Free Game Friday: Great games with simple controls

Games in general are getting bigger and more complex ,but there’s still some pleasure in the more simple games. Press X to shoot, press up to jump, that's more than enough to make a great game. This week we’ve got five games that hand you a few simple controls and send you on your way while still managing to give you an entertaining experience.

Counter Terror

Counter Terror is a 2D tactical game that’s heavy on the action and a little bit short on tactics. For most of the game you can kind of shoot blindly into enemies or lob the occasional grenade to kill all your opponents. Still, it’s hard to fault the game overmuch for that considering all it does provide. 10 levels, local multiplayer and a final boss along with some delightful controls and graphics are hard to say no to, especially given the price. Plus the game doesn’t seem to take itself too seriously, with some funny dialogue that keeps the tone light for a game about killing terrorists.

I Can’t Escape

I can’t confirm that the title of I Can’t Escape is actually incorrect. Though I played for quite a while I wasn’t ever able to escape from the game’s underground maze. I can confirm that when played as suggested, in full-screen mode with fairly low brightness on my screen, the game is terrifying. I’ve seen a lot of complaints that the game is unfairly difficult, with hidden falls and monsters aplenty, but those seem like deliberate and effective atmospheric choices.

Swift Stitch

Swift Stitch is a great example of how to turn simplicity into a compelling game. Not only does the game have very simple vector graphics, but the basic controls need only one button. Press your mouse button to move up and down, let it go to move up and down. Soon though the game sends you careening through levels that will turn those controls into a surprisingly complex and difficult game as you try to avoid walls while spinning out of control at odd angles.

Binary Boy

Binary Boy exists in two states: he’s either above the line or under it. Luckily he can travel freely between the two, and he’ll need to since both sides of the line have plenty of enemies and obstacles that you need to flip past if you’re going to beat this intriguing little side-scroller.

Nondevicer

Strangely enough, though I knew about none of these games before this week the best way I can describe Nondevicer is as a combination of Swift Stitch and Binary Boy. It’s a platformer where you can only move left or right at any given moment and have to reach specific triggers to switch direction. This makes for some entertaining puzzles, but some frustrating ones as well since overshooting a jump often means traveling all the way back to the end of the level to reset your direction to travel all the way back the other way and start again.

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