10 great free games

We list a bunch of fantastic free games (and links to hundreds of other time-killers). You're welcome.

Sometimes you don't need an elaborate story to enjoy a game. You just want to tune out for a minute. In that case, allow me to introduce A Game About Bouncing. You control a ball and need to bounce off other balls while avoiding ball-seeking missiles. It's actually a little hypnotic once you start getting into it. If you dig that, also explore the creator's site for a taste of Chain3, his iPhone game that will launch at the iTunes store in July.

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Hit the spacebar. Do it again. And there is your walk-through of how to play Streetwise. This goofball game is one big timing puzzle. The object: You have 2 minutes to see how many cutesy obstacles you can get past. That's it? Yep, and those 2 minutes will seem like the longest of your life.

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As a huge fan of classic graphic adventure games, I loved playing Dirty Split. Only problem for me is that while trying to crack this murder mystery, I got too distracted by how professional this freeware game looks. It has tons of style (it looks like a mod 1960s cartoon) and even has great voice acting while you interview suspects. The real crime here is not trying this game.

Once upon a time, there was this classic game series called Star Control. It was an action game, a space-trading and exploration game — and then it was gone. The Ur-Quan Masters is a full recreation of that classic experience, and now playable on just about every platform. If you've ever fancied yourself as the next Captain Kirk (or Picard, or whatever), you need to try this one out.

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If you don't get Atari 2600 flashbacks the second you start playing Cliffall - Treasures of the Lost Cave, I don't know what to tell you. While the game is a lovingly low-fidelity tribute to the ancient Pitfall, there's enough new polish here to enjoy swinging through this digital jungle.

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Darren Gladstone

PC World (US online)
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