I'm all for celebrating slack on a weekly basis here at PC World, but there's something more tangible that I like just as much: free games. Now a little confession before I go any further. In my past life as a video-gaming journalist, I was a bit of a freeloader — that is, I'd be ferreting out freebies that were just addictive fun. And today, I'm giving you my personal Top 10 free games that I'm playing right now — with a bonus eleventh game, to boot — and links to hundreds of others).
The Best Free Games (This Week)
One of last year's hits, Portal, had a simple concept: Shoot a warp hole in one wall and create the exit point in another. Easily one of my favorite puzzle-solving games in years, it was brilliant, but waaaaay too brief. To keep me going, I've played Portal: The Flash Version on lunch breaks but that still isn't enough. Ready for another 40 levels of brain-bending puzzles? These days, I'm making my way through P:TFV Mappack, which plugs into the original PC version of Portal.
This next game is really the touching story of a boy and his toilet paper, which has rolled away from home. So what's a kid to do? Follow it all over town, apparently. In the appropriately named Jimmy's Lost His Toilet Paper, it's up to you, playing Jimmy, to run through a series of levels and try to collect all the loose tp and, according to the instructions, "find love and meaning to his life on the way" — and maybe a free stall.
In the same way that I got a kick out of playing Portal: The Flash Version, two other site-based games keep me coming back to play. The first is Shift-3. The general idea is that you've got to navigate rooms and make it to the exit door. You do that by hitting your Shift key to invert the world and change your perspective on each puzzle. Trust me, you'll want to play it. The other is a platform game called....wait for it... Platform. You play through 33 levels of running and jumping to reach the end. It's a little old, but I still come back to it on occasion.