Modern games have moved beyond the metaphor of hearts as health, so whenever I see them used, they shout "retro" at me in a very loud, yet sultry voice. And with Maldita Castilla, a free PC title unashamedly inspired by the like of Ghost'n'Goblins and Shinobi, that voice is particularly passionate.
Described by developer Locomalito as an "an arcade adventure of chivalry and horror", Maldita Castilla puts you in the chainmail boots and coiffed head of hero Don Ramiro as he traverses the "cursed lands of Tolomera". The name itself means "cursed/damned castle", so it's not surprising that you eventually do battle in a castle full of evil nasties.
The game's style and sound couldn't be more retro. A special full-screen effect emulates an old CRT monitor, while the music is composed in such a way to emulate the Yamaha YM2203 — a sound chip common to arcade machines, according to the developer.
While it's free and comes with a bunch of no-cost extras, including "making-of" PDFs and posters, you can donate to the developer for a few tasty goodies. At one stage this included a boxed copy of the game, though it looks like they're sold out.