The best free games are on PC, and if you want to know what the best 50 are then you’ve come to the right place.
RPS Feature No free-to-play, just free.
RPS Feature We spoke to the developers about jumping
What makes Metanet’s long-running N series different to other platformers? Each level takes place on a single screen, and that makes it uncommon, but certainly not unique. It focuses on acrobatic avoidance of hazards, but that makes it an elder cousin to Super Meat Boy.
Instead, N is distinctive for its use of physics, or more precisely, its take on physics. Though it uses just three digital inputs: right, left and jump, the dynamic range of your little stick ninja’s movement is incredible, and just keeps expanding as you learn its nuances. The feel of N’s blend of low-gravity floatiness, inertia and lightness is irresistible, and Mare Sheppard and Raigan Burns have constantly been refining it from when the first game came out in 2004 to N++, which came out on PC just yesterday. And at the core of how its physics works is a single principle:
THE MECHANIC: Jumping adds velocity
It’s been over ten years since the ninja of N first got torn to shreds in your incapable, flabby hands. Now, you can put your fist through your screen all over again because N++ [official site], the sequel once exclusive to PlayStation, is finally getting a PC release next Thursday. This one has got a level editor, so that you may torture the rest of humanity with mine-filled challenges never intended to be possible. See it in the trailer below.
N [official site], as I discovered this morning, is still a hole I’m more than happy to fall down. Along with Spelunky and ADOM, it’s one of the few games that has a permanent place on my hard drive. If you haven’t played it, you should go and do that right now. It’s free. Caution is advised, however, because N might consume you. It’s hard as nails but every time you die, you’ll recognise the error that lead to your doom.
N++ [official site] is a double-plus super upgraded version of the game, originally released on PS4. Despite some hitches in the porting process, it’s coming to PC.
Have You Played? is an endless stream of game recommendations. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
N consumed me. For months, for hours a day, I’d be poking at arrow keys, perfecting jumps, wall-jumps and slides in order to dodge electrifying scooters, crushing thwumps, explosive mines and laser-targeted missiles. My reward, a replay at the end of each exhausting level which discarded my failed attempts and left only the perfect, graceful, balletic triumph.
N had hundreds of levels, then. v2.0 has hundreds more and it’s still free.
Metanet’s charming platformer N is so old the only wallpapers available at their site are in a 4:3 aspect ratio. That’s as close to a ‘yo momma’ joke as I’m comfortable making, but it’s also true – the high-res desktop backgrounds are 1600×1200. Out of curiosity, is there anyone reading this on a 4:3 monitor? Are you visiting your parents? The platform puzzle game was released in 2005, which in game time means it’s due a comfortable and easy retirement at one of our specially constructed facilities. But N has other ideas: Version 2.0 has just been released, and the old Ninja’s joints are as flexible and detachable as ever.
Ah. “‘n'”. It’s had a difficult history as a link between words, poor little “‘n'”, but let’s overlook a serious analysis of grammatical monstrosities in pop culture. There’s other things to deal with – namely, Jets ‘n’ Guns Gold, that you can currently download. For free. And it’s the full thing, As long as you do it quickly. At the time of writing, there’s still sixteen hours left to download it and install it. And for fans of old-skool Amiga Shooters, you’ll find a suitable Saturday blast a-waiting. Opinions and similar follow, via the medium of internet words.
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