More Excellent Freeware Games

Ah, yes, freeware games. How we all love them, don’t we? Even more so when they are of the indie persuasion, brimming with quality, polish and innovation. You know, just like the following seven offerings that have been hand-picked for you quality gaming entertainment. There’s something for everyone mind; enjoy!

Warthogs

Warthogs: People that not necessarily hate but, well, dislike Harry Potter and love adventure games should probably love this little gem. It’s a short, sweet, beautifully pixelated, impressively crafted and occasionally sarcastic AGS offering. Interestingly, Warthogs is a also a very good adventure game too, and one discovered by the ever brilliant Indie Games Blog.

Reprisal

Reprisal: Only a demo one has to admit, but such a promising one (one has to also admit). Oh, and everybody will have to further admit that Reprisal is an incredibly intriguing take on Populous, which itself hasn’t been properly remade for ages. Not that I’m talking about a remake; what we have here is more of something inspired by Populous. Obviously something that let’s you raise mountains and destroy virtual lives too.

Ultima IV

Ultima IV: A gog.com freebie that will let you enjoy (relatively speaking that is) the Quest of the Avatar on modern PCs complete with a PDF assortment of manuals, maps and spellbooks. Just don’t expect to be overly thrilled. This is an archaic and badly aged roleplaying offering with an infuriating morals mechanic and a demented parser; still, it’s somehow considered a classic so there.

Forget Me Not

Forget Me Not: You could of course pay and grab this psychedelic Pac-Man-esque thing for youriDevice (should you own one), but the free PC version is just so much better. And rather unique too, as you get to blast an impressive menagerie of vaguely recognizable baddies. Excellent fun for the extended family this one! Besides, grandpa would never get to manage them touch-screen controls.

Cryptozookeeper

Cryptozookeeper: A huge, polished, well-written and lavishly illustrated piece of interactive fiction I have yet to finish. Should you enjoy its weird animals, tons of characters, lovely soundtrack, odd visuals and splatterpunk-iness, you’d be better off grabbing the boxed version available. You’d also be helping the rise of a new era of text adventures, which would be really nice.

Maldita Castilla

Maldita CastillaLocomalito, that amazing indie developer, plays with the Ghosts ‘n’ Goblinsformula. Why? For love, culture and glory of course, and in order to create a pretty brilliant action platformer with a distinct retro feel. The game is short, looks spectacular and sounds like a proper arcade machine. It’s not too hard either.

Hero's Adventure

Hero’s Adventure: Disturbing and over in 30 seconds, that’s what it is, yet I love it. It reminds me of certain teen experiences I might have had. What’s more, Hero’s Adventure is a truly smart and cynical take on top-down CRPGs. And Terry Cavanagh created it. And I love it, but I already said so, didn’t I?

Curt Hartung: CCP

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Name: Curt Hartung

Company: CCP

Profession: Programmer

Favorite Classic Game: Ultima IV

Quote: I spent over a year plumbing this game right after its release, on my apple //c, from start to finish, with no internet or cheat guides or outside help. The minimalist graphics and rich sandbox-like content allowed me to become a part of the story in a way that no other game ever has. I don’t lament the advances in computing and graphics, but would be lying if I didn’t admit that some small part of me pines for the days when the details of epic battles and special effects were supplied by imagination alone. I wager I am not alone when I see modern renderings or updated graphics of those worlds and think “that’s not how mine looks”. It was a game that required note-taking, imagination, introspective thought and interaction that wasn’t “pick one of these two answers”.


Wes Platt: Fallen Earth LLC

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Name: Wes Platt

Company: Fallen Earth, ICARUS Studios

Profession: Content Development Director for Fallen Earth

Favorite Classic Game: Ultima IV: The Quest of the Avatar

Quote: “Ultima IV was the first open-world style game that I ever played that gave me a real sense of control over the destiny of the character from the start. The player answers a series of ethical challenges to determine the personality of their character. That really spoke to me from a design perspective, because it offered immediate opportunities for replayability and gave the player unprecedented control over how their character evolved in a computer game.”


Martin Brouard: Frima Studio

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Name: Martin Brouard

Company: Frima Studios

Profession: Executive producer

Favorite Classic Game: Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar

Quote: Ultima IV was a revolution for me because it had such an epic scope for an RPG at the time. I remember spending a whole summer building up my party and travelling through Britannia’s many cities and dungeons to attain perfection in all 8 virtues. The music was just so awesome that I still find myself humming it from time to time almost 25 years later…