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Thread: Favorite Freeware

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    Smile Favorite Freeware

    What are some of your freeware favorites?

    To clarify, this means games where there is no charging for the game, DLC, in-game items, add-ons, etc., and no alternative business models in action such as in-app advertisements, pre-app advertisements, user tracking, app usage surveillance, reporting, etc. Sad that we need a disclaimer like that these days.

    I'll get us started.

    I really like IceBreaker. It is similar to Jezzball and Qix. IceBreaker features fast and fun arcade-esque action! And even better than freeware, it is also Free Software (free and open source). It's available for Linux and Windows.

    I also quite like Spinvaders. It is similar to Space Invaders but with excellent, modern music, sounds, and graphics... plus with each successful shot, your multiplier goes up, and once you get to 10x multiplier, your shots are upgraded to high-speed, shrapnel-throwing missiles! And once again, it is also better than freeware as it is also Free Software. Spinvaders is available for Linux, Mac, and Windows.

    So I ask: What are some of your favorite freewares?

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    Rogue. fricking ROGUE. As in the game that invented the term "Roguelike." I would almost say Nethack just for all the silly ways you can die (one time I basically enacted a Looney Tunes episode), but Rogue feels more fun somehow.

    Thanks to ADG I've been getting into the Kingdom of Kroz series. It at first looks like a Rogue-style game but its actually action-based.

    remember Xargon? IE the Jill of the Jungle-like platformer? It's freeware.

    I love Tyrian 2000.

    Ultima IV.... best RPG ever, possibly.

    Man... so much to choose from.

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    Well I've always loved in building sims nothing more than the original Sim City. Thanks to that One Laptop per child thing years ago, Maxis released the source as freeware to compile just not to sell for any format. There is a WIndows release that is Java based, but I just found the Microsoft Store has a copy of it too you can install as an app in windows 8/10 too (probably works on 7 don't see why not.) It's called Micropolis since EA owns the Sim City name.
    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/stor...s/9wzdncrfjsg1

    The last time I went after this I could easily find the download with googling, now it's amazingly vanished, probably MS had a hand in that (grr.) If someone wants the actual install I can share the zip.



    Another is the Wonderboy 3 remake, Dragon's Trap for windows.
    http://www.smspower.org/forums/10266...TheDragonsTrap Yes that's a forum, towards the very bottom is the installer and a 64bit exec from the maker if you need that.

    A third and I'll quit here -- The Ur Quan Masters -- freeware of Star Control 2.
    http://sc2.sourceforge.net/

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    Further development on The Ur-Quan Masters has resulted in The Ur-Quan Masters HD.
    http://urquanmastershd.com/

    I may never get around to playing that at this rate.

    By the way, has anyone here tried Cart Life? It won some big awards, but seems pretty obscure.
    http://www.richardhofmeier.com/cartlife/
    "There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." --Bertrand Russel (attributed)

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    Liero - Essentially... realtime Worms.



    Developer lost the sourcecode in a hdd crash, but clone projects that replicate Liero have sprung up from the ashes. Great game.

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    Cool I remember Liero. That was fun when you couldn't get Worms or at least cheap Worms for quite awhile.

    I have to throw this one out there because it's on ever frigging format around even Android.
    http://sourceforge.net/projects/freeciv/ (general project/downloads)
    https://play.google.com/store/apps/d....freeciv&hl=en (Android/Googleplay)
    https://play.freeciv.org/ <-- Never heard of this, but browser play

    If anyone were still in the dark with this, plays with the CIV2 ruleset, has CIV1 built in (my thing) which you can switch to.


    This isn't exactly freeware I think, but Blizzard put them up for free which is just as nice. You have to just have a free battle.net account to get these goodies. I made a thread during August about them.
    https://us.battle.net/account/download/

    Blackthorne (Windows game/installer)
    The Lost Vikings (DOS, DOSBoxed custom install, just works great without hassle)
    Rock n Roll Racing (SNES, ZSNESWin custom install, just works, no be here either)



    I know this is a terrible cheat, but...and this is an IF the wikipedia is correct. Here's a so called list of commercial video games released as freeware (good size too.)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_o...ed_as_freeware

    Some notables I remember -- Alien Carnage (aka Halloween Harry), BC Racers, Command & Conquer (and Red Alert along with Tiberian Sun), Defender of the Crown (multi format and other Cinemaware games too), Mechwarrior 4, Major Stryker (and other apogee dos games), Railroad Tycoon Deluxe, Skyroads, Tyrian, Ultima 4 (and through GOG) Ultima Worlds of Adventure 2, Wolfenstein3D, and Wild Metal Country (part of a Rockstar Classics with GTA1 and 2.)

    There's some fine games outside of the computer format too for Amiga (Bonk as BC Kid and Rtype) and stuff for the Megadrive/Genesis, and more on that list.
    Last edited by Tanooki; 09-01-2015 at 07:36 PM.

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    Beneath a Steel Sky and Flight of the Amazon Queen, both free and playable through ScummVM, are also quite nice, if you like the old point-and-click adventures.
    "There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." --Bertrand Russel (attributed)

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    I'm not sure I want to leave my recommendation for Freeciv I listed. I just played it for the last hour and I'm totally lost. It's like a bad rendition of Civilization. There's no audio. The menus are more confusing. Nothing pops up to tell you stuff unless you keep good eye on a teeny row of tabs that can pop up at the bottom of the screen. For some reason the Japanese got 1 base on my small continent, and it won't let me run them out. I can't attack their town, sure I can stand next to it, but I can't run my legion in it to shove them out. Somehow pirates got one of mine on the west, but I stomped them fine with a Legion I ran in there, then stationed 2 on it to hold it. Amazingly you're not allowed to scroll the map around with the mouse or keyboard, so you have to use 'go to city' which is fine as a halfassed work around, but what if you're into enemy territory? You can't use that, it's to work on your production, not view all.

    I HATE I can't run my paid for copy of Civ 1 for Windows in 64bit OS's and because freeciv exists it will never happen as there's no motivation to bypass it like some other hot games have had done for them by smart coders.

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    I think that games that were originally released as freeware and games that were originally for sale but later were made free are different things and should be listed separately. Obviously once-retail titles are going to be much bigger-budget, etc.

    That said, some games that always were free which I like:

    DOS: Arcade Volleyball, 3-D World, Castle Adventure, Star Goose, Bananoid, SIEGE!, Mario!!, Bombs and Bugs, Pong Kombat (for the amusement factor more so than gameplay), EGA Trek (I think it's freeware?)

    Windows (any ver.): Hydorah, Ninja Senki, N, Guxt, Cave Story, Torus Trooper, Gal Pani X, GLtron, A7XPG, Battle for Wesnoth, Gunroar, Parsec 47, Noiz2sa, rRootage, Warning Forever, Castle Attack (Stronghold promo minigame), XEVIL

    Flash: Nanaca Crash, that Winnie the Pooh super-impossible baseball game, http://www.gamedesign.jp/flash/mahjong/mahjong_e.html


    As for games that were originally retail or shareware games but later got made free, there are lots of great ones, I'[m not going to try to list them all. To mention only a few, all titles I have actually played the free version of (so I'm leaving out those Blizzard games since I have retail copies of those games; Lost Vikings is a favorite of mine!):

    DOS: Dark Ages, Llamatron 2112, Traffic Department 2192, Beneath a Steel Sky, The Elder Scrolls: Arena, TES: Daggerfall, Jetpack (PC), Chex Quest, Galactix, Skyroads, Tyrian 2000, Major Stryker, Overkill, Pharaoh's Tomb, Monuments of Mars, Arctic Adventure, Sango Fighter

    Windows: Castle of the Winds, Death Rally, Dink Smallwood, C&C: Red Alert (if it's the Windows veriso nthat's free and not DOS?)
    Last edited by A Black Falcon; 09-02-2015 at 11:14 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanooki View Post
    I HATE I can't run my paid for copy of Civ 1 for Windows in 64bit OS's and because freeciv exists it will never happen as there's no motivation to bypass it like some other hot games have had done for them by smart coders.
    Now I'm curious as to what "hot games" you may be thinking of in this instance.

    That said, some games that always were free which I like:

    DOS: Arcade Volleyball, 3-D World, Castle Adventure, Star Goose, Bananoid, SIEGE!, Mario!!, Bombs and Bugs, Pong Kombat (for the amusement factor more so than gameplay), EGA Trek (I think it's freeware?)
    While EGA Trek is thoroughly awesome and highly recommended, I'm pretty sure it was originally shareware. Super Angelo was also shareware; I think the Mario!! you are referring to was a leaked, incomplete version.
    "There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." --Bertrand Russel (attributed)

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    Well Sim City Classic, (up until I found this odd patch with sheer luck a month ago or so) Sim City 2000 for WIndows. Under 8.1/10 64bit Wing Commander Kilrathi Saga, my Star Wars x-Wing collectors box (why both are up for sale), Civilization for Windows (win7 64bit and up), Williams Pinball Classics (encore software release for win 32 only too) and various others. I know if someone wanted to steal win 3.11 the early SC and Civ games would work, but I'm just not doing that.

    As far as the hot games goes, I was thinking popular franchises. Pre windows 8.1, Win7 even 64bit I had found this german guy had made these brand new installers for Lucasarts games for X-Wing, Tie Fighter, and Indy Infernal Machine which I had been using but they don't like win 8.x or 10. And of course the Sim City 2000 fix I found recently to make that one work too. The old Duke Nukem 3D and Wolfenstein 3D have 32/64bit windows patches (steam/gog I know have them but I mean side projects) so they work. DOOM along with its .WAD file buddies (Heretic etc) have multiple offshoot projects to run the old games. The point was that very popular older 90s games that don't work anymore have been made to work by talented people, but so many, like the old Civ (and same engine Colonization) for Windows have not. Sim City hasn't either, but since that OLPC system got the freeware (sans name now as) Micropolis that's taken care of too.

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    I don't know if it still is, but the original PC version of Cave Story for me. One of the very few PC games I love, as PC gaming wasn't part of my upbringing much. I have an old Windows 2000 tower I keep just to play it, even though I'm sure there are a billion betterways.

    Also, I had some fun for a bit with Yume Nikki. Such an odd tone to that game.

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    Cave Story is still out there for free under it's Japanese name, just the guys website moved is all.

    Here's an easy short cut: http://studiopixel.sakura.ne.jp/archives/index.html (Just click on the cave story guy icon right next to 2004.) His other stuff like Ikachan which hit the 3DS eshop is there too.

    And the translations patch -- http://agtp.romhack.net/project.php?id=cavestory

    It works in windows 8.1 64bit as I just snapped it up again yesterday (nice timing eh?) I went and erased (perm-hid) any Steam games I already had or could have (like cave story) as a download elsewhere from random spots, GoG, etc back backed them up.


    Never heard of Yume Nikki, looks interesting, but isn't it just in Japanese?

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    Can anyone recommend any new freeware games (2005 or newer)? Most of this thread has focused on games which are pretty old, and that's cool. There is a lot of good old stuff out there, but... has the concept of true freeware died in contemporary times?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanooki View Post
    Williams Pinball Classics (encore software release for win 32 only too)
    Wait, are you saying this is retail-turned-freeware? If so, can you point me to an announcement page or a download page please?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanooki View Post
    Well Sim City Classic, (up until I found this odd patch with sheer luck a month ago or so) Sim City 2000 for WIndows. Under 8.1/10 64bit Wing Commander Kilrathi Saga, my Star Wars x-Wing collectors box (why both are up for sale), Civilization for Windows (win7 64bit and up), Williams Pinball Classics (encore software release for win 32 only too) and various others. I know if someone wanted to steal win 3.11 the early SC and Civ games would work, but I'm just not doing that.

    As far as the hot games goes, I was thinking popular franchises. Pre windows 8.1, Win7 even 64bit I had found this german guy had made these brand new installers for Lucasarts games for X-Wing, Tie Fighter, and Indy Infernal Machine which I had been using but they don't like win 8.x or 10. And of course the Sim City 2000 fix I found recently to make that one work too. The old Duke Nukem 3D and Wolfenstein 3D have 32/64bit windows patches (steam/gog I know have them but I mean side projects) so they work. DOOM along with its .WAD file buddies (Heretic etc) have multiple offshoot projects to run the old games. The point was that very popular older 90s games that don't work anymore have been made to work by talented people, but so many, like the old Civ (and same engine Colonization) for Windows have not. Sim City hasn't either, but since that OLPC system got the freeware (sans name now as) Micropolis that's taken care of too.
    It's kind of hard to follow your post, but for most of those it's not so much a matter of "smart coders" as it is that the original source code was released. And the SimCity 2000 "fix" you found is almost certainly some sort of rip from the official 32-bit Windows version.

    But I guess we're getting off-topic now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nz17 View Post
    Can anyone recommend any new freeware games (2005 or newer)? Most of this thread has focused on games which are pretty old, and that's cool. There is a lot of good old stuff out there, but... has the concept of true freeware died in contemporary times?
    I hear Psi-Ops: The Mindgate Conspiracy is fairly enjoyable it sounds like Psychonauts crossed with some much less whimsical FPS game though technically that's 2004.
    Last edited by Jorpho; 09-03-2015 at 11:36 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nz17 View Post
    Can anyone recommend any new freeware games (2005 or newer)? Most of this thread has focused on games which are pretty old, and that's cool. There is a lot of good old stuff out there, but... has the concept of true freeware died in contemporary times?
    Making old games free that used to be paid titles is something that the popularity of Steam, GOG, etc. has mostly killed off. There is the occasional entirely-free game released, though -- I mention some in my list. Most of those freeware Windows games I mention are from the '00s.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jorpho View Post
    Now I'm curious as to what "hot games" you may be thinking of in this instance.

    While EGA Trek is thoroughly awesome and highly recommended, I'm pretty sure it was originally shareware.
    Was EGA Trek originally shareware? It's certainly free now, and I've never seen it with a 'please register' screen or something, but maybe? Do you know for sure?

    Super Angelo was also shareware; I think the Mario!! you are referring to was a leaked, incomplete version.
    Huh, I don't know if I've ever played that version, just Mario!!, which was freely distributed. It does look pretty much the same as that game though, so that sounds plausible.

    Mario!! looks nice, but the keyboard-only controls and PC Speaker-only sound hold it back... I mostly listed it because it was amusing to have a Mario Allstars-graphics game on the PC back in the '90s.

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    Quote Originally Posted by A Black Falcon View Post
    Was EGA Trek originally shareware? It's certainly free now, and I've never seen it with a 'please register' screen or something, but maybe? Do you know for sure?
    It's easy enough to find. Looks like you can technically still register it if you want to.
    http://www.classicdosgames.com/game/EGA_Trek.html
    http://www.flightsim.com/arcanum/arcanum.htm
    "There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." --Bertrand Russel (attributed)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorpho View Post
    It's easy enough to find. Looks like you can technically still register it if you want to.
    http://www.classicdosgames.com/game/EGA_Trek.html
    http://www.flightsim.com/arcanum/arcanum.htm
    I did find that latter page, but it doesn't mention a price and the 'buy' page doesn't work. I hadn't seen that first one though, and yeah, it was originally shareware. Interesting. It's one of those full-shareware games though, where you get the whole game free and then can pay if you want, so the difference isn't large...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tanooki View Post
    Never heard of Yume Nikki, looks interesting, but isn't it just in Japanese?

    There is an english patch, but there isn't much dialogue. Another one I almost forgot... Space Funeral. That game is surreal, and the music really got stuck in my head.

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    Quote Originally Posted by A Black Falcon View Post
    It's one of those full-shareware games though, where you get the whole game free and then can pay if you want, so the difference isn't large...
    Indeed. Shockingly generous of the developer.

    There is another very similar game called Visual Star Trek, but no one seems to know where it came from and everyone seems to quietly assume it's freeware.
    "There is much pleasure to be gained from useless knowledge." --Bertrand Russel (attributed)

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    The Marathon trilogy. Before Halo, Bungie did another FPS called Marathon, and its sequel Marathon 2: Durandal. Marathon 2 was the game I picked up at the same time I bought my very first Macintosh. Marathon Infinity came out not too long afterward, designed by a sub-developer and doesn't carry the story from second to third all that well. But still, it was a great game series for the '90s. Bungie made the game engine open-source, so people could still play their old games on modern operating systems and hardware, and later they made all the game files open-source too. So now you don't need the original CD-ROMs either. And they're all available for download from the Aleph One website. There's also loads of game mods, too. Last year I ended up downloading and playing all the way through each game, then churning through several mods like Tempus Irae. I still fire up the final level from Marathon 2 from time to time, just for the hell of it.

    http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/20...n-pc-mac-linux

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jorpho View Post
    Indeed. Shockingly generous of the developer.

    There is another very similar game called Visual Star Trek, but no one seems to know where it came from and everyone seems to quietly assume it's freeware.
    Yeah, full shareware is an interesting thing. A lot of early shareware games were like that, before things like the Apogee model took hold. "Here's the game, pay if you like!" was a common model for '80s shareware. I was trying to not list such games in my list there, but a couple ended up on it -- EGA Trek of course, and after I checked, 3DWorld as well. The game itself doesn't mention anything about payment, and it's the full thing for free, but the readme says 'send me money if you liked it' so it's full shareware.

    ... On the note of 3DWorld, I don't know if I've ever gotten past halfway through the main mode, Voyageur IV... it's fun, I like rail shooters, but it's quite hard and you get no continues.

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    Freshly found freeware:
    Zen of Sudoku (2006)
    Santa Claus in Trouble (2002)
    Commander Keen in Keen Dreams (now open source'd for Android {port by Super Fighter Team}, and Linux, Windows, etc. {port by many others})

    Links to more fun freeware found on the forum:
    https://forum.digitpress.com/forum/s...lly-freeware-d
    https://forum.digitpress.com/forum/s...re-Abandonware
    https://forum.digitpress.com/forum/s...freeware-games
    https://forum.digitpress.com/forum/s...Freeware-games

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    Tank Wars by Kenneth B. Morse! It's like a comedy psychadelic version of Scorched Earth that renders at blazing speed even on a 286/10. Mr. STupid and the PC Beeper sound effects are freakin Hilarious. The first time I played that was with an old bandmate and we were falling all about the place laughing at the PC noises and Mr. Stupid's terribly rash decisions as a Computer Based Participant.

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    EGA Trek was shareware but by the early-to-mid 90's you could buy the full version at a store for a few bucks. I got my copy off a peg hook at Wal-Mart.

    As for new free games- I just started dipping my toes back into PC gaming, so I'm not all up on what's available. Rock Paper Shotgun has a regular series called Free Games of the Week (link is Week 13). This could scratch your free games itch.


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