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    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Free games that run on very old computers

    So. My nice laptop just fried itself after four years of faithful service. My options at this point are getting the fan replaced, which might cost a few hundred bucks and take several weeks because I need to send it abroad or buy a new one.

    Anyway, that is not the point. Until I get a worthy replacement, I have my work computer (which I'm currently on) and my mother's tiny ancient Windows XP laptop she never needs, which was probably already under-specced when it was new.

    Since I might be looking at anywhere of two to five weeks without access to any of my newer games (the university sells new laptops at a 50% discount in mid-February), has the playground any recommendations for preferably free games that have very low hardware requirements I can use to bridge the gap?
    Last edited by Eldan; 2011-01-06 at 05:19 AM.
    "You raise your baton. The glass kettle drums pound out the the overture. Your vision clouds with blood. You wipe it away and continue. The xylophonist's hair bursts into a violet flame, but he continues playing. He's either a consummate professional or very drunk indeed..."

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    I want more mwa-ha-haaa and much less boo-hoo-hoo.

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    Default Re: Free games that run on very old computers

    I've heard that you can get a free copy of Master of Magic from some abandonware sites, but I would never do anything like that...
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    Default Re: Free games that run on very old computers

    I suppose you've already played Iji?
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    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Free games that run on very old computers

    I have, but that was several editions ago, I never went secret hunting, and never dried pacifism. Might do it again some time, thanks for reminding me.
    "You raise your baton. The glass kettle drums pound out the the overture. Your vision clouds with blood. You wipe it away and continue. The xylophonist's hair bursts into a violet flame, but he continues playing. He's either a consummate professional or very drunk indeed..."

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    I want more mwa-ha-haaa and much less boo-hoo-hoo.

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    Default Re: Free games that run on very old computers

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    never dried pacifism
    I don't think you know how to use pacifism.
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    Colossus in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: Free games that run on very old computers

    What? Don't knock it before you dry it. It applies perfectly to pacifism

    After all, as long as it's still wet, it's much to floppy to really knock it against anything.
    "You raise your baton. The glass kettle drums pound out the the overture. Your vision clouds with blood. You wipe it away and continue. The xylophonist's hair bursts into a violet flame, but he continues playing. He's either a consummate professional or very drunk indeed..."

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    I want more mwa-ha-haaa and much less boo-hoo-hoo.

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    Default Re: Free games that run on very old computers

    Roguelikes are pretty low on the system requirements scale.

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    Default Re: Free games that run on very old computers

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    What? Don't knock it before you dry it. It applies perfectly to pacifism

    After all, as long as it's still wet, it's much to floppy to really knock it against anything.
    You, sir, are a terrible pacifist.

    I, however, am the best pacifist in all the land. Emphasis on fist.

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackSheep View Post
    Roguelikes are pretty low on the system requirements scale.

    How did I forget this. How.

    And yes, good call. Eldan already plays ADOM at the very least, but there are many roguelikes out there. Except Angband. Angband doesn't exist. It boredomed itself into the realms of myth and legend.
    Last edited by Cogwheel; 2011-01-06 at 06:46 AM.
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    Default Re: Free games that run on very old computers

    I guess too obvious, but how about ADOM or X-COM: Ufo Defense? Alpha Centauri?

    EDIT: Free games... Nelly Cootalot? Knytt and Knytt Stories (not sure how demanding those are on the hardware)?
    Last edited by Silfir; 2011-01-06 at 06:47 AM.
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    Default Re: Free games that run on very old computers

    A few new roguelikes might not be bad. I've gotten a bit bored of ADOM lately. I reliably reach the midgame with every fifth character or so, but then don't get anywhere.

    I also should have the discs of Alpha Centauri somewhere. Might just get it to run on this thing.


    And on the subject of Pacifism: the problem with it is that when sufficiently dried, it can get very hard to chew, so I prefer only using a little of it, mostly grated up as a seasoning.
    "You raise your baton. The glass kettle drums pound out the the overture. Your vision clouds with blood. You wipe it away and continue. The xylophonist's hair bursts into a violet flame, but he continues playing. He's either a consummate professional or very drunk indeed..."

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    I want more mwa-ha-haaa and much less boo-hoo-hoo.

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    Default Re: Free games that run on very old computers

    Oh. Idea.

    Cave story?
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    Default Re: Free games that run on very old computers

    I highly recommend The Ur-Quan Masters. Its an open source remake of Star Control II.

    Also, Open Transport Tycoon is good.
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    Default Re: Free games that run on very old computers

    It might be helpful to post your system specs. It would also greatly help if
    you mentioned other games you enjoy playing.

    You said you had Alpha Centauri. That game takes about 30 hours of my life every other year. I never regret visiting it again, and I'm always confused why another development team somewhere hasn't made the same thing but newer.

    Free:

    Although Dwarf Fortress takes very little to run at most times, you're probably going to want to start world generation and then come back later... the next day (slight exaggeration). Please note: Dwarf Fortress is not a game that can be easily or accurately described apart from playing it yourself.

    Command and Conquer (original). RTS. Like... the first one almost. Go to the link and scroll down to see their instructions for download/installation. I think the next iteration in the series, Red Alert, was also made free. I didn't quickly find a link to it, though.


    "Free:"
    I define a "free" game as any game that is impossible, or basically impossible to buy from the person or company which holds the rights to the materials.

    I might edit this post or come up with some more ideas when I'm less tired in this category once I see your system specs.

    Emulators are entirely legal in of themselves. The games of way older systems are also generally considered fine. You can't buy an original Nintendo Entertainment System or games from Nintendo. If you missed some classics, go back and play them. There are couple of ROMs out there for the Super Nintendo (the actual games for the Super Nintendo should not be redistributed, as many of these titles are now available on other platforms) made by fans that are actually quite good or at least fun. There is a fan-made sequel to Chrono Trigger you should look for, if that's your thing.

    Steam regularly has games that are HEAVILY discounted or at times ones that are free to download. I used to hate Steam, but it's really started to grow on me over the last year and a half. Many of these games, including X-COM, or the original two Fallout games, can run on just about anything.


    And finally, I know you wanted specific suggestions, but if you weren't aware of this list you might find one of your old favorites on there.
    Last edited by teslas; 2011-01-06 at 08:04 AM.

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    Default Re: Free games that run on very old computers

    Difficult question without more specifics but may I suggest Spiderweb's Avernum series? Single player TBS, not D&D based but with a strong RPG/party theme.

    Not exactly free, but the demos alone should keep you busy for a few weeks.

    By then of course you'll be addicted and want to run them on your other machine but the trilogy CD's are pretty cheap
    Last edited by ChowGuy; 2011-01-06 at 07:42 AM.
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    Default Re: Free games that run on very old computers

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    A few new roguelikes might not be bad. I've gotten a bit bored of ADOM lately. I reliably reach the midgame with every fifth character or so, but then don't get anywhere.
    Dungeon Crawl is very well designed. The gameplay deviates from certain roguelike traditions, but in almost all cases I can see the reason and agree with it. You can't bless scrolls or potions, so you can use them when you need them instead of after you've managed to bless them. You can't sell to shops, so you don't need to carry useless junk around. You don't need an altar to get piety, and the god system is great. The XP and skill interaction is also great.

    For more short-term fun, check out the 7DRL (seven-day roguelike) competition successes. There are lots of wonderful entries from the previous years, and I assume they're going to hold another next March.

    There are some free adventure games, including the horror style 7 Days A Stranger. It wasn't bad, although I didn't find it as awesome as many others seem to.

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    Default Re: Free games that run on very old computers

    I'm bored greatly of ADOM as of late too, so I'd suggest Incursion and DoomRL as the next best RLs there are.

    Also, Battle for Wesnoth is enjoyable until you start to froth at the mouth and swear a blood vendetta upon its RNG.

    Excellent suggestions so far, by the way.
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    Default Re: Free games that run on very old computers

    Hmm. Good suggestions. However, I'm not touching Battle for Wesnoth again any time soon. I just survived an attempt at playing through all the campaigns on the hardest difficult.

    I hate the RNG.
    "You raise your baton. The glass kettle drums pound out the the overture. Your vision clouds with blood. You wipe it away and continue. The xylophonist's hair bursts into a violet flame, but he continues playing. He's either a consummate professional or very drunk indeed..."

    Quote Originally Posted by Palanan View Post
    I want more mwa-ha-haaa and much less boo-hoo-hoo.

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    Default Re: Free games that run on very old computers

    You might try gog.com. The games aren't free but they are cheap and, being older, are likelier to run on outdated hardware.

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    Default Re: Free games that run on very old computers

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldan View Post
    I hate the RNG.
    So say you, so say we all.

    Which is why I didn't suggest it
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    Default Re: Free games that run on very old computers

    Quote Originally Posted by Cogwheel View Post
    Cave story?
    Seconded. And if you're feeling masochistic, you could try La Mulana or Spelunky.

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    Default Re: Free games that run on very old computers

    I second the GoG.com suggestion. Not free, but a lot of truly fantastic old titles. Steam also offers quite a few excellent older titles for <5 /$.

    Also, it is arguably impossible to play Iji too much.

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    Default Re: Free games that run on very old computers

    Quote Originally Posted by Tengu_temp View Post
    Seconded. And if you're feeling masochistic, you could try La Mulana or Spelunky.
    They are two very different kinds of masochism, though. For instance, normal people can still play and enjoy Spelunky.

    I'll have a look at this gog.com as well, as I've never heard of it before.
    Last edited by Cespenar; 2011-01-06 at 10:46 AM.
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    Default Re: Free games that run on very old computers

    Quote Originally Posted by teslas View Post
    I
    Emulators are entirely legal in of themselves. The games of way older systems are also generally considered fine. You can't buy an original Nintendo Entertainment System or games from Nintendo. If you missed some classics, go back and play them. There are couple of ROMs out there for the Super Nintendo (the actual games for the Super Nintendo should not be redistributed, as many of these titles are now available on other platforms) made by fans that are actually quite good or at least fun. There is a fan-made sequel to Chrono Trigger you should look for, if that's your thing.
    Emulators are legal yes. Using them to play games still under copyright and not released for free by the rights holders that you did not buy? No.

    Steam regularly has games that are HEAVILY discounted or at times ones that are free to download. I used to hate Steam, but it's really started to grow on me over the last year and a half. Many of these games, including X-COM, or the original two Fallout games, can run on just about anything.
    There is exactly one reason to use Steam: The game isn't available at GamersGate, Impulse or GoG. Because when it comes right down to it, for anything singleplayer every other digital download portal offers better service.
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    Default Re: Free games that run on very old computers

    Quote Originally Posted by Volatar View Post

    Also, Open Transport Tycoon is good.
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    Default Re: Free games that run on very old computers

    You can get Quest for Glory 1 through 4 on abandonware sites, and they run fine on even the most geriatric computers. (4 will almost certainly need to be patched before you can play it, though, so be sure to read the comments anywhere you download it.)

    Seriously, Quest for Glory 1 was the game that got me into adventure games and Dungeons and Dragons at the same time, not to mention that it is packed to the gills with a kind of irreverant humor you don't find too often these days.

    For Quest for Glory 1, you can get the truly ancient EGA version here, and the updated VGA version here.
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    Default Re: Free games that run on very old computers

    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post
    There is exactly one reason to use Steam: The game isn't available at GamersGate, Impulse or GoG. Because when it comes right down to it, for anything singleplayer every other digital download portal offers better service.
    Really? Because Gamersgate works, and does so great, but Impulse at least has given me absolutely nothing but grief. At least I can rely on Steam working.

    In any case, as for good free games, I must second Cave Story. It really is a great game.
    Last edited by Drascin; 2011-01-06 at 11:05 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drascin View Post
    Really? Because Gamersgate works, and does so great, but Impulse at least has given me absolutely nothing but grief. At least I can rely on Steam working.
    That's exactly the opposite of my experience. The Steam client is, at least for me, a clunky, unstable cow with a propensity to crash, add a pointless step before I get to play my games, and eats my processor cycles and RAM for no additional benefit. Also if I play one Steam game while I'm downloading another, it decides to pause the download, which pisses me off. And it looks like a turd.

    Impulse, at least for me, simply works. I have had literally zero problems with it ever. It doesn't even pretend to care whether I'm online or not, doesn't run in the background, has a much smaller system footprint when I do have it running, doesn't beam adds to my desktop unless I tell it to, and generally is just easier and more pleasant to use. Also they have a process to refund purchases, merge accounts (very useful if you ever change e-mail addresses), download, transfer and play certain titles on computers without internet, and every once and a while send me a 20% off coupon. I like 20% off coupons.

    GamersGate however is brilliant. It's like going to a store and buying a game, except without the horrible, demeaning Gamestop experience. And 5% store credit on all purchases, with sliding discounts on some titles depending on how good a customer you've been? I'll take that over imaginary hats for a game I don't play any day of the week. Admittedly it helps that GamersGate's selection of weird Russian stuff is huge, and I love me some weird Russian stuff.

    Really though, I'll use any of those three (well four counting GoG, but they're specialist enough that for most titles they don't really count). If possible I use GamersGate and Impulse, split more or less evenly between the two. If nothing else it keeps the competition up, and that means I get even more stupidly huge mega-sales.
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    Default Re: Free games that run on very old computers

    Quote Originally Posted by Cespenar View Post
    They are two very different kinds of masochism, though. For instance, normal people can still play and enjoy Spelunky.
    Spelunky is a game that just kills you fast if you're not careful, and often if you are, and has instadeath (because it's a platformer roguelike). La Mulana does not kill you because it wants to prolong your suffering.
    Last edited by Tengu_temp; 2011-01-06 at 11:54 AM.

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    Default Re: Free games that run on very old computers

    Thou shalt makeith tracks to download Elder Scrolls: Arena and Daggerfall.

    Those were basically DOS games, so you're probably still over-specced for them. :)

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    Default Re: Free games that run on very old computers

    I never found Spelunky to be that sadistic, personally. Especially if you just want to beat it. Finding all the secret stuff is quite the ordeal, though.

    Quote Originally Posted by warty goblin View Post
    That's exactly the opposite of my experience. The Steam client is, at least for me, a clunky, unstable cow with a propensity to crash, add a pointless step before I get to play my games, and eats my processor cycles and RAM for no additional benefit. Also if I play one Steam game while I'm downloading another, it decides to pause the download, which pisses me off. And it looks like a turd.
    Can't argue with the Steam client looking bad. But, to be frank, I bought Tropico on Impulse. Then bought it again on Gamersgate because Impulse was a piece of crap that crashed my computer whenever it felt like it. After the fourth time that doubleclicking the Impulse icon causes a wailing, angushed beep from the case and a sudden system restart, classic conditioning kind of starts to kick in, you know .
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