Gaming has finally caught on with millions of people. Even casual gamers are addicted to the app-based Candy Crush. You don’t have to play countless hours of World of Warcraft to be considered a gamer. It makes sense that games cost money, and major releases can run upwards of $60. Small, indie games are cheaper, but they will still cost you money.
If you’re looking for something to entertain you during any kind of downtime, check these out. They are games for both mobile platforms (phones and tablets) as well as some computer games. They’re easy to understand, fun to play and have surprising depth…
And did we mention that they’re free?
In REDDER, you’re a tiny astronaut on a big planet. Your ship has crashed, and will only be able to fly again if you collect enough crystals. It’s a pretty straightforward platformer, but what makes this one is the design of its world. There’s no imminent danger on this abandoned world (there are some lasers that can explode you, but no enemies), but the place is incredibly eerie. Available to play on Newgrounds.
Anna Anthropy is the creator of several casual-style puzzle games like REDDER. While some, like “Gay Cats Go to the Weird Weird Woods” (that is really what it’s called) are pretty simple in concept, others, like this one, have a little more to say. dys4ia tells of her experience as a transgender woman, and the player has to navigate the transition process. Available on Newgrounds.
This game is designed to be played on a mobile device with at least one other person, and usually it devolves into everyone shouting bizarre instructions at one another. The object is to keep your spaceship aloft and not on fire by shouting imperative instructions at one another. Your neighbors will be confused. Available on Android and iOS.
4.) Dumb Ways to Die
This game was actually developed with the help of the Melbourne Transit Authority as a sort-of public service announcement about not being dumb around trains because being dumb around trains will probably kill you. It’s also a hilarious game, where you have to prevent your little characters from offing themselves with their sheer stupidity. And yes, several of them are train-themed. Available for Android and iOS, and you can download the theme song, too.
5.) Five Minutes to Kill (Yourself)
Adult Swim isn’t known for always being politically correct, so get used to that. The objective here is to kill yourself, in case “Dumb Ways to Die” was too life-affirming for you. You have five minutes and a cubicle hellscape that’s curiously full of dangerous items. If you don’t do yourself in, you have to attend a meeting. Available online.
6.) Plague, Inc
Too soon? In this strategy game, you can tap into your evil side and unleash a plague over the entire planet. Strategize ways to evolve your bug so that the puny humans stand no chance.
7.) Dots: A Game About Connecting
A better subtitle might be “A Game About Missing Your Stop on the Train Because You’ve Become Obsessed.” This simple game is just about connecting like-colored dots and gaining points, which can be used to buy power-ups. There are awards to unlock, too, but they become harder to get as you go along. It’s not exactly mentally stimulating, but it’s pleasant, easy and good for zoning out. Available for Android and iOS. There’s also a sequel called TwoDots, which is more puzzle-based, but as of now, that’s only available for iOS.
8.) You Don’t Know Jack
This is a snarky take on the quiz game, combining word play, pop references and actual knowledge. New questions are added every week, and reflect topical issues. You can also use a multi-player mode to play with (or against) friends online. It even has fake sponsors and commercials so you don’t miss out on that TV feeling. Available for Android and iOS.
9.) Ready Steady Bang
You can play this quick-fire dueling game alone, and pit yourself against legendary cowboys to collect achievements, or you can play two-player (on a single screen, though) against a friend. Collect all 30 dramatic death scenes. Available for Android and iOS.
10.) Every Day The Same Dream
This game is extremely simple in terms of play, but relentless in content. You play as a nameless, faceless office worker whose life is made up of routine. Unless, of course, you do things differently. But even if you decide to, say, show up for work in your underwear, or skip work altogether and hang out with some cows, are you ever really free? Available on the Molle Industria
11.) Bonus! I MAED A GAM3 W1TH Z0MB1ES 1N IT!!!1
Okay, this game isn’t free, but it’s only $1. Come on, it’s a dollar and it’s an endless barrage of blowing the heck out of zombies, complete with original soundtrack and neverending ammo. This is the kind of game that’s fun to play when you’re mad, or at the end of a long night when you don’t have the capacity to do anything but hold A. Available on Xbox.
If these intrigued you, then game on, because remember they are totally free. Let yourself unwind after a long day by playing a fun game. They are mentally stimulating and gaming can actually improve your critical thinking skills.
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