Free alternatives to classic games

Discuss classic PC games
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MrFlibble
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Re: Free alternatives to classic games

Post by MrFlibble » October 7th, 2012, 5:00 pm

I've re-organized the list the other way round, so that for each renowned game one or more free alternative is given. The list now also includes shareware and liberated titles, which are marked with either an S or an L.

If you guys have further suggestions, especially concerning obscure DOS shareware games, feel free to post 'em here :)

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leilei
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Re: Free alternatives to classic games

Post by leilei » October 7th, 2012, 9:49 pm

Chris Jones (of Adventure Game Studio fame) made his own Command & Conquer clone in 98-99, but i'm not sure if he has it available anymore or intentionally pulled it off.

He also made a Dungeon Keeper clone in space (!)

I actually do still have the archives, but the authorization is what bothers me. I don't want to feel any guilt for posting them.


Also, T2002 could be added to the Turrican series on the list, as that's a "blessed" freeware recreation of Amiga Turrican II's engine with a level editor. Hurrican doesn't seem to be available for download. :(


SuperTuxKart could be added as a counterpart to Mario Kart 64.

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MrFlibble
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Re: Free alternatives to classic games

Post by MrFlibble » October 8th, 2012, 2:51 pm

leilei wrote:Chris Jones (of Adventure Game Studio fame) made his own Command & Conquer clone in 98-99, but i'm not sure if he has it available anymore or intentionally pulled it off.

He also made a Dungeon Keeper clone in space (!)

I actually do still have the archives, but the authorization is what bothers me. I don't want to feel any guilt for posting them.
Interesting! Would it be possible for you to at least post some screenshots if/when you have the time?
leilei wrote:Also, T2002 could be added to the Turrican series on the list, as that's a "blessed" freeware recreation of Amiga Turrican II's engine with a level editor. Hurrican doesn't seem to be available for download. :(


SuperTuxKart could be added as a counterpart to Mario Kart 64.
Thanks! I forgot about the SuperTux Kart thing.

Searched a bit, Hurrican can be downloaded here.

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MrFlibble
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Re: Free alternatives to classic games

Post by MrFlibble » October 9th, 2012, 8:57 am

I've added Skunny: Special Edition as a Sonic the Hedgehog alternative - hopefully I'm not that far off the mark :)

Also, T2002, Red Alert: A Path Beyond and Chaos Reborn are now on the list.

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MrFlibble
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Re: Free alternatives to classic games

Post by MrFlibble » October 13th, 2012, 1:26 pm

There's yet another Super Mario Bros. clone, called The Great Giana Sisters, which was, however, never published on the IBM PC platform. The interesting thing is that a German developer, Rainer Sinsch, made an unofficial DOS port of the game called Giana Worlds (later renamed to Giant Worlds for copyright reasons). Eventually Rainer Sinsch contacted the creator of the original Giana Sisters game, Armin Gessert, who gave official permission to develop and distribute Giana Worlds:
Copyright questions have been solved (07-07-01)
Yesterday I had a nice phone call with Armin Gessert (the original c64 author and inventor of The Great Giana Sisters). It turned out that he has the rights for Giana Sisters and he was so kind to give us the permission to continue publishing giana worlds (I am very glad that issue has been solved). In case you may want to have a look at what Armin Gessert does now try out the web-site of his game development company: http://www.spellbound.de.
(source)

Both the older Giana Sisters clone (1998) and the Giana Worlds game are available from download.

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MrFlibble
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Re: Free alternatives to classic games

Post by MrFlibble » November 2nd, 2012, 9:26 am

Added the Giant Sisters/Giana Worlds games as Super Mario Bros. alternatives, and also Holistic Design's Battles of Destiny as a counterpart of Empire Deluxe.

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Re: Free alternatives to classic games

Post by MrFlibble » November 30th, 2012, 11:05 am

Added the following titles to the list:

Robot Odyssey Scorched Earth Wing Commander series I've also found a couple of neat community-made Doom episodes that work nicely with Freedoom as a first episode replacement (the internal Freedoom levels are okay but they often have a noticeably different style):

CH Retro Episode
This is a creative reimagining of the shareware episode of Doom, with immediately recognizable yet subtly different visuals, and overall clever level design. It starts as a relatively straightforward thing but the levels quickly get interesting, and are full of puzzles and secret areas. The download link at the review page does no work but the file can be obtained here.

Simply Phobos
Another Knee-Deep-themed episode, but quite different from the one above. The author of Simply Phobos has a preference for vast, spacious areas, and also isn't shy of almost literal visual quotations from the original levels. It's equally fun to play nevertheless, and captures the atmosphere of the original game quite well too. In addition, this episode comes with an optional music pack in a separate WAD.

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MrFlibble
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Re: Free alternatives to classic games

Post by MrFlibble » December 2nd, 2012, 6:42 pm

Here's a couple more Doom Episode 1 tributes that work with Freedoom:

Phobos Revisited
The aim of the author was to create a "same but different" kind of feeling, following the original levels quite closely yet introducing something new at every turn. Phobos Revisited was designed to run in the original game as well as with source ports, and it won the Cacowards award in 2004. Screenshots can be viewed here at the team's website.

Phobos Outpost/Planet Phobos
Another interesting work, this one deviates a lot more from the original - for example, the first level is nothing like Doom's E1M1 - however later on similar details and areas become more frequent. The levels here are supposed to represent a single, coherent installation (the eponymous outpost), and at the end of each level the starting area of the next one can briefly be seen. Difficulty is a bit higher than in other similar works, or in the first episode of the original game for that matter, but clever design makes them interesting to play. For some reason, the author renamed the episode to Planet Phobos at some point, although no content was apparently changed.

The same author also released an Episode 2 replacement, The Base of Evil (which was also renamed to Planet Hell later), however it doesn't seem to work with Freedoom for now because of a missing textures issue.

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Re: Free alternatives to classic games

Post by MrFlibble » January 1st, 2013, 10:56 am

Added Jazz Jackrabbit as another counterpart to Sonic the Hedgehog.

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Re: Free alternatives to classic games

Post by MrFlibble » January 8th, 2013, 11:37 am

Added Star Lords as an alternative to Master of Orion, and onEscapee as a counterpart to Another World and Flashback.

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Re: Free alternatives to classic games

Post by MrFlibble » January 10th, 2013, 12:53 pm

Added a working download link for Giana Worlds.

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Re: Free alternatives to classic games

Post by MrFlibble » January 25th, 2013, 6:41 pm

Nazghul is a very nice-looking RPG modelled after Ultima V.

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Re: Free alternatives to classic games

Post by MrFlibble » June 27th, 2013, 7:48 am

I've just realized that Alien Carnage bears a lot of similarities to the Amiga/Genesis version of Alien 3: the levels are timed missions during which you need to rescue captives and reach the exit, and one of the weapons is a flamethrower; not to mention several direct references to the Alien franchise.

Also, added Amulets & Armor to the list.

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Re: Free alternatives to classic games

Post by MrFlibble » June 28th, 2013, 9:16 am

Following some constructive criticism in another forum, I've decided to drop the liberated games part from the list altogether. I've come to realize that thinking of liberated games as some kind of Ersatz for other titles is counter-productive, and this topic should be addressed elsewhere.

Further on, I've separated the list into three sub-lists:

1. More or less straightforward remakes or clones of well-known games. In many cases the authors will openly point to the game that they are trying to remake, and if not, the similarity is often quite obvious anyway.

2. Shareware clones of popular titles, mostly from the DOS era. These are generally of historical interest.

3. Games that are definitely inspired by famous titles, but the authors have added enough ideas of their own to make these games something more than direct recreations. As usual, this is the grey area as YMMV what makes for a simple clone and what constitutes an "inspired by" game.

Also, the following titles were added:

Crayon Physics Dungeon Keeper Elite Lemmings Natural Selection RPGMaker SimCity X-COM: Enemy Unknown Bos Wars, Command & Conquer: Red Alert Diablo Empire Deluxe Frontier: Elite II Puzzle Bobble Ultima series Wizardry VII

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Re: Free alternatives to classic games

Post by MrFlibble » June 29th, 2013, 9:34 am

Added some more titles:

A-Train Carrier Command Duke Nukem Escape Velocity Half-Life: Counterstrike Quake III: Arena, Unreal Tournament Star Wars: TIE Fighter, Descent: Freespace Super Monkey Ball Also added another section to the list, with the liberated games that have both the source code and all assets released for free, thus making it possible to create new builds of the entire game.

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