Modern games don’t leave much to the imagination. Sophisticated graphics engines, powerhorse PC hardware and enormous production costs have created games with a level of fidelity we couldn’t have even imagined just 10 years ago. It’s a great time to be a gamer all over the world.
Still, with all the focus on production values, it’s easy to forget about what matters the most: gameplay. To help remind everyone that gaming greatness is more than skin deep, we’ve rounded up 21 games that pack a ton of great gameplay into a tiny package. So read on–you’ll want to download every one of them, and for once, you can!
Desktop Dungeons – Reduces complex Roguelike gameplay to small, puzzle-y chunks perfect for workday coffee breaks.
Nethack – The ultimate Roguelike. A fantasy-themed dungeon crawl with almost-infinite replayability.
Cave Story – The ultimate tiny game. Great gameplay, charming graphics and tons of atmosphere, all in less than a megabyte.
Chalk – Looks like a side-scrolling shooter, but it’s not. Draw chalk lines with your mouse to defeat enemies.
Hero Core – An eerie shooter with super-retro graphics and a catchy soundtrack.
Castle of Elite – A solid, challenging puzzle platformer with a brick-building twist.
DoomRL – Want to check out a roguelike, but high fantasy isn’t your thing? Check out DoomRL, the roguelike based on Id’s hit shooter.
Kryzta – A multi-directional shooter, minus the shooting. Trick enemies into defeating themselves.
Jumpman – Turns traditional platforming on it’s head… Literally.
Icy Tower – Icy Tower may not be the first “jump up a tower” game, but it sure as heck beat Doodle Jump.
Liero – First released in 1998 and played an modded ever since, Liero is a fast-paced, realtime take on Worms-style artillery combat.
N – The game of hair-pullling frustration and exhilarating near-misses. A great test for expert platformers.
Legerdemain – A roguelike with a strong focus on story and setting.
Nikujin – Seems simple at first, but a complicated set of movement controls makes this ninja-themed platformer deeper than it looks.
Noctis IV – This ancient, DOS-based space simulator is still oddly beautiful. Explore all the planets and stars in a giant, lonely galaxy.
ROM CHECK FAIL – What would happen if an old arcade machine didn’t make it past the ROM CHECK screen? Things would get wierd, that’s what.
rRootage – This abstract, “bullet hell” style shooter features four unique game modes, and hundreds of bosses to defeat.
A7Xpg – Another game from rRootage creator ABA Games, A7Xpg features multi-directional movement.
Treasure Treasure: Fortress Forage – A tiny game for two. Co-op platforming action on a single computer.
Viriax – Like Dr. Mario, but in reverse, Viriax puts you in the role of a virus wreaking havoc on a human body. Macabre, but addicting.
Warning Forever – Another vertical shooter that chooses to do away with the schlubby minor baddies in favor of all boss fights, all the time.