Free Games Roundup, vol. 1 Jenni Goodchild October 3, 2013 Archives, Features Everybody likes free games, but nobody likes a bad one either. We’re out to solve that with the weekly Free Games Roundup, which is out to bring you the best games you’ll never have to pay for. Castle, Island, Forest, Sea is the latest Twine game to catch our attention. Twine, for those who may not have encountered it, is a tool that allows you to make text-based games or interactive stories. Well known for democratising games and lowering the barrier to entry, it’s been jumped on by numerous writers, developers and designers. One of the more unusual players to get into the game is The Open University. The OU is an online-only university, offering modules in everything from Astronomy to Social Work, with the goal of making higher learning accessible. Using such an accessible gaming platform for one of its Philosophy modules is an interesting application of its ideals. The result is Castle, Island, Forest, Sea. Created by Hide&Seek in conjuction with Carolyn Price, a senior lecturer in Philosophy, it takes you on an adventure through a carefully crafted fantasy world. With illustrations reminiscent of classic children’s books, and two bickering birds querying every decision you make, it manages hit that sweet spot between educational and entertaining. There’s moments of choice, as you would expect from a game designed to introduce you to Philosophy, but they never feel forced in the way they can do in bigger games. And the best bit? If you find yourself intrigued by the philosophical ideas behind these choices, you’ll get a handy chart at the end showing which philosophers you agree and disagree with! More free games to check out this week: Socrates Jones: Pro Philosopher might be best described as Phoenix Wright, philosophy style. If you’re looking a game that’s funny, clever and lets you shout “Nonsense!” at long-dead thinkers, this is the game for you. Adventures of Schrödinger’s Cat is a charming puzzle game whose main mechanic involves ‘Quantum Superposition’ (don’t worry, it’s easier than it sounds!). With graphics styled like a sketch-filled mathematics book and a cute soundtrack, it’s well worth a playthrough. My Father’s Long, Long Legs is a horror game based in Twine. There’s no tired clichés here – it plays on the primal fear of the unknown in a chilling way, and will terrify you through text alone. We recommend playing it with the lights low, alone. 400 Years is a game about waiting for seasons to change and years to pass. Offering an original perspective on time, the game itself is short, so you can finish it in your lunch break!