May 12, 2009

Forty (+), Fearsome, Fabulous and Free (Games, that is)

Haven't made one of those lists for quite some time, but, well, I guess it's never too late to let you know about some of the best freeware games that recently made themselves available. Neither of course is it too late to make another horrid attempt at a collage supposedly showcasing some of the freebies that made the list. What list? That list:

QuakeLive: It's Quake III playable in your browser with -or indeed against- thousands of lightning fast veterans. Please don't shoot anyone called Gnomey.

Gravity Bone: A rather more novel use of that ageing Q3 engine. Brilliant, beautiful and innovative.

Spelunky: One of the greatest games ever. Ever! Also what Rick Dangerous should have been.

Legends Of Zork: Casual MMO with frying pans and a zorkian touch.

Elite The New Kind: Elite's space traveling experience brought kicking and screaming to the 21st century.

Naked War: The brilliant two-player strategy game the Pickford Brothers developed finally got itself a free play mode.

Opera Omnia: It's interesting and quirky. Please explain it to me. Not a game per se, but rather a way to enjoy some classic Sierra adventures online and in a lovably silly multiplayer environment. Larry and Space Quest should be the first ones to try.

Left 4k Dead: Just like Valve's zombie shooter only vastly different and in a mere 4kb.

Balance of Power: Showcasing the amazing power of Chris Crawford's Stotytron.

Annie Android: Automated Affection: AGS cartoon adventure anyone? It's got a hot mailbot in it, you know.

Blue Lacuna: The evolution of interactive fiction.

Dead Like Ants: Literary fun with insects.

Ultimate Stunts: Impressive stunts, glorious graphics and realistic physics, all packed inside a fantastic driving game.

Treasure Island Dizzy: The egg with the face makes the jump to the PC freeware scene in an official re-release. Thank you Codemasters.

Nanozoa: Smart name for a beautiful shmup.

Barkley, Shut Up & Jam: Gaiden: A surreal, vast, funny and quite frankly excellent CRPG of sorts.

Mental Repairs, Inc: In the Mind of John Malkovich in point-and-click format.

UFO Alien Invasion: Deeply tactical and inspired by the classic X-COM / UFO series.

Ferrari Virtual Race: As close as you can get to driving a Ferrari, provided you only choose to use your PC and not spend any money.

Doom: Fall of Mars: Diablo meets Doom; hilarity ensues. By If Software.

Beats of Rage: Always thought that Streets of Rage can't get any better, didn't you? Well, think again.

Teen Agent: Obscure 1994 adventure released as freeware by Quite interesting too.

The Marathon Trilogy: Top quality FPS offerings from the era before HALO and after the Mac was invented. Playable on everything with a keyboard.

Thrust Extreme: With its lovely entourage of arcadey and neon lighted retro remakes. Obvious highlight said reimagining of Thrust.

Squid Yes! Not So Octopus!: Arena shooting squids FTW!

The Suffering: Formerly commercial, distinctly shocking and always fun. Also developed by the aptly named Surreal Software.

Gods Deluxe: A remake of the brutal Bitmap Bros fighting platformer.

GeneRally: Another remake, though this time of the racing persuasion.

Enviro-Bear 2000: The outrageous winner of the TIG Source Cockpit competition and the only game to ever let you play as a bear.

Dad 'n Me: Flash arcade fun by the creators of Alien Hominid.

Nanobots: Unique point-and-click adventure sporting lovable robots and innovative mechanics.

Frets on Fire: The indie version of Guitar Hero (or indeed Rock Band) that sports a ton of available content.

Masq: An interactive story for grown-ups.

The Spring Project: The best free RTS money can get! Actually compares rather favorably to most current commercial releases...

PeG: Excellent digital wargames for every historical taste.

Immortal Cities: The one and only (I guess) online Egyptian city builder

The 3D Realms Oldies: Kroz, Dark Ages, Beyond the Titanic, Monuments of Mars and more.

And the Mastertronic ones: Though mainly remakes of classic (a.k.a. ancient) arcades.

Mirror's Edge 2D: A promotional game that's fun. I'm shocked.

Related @ Gnome's Lair:


  1. Yay! Free stuff! Free is definitely my favourite flavour of stuff. Not sure I get the Gods remake, though. It's just Gods, innit? Why not just play the original?

    Thrust extreme is brill, and I will never tire of Dan Paladin's art. Elite: TNK ftw!

  2. Play more than 1,300 free games, including typing games, strategy games, tower defense games, Fishdom, Tetris and much more. We add new games all the time.

  3. Hey Gnome, this is an astonishing list. Thanks a bunch, and with at least a week spare before I start work on Retroaction #3, I might even get to play a few of these. Cheers.

  4. Just a note, Gravity Bone actually uses the Quake 2 engine, making it even more impressive!

  5. Glad you enjoyed the selection Stickhead. And yes, Elite TNK is a firm favourite of mine too. As for Gods, well, it's an updated PC version of the original and -unless I'm mistaken- features some extra levels.

    Thanks and cheers Nreive! Who knows? I might even manage to contribute a little something to issue three while in the army...

    Even more impressive indeed Captain Handsome! Thanks for the tip!

  6. Ah, I forgot about Annie Android. Thanks for reminding me. *runs off to download*

  7. *shouts at rapidly disappearing Pacian*

    Don't forget to give Sarien a try!

  8. Posted on the AGS blog, I'm sure Ben and Mrs Robinson(the Ivy) will be glad of the honour and mention (I know I would :D)

  9. Thanks a ton for the post my dear SSH! Deeply appreciated.

  10. Damn, it's Dualnames..SSH's just my boss you know *knife gets thrown on neck*

  11. Teenagent is not obscure. It's a bestselling adventure game from Poland, originally made for Amiga. I have a talkie version with all music pieces remastered as CD Audio and a bonus rap song sung by the main hero.

  12. Yes, yes, I know I know dear Dualnames. It's simply tricks my stressed out brain plays on me :P

    Wow, never knew that Igor. Thanks for making things crystal clear!

  13. Great collection of games here, my esteemed gnome friend!

  14. Thank you, my wise xii friend of the many talents!

  15. There's also P.U.R.E based on the Spring engine for ppl who want single-player action straight away.

    The default Spring Project downloads were quite a hassle setting up for single player when I tried a long time back.

    A lot of excellent choices in your list (I played quite a few of them before :) ) Doom : Fall of Mars is currently not that great - but it's still in dev so it'll probably
    get better :)

    PeG is something new however - many thanks for that - I love wargames :D

  16. That's quite a fantastic discovery you made there dear Roys. Guess I should have linked to PURE instead, but, well, what's done is done :) Oh, and I'm really glad you enjoyed the list. PEG is indeed fantastic, mind.

  17. Drat... more hours of my life about to fly out of the window as I try out some of these... have played a few, GereRally of course and nice to see Teen Agent get a mention, I was quite fond of that game years ago (though I didn't think it was actually a finished game?).

    What Rick Dangerous SHOULD have been?!?!? Blasphemy! RD I & II were great games! The "Wah" sound effect alone was worth playing it for!

    Don't remember Beats of Rage playing well... might try it again.

    Elite: The New Kind was pretty cool, I remember being quite active on their message board some years back. Might take another look.

    Anyway, thanks for these! I also compulsively make lists, so you're forgiven... :-D

  18. Dualnames is correct, I appreciate the honour of Annie Android being mentioned :D

  19. Hooray! Thanks Gnome. :D

  20. Just a note for those interested in Elite's children. Elite:TNK is no longer being developed due to various issues. Look at OOlite, it's replacement which is a very active open-source project and has a huge range of expansions for it.

    Head over to get the latest 1.72.x version and visit the BB to meet the folks who support it.

  21. @ CaptainD: Well, my friend, I too love Rick, but I must admit that the level design is simply not that good. Everything comes down to trial and error.

    @ Ben304: The honour is -as is customary- all mine :)

    @ Ivy: Thanks Ivy! And do have some tea, please.

  22. @kz999 Thanks so much for the tip! Excellent, really.

  23. This comment has been removed by the author.