Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Free games, part 1

If you're an old guy like me you might remember the concept of shareware - a software that is provided as a trial of the full version, sort of like a demo, but the difference was that if you purchased a code, you'd unlock the rest of the game.

Well it seems it's having a resurgence. More and more companies are choosing to offer their games freely nowadays. The players are given a chance to explore and try out the games, no purchase or monthly fee. I have to say I wholeheartedly agree to this, because people should be able to play games before they commit to purchase it. With single player games there are demos, but with multiplayer/online only games, this is the way to go.
The obvious catch is that some of the content, normally the high end content that you'll need to get to enjoy the full experience, is locked. The way to unlock it is purchasing some sort of tokens, gold coins or credits with real life money. However this is entirely justified, companies can't keep servers up and provide content if they don't get money from somewhere.
I've written about one of these games before, Battlefield Play 4 Free, but it seems the more I look around, the more of these I find.

Here are some of the games that I've been trying out, because I know you're gonna spend your summer indoors playing online. Or maybe that's just me.

Team Fortress 2 

If you're into games this must come as no news for you. Valve decided to make Team Fortress 2 free to play. It's chaotic fun for everyone, and not paying for the in game items doesn't mean you won't have a good time, you don't necessarily need them, and even so, you get an item here and there while you're playing.

Action everywhere, lots of fun.

As far as the game goes, it is fun, as I mentioned, but I find it a little bit chaotic at times. There are plenty of servers to pick from and you will always find one that suits your needs, at least for now, so if you want to try it out go ahead and download it on Steam.

If you don't have Steam, go and register/download here.

World of Warcraft

Yes... it's true. It seems Blizzard has reached the desperation level of letting people play up to level 20 for free, or maybe it's just common sense.
I don't know what I can say about this game that isn't general knowledge. It's one of the most popular games ever, some have deemed it as addictive as crack, and it seems to be going strong despite it being seven years old, which in gaming terms, is a whole century.

Many lives have been infected by this virus.

My advise is stay away, cos it can consume your whole life. If you're completely new to online role playing games, this might be the best place to begin. I still don't understand why they don't upgrade the graphics, that's always been a pet peeve of mine against WoW.

Anyway, download and registration over at their official website.

Runes of Magic

I was ready to log in to my account for this because I had tried it a couple of months ago, but unfortunately I couldn't. First I had to remember my overly complicated password they forced me to choose at registration:

When I managed to squeeze the password out of my mind and logged in, I was asked for a secondary password which I really didn't remember. I tried and tried different common passwords I use, but after 5 tries my account got locked for 60 minutes. Contacting support was another nightmare, and when the estimated time of reply is 24 hours, the best idea was to create a new account.
That didn't work either, my password didn't seem to be working even after just making the account. So I got pissed and stopped trying.

From what I can remember, the best I can tell you is that this is a pretty convincing World of Warcraft clone. I know that phrase gets thrown around a lot, but this really is quite a close copy of it. Here are some screenshots side by side.

The graphics are stylized much like WoW's, the classes are similar, the questing... Humans and elves are the only races however, while WoW has 10 to choose from.
There are some minor differences, changes and additions, and for that the company that makes Runes of Magic deserves some credit. If you're looking for a fantasy role playing game, this might be your choice.

Register, download and many more things at their website.

More to come on part 2, when I decide I've procrastinated enough.


  1. oh man i remember my shareware version of
    commander keen
    and so many other classics, sadly this concept (1episode for free, rest 4pay) died recently, i guess cause most games nowadays just have not enough content to give you a glimpse of it for free

  2. P2P games are going down, the "new" big thing nowdays is f2p with microtransactions

  3. It's really hard to make an estimate about the game without playing it yourself. Back in the late 90's almost every game had a shareware version, which was really great. But back in those days there weren't too many game rating sites and such.

  4. Shareware is a good idea to get you hooked before you decide to buy the game. However, offering WoW as such is rather redundant, since we all know how good it is.

  5. World of warcraft, Sadly is still the best mmo out there, It's depressing =[

  6. In game purchases are a great option for game developers- if they have a quality game people will pay to get the full experience.

  7. Oh yes, I remember the good ol' days of shareware.

  8. I'm glad you included screenshots so as to give people a pictorial comparison of the games.
    I like your writing style and this post was a good one.
    Keep it coming

  9. Bought this after trying it via shareware long time ago xD

  10. TF2 is one of the best f2p games right now. I wouldn't consider WoW a free game since it's limited to level 20.

  11. I got TF2 as soon as I heard it was free lol.

  12. Mark I'm no veteran but I'm good enough I could teach you how to play, if you want to you could add me on Steam: PandaHysteria
    Good post, I tried out Runes of Magic because Im too much of a cheap bastard to reactivate my WoW subscription. It's close enough that I'm happy playing that ;3

  13. I like your writing style and I laughed at the Wow clone

  14. Free games for everyone! I think that clone is a pretty disturbing idea, though...

  15. Great games! Hit me back,

  16. Great games! I liked the WoW clone too!!

    +following and supporting! :)

  17. Isn't Team fortress free now?

  18. Wonderful article, thanks for putting this together! This is obviously one great post. Thanks for the valuable information and insights you have so provided here.