There’s tons to offer this week. Take on a magician in a boss battle which seems never-ending. Or move through two worlds simultaneously in a challenging platformer. Maybe you would rather be non-violent, and solve puzzles based on the movements of Chess pieces, or instead bounce a colourful ball around, smashing coloured blocks along the way. This and more await in this week’s free games. Check our list of the best free PC games you can download and play right now.
Just One Boss by Bridgs
Collect colourful lights while a magical boss tries to take you down. This isn’t a normal monster, looking to crush you with brute strength. It’s a magician, using their latest tricks to destroy you. At first, the game is simple – you move around a big tiled stage, collecting lights as they appear. Each time you collect a light, a bar at the top of the screen fills up. With a full bar, the boss appears, and they don’t seem happy about being woken up. They start throwing cards across the stage, firing lasers, and spawning dangerous flowers on the tiles. Lights still appear, and as you continue to collect, it seems to damage the boss. But watch out. Each time the bar fills, the boss becomes stronger. There does seem to be cracks appearing on their surface, though.
You can earn more lives, but those only come between the boss’ transformations. In turn you must remain vigilant and calculated. A clever concept which shows how challenging one character can become.
Mirage by Ghost Dad
You’ve crash-landed on a strange planet and are looking to escape. Even though you feel completely normal, there’s a shadow world linked to everything you do. You must collect gems in both of these worlds, the challenge being that the two worlds are slightly different. At first, your environment is tightly mirrored. But soon spikes appear in different places and subtle differences force you to be more mindful. You can slowly run through a patch of flowers to put one version of yourself slightly ahead of the other, for example. Pushing blocks can also force one of you ahead, as well as activating buttons and blocking off bullets. There are also turrets, and getting shot means restarting. The checkpoints are generous, but the game is still a challenge. However, you must get off this world – keep moving forward.
Rooky Moves by 8-Bit Llama
This simple-looking chess-based puzzle game ends up being quite complex in later levels. You play as a rook, able to move all the way across the board in any direction that is not diagonal. Pick a direction, and you’ll move until you hit something – a wall, a void, or another piece. Your goal: the green dot. However, other chess pieces soon arrive. Pawns start appearing, moving after you. These pawns can be useful. When it comes to voids and moving too far, you can use the pawns as a wall. If they fall into the void, they become a peg you can hit. When they’re on the board, you can run into them, stopping the rook in its tracks. They do try to move around you, attempting to keep you from your goal, but if you plan ahead you can probably use them. Unlike Chess, Rooky Moves is easy to figure out and simply takes a bit of planning to understand.
Dungeon Of Zaar by Noé Lecombre, Vincent Bourçois, & Clery Plassat
If you want to do more planning ahead, here’s a strategy game for you. Select a team of characters – some with ranged attacks, some who heal, some with larger amounts of health – and take those gladiators into battle against another player. Your fighters are placed on the board, where you move and clash until one player has no warriors left. You must use your characters strategically, slowly breaking down the other team. Items appear on the board: loot used to buff and heal your characters, or red orbs that cause damage if you run into them. If you win the game, you receive more loot, which can be crafted into new items in an out-of-battle town. You can also recruit more heroes there, get new armor, and change your costumes with gold (or the game’s in-app currency). Polished and well constructed, Dungeon of Zaar is still in open beta, and works online with two players via Steam or with two players on the same computer.
Kulkis by Evidently Cube
Ever played a game where instead of controlling the direction a character is moving, you’re controlling the speed? Well, it makes for a fantastic challenge. In Kulkis, you are a coloured ball that bounces off the walls. Some walls, naturally, are covered in spikes. There are also coloured blocks in each level. If you’re the same colour as a block, you’ll smash it instead of uselessly bouncing away. Smashing all blocks unlocks the next area. To change colour, you bounce into splotches of paint. Kulkis takes a bit of learning, but once you start to think of speed as movement, the game becomes super fun.
Disclosure: Jupiter Hadley is an apprentice games wizard at Armor Games, helping them to find released free games to sign