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August 20, 2012 | by  | in Arts Games | [ssba]

Flash In The Pan

Film will only become an art when its materials are as inexpensive as pencil and paper.  Jean Cocteau

While film still has a long way to becoming art, the materials required to create a video game are almost as ubiquitous as the humble pen and pad. Practically anybody with (lots of) spare time and access to a computer can go about making a video game. This, coupled with the advent of the internet, means that indie game developers can create and distribute their work for little cost. While getting hold of a game for your PS2 a decade ago would set you back at least $100, there’s now a plethora of great games available online for less than a slice of Krishna cake. Here’s a few freebies to get you started:

Don’t Look Back

Tough-as-nails, old-school platforming from the creator of the hit game vvvvvv. Based on the myth of Orpheus, the player travels to the underworld to rescue a loved one. Getting there’s hard enough, but getting out without looking back can be just as difficult.

Super Karoshi

Keeping the player’s character alive is of utmost importance in most games. In Super Karoshi, the aim of the game is to die. Dark humour and incredibly tricky puzzles abound in this topsy-turvy platformer.


More of a visual novel than a video game, Distance is the story of a couple in a long-distance relationship. The interaction in this game comes when the player chooses the topic of conversation in the couple’s nightly phone-calls. Multiple endings and a simple, elegant soundtrack make this one to play a few times.


Here’s one for the gamblers. A simple, Space Invaders-type game where the player shoots (passive) alien spacecraft for points. However, every time the player kills an alien, a random file is deleted from your computer. With the cost of aggression outweighing the potential benefits, the player is forced to question the typically-hostile nature of their actions in video games.


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