As I write this, I am in the cold, unfeeling clutches of the middle of the week. But for you? It's glorious, glorious Friday, and that means a ton of totally sweet, totally free, totally indie online games for you to herald in the weekend. (Or the Glow Cloud. I don't judge.) This week: a point-and-click adventure that revels in killing you again and again, a race to rescue your kidnapped love for a diabolical mechanical maniac, some guilty drinking and avoidance (retro platforming style), and, of course, a funky party full of dancing witches, skeletons, and the knights coming to slay you.
- Antumbra - [Warning: This game deals with violent and disturbing content.] Creator Drone Locker describes this point-and-click horror adventure as "the Dark Souls of point-and-click games", which is to say you can expect to die. A lot. You awaken in a dark and dismal dungeon, and if you want to find a way out, you'd better be prepared for a whole lot of trial-and-error... oh, and jump scares, of course. Click the choices onscreen to make your decision, but also make sure to explore the scene with your cursor to find out if there's anything else you can interact with when you're stuck. Like more jump scares. And death. Sigh.
- Drink Beer, Neglect Family - Suhail Habib plants tongue firmly in cheek for this platformer about drinking beers... while avoiding pictures of your family. While not necessarily a game you may want to play if you're sensitive about the subject matter, what's interesting is that each beer you get different effects, such as being unable to jump, or vomiting every few seconds, which is... exactly like real life, come to think of it. The stages and effects you encounter are random, making pounding back all 21 beers challenging... not that you should ever, ever, ever do such a thing in real life. Come here, my sweet cinnamon bun. Let me make you some sweet tea.
- The Clockwork King - I know, I know... for some of you, all I have to do is say "steampunk" and your noses start twitching angrily, while the rest of you begin gluing cogs all over your clothes. Interlocked's stylish platformer has you rushing to save your beloved from the titular evil mechanical genius, who has, of course, locked her up in a lair filled with moving platforms, whirling death blades, and all the usual megalomaniacal fanfare. It may be a little rough around the edges in places, but there's been an undeniable amount of work put into it, and hey, non-white protagonist! Four for you, Interlocked! You go, Interlocked!
- Skeletal Dance Simulator - Jeseper Tingvall made this blindingly cheerful little... action... defense... thingy in just five days, and while that means it's got its share of bumps, it's also really, really cute and silly, as you control a little witch who just wants to have a funky party filled with dancing skeletons, but that's hampered by the knights coming to try to slay you. So naturally you need to slay them first. And then turn them into skeletons. And dance some more. Look, I didn't say it wasn't weird, just that it was cute!