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Black Firmament 2: a free dogfighting game you could fit on a postage stamp

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(Image credit: Tom Sykes)

'Full(ish)-fledged spaceship sims but at a tiny resolution' is a trend I am most in favour of. I first encountered it in the hugely impressive Norman's Sky (opens in new tab), which squished the enormous sci-fi game into a 64x64 window, and I encounter the trend again in Black Firmament 2: PAX (opens in new tab). It's Wing Commander, or Freespace, basically a space dogfighting game, but in a window the size of a thumbnail.

Obviously, 64x64 is not an ideal resolution to play at, even when the image is blown up to fit on your screen, but I'm impressed by just how readable Black Firmament is despite that. HUD elements can be clearly made out, and enemies distinguished from the black-purple background, if only by the colour of their smeared pixel trails. If you can get used to how it looks, it's an enjoyable, simplistic dogfighting game that captures the essence of the genre with the barest components.

Resolution aside, there aren't too many of these games about now, particularly that you can play in your browser. So take a seat, try not to cut yourself on the pixels, and do try to blast every last one of your enemies to smithereens, in this ridiculously teeny action game. (Thanks, Warp Door (opens in new tab).)

For more great free experiences, check out our roundup of the best free PC games.

Tom loves exploring in games, whether it’s going the wrong way in a platformer or burgling an apartment in Deus Ex. His favourite game worlds—Stalker, Dark Souls, Thief—have an atmosphere you could wallop with a blackjack. He enjoys horror, adventure, puzzle games and RPGs, and played the Japanese version of Final Fantasy VIII with a translated script he printed off from the internet. Tom has been writing about free games for PC Gamer since 2012. If he were packing for a desert island, he’d take his giant Columbo boxset and a laptop stuffed with PuzzleScript games.