Three for the Road: Three Great Freeware Games for the PC

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Three for the Road
·  · ·· October 24th, 2010: Three Great Freeware Games for the PC ·· ·  ·

Greetings! This is a new blog series I decided to create to showcase some of the great games I've stumbled across for various platforms.   This weeks topic is freeware PC titles.. future posts will include different subjects.  I'm going to try as much as possible to keep the content retro, classic, or indie development related.  However, I did diverge a bit from that on todays post. :-)

-Gandalf42

Dungeons and Dragons OnlineThe first game up is the very polished commercial MMO: Dungeons and Dragons Online: Eberron Unlimited (referral link). While not entirely a traditional freeware piece of software, I felt it had enough pluses to include it in this list. The game can be downloaded, installed and played, for the most part, for free. There are additional options such as new classes, races, items and abilities that can be bought for actual money (a so called, Micro-transaction system). However, these items, while nice and helpful, are not explicitly needed to play the game.  So, if you're looking for a fine online MMORPG that is very faithful to the AD&D system (down to DM narrated adventures) and you don't want to spend your hard earned cash, then this game certainly fits the bill.
Super Crate BoxSuper Crate Box is a fun over-the-top platform game done in the retro classic game style.  Just check out that wonderful pixel art!  The game includes an insane amount of weaponry that's used to dispatch your enemies.. however, killing baddies will not raise your score, it's all down to how many crates you can collect.  Collecting crates also changes which weapon you are currently using.  This will, surprisingly, dramatically change your approach to how you go about clearing the level.
This game really has it's roots in old school "Grind for the high score" mentality... add to that a price tag of $0.00 and you're in for some great fun on the cheap.
EquilibrioEquilibrio is a game that was originally released on the Wii under the WiiWare line.  Basically the game plays out as a two dimensional version of Super Monkey Ball.  Perspective is from the side and you tilt the play field clockwise and counter-clockwise to accelerate the ball through the course.  There are some added challenges such as different material types that the ball can be made out of that affect the weight and strength of the ball.  All in all it's a great little physics game with quite a few levels to get through... and, of course, all for the price of.. well, nothing.  The author does ask that if you enjoy the PC version, that you pony up for the WiiWare version to help him out financially.  The Wii version also makes use of the Balance Board for controls.  This adds a nice play mechanic change from the PC version which is mouse based.

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Rob Daviau
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Very nice.

Great idea for a Blog I am sure many will appreciate thanks for posting this!

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Chip Hageman
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Blog

Thanks. I was looking for something to do for the site and just hit upon the idea to do a somewhat random segment that contains a few examples of what the topic is about. I'm a bit ADD anyway, so I tend to accrue bits of info on a large array of topics.. rather than a lot on one. So this works out well. :-)

Today's post was a bit of a rush job. Hopefully future segments will be better structured.

And, as always, suggestions are welcome.

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clok1966
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Love any links to FREE games.

Love any links to FREE games. One thing AD&D online, you can actually (with many hours and far more free time then I have) earn tokens to get some of that stuff you can buy.. SO basicly there is nothing you have to BUY, even the stuff in the store. But the time it would take to do it would border on non stop playing. (also if you are a ex WoW addict, ALLODS is a F2P clone of it with some excellent grpahics and pretty much WoW style gameplay and quest system).

Matt Barton
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Thanks for the great post,

Thanks for the great post, Gandalf! Definitely a great topic for a blog. There are so many projects out there that it's difficult (impossible?) to keep up with all of them. Brief summaries like this are very helpful for figuring out what out there is worth learning more about.

I've heard off and on about the D&D Online game. I was excited about it when it first came out, but the reviews were not favorable. IIRC, everything was group-based, and it was difficult to find a fun group to play with. I'm stunted there because I have zero "real life" friends around here who are into that sort of thing, so I'd be left to try to find strangers to play with. I guess you might sometimes luck out with that, but I never have. Still, it is tempting to at least try it out now that it's free. I've been trying to get back into World of Warcraft, but my only real friend has lost interest already, and I'm back to soloing and trying to find match-up groups. In short, I'm burning out very quickly.

The other games look like the sort of "proof of concept" projects that independent developers thrive on. I assume that's also what we're seeing with Minecraft (other discussion).

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Bill Loguidice
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I would be up for trying D&D

I would be up for trying D&D Online, though I have no clue how we'd possibly coordinate schedules.

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Matt Barton
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D&D Online
Bill Loguidice wrote:

I would be up for trying D&D Online, though I have no clue how we'd possibly coordinate schedules.

Well, there's always Doodle. I've found it quite handy for stuff like this.

It'd be nice if we could get a group of four of five folks on at the same time to try it out. That'd be an adventure in and of itself!

If anyone is interested, shoot me your email for the Doodle scheduler (you can use the contact us button at the top). I figure we should shoot for a three hour block. Probably won't happen this week (I'll be much too busy), so probably the first week of November. Anyone interested should at least install the game and create an account before then, though.

Does it have a built-in voice chat? If not, it might be easier to use Skype, since Ventrillo has a bit of a learning curve.

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clok1966
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AD&D solo
Matt Barton wrote:

Well, there's always Doodle. I've found it quite handy for stuff like this.

It'd be nice if we could get a group of four of five folks on at the same time to try it out. That'd be an adventure in and of itself!

AD&D ONLINE was in its early days very close to Tabletop rules and required the group thing. Wonderfull game with freinds (if you liked AD&D). But nowdays most quests/dungeons have a "level" setting so you can play SOLO in most anything. SO friends are not required.

But I very much suggest a group of friends, the game is as close as you can get to tabletop AD&D as is possible (right now) its real time so no discussions, and so on.. but its a BLAST (IMHO). I play a little solo, but it was far more fun with friends (when they still played). I would throw my hat into the ring, but I'm doing my best to spend more time away from the MMORPG's (I played to much in the past and sometimes have relapses) :) hehe

I would suggest everybody downloading it and setting up accounts and going through the tutorial area, once done with that (an hour or several hours depending on how thourogh you are) by yourself, it will help you understand the game, get keymappings how you like them and so on. Once done with that, then plan some group outings.

Also the Highdef texture pack, do it.. its a bit more time, but the game looks better, and quite honestly its a pretty good looking game to start with.

LOTRonline is free now too... And of the two I would say LOTR is maybe a bit better game (online, but htey are both made by the same people) but if your more comfortble with the AD&D rule sets and locations it is a great choice.

man now i want to play some!

Mark Vergeer
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Wow - impressed!

Gandalf thank you for that excellent post. It looks professional and is a good read. Love the games you linked to. Obligatory downloads of you ask me!

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Matt Barton
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That sounds like a good plan,

That sounds like a good plan, clok. I'll go ahead and download/install it and try to go through the tutorial sometime this week. I've also tweeted about the group, so hopefully we'll be able to get some raw recruits in there to join us. :)

Hey, if nothing else, it's a very cool chance to get to "meet" some of you guys!

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Chip Hageman
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Thanks for the great feedback.

I've always liked blogs that do rapid fire reviews. It's a great way to pick up on some things you may miss otherwise. BTW: I've got a great topic set for the next post (Sunday) and since I have a week to get it in order, it should be presented a bit better.

As to DnD Online. I just installed it for the first time yesterday even though it's been on my "to-do" list for quite a while. Actually, it was the impetus for starting this blog in the first place.. sort of "Cool things you may want to check out if you haven't already". Anyway, I've gone through the tutorial level and logged a few hours in the main game and I'd be interested in getting together for group play but I do want to work through my "noob" status first. :-)

My problem with WoW (and do get me wrong, I love WoW) is that you pay for the game, then pay for the expansions and then pay for the right to play the game.. I find that I'll play it like crazy for a month or so then drop off and log hardly any hours in the game... but you are still paying the monthly fee. Add to that, soloing is much harder in WoW than in DnD Online or Guild Wars... and most of the time I'm soloing in WoW.. So I end up grinding for a month to get a level 17 character when others (teamed up in groups) blow through that level in just a day. It just seemed like I was paying (a lot) to be frustrated.

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