Trine meets Zelda in free puzzler Vault: Tomb of the King

(Image credit: Tom Sykes)

A warrior, a rogue and a wizard walk into a bar. The warrior defeats the barkeep, who had turned into an angry skeleton. The rogue disables a trap on the floor, while the wizard lights up the room with his wizarding staff. So the average room goes in top-down puzzle game Vault: Tomb of the King, which is Zelda but Trine, or Trine but Zelda: it's basically a big dungeon filled with puzzle spaces.

Using the keys 1, 2 and 3, you'll switch between the fighty warrior bloke, who can push things and kill bad guys; the rogue, who moves quickly and can disarm traps; and the wizard, whose magic adds light to the room, and who can fling spells at barrier-switches to toggle them on and off. There's not much difficulty at first, but then timed elements are added, including traps that shoot deadly spikes, and skeletons that will attack you, if you get too close.

I was a little unsure of Vault, before it started testing my reflexes, but then it clicked, and I found a lot to enjoy about this demo. It's a game that feels good to control, and that offers frequent rewards in the form of monetary pickups, with some being out of the way, in hard-to-reach places. The puzzles are probably the best parts of a traditional Zelda game's dungeons, so it makes a lot of sense for a game to expand on that element, and to downplay the combat. Vault is shaping up to be a promising game—the update gifs on the Game Jolt page hint at more intriguing abilities to come from the three heroes.

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.