In this time of economic uncertainty, many are cutting back drastically on what they spend on entertainment. However, if you’re a fan of video games on your PC, there is any number of free and fun titles available to play without spending a dime.
Beyond casual games like Peggle or any of the thousand tower-defence flash games around, InstantAction.com is one of a new-style of online game provider. The site features eight separate titles to play from a third-person action shooter Fallen Empire: Legions, to a World War 1 flight simulator Ace of Aces. All of the games feature a depth that’s usually lacking in free titles, and they all play in your internet browser window.
Quake III Arena
If you’re someone who’s been into games for a while, you’ll probably remember Quake III Arena and Starsiege: Tribes. Well, Tribes is being reintroduced by Garage Games, the folks behind InstantAction.com, sometime in the coming months through their site. Meanwhile, id Software has brought Quake back with Quake Live, which is essentially the old game that’s been tweaked and polished, and is now playable through your browser window.
While these are small-budget titles or rehashed favourites, the latest game in the Battlefield series is a free-to-play shooter as well. Battlefield Heroes uses in-game advertising to offset the development and running costs. Created with cartoon-style graphics, Heroes combines some RPG elements as well, including three class choices, character leveling and varying special abilities. Different weapons, items and clothes can be purchased using points earned during play.
Legends of Zork
For those who are old enough, the name Zork will surely trigger memories of a series of text-based adventure games from the 1980s. Well, Activision has reintroduced another in the series, this time called Legends of Zork. Playable through your browser, Legends takes all the ideas of the originals and blends them into an RPG-style game with excellent artwork and fun characters.
Adventure Game Studio
If you’re into the old Sierra and LucasArts adventure games, then check out Adventure Game Studio where developers have created dozens of self-made titles that are just as witty, challenging and entertaining as the originals. The 5 Days a Stranger series is probably the best to start with.
What’s perhaps the most amazing this is that all of these games would have required computers worth thousands of dollars to play properly in their time, whereas now they only require a fraction of a modern machine’s computing power. So don’t fret over not being able to play the latest and greatest titles, take a different view of games, and go have some real fun… for free.