More Levels Than You Require
July 6, 2021 6:42 PM   Subscribe

Got some pesky free time you want to destroy? Here's three gorgeously overdesigned freeware Windows games from the 00's with an absolutely preposterous number of levels between them: Dr. Lunatic: Supreme With Cheese, the ridiculously large top-down action game with optional vastly largerer fandom-made expansion pack (lotsa info after the jump, including more free games from the dev). Enigma, the also obscenely big Oxyd-inspired marble-rolling top-down action-puzzle game. And the non-mind-bogglingly-huge but still beautifully overdesigned (in its earlier incarnations) Little Square Things - in completely different '19, '08 (also bundled together on Steam) and '01 (browser-based) flavors - a Sokoban-descended puzzle game where there's many kinds of boxes... and you control most of them!

Dr. Lunatic: Supreme With Cheese:

More free games: All the developer's old commercial games have been released for free, also including Loonyland, Loonyland 2, Kid Mystic, Sleepless Hollow, Spooky Castle (also included in the huge DLSWC add-on pack), Stockboy and Amazin' Spispopd.

Guide: There's a huge guide to the game, including many of the add-on worlds, on the Wayback Machine.

Source code: Source code for DL:SWC and five of the games listed above is available here.

Bugs:

The version I linked, 8.0d, reportedly has at least one bug that seemingly renders the game non-100%-able without using the in-game level editor; however, if there's only one, it does have a workaround, as I learned from Speedrun.com user KingWingull. Here's what he told me regarding the Museum level in the Field Trip world. According to the Discord linked from the Speedrun.com DLSWC page, this clever workaround was developed by speedrunner Reality; here's a video guide (recorded in an earlier version, but should work in this one).

The previous version of the game can be downloaded here; this older version may have graphical issues on modern systems, but if run via command line or a batch file with the argument WINDOW, it may run in a window, which should help (it'll definitely help with some of the other games I linked - they mention it on their itch.io pages). It's incompatible with the massive expansion pack, but without it, you might actually 100% the 1200-level game some day, unlike...

Enigma:

This game is non-linear and doesn't even have an unlock system, which is good, because...

"Collectively, the game is impossible. The most recent version of Enigma from 2014 lists a total of 2510 stages, plus 397 easy mode variants. As of this post, the top score on the official Enigma leaderboard belongs to someone named Gabian, who has credit for beating all but 7 stages. No one has completed the entire game. Given its obscurity, possibly no one ever will.

[...]

It helps that Enigma doesn’t posture itself like a super-difficult puzzle game. It has a pleasant, unassuming, palatial garden-like aesthetic, strong on symbols and pictograms. It rarely acknowledges how ridiculously hard it is, and that makes it more approachable. It never rubs it in your face.

What do we even want out of Enigma, though? Why do I keep going back to it so often that it actually delayed me from finishing this post? I’ll never complete a single one of the Chessopals, but I sure appreciate knowing they exist.

Attempting to solve a level is an act of defiance against a gargantuan, immovable, unknowable object, like throwing a rock at the sun. Enigma is undefeatable. It is the last puzzle game."

-- Phil Salvador
posted by BiggerJ (7 comments total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
 
Thank you, BiggerJ. I sent the Spooky Castle link to my child and they are going nuts. It was their favorite - FAVORITE game as a child, and they’ve become a Mac person. Can someone recommend a simple mac to windows emulator so my child can stop typing “omg omg” at me and instead relive a cherished part of childhood?
posted by Silvery Fish at 7:06 PM on July 6


Can someone recommend a simple mac to windows emulator so my child can stop typing “omg omg” at me and instead relive a cherished part of childhood?

If their Mac isn't one of the newest models, Boot Camp is a good free option. I use it and it works well.

Very excited to have a go at these – thanks BiggerJ!
posted by Panthalassa at 7:53 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


I've enjoyed Oxyd, Peroxyd, and Enigma at various times without the slightest hope of ever being good at them.
posted by one for the books at 9:44 PM on July 6 [1 favorite]


"I dunno... I can require quite a bit." - Han Solo
posted by hippybear at 10:25 PM on July 6 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: online high score system no longer functions, sorry! Just argue with your friends about who is best
posted by ArgentCorvid at 6:39 AM on July 7


Hah, just earlier I was checking back in on Transcendence (previously on MeFi), a sprawlingly large free game (with a few very affordable expansions) that has been receiving regular updates since 2003. Now up to v1.8, this top-down space shooter/trader/rpg with very light roguelike elements is astoundingly wide ranging - heaps of upgrades, missions, factions, different ships and weapon types, black market smuggling, mining, praying out to space gods, and inadvertently covering your armor plating with corrosive nanites. Well worth a download, I play through every 3-4 years or so to see what's been added in.
posted by FatherDagon at 8:41 AM on July 7


For Mac play I’d probably try Boxer, then DosBox. It’s been a while since I tried running any Windows games on my Mac though.
posted by egypturnash at 4:01 PM on July 7


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