101 Free Games (Part II)
Mr. Pants’ Excessive Overkill
A name this excessive can only describe the over-the-top explosions of Mr. Pants.
Weapons Factory Arena
Weapons of mass destruction are being continuously churned out—exercise a little “gib” diplomacy.
How many hands does a man have? Last time we checked, two. Akimbo lets you use not one, but two weapons at once.
Catch the Chicken
Once you finally catch that chicken, then what? Run from those other chicken-hungry contestants!
Quake is transmogrified from the three-dimensional first-person shooter we all know and love to a 2D platformer. Not finished yet, but very promising.
Essentially a weapons modifier, this offers each participant various combinations of offensive and defensive superpowers.
The Gray Area
Fun With Emulators
Emulation has always been a rather touchy subject in the gaming industry. On one hand, it’s a great way to preserve many older classic games. It also showcases a lot of amazing talent, since the vast majority of emulators are fanmade. On the other hand, many game companies are highly protective of even their older properties and look on the emulation scene with contempt. Here at CGW, we stand somewhere in the middle. That being the case, we’ve compiled a list of some of the better emulation projects on the Net—but we won’t tell you where you can find any games to go with them. You’re on your own there.
Want to play Oregon Trail? Karateka? Ultima IV? Then check out this slick little German-made Apple IIe emulator.
If you’re a fan of the old Nintendo Entertainment System, FCE Ultra is quite possibly the best option available for playing some of those hard-to-find older games.
The Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator (MAME) is probably the best and best-known emulator; it’s able to run an absolutely mind-boggling variety of classic arcade games. If there’s a best place to start, this is it.
Ah, those classic graphic adventures like Maniac Mansion. If only you could play them again. Wait—with this emulator, you can! UOX3 The Ultima Offline eXperiment 3 is a fanmade Ultima Online server emulator, handy for all the jaded old-school players who prefer the golden days of UO.
Our top 10 picks for great gaming websites.
GameSpy’s megasite is home to a plethora of demos and patches. It’s also a fantastic resource for free game mods and other media.<
This site has a ton of freeware for you to download, complete with rankings and reviews of what’s hot. Plus, we like the goofy name.
Here, you’ll find Web versions of several classic games, including Space Invaders, Defender, Spy Hunter, Joust, Rampage, and even Simon.
If you’re a fan of Neverwinter Nights, look no further. You’ll find plenty of maps, modules, monsters, characters, sound clips, and other resources for use in your own NWN game.
Artwise, it looks like these Flash games were taken from children’s books—or Hallmark cards. Still, you’ll find many fun little diversions you can easily get away with playing at work.
The geniuses behind the ever-so-addictive Bookworm have made other games, too. Bejeweled, Typer Shark…the list goes on.
This site is home to Crimsonland, Ricochet Xtreme, and plenty of other high-quality shareware titles you don’t want to miss.
Remember those old Sierra adventure games from the ‘80s and ‘90s, like King’s Quest and Quest for Glory? These guys have done some pretty good remakes of them—and they’re free!
Go here for plenty of underrated PC titles, including many old retail games now classified as “abandonware.” There’s good stuff to be found.
The ever-popular gaming area of everyone’s favorite search engine is a veritable treasure trove of Flash games spanning several genres.
Five ways to speed up Windows XP.
1 Turn Off Visual Effects
Sliding menus and drop shadows slow your system. Right-click on My Computer and select Properties, then choose the Advanced tab. Click the Settings button under Performance, then choose the option “Adjust for best performance.”
2 Ditch Unneeded Services
Go to the Control Panel, choose Administrative Tools, then select Services. Change the following services from an automatic start to a manual start: Automatic Updates, Error Reporting, Indexing, Messenger, Nvidia Driver Helper, Portable Media Serial Number, System Restore, and Task Scheduler.
3 Modify CPU Cycles
Most programs are automatically given a Normal priority. To speed up a game, move its priority to a higher level. Start your game and then Alt-Tab out. Run the Task Manager by pressing Ctrl-Alt-Delete, then choose the Processes tab. Right-click on the game program file to select a new priority. Once you close the game, it automatically returns to its default priority.
4 Lose Start-Up Items
Choose Run from the Start menu, type “MSCONFIG,” then select Startup from the menu that pops up. Uncheck anything unnecessary, such as RealPlayer, Kazaa, any messenger programs, and Microsoft Office.
5 Pitch Useless Files
Go to the Search function under the Start menu. Search files and folders for all files ending in .bak, .old, and .tmp—these files can all safely be deleted. Then defragment your hard drive to reconsolidate data.
Your system may be slowing games down, but with a few tweaks, you can enhance your machine’s performance in less than 10 minutes. Try the following and see if that UT2003 mod doesn’t run faster.
Age of Mythology
The Internet is littered with user-created maps, items, rosters…you name it, someone’s made it. Below are some of the best sources of new material for your favorite games.
Scenarios, maps, campaigns, map scripts, and utilities—all available for free.
Combat Mission 2
Scenarios organized by size and historical accuracy, plus unit and sound mods.
Current rosters, historical lineups, dream teams—find ’em all here.
Wash out the foul taste of Enter the Matrix with this slick total conversion for Max Payne.
Red Alert 2
Maps, mods, and more are yours for the taking.
Rollercoaster Tycoon 2
The official website supports an exchange space for user-created rides and scenarios.
Download zillions of heads, skins, and objects at this compendium of all things Sims.
System Shock 2
perso.wanadoo.fr/ etienne.aubert/sshock/ sshock_rebirth.htm
Download this graphics upgrade to enjoy SS2 all over.
A fansite with maps and mods, organized by type of map and number of players.
Copyright © 2003 Ziff Davis Media Inc. All Rights Reserved. Originally appearing in Computer Gaming World.