Free PC game: Dwarf Fortress

(Image credit: Bay 12 Games)

BEST FREE STRATEGY GAMES

Dwarf Fortress – A complex game of colony management that’s still in development 18 years after its original inception. The incredible depth of its simulation doesn’t just add depth and challenge, it allows for emergent stories to arise as you play, giving your dwarves a life of their own.

Tiny Islands – You’re drawing maps of little islands in the sea here, by placing beaches, houses, even waves as random cards are dealt out to you. But placement is everything, as every icon has its own set of rules.

Brogue – ASCII roguelikes have a reputation for being impenetrable. Brogue, despite staying true to the genre, works hard to feel approachable. The controls make navigating its dungeons a breeze, and the elegant shading makes its symbols atmospheric and readable.

Terra Nil – Terra Nil begins at the ultimate end of civilisation, letting you breathe life back into a post-apocalyptic wasteland. In this relaxing, therapeutic anti-builder, you construct devices to cleanse the earth, and to regrow green plants and trees.

Best free PC games: Chill and relaxing

Free PC game: Lieve Oma

(Image credit: Florian Veltman)

BEST FREE CHILL GAMES

Advertisement

Toripon – You’re stuck inside your flat, thankfully with company. Instead of friends, your companions here are loads and loads of birds. Don’t look a gift parakeet in the mouth. Just sit back and explore your apartment, examining every nook and every crevice for your feathered friends.

Bernband – You’re an alien in an alien city, going for a nice walk. Flying cars BladeRunner past as you cross a bridge, someone’s rapping in the corner of the car park, and every crowd hubbubs away. Despite the four-fingered hands and alien aviary, it feels like a real city. A real chill city.

Lieve Oma – Lieve Oma takes you on a relaxing jaunt through an autumnal wood on the hunt for mushrooms. As you scamper around, your granny follows slowly behind, teaching you about which mushrooms are okay to eat and teaching you her humble life lessons.

Forest Are For Trees – Walking through the forest is something that takes on new meaning in this mind-expanding exploration game, which is small and possibly infinite all at once. It’s a walking sim, sort of, where you traipse around an eerie woodland. But something funny happens when you make contact with a tree. Inside every tree there’s another forest full of ghostly tre