Breaker is a great, free bullet hell arcade game with a banging soundtrack

I'm no good at Ikaruga, but I'm surprisingly slightly competent at Daniel Linssen's brilliant, and Ikaruga-inspired arcade game Breaker. Created for the 2018 Fantastic Arcade Bundle, but now available to download separately for free, Breaker is a "blend of Breakout, Space Invaders and Ikaruga", that feels thrillingly original with it.

You play as a sort of rectangle thing, using the left and right arrow keys to rotate yourself around a playing field. As this field gradually fills with enemies, and their bullets, you can use your body to repel the projectiles back towards their owners. Here's where the Ikaruga part comes in: when you move left, you turn blue; when you go right, you turn red; and you can only repel bullets that are the same colour as you.

As you might imagine, the screen quickly becomes full of red and blue bullets, and blue and red enemies, which you'll need to dodge while only moving left or right at the appropriate times. There are additional palettes to unlock as you best bosses and work your way up the score table, but what will really keep you playing is the tremendously catchy electronic soundtrack, which seems to evolve depending on how things are going.

You can grab Breaker from here, and if you're a fan of classic arcade games you really should.

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

Tom Sykes

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.