically stumble upon the hearts and even the beast is not a real threat since even when he catches you, you can get out of his stomach.  All of that, along with the simple controls, makes this an incredibly relaxing game that anyone can pick up and have a good time with.