TheIndieJar: Free games from the Space Cowboy Game Jam!
Games Jams are popping up all over the place, which is great for developers to explore themes in quick games and for people who want free stuff to play! This particular jam, the Space Cowboy Game Jam, is all about – yes, you guessed it – space cowboys; things like Cowboy Bebop, the online comic Coyote Doggirl and the film the American Astronaut are all cited as influences for how these games should look and feel. This is a selection of my favourites
There are plenty more where that came from so make sure to check out the website.
‘Distance’ by Tom Francis, Natalie Hanke and Jukio Kallio
A slow one to start off with, this is an interactive fiction where you choose your answers in a conversation with another person. Your answers change the context of the conversation. This is backed up by some great art and music, and while it doesn’t last very long it is very beautiful.
By the way, I’m told that the thing about memory is true!
‘Shot Aground’ by Primaer Funktion
After crashing your space ship in a desert, you decide to murder everyone in the area. There is a great over-the-shoulder shooting mechanic, where you can fire at the enemy guys with extreme inaccuracy, run out of bullets and then get shot trying to reload your six-shooter! This one is quite difficult – if you get shot at all you die and have to start over. I’m not very good at Shot Aground, so I can’t say if or where it ends.
‘Corgi Simulator 2071′ by Ryan Wiemeyer and Jamie Sanchez
If you have half an hour to play this then you should, because you have a handy 30 minute timer! In the style of an FMV you control Ein from Cowboy Bebop as he has been kidnapped by bandits who intend to sell him. There are two humans who you must manipulate by barking, playing and whining at them into leaving a laptop unattended with you. At the same time you have to keep your energy, food and focus bars up before hacking said computer. This is when the game becomes a simple grid puzzle where you have to connect a virus block to a lock block by rotating the other blocks. Doing this earns you points which you can spend to mess with and slow down the space ship so that the Bebop can catch up with them and save you!
‘Cyber Lasso’ by Alan Hazelden
There’s a really cool mechanic in the name sake of this game, which allows you to move blocks around. Both the blocks and your lasso conduct electricity, so you have to weigh down switches to turn on and off certain circuits. That will stop you getting electricuted. A lot of the different puzzle rooms connect to each other nicely so that once you’ve finished one there may be parts from it that you need to complete the next one. Watch out for that ending, it’s a shocker!
‘Los Cuervos’ by Nihilocrat
I think ‘Los Cuervos’ means ‘The Crows’ but I’m not sure… This game is a modification of Nihilocrat’s other game, Sky Rogue, which is a great flight-combat-arcadey-simulator with lots of missiles and guns! This one is a lot more forgiving and even features two player local vs mode. If you don’t have a mate then you can play with AI. It takes the crazy flying from Spike’s Swordfish in Cowboy Bebop and let’s you do it yourself. Spray your opponent with machine gun fire if you’re not feeling accurate or try for that one hit KO with your charge laser!