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MrFlibble

Free alternatives to classic games

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MrFlibble    15

Just as the title suggests, this is an attempt to list free games that very closely follow a well-known product or franchise and can thus serve as an alternative to that particular game.

 

What I have not included on the list are multiplayer-only games, browser-based games, and all kinds of free-to-play and "freemium" online products. I have also tried not to include projects that make use of original assets like graphics and sounds (unless authorized by original copyright holders, as is the case of T2002), so games like Gods Deluxe or Return of the Triad are not on the list.

 

Any further suggestions as to what games qualify as free alternatives are more than welcome :)


1. Free content replacement for original engine/engine recreation

Battle Isle 2200
o Advanced Strategic Command
Doom
o Freedoom (Doom engine)
Duke Nukem
o Dave Gnukem [download]
The Great Giana Sisters
o OpenGGS
Half-Life
o Black Mesa (Source)
Heretic
o Blasphemer (Doom engine)
Hexen: Beyond Heretic
o Zauberer (Doom engine)
M.A.X.: Mechanized Assault & Exploration
o Mechanized Assault & eXploration Reloaded
Panzer General II
o OpenGeneral
Quake
o Open Quartz (QuakeForge, DarkPlaces)
o OpenQuartz 2 (DarkPlaces)
o OQPlus (QuakeForge, DarkPlaces) [SVN]
Quake III: Arena
o OpenArena (Quake III engine)
o World of Padman (Quake III engine)
RPGMaker
o EasyRPG
Total Annihilation
o Zero-K (Spring RTS Engine)
Transport Tycoon Deluxe
o OpenTTD
Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness
o Aleona's Tales (Stratagus)
X-COM: Enemy Unknown
o UFO2000

2. Freeware clones

A-Train
o FreeTrain
Carrier Command
o Thunder&Lightning
Chip's Challenge
o Tile World
Crayon Physics
o Numpty Physics
Crimsonland
o Violetland
Dungeon Keeper
o Dungeon Digger
o OpenDungeons
Elasto Mania
o X-Moto
Elite
o Galaxias
o Oolite
Escape Velocity
o NAEV
Guitar Hero
o Frets on Fire
Herzog Zwei
o Herzog 3D
Lemmings
o Lix
o Pingus
Lode Runner
o SDL Scavenger
Master of Magic
o Continents [download]
Microsoft Flight Simulator
o FlightGear
Minecraft
o Manic Digger
o Minetest
OutRun
o RunOut
Paratrooper
o Dragon Fire
Planet Defender
o Planetary Defense
Railroad Tycoon
o FreeRails
o FreeRails II
o Railz2
Rescue!
o Rescue! Max
RPGMaker
o Advanced RPG Maker
o Mokoi Gaming
o Open Legends
o Open RPG Maker
o Sphere RPG Engine
Robot Odyssey
o DroidQuest
o Gate
Scorched Earth
o Atomic Tanks
Secret Agent
o Special Agent
Sentinel
o Sentry
The Settlers II: Veni, Vidi, Vici
o Widelands
Sid Meier's Civilization II
o Freeciv
Sid Meier's Colonization
o FreeCol
SimCity
o Lincity
o Lincity NG
o Micropolis
Stars!
o Stars! Nova
Stunts
o Ultimate Stunts
Super Mario Bros.
o Giana Worlds [download]
o Giant Sisters
o Secret Maryo Chronicles
o SuperTux
Super Mario Kart
o SuperTuxKart
Total Annihilation
o Robotic War
Transport Tycoon Deluxe
o Simutrans
Turrican
o T2002
Warlords
o Hostile Takeover
Warlords II
o FreeLords
o LordsAWar!
Wing Commander
o Flight Commander
Wing Commander: Privateer
o Vega Strike
Worms
o Hedgewars
o WarMUX

3. Free games inspired by classic titles (not exact remakes)

Age of Empires
o 0 A.D.
Anno series
o Unknown Horizons
Battle Isle 2200
o Crimson Fields
Battlefield series, Call of Duty series
o Blacklight: Retribution
Bos Wars, Command & Conquer: Red Alert
o Commander Stalin
BoulderDash, Emerald Mine, Supaplex, Sokoban
o Rocks'n'Diamonds
Castle of the Winds, Ancient Domains of Mystery
o Fame
Castlevania series
o Return of Egypt
Celtic Legends, Heroes of Might and Magic, Civilization
o Legendary Legions
Command & Conquer series
o Annex: Conquer the World
o Dark Konflict
Dark Colony
o Dark Hive
Descent
o Sublevel Zero (prototype) [download]
Diablo
o Fire & Dragons
o Flare
o FreedroidRPG
o Gates of Destiny
o Summoning Wars
Doom
o Harmony
Doom, Quake etc.
o Cube
o Cube 2: Sauerbraten
Dune II
o Arrakis
Earthworm Jim
o Kapitan Binarny
Empire Deluxe
o GEMpire
Fleet Command, Harpoon
o Global Conflict Blue
Frontier: Elite II
o Pioneer
Gradius, Castlevania, R-Type
o Hydorah
Grand Prix Legends
o Dolphinity Racer
Grand Theft Auto series
o Crimelife
o Crimelife 2
o Crimelife III
Gun
o Guns and Spurs
Half-Life: Counterstrike
o AssaultCube
o Assault Cube Reloaded
o Urban Terror
Heroes of Might and Magic series
o Knights of War
KKnD, StarCraft
o Bos Wars
Lost Vikings
o Lost Snowmen
Master of Magic
o Leylines
Master of Orion
o FreeOrion
Natural Selection
o Tremulous
o Unvanquished
Oxyd, Rock'n'Roll
o Enigma
Populous
o Reprisal
Puzzle Bobble
o Frozen Bubble
o Hex Bubbles
o Zorx
Quake III: Arena, Unreal Tournament
o Alien Arena
o Arena of Honour
o Nexuiz Classic
o Red Eclipse
o Warsow
o Xonotic
R-Type
o GazerStar
Scorched Earth
o Scorched3D
Sid Meier's Civilization II
o C-evo
o Conquests
SimCity
o City of Rauma
o Kylavanem
o OpenCity
Star Wars: TIE Fighter, Descent: Freespace
o Space Combat
StarCraft
o Priority: Survive
Solar Fox
o Solar Wolf
Super Monkey Ball
o Neverball
Turrican series
o Hurrican
Ultima series
o The Kingdom of Syree
o Nazghul
o Untima IX: Descension
o Zorak: The Mountain of Terror
Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness
o Dark Oberon
o Wyrmsun
Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos
o Glest
o MegaGlest
Warsong, Master of Monsters
o The Battle for Wesnoth
Warlords II
o The Wargame Project
Wizardry VII
o Escape From The Maze
o LostHero - Story of Gilgamesh
X-COM: Enemy Unknown
o Project Xenocide
o UFO: Alien Invasion
o X-Force: Fight for Destiny

4. Board game implementations

Diplomacy
o Ludus Regius
Risk
o JavaRisk
o NetRisk
o OpenFracas
o yura.net Domination
Space Hulk
o Alien Assault
Titan
o Colossus

 

Edited by MrFlibble
  • Upvote 2

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Does this include indie games as well?

 

For this list of free alternative games, it's a good list.

 

No alternative games to Call of Duty, Company of Heroes, Deus Ex and Unreal Tournament? :P

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MrFlibble    15

Hmm... free alternative to Command & Conquer? Why? Command & Conquer IS free

Well, I wanted to mention the Dark Konflict project even though it's incomplete. It's free, and it's "kind of" an alternative, so does it matter that C&C is free too? ;)

 

I'd rather expect you would ask why C&C, RA and TS aren't mentioned as free alternatives to Dune 2000, but the answer is that I decided not to include games developed by the same company and/or different games in the same series, some of which had been liberated (e.g. want to play an Elder Scrolls game? play the free ones!).

 

This thread is really a combination of several avenues of research, including real freeware alternatives/remakes of classic games, liberated games, and shareware clones.

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Time to update the list, Mr. Flibble. ;)

 

The alternative to the Pac-Man series is the Pac-Guy and Pea-Guy series (along with other game series) are now available to download for free:

http://monkeytheater.com/astral-entertainment/

 

Contains five game series packs:

Pac Pack (10 Pac-Guy games and some unreleased content)

Pacula's Curse (the subtitle to Pac-Guy 2 Part 3, the last Pac-Guy game to be the biggest and the longest)

R.I.Pea-Guy (contains all Pea-Guy games and some unreleased Pac-Guy games)

Vengeance or Bust

A-Sock-Ellipse Now

Edited by zocom7
  • Upvote 1

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Here's the other game alternatives to Super Mario Bros:

 

Mario Forever: http://www.softendo.com/game/MF

Mario Forever Galaxy: http://www.softendo.com/game/Super+Mario+Forever+Galaxy

Mario Forever 2012: http://www.softendo.com/game/New-Super-Mario-Forever-2012

 

The technical issue right now is that the full manual download links are missing and download links are depending on third-party software systems (including from the ones from CNet website) in order to download and install the game. Also these games are ad-supported.

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MrFlibble    15

zocom7, nice findings! ^_^ I'm sorry I didn't reply until now, I kind of forgot about this thread for a while :D

 

The alternative to the Pac-Man series is the Pac-Guy and Pea-Guy series (along with other game series) are now available to download for free:

http://monkeytheater.com/astral-entertainment/

Oh yes, the Pac-Man clones, just like many other "hardcore classic" games, are indeed an interesting field of research.

 

There's a selection of Pac-Man clones at RGB Classic Games and dosgames.com.

 

Nice, but these seem to use copyrighted graphics from the original Nintendo games (at least to some extent) - something I would like to avoid in the "freeware counterparts" section.

 

The only exceptions to this rule so far are Giant Sisters and T2002, and only because the respective copyright holders gave permission to use original assets in the remakes.

Edited by MrFlibble

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MrFlibble    15

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.

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Nyerguds    73

I loved Alien Carnage.... played the shareware version to death. It was originally called Halloween Harry.

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MrFlibble    15

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

  • Upvote 1

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Nice updated list, Mr. Flibble, but you did not include Pac-Man alternatives in the list such as Pac-Guy/Pea-Guy.

 

Also I would highly recommend if you post your first post of this thread in the official C&C forums. The new updated forum may still be buggy and if you do make the thread, you can ask a moderator to sticky that in the Off-Topic Discussion area.

Edited by zocom7

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MrFlibble    15

Nice updated list, Mr. Flibble, but you did not include Pac-Man alternatives in the list such as Pac-Guy/Pea-Guy.

Uhh, I'm sorry, I didn't have the time to check them out properly yet, I'll do that ASAP.

 

Also I would highly recommend if you post your first post of this thread in the official C&C forums. The new updated forum may still be buggy and if you do make the thread, you can ask a moderator to sticky that in the Off-Topic Discussion area.

Which one's the official C&C forums? :huh:

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MrFlibble    15

The alternative to the Pac-Man series is the Pac-Guy and Pea-Guy series (along with other game series) are now available to download for free:

http://monkeytheater.com/astral-entertainment/

Okay, I checked the original Astral Entertainment website, and apparently their games have been initially commercial (shareware), having been released as freeware sometime later - thus being liberated games in fact. There's also this story about potential copyright infringement issues that's a bit confusing.

 

On another note, what are the differences between all those games? It's kind of hard to tell from screenshots.

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