Cave Story is a 2D platform-adventure for the PC which features a silent protagonist who tries to foil the designs of an evil overlord, The Doctor, who plans to build an army and take over the world. The protagonist does this despite waking up in a cave (where else?) with no recollection of his past.
The gameplay is primarily puzzle platform-based, and the player also has weapons he can shoot enemies with. Switching between multiple weapons is possible, as is the upgrade of said weapons via power-ups and capacity boosters. In the same vein, though, taking damage can downgrade your weapons.
Download at: www.cavestory.org
Most of the things we do in our lives have made their way into video games, so why should climbing the corporate ladder be any different? In the browser game Corporate Climber, the player aims to... er...climb, crawl and trample his way right from the bottom rung (a lowly worker who for some reason is naked) to the very top of his organization.
This is done by running and jumping through the level, where you’re given specific tasks, which range from managing overflowing toilets to sending as much spam mail as you can. The game is fun, with plenty of subtle and not-so-subtle jabs at the corporate culture and materialistic lifestyles most of us lead.
International Cricket Captain 2005
Think you’re better than the Mahendra Singh Dhonis of the world? This is the game for you then. You can choose to captain an English county side and work your way up, or start off directly with an international side of your choosing. The International Cricket Captain series has Sports simulations (sims) devoid of any actual gameplay—your role is more of a non-playing captain or coach as you supervise training schedules and team selection, set fields and decide batting and bowling strategies. You can then sit back and watch the action unfold on the game’s highlight engine.
Download at: www.childishthings.com/previous_download.php
Another browser game, this one features a rather interesting premise. All of Earth’s living cells are going to be destroyed in the next six days, and you have the choice to live your last days any way you want. The game has multiple endings that are triggered by your actions throughout the game, but as the title says, you only get one chance—and only one ending. There are ways to work around that, of course. We really liked the concept and the adventure game style execution.
Download at: www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/555181
This game is part of the Chzo Mythos series created by Yahtzee, of Zero Pronunciation fame, and is the third game of the series. Chronologically, though, it slots in at second. The series borrows horror themes from other forms of fiction, with Trilby’s Notes featuring a rather undesirable alternative dimension a la Silent Hill.
While the earlier two games in the series featured point-and-click gameplay, Trilby’s Notes relies on keyboard navigation and a text parser that interprets commands. The game is widely considered to have solid writing and challenging puzzle gameplay, and we don’t disagree. Give it a go, regardless of whether you enjoy your chills and thrills or not.
Download at: www.fullyramblomatic. com/games.htm
Super Mario Bros Crossover
This is a browser game that is—as its name suggests—a crossover. The levels are still from Super Mario Bros, but the player now has the option to call in quite a few characters from other games in the NES era. These include Bill Rizer from Contra, Link from The Legend of Zelda, Samus Aran from Metroid and Mega Man, to name a few. Each character brings in its own set of moves and attacks to the table, but in a way that fits in with the Mario universe and gameplay mechanics.
A lot of thought has been put into adapting the characters for Mario, and it shows. The player has the ability to choose the character he wants to play with at the beginning of each level, and this choice is quite an important one because a character’s quirks could make the level easier. On the other hand, they can also make the stage impossible to clear. Nintendo has, surprisingly, not sued the developer for using their IP in this fashion, which is great, because the game just works.
OpenTTD is an open-source adaptation and expansion pack to Transport Tycoon Deluxe (TTD) by Chris Sawyer (who later created the Rollercoaster Tycoon amusement park sim franchise). It adds bigger maps, online multiplayer and other features to the transport sim where players managed a company that dabbled in rail, road, naval and air transport to deliver cargo—be it goods, passengers or mail—to and from industries and cities. We sank hours and hours into TTD, and we’re most definitely glad to see an open-source version that is much improved, supports various operating systems and allows user-generated content and patches.
Download at: www.openttd.org/en/
But That Was [Yesterday]
It’s strange, we’d love to tell you what this short, abstract game is about, but we’d also hate to for fear of spoiling your whole experience. What we can tell you, however, is that this atmospheric game has a quirky narrative that somehow manages to both depress and uplift you at the same time. The animation is sweet, as is the overall game design. The game lasts around 10-15 minutes on average, but it’s something definitely worth checking out.
Download at: jayisgames.com/cgdc9/?gameID=11
Frets on Fire X
With the Guitar Hero and Rock Band music franchises dead, what better time than now to recommend this little gem? Frets on Fire is a game for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X that aims to replicate the Guitar Hero experience. Players have to consistently hit the right keys at the right time in order to get some good multipliers going, and eventually get a high score.
Frets on Fire X, which was a series of game modifications (mods) that ended up branching off from the original game, features support for up to four players and tracks for drums, bass guitars and vocals. The Fret Editor gives users the ability to create and edit custom-song challenges. Frets on Fire X has access to a user-generated library of around 2,800 songs, which is hours and hours of entertainment, if you enjoy this genre.
Download at: code.google. com/p/fofix
Total Extreme Wrestling 2005
Total Extreme Wrestling 2005 (TEW 2005) is a “pro” wrestling business simulator that lets players run a wrestling promotion the way they see fit. Players have control over the storylines, matches and their outcomes, and feuds and contracts of their organizations, to name a few things. The ultimate aim of the game is to put on the highest quality shows, have the largest fan base and make the most money while you’re at it.
The game features a fictional universe, but there are real-world mods available which will give you access to real-world promotions, wrestlers and staff—a cool addition.
Mods are also available for various time periods. So if you think you can save WCW from going under, go ahead and take control in 1998.
Download at: www.greydogsoftware. com/tew/index.php?page=freeware
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