Free Bytes: IntoSpace


“If at first you don’t succeed, buy more expensive technological crap to make your ride sweeter and more rocket-tastic. That’s the premise behind IntoSpace, a simple but addictive rocket launching game about shooting for the cosmos and falling flat on your face repeatedly…at least until you gather enough green to upgrade your rig. Plummeting to the earth and crashing in a ball of fire and twisted metal hundreds of times is all but guaranteed in this strangely captivating timewaster. As with most great feats, successes in your trip to the moon only come in small increments. Fortunately, the repetitive process of gradually improving your ship to fly higher and higher with each skyward trip is seriously habit-forming.

Check out the full column here at IGN.

Free Bytes: Road of the Dead


“Guns, axes, chainsaws, and explosives might be among the most preferred methods of killing zombies, but running them down with a pimped-out hotrod and splattering their innards across your windshield is pretty satisfying too. When the military tries to lock down the entire city just as the dead begin rising and feasting on the living, you decide to hop into your slick car and hightail it out of town. Staying alive long enough to make it out of the doomed city in Road of the Dead requires putting the pedal to the medal and pulling off some fancy high speed driving, but it’s more about strategy than flat-out racing.”

Check out the full column here at IGN.

Free Bytes: Vertical Drop Heroes


“When princesses (and other captured royalty, for that matter) are in need of serious rescuing from dastardly villains and fanged monsters, it’s rare that a hero just comes falling out of the sky to promptly save the day. However, in Vertical Drop Heroes, that’s exactly what happens. Every level seems to practically hemorrhage heroes, but most are in cages and are incapable of doing much besides twiddling their thumbs out of boredom. That’s where you come in. Setting them free – or as we prefer to look at it, consuming their souls – lets you steal their powers and carry the torch to glory.”

Check out the full column here at IGN.

Flash Game Freebie: Tetraform


“These days manually shooting at enemies to make them explode into a fiery ball of awesome death is so passé. It’s way cooler to make them collide, causing a similarly delightful eruption of flame, annihilation and twisted metal. Tetraform is an odd little arcade space defense game that has you taking out take out entire armadas of ne’er-do-wells without laying a finger on your trigger. The lack of pew-pew-pew doesn’t disappoint, because it’s a hell of a lot more fun to fling them at one another.”

Check out the full column here at GamesRadar.

Free Bytes: SteamBirds


“Amidst the rat-tat-tat of incoming machine-gun fire and the thundering drone of plane engines being pushed to their limit, there’s not much peace and quiet to be found in an intense airborne dogfight. Even if you could concentrate with all the noise and explosions, finding a spare moment to plan ahead and think good and hard about your next course of action is all but impossible, assuming you want to avoid spiraling towards the ground in a ball of flame. Oddly, that’s not the case in SteamBirds, an aerial dogfighting game that takes the need for split-second gut reactions out of the equation.”

Check out the full column here at IGN.

Free Bytes: Balloon in a Wasteland


“Taking a long hot air balloon ride high above the scenic landscape below may be a relaxing and breathtaking experience for some. For me, the thought of sitting in a basket tethered to a giant floating sack situated not far from the clouds has always been accompanied by uneasiness over all of the many horrible and catastrophic things that could potentially go wrong. Balloons rip and burst. Burner tanks explode and catch everything on fire. People fall. While crash-landing in a desolate wasteland swarming with dark, wicked blob creatures hungry for my flesh was not on that list, it sure as hell is now.”

Check out the full column here at IGN.

Free Bytes: 4 Hour RPG

“I can’t imagine the stress that comes with pushing yourself to try to put together a cohesively and playable game in only four hours –- much less one that’s actually enjoyable to play. It has been done. Surprisingly, many of those who’ve tried have succeeded in coming up with some truly interesting projects. Take 4 Hour RPG, for example. Your hero is essentially a pixel with an itty-bitty sword fighting monsters consisting of barely discernable blobs of color, yet it still manages to provide a short and fulfilling fantasy romp.”

Free Bytes: Dreamside Maroon


“Riding a wickedly growing vine into the cosmos is probably one of the more unusual ideas for a game I’ve encountered, but that’s part of what makes the unpredictable nature of off-the-beaten path game development so interesting. A mix of exploration and artsy ambiance, Dreamside Maroon is an impressive little adventure about a cute, scarf-wearing critter named Aster who’s on a one-way trip to the moon. Rather than hopping a flight, taking an intergalactic commuter train, grabbing a space bus, or strapping on a rocket pack, this intrepid explore uses his gardening skills to get where he needs to go.”

Check out the full column here at IGN.

Free Bytes: Radioactive Teddy Bear Zombies


“It’s creepy enough that the entire adult population in town is employed at a single, massive teddy bear factory in this week’s free game. But when an undead army of those adorable plushy pals rises up and develops a taste for human stuffing, the real horrific part is the only person properly equipped to save the day is a runty, snot-nosed kid sporting both a mullet and a rat tail.”

Check out the full column here at IGN.

Cheap Thrills: Spelunky


“Though death was always lurking nearby, Indiana Jones still managed to somehow make his job look a little too easy. Don’t expect to have quite as smooth a ride in Spelunky. In this charming and brutally tough homage to the treasure-seeking adventurer, death is a few steps behind, a few steps ahead, and pretty much anywhere else you feel like stepping. As a diminutive, whip-wielding hero, you set out on a grand quest to score glittering gold and gems, save 8-bit ladies in distress, and recover ancient idols.”

Check out the full column here at IGN.com.