This week, we’re doing something different. The newest Free Bundle came out yesterday and it packaged together a diverse mix of great freeware games and a not-so free game that is well worth playing. So instead, we’ll be taking a quick look at the games in this bundle so you can get an idea what you’re getting into when you pick this bundle up.
First, let’s start with an FPS from probably one of the most recognizable freeware series you can find online. A few years back, I got invited to a LAN party that focused on Assault Cube, a modified version of the game Cube, a freeware FPS (that came out before Garry’s Mod) that allowed on-the-fly editing of maps, as well as extensive multiplayer and single-player content. The game ran on just about anything and had the fast action of the Quake series as well as hundreds of community created maps and a variety of features like demo recording.
Cube 2: Sauerbraten is cut from the same cloth but has a number of improvements like better graphics (nothing that will strain your video card, though integrated cards might experience some slowdown) and improved physics. The game allows for a ton of modes, whether it’s co-op, capture the flag, free-for-all, insta-gib (which can be added to any other mode), and even group map-editing. The weapons are admittedly unimpressive (with the exception of the grenade launcher weapon everyone starts with that fires a ball that can bounce around the map) but it doesn’t matter that much when you have dozens of players running around trying to shoot each other. The map editing does have a steep learning curve but it’s not too hard to pin down and there’s a pretty active community that supports the game. Overall, if you want some Quake-style action with some great online/LAN play for nothing, you need to play Cube 2.
Okay, this is the simplest game in the bundle and yet, it is also probably the most awesome, especially if you have some friends and some spare controllers. Uberleben allows for 1-7 players to participate in the most dangerous sport known to man: cave-diving. No, not spelunking: you and your friends get dropped out of a plane and fly through a tunnel, carefully dodging pillars of rock and spikes as you descend. You and your friends can play cooperatively, trying to fall as far as possible before you die, or you can be jerks and kick each other into obstacles. The game also uses some simple but very stylish pixel art. All in all, this is probably the most addictive game on the list and is amazing to play with friends.
Another simple but completely awesome game on the list, Ninja Senki has some cute pixel art and a simple two-button (one to throw shurikens and one to jump) control scheme (just plug in a controller of any kind and have a blast). The game itself is a send-up to the NES era and has you play as a ninja who goes on a roaring rampage of revenge after his beloved princess is killed… not that this puts a damper on the fun, as even her death is a high-powered explosion of gibs. The game offers some difficulty (like an easier Mega Man) but even if you die, it only takes 100 points off. While it isn’t as complex as the other games on this list, Ninja Senki is definitely worth a look.
Hey, who wants to play some light cycles online? Armagetron Advanced allows you to do just that. While light cycles might be an old concept, Armagetron puts some interesting spins on it. Not only are you playing online or on a LAN against up to 10 players (with bots being automatically spawned to fill in any gaps you have), but Armagetron adds in multiplayer modes like capture the flag. These new modes do make things quite interesting, though you should expect to die quite a bit until you learn how to keep up with some of the veteran players who hang around on the game’s servers and have ungodly reflexes.
Well, I already wrote about this one, so just know that this game is still really awesome.
Alright, now for the game that will set you back a whole $5.00 (oh the horror!). Note, each game in the bundle is downloaded on its own and you don’t have to pay a single cent for those games (there’s not even an option). However, if you want to help a developer out who got screwed over by a past publisher (long story short: Lace Mamba Global had publishing contracts with the developers behind J.U.L.I.A., Machinarium, Deponia, and The Tiny Bang Story, and decided not to pay them. You can read about it here) and get a fun little action-puzzler at the same time, you’ll want to give this a try.
Vampires! Has you helping a group of cute vampires get back to their tomb after a night on the town by turning squares on a grid to usher them around traps. The game has a cute aesthetic and it ramps up in difficulty, with plenty of new traps and vampire types (who will only turn one way at junction points or have special abilities) showing up in new levels as well as new abilities for you to use, such as the ability to drop garlic on a square to turn vampires around. Overall it is a solid game… but it does have a couple problems, the biggest one being that a lot of abilities/traps/vampires are locked to some levels, meaning the game doesn’t naturally build on itself towards the end, like a lot of other puzzler games. However, this is still a very fun game to play and helps a good cause.
The bundle can be found HERE.