101 Free Games
January 21, 2007 7:08 PM   Subscribe

101 free games for Windows. Computer Gaming World (now called Games For Windows) lists some excellent downloads. Some standouts: Penumbra, a physics-based horror adventure; now-free classics like Star Control 2, Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, and Maniac Mansion; remakes of other classics like the Star Wars arcade game; addictive action title Every Extend; Asteroids-meets-RTS Base Invaders, and many, many more. Are they missing anything (besides TrackMania, ADOM, and Cave Story)?
posted by blahblahblah (27 comments total) 50 users marked this as a favorite
would comment, but I'm too busy playing games.
posted by niles at 7:55 PM on January 21, 2007

Very cool; thanks!
posted by cerebus19 at 8:10 PM on January 21, 2007

No Cave Story? Are you kidding?
posted by rxrfrx at 8:30 PM on January 21, 2007

They're also missing Pixel's other big(ish) game, Ikachan.
posted by rxrfrx at 8:31 PM on January 21, 2007

Y'know I got into this argument on some other message board just a few days ago over what i consider to be an odd number no wait my blatantly asinine and adamant opinion that if you can't play a game on a PC it's not worth playing.

I am sick and tired of all these companies tricking people into buying stupid consoles like PS1, 2, and 3 or Sega Genesis or Sega CD or Nintendo Game Cube or Game Boy or Game Gal or Wii or Matchbox 20 or XBox, YBox and ZBox (you know they're comin') with built in obsolescence just so you can play a few dozen stupid games also obsolete the second you buy them, then you have to buy the next biggest thing in six months to a year anyway.

Why not just put them all on PC (and Mac he says begrudingly)? Why do people fall for this console you hook up to a TV crap? It's like electronic snake oil in a different kinda bottle every day and they make you buy the bottle separately from the snake oil which goes bad they say but you can't tell bad snake oil from good snake oil cuz... okay that metaphor sucked.

I see links like this and it just warms my heart. ..or rather it would if the link actually worked. *kicks machine* Stupid computer!
posted by ZachsMind at 8:36 PM on January 21, 2007

Any similar for Mac?
posted by furtive at 8:44 PM on January 21, 2007

Thanks for that, nice post. Though with all the work they did in listing those, you'd think they'd provide a screenshot for each game so I don't have to actually download and install it just to see what it looks like.
posted by zardoz at 9:02 PM on January 21, 2007

posted by noble_rot at 9:04 PM on January 21, 2007 [1 favorite]

ZachsMind writes "Why not just put them all on PC (and Mac he says begrudingly)? Why do people fall for this console you hook up to a TV crap?"

For the same reason that buying a synthesizer or other audio hardware often makes more sense than the equivalent software. Dedicated machinery for a dedicated purpose.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:04 PM on January 21, 2007

To run what the consoles run, ZachsMind, you'd have to drop a lot more than the $400 or $500 you spend on a top-end console. I think PC manufacturers already got their due from a generation of gamers who bought "dual-purpose" machines when the only other purpose besides gaming was word processing, hardly requiring the high-end video card and all that extra RAM.
posted by dreamsign at 9:07 PM on January 21, 2007

Or what DNAB said.
posted by dreamsign at 9:08 PM on January 21, 2007

I am definitely downloading Star Control 2. I never was able to beat that game before, and now it has voiceovers and better graphics? Deal!
posted by Clamwacker at 9:32 PM on January 21, 2007

*kicks machine* Stupid computer!

There's also far less effort and frustration involved in getting a console to play correctly.

And although I admit to console bias, Star Control 2 is always on my short list of the best games ever made.
posted by metaly at 9:48 PM on January 21, 2007

Yeah, but who on Earth would run Windows just to play these games?
posted by squirrel at 9:49 PM on January 21, 2007

Why not just put them all on PC (and Mac he says begrudingly)?

There are plenty of old games that don't play properly on PCs or Macs anymore, either.
posted by Remy at 9:59 PM on January 21, 2007

Consider this an aside, but mention of Star Control 2 just makes me think of how happy I am that the latest version of DosBox (recently released) runs Starflight, and it works flawlessly on a new XP machine.

Never really got into SC2, but will give it a better try this time around.
posted by dreamsign at 10:17 PM on January 21, 2007

It's all about The Blob - it's Katamari with strategy. Thank the Gods I have a trackball, or I'd have knocked everything off my desk by now.
posted by dgbellak at 11:33 PM on January 21, 2007

Missing from the Free At Last category: Freespace 2, arguably the last great space sim ever made and generally regarded as one of the best PC games of 1999. The original EULA allowed non-commercial distribution of the game, and the source code has since been released.
posted by chrominance at 11:49 PM on January 21, 2007

No Dwarf Fortress?

Free, cause it's still in alpha, but one hell of a deep game.

Just don't get too attached to yon dwarves, cause they just might die a bloody death. With their spouse going insane because of it.
posted by Sphinx at 2:45 AM on January 22, 2007

Aww, I feel bad for not posting this when I got that issue of CGM Games for Windows. Mostly for the graphical HHGttG.
posted by absalom at 7:08 AM on January 22, 2007

A few years ago I was working a 9-5 job and had copious free time outside of work, so I wrote a freeware game. It was a great experience. I loved interacting with the users, hearing what they thought about the game and how it could be improved, and I especially loved seeing references to it pop up on random gaming sites around the net.

But the years passed and I pretty much abandoned it. I stopped fixing minor bugs and implementing suggested features. It was post-1.0 anyway. I just didn't have the time or inclination. I'll most likely never touch it again.

I'm pretty conflicted though, as I still get a little jolt every time I see a reference to it, and I feel a touch of disappointment every time I see a site summarizing free games and omitting mine. I actually felt trepidation clicking this link, wondering if it would be there. The confilct is that I realize I only earn the pleasure of recognition by doing something worth recognizing, and that abandoned work must necessarily fade into obsurity. It's guilt I guess.

But the game is listed there, so I'm absolved for the time being.
posted by rlk at 7:32 AM on January 22, 2007

Wow, I'd forgotten how incredibly irritating and frustrating text adventures were.

Or maybe it's just HGttG.

...and throwing in so many time based puzzles one after another just seems cruel...

I'm still enjoying it immensely though.
posted by Artw at 8:20 AM on January 22, 2007

rlk - come on, tell us which one you wrote...
posted by blahblahblah at 9:09 AM on January 22, 2007

No Nethack, no peace!
posted by JHarris at 10:22 AM on January 22, 2007

That Hitch Hikers Guide thing may have killed all hope of me successfully completing my PhD. Thanks.

'scuse my while I go wrap a towel around my head.
posted by shelleycat at 9:24 PM on January 22, 2007

Wow, Star Control 2 is ten kinds of awesome.

Thanks for that. Now I'm f**ked for my Japanese Test tomorrow.
posted by dreamsign at 7:54 AM on January 23, 2007

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