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Free: Split ‘Em Up

Free: Split ‘Em Up

A twist switch on the classic Space Invaders shooter, Split ‘Em Up gives you two gunpods which can be separated into their own units at will; detriment or advantage? Your call.

Free: Mechanical Commando

Free: Mechanical Commando

In the best traditions of “shoot first, ask questions later,” Mechanical Commando is a robotic remake of the classic NES’ Commando; our trigger finger still aches (in a good way).

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Ragdoll Cannon: Remake

Ragdoll Cannon: Remake

It won’t be winning any awards for the graphics, but Ragdoll Cannon: Remake is deliciously fun; your objective is to hurl hordes of ragdolls at targets spread across 25 levels.

Demo: Cloudwitch

Demo: Cloudwitch

It’s not yet finished or stable, but Project Cloudwitch is a promising indie effort by C2 Estudio; there’s nothing like Robotech-style combat to get our heartrate up. Note: requires Unity Player.

Free: Stackopolis

Free: Stackopolis

An oldie but a goodie, Stackopolis lets you build pixel cities using blocks to a Cowboy Bepop-ish soundtrack. Seems easy, until you run out the clock and get your ass handed to you.

Free: The Last Stand

Free: The Last Stand

Yes, it’s yet another zombie game, but The Last Stand had us hooked for a solid hour trying to survive twenty successive waves of the undead; hint: invest in a good weapon early.

Free: Battle Gear

Free: Battle Gear

What better way to ring in the new year than with a bid for world domination: Battle Gear offers both offensive and defensive modes, with a vast selection of land, air and sea units.

Free: Black Knight

Free: Black Knight

Black Knight will never replace real chess, but a number of innovations including irregularly tiled boards, unlockable regions, hidden tiles and teleport pads keep things interesting.

Cortex Command

Cortex Command

Cortex Command may be a work in progress, but it’s already loads of fun: this game is all about the explosions, with showers of debris rendered with a detailed physics engine.

Free: Pyro

Free: Pyro

Pyro is a bit like billiards, assuming you set your cue balls on fire and tipped the table over vertically; your objective is to light torches using elastic fireballs and combustible crates.

Free: Vectoroid

Free: Vectoroid

Vectoroid may be nothing more than a bunch of lines and points, but this homage to Asteroids is a literal blast with upgrades, enemies, hit points and a gun that never stops firing.

Free: Viking Defense

Free: Viking Defense

We have a weakness for tower defense games, so it’s no surprise we’ve wasted countless hours on Viking Defense; there’s nothing like a horde of pillagers to get your heartrate up.

Trial: Robokill

Trial: Robokill

Fast-paced, mech-on-mech combat, what’s not to like? Robokill is a top-down shooter filled with upgrades and spiffy graphics; the full version gets you over 460 rooms and 10 levels.

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Free: Frost Bite 2

Free: Frost Bite 2

A less violent, more vertically oriented version of Bionic Commando, Frost Bite 2 uses a grappling hook that lets you catapult your way up walls and cliffs; it also doubles as a weapon.

Free: Minotaur China Shop

Free: Minotaur China Shop

Minotaur China Shop takes a bad career choice and turns it into an unusual physics-based game; it’s a bit like walking on pins and needles, but the Rage mode is strangely satisfying.

Free: Boomshine

Free: Boomshine

If you liked Auditorium, chances are you’ll also find Boomshine interesting; you’re only allowed one shot per level to start a musical chain reaction that, when properly timed is very satisfying.

Free: Auditorium

Free: Auditorium

Auditorium is an intensely atmospheric musical instrument game with puzzle elements, with the payoff being a coherent piece of music; it’s best understood by simply playing it.

Free: IncrediBots

Free: IncrediBots

Despite its simple appearance, IncrediBots is surprisingly addictive: use three basic joints and shapes to build everything from Rube Goldberg machines and rag dolls to catapults.

Free: Mastermind

Free: Mastermind

Megalomaniacs can get their game on with Mastermind: the game lets you put your nefarious plans to work with minions and a secret base; too bad it’s not hidden within a volcano.

Free: Light Heroes

Free: Light Heroes

Take R-Type, mix it liberally with Dragonball Z and you’ll get Light Heroes, a side-scrolling shoot ’em up with a surprising amount of upgrades; warning: your clicking finger will hurt.

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Free: Mirror’s Edge 2D

Free: Mirror’s Edge 2D

Mirror’s Edge 2D is a terrific side-scrolling version of the original game, although it’s limited to one stage. It takes getting used to but hang on to that S key for some glorious airtime.

Free: StarBaron

Free: StarBaron

Those of us still waiting for a true Master of Orion successor should check out StarBaron; it’s a space-themed RTS that isn’t too complex, making it ideal for a lunch break romp.

Free: Quick Fire Pool

Free: Quick Fire Pool

Quick Fire Pool does away with opponents and pits you against the timer; basically, pocket as many balls as you can in a given time, with extra time and points for special moves.

Free: Zompocalypse

Free: Zompocalypse

Playing Zompocalypse isn’t braaaiiinn surgery; this simple side scrolling shooter has you fending often overwhelming hordes of zombies; it even supports Xbox 360 wireless controllers.

Free: 99 Bricks

Free: 99 Bricks

99 Bricks looks like Tetris, but strips away the walls and adds basic physical laws to turn it into a teetering version of Jenga. As one commenter notes, it’s addictive but frustrating.

Free: Bomba

Free: Bomba

Deceptively simple, Bomba is definitely not for the jittery handed: this game maps movements precisely to your mouse, meaning even minor flicks of the wrist can end in instant death.

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