Free alternatives to classic games

Discuss classic PC games
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MrFlibble
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Free alternatives to classic games

Post by MrFlibble » August 4th, 2011, 7:18 pm

Not long ago I've become interested in freeware games whose authors seem to consciously imitate well-known classics, or at least closely follow them in design. If a commercial game of this kind could be considered a "clone" (made to repeat the original's success on the market), freeware games usually aim for accurate recreation of the game's atmosphere and mechanics, as people behind them are more often that not dedicated fans of the originals.

I think two general tendencies can be found here, one being "Let's make a free version of <game X>!" and the other one "Let's make a game that is like <X> but with such and such features added (or improved)". There are of course cases where this tendencies are more or less clearly present, while sometimes the developers do not openly proclaim their source of inspiration at all, leaving it to the players to decide.

Below is a list of such games that I've found so far. I've tried not to include projects that make use of copyrighted material (e.g. resources from the original game), and engine recreations that require original game files to play are also out.

1. Free content replacement for original engine/engine recreation

Battle Isle 2200 Doom Duke Nukem The Great Giana Sisters Half-Life Heretic Hexen: Beyond Heretic M.A.X.: Mechanized Assault & Exploration Panzer General II Quake Quake III: Arena RPGMaker Total Annihilation Transport Tycoon Deluxe Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness X-COM: Enemy Unknown 2. Freeware clones

A-Train Carrier Command Chip's Challenge Crayon Physics Crimsonland Dungeon Keeper Elasto Mania Elite Escape Velocity Guitar Hero Herzog Zwei Lemmings Lode Runner Master of Magic Microsoft Flight Simulator Minecraft OutRun Paratrooper Planet Defender Railroad Tycoon Rescue! RPGMaker Robot Odyssey Scorched Earth Secret Agent Sentinel The Settlers II: Veni, Vidi, Vici Sid Meier's Civilization II Sid Meier's Colonization SimCity Stars! Stunts Super Mario Bros. Super Mario Kart Total Annihilation Transport Tycoon Deluxe Turrican Warlords Warlords II Wing Commander Wing Commander: Privateer Worms 3. Free games inspired by classic titles (not exact remakes)

Age of Empires Anno series Battle Isle 2200 Battlefield series, Call of Duty series Bos Wars, Command & Conquer: Red Alert BoulderDash, Emerald Mine, Supaplex, Sokoban Castle of the Winds, Ancient Domains of Mystery Castlevania series Celtic Legends, Heroes of Might and Magic, Civilization Command & Conquer series Dark Colony Descent Diablo Doom Doom, Quake etc. Dune II Earthworm Jim Empire Deluxe Fleet Command, Harpoon Frontier: Elite II Gradius, Castlevania, R-Type Grand Prix Legends Grand Theft Auto series Gun Half-Life: Counterstrike Heroes of Might and Magic series KKnD, StarCraft Lost Vikings Master of Magic Master of Orion Natural Selection Oxyd, Rock'n'Roll Populous Puzzle Bobble Quake III: Arena, Unreal Tournament R-Type Scorched Earth Sid Meier's Civilization II SimCity Star Wars: TIE Fighter, Descent: Freespace StarCraft Solar Fox Super Monkey Ball Turrican series Ultima series Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos Warsong, Master of Monsters Warlords II Wizardry VII X-COM: Enemy Unknown 4. Board game implementations

Diplomacy Risk Space Hulk Titan
Last edited by MrFlibble on January 10th, 2013, 12:52 pm, edited 20 times in total.

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leilei
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Re: Freeware counterparts of classic games

Post by leilei » August 5th, 2011, 7:02 pm

MrFlibble wrote:OpenArena - a free data set to be used with the Quake III Arena engine.
My favorite!

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MrFlibble
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Re: Freeware counterparts of classic games

Post by MrFlibble » August 9th, 2011, 3:02 pm

leilei wrote:
MrFlibble wrote:OpenArena - a free data set to be used with the Quake III Arena engine.
My favorite!
Right, how could I forget, you're on the team :D

In other news, Leylines is a turn-based medieval fantasy strategy game influenced by Master of Magic.

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Re: Freeware counterparts of classic games

Post by MrFlibble » October 4th, 2011, 9:55 am

A new 0 A.D. Alpha release, codename Geronium, had been made available for download recently. New additions include:
  • All-new dynamic territory design. Territories change throughout the game based upon the structures built by the players. Each structure has a "weight" given to it and a radius within which this weight has an effect based on the importance of that building, and these values affect borders proportionally. If one of a player's buildings falls into enemy territory due to shifting borders, then that building is planned to slowly lose loyalty until finally converting over to the enemy's side. (In the meantime, in 0 A.D. Alpha 7 it loses health instead, until it is destroyed.) This can be stopped and slowly reversed if the border shifts and the building comes back to the player's side.
  • An all-new and unique Carthaginian civilization, including:
    • Revamped and rebalanced units.
    • A completely remodeled navy from the ground up.
    • New docks, Iberian, Celt, and Italian embassies, walls, and civic center.
    • Dozens of new shields, helmets, and props.
    • New Easter Egg objects, including a Tophet structure, Samnite warriors, and the Sacred Band of Ba'al.
  • A brand new main menu design with new dynamic background, depicting the Spartan tradition of mothers sending off their sons to battle, telling them to come back either with their shield or on it. (Thanks, dashinvaine!). The menu and UI graphics have all been converted to the new style.
  • Music and Sound:
    • Several new tracks, all composed and directed by Omri Lahav, most featuring live percussion and flute segments (Thanks, percussionist Dror Parker and flutist Marta Mc'cave!):
      • Brand new 0 A.D. main theme, "Honor Bound", to go with our new menu.
      • Carthaginian peace tracks "Peaks of Atlas" and "Mediterranean Waves", featuring live percussion with a North African feel.
      • "Dried Tears" defeat music track.
      • Re-done Hellenic peace track, "Forging a City-State", with awesome flute improvisation segment.
    • 100+ new sound effects from the DynamiteSoundBytes team, dozens of them audible in-game.
  • New maps: Carthaginians Sandbox (Demo Map); Siwa Oasis; Cycladic Archipelago IV; Gallic Fields; Migration (Thanks, SMST, NOXAS1, and Yodaspirine!)
  • Miscellaneous: New Palisade objects, including wall segments, gates, towers, and spikes; Lion, Lioness, Infant Giraffe, and Giraffe death animations (Thanks, Athos!); A new "Islands" Random Map Script (Thanks, howlingflute!); An all-new Roman Triumphal Arch Easter Egg object (Thank you, Brightgalrs!); A LOTR-like Elven ship Easter Egg object (Thanks, Shield Bearer!).

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MrFlibble
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Re: Freeware counterparts of classic games

Post by MrFlibble » November 27th, 2011, 5:09 pm

Found a nice page: List Of Open Source Programs.

[Edit] Here's another nice resource: Open Source Game Clones. It lists both engine recreation projects (original game data files required) and "games inspired by classics" to :)

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Re: Freeware counterparts of classic games

Post by MrFlibble » December 24th, 2011, 6:31 am

Stefan Hendriks' Arrakis had been known to be incompatible with DOSBox for a long time, but recently I found out that it runs just fine under DOSBox v0.74 :) The only thing to remember is that by default (at least, in v1.12) Arrakis is set to low speed to match the high-end computer configuration of the day (which was Pentium II). This might turn out somewhat slow in DOSBox, so it is recommendable to switch to 486 or Pentium I in the game settings (accessible from the main menu).

In other news, I did not realize until now that there's a Star Wars Total Conversion for C-evo.

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Re: Freeware counterparts of classic games

Post by MrFlibble » December 28th, 2011, 8:19 am

Continents is a turn-based strategy game written in Java that was heavily inspired by Master of Magic.
Image
The project was abandoned back in 2003, being very close to completion. The most recent version is beta v0.98, downloadable from the links below:
Archived copy of the Continents project page at Oocities.org
Archived copy of the Continents project page at ReoCities.com
Download Continents at FilePlanet

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Re: Freeware counterparts of classic games

Post by MrFlibble » January 1st, 2012, 4:54 pm

Browsing through cd.textfiles.com while looking for something completely different, I've found an interesting game called Antiquity. It's a rather old open source clone of Sid Meier's Civilization which was intended to focus on the history of the Ancient World. Unfortunately, the project was abandoned early into its development, but the game (v0.27) is rather playable, although many features are lacking. You can get it here:
http://cd.textfiles.com/superozsw/FILES/06/ANTIQ027.ZIP

You can take a look at Antiquity screenshots at Svatopluk's DOSBox.

[Edit] Here's an archived version of a Geocities page dedicated to the project, with downloads of both the game and the original source code:
http://web.archive.org/web/200910280600 ... iquity.htm

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Re: Freeware counterparts of classic games

Post by MrFlibble » May 21st, 2012, 4:59 pm

Special Agent - a classic platform game inspired by Apogee's Secret Agent. Thanks to Scpm of 3D Realms Forums for mentioning this one! ^_^

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Re: Freeware counterparts of classic games

Post by MrFlibble » May 25th, 2012, 10:26 am

Having taken an interest in the Q3A and UT type games, I've checked out Nexuiz and Warsow (old builds of both since my slow PC probably won't run newer stuff decently).

I was a bit surprised to learn that Nexuiz actually uses the Quake engine (and not Quake II or 3). There must have been lots of improvements in the code though, as it requires a lot more resources than its "parent" game :) Also, it is my understanding that the Nexuiz project has evolved so much over time, that an updated Classic version is effectively a separate game compared to the "current" Nexuiz version.

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Re: Freeware counterparts of classic games

Post by MrFlibble » July 1st, 2012, 8:56 am

While not being freeware, these games are sure worth mentioning:

Laser Squad Nemesis - a game heavily reminiscent of the X-COM series, made by Julian Gollop who was the designer of both the original Laser Squad and X-COM.

Palm Kingdoms 2 Deluxe (a.k.a. Palm Heroes 2) - a sequel to what was originally a Heroes of Might and Magic remake for handhelds, now available on PC and Mac. The game has an uncanny visual resemblance to the original HoMM games, but uses custom graphics. There's a playable demo available .

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Re: Freeware counterparts of classic games

Post by MrFlibble » July 6th, 2012, 10:27 am

Updated the list in the first post with some new links.


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Re: Freeware counterparts of classic games

Post by MrFlibble » August 14th, 2012, 6:44 pm

A couple of oldies:

Hostile Takeover - a turn-based strategy game that borrows a lot of elements from the Warlords series. This one has a random map generator and both single-player against an AI opponent and two player hot-seat mode. Download: HOSTIL11.ZIP

Screenshots:
Image Image Image Image
Image Image Image

The Kingdom of Syree - a role-playing game that is obviously modelled after the early Ultima games. This game is free but its sequel is already shareware. Download: SYREE102.ZIP

Zorak: The Mountain of Terror - another Ultima clone. Download: ZORAK100.ZIP

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Re: Freeware counterparts of classic games

Post by MrFlibble » September 22nd, 2012, 6:25 pm

A neat site dedicated to free gaming alternatives:
Free alternative games

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