10 Essential Free Games of 2016
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Some of the most fascinating games this year were entirely free on Itch.io, a distribution channel for indie games. Glixel

From RPG puzzlers to first person shooters, download platform Itch.io is giving free to play a good name

In 2016, the notion of downloading free games like Knytt and Dwarf Fortress from creators' obscure personal sites seems quaint. These days, even the tiniest dev teams battle for your attention on Steam, the sprawling distribution platform whose catalog seems to grow exponentially every year. But what about developers whose work exists on the boundaries? Lucky for them, sites like Itch.io continue to provide a durable platform for more experimental games – a mission that feels even more important as these online marketplaces continue to metastisize. While Itch.io does allow gamemakers to charge money for their work, the vast majority of of games on offer can be downloaded absolutely free. Here are ten of the best from 2016.