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Archive for the ‘free games’ tag

Good Free Games: 10 Min Space Strategy

Posted on 30th Aug 2011 at 08:36 by Clive Webster with 4 comments

Clive Webster
While the name is overly ambitious, and it could be more helpful for novices, 10 Min Space Strategy is a rather good 4X (Expand, Explore, Exterminate and Research, or something like that) game that you can play for free.

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The Rise of the Hobby Developer

Posted on 18th Mar 2011 at 16:33 by David Hing with 8 comments

David Hing
Developers around the world have submitted over 61,000 games made in Game Maker to the YoYo Games site since 2007. The rate at which they are being submitted is that, when I started writing and researching this article, it was closer to 60,900. A new game is submitted every 20 minutes.

As you can probably guess based on the rate of submissions, a lot of these games are more works in progress than stable, finished releases. There’s no real quality control and the content ranges from the likes of Crimelife 2 to Box Dodger.

There are a lot of indie developers who use Game Maker as a way of producing very high quality titles, but what I find more interesting is the number of what I would describe as ‘hobby developers’ there are out there.

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Free Games I Like: Virtua School

Posted on 11th Dec 2010 at 12:24 by Joe Martin with 5 comments

Joe Martin
Ah, Virtua School. Another game I played far too much of as a teenager and which I’ve bought back to life on my iPod Touch courtesy of the ill-fated iDOS. I truly love this game.

Virtua School is a text-based game which casts you as a kid starting his first day of school, forced to deal with the usual array of problems – girls, bullies, exams and extra-curricular activities. Using multiple choice options you weave your way through these scenarios, with a single playthrough lasting around ten minutes.

What I like most about Virtua School though is the random events which are woven into each game to help make things a bit different. The changes range from big things, like bomb scares or after-school parties, to smaller alterations, like characters changing their opinions or reactions. Popular girl Liz might like you one day and hate you another.

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Free Games I Like: Aisle

Posted on 7th Nov 2010 at 13:35 by Joe Martin with 38 comments

Joe Martin
I’ve been back on the interactive fiction games lately, mainly because it’s a great way to cleanse the gaming palette after a parade of samey shooters with identical names. The best text adventure games can easily trump a modern title and perfectly illustrates what games are capable of when they aren’t too busy chasing the latest graphics.

If you think that sounds hyperbolic then I suggest you go and play Trinity and A Mind Forever Voyaging, then reassess things.

Alternatively, if you haven’t got the time to manage either of those then you can play Aisle instead.

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Free Games I Like: Transformice

Posted on 1st Jul 2010 at 12:49 by Paul Goodhead with 15 comments

Paul Goodhead
Getting people to work together is difficult. Getting people who don't know each other to work together is very difficult. Getting people who don't know each other to work together over the internet is nearly impossible. Enter Transformice.

Transformice is elegantly simple in its premise. A number of mice, usually 25, have to get some cheese and take it to their hole. In their way are a number of obstacles, gaps, pits, bombs and, unfortunately, each other. Every mouse is controlled by a player, and one player gets to be the shaman, who can conjure various bits of apparatus to help the mice in their quest.

The game strikes a fine balance between teamwork and competition - the mice get more points the faster they get the cheese to their hole but they often need to wait for their shaman to construct them a path. The points are important as whoever has the most points at the end of a round becomes the shaman for the next round.

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Free Games I Like: War and Peace

Posted on 14th May 2010 at 08:20 by Joe Martin with 15 comments

Joe Martin
For a long time there’s been talk among the more ambitious and feather-brained developers and players of games about a hypothetical artistic pinnacle of gaming – "the Citizen Kane of videogames". From the title of War and Peace you might expect this game attempts to reach that aim, perhaps by attempting to adapt the infamous Russian novel into game form.

But you’d be wrong, because War and Peace doesn’t have anything in common with Tolstoy’s colossal opus. Instead, it’s a de-make of perhaps the most-loved PC game of all time and the one title which could definitely hope to rival Tolstoy’s novel in depth. Well, if you’re feeling a bit hyperbolic anyway.

War and Peace is best explained as Civilization with only one button – a toggle which flips you between conflict and compromise.

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Free Games I Like: They Hunger

Posted on 29th Apr 2010 at 13:54 by Joe Martin with 8 comments

Joe Martin
I've always loved zombies and I’ve got piles of comics and books and games about them at home. The fascination probably comes from the fact that an apocalypse filled with slow-moving already dead things is likely the only type of survival situation I’d stand a chance in, though there are forum members who might disagree with me.

And as zombie games go, They Hunger is one of the best. Well, to start with anyway; the series was spread over three separate mods and, as time went on, they got increasingly ambitious.

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RE: Choose Your Own Adventure Gamebooks

Posted on 23rd Dec 2009 at 09:50 by Joe Martin with 17 comments

Joe Martin
I used to love Choose Your Own Adventure games and I’d regularly either rent them out of the library or pick them up before going on holiday. Lately I’ve been thinking what a shame it is that the medium has pretty much died out and I’ve been fighting back against this by having a go on some of the later interpretations of the idea.

For those not in the know, CYOA books are essentially multiple-choice driven singleplayer RPGs. You create a character according to the rules established in the start of the book, turn to the first passage, read it and then decide what you would do next. Each option available to you would point you to another passage in the book, creating a rudimentary branching adventure.

In the early ‘90s I remember them being all the rage and there were some long-lasting brands to come out of the short-lived fad, the most popular of which was the Fighting Fantasy series which included the likes of The Legend of Zagor and The Warlock of Firetop Mountain. My personal favourites however were the long-running Lone Wolf books by Joe Dever, - which had a single adventure running across multiple books - and the Fabled Lands series.

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Free Games I Like: Rumble Box

Posted on 1st Dec 2009 at 10:30 by Joe Martin with 4 comments

Joe Martin
It’s an arena-based beat-em-up with mini-games, but it’s also a stunningly pretty and deceptively clever abstract punchathon. It’s fairly old mind you, and came to my attention back in 2006 when it was a finalist in the IGF Innovation in Game Design category.

It’s Rumble Box.

The concept is simple – you are a man made of blocks, in a box, fighting other men made of blocks… in a box. The only way to escape and transcend to the next level is to kill enough enemies that their corpses pile up high enough to enable you to climb over the wall into the next area. It’d be gruesome if it weren’t for the lego-like visuals.

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Free Games I Like: Black Shades

Posted on 17th Nov 2009 at 08:25 by Joe Martin with 1 comments

Joe Martin
Black Shades isn’t a new game, it’s just a free game that I really like. It’s basically the opposite of Hitman, but reduced down to twitch shooter basics and presented in a typically indie way.

Rather than playing as a hitman, Black Shades casts you as a bodyguard for a VIP who's wandering aimlessly through a crowded city. It’s your job to protect him from the increasing number of assailants who will try to kill him.

What distinguishes Black Shades from that old trope of the FPS escort mission is that the VIP is pursuing a random path through a city which is basically an infinite grid of buildings. Also, the assassins who come from him are randomly generated and will use a variety of weapons and approaches. Oh, and nearly everyone in the city looks alike too – grey and white polygon figures.

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