Freeware games thread: What are your favorite free gems?


#1

What are your favorite freeware titles? There are so many to sift through today, it’s hard to distill all down into a list of favorites, but I’ll list a few of my favorites here:

Cave Story

I’ve hardly played a single other game with this much love, craft, and character poured into it. This is the indie game that drew me into the world of indie games, and even 13 years later stands as one of the best solo-dev’d games of all time.

Iji

Lesser-known than Cave Story, but still incredibly good and well-crafted. Daniel Remar put 4 years of work into this one, and it definitely showed. The story here is excellent, and delves into some interesting moral grey areas: in a world where humanity’s almost been eradicated, what’s worth saving?

I made a huge list of some other essential freeware titles around 2013, if any of y’all wanna take a look, but they’re all a bit dated now:


#2

I forgot about “Don’t Take it Personally, Babe”. I’ve never gotten around to playing it. I came in here to rep Love’s earlier game, Digital: A Love Story, as well as the obvious Cave Story. But yeah, those two games are near and dear to my heart, as in, two of my favorite video games of all time, and they were freeware.


#3

Bernband. Bernband Bernband.

one of my favorite walking sims of all time, it’s a game where you explore a city-space at night. the author cites Star Wars as an influence and it definitely feels like this could be a game set on Coruscant where you play a wandering citizen just enjoying the night.

make sure to poke at all the spaces! there’s a lot of obscured passageways.


#4

Fitz Packerton (As written in Steve Gaynor’s 2016 GOTY List):

“It’s 5 minutes long. It’s free. It’s entirely wordless, and yet expresses one of the most striking and beguiling short stories a game has told in recent memory, all entirely through the language of stagecraft and interactivity. It’s a collaboration between the creator of Quadrilateral Cowboy, one of the creators of Hyper Light Drifter, and the voice of Katie from Gone Home. It rewards replaying, reexamining, and reassessing. It is remarkable. Go play it now.”


#5

The games so far in this thread are all very good imo. I would suggest Gravity Bone which was for a long time my favourite game ever. The guy who made this one (Brendon Chung) also worked on Fitz Packerton, and made Thirty Flights of Loving and Quadrilateral Cowboy.


#6

one recent favorite of mine is goblinuzi. I think it’s just a prototype but it has some really great bits if it ever it’s ever made for a full release (probably wont happen) terriv has some really neat other projects too.
https://terriv.itch.io/goblin-uzi


#7

Psssst, did you know that we have an entire running feature just about rad free games?


#8

It’s pretty obtuse/designed by programmers, but I’ve consistently enjoyed playing Wesnoth. I’ve got a soft spot for super-simple-mechanics turn based strategy.


#9

Warzone 2100 is a great RTS that’s now open source and has one of the largest tech trees I have ever seen. Plus what other RTS out there lets you completely design your units?

Xonotic is a great open source arena shooter that was born from Nexius after they went closed source. It also can be run without having to install anything making it a great LAN party game.

Open TTD is a really fun open source simulation game based on Transport Tycoon Deluxe

OpenRA is a open source project for Red Alert, Tiberian Dawn, Dune 2000, and Tiberian Sun that recreates the engine they used and allows people to mod them. They are also add some features like being able to choose whether you want right click or left click, new UI, replay support, fog of war, and other stuff. There are also plans for it at some point to just have the engine in a state that anyone can use it for their own RTS game.


#10

Oooooo this is sick


#11

+1 for OpenTTD. Just started playing it again and it just scratches an itch that many modern games don’t.


#12

Starcraft.


#13

A favorite free game of mine that you can’t actually play on modern PC hardware is something called “Survival Crisis Z.”

That sounds like a generic Unity Asset flip, but it was an early game by the developer that would later go on to make Salt & Sanctuary (Ska Studios). It basically combines early Grand Theft Auto games (pre-3), Diablo 2, and Return of the Living Dead. It features a lot of trends that are all-too-familiar today, but predates a lot of them by over a decade.

The entire world is procedurally generated. The town you’re in, the way the storyline plays out, none of it is pre-determined. You align with factions and run missions for them until you eventually control the city during a really nasty zombie outbreak.

You can recruit other survivors in to your posse (who can then become infected and eventually try to kill you), there’s all kinds of ways you can interact with factions, there’s supernatural elements, there’s a network of labyrinthine laboratories beneath the city holding tons of secrets, all kinds of cool stuff. It’s not the prettiest game, and the controls can take some getting used to, but it was tons of fun and there’s lots to poke at (including bonus content like a shooter-focused Arcade Mode).

The catch: if you have a modern version of Windows, it doesn’t run. Windows XP was the last officially supported version of Windows to run Survival Crisis Z. There are guides on getting it up and running in Linux through WINE, but if you have Windows 7, 8, or 10, it seems you’re out of luck (for now.)

I keep holding out hope that one day, Ska Studios will return and make a bigger, better, more robust remake of Survival Crisis Z, but I get the feeling that will never happen.


#14

Hero Core is a great little black and white metroidvania.

http://www.remar.se/daniel/herocore.php


#15

I don’t bother with a physical computer a lot outside of work so I keep forgetting about them, but I am excited to play Longest Night and Lost Constellation from the makers of Night In The Woods, so s/o to this thread for reminding me to do the thing (also bookmarking some others for ref!)


#16

Lost Constellation by the Night in the Woods team is a cool little adventure/ghost story/folktale/snowman building simulator. It’s pretty short but very charming and well written.

The Uncle Who Works For Nintendo by Michael Lutz is a creepy twine game about nostalgia and childhood insecurities and unspeakable horrors.


#17

one of my favorites (and tied with doom for fav game of 2016) is ian maclarty’s catacombs of solaris.

its a first person game where you walk through a series of hallways and look for your favorite colors and patterns. every time you stop, your screen’s view gets remapped onto a new hallway, spatializing it into new areas. you can bend colors and patterns into new forms, eliminate colors you don’t like, and sample surfaces in your mix. moments echo across hallways and colors become spaces.

danielle wrote an article about it.


#18

I love the games by Daniel Benmergui:


#19

I’m a big fan of Even The Stars, a wonderful little game about wandering through space: https://polclarissou.itch.io/even-the-stars


#20

CRYPT WORLDS