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15 free games to play when you're feeling bored

If boredom is beginning to creep in, these should help you pass the time.

WITH CHRISTMAS COME and gone, and with there still being a bit of time before we return to work, chances are that boredom is beginning to creep in. Since the buildup to the holidays are normally quite busy, it’s likely you will want to stay in and take it easy for a bit.

For those itching for something fun to pass the time, but want to do it from the comfort of their own home, there are a vast number free games to download and play either on your desktop or browser.

Here are some of the best.

For Desktop

Cave Story
Windows, Mac

A platform adventure that took one man five years to develop (all in his free time), Cave Story is a brilliantly crafted game that takes inspiration from classics like Metroid, Gunstar Heroes, and many others.

You will blast through the main game relatively quickly, but the number of hidden extras, boss fights and the effort you have to put in if you want to see the true ending makes this an essential download.

Dwarf Fortress
For: Windows, Mac

Dwarf Fortress basic visuals looks like something you would find on MS DOS, but beneath the surface lies an incredibly complex strategy game.

The game’s open-ended nature and the vast amounts of micro-management required from players may put many off, but those who are willing to put in the time and effort will find an rewarding experience. Just have a guide handy when you’re starting off as it can (and will) get confusing.

image(Image: Bay12Games)

Hidden and Dangerous

A tactical third-person shooter, Hidden and Dangerous sees you take four Allied soldiers on numerous missions during World War II. By today’s standards, the graphics are quite dated, but the core of the game still holds up well and completing each mission without a single casualty is always satisfying.

Dungeon Keeper 2
For: Windows

Bullfrog’s Dungeon Keeper series flips the traditional dungeon crawler on its head by making you the bad guy. Build your own dungeon, recruit monsters, gather gold and defeat any heroes that are foolish enough to venture in.

For: Windows, Mac

Developed by a group of students, Octodad is a cross between the QWOP olympics and the Giant Chicken sketches on Animaniacs. You control an octopus posing as a human and you have to act normal if you don’t want your wife, kids and the world to find out the horrifying truth.

Broken Sword 2.5
For: Windows

A fan-made game, Broken Sword 2.5 is a point and click adventure that’s a nice addition to the series. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the adventures of George Stobbart, anyone who likes puzzles and a easy-going adventure will find much to enjoy here.

image(Image: Broken Sword 2.5)

Trackmania Nations Forever
For: Windows

Trackmania is a game that all about speed. The two main draws are the rewind function, letting you start again or part of the way through a race if you mess up (which you will do often), and online mode which pits you against thousands of players on custom tracks.

There’s a paid version available as well, but chances are you’ll be too preoccupied with beating records on the free version to even think about it.

(Video: WorldCyberGames)

N:The Way Of The Ninja
For: Windows, Mac

Because who doesn’t love ninjas? N has you navigate your agile stick figure ninja across numerous levels collecting gold and generally trying not to get killed.

The physics engine ensures that almost anything can kill you, so bombs, missiles, lasers, drones and falling from heights means you will have enough things to worry about as you go from point A to B.

(Video: TheWayOfTheNinja)

For Web Browser

Super Mario Bros. Crossover

You know what’s better than playing Super Mario Bros? Playing it with a number of other 8 and 16-bit characters. Playing the first level as Megaman, Link or Samus Aran puts a fresh spin on what is a familiar and loved game.

(Video: Machinima)

Portal: The Flash Version

While not having the humour (or graphics) as the series its based upon, Portal: The Flash Version incorporates the best elements of the original and manages to squeeze it all into a tight 2D platformer.

(Video: jmehatesyou)


The original running platformer, Canabalt still holds up well to this day and can quickly become very addictive as you try to run that little bit further. There’s a paid version of it in both the iOS and Android store should you want it on the go.

(Video: Humble Bundle)

Achievement Unlocked 2

For those who like being rewarded for every action, Achievement Unlocked 2 is all about praising your every move through nothing more than a achievement. Move left? Get an achievement. Accidentally killed yourself? Have another achievement. You get the idea.

image(Image: Kongregate)


A beautiful and peaceful game, Flight sees you trying to get your paper airplane as far as possible. Collect stars and upgrade your plane as you try to get it as far as possible. Like Canabalt, it’s also available on iPhone for €0.89.

(Video: TouchGameplay)

Meat Boy

If you’re looking for a no-nonsense and unforgiving platform game, you’ve found it. Meat Boy is uncompromising and frustrating, but its tight controls and brilliant level design means you will always keep coming back for more.

(Video: RiNkE spielt…)

Time Fcuk

A fun puzzle game, Time Fcuk’s dark storyline and mechanics has you switching between dimensions to solve puzzles. Should you complete the main game, there’s a level editor so you can come up with your own twisted levels.

(Video: souldescen)

Read: How to keep your smartphone info safe and secure >

Read: 26 of the best smartphone apps from 2013 >

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