In tough times, entertainment isn’t always part of your budget. But gaming doesn’t have to expensive. Let me share with you five quality freeware games that you and your friends can play online. I’ve had first hand experience with each of these games. They all offer great replay-ability. I wanted to include everyone, so several different game genres are represented.
1) Hedgewars -2D Turn Based Strategy
Hedgewars is a turn based strategy that is as hilarious to watch as it is play. Similar to Worms, players command a team of hedge hogs. The game is played on a 2D platform style map. Throughout the game, each hedge hog gets played in rotation. During your turn you can use tools and weapons to defeat other team(s). The last team standing wins.
Hedge hogs can move around, or use tools (ropes, teleportation, etc) to help get around the map. The game contains a vast array of special weapons and tools that can be enabled/disabled or rationed. Some of the weapons are similar to ones found in Worms. I am a big fan of Watermelon bomb myself. The game has a lot of different maps and themes already built into game. However you can also create your own maps and themes with your favorite vector art program.
Hedgewars is free open-source software, released under GPL-v2 license. You can download releases for Windows, Mac OS X, FreeBSD and many different Linux distributions. Online play is cross platform compatible. You can learn more about Hedgewars at http://www.hedgewars.org.
2) Trackmania Nations Forever – 3D Racing
Trackmania Nations Forever
Got a fever for some online racing? Well I’ve got a prescription for you! Trackmania Nations Forever is a racing game that features lots twists, turns, jumps and inversions. There are several different modes of play for both single player and multi-player modes. TMNF has one of the largest online racing communities on the net! You can challenge other drivers from around the world. With TMNF’s global ranking system, you can quickly see where you stand. Each pass on the track will motivate you to drive harder and faster.
There are over 65 tracks available in the base install of the game. Track creation tools are included in the game as well. You shouldn’t get bored easily. There are ton of community created skins for your car as well. However, my friend Keith Ash has found, regardless of which skin you apply, your car will always perform and handle the same way. Athough your reaction to the different skins, may determine how you drive the car.
Alright already how do I get in the game? TMNF is available for download through Trackmania’s website or through Valve’s Steam application. You can learn more about it at http://www.trackmania.com/tm/index.php?rub=nations.
3) Tibia – 2D MMORPG
Tibia is one of the oldest MMORPG games on the internet. In Tibia you control a character from a “top down” view in a 2D gaming environment. Starting out, you’re in a training area called Rookgaard. While in Rookgaard, you gain experience through hunting creatures and going on quests. You can collect items to help you progress. Items such as weapons, armor and other equipment are for sale at various outlets. Gold is the basic form of payment in Tibia, however characters can also trade for items. You can also buy spells that give you special abilities.
Once you’ve advanced to level 8. You can move from Rookgaard to the mainland. At this point, you must pick a vocation. You can become a knight, a paladin, a sorcerer, or a druid. Each with their own special abilities. Learn to watch your back, other players can now kill you (pk). The rest is up to you! There are many cities to visit and many paths to take. The creators of the game are constantly adding new content. This game is virtually endless.
For best results in the game, make friends early or invite your offline friends to help you out! To play you will need to download the client for either Windows or Linux. You’ll also need to register and create your first character. To learn more visit http://www.tibia.com.
4) Scorched 3D – 3D Turn Based Strategy
Like fireworks? Like things that go “boom”? Wanta blow up your friends? Then try Scorched 3D! Based off a classic tank game, Scorched 3D is an online turned based artillery game. You compete against other players on an online 3D battlefield. Each turn, line up your shot, adjust power setting and choose your weapon. When your satisfied, lock in your shot before time runs out. Once everyone has locked in, all canons will shoot at once. Sit back and watch the aftermath! You can chat with other players as you play. Taunt them to intensify the game!
There are a lot of different weapons to buy. At the end of each round, if successful you will be awarded money to unlock bigger and better weapons. As the host, you can also configure the game to where resources are limitless. This makes for really interesting battles! You can play up to 24 human and non-human players at once.
There are public and non-public servers to play on. Scorched 3D is completely free. You can find versions for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. Online play is platform independent. To find more information about Scorched 3D check out http://www.scorched3d.co.uk.
5) Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory – 3D FPS
Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory
Our last game Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, is a WWII first person shooter. Time to pickup a weapon and go to war! In this game you play as either an allied or an axis soldier to complete objectives. You may play as different classes of soldier. Each class has a different skill or ability. During a round there is a defensive and offensive team. Use your skills or ability to help your team achieve victory. If killed before you complete your objective, you’ll re-spawn for another attempt (depending on the game mode).
The game was originally released as an add-on for a commercial game “Return to Wolfenstien“. However due to problems with the single player portion of the game, it was release as freeware. There is a large support community for this game. There have been a lot of maps and mods made for this game. You can download this full game for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X from http://www.splashdamage.com/content/wolfenstein-enemy-territory-barracks.
We’ll there ya have it. Hope that should keep ya busy at least till the economy turns around. Happy gaming!