Slapshot Air Hockey. Elder statesman 3D version of the classic arcade game, with multiple tables and split screen support. It’s OK, eh?
Myst Online just goes to show you can’t keep a great game down. Stunning artwork, maddening puzzles and now avatars. Online gaming just got a visit from posh Uncle Edward.
Warsow is billed as a fast paced first person shooter (FPS), and is set in a delightfully realised cartoon future. It is of course all about the jumping, shooting and gloating, so don’t expect surprises will ya?
Extreme Tux Racer gives you the joy and thrills of downhill racing…with PENGUINS! No really, you’ve got to be excited about that right? Swooshing down steep hills, catching fish, avoiding rocks, just being a penguin. Coooool!
Unknown Horizons is a nice looking little 2D real time strategy (RTS) game with settlements, colonists, trade and diplomacy. Sounds idyllic really. It’s under constant development, which is a very good sign indeed.
Super Mario War is a multiplayer platformer featuring everybody’s favourite Italian plumber. I actually know a short, tubby Italian plumber. Nah, just kidding. There are 1000 maps and you can create your own. Go crazy!
Crayon Physics is a delightful drawing puzzle game, which sounds simple, but gets very difficult very fast. It comes with gorgeous graphics and an absolutely engrossing series of levels. Wonderful game all round.
Left4Dead is a retro re-creation of the Nintendo classic done in 80s style, complete with tiny pixels and beep audio. It’s got a multiplayer mode and features 4 campaigns, 2 difficulty levels and loads of 8–bit loveliness. Totally whacky but fun.
Duck Doom Deluxe. Look there’s absolutely nothing funny about shooting cartoon ducks with a Doom type interface. Nothing at all. In fact you could say it’s rather childish and unnecessary. So why’s it so totally addictive?
Trackmania Nations. Race classic, with customisable cars, national flags and a healthy dose of high resolution speed. As with all motor racing games, your controller choice will determine fun levels, so make it right.
Freeciv is the classic empire building strategy game which has an expert development community. Lead your little folk from barbarity to civilisation and try not to mess up because they’re, like, totally relying on you. Expect to spend a lot of time on this title.
Wolfenstein:Enemy Territory is not for tiny tots, no sir. It’s for a squad of hard edged grunts who’ll get the job done no matter what the cost. The classic first person shooter makes its way to freeware online multiplayer mode without passing go. Or collecting any money of course.
Anagramarama is a free word game for Linux and Windows. You get to find as many words as you can within the time limit, which makes it a rather fun game for nerds and wordsmiths. Not so good for impatient types though.
BattleTanks. Multiplayer cartoon tank battle game with 13 maps, co-op and traditional capture the flag modes and as much arcady cross platform (Mac too) fun as they could cram into the pixels. Under very active development.
Excalibur:Morgana’s Revenge is a first person action adventure game, with dinosaurs, hoverbike and a very strange Flintstones car. Oh and did we mention time travel? There’s 42 levels in single player mode, some crazy quilt artwork and music and interesting power-ups.
Alien Arena is the classic FPS game which set the seal on the fast paced multiplayer genre. If you like your games dark, broody and very purple Sci-Fi, then this is the place for you. As long as you’re happy with other people trying to do harm to your person.
Rocks n Diamonds is a cute little arcade puzzler which features literally thousands of add-on levels, network and local multiplayer modes and support for Windows, Linux and Mac. Simple but engrossing as the advertising says. Or doesn’t.
Invade Earth is a Risk clone, which comes with a map editor, multiplayer and single player support and the usual turn by turn gameplay involving world domination, subterfuge, war and victory. There’s also a choice of different computer playing styles just to mix things up.
Bos Wars. Oh look, another RTS game with real time resource, economy and military challenges. The game is lovingly tended by a dynamic development team, which makes it a cut above the usual strategy titles out there.
Cube2:Sauerbraten is a beautifully realised FPS, with all the conventional rush and bash gameplay you’d expect from such. Well documented and with an active and helpful development crew this is truly olde oldskool in oh so many ways.
CrackAttack. Cross platform Tetris clone with multiplayer mayhem baked into the gameplay. Lots of other fun features too, which means you could end up looking at Tetris in a whole different way after this. Or not.
Dink Smallwood is an isometric adventure game which comes with an innovative adventure editor so you can create your own fun. Everything’s done in a jocular mode, which helps to offset the somewhat dated graphics.
The World of Padman combines the crazy of PacMan with the real world backdrop feel of the fab Army Men games. It’s an FPS sure, but with an original colourful atmosphere that’s pretty unique. Interesting.
Allegiance. Microsoft gifted this online multiplayer space shooter to the world as a free product back in ‘99, and it’s still going strong. The game combines MMORPG elements with first person action. Microsoft eh?
[Part III – coming next…yet more ways to enjoy tweaking a live pixel]