Of 2013: Favorite Free Games

of2013-free

I’m not talking Free-to-Play here, these are four games I spent a good chunk of time with and didn’t spend a penny on (except for Minecraft, but you own that already right?). Microsoft launched Wordament on iOS in 2012 but it came to the web, Android, and Windows 8 in 2013 and I played a bunch of it on each platform. Naturally, swiping around on a touchscreen is the best (and fastest) way to play but any version will do if you’re looking for a unique word game diversion.

When I got my new laptop I went spelunking through the Windows 8 store looking for free games with Xbox Achievements and found Shuffle Party. It’d be more fun with a touchscreen but it only requires one click on the mouse to send shiny shuffleboard pucks and pins careening across the screen. It’s dead simple but still pretty fun — oh and it does have Achievements and even shows your Xbox Avatar celebrate and pout as you play.

The free version of SpinTires was designed as a tech demo/Kickstarter bonus to show the potential of what the final game could be. There’s not much of a point to it but the water physics, real-time terrain deformation and the challenge of getting a giant truck out of the mud kept me at it. Even in demo form the combination of the physics simulations, lighting and the intricate sounds of the trucks made for a dazzling presentation.

Okay, you’ll have to own Minecraft on PC to take a trip to the McMagic server but we bought in so long ago I honestly forgot it wasn’t free. Once logged in you’ll find the most amazingly intricate Minecraft server whose aim is to recreate the entirely of the Walt Disney World parks down to the most awkwardly realized drinking fountains. Katy, Dana, Ryan and I spent a week or so visiting our favorite locations, riding rides, spamming our way behind the scenes and having just as magical a time as we would in the real Walt Disney World.

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