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Flatout, the no-seatbelts racing game with ragdoll physics for when your driver smashes through the windshield, is free on GOG

Flatout is an older game—it came out in 2005—but it’s a lot of fun. What it lacks in an accurate driving model, it makes up for in destructibility of both car and driver: When you smash into something at sufficient speed (which, in my case, is quite often) your helmetless driver is ejected through the windshield and over the hood, screaming and ragdolling into a horrific sprawl on whatever they ultimately hit. Good times! Anyway, it’s currently free on GOG as part of the week-long Valentine’s Day-themed Love at First Pixel sale.

Because hey—your flailing, broken body isn’t the only thing in the air. So is love.

In case there’s any doubt, the manual makes it clear that Flatout is not a “serious” racing game. There are quick races, time trials, and a career mode, all pretty standard fare for driving sims, but there’s also a multi-category Rag-Doll Sports mode where the goal is literally to crash your car forcefully and accurately enough to fling your driver a specific distance, height, or toward a specific target. For instance, the Darts mode:

“Propel your driver at the giant Dart Board to achieve the highest score. Usual darts scoring applies.”

I’m not sure why but “usual darts scoring applies” in the rules for a racing game strikes me as very funny. There’s also a clown-themed variant, if that’s what you’re into, in which you fire your driver toward a giant wooden clown with targets cut into it. So yeah, not exactly Project Cars stuff here, but it’s silly fun and you can’t beat the price.

Despite its age, Flatout on GOG runs as well as you could ask. The UI is definitely dated, as you’ll notice when you enter your driver’s name—you have to use the arrow keys to highlight individual letters and then mash the spacebar to select them—but I encountered no graphical or gameplay glitches or weirdness, even running at 4K.

The Flatout freebie on GOG is available until February 17, while the Love at First Pixel Sale is on until February 22.

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