If you like Japanese indie and doujin games and are on Twitter, you should check out the #フリゲ2022 hashtag! フリゲ (Furige, free game) 2022 voting is happening right now and is a chance for people to promote tons of awesome free games of the year. Did you play a free Japanese indie or doujin game that made you go, "This is it!"? Those are the games that deserve a Furige shoutout!
Submissions to Furige have to be full releases and completely free, so no ad-supported games, early access, demos, or shareware allowed. They also have to have been released between Dec 1 of the previous year to Nov 30 of the current year. Users can vote for as many games as they want, but only once per game. The results for Furige 2022 will be announced on December 31.
Furige is organized by Akamatsu Yatarou, a free games enthusiast and reviewer who has been running Furige since 2008. The website is delightfully vintage and immediately puts me back in the late '90s and early 2000s, poking around the corners of the Internet for free Japanese games to download and play. This is exactly the kind of website and event that 13-year-old me would have adored.
The top three games from last year's ranking were ASTLIBRA ～生きた証～ (Living Proof), an action RPG that got a massive update for its Steam release; a doujin fangame of the Puella Magi Madoka Magica anime called まどか☆マギカ -Try Another Story-; and the incredibly surreal TOWER of HANOI. Seriously, that last one looks exactly like my kind of jam. I may need to play that sometime this week...
According to the Q&A, the four tenets of Furige are:
- To get you to encounter games that make you go, "I like this!"
- To promote free games that you might not have heard about
- To encounter people who might like the kinds of games that you aren't normally interested in
- To get everyone excited
I'm going to check back in at the end of the month to see what everyone voted for and read the comments to see why those games were selected. In the meantime, I'll be scrolling through that hashtag and browsing the archives for some great hits from previous years!