Your favourite 2D games

Hi everyone,

I’m looking for 2D games suggestions and reviews for the PC. I’m talking about games like Peggle, Plants VS Zombies and World Of Goo. Or even games like Puzzle Quest.

Extra points if you can buy them in the form of a download, but if not, that’s fine.

Thanks very much.

I’m all about adventure gaming, and there are some pretty goodfreeware and abandonware ones out there. Out of Order is one of my favorites. I can’t tell you too much about it without spoiling it, except to say that it is hilarious.

“Short Circuit”, for the Apple II.

Talismania and Zuma aren’t bad. Quite dissimilar but one I enjoy is Monster’s Den/ Monster’s Den: Book of Dread, which are sort of browser based tactical roguelikes.

Bejeweled Blitz.

Strictly speaking, I don’t see how Plants vs. Zombies is 2D. Regardless, the best 2D game of all time is free —Cave Story.

Just finished it myself(on the PC) and it was great.

I also recommend Ben Croshaw’s series featuring Trilby:

Start with “5 Days a Stranger”

What’s our definition of 2D here? Is it “not rendered in polygons”? Or is it “all action occurs on 2 axes?” The OP originally listed nothing but puzzle games - is that deliberate? I’m going to throw out a wild scattering of personal favorites.

Kohan: Ahriman’s Gift is an excellent 2D title for the PC, but it’s kinda old these days. Dunno how obtainable it is. I really enjoyed StarScape from Moonpod (also rather old at this point) - who also make the well regarded Mr. Robot. Of course, there is also the classic Star Control 2 (Available from Sourceforge, free as Star Control 2: The Ur-quan Masters). and no 2d game roundup is complete without Battle for Wesnoth.

Not sure what the argument is for Plants vs Zombies not being 2D, unless you mean “because some zombies fly”.

Cave Story (best)

Within a Deep Forest
Commander Keen

I really want to try the Yahtzee games —I wish they would port them over to Mac or something!

They are great. There really isn’t some phony Windows thing you can get that can run them? Like a fake Windows 95 emulator thingy should work.

They are really simple and low tech.

Cave Story


Trine (I haven’t played this one, but you can try the demo)

Aventure Game Studio, the underlying engine, has a beta Mac port. You’ll need both it and the Windows version of the game. Instructions here on how to get it to work. Good luck.

Star Control 2 is my favorite game of all time. It’s as 2D as it gets, having been released in the early 90s. It is currently available legally and free via download from sourceforge.

It’s a sandbox adventure game with an over-arching story. Fantastic achievement for its time. I still hop on and mess around with it every now and again just for kicks.

If you find it really fun and end up winning it, or if you like it but get frustrated, here is a complete walkthru I wrote that includes virtually all the storylines in the game.

Thanks for the tip. They have tragically discontinued the beta, but one of these days, I’ll get WINE to work on this machine, and then we’ll see…

Thanks for all the replies, I’ll be hunting down or buying most of these today to try out. I guess by 2D I mean, if it’s not a puzzle or strategy game then it’s side scrolling. However, I’m quite happy for suggestions that don’t fit this criteria if the game is simple and addictive.

As for Plants VS Zombies, I would say it was 2D but if you don’t, that’s fine with me.


Jet Set Willy II.

The original Sonic series on the Megadrive/Genesis.

Puyo Puyo.

Not sure if it’s considered 2D, but I really loved the original Panzer General game. I remember replaying it over and over, deliberately losing or barely winning battles to see where the campaign would take me (I remember that you could play through in such a way that you got to invade the US…or have a horrific final battle in Berlin but with some really cool units). I don’t even know if it will play on a computer these days, but it was sure fun at the time.

Another game I really liked (though, again, not sure if it qualifies as 2D) was the original Bards Tale on the C-64…man, I really loved that game as well.


I always sort of wished I’d played The Bard’s Tale back in the 80s. I doubt I’d enjoy it very much now because gaming has changed so much.

I did play Panzer General and several of the sequels, mainly Allied General but also People’s General and Fantasy General. Panzer was my favorite, and I see from the Wiki entry that there’s a freeware version of it called LGeneral that I’ll have to check out.

More interesting, perhaps, is that there appears to be a modified version of PGII, which I never got around to playing. Panzer General II Adlerkorps Edition v1.0.

Another retro suggestion is 1830, based on the boardgame of that name. It’s about the golden age of railroad robber barons. Superficially similar to games like Railroad Tycoon, but the emphasis is more on stock market shenanigans. The AI is really good, providing tough opponents.

Also seconding the ingenious Braid and of course Cave Story, which is a must-play for anyone who remotely likes platform games. A real labour of love, that one.

I recently played an enjoyed Genetos, which is an indie… homage to all manner of top-scrolling shooting games from Space Invaders to roughly the Radiant Silvergun era. Worth checking out if you’re a fan of the genre, and it’s free, so the price is always right.