Take on a deadly monster in free horror adventure Zermatt: Zero

(Image credit: kiririn51, Juneji, FireSlash)

Look at that pixel art! So clean and crisp, and pretty darn authentic to the PC-98 (an old Japanese PC), to which this retro-inspired adventure game is hearkening back to. You're trapped on a spaceship with a roving, xenomorph-style monster, who will devour you if you happen to be on the wrong screen at the wrong time. To succeed (and here succeed means 'not die'), you'll have to carefully explore the ship, rummaging around for supplies, while using a scanner to frequently check on the position of the monster.

It's a tense game—rub shoulders with the beast and it's an instant game over—even if that all-important scanning device does feel a bit lacking compared to the one in Aliens. Slightly disappointingly, it's just a menu option followed by a line of text, which isn't quite as terrifying as Aliens' steadily advancing white blips.

Elsewhere, Zermatt impresses with its retro aesthetic, which looks remarkably similar to screenshots I've seen of PC-98 games. Environments are suitably moody, and the electronic soundtrack does a lot to keep you on edge. In essence, Zermatt is similar to the old MacVenture games (including Shadowgate and Uninvited), in that it's a graphical, first-person horror-adventure where death could be waiting around every corner. I think you'll enjoy it, if you're a fan of those—just be sure to keep an eye on that scanner. (Thanks, Warp Door.)

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.