NETWORK / INTERNET
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My favorite ascii dungeon game, Nethack has tons of features. You can play as various types of characters like tourists, wizards, and healers. You can worship many different gods. You can go to shops, and you can even train your pets to steal from them! The main downside of Nethack is its thoroughness. Nethack has tons of features, giving it a really poor learning curve. However, tons of spoilers and secrets are available from the home page or from other web pages. Also, a long addiction to Nethack caused a tremendous increase in my typing speed (Nethack uses tons of different key combinations for various commands). If you enjoy rogue-likes, Nethack is one of the best. I suggest reading some of the guidebook.
To add graphics and remove the boring looking ascii in this game, edit defaults.nh and change "#OPTIONS=video:autodetect" to "OPTIONS=video:autodetect". Otherwise, you'll be playing it in ascii mode. Note that as a result of the size of the tiles, you will not be able to see the entire floor at once in some levels if you alter this setting.
Download links to download page.
| Out of Order
Out of Order is the best freeware adventure game (excluding King's Quest remakes, but those don't count) I have ever played. It's a great, solid product that I would have gladly paid money for. Almost everything in it is beyond comparison.
The game starts out with you, as Hurford Schlitzing, waking up to a storm. This is no ordinary storm, though, as you will soon find out. Okay, fine, the beginning isn't that original, but as you play through, you'll find many plot twists. Trust me, this game is not as drab as it may seem at the beginning. And, with the estimated 10-15 hours of play, it should keep you entertained for a while.
Another thing that makes this game is its humor and dialogue. I actually laughed! Very rarely does that happen in adventure games, least of all freeware adventure games. One of the things that makes most point and click adventure games fail are the "animator jokes", but those happened so few and far between in this game that they were funny. There were practically no typos in the dialogue (not that I was looking....), and the text speed wasn't too fast or too slow (if you're a fast reader, you can right-click to move on.). And, don't worry, this game comes packed with spoofs galore.
As all adventure games should, OOO features great puzzles. There were enough hints in the game to lead you in the right direction, but not enough to give it away. They were both innovative and, at times, difficult. Many of them involved getting about three hints, and then finding out where and how to put all of those hints together.
Most of the animations were great. It looked like Deirdre was eating a hamburger, and it looked like Hurford was walking left or right. And the cartoon-like graphics fit the atmosphere perfectly. However, there was one thing that just looked completely unnatural; that was when Hurford walked diagonally. It's not uncommon (I don't think I've ever seen a freeware adventure game that ever pulled that off decently), but it was just hard to look at him when he was walking down or up ramps, always twitching. But, it wasn't that bad and didn't detract from the overall quality of the game one bit.
Despite how great all of the aforementioned aspects of the game are, I do have one problem.
The sound is annoying! The music is repetitive, and the sound effects are almost non-existent. You can't hear any interaction with your inventory, and all dialogue is subtitles (not abnormal, but not great either). However, despite my complaints with the sound, I fully support my 10/10 rating. It really doesn't bother me anyway, as I usually have the sound off.
The Bottom Line: Out of Order is the best freeware adventure game ever made. If you like Ozzie and the Quantum Playwright, you'll love this. And, with the relatively small download size, you have no excuse.
NOTE 1: Despite its cartoonish graphics, this game does have some adult humor. There's not too much of it, but I would recommend parental supervision.
| Ozzie 'n the QuantumPlaywright
Ozzie and the Quantum Playwright (full title), is a LucasArts style adventure game which is of extremely high quality in every concievable way. If you have ever played any of the LucasArts adventure games such as the Monkey Island series, Sam and Max, Day of the Tentacle or Full Throttle (all of which are not free but I highly reccomend), then you will know exactly what to expect here: An adventure game with beautiful 2D backrounds and sprites, an extremely well scripted story, clever puzzles and plenty of humor.
The games introduction starts in Ozzie's college's dean's office where it is explained to the owner that his college has dropped from 7th to top college in the country to 76th, due to the lack of an accounting library. The dean thus wants to build an accounting library- right on top of the college theatre!
You, as Ozzie, must stop this because if it happens, your girlfriend will be forced to switch colleges. Simple and cliche as far as adventure game stories go, but this is only the start of a much larger plot with plenty of lol's along the way.
I have not beaten the game yet but so far most of the humor seems to be kid safe so there is nothing to worry about if you care for those kind of things.
The game does not take itself seriously, and often makes fun of itself outright, but I will not spoil it for you since these parts made me laugh out loud in surprise.
As mentioned above, Ozzie and the Quantum Playwright is very similar to the LucasArts classics, but it also pays tribute to those games through subtle and not-so-subtle hints, posters of those games on walls and Ozzie's t-shirt even features the character from Sam & Max. This makes the game even more enjoyable than it already is. Don't worry, though, these references have nothing to do with the actual story of the game so if you have not played the games that are referenced you won't feel lost at all.
Now down to the technical stuff. The 2D graphics in Ozzie are top-notch, proffesional quality stuff. Ozzie himself animates beautifully as does everybody/thing else in the game. There are even facial expressions, which are very good and add alot to the game.
You can't really go wrong with the control in a point-and-click game so I'll just say that Ozzie controls just like every other point-and-clicker you ever played. The one fault with the control is that on the over-map screen, if you click on a nearby place for Ozzie to go, he will often take the long route all around the campus instead of just walking around the corner and down the street. This only takes a few seconds though, and is no big deal at all.
The puzzles in the game are all logical, at least until where I got up to, so some quick pondering and thinking will usually find you the answer. If something seems like it should be done but you cannot figure out how to do it, go do something else and you may get the neccesary item required for your original task. Very well done in that category.
The sound is excellent, though admittedly there is not much of it aside from the music.
The dialogue and plot are well written and you actually want to go around and find people to talk to, since it's almost alway a laugh out loud conversation and when it's not you'll still be chuckling to yourself.
Bottom Line: What can I say that has not been said already? This game is simply a must download, despite it's 61 megabyte size zip file. Everything here is as good as adventure gaming gets and you need to get it right now, even if it means leaving the download on over-night.
PC REQUIREMENTS: Pentium II or Celeron 350 MHz CPU, 64 MB RAM, videocard capable of 640x480 at 32bit Color, DirectX Compatible Sound Card, Windows 95/98/Me/2000/XP
"I am standing in front of a hotel, where I am supposed to meet Christine..." This is how the game begins. You are a loony private eye on a conspicuous mission. You have just arrived to a hotel where you suspect that she has checked in. This a wonderfully animated point-and-click cartoon game with awesome drawings. Let me emphasize that again: AWESSOME! You may recognize the style from the author's first game called Ignac. Sadly, I cannot give this game a high rating with the sole reason that the game is way too short (with a longer story and this game would deserve an top rating). It took me just a few minutes to solve the mystery. However, keep in mind that the author intentionally made this game short and he rather calls it a demo. Nontheless, I think it's worth to download for a short moment of fun.
PC REQUIREMENTS: 200MHz CPU
| Permanent Daylight
Permanent Daylight is not an ordinary point-and-click adventure game with an ordinary story. On the contrary, the story is quite eccentric with many twisted (and sometimes adult) jokes interwoven in the gameplay. The game is mouse-driven, right and left mouse buttons control the game. The graphics in the different scenes are cartoonish and looks professional.
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