Free Stuff!

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Free Stuff!

Post  Lucas.Greene on Thu Sep 22, 2011 6:47 pm

I love free stuff! Who doesn't? I know that college students love free stuff even more than I do, so I figured I would share some awesome Freeware PC games that I've come across. Most of these games also have a very small file size for those of you who might be interested in installing them on a flash drive and taking them on the go. After my top 6 freeware stars, I'll add a few more suggestions for some fun, free gaming experiences on the PC.

First of all is Spelunky. Spelunky is a side scrolling platformer in the style of NES classics Super Pitfall and Spelunker. The major difference between this its predecessors is that it also draws from the randomization and difficulty of rogue-likes, presenting you with a game that is easy to learn, difficult to master, and different every play through. As you progress, you will eventually find short cuts that allow you to start in the later areas, which allows you to see much more of the game and slowly creep towards a final victory. Even after many play throughs, I've only been able to achieve the half-way mark of the game, so I can guarantee a good challenge to those who might be looking for it. Spelunky will be coming soon to XBox Live Arcade with enhanced graphics, but the PC version is still available on their website to download and play for free.

Next we have another rogue-like inspired game: Desktop Dungeons. This is a more classic rpg rogue-like, but on a micro-scale for more fast paced play. Run through the entire RPG experience of fighting monsters, gathering items, and leveling up in about 10 minutes by exploring a randomized 20x20 square grid dungeon. Beat the boss in a play through to unlock new character classes, races, and game modes. This is another extremely challenging game, but once you get going it becomes a lot of fun. Each class and game mode has its own strategy to learn, and with each session taking only a few minutes you can take a break to play a quick game any time (or lose a whole afternoon...or week). Desktop Dungeons recently released a full version with enhanced graphics and gameplay for $10, but the alpha version is still available on their website to download and play for free.

Third we'll go to something a little easier for the more faint of heart (or easily frustrated). Knytt is a simple and expansive adventure platformer where you play as a monkey-like creature called Knytt, who must gather up the pieces of the spaceship on which he was kidnapped so he can go home. All you have to go on are rough compass directions that point you to the nearest piece as you run, jump, and climb to victory and return the Knytt to his home planet. This game is fun, simple, and adorable. Also, compared to the other games listed here, it is probably the most beatable of the games. The creator, Nifflas, has several other free download games on his website.

Fourth, and my personal favorite from this game list, is An Untitled Story. Despite its simple MSPaint-like graphics and the fact that you play through this game as a jumping egg, An Untitled Story surprises you and unfolds into a fairly epic adventure platformer with a great story the same kind of gameplay as classics like Metroid. Explore this huge world, beat the bosses to find the power ups you need to get to the next area, search out over 100 additional items to make your journey easier, and save the world. While it may not appear to at first, the story of the game slowly unfolds as you play, and is somewhat compelling. The difficulty level follows the same pattern, starting out easy and slowly ramping up into a great challenge by the end of the game. While not as frustrating as the rogue-like games listed above, parts of this game can be pretty hair pulling, but it's worth pushing through to the end. The creator, MattMakesGames, has several other free downloadable games on his website.

While most of these are fairly new games, looking for old school games is a great way to find free stuff! Realmz is a great example. Originally released for MacOS in 1994, this game fits into the same genre as the classic Ultima series, and is actually very similar to D&D and other tabletop games in a lot of ways. Create a party, choose which campaign you would like to play, then go questing in that campaign world. The shareware version of the game came with one campaign, however the game recently became free to play (there is a code somewhere on the site) and includes a second campaign as well as having the full features unlocked. Additional campaigns, as well as a huge custom campaign editor are available for additional purchase. If you're a fan of tabletop games and computer games, I would highly suggest giving this blast from the past a fair shot.

Last, but certainly not least, is a game that is on an entirely different level from the others: Cave Story! Cave Story is another side scrolling adventure platformer, but much more linear and story driven than the other games listed above. You play as a silent, amnesiac robot who awakens in a cave, only to be drawn into a frantic quest to save the rabbit-like Mimigas from the evil Doctor and his henchmen. Throughout the game, you run, jump, and shoot your way through several levels. Depending on choices you make throughout the game, you can get different guns, items, and even an alternate ending. Originally created by an individual Japanese developer named Pixel over the course of over 5 years, Cave Story has since been picked up by indy publisher Nicalis for ports to DSiWare and WiiWare and mainstreamer [Nippon Ichi Software for a fully rendered remake on the 3DS coming this November. If you don't mind spending a few dollars on it, I would suggest the DSi/WiiWare port, which contain several new features, but are still below the full 3DS pricetag that the remake will likely boast.

Whew. And with that...a few more quick suggestions.

Steam is a great source of cheap and free games, as long as you keep an eye out, although their deals can sometimes get dangerous (I spent WAY more during their summer sale than intended, but it was totally worth it!). Recently, Portal was made free for a short time on Steam. Team Fortress 2 is free to play, all the time.

The Humble Indy Bundle is a great organization that lets you get your hands on several indy games for as little or as much as you feel like paying. Proceeds from each sale are split between chosen charities and the indy developers who made the games. The bundle is currently closed, but if you sign up on their website, you will be notified when the new batch is released.

Well, thanks for reading. I hope you found at least one game on my list that suits your needs, and I look forward to seeing what free game downloads other people have come across.
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Lucas.Greene

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Re: Free Stuff!

Post  marie on Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:00 pm

PORTAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL.

lovelovelovelovelove that game. Except for the turrets.
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marie

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Re: Free Stuff!

Post  Lucas.Greene on Thu Sep 29, 2011 6:55 pm

No turret love? It's ok...they don't hate you...

There is a new Humble Indie Bundle out. It has Trine, Shadowgrounds, Shadowgrounds: Survivor, Splot, and Jack Claw. You can pay any amount (as little as $4.54) for these games, and choose for the money to go to the developers, or to charity. Not free, but a cheap way to get 5 games. I'm not familiar with most of them, but Trine is great! It's a puzzle platformer where you control a Fighter, Rogue, and Mage, each with unique skills that let you get through the puzzles.
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Lucas.Greene

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Re: Free Stuff!

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