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101 Free Games for 2008

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the one-of-the-best-kind dept.

Games 40

From Angry Boulders to Wormux, 1up and Games for Windows magazine offers a massive list of 101 free games. "While you're waiting around for the next Orange Territory: Biogate Crisis-- Tournament in Conflict to appear, hundreds of little independent and free games piling up unplayed. And believe it or not, saving pennies can put you on the cutting edge, as today's freebies are résumés for tomorrow's gaming greats: The team that created Portal cut its teeth on Narbacular Drop; the PlayStation 3 downloadable hit Everyday Shooter got its start as potential PC freeware--until Sony scooped it up after a gangbusters Game Developers Conference showing. So make a new Year's resolution: Let 2008 be the Year of Freeware."

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40 comments

Anyone played any of these? (2, Insightful)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 6 years ago | (#22054196)

It's good to see support and advertisement for such things. The overall quality may be nowhere near what a huge corporation of designers, coders, and writers can do, but these things are a great way to get new flavors. Yeah, there's some crap like DBZ V. Street Fighter but there looks to be some innovative, or at least different, games in there that are a great way to add spice to your other wise boring routine.

Awesome list (4, Insightful)

qortra (591818) | more than 6 years ago | (#22054276)

There are a lot of gems on this list. I hate to say it, but I really do love some of the clones out there. I remember playing Freeciv for hours on end back in the day. One clone that caught my attention in this list was Wormux [wormux.org] . My friends and I have been addicted to Worms 2 lately (an amazingly fun game), and this looks like an awesome alternative. The best part about choosing a free alternative is not usually the initial cost; it's the fact that the free alternative usually gets better as time goes on, Worms 2 is not like to change any time soon.

Re:Awesome list (1)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | more than 6 years ago | (#22054634)

Wormux is pretty fun, it might be lacking a few of the nice features of Worms 2, but hey, its free and still loads of fun!

frozen bubble, scorched 3d, super tux, and bomber clone are all also very decent games and are available from apt/Synaptic :)

Wormux not so great (4, Interesting)

Sowelu (713889) | more than 6 years ago | (#22054682)

I hate to say it, but as a Worms: Armageddon addict, I tried out Wormux hoping for a better alternative to W:A's central network server and required CD... ...and it plays like trash. Worms is the Macintosh of games, the user experience has been finely honed and is absolutely a central part of the product. Wormux has bad animations and controls that feel *wrong*, and lots of irritating graphical glitches. Maybe you can get used to it and enjoy it, but I deleted it after fifteen minutes. Not sure what version I had, but it was current as of a few months ago. And I was all excited, too. :/ If it really does get better as time goes on, call me in a few years--but I have my doubts about its eventual graphics and sound quality. Free games usually fail there, and those are two things Worms is all about.

Re:Wormux not so great (1)

Hsien-Ko (1090623) | more than 6 years ago | (#22062484)

Hedgewars is a better game, at least they do not get carried away with graphics and swearing and even has actual AI and playability in it

Web Games (2, Insightful)

Paranatural (661514) | more than 6 years ago | (#22054918)

There are some amazingly good games out there, and I've always been a proponent of free games like these. Sometimes people get so caught up in complexity and huge long sprawling stories with cutscenes and movies and complex controls...most of the time when I want to play a game I just want something simple and fun. Those are the games I tend to go back to again and again. I have a special fondness for the 'tower defense' type games.

Hurrican (3, Informative)

revlayle (964221) | more than 6 years ago | (#22054962)

Hurrican is a free (as in beer) spiritual successor to the Turrican family of games. This is a fairly polished 2D, platformer/shooter game that follows probably more closely to the SNES Super Turrican game than the original 8-bit ones. But, after logging several days thru my first play through, you get: 9 big levels, 15+ bosses (give or take), lots of secret areas (I haven't found them all yet), and 3 or 4 difficulty levels. The game has been localized into most major langurages (except the final credits). Beware, it doesn't behave like after level 5 on Vista (at least on my Vista laptop), but it runs *very* well under XP (my XP desktop machine). Grab it here http://turrican.gamevoice.de/hurrican_site/ [gamevoice.de] - the main developer is Poke 53280, their main site is in German, but you can probably figure out how to get the game (they have a few other games, this one is the best by far, the other ones aren't bad, just not as good as this). Anyways, most free games bore me after a day or two max. This one has kept me fairly interested for a couple weeks. Well done!

Does it run on Linux? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22058162)

It looks like it's Windows only. Sorry, but you ought to warn people about that sort of thing if you're posting it on /. (If not, I'd like a pointer to the Linux version; I was a big fan of Turrican back in the day.)

Re:Does it run on Linux? (1)

revlayle (964221) | more than 6 years ago | (#22059562)

Nah, you are right, as far as I know, it is a Win32 game only. In fact, all of their (Poke53280) games are Win32, I believe. I'm a big Linux user, but I even know, that if I want to game, a lot of it, free or not, is primarily on a console or a Win32 platform.

Almost 101 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22055000)

Unless there's a compelling reason that Copic Fighter should count as two games.

Single page version? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 6 years ago | (#22055424)

Anyone have a link to this list all on one page? There's no way I'm clicking through all those.

Shameless Plugs (3, Interesting)

Xaroth (67516) | more than 6 years ago | (#22055662)

Every time I see one of these lists, I can't help but take a moment to mention the project I'm working on in my spare time, PseudoQuest [pseudoquest.com] . It's a humorous casual RPG, written entirely by just me in PHP/MySQL/JavaScript/AJAX (well, as much as anything can be "written" in AJAX ;) ). Free to play, supported by players buying in-game clothing and other non-game-related stuff. Still in open Beta, so please excuse the mess.

Also, this article is well-timed, since Xfire is putting on a series of chats with a handful of people from the indie game community next week. On the 24th is a freestyle chat to ask the guests anything, and the 25th is a structured debate about the future of indie gaming. More details can be found on the Xfire website [xfire.com] . Guests include Jay Barnson of Rampant Games, Jenova Chen of Fl0w fame, Josiah Pisciotta who helped create Gish, several other big names in the indie scene, as well as yours truly (clearly the odd man out... heh).

Best Free Independant Game for Nerds (4, Interesting)

Zutroi_Zatatakowsky (513851) | more than 6 years ago | (#22055834)

It is Dwarf Fortress, of course. One of the most complex game ever made, especially with a 2-men team.

http://www.bay12games.com/dwarves/ [bay12games.com]

A Cautionary Tale (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22062662)

If by "best," you mean "hopelessly addicting for the OCD brain," then I agree. That "game" is like crack for me. DF literally ate three weeks of my life-- people were actually asking me how the dwarves were. Of course, they immediately regretted doing so, because I would usually talk for about fifteen minutes about it. The complexity of the simulation is boarder line absurd: everything from erosion patterns to each individual toe on every dwarf is kept track of. Often times I would start swearing because, say, some goblin punctured the spleen of my Clerk, or a baboon hit my Master Leatherworker in the head really hard and now he falls down a lot for no reason.

Then they added the z-axis, and things got buggy enough for me to shake the habit. Thank God for that. If I hadn't been able to stop, I would still be almost exclusively be known as "the guy who plays with dwarves." It's not the best thing to be known for.

Re:Best Free Independant Game for Nerds (1)

Reapy (688651) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067314)

The first way I heard of dwarf fortress was when I read about Boatmurdered [fromearth.net] . A bunch of forum goers pass around a game of dwarf fortress and write pretty hilarious stories about their time with the fort. It is a hilarious read, as well as pretty informative about what you can do in the game.

Mods (3, Insightful)

Hsien-Ko (1090623) | more than 6 years ago | (#22057716)

Mods are considered free games now? I don't think the dependency of another costly commercial game equals free.

fuck *your* resolutions (-1, Troll)

DrSkwid (118965) | more than 6 years ago | (#22058284)

Games for Windows
So make a new Year's resolution: Let 2008 be the Year of Freeware.

piss off Zonk

Soldat (3, Informative)

pragma_x (644215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22058418)

This list needs more Soldat [soldat.pl] . Don't let the crummy website or screenshots throw you off, this game has it where it counts.

Read the Game Tunnel Review [gametunnel.com]

Have you ever found yourself lying awake at night, staring at the ceiling and wondering just how much better your life would be if someone decided to create a funky game fusion of Worms and Counter-strike, then pump it full of Red Bull and steroids?

Soldat is a real-time, multiplayer shoot 'em up combat game that has the soul of a vicious FPS packaged in the body of a system friendly side-scroller. Players move their soldiers around levels, strolling across hills and using their jet packs to navigate environments that bear no small similarity to ant farms, all the while trying their hardest to evade hurricanes of small arms fire.

Misleading Title... (3, Interesting)

namayake (1037920) | more than 6 years ago | (#22059008)

Not all of these games were released in the past year. La Mulana was released in 2005 and Lyle In Cube Sector, 2006. And since this seems to be a compilation of some of the best freeware games released on the Windows platform I'm surprised there's no mention of the epitome of freeware, non-linear adventure/platformers:

Cave Story
http://www.miraigamer.net/cavestory/ [miraigamer.net]

The game is so popular it has a dedicated modding community and has had official and non-official ports of it made for portable platforms. The non-official port was for the PSP. To the Cave Story community and the Author's horror, some company was actually trying to sell the game as their own work.

Re:Misleading Title... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22065126)

Cave Story gets good reviews but it sucks.

La-Mulana (2, Interesting)

Wilson_6500 (896824) | more than 6 years ago | (#22059032)

It's on the list, but let me throw out a good word or two for La-Mulana.

If there are any MSX fans out there, you'll recognize a heavy influence on La-Mulana in the old MSX game "Maze of Galious." For the rest of us (never had an MSX myself) La-Mulana plays a lot like the modern "Metrovania" games: you play a character who platforms his way through a large labyrinth of diverse enemies and environments, searching as you go for items that let you access new areas and give you new abilities. The game's been compared to Cave Story (another excellent Metrovania-like platformer), except that La-Mulana is less linear, emphasizes exploration, and does not have as strong of a plot as Cave Story. Make no mistake that this game is, as it is often described, both hard and unforgiving. Attacking certain parts of the environment, for instance, in a random search for hidden passages or puzzle solutions may well result in your character being struck by lightning for lots of damage. There are many traps in the ruins you're exploring--some will seal off approaches to areas, some will lock you out of weapon upgrades. You can, however, solve just about every puzzle in the game by careful note-taking of the warnings provided by the many monuments in the game, as well as by carefully mapping the ruins. The developers were tired of games that you could finish just by "trying everything" without having to really think. La-Mulana wants you to think like an archaeologist--coincidentally, you play one--and to try to determine what might happen as a result of your actions, rather than just assuming you'll solve the puzzle if you hit all the switches in the room in the right order.

The game's not for everyone. For one, it's very long--probably something like 10-20 hours depending on if you struggle through yourself or have a prior playthrough to think back to. You can expect to spend time backtracking, although the areas aren't all that large and you can get from one to the other very quickly thanks to the handy teleportation system. It's really a game that emphasizes exploration, puzzle-solving, and careful thought. There are, however, a number of video walkthroughs where people throw themselves at the game and break upon its rocky shores (some are downright hilarious). The "Let's Play La Mulana" series on Youtube is the one I know of, and it's worthwhile to watch the last twelve or so videos even if you never intend to play the game--they consist of the commentator/player running through the game's hidden challenge area, and those of you who can indulge in schadenfreude will get a kick out of seeing the guy's reward for actually finishing the challenge.

Anyhow, the link is given in the article, but you can find La Mulana here as well. It comes highly recommended.

Re:La-Mulana (1)

pragma_x (644215) | more than 6 years ago | (#22066840)

This game is an excellent play, and well worth the download. The retro-style graphics are fun, leaving the overall game design and wonderful music to reveal what a well-built game this really is. Here's another review, along with a link to the game, over at TIGSource [tigsource.com] .

Not to steal the paren't thunder here, but this bears mentioning twice: New players really should review the first few walkthrough videos on youtube. While these give the first few puzzles away, it will make the game several orders of magnitude less frustrating for the reasons cited above (saving the game and warping), as well as helping set the mode for the kind of brutality the dungeon throws at the player. Also, there's some hints in the game manual - be sure to read the item descriptions!

Oh, and the 10-20 hours cited above only applies if you know what you're doing or playing right out of the strategy guide. Real world time is probably something more on the order of 50-60 hours, and could easily be ten times that if you forego any outside help - kind of like The Legend of Zelda.

In short, La-Mulana really does harken back to the good 'ol days of platform gaming when "beating the game" had some bragging rights attached to it.

Infantry (1)

opec (755488) | more than 6 years ago | (#22059820)

If you played Infantry back in the day, come and play again [infantryzone.com] ! Sony made it free again a couple months ago and the population is slowly rebuilding. I haven't stopped playing it since I started in 2001.

This would be great... if I had a PC. (2, Insightful)

Pendersempai (625351) | more than 6 years ago | (#22060506)

It would be pretty sweet if there were an option to filter for games that are available for Mac OS X.

Re:This would be great... if I had a PC. (1)

Thanatos69 (993924) | more than 6 years ago | (#22063390)

Or any OS... Why just the filter on Mac? I suppose when you only care about the OS that you are working on it makes sense however... I'm not starting a flame war on Mac and gaming but I hate it when I see a game I like while browsing on a specific OS and find out it is only x compatible.

Battle for Wesnoth (3, Informative)

pipatron (966506) | more than 6 years ago | (#22061916)

How the hell can they miss Battle for Wesnoth, which is, compared to most others on that list, a truly free game, and very polished.

Re:Battle for Wesnoth (1)

AlexMax2742 (602517) | more than 6 years ago | (#22066694)

More like dicenoth. The game looks good and is very polished, but battles rely way too much on the RNG.

Re:Battle for Wesnoth (1)

spun (1352) | more than 6 years ago | (#22067918)

If your battles rely on the RNG too much, you aren't playing the game very well. The battles should be relying on terrain and time of day.

UFO: Alien Invasion (4, Informative)

tchristney (133268) | more than 6 years ago | (#22062938)

An excellent game in development inspired by the classic X-Com series.

UFO:AI [sf.net]

Runs on Windows, Mac OS X, Linux and others.

Winter is Spring time. (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22064000)

This needs more Spring RTS [clan-sy.com] . Version 76b1 just came out. It's opensource, it runs on Linux (not sure it'll work on Macs but I guess if you wanted to play games you wouldn't have bought a Mac) and it's got plenty of "mods" (there's no base game so these aren't really modifications). The engine was originally meant to run Total Annihilation so there's plenty of variations of TA around and most if not all mods allow large scale battles. AFAIK the only recent commercial RTS like that was Supreme Commander and that was pretty disappointing with its bland gameplay.

Hey! (1)

crhylove (205956) | more than 6 years ago | (#22064698)

It's criminal not to include Urban Terror on these kinds of lists. Urban Terror is easily more fun than counterstrike, or any other commercial FPS I can come up with. And it's free. And it uses an open source quake 3 based engine: ioquake3. And it runs in Linux.

Nexuiz (1)

bvimo (780026) | more than 6 years ago | (#22066546)

Where does Nexuiz fit into this list of free games> http://www.alientrap.org/nexuiz/ [alientrap.org]

Nexuiz is a 3d deathmatch game project, created online by a team of developers called Alientrap. It is available for download for Windows, Mac, and Linux.

For 8-bit nostagia and masochism (1)

Jad LaFields (607990) | more than 6 years ago | (#22068384)

One of the hardest games you'll ever play: I Wanna Be The Guy [pyoko.org] .

A real throw-back to when games were hair-pullingly difficult, its a simple platformer filled with tons of references to old NES and arcade classics, like Mike Tyson's Punch-Out and Ghouls and Ghosts. Its surprisingly addictive, too.
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