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Free Play Friday: Portals, Strategy, Charitable Donations!

Justin Calvert offers some eclectic suggestions for those of you looking to play without paying this weekend. Lots of codes up for grabs.


While I'm afraid the console gamers among you are going to leave disappointed this week, those of you playing on PCs are in for a treat. Scroll down the page, and there are opportunities to solve puzzles with portals, participate in a sci-fi strategy beta, unlock exclusive items in a first-person shooter, and even help people in developing countries while adding games to your collection.

As always, please share your thoughts on this week's selection in the comments below.

Telepaint (PC)

Developed by Mark Foster (aka Clawhammer Games), Telepaint is a freeware fusion of Portal and Super Meat Boy. Sort of. It's a diminutive but devious puzzle game in which the blocky protagonist never stops running and the only control you're afforded is the ability to activate portals using the numbers 1 through 6 on your keyboard. Your goal in each level is to reach your friend by traveling through the right portals at the right times, avoiding traps, and acquiring any necessary keys. It's not nearly as simple as it sounds.

Based on my own experiences with Telepaint, I think some of the later levels would be challenging even without the involuntary movement of the main character. The tricky puzzles, the unconventional controls, and the ever-present sense of urgency conspire to make Telepaint deceptively punishing, though as in the aforementioned Team Meat title, the only real penalty for death is that you instantly start over.

If you'd like to check out Telepaint for yourself, you can download it via the following link:

Telepaint - Official Site

Be Mine 4 (PC) Charity Bundle

I had never heard of groupees until this week; it's a site that facilitates "one of a kind deals" on new music, games, videos, and such in order to support charities and artists. Until September 5, groupees is running a promotion titled Be Mine 4 that lets you pay as much (or as little) as you want for a game and music bundle. Proceeds will benefit charity: water, a nonprofit organization that helps people in developing nations by providing them with clean, safe drinking water. The minimum donation is one dollar, but if you donate at least five dollars, your bundle will include a couple of extra games, one of which you might remember from last week's Free Play Friday: Guns of Icarus Online.

Other games in the bundle include the likes of Revelations 2012, Laxius Force, Metal Drift, and Zero Gear. I won't pretend that I'm familiar with any of these games, but after checking out some trailers and such, I definitely plan on spending some time with a couple of them via this bundle deal. I'd encourage you to as well, particularly if you're able to donate a dollar or two for the privilege. If not, don't worry. I haven't forgotten that this is Free Play Friday; we're giving away 750 bundles via the link below. Note that most of the games come in the form of Steam codes, and the free bundles don't include Guns of Icarus Online or any of the additional extras that are available with a five-dollar minimum donation.

Be Mine 4 - Official Site

Be Mine 4 - Bundle Giveaway

Tryst (PC) Beta

At the time of writing I haven't played Tryst, not properly anyway. I started a match, remembered that I'm bad at pretty much any real-time strategy game that isn't Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 or Command & Conquer: Generals, and promptly quit before the easy-level AI I was playing against had a chance to humiliate me. Based on the very short time that I've spent with Tryst, it's clear that it owes a great deal to Starcraft II; the aesthetic, the controls, and the focus on multiplayer are all evocative of Blizzard's game. That's no bad thing, of course. Unless you're me. I really, really wanted to get into Starcraft II when it was released, but less than halfway through the single-player campaign (and without ever even trying multiplayer), I'm afraid I gave up. Truth be told, I probably just went back into World of Warcraft to show off the "Grunty" pet that came with my copy of Starcraft II.

But enough about my RTS deficiency. For those of you who aren't similarly afflicted, the Tryst closed beta is almost certainly something that you should check out. The beta forgoes the single-player campaign that will be featured in the finished game and focuses on multiplayer skirmishes. Both the human and zali factions are playable, there are four maps to choose from, and if you have any trouble finding other players in the lobby, it's possible to create a match with up to three AI opponents.

If Tryst sounds like something you want to play, you can get into the beta by grabbing a code via the giveaway link below:

Tryst - Beta Code Giveaway

Tryst - Official Site

Blacklight: Retribution (PC)

I know, I already included Blacklight: Retribution in Free Play Friday a couple of weeks back. It's not here again because I've run out of games to talk about; it's here because the nice folks over at Perfect World wanted to do something special for those of you who are playing the game after reading about it here. Head to the giveaway page linked below, and provided you're one of the first few thousand people to do so, you can claim yourself an unreleased ArmetX Retribution helmet with a skull motif and an exclusive GameSpot weapon tag for use in-game.

Since we're talking about Blacklight: Retribution, I should also point out that Perfect World's 30 Days of Fight promotion still has a couple of weeks left to run. Prizes of $1,000 are being given away every day, and every time you play you increase your chances of winning. Here come the links:

Blacklight: Retribution - Official Site

Blacklight: Retribution - Gear Giveaway

Previous Free Play Fridays

August 24, 2012 - Steampunk Beta Codes, Superheroes, Automobiles!
August 17, 2012 - Guns, Guns, Guns, Medic!
August 10, 2012 - Beta Codes, Shooters, A Story About My Uncle!
August 3, 2012 - Wizards, Robots, Strategy, Bullets, Codes!
July 27, 2012 - Rocket Jumps, Through Balls, 15,000 Porsches, Codes!

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