Five Free Games You Should Play Right Now (And Five That Aren't, That You Still Should)
Having a rainy day or just bored of running around is Skyrim or just looking for a new game that has flown under your radar? Look no further, here are five free games and five not so free games to fill your time! It should be noted that all the free games do accept donations and I am certain the developers would appreciate any form of monetary handshakes you want to give them.
Pioneers (by Eigen Lenk): An RPG-esque game about exploration not just the world but yourself and your companions. Despite its being free the game has a great deal of replayabilty and a rather long campagin along with a "free play" style that allows you to merely jump into the game and have yourself a grand time.
Lost Constellatons (by Finji): A point and clicky style game heavy on narration and story with a sound track as chilling as its art is breath taking. Giving any more information on this game would ruin your time, so get to building your snowmen and see if you can find the Lost Constellations.
Clive "N" Wrench (by _Rob_): Love Banjo Kazooie and the Rare era third person platformers? This little demo should scratch this itch. Missed the boat on one of the most storied N64 titles? Get on this game now and see what the hype is all about. Not sure what I'm talking about, this game is an "old school" 3D platformer with cartoony graphics and a heavy leaning on collecting random items scattered around the map.
Return of the Obra Dinn (by Dukope): From the maker of the cult indie hit Papers, Please we have the Return of the Obra Dinn. Return of the Obra Dinn is at its most simple a brooding mystery novel aboard a stranded ship mixed with eldritch and magical elements. While also like a demo like the above game, it's well worth your time to check out.
Endless Express (by flrn): Endless Express may be short but it makes up for it in its scope and unique ideas. What seems a mere "Waiting for a Train" simulator at its base is a rich and deep experience on the nature of time and travel. While the game may not take you out of your element like it does the main character but one can hope.
The Not So Free
Seas of Scred (by Darkest Kale): Seas of Scred is a simple DOS-Like, taking gaming back to its old arcade style gameplay with a score-attack style gameplay and cute critters to blow up with your submarine lasers. Brightly colored and for only three bucks you'll easily play longer than you spend on the game.
Sandstorm (by Daniel Linssen): A game about not getting lost in a sandstorm. Way more fun than the real thing.
Delver's Drop (by Pixelscopic): A top down roguelike that pays a great homage to the older Zelda Titles like Link's Awakening and Link to the Past. Best described as "Zelda, The Dungeon Edition", it is sure enough to appeal to the "hardcore" gamer and casual player as well. It is important to note that this game is still in Alpha.
Earth Tongue (by Erichemmit): A game about growing mushrooms and keeping that ecosystem safe and stable. It's like Harvest Moon without the love life or magical gnomes. Also a lot of Mushrooms.
Heavy Bullets (by Terri Vellman): A fast paced first person shooter with a bright level layout and cute critters hellbent on eating your face off, Heavy Bullets promises a simple game and delivers more depth that it appears it could on first blush. Living up to its name, Heavy Bullets requires you to learn bullet conservation which gives the game a tactical level easy to learn but difficult to practice.
There's another one I'd like to mention: Free Orion.
It is a 4x Space Opera style game that originally started off taking elements from the developer's favorite 4x games, like the ever-popular Masters of Orion II, but took it into a new direction. Some interesting features include:
- Star lanes are used to move from system to system, and you have to manage Supply along these star lanes to keep your empire connected. If a colony or outpost is not connected to a supply line, it is not counted in your empire's resource management. Enemies can blockade supply lines by sitting on them, so as your supply chain grows, so does your vulnerability to having this tactic used against you. However, ships only have a certain fuel source off their supply lines, so any ship trying to blockade had best have a good fuel supply if they want to remain for longer periods of time.
- You don't have to micro-manage colonies. Tell a colony what you want their focus to be, and they will have that focus and produce appropriate resources to your Empire. The only time you need to click on a planet is to either change the focus or to build something from a production building there. Not all production buildings can be built at any given colony, some require specific planetary or system resources to be built. It doesn't do you much good, for example, to have an asteroid aggregate collector if you have no asteroid belts in system.
- To produce something tangible, you need both Industry and Minerals to make it. Industry is used on a per-turn, but Minerals can be stockpiled. Of course, as any RTS player will tell you, sitting on a pile of resources you aren't using is not very efficient. You may also need certain specific buildings at the same location to produce certain ships.
- You can queue up science, in fact you can run multiple things at the same time. Actually, you almost have to be researching more than one thing at a time because now research has two figures: the total number you can put into it per turn, and the minimum number of turns it will take to finish. So you can't just dump a ton of research and finish something in one turn anymore.
- Planetary resources have a delta vee cap. Meaning if you suddenly find yourself in a war and needing to produce a lot of ships, and you are wanting to shift your science planets over to industry, the change from science to industry is gradual, no more than a couple of points per turn per colony. So think ahead if you don't want to get caught out. This also discourages 'heavy science' strategies that dominate most other 4x games.
It's still in alpha, but it is free and open source. You can even contribute to the project if you wish!
I just got Earthtongue the day before yesterday. Very fun game, you can play in a more hands-off way and just observe the ecosystem or be more hands-on and actively affect the environment. You unlock story in the form of journal entries if you can manage more and more life forms to make the ecosystem more diverse.