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Fun and Games

 

  ACTION / ARCADE

Armagetron for Linux

ARMAGETRON 0.2.5.2:
An excellent, free Tron clone in 3D.  Just like the movie, you ride a "light cycle" in a large enclosed arena battling other riders.  The light cycle runs only in straight lines, turns only at 90 degrees, can't stop and leaves an impenetrable wall of light in its wake.  When any  light cycle collides with one of these trails, BOOOM... it's vapourised.  The game has an interesting addition to the movie  - If you can skillfully place your light cycle to run closely alongside another  trail, it will accelerate, reaching dizzying speeds.  The Linux source code version is 1,074KB in tar.gz format and requires these
libraries and the GNU C++ compiler.  The Windows version is 1,242KB and is a self installing executable.  Find out more from: http://armagetron.sourceforge.net/

Armagetron for Windows

ARMAGETRON 0.2.5.2:
Windows version of the above.

Demonstar shareware

DEMONSTAR:
This is the ultimate vertical scrolling shooter from the same stable that brought us the classics Zaxxon and Raptor.  Beautiful 3D rendered graphics, explosive sound effects and a thumping soundtrack, Demonstar supports single and multiplayer modes and Force Feedback joysticks.  Works on Windows 95/98, NT (with SP4 or higher) and 2000.  Needs a minimum of a Pentium 133, Direct X 6.1, 16MB RAM and 20MB HDD space.  Get the shareware version by clicking the picture alongside (V3.0 - 4254KB).  Buy the full version here
http://www.mking.com and check out http://www.stratosgroup.com who have an excellent free Demonstar Mini Guide.  Space Invaders will never be the same again!

JS Falcon

JS FALCON:
A beautifully designed horizontal scrolling DHTML shooter by
K. Moriyama that you can play on-line.  It's no holds barred as you leap into the cockpit of your F16 and do battle with hordes of enemy aircraft and ground targets with your missiles and bombs , only to meet the Big Boss at the end!!   Click the image alongside to play on-line now, but be warned, it ain't easy.  (N.B. be sure to let the game fully load before pressing "S" to start) (IE4+ only, at the moment)

JS Flanker

JS FLANKER:
Another superb DHTML offering from
K. Moriyama. This time you're the pilot of an F15 jet engaged in a fierce aerial dogfight with enemy jets and helicopters.  You're limited to 10 heat-seeking missiles and 500 bullets so use your ammo sparingly and pick your targets wisely!!  Light those afterburners by clicking the image alongside and play on-line now.  (N.B. be sure to let the game fully load before pressing "S" to start)
When Clones Attack! WHEN CLONES ATTACK!:
A great freebie from the folks at
Midnight Synergy.  The clones are attacking  and you are the only one that stands between them and, ... well, ... the rest of the galaxy.  Use your trusty cannon to eliminate the clones, avoid asteroids, and collect extra weapons. How far can you get?  Use your mouse to aim and fire. Use the keyboard to control your ship. Use the right mouse button to fire one of your smart bombs, which will damage or destroy all enemies on screen.  Written in only a day and only a 608KB download, When Clones Attack draws on such arcade classics as Asteroids and Gyruss!
   

  STRATEGY

Clickomania

CLICKOMANIA:
A rather neat variation on Tetris.  You start out with a full screen of randomly coloured blocks.  Click on adjacent blocks of the same colour and they disappear.  Gravity then causes the remaining blocks to fall towards the bottom of the screen, redistributing the pattern.  Your aim is to completely clear the screen. Strangely addictive and much harder than it first appears. Version 4.2.1 supports English, French and German languages, seems to run on any Windows 32 bit platform, is small enough to fit on a floppy disk and is now freeware.  Click the picture to download  (444KB) or find out more here
http://www.clickomania.ch

Clickomania Next Generation

CLICKOMANIA NEXT GENERATION:
A new version of the ever-popular game of logic which you can download from the author's website (just click on the picture alongside - 940KB)

Tetris

TETRIS:
Oh so cool DHTML version of the classic arcade game, which needs no introduction!  Play on-line right now by clicking here >>
Play Tetris!

 

  CHESS

If you fancy something more traditional, why not try these great chess programs?  There are hundreds of chess programs around, some free, some commercial (a few being very expensive.)  Some are good whilst others are downright awful and some are so complicated to set up and get working that, by the time you've done so, you don't want to play anymore!  Below is a selection of my favourite free chess programs.  All of them play a good game (good enough to beat the pants off me anyway!) and are relatively easy to set up in that they either have their own GUI or run through Tim Mann's WinBoard interface.  Download by clicking the images alongside each featured game but make sure you visit the links to the author's web sites where new versions are released regularly and where you'll find support for many other platforms. 

Arasan for Windows

ARASAN 8.4 for 32 bit Windows/WinBoard:
Nice program by Jon Dart that has its own GUI or, if you prefer, can run through WinBoard.  To run via WinBoard, install both WinBoard and Arasan, then create the following example shortcut:
"C:\Program Files\WinBoard\winboard.exe" -cp -fcp "C:\Program Files\Arasan\arasanx.exe -H 8000". 

WinBoard only, Linux and 16 bit versions (2.2) are available from the author's website at http://www.arasanchess.org
.  Versions of Arasan have been hosted on a couple of Internet chess servers and it has participated in several computer chess tournaments.  (February 2005 - 5,162KB exe file)

Chenard for Windows

CHENARD 1.040 for 32 bit Windows:
A good, basic chess program from Don Cross that has its own GUI.  Chenard is not as strong as some of the commercial programs but still gives the average player a good run for their money (well, not money exactly, it's completely free remember!)  and is a very small download (117KB zip file)  DOS and Linux versions were available from Don's website at
http://www.intersrv.com/~dcross/chenard.html as were speech support for the 32 bit windows version, but when I last tested the link (October 2003) it was broken :-( ???

The Crazy Bishop

TCB (The Crazy Bishop) 0052:
(July 2004 - 206KB zip file) is a chess engine by Remi Coulom that is perhaps best used with WinBoard.  To do this, install WinBoard and then unzip the Crazy Bishop files into their own directory.  Then, create a shortcut something like this:
"C:\Program Files\WinBoard\winboard.exe" -cp -fcp "C:\Program Files\TCB\tcb.exe"
Detailed instructions on other ways to use TCB are included in the zip file.  Other engines including Linux versions are available from Remi's web site at
http://remi.coulom.free.fr/

Der Bringer for Windows

DER BRINGER 1.9 for 32 bit Windows:
This is one of my personal favourites.  A very comprehensive chess program by Gerrit Reubold that has it's own very informative GUI or can be used as a WinBoard engine if you prefer.  I've never used it in the latter way but, if you wanted to, the instructions as shown above for Arasan and TCB might work.  But Der Bringer's GUI is great so why bother?  English support is perhaps a little limited (it's a German program) but who cares, it plays good chess, it looks great and it wont cost you a bean.
  (1,114KB zip file.)

Exchess for Windows

EXCHESS 4.03a for Windows:
An experimental chess engine by Dan Homan.  Additionally, source code which can be compiled to run on Windows or UNIX platforms is available from Dan's website at
http://home.earthlink.net/~econerd/EXchess.html (blimey, another broken link? December 2004 :-( )  Install WinBoard first, then run the setup program for EXchess.  It configures a shortcut to run the engine through WinBoard for you.  Double-click and away you go :-)  (741KB)

Gromit

GROMIT 3.8.2:
By Frank Schneider, this is a strong chess engine that has performed very well in several computer chess tournaments.  It is best used with WinBoard and can be set up as per the instructions for TCB shown above.
  (160KB zip file)

Winboard

WINBOARD 4.2.7 for 32 bit Windows:
Originally developed by Tim Mann, this is the GUI front end that you'll need to run the "engine-only" programs above and others that have no graphics interface of their own.  Comprehensive instructions on how you can configure WinBoard are included, but, generally, a basic shortcut like the ones described above will get you up and running.  Lots of other versions (for UNIX (Xboard) and Amiga (AmyBoard)) and heaps of information are available from
http://www.open-aurec.com/wbforum.  WinBoard comes with two chess engines built in - GNU Chess 4.0 and GNU Chess 5.0. so it's worth downloading in its own right.   (5,498KB)

 

  ADVENTURE / RPG / ROGUELIKE GAMES

What we have here are some of the most addictive adventure role-playing games available for the computer.  Incredibly, their origins date back well over a quarter of a century and yet they're still being played and developed today - for practically every platform you can think of.  And what's more they're all free :)

We're not talking mindless hack'n'slash here - the vast range of characters, creatures, weapons, armour, objects, artefacts and magic is far too broad for that.   Furthermore, no two games are ever the same as the environment is generated randomly every time you start afresh.  To do well you're going to need skill, patience and plenty of favours from your chosen deity.  I've been playing variations of these games for thirty years and I haven't won a single one yet!  It's easiest to start out as a warrior and use brute force in the early levels.  But don't forget to learn that magic or, in the later levels, you're dragon fodder!!

They mostly combine text with ASCII graphics to represent a "map" of your character's surroundings, but some of the latest versions now support picture "tiles" to give a more attractive graphical representation.  In one case - Utumno - the tiles are animated so that you can manoeuvre your character around and fight "arcade style" without losing the richness of the underlying game.

I've provided links to what I believe are the current maintainers of the games and I encourage you to go there to get the latest versions and any extra info you may need.  Download by clicking on the pictures (by
Dee Dreslough) alongside each featured game.

Angband for Windows

ANGBAND 3.0.5 for Windows:
Your quest is to descend into the Pits of Angband, there to seek out and  destroy the Dark Enemy, Morgoth.   Play in original ASCII mode or choose from two different sets of picture tiles (which you can download
here in the original 312KB zip file, or here for David Gervais' new 32x32 tiles in a 541KB zip file). Supports sound too.  (23rd. May 2004 - 1355KB exe file) 

Find out more from: http://rephial.org/

Angband for Linux

ANGBAND 3.0.3 for Linux:
X11 and console version of the above.  (17th. February 2003 - 950KB rpm file)  A separate (243KB) rpm file for RedHat Linux 8.0 on i386 with glibc 2.3.1 with optional graphics support is available
here.

Find out more (and get the graphics files if required) from: http://rephial.org/

Moria for Windows

MORIA (umoria) 5.5.2 for i386:
Descend into the Dungeons of Moria and defeat the Balrog that is rumoured to inhabit the lower levels... if you ever get that far!!  (8th. September 1997 - 308KB zip file)

Find out more from:
http://www-math.bgsu.edu/~grabine/moria.html

Moria for Linux

MORIA (icmoria) 4.85.19 for Linux:
Linux version of the above.  (27th. October 2000 - 414KB gz file)

Find out more from:
http://www-math.bgsu.edu/~grabine/moria.html

Nethack for Windows

NETHACK 3.4.3 for Windows:
Journey beyond the Valley of Gehennom with your (sometimes) trusty canine or feline pet, and plunder the Mazes of Menace.  Will you retrieve the Amulet of Yendor and be granted immortality by the Gods?  Or will some vile creature add your head to his trophy collection!!  Contains both TTY and graphics versions.  (8th. December 2003 - 1999KB zip file)  You can also download an optional 152KB zip file of large tiles
here.

Find out more from:
http://www.nethack.org

Nethack for Linux

NETHACK 3.4.3 for Linux:
Linux version of the above with TTY and Athena-Widget-based (traditional X11) graphics interfaces suitable for almost all Linux systems.  (8th. December 2003 - 1228KB gz file)

Find out more from:
http://www.nethack.org

Utumno


UTUMNO 1.0a5 Alpha:
Utumno uses the Angband 2.7.9v6 engine but has a marvellous animated graphical front end making it the best looking variant I've found.
(30th. December 1997 - 468K zip file)

"Officially" dead, but you might try
http://web.mit.edu/craighea/www/utumno/ 

19th. January 2010: I found out today that Utumno is now officially "undead".  Find out all the latest information about Project Utumno / Shards of Asaria at http://utumno.medicinestorm.com/ or visit the archive to learn about the origins of this great game: http://utumno.medicinestorm.com/archive/.
 
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