Unfortunately, a lot of us don’t have the free time necessary to tackle hours-long RPG experiences or stay committed to a single game for more than a couple of days. You might only have just enough time to play a very brief game before going back to work or turning in to sleep. I will briefly cover five short, free games from a diverse range of genres, all of which can be downloaded right away from itch.io!
Wizard’s Way Out
An amateur, underachieving wizard peeks into a hole in the ground and ends up falling in a dark prison! With guidance from their ratbug sidekick and their telekinesis skills, you must escape from the underground labyrinth and its hideous guards!
You have a limited number of moves to eliminate the guards and escape each of the game’s tight rooms. You can push or pull items or enemies at any distance if they’re horizontal or vertical to you. Some enemies have quirks, such as being immovable, and you need to work around all of them. In a sense, the game feels like a fresh fantasy take on the classic puzzle game Sokoban, with a sketchy artstyle and a cute wizard!
In this free game, you lead a prince through the ruins of an alien planet and towards going up a bewitching abandoned tower to get its prized crown in a gorgeous hand-drawn adventure!
Although the controls are extremely simple (you can only move and jump), the platforming remains intriguing, with exploration encouraged thanks to secrets hidden about the world. The game only has two levels but makes up for its short length with its fantastic art style and excellent environmental music. Plus, the game includes a login system allowing you to sync your best times with the online leaderboard!
Inside the Void
After a previous exploration crew went missing, you have been sent to an unknown planet to investigate and find the crew if possible. Interestingly, the planet is populated with mysterious structures hinting at the remnants of a populace!
As a walking simulator, you explore the strange planet in search of clues strewn about in the form of message pods to discern the fate of the crew or the stories behind the unsettling architecture. The surreal, vaporware aesthetics combined with the eerie setting and ominous soundtrack makes this short title an easy recommend! While the mobile versions are VR-based and paid, the desktop version is free.
You can read the full review here.
Inspired by the Japanese street racing manga and cult classic Initial D, this free game has you drift through deserts, mountainous regions, and more while rocking to the music by Evan King! But with a small catch: your cars are overly sensitive and will drift on the slightest nudge!
Jelly Drift is a good and quirky choice if you have fifteen minutes to spare. Rather than just race your opponents, you also must somehow fight against, practice, and tame the extremely banana controls of your vehicle. The tracks aren’t long, and you only need to last for one lap, but the game remains challenging overall.
Armed with a unique pair of rechargeable gummy guns, you must run and gun your way through hordes of enemies and defeat the boss in the shortest time possible, all while managing your limited ammo in this brief one-button title!
Although the game can be cleared in around two minutes, you will have to try several times to get the hang of the controls. To shoot and run you need to hold space but releasing it will send you back by a short distance and let you recharge your guns. Aside from the stationary enemies, some like to rush towards your direction and others are even unpredictable with their jumping, so you must juggle all of them at once to survive!
This is just an astronomically small list of free short games you can find on itch.io! There are plenty more experiences releasing daily, covering all difficulties and all genres that you can easily find just by strolling through the top free games page on the website, most of them guaranteed to be worth your time!