Developer: iDec/UPF student team
I've played a lot of freeware games. Long before I started writing about games or checking out the more known, mainstream indies, it was freeware games from Digipen and various sites that introduced me into indies, from ASCII roguelikes to the neon futuristic cityscapes of Nitronic Rush, Broken Puppet has some of the most impressive visuals I've seen in a freeware game and, while featuring some janky controls and physics, offers a fun and atmospheric physics-based puzzle-action game.
The game centers its puzzles and action around using threads; threads act as both a grappling hook to pull objects or a tether that can connect two points. This allows you to knock down heavy cabinets to activate pressure plates, support broken bridges, and even fight the weird puppet enemies that roam the basements. Soldiers charge you with swords, spinsters collect the needles you fling, and other threat lurk.
But Broken Puppet's most impressive element is its atmospheric aesthetic, build with a custom engine rather than Unreal or Unity. The ruined halls, the dim industrial rooms, the eerie arrangements of discarded toys and parts make for an engrossing world to traverse through the game's six levels.
IndieDB and GameJolt.