Hey everyone, Shaun Meyers (Kyo Akiara) here again with my newest (and weekly) article showcasing the many many great games in the Freeware, Abandonware and other free games from across the net. I will choose a few games from each category, play test them myself, and write a short summary on my experience and a small review of the games. The first category I’ll be reviewing today is Freeware. I will also post links to the websites where you can find them throughout the article as well. I’ll try to cover a game from each genre in this article as well to give each type of gamer something to play.
Here’s a brief description about what freeware means for those of you who don’t know to start this category: Freeware is a term coined in 1986 by the Free Software Foundation to label any Free Software released. Freeware is distinct from another form of software known as Shareware, in the fact that Freeware doesn’t require you to pay after a short free trial. There are some cases where Shareware uses Freeware as a means of offering a dumbed down version, where you can pay to upgrade to the full version. I’m sure most of you know this information but figured I should put the info out there just in case.
1. The very first game I will be looking at is a game called Spelunky! It’s a 2d platformer Cave Exploration/ Treasure Hunting game much like old NES games. IT was created by Derek Yu Aka Mossmouth and Nominated for 3 awards at the Independent Games Festival this year. The game offers many challenges and a great adventure overall. It has many different enemies to fight, lots of treasure to find and a random dungeon generator that makes each death a new journey, and therefore that much more fun to play. Currently released for windows platforms and arriving on XBLA soon, this is one game I definitely recommend to those that enjoy old school games like myself. You can find the game here: http://www.spelunkyworld.com/index.html
2. The second game I checked out is a very amusing and fun stealth based platformer called Stealth Bastard: Tactical Espionage Arsehole. Created by Curve Studios makers of the game Explodemon, Stealth Bastard is an incredibly fun and rather addicting platformer that loves to kill your character in a number of gruesome ways, ranging from laser shooting robots to meat grinders. The objective of the game is to complete the various death filled puzzles in the shortest amount of time. The games main puzzles are very well done and can take a little bit of thinking to get past, but another awesome feature to the game is it comes with it’s own built in level designer to create your own death filled stealthy traps to share with your friends or with people around the world. Full online ranking boards are within the game as well to compete with your friends for the fastest time. The game is incredibly well done and I heartily recommend the game. You can find the game here: http://www.stealthbastard.com/
3. The third game is a face I’m sure everyone knows, Super Mario 3: Mario Forever. Created by Buziol Games using Multimedia Fusion, the game is a complete remake of Super Mario Brothers, and combines elements of Super Mario 1, 2, 3 and world, and done in an incredibly well done manner. Featuring higher resolution textures, a completely redone story and level map similar to the one in Super Mario 3 just higher resolution and slightly different, the game is definitely the best Super Mario Brothers remake on PC and I highly recommend the game to anyone. You can download this great game here: http://www.acid-play.com/download/super-mario-3-mario-forever
4. The 4th and final freeware game I will be covering today is a game simply called ^_^. The game is an incredibly well written and quite amusing point and click adventure game. You play as Julian, a recently deceased person who is turned into a werebunny. Displeased with this form he sets out on a rather humorous journey to become human again. The games puzzles are quite challenging and require a lot of thinking to complete them, but it’s a great feeling once you have finished them. The music is very well done and fits the game almost perfectly. I definitely recommend this game to anyone that enjoys a humorous, witty and well written point and click adventure game. You can find this game here: http://www.bigbluecup.com/games.php?action=detail&id=1524
The next group of games will be Abandonware Games. A brief definition of Abandonware: originally coined by Peter Ringering in late 1996 to describe software that is no longer distributed or supported by a company or publisher. For more information on Abandonware check here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abandonware
1. The first game in this section is a name I’m sure is fresh in everyone’s mind right now and that’s The Elder Scrolls 2: Daggerfall. Originally released in 1996 on MS Dos, it featured a massive 3D world about the size of Great Britain. It features a Spell Creation System that players can create their own custom spells through the mages college, the ability to buy houses and ships, the ability to become a vampire, werewolf or a wereboar, and uses the mouse movement to determine the direction of your melee attack and the effect of the weapons swing. The game world in Daggerfall has 15,000 Towns, Cities, Villages, and Dungeons for players to explore, and has 750,000+ non playable characters to interact with. The games storyline is set in Daggerfall, a city within the Breton homeland of High Rock, and the game has six seperate endings. An MS Dos emulator such as DOSBox is required to play this game however and you can find the game here: http://www.elderscrolls.com/daggerfall/ and DOSBox here: http://www.dosbox.com/
2. The second game in the Abandonware section is probably one of my favorites from the late 90’s and that’s Carnivores. Carnivores is a hunting game. No, not sitting in the woods hunting deer or caribou, in this hunting game you hunt dinosaurs like T-rex, Stegosaurus etc. Originally released in 1998, the game uses a point system for ranks, novices start with 0 points naturally, at 100 points they upgrade to advanced hunter and 300 is expert. Each dinosaur has various points and difficulties, the tougher the dinosaur the more points you acquire. I recommend this game to anyone who enjoys going toe to toe with a dinosaur with only a crossbow and a shotgun at beginner level. You can find this game here: http://www.classic-gaming.net/game/334/
3. The third game I’d like to share with you all is a strategy game from a series I’m sure most people know and that’s Command and Conquer Tiberian Sun with it’s Expansion pack Firestorm included. Command and Conquer Tiberian Sun – originally released in 1999 as the second game in the Command and Conquer series featuring the well known full motion video cinematics – introduced the isometric camera angles. It is the last game in the series to use the split-route feature where different routes in the campaign can be taken. This brought you to optional missions that could affect the difficulty of the main mission. I recommend this game to anyone that wants an old school strategy game, or is a big fan of Command and Conquer. You can find the game here: http://www.shacknews.com/file/16369/command-conquer-tiberian-sun-expansion-full-free-game
4. For the 4th and final abandonware game this week is another game I’m sure everyone knows, and that’s Megaman X! Easily one of my favorite platformers on SNES. Originally released in 1995, Megaman X is probably one of the most well known games on the list so I won’t go into much detail with this one. You can find the game here: http://www.classic-gaming.net/game/965/
Time to Conclude the article until next week, thanks for reading everyone and I hope that you enjoy the games posted here if you happen to try them out. Stay tuned for next week’s article where I take a look at more Freeware and Abandonware games, as well as the best Flash/Browser games and Free MMO’s that i can find scouring the internet, Until next time.
Shaun Meyers (Kyo Akiara), out!