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Free/Alternative/Online/Open Source PC Gaming Megathread

Ryan FB

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Are you a cheap bastard? Or perhaps you're tired of playing the same thing over and over again and are looking for something new? Maybe you have a PC without dual 6800GT's, and you're looking for a game that's fun but still runs? Or you're just looking for a quick little gaming diversion at work? This is the thread for you.


  • Cave Story (or 洞窟物語, or Doukutsu Monogatari) - this game rocks, that's why it's at the top of the list. It's a 2D action/adventure game in the vein of Metroid/Castlevania made by one man. The link is to a prepatched zip of the game on my webspace, but if you're feeling fancy you can get it directly from the author and then apply the English patch yourself (some people have crashing with version, so I'm hosting You can also read an interview with the game's creator here. (Windows)
  • N - A unique 2D puzzle / action platformer. Play as a ninja trapped in a world of well-meaning, inadvertantly homicidal robots. (Cross-platform)
  • Experimental Gameplay Project - A project to create 50 to 100 games in 1 semester. New games every week. Yields interesting results. (Windows)
  • seiklus - an exploration/adventure game. (Windows)
  • Stranded - cool 3D game where you're stranded on an island and can do just about anything. Good for passing the time waiting for Season 2 of Lost. (Windows)
  • Warzone 2100 - Originally an RTS for Playstation and PC, the developer went under and released all the code as GPL. (Windows, Linux)
  • Liquid War - You control an army of liquid and have to try and eat your opponents. A single player mode is available, but the game is definitely designed to be multiplayer, and has network support. (Cross-platform)
  • Retrospec - Fan-made PC ports of old ZX Spectrum/C64/BBC Micro/Amstrad/Acorn/etc. games. (Cross-platform)
  • FreeDroid - a clone of the classic game "Paradroid" on Commodore 64 with some improvements and extensions to the classic version. (Cross-platform)
  • Not Pron - puzzle/adventure game. (Browser)
  • PARSEC47 - high speed scrolling shooter. (Windows)
  • rRootage - fight randomly generated large battleships, shmup-style. (Windows)
  • TUMIKI Fighters - yet another Japanese shooter. (Windows)
  • Gate 88 - Relive a childhood daydream of deep space intergalactic battle inspired by herzog zwei, star control, subspace, homeworld, and parsec47. (Cross-platform)
  • Shot Online - Free MMORPG Golf. (Windows)
  • PhantasyRPG - a free Web Based MMORPG. (Browser)
  • Pardus - a free Massive Multiplayer Online Browser Game (MMOBG) playing in a future where traders, pirates and other pilots of various races and factions strive to gain wealth and fame in space. (Browser)
  • Popcap Games - various free puzzle/action games. (Flash)
  • Warning Forever - a scrolling shooter that is 100% continuous boss fights. (Windows)
  • Nexuiz - Open source 3D deathmatch game. (Windows, Linux)
  • Reaction Effect - the objective of this game is to get a chain reaction of tiles as long as possible. Tiles will start each other if their lines are connected. (Flash)
  • Little Fighter 2 - 8-player SSBM-style fighting game. (Windows)
  • Cube - Cube is an open source multiplayer and singleplayer first person shooter game built on an entirely new and very unconventional engine. Cube is a landscape-style engine that pretends to be an indoor FPS engine, which combines very high precision dynamic occlusion culling with a form of geometric mipmapping on the whole world for dynamic LOD for configurable fps & graphic detail on most machines. (Windows, Linux, PocketPC)
  • Planeshift - free MMORPG. (Cross-platform)
  • Siroi Danmakukun - Just avoid the dots. Scroll down to sdmkun for the downloads. (Cross-platform)
  • Legends - multiplayer FPS (Windows, Linux)
  • Battle for Wesnoth - a turn-based strategy game with a fantasy theme. (Cross-platform)
  • The Bub's Brothers - 10-player online Bubble Bobble. Yes, you read that correctly. (Cross-platform, requires Python)
  • NetHack - a classic textmode dungeon crawl that runs on just about every operating system. There are also graphical ports such as Falcon's Eye. (Cross-platform)
  • Navy Field - free MMO, sort of like what would happen if Gunbound and some Navy game had children. (Windows)
  • Panda Golf - fun but frustrating little golf platformer, click inside the circle to determine how to hit the ball. (Flash)
  • iSketch - multi-player drawing game similiar to Pictionary. (Shockwave)
  • Zookeeper - the original, online version. Swap animals around to line up three or more and eliminate them. (Flash)
  • Zelda Classic - a complete PC rewrite of a Zelda-style engine. Multiple user-made quests are available. (Windows/DOS)
  • Skulltag - a Doom source port with updated multiplayer options, including Team DM, CTF, Skulltag, Last Man Standing, and bot support. (Windows, doom2.wad or FreeDoom)
  • Which Way Adventure - A crazy little choose-your-own-adventure style game. Watch out for the manticore! (Flash)
  • Subspace - 2D space shooter MMO. (Windows)
  • Motherload - dig around for minerals. (Flash)
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - the original Douglas Adams Infocom text adventure. (Java) Also available in a 20th Anniv. Edition with fancy shmancy graphics from the BBC. (Flash)
  • Peasant's Quest - classic King's Quest send-up, now with more Trogdor. (Flash)
  • Bottle Shoot - crazy Japanese gunslinging game. Shoot bottles with your mouse, hit spacebar to reload. (Flash)
  • Doom 64: Absolution - a Doom 64 total conversion for the PC which uses the Doomsday engine for snazzy graphics and cool updates like mouselook. Very fun. (Windows, requires doom2.wad)
  • Progress Quest - MMORPG gaming without the hassle! (Windows)
  • Gunbound - worms-style MMO. (Windows)
  • TES: Arena - the game that kicked off The Elder Scrolls series. (DOS)
  • ScummVM - play your old adventure games pretty much anywhere. Also includes Beneath a Steel Sky and Flight of the Amazon Queen, which have been released as freeware by their developers. (Cross-platform)
  • The New Adventures of Zak McKracken and Maniac Mansion Deluxe - fan-made sequels/remakes of the LucasArts adventure game. (Windows)
  • Rockstar Classics - GTA, GTA2, and Wild Metal released for free. (Windows)
  • Hidden & Dangerous Deluxe - released as freeware to promote the release of H&D2. (Windows)
  • Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory - free online WWII FPS based on RTCW. (Windows, Linux)
  • America's Army - your tax dollars are going to it, might as well play it! (Windows, Linux)
  • Marathon Trilogy - Bungie's open source redesign of their classic FPS's. (Cross-platform)
  • One Must Fall: 2097 - old robot PC fighting game. (DOS)
  • 3D Realms Downloads - includes various older games released as freeware, such as Adventure Fun-Pak, Beyond the Titanic, Puzzle Fun-Pak, and Supernova. Also various limited shareware versions of their old games. (DOS)
  • Freeciv - open source Civilization II clone, with multiplayer support. (Cross-platform)
  • Out of Order - free LucasArts-style adventure game. (Windows)
  • Dink Smallwood - zelda-like isometric adventure/RPG, released as freeware by its developer. (Windows)
  • Starsiege: Tribes and Tribes 2 - squad-based multiplayer FPS's, now released for free. (WindowS)

Feel free to add more, and I'll try to maintain an updated master list in this post. I might try to categorize/organize these later on.

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Thanks for nothing, Ryan (pun intended). Dunno how long it will take me to slog through all this.


Any chance you could group offline and online games? Some of these, like iSketch can't be played offline. And shouldn't you add http://www.popcap.com for, well, everything?


Thanks for the PeasantQuest link -- I haven't followed Strong Bad's antics for a while and didn't know it existed. I'm on my way to check it out right now!

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  • 1 month later...
  • 1 month later...

Bumping this because I finally sat down and updated it. New additions are at the top of the list. I really recommend you try Cave Story if you can, it's fantastic. As for categorization, I might try to make a little web app/database with all this stuff in it so that sort of thing is more managable and searchable.

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I'm going to be really useless here, because I can't remember the name and the website is blocked at work, so someone will need to be Google-adept.


However, I'm hearing really great things about the latest from Kenta Cho, of rRootage and Torus Trooper fame. Apparently the gameplay is his best yet, though it doesn't have the sheer peel-your-face-off speed that made Torus Trooper so utterly amazing.

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  • 3 months later...

N - A unique 2D puzzle / action platformer. Play as a ninja trapped in a world of well-meaning' date=' inadvertantly homicidal robots. (Cross-platform)[/quote']I've started playing through this, trying to beat the original 500 levels. Holy crap is this game hard. But the rewarding feeling of being a total badass when you finally defeat a challenging level after who knows how many tries is fantastic. I'll sit there and watch a replay 10 times in a row of me evading lasers with a rocket 1cm behind me while walljumping past some mines and be amazed how closely I've cut it. The screenshots really don't do this game justice.


Edit: Since screenshots really don't show what the game is like, I made a little video. Here I am making the bazillionth pass at this level, trying to practice what path I should take back through a maze of rocket launchers.

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