2D gaming seems to be coming back into fashion, and developer Sparky's Star Guard is a neat minimal reminder about what makes it great.
Available for Mac and Windows, this little game offers simplicity and really well balanced gameplay. There is some excellent level design that offers some memorable sequences. The minimal graphics prove that it is gameplay that matters, and also that old school graphics can still be effective.
The story - a spaceman battling through a castle to defeat an evil wizard - is told to you as you progress, and it helps drive the game. There are infinite lives, and regular check points which make it relatively easy. On the other hand there are some tricky passages, which would be horribly frustrating if they resulted in a game over. Once completed, a hard mode is unlocked, and you can practice any level in Trial mode.
Star Guard is a really enjoyable platform game, so don't be put off by the minimal 80s graphical style!