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: I Was Hungry…But There Were Cannons


“When lunch time rolls around, most people are lucky enough that they don’t have to worry about dodging a barrage of incoming artillery fire in order to nab their meal. Unfortunately for the top hat-toting little bloke in I Was Hungry…But There Were Cannons, trying to grab a tasty bite to eat is regularly a life or death ordeal. This zany little puzzle platformer puts a whole new spin on the phrase “eat and run,” since one false move can leave you with a belly full of cannon shrapnel instead of delicious, mouth-watering cheeseburgers.”

Check out the full column here at IGN. Also, Free Bytes have been switched to Thursdays, so be sure to hop over to the PC section of IGN each week to see the latest awesome indie freeware offering I’ve dug up to share.

Feature: Four Freebies

Four fresh freebie freeware games for your delicious amusement: Icycle, Devil’s Tuning Fork, Pixel Ranger, and Sausage Factory. Dig in!


“If only making delicious breakfast sausages was as easy as feeding cute barnyard animals into an automated hydraulic press. Pixeljam Games’ demented take on the meat processing industry in Sausage Factory is super funny and a little disturbing. This heaping mouthful of a rhythm puzzle game has you controlling color-coded crushing machines as an underpaid employee in a meat factory. As the conveyor spits out pixilated cows, pigs, chickens, and even a few less savory offerings, you get to violently smash them into a gooey pulp to prepare them for mass consumption. Yum.”

Check out the full feature here at MSN’s Game On.

Free Bytes: Rubble Trouble

Yes! Free Bytes is back! Check out my weekly column  installments highlighting a new indie  freeware game in the PC section of IGN.com every Friday.

“If professional demolition teams were somehow legally allowed to use rocket launchers to take down old unwanted buildings, then I’d be changing professions faster than you could say “holy airstrike, Batman!” Since that’s probably never going to happen — quite possibly due to the inevitable collateral damage that would be inflicted on the surrounding human populace — we’ll just have to stick to getting our destructive kicks in the virtual world. And Nitrome’s charmingly explosive flash puzzler Rubble Trouble is just the ticket.”

Check out the full column here at IGN.com.

Foecrusher on Bytejacker!


I have long been a fan of the extremely well-crafted weekly Bytejacker web show and its focus on highlighting some of the most ass kicking indie games around. Indeed, judging from Free Indie Rapid Fire, my man Anthony Carboni (above) and I have very similiar tastes in freeware. The show also features a steady supply of  rocking chiptune goodness that provides a great backdrop, which brings me to why I’m so pumped this morning. Aside from offering a killer rundown of great games from the past year, Bytejacker episode 70 also features “Charge into Battle,” a Foecrusher track from my recent forays into the realm of Game Boy metal. Frankly, it’s an honor. Hop on over to Bytejacker and check out the latest show (and the other excellent episodes available), and if you’re keen on scoping out more of my Game Boy metal tracks, hit the link above to find Foecrusher tunes on 8bitcollective. Also, that is one adorable pooch.

Cheap Thrills: The Devil’s Tuning Fork


“It’s odd how a creepy first-person adventure game about children in comas can teach us a hell of a lot about dolphins. Created by a team of students from DePaul University for the 2010 Independent Games Festival, The Devil’s Tuning Fork is just the right mixture of smart and trippy. Though it has absolutely nothing to do with friendly, chirping marine mammals, the game’s entire concept hinges on their purported ability to “see” sound waves. In essence, it’s kind of like playing Doom in a pitch black room – except you’re armed with a tab of acid and a tuning fork instead of a rocket launcher.”

Check out the full column here at IGN.

Cheap Thrills: Hell is Other People

“Welcome to hell. And hell, it turns out, is other people. Lots of them. This simple arena shooter is one of the strangest multiplayer games you’ll probably ever play. Confined to a small rectangular screen, you’ll pilot a tiny ship around and blast away at other players. The cool part is the human opponents you fight have already played the game and died long before you even booted it up. What you’re actually battling is their ghost data, and when you inevitably succumb to screens full of laser fire, someone else who plays after you will eventually fight against your ghost ship too. Surreal, right?”

Check out the full column here at IGN.