Sunday, October 7, 2012

The Bub's Brothers


Genre: Miscellaneous, Cooperative
System: Windows, Linux, Mac
# Players: 1 - 10
Filesize: 12MB

Game Overview


The Bub's Brothers is a LAN remake of the classic multiplayer game Bubble Bobble. Each player controls a dragon who can shoot bubbles. The goal of each level is simple: defeat all of the enemies by trapping them in bubbles and popping them. Defeated enemies release food and other prizes which an be eaten for points. The game can be played coopeartively, or you can compete for points. Up to ten dragons can join in on the fun, and setting up a LAN server is easy using the built-in web UI. Unfortunately, if you were hoping to play this game online, you likely won't be able to find any active servers.

The Bub's Brothers Homepage
The Bub's Brothers Free Game Download Page


Rate this game!






This game's current rating:

Monday, September 10, 2012

Counter-Strike 2D


Genre: Shooter, Team-Based
System: Windows, Linux, Mac
# Players: 1 - 32
Filesize: 7MB

Game Overview


Counter-Strike 2D is a fan-made, top-down-perspective recreation of the famous LAN Party staple, Counter-Strike. The game features many of the same multiplayer game modes as the original, including Hostage Rescue, Bomb Defuse, and Assassination, and some new ones of its own. Fans of the original game will recognize many of the sound effects and weapons. The game also features a scripting system, allowing servers to run mods; bots for smaller LANs or single-player; and a map editor.

Those looking to play online will easily be able to find active servers, and the game has a fairly active community.

Impressions


From what I've played so far, this seems like a solid game. Setting up a LAN server is easy using the built-in GUI, as is joining a game. The game itself is quite fun, although the sound effects can get quite annoying ("Fire in the Hole!").

Counter-Strike 2D Homepage
Counter-Strike 2D Free Game Downloads Page

Rate this game!






This game's current rating:

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Farm Hands

Genre: Miscellaneous, Cooperative
System: Windows
# Players: 1 - 4
Filesize: 3.4MB
Watering my potatoes.

Game Overview


Farm Hands is a cooperative farming game. Players live on a farm and have to work together to earn money, with which they can buy new tools that allow them to explore new areas and perform new tasks. Players can farm (of course), fish, mine, and do other activities. Farm Hands includes a lot of easter eggs and special items to be discovered by the hard worker (many of them paying homage to Nintendo's classics). I've seen the game described as "Multiplayer Harvest Moon"--I've never played Harvest Moon, so I can't say for sure, but it seems an accurate description.

Also, since the game's original information thread seems to have disappeared, I'll have to tell you guys the basics. When you run the game, a simple menu comes up that lets you enter a name and pick a color, and gives the option of Server or Join. Select Server, and this creates a server and shows you a black status screen. To play, open up another instance of Farm Hands, and Join your own game (127.0.0.1 is localhost, i.e. your own computer). Other players can connect by Joining to your IP address.

Your character can be controlled using the arrow keys. 'X' and 'C' are contextual action buttons, and 'Z' is used to run. In the top right you'll see what X and C will do if you press them at that time--for example, they may say "Take Tool" if you are standing next to one, or "Refill" if you are holding the watering can next to a water source.

At the top of the screen, you'll see an amount of money, shared by all players. You can spend money at the shop, which you'll find if you travel north. To earn money, you'll have to sell things. To do so, pick up the item you want to sell and bring it to the little doghouse-shaped structure next to the tool shed (in my screenshot, it's right below the blue 'X').

Also at the top of the screen is your stamina, which is needed to perform work. Each time you do something, a bit of stamina is lost. To restore stamina, you'll need to buy energy drinks at the shop (or, later in the game, make your own). If you ever run out of money and can't afford an energy drink, you can sell the mushrooms that are growing everywhere.

To get started, head north to the shop and buy some seeds (and likely an energy drink). Head into the tool shed and grab the hoe. Find a good spot in the farming area and till a spot until it turns into a square. Do this for each seed you want to plant (a bag from the shop contains 16 seeds). Then, head back to the tool shed and trade your hoe for your seeds and plant them in the freshly-tilled land. After planting, grab the watering can, fill it up at a watering hole, and water your seeds. Soon they will sprout, and you'll have to water them again. Once they are fully grown, they will yield whatever crop it was you planted, and you can sell them for a large profit!

That may sound like a lot of steps, and that's why it's important to work together!

Soon you'll have enough cash to buy some new tools. Be sure to explore the surrounding areas--there's a fishing hole to the east, and a mining area to the west (although this one takes some work to get to).

There's no goals built in to the game, just continued development. You can set your own goals, like "Try to earn $10000" or "Collect all the Spiritual Stones from Zelda."

Quick Review


Farms Hands is a fun multiplayer cooperative game. It's a good break from all the high-octane action games and FPSes you normally play at a LAN party. It's fun and interesting to manage your farm and try to earn money, and the varied tasks keeps the game interesting. However, it's not for everybody--if you're an action junkie, you may be bored; and for strategy nuts, there's no deep thinking involved. It's a calm and relaxing game ( a rarity indeed).

The game is enjoyable and well put-together, with many different things to find and collect.  However, it does have its flaws. For one, there's no way to save your game. Each time you restart the server, your farm is starting fresh. This can be rather disappointing if you had collected many things. Also, there are a few bugs--for example, if you try to connect to a non-existent server, the game does not handle that gracefully. Also, the area to be explored is rather small, and after a while you may get bored.

Overall, I found this game to be enjoyable, and I think it's a very unique in the world of LAN games. I think Farm Hands is a great game.

Farm Hands Free Game Download


Rate this game!






This game's current rating:

Friday, July 6, 2012

MegaGlest


Genre: Real-Time Strategy
System: Windows. Linux, Mac
# Players: 1 - 4
Filesize: 179MB

Game Overview


MegaGlest is a free and open source 3D RTS, based on the popular Glest (which is a free LAN game in its own right). In the game, players can pick from one of six factions, such as Magic or Tech, and battle it out on a variety of maps. The game features many different units and structures, and there are also a number of mods available. The game also has an active online community.

MegaGlest Homepage
MegaGlest Free Download Page

Rate this game!






This game's current rating:

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Little Fighter 2


Genre: Fighting
System: Windows
# Players: 1 - 8 (But only two networked computers; be sure to bring a controller if you plan on playing with more people)
Filesize: 30MB

Game Overview


Little Fighter 2 is a 2D fighting game that features both cooperative and competitive gameplay. In Versus mode, players duke it out in the arena in a way similar to many other fighting games. The game also features "Stage Mode", which plays more like a beat'em up than a fighting game and allows players to work together to defeat computer opponents. The game also features a sizable cast of characters, and each one has a unique set of special moves that keeps gameplay interesting.

I've only had one opportunity so far to play Little Fighter 2 with another person, but from that experience, I can say that this is definitely a fun game. The only real drawback is that the number of computers that can be connected for LAN play is only two, so multiple players will need to share a machine at a LAN party.

Little Fighter 2 Homepage
Little Fighter 2 Free Download Page


Rate this game!






This game's current rating:

Friday, June 1, 2012

Solar Wars

Genre: Strategy
System: Windows
# Players: 1 - 4
Filesize: 2MB


Game Overview


Solar Wars is a turn-based strategy game that takes place in space. Each player begins on a homeworld, and must conquer other worlds to build up their forces to defeat their opponents. However, unlike in many other strategy games, the map is not static--the planets move in their orbits after each turn, just as they would in a real solar system. This means that timing of attacks is important. Also, when conquering new worlds, players can find special bonuses to give them an advantage.

Solar Wars Homepage
Solar Wars Free Download Page

Rate this game!






This game's current rating:

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Build and Shoot

Note: This game was formerly listed as Ace of Spades. However, the game was bought by Jagex and is no longer free. More information about the paid version, which has very different gameplay than described here, can be found here. This post is about the community-supported game now known as Build And Shoot, which is based on Ace of Spades v0.75, the last free version. This post has been appropriately edited to refer to the new name.

Genre: FPS, team-based
System: Windows, Linux, Mac (Linux and Mac requires the use of Wine. Set-up instructions: LinuxMac)
# Players: 6 - 32 (Technically less, but any fewer and the game would be rather boring)
Filesize: 5.5 MB


Game Overview


Build and Shoot has been described as "Minecraft with guns." While not entirely accurately from a gameplay perspective, that should give you the general idea. Like in Minecraft, the world is made of blocks. You can destroy these blocks, or you can create new ones to build structures. Unlike in Minecraft, you also have with you a rifle, machine gun, or shotgun, and a handful of grenades. Also unlike in Minecraft, there is an opposing team of players trying to kill you and steal your team's "Intel"--this game's "flag" in its CTF mode. The game also features some other game modes, including "Territorial Control" (think Control Points from Team Fortress 2), and of course Deathmatch.

And if you're looking to play online, the game has an active community, so you'll be able to find severs and players easily.


Quick Review


I've played this game a bit now, and I have to say, it's fun. However, don't expect it to play like "Minecraft"; There's a reason I said "Minecraft with guns" wasn't entirely accurate. In Minecraft, you spend a lot of time building complex and beautiful structures. But in Build and Shoot, your opponents simply won't let you. If you try to build anything too extravagant, you'll probably be shot before it's finished. Or worse--someone could cut the foundation of your new fort out from under you and destroy the whole thing.

Instead, this game plays more like World War I. Instead of huge elaborate bases, you'll be building bunkers, walls, or sniper nests. And you'll be digging trenches and tunnels. These quick and effective structures are important, and need to be strategically placed so you can infiltrate the enemy's side of the map without getting picked off.

Because of its building and digging capability, Build and Shoot is quite different from other FPS games. Instead of running around blasting everything, you need to focus more on stealth--not being seen and not being heard. To get to the enemy's base, you'll need to think carefully about where to place your structures and tunnels. There could be a sniper hiding on the side of that mountain; or maybe he's over near those trees.

Setting up for LAN play is a bit difficult. The game includes a "server.exe" to host, but it doesn't give you many options. As such, you may want to download the mod server PySnip. Also, to connect, players will need to use a special server browser, such as Spadille. More details here.

Build and Shoot is still a Beta version, so you may encounter a few bugs every now and then. Also, it's lacking some of the polish you'd expect from a finished game. However, it's very fun to play, and overall Build and Shoot is an excellent free LAN game. Give it a try!

Build and Shoot Homepage
Build and Shoot Free Download Page
Quick Start Guide
Beginner's Guide

Rate this game!






This game's current rating:

Monday, April 23, 2012

Warsow


Genre: FPS
System: Windows, Linux, Mac
# Players: 1 - 64 (?)
Filesize: 441MB



Game Overview


 Warsow is a free first-person shooter based on Quake II. The game features very fast-paced action, with speed and movement "tricks" a central part of the game. There are a variety of weapons and power-ups. The game also comes with bots, so you can practice solo or add a few extra players for a small LAN party. The visuals in Warsow are quite nice, and the characters in the game have a very cool "cartoony" look.

Unfortunately I haven't been able to play it with anyone else yet since the game does not seem to get along with my current router (a D-Link DIR-601). :-\ Oh well, but I'm sure it will be fun at a LAN party!

Warsow Homepage
Warsow Free Download Page

Rate this game!

1

3
4
5
This game's current rating:

Saturday, April 21, 2012

User Scoring System

Hello,

you may have noticed that the user scoring system is now in place. Each game now has a "Rate this game!" form, so that you can share how you feel about the game. I also encourage you to write your own review of the game in the comments section.

The Free Games Index has also been updated, so now the scores are shown in the table as well. The score for each game is updated every four hours.

I hope that everyone finds these ratings useful! Next, I'm working on a "Game of the Day"-type feature which will showcase the most popular game based on votes. This will appear in the sidebar.

So get out there and vote! And if you find any bugs or errors, please let me know.

UPDATE:
Alright, so the Top Game now appears in the sidebar. I also added a "Popular" gadget, since I figured that would be useful too. I also found out that the "Rate this Game" form looked very ugly in Internet Explorer, so I've (hopefully) fixed that as well.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Update

Hello,

It's been a while since I've posted any new free LAN games to the list, and I apologize. But I just want to let you know that I haven't disappeared or anything.

Instead of writing posts, I've been working on the voting system for the games. Things are progressing smoothly! I should have it ready for you guys to try soon.

Regards,
Howl

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Wizard Duel 2

Genre: Fighting
System: Windows
# Players: 1 - 2
Filesize: 3.9MB


Game Overview


Wizard Duel 2 is a free fighting game for two players. Each player controls a wizard who, for some reason or another, wants to kill the other wizard. Thus, they are having a duel on a tiny island somewhere. The wizards have the same repertoire of four spells, each representing one of the four classical elements.


Game Review


Let me start with my first gripe: the controls for this game are mouse, and arrow keys. Arrow keys, not WASD. I'm pretty sure that's a sin.

There are four spells in the game. The first is "Earth," which makes a pit of quicksand wherever you click. Place it where your opponent is standing, and there's a good chance he'll drown. The second is "Wind," which creates a tornado. This tornado may or may not throw your opponent into the ocean, where there's a good chance he'll drown. The third is "Fire," and it's the most commonly used spell. You shoot a fireball at your opponent, and if you hit him, he is briefly set on fire. The fourth and final spell is "Water," which raises the level of the ocean until only the tops of the hills are above water. If you do this when your opponent is far away from the hills, there's a good chance that he'll drown.

So those are your options: drown your opponent or set him on fire.

Despite the limited choices, this game is pretty fun. You and a friend can duke it out as wizards, each trying to catch the other in a lucky tornado or trap them in some well-placed quicksand.

Unfortunately, the game's controls are a bit wonky. You have full control of the camera, and that is good for casting the Earth and Wind spells. However, it makes casting the Fire spell rather difficult. It also just feels weird, especially if you're used to FPSes--or really any other 3D game. While strange, it is not too tough to get used to, but I still think it detracts from the gameplay.

The other problem is the lack of variety. Like I said, this game is pretty fun, but only for twenty minutes. There are only four spells, the strategies of which you and your friend will figure out quite quickly, and there is only one location. There are also no configurable gameplay options. So really, there's nothing to bring you back. You can play it once, enjoy it for a while, and then move onto other games. Also, it would be more interesting to get a third or fourth player in there.

Setting up for a network game should be easy: just host and join. However, I did find this LAN game to be a bit finnicky--it took a few tries to get the client to "see" the server. But overall, not a difficult process.

So, if you've got some downtime, give this LAN game a shot. After all, it's free, it's under 4MB, and it's got some very pretty water effects. Why not?

Overall, I call Wizard Duel 2 an OK game.

Wizard Duel 2 Free Download Page
(Scroll down for the Free Game Download link)

Rate this game!






This game's current rating:

Monday, February 27, 2012

ZSNES 1.42n

Sometimes you're in the mood for a classic. Maybe you just want to beat somebody up like it's 1993 with Mortal Kombat. Or have a good old Super Mario goomba-stomp-fest. The old games are just as fun today as they were all those years ago.

ZSNES 1.42n is a LAN-enabled version of the free ZSNES emulator. You can use it to play multiplayer SNES games across a network (Internet included). You can pick "Netplay" from the menu, and either host or join a server.

Setting up is relatively easy. Both players must have the exact same copy of the game you are playing, and both players must select their ROM directory before starting (To select your ROM directory, use Game -> Load). Then one player hosts, and the other player connects to their IP address. If you have trouble, try toggling between TCP and UDP (it's an option on the Netplay screen).

Unfortunately only 2 players can play. But, if you're really hankering for a 4-player Bomberman showdown, you can all play on the same computer if you have USB controllers (Xbox 360 controllers work too!). That may be the better option if you are at a LAN party.

Really this is most useful for online play. But since I didn't know you could play SNES online until recently, I thought I would share this as a useful gaming tool. So go beat your friends at Mario Kart! Here are the download links:

ZSNES 1.42n Download Page (Choose "Enhanced Netplay Edition")
That page also includes a download link to the source code, so Linux users should be able to compile and run it.

Happy gaming!

Swerve

Genre: Racing
System: Windows
# Players: 1 - 6
Filesize: 34 MB


Overview


Swerve is a top-down racing game. After picking cars, the race takes place in one of many major European cities. The game has a unique motion blur effect that gives the player a nice sensation of speed. It also has a nice physics engine, which lets players drift and slide around turns. Players can also slam into each other, or even try to perform a PIT maneuver.

The game does not have an online master server, so the online player will have to find opponents the hard way.


Impressions


This is a difficult but fun racing game. The physics engine makes the game interesting. The graphics are very pretty, especially for a top-down game, and the motion blur is cool, although it may give you a headache if you play too long (it can be turned off). The game also include a pretty nifty soundtrack. It's very easy to set up for a LAN game.

I haven't played much multiplayer yet, but so far I think it would be a good game to play at a LAN party.

Swerve Information Page
Swerve Free Download Page

Rate this game!

1

3
4
5
This game's current rating:

Bontago

Genre: Strategy
System: Windows
# Players: 1 - 8
Filesize: 23MB
An opponent just destroyed my tower in Bontago.

Game Overview


Bontago is an abstract strategy game where players compete against each other by building towers out of blocks. Blocks placed on the field create a circle of "influence", which represents the area that a player controls. Blocks placed higher up have more influence, so bigger towers are better. But watch out: "gifts" will randomly fall on the field, which, if you can encircle them with your influence, allow you to really ruin an opponent's day. These gifts include such things as earthquakes, volcanoes, and rockets. The goal of the game is to capture "flags" in the center by extending your influence all the way out to them from your home.

Unfortunately, if you want to play this game online, it may be difficult to find active servers and players since there is no master server in the game.


Quick Review


I must admit that this game certainly didn't sound very exciting when I first heard about it. A strategy game about blocks? Meh.

But now that I've tried it, I think it has real potential. The game is very polished, and all of the game options are configurable, including the gifts. It includes the option of AI opponents, and the option for team play. It's much more than I expected from a student-made game.

As for the gameplay itself, it's quite fun. Who didn't play with blocks as a kid? In this game, you are challenged to build your towers as high as you can. But you also want them to be stable, in case an opponent's gift topples your hard work. It's a game of building things up and knocking them down. It's playing with blocks. There's also a "Sandbox" mode where you can just build things for fun.

There is a bit of a learning curve as you get used to the game and its controls, but it's quite easy compared to many other strategy games. Also, there is a Tutorial mode which helps you learn the ropes.

And setting up for a LAN game is quite easy. Just use the in-game interface and you'll be good to go in no time.

Really my only gripe with the game is with the gifts. Since you have to "throw" them, it can be a bit difficult to get them to go where you want. Also, some of them seem almost as likely to backfire as to actually damage your opponent. However, this does help with game balance; if the gifts were too easy or too good, then games would probably go on forever. My bigger complaint is that if you receive a gift, you must use it. There doesn't seem to be a way to skip it or reject the gift, which you may want to do sometimes. And if you don't use the gift in time, the game cruelly places it in your territory!

But this really isn't that big an issue in what is a fun game overall. As a student-made game, and as a free LAN game, so far I think it's great.

Bontago Homepage
(Free download link on the same page)

Note: The game may take a while to load for some people. If you click on the Bontago shortcut and nothing happens, give it a minute (a literal, full 60 seconds) before trying anything.

Rate this game!

1

3
4
5
This game's current rating:

Friday, February 24, 2012

LAN Party Tools

You may have noticed that I've added a "Tools" page. I am going to add information about various programs and utilities that you may find helpful for a LAN party, or for playing these LAN party games. Hopefully you will find this to be helpful. If you know of any such useful programs for gaming, please feel free to share in the comments.

Another thing I'm working on is a voting system for the games. So instead of just taking my word before you download a particular LAN game, you can also see what others thought about it. And after you play it, you can share your opinion of it too!

Unfortunately, I'm not a great web programmer (although this is a good exercise), so it may take me a while. Also, if you see any weird stuff, it's probably just me doing some testing.

I'll also continue to update the free LAN games in the list with more information, and add new multiplayer games.

Happy gaming!

Tunngle

I've been using this tool for a while now to play games online with friends, and I thought I would share.

Tunngle is a free utility that allows you to play multiplayer games in LAN mode over the Internet. You and your friends join a network or room in Tunngle, and then you can play games as if you were together in a local network.

The main advantage of Tunngle is its ease of use. Instead of fiddling around with port forwarding on your router, which everyone knows can be finnicky, you just install Tunngle, join, and you're done. Pick someone to host the game server, everyone else grabs the host's IP address (from within Tunngle) and joins the server. Just as if you were together at a LAN party.

 A minor annoyance is that you have to create an account, but at least it makes it easier to tell who your friends are. Also, the program oddly has sound effects. I can understand having a start-up noise, and a "dialing in" noise...sure. But a noise for each keystroke in the chat box? Really? (Thankfully they can be turned off).

Of course, the important question: does it work?

Yes, most of the time. For almost all games, it works perfectly. I have had some problems with a few games, but the problem could very well be with the game itself and not with Tunngle. Either way, I find it works much better than Hamachi, a similar tool which I used to use quite frequently but now seems to have problems with many games.

So let's say you've been looking at all these free LAN games and want to play them, but you and your friends are having trouble scheduling a LAN party. Well, even though you may not get the full LAN Party experience, you can still play multiplayer games together online with Tunngle. It's almost just as good!

Here's a link to the download page. Unfortunately, it's a Windows-only tool. :-(

Thursday, February 23, 2012

WarMUX

Genre: Strategy
System: Windows, Linux, Mac
# Players: 1 - 7
Filesize: 100MB


Game Overview


WarMUX is a turn-based artillery game, similar to Worms. Players control teams of Unix-based characters, who take turns trying to kill each other. The last team standing wins.There are a variety of weapons to choose from, as well as special items that help you move, such as a jetpack. The game features LAN play, as well as "hotseat" multiplayer on a single computer.

If you are interested in playing this game online, you will find it difficult to find active servers or players, unfortunately.


Impressions


The game is quite easy to learn, and it is easy to set up a LAN game using the in-game menus. The cartoon-y art style is a nice homage to Worms. There is a nice variety of weapons. I haven't played it much yet, but it looks like a solid game so far.

WarMUX Homepage
WarMUX Free Download Page

Rate this game!

1

3
4
5
This game's current rating:

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Trackmania Nations Forever

Genre: Racing
System: Windows
# Players: 1 - 128 (?)
Filesize: 503 MB


Overview

Trackmania Nations Forever is a free-to-play installment of the popular Trackmania series. This is a racing game where players compete on wild and ridiculous tracks at high speeds. Each player can retry the track as often as they like, but when the time runs out, whoever had the fastest run is the winner. The game also includes a track editor, so that you can make tracks as ridiculous and as hard as you want. If you want to play the game online, it is easy to find plenty of players and active servers.


Review

When I first played Trackmania, I was a bit turned off by it. Why? Because there is little interaction between players. You can't bump your opponents off the road; there's no red shells to throw; you can't even collide with them. I thought this was very unusual.

But then I played it some more...And then I played it for a few hours straight. This is a very fun game. Yeah, you can't mess with your opponents, but that's not what this game is about. It's pure racing, just you against the track, against the clock. Oh, your friend finished in 53 seconds? Well, you've got 3 minutes left to do better--try not to mess up on that tricky turn there.

And it is clear why they call it Trackmania. The tracks are full of loops and spirals, terrain changes, and impossible jumps. And since there is a track editor, you can find a lot of amazing tracks online, or brew your own and share it with your friends.

The only real downside of the game is that they want your money (not that they don't have a very good reason to). There are quite a few in-game advertisements for Trackmania United. Also, if you play online as a free user, you're only allowed to do five races in a row before you have to sit one out.

However, all in all this game is excellent. Get a few friends together, start up the LAN, and have a blast racing. And if you like the game a lot, consider buying the full version.


Trackmania Homepage
(Click "Free game download" to download Trackmania Nations Forever)
TM Exchange: Download more tracks

Also, if anyone has a more accurate number for maximum players, please let me know.


Rate this game!

1

3
4
5
This game's current rating:

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

More Games

Just a quick update. Pretty much, I've been alternating between adding new LAN games and updating the ones already on the free games list. For the latest games, I'm trying to be as complete as possible. Hopefully, this maximizes the usefulness of the site for everyone.

In case you haven't been following along, here are the games I've added since my last "news" post:

I've also updated the information on M3 Challenge and Bloodmasters.

So, I hope you enjoy these free LAN games. 

Have fun!

Instructions for a Need for Speed LAN

These are my instructions for getting The Need for Speed working on a LAN. I'm using Windows 7, but since DosBox is cross-platform, the instructions should be similar for other OSes.


Setting up the game

First of all, download the game. Also download and install DosBox.

The game comes as a .zip file. Unzip the files, and place them in a directory such as C:\dosbox\nfs (and not C:\dosbox\nfs\Need for Speed, The). Old programs can be finnicky about spaces in filepaths, so make sure the path you choose has no spaces. I'm not sure if this particular game does have a problem with it, but it's not worth the trouble.

Now, open DosBox Options (this can be accessed from the Start Menu). This will open the dosbox.conf file in your default text editor.

Find the section called [serial]. You should see a line like this:
serial1=dummy

On the host machine, change that line to this:
serial1=nullmodem
And on the client machine, change it to this:
serial1=nullmodem server:[ip address] where [ip address] is the IP of the host computer. [To find  your IP address in Windows, Run cmd and type ipconfig /all ]
So, for example, for my home network, my client machine has this:
serial1=nullmodem server:192.168.0.101
Alternatively, after starting DosBox on the client machine, you can enter the command serial1 nullmodem server:[ip address], if you don't want it to attempt a connection every time.

Now, on each computer's dosbox.conf, go to the end of the file, to the label [autoexec]. Here you can enter commands that will be run automatically every time you open DosBox. Add these lines:
mount c c:\dosbox
c:
That assumes you used c:\dosbox as your games directory. If you used something else, put it there instead.

Save the .conf file and close it.

Now run DosBox on the host machine. In the background window, you should see a message like this:
Serial1: Nullmodem server waiting for connection on port 23...


Running the game

At the DosBox prompt, type cd nfs. This changes to the nfs folder, where the game is located. To run the game, type NFSSB.BAT. If this gives you trouble, you can run TNFS.EXE instead, which will start the game without sound.

In the game, click on the Options menu. Then go to "Modem Setup." Yup, that's right--modem. For you kids out there, a modem was how computers were connected back in the olden days. You could connect to the Internet using your telephone line. Oh, and a telephone is the thing we had before cell phones.

Bad jokes aside, go to the "Connection" parameter and change it to "Direct Link." Now on the client computer, click on "Dial," and you should see a message that says "Attempting to Connect." Then on the host machine, click "Answer," and you should see a success message on both machines. Go back to the main menu, and start your race! Note: Both players have to click "Drive." You'll get a message about "Synchronizing," which waits for both players to do the same thing.

So that wasn't too bad, was it? Though it is a lot more work than is required for most other LAN games. If you have trouble with it, leave a comment, and I will try to help you out the best I can (although I'm by no means an expert on this).

Happy racing!

The Need for Speed

Genre: Racing
System: Windows, Linux, Mac
# Players: 1 - 2
Filesize: 36 MB

Overview


The Need for Speed. Maybe you've heard of it? This is the first game in one of the best-selling video game franchises of all time. And now it is available as abandonware. Look at those graphics. If this was 1994, you'd probably be blown away.

In short, this is a racing game that features a multiplayer mode for two players.

Review

It's not really fair for me to review this game, since it is a true classic that helped define a genre. But I will tell you how it fairs as a free LAN game in today's world.

First of all, it isn't 1994 anymore. So that means it's pretty tough to get this game going for LAN play. To help you get racing, here are instructions for setting up the LAN.

Once you get it going, you and a friend can race each other in a head-to-head match. The controls are pretty easy, mainly arrow keys, and the game is still pretty fun despite its age. If you played this game back in the day, I'm sure the nostalgia factor will make this game an excellent choice.

Unfortunately and strangely, I did experience a bit of lag with this game, despite the two computers being right next to each other. And if you click on a car, it is supposed to bring up more info, but instead it crashes the game. So there are some minor technical problems with the game, but nothing too distracting.

So grab a friend and give this game a shot. It can be a trip down memory lane or a blast to the past. Or play against the computer in the single-player game modes. It's a classic game that you should try.

Need For Speed Free Download Page
To run this game, you will need to use DosBox, an emulator for DOS. If you've never used it before, check out my instructions for setting up this game.

Rate this game!

1

3
4
5
This game's current rating:

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Tanks 3D

Genre: Miscellaneous
System: Windows
# Players: 1 - 4
Filesize: <1MB



Overview


Tanks 3D is an old multiplayer deathmatch game. Each players controls a tank, and you drive around a small map shooting each other. The goal is simply to get the most kills. There are four different weapons, and power-ups appear randomly on the field.


Review


This game is simple, but it's pretty fun. The graphics aren't that great (but of course this game is over a decade old now), but who doesn't like blowing up stuff in tanks? You use the arrow keys to drive around, and four letter keys to activate the different weapons: cannon, grenades, rockets, and mines.

Setting up for a LAN game is pretty easy, using the in-game GUI. Strangely, you will always have four players--the game fills the extra spots with bots. I did not see a way to turn this feature off.

Unfortunately this game is rather repetitive, with almost no variety. The map is randomly generated terrain, but it will always be a simple square. Each player starts out with the same four weapons. And when you run out of ammo for the good weapons, it will take you a long time to find an ammo pick-up. There are almost no options to configure.

However, despite these shortcomings, Tanks 3D is still a decent game to pass the time with. You and three friends will likely enjoy it for a while, and then move on after 20 minutes or so. It's a good reprieve from the more "intense" LAN games.

Overall, I would say this is an OK game.

Tanks 3D Homepage
Tanks 3D Free Download Link

(If this link ever stops working, let me know and I'll upload a mirror somewhere.)

Rate this game!

1

3
4
5
This game's current rating:

Saturday, February 11, 2012

LAN Party House

Maybe you've seen this before; maybe not. Today is my first time seeing it. Anyway, check out this house:








Yes, that's right, built-in gamestations. Possibly one of the coolest ideas ever.



You can read more about this awesome house at the owner's blog, here: Kenton's Weekend Projects. And you can also check out this post that has more technical details.



Just thought I'd share this cool thing. :)


Friday, February 10, 2012

M3 Challenge

Genre: Racing
System: Windows
# Players: 1 - 16
File-size: 345MB
I don't think I'll be able to make this turn.


Overview


M3 Challenge is a racing game centered around the BMW M3. It features realistic graphics and gameplay, including a realistic physics engine. Of course, this also means that it is quite difficult; there's no Mario-Kart-hold-L-to-drift in this game. The game feels pretty similar to Driving Speed 2.

Unfortunately for those looking to play the game online, it would seem the game server is no longer running (I was unable to make an account).


Impressions


I haven't played this one with other humans in a LAN party yet, but it seems pretty good so far. Yes, it is basically an advertisement for BMW, but they still made a good effort to make a quality game. There is also some cool/weird music. The controls and many other aspects of the game are fully customizable, so that's a good thing. The physics seem really good, but unfortunately that means I'm pretty bad at actually playing. Also, there is really only one track to play on, so the game is lacking in variety.

From what I've played so far, I'm going to say this is a solid game.

M3 Challenge Homepage
(Free Download link on the same page)

Rate this game!

1

3
4
5
This game's current rating:

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

At a Distance

Genre: Puzzle
System: Windows, Mac
# Players: 2


Overview


At a Distance is a puzzle game played from a first-person perspective with a unique graphical style. It requires exactly 2 players, and each player must be able to see the other's screen; you must work together to figure the game out. The game itself does not tell you what to do, leaving you to figure it out for yourself.


Review


I don't want to reveal too much, since this is a puzzle game and the fun is in figuring it out yourself.

The game has a simple and interesting style that makes it seem mysterious, which is appropriate for a game like this. The controls are the normal ones you would expect for an FPS, or you can use a controller.

Setting up for LAN is also fairly simple. One player hosts, and the other joins via their IP address. [To find your ip address in Windows, open a command prompt (Run: cmd) and type  ipconfig /all  ]

The only real downside to this game is that you need exactly 2 players. And since you need to see their screen, you can't really play online (unless you both have two monitors and use TeamViewer, or something).   That really restricts when you can play it. But if you're at a LAN party, maybe you could find a partner who wants to take a break from shooting and play this more relaxed game. Or everyone could pair up, and you could try to be the first team to complete it.

Overall, I consider At a Distance a solid game.

At a Distance Homepage
At a Distance Free Download Page

Rate this game!






This game's current rating:

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Bloodmasters

Genre: Shooter
System: Windows
# Players: 1 - 10


Overview

Bloodmasters is a top-down shooter with some pretty nice graphics. It includes the standard Deathmatch and Capture the Flag game modes, as well as a Scavenger mode where players need to collect certain items. One interesting feature is that although the game is from a top-down perspective, terrain can still be at different heights. The position of the mouse cursor, and not just your direction, determines which way and at what height you will shoot. The game also features a variety of weapons and power-ups. If you are looking to play this game online, unfortunately you will be hard-pressed to find active players.


Impressions


Unfortunately I haven't been able to play this with a significant number of players yet, so I can't give it a "real" review. However, from what I have played, it is a pretty fun game. I did run into some error messages, though, on Windows 7 64-bit. Also it is necessary to run the game as administrator or turn off UAC.

The weapons in the game are pretty standard fare, except for the grenade launcher, which is the only weapon that can shoot over walls. The power-ups are pretty interesting.

Setting up the game for a LAN is quite easy. You can set the common options from the GUI, and then just start the game.

So far, I think that this is a solid game.




Rate this game!

1

3
4
5
This game's current rating:

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Crossfire

Genre: RPG
System: Windows, Linux, Mac

Crossfire Homepage
Crossfire Free Download Page
One player will also need to download the Crossfire Server.

Rate this game!






This game's current rating:

Savage: The Battle for Newerth

Genre: Shooter, Real-Time Strategy
System: Windows, Linux

Savage Homepage
Savage Free Download Page

Players should also consider looking into the Savage XR project, which offers various community-developed improvements to the original game (it also has Mac support).

Rate this game!

1

3
4
5
This game's current rating:

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Grand Theft Auto 2

Genre: Miscellaneous
System: Windows
# Players: 1 - 6


Grand Theft Auto 2 Homepage
(To download, provide an email on that page. If you do not have an email address, consider using Mailinator. If you use GMail, you may find Plus Addressing useful.)

Rate this game!






This game's current rating:

Adding Games


I've been adding a lot of placeholder posts for games lately, so that I can add them to the Big Free Games Index. I've compiled a pretty huge list of free LAN games from all over the Internet, and I decided the Games Index would be more useful if it was as big as can be. Some of these games I haven't even had a chance to play yet, nevermind LAN them!

I'll continue adding more games, and then I'll go back and fill in the information for them. Just giving you a heads up in case the placeholder posts were getting annoying. :P

Freecol

Genre: Strategy
System: Windows, Linux, Mac

Freecol Homepage
Freecol Free Download Page

Rate this game!

1

3
4
5
This game's current rating:

Freeciv

Genre: Strategy
System: Windows, Linux, Mac

Freeciv Homepage
(Free Download Links are on the same page, under "Where is Freeciv?")

Rate this game!

1

3
4
5
This game's current rating:

Battle for Wesnoth

Genre: Strategy
System: Windows, Linux, Mac

Battle for Wesnoth Homepage
(Free Download links are on the same page)

Rate this game!

1

3
4
5
This game's current rating:

Spring RTS

Genre: Strategy
System: Windows, Linux, Mac

Spring RTS is not actually a game, but an engine on which real-time strategy (RTS) games have been made. The website has quite a few games, so check them out. I will post each game individually after I get a chance to play them!

Spring RTS Homepage
Spring RTS Games Page

Rate this game!

1

3
4
5
This game's current rating:

Warzone 2100

Genre: Strategy
System: Windows, Linux, Mac

Warzone 2100 at Sourceforge
Warzone 2100 Free Downloads Page

Rate this game!

1

3
4
5
This game's current rating:

UFO: Alien Invasion

Genre: Strategy
System: Windows, Linux, Mac
# Players: 1 - 6

UFO:AI Homepage
UFO:AI Free Download Page

Rate this game!

1

3
4
5
This game's current rating: