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'Redder': A Game With Lonely Astronauts and Inhospitable Worlds

In the never-ending battle between fantasy and sci-fi, we'll side with the latter every time. (And we'll take a sci-fi con over a renaissance faire any day of the week, thank-you-very-much.) No virtual playground entertains like one inhabited by robots, astronauts, spaceships and ray-guns. With the recent release of 'StarCraft II,' we're jonesing for some free-to-play sci-fi excellence, so we've rounded up some of our recent faves. Fight baddies with helmet-mounted guns and laser ninjas, or help lonely astronauts and grappling hook-equipped robots to traverse the galaxy.

Anna Anthropy's 'Redder' begins with a cinematic opening, reminiscent of 'Alien' and 'Super Metroid,' wherein a lone astronaut pilots his ship through the emptiness of space, and descends upon a red-tinted planet. The theme of isolation present in the game's brief intro persists through its duration (aided by a pitch-perfect soundtrack), as players, controlling the astronaut, explore the red planet in search of 27 missing jewels. These jewels, hidden amongst a labyrinth of passages and platforming challenges, are protected by deadly robots, laser guns and electrified barriers. To overcome these obstacles, use the arrow keys to control the astronaut's jumping, which is thankfully aided by the planet's light gravity. By strategically flipping red and green switches, colored blocks (which serve as platforms and obstacles) appear and disappear, respectively.

Tags: AnnaAnthropy, gamesonthego, gaming, redder, timewaster, timewasters, top, videogames