Here are the most recent games sent to us that are generally FREE (WARNING we have not rated these yet!!):
More a freeform online world than a "game," Second Life has made many headlines over the last few months. Potential Democratic presidential candidate and Virginia governor, Mark Warner, made a speech online in Second Life last August. Sweden opened an embassy in May. Nissan is even selling its cars there. Its players (or perhaps "residents" is a better word) are free to create new objects by assembling basic shapes into complex arrangements -- cars, clothes, houses, hot air balloons -- and writing simple programs to afford their creations interactivity.
Basic Second Life accounts are free, but if you're looking to buy creations made by other players, you'll need a supply of the game's currency, the Linden dollar. You receive Linden dollars at an online currency exchange, just like buying vacation money. Having a real basis for its currency means if you can create desirable or popular objects, you can make real-world money, and for a handful of Second Life residents, the game is a full-time, paying job. It doesn't have to be, though, and most players are content to explore, create and socialize without spending big bucks. Check out the segregated Teen Grid, too -- it's a separate Second Life world where younger players can build without harassment.
Sci-fi themed Anarchy Online was originally a full-priced massively multiplayer release like World of Warcraft or Everquest, and although it was a real mess when it first came out, it has matured into a stable and well-supported game. You can download the game and play for free, although you'll see ads for real products on in-game billboards unless you shell out $14.95 per month for a full account.
Anarchy is more complex than the other games on this list, including player-versus-player combat, trade skills for crafting armor and weapons from raw materials, and a deep character progression system. In other words, it's just as fully featured as Warcraft, it has a cool sci-fi look instead of the same tired old fantasy nonsense -- and it's free. How can you go wrong?
Is your skin turning green? Have any of your limbs ever fallen off? Do you have an irresistible lust for human brrrrains? If the answer to any of those questions is yes, Urban Dead is the game for you. It's a classic tale of (oh-so-tasty) humanity struggling to defend itself against a horde of living dead -- and whether you play the zombies or the humans is up to you.
Urban Dead runs in your web browser, so it doesn't require big downloads or broadband net connections. Freeloaders get a limit on the number of Urban Dead pages they can view per day, but throw the developer $5.00 and the limit goes away. The game features a list of character classes that would do a full-priced massively multiplayer game proud, a tight community, and plenty of opportunity for sneaky raids, barricade building, and backstabbing.
Freestyle Street Basketball
Not all free multiplayer online games involve dwarves, elves or rocketships. Freestyle is a hip take on the sport of street basketball, with plenty of ways to make your player stand out.
You'll build your baller using an extensive set of customization options, select a position for them to play (initially, guard, center, or forward), and then manage his (or her) development from a novice into a seasoned pro.
You can play Freestyle for free until your character reaches level 15, when you'll have to pay a one-time fee of $20 to keep developing him up to the game's maximum level, which is 45. You can also opt to pay a little extra for extra clothing options or other stylish tweaks, but it's not compulsory.
Best of all, sign up with our promotional offer and get an instant 5,000 points to spend on your new baller! Just enter "yahoogames" in the promo box when signing up. Promotion starts 06/05/07 and ends 06/19/07. Promotional code cannot be combined with any other offers or promotions. Void where prohibited.
Yohoho! Puzzle Pirates
Massively multiplayer online roleplaying games are commonly abbreviated to MMORPGs. Here's the world's first MMOARRRRRPG. Puzzle Pirates is a clever blend of puzzle games similar to Bejewelled and Tetris with a more conventional online game economy and trade system. Oh, and a timeless sailing-the-seven-seas theme. Each piratical activity, from drinking contests, to sailing, to sword-fighting, has a corresponding puzzle minigame, and some support competitive action against other players.
Piratical talk and role-playing is actively encouraged by the game's developer, so if you're the type to have the International Talk Like a Pirate Day marked on your planner, you'll be right at home. Basic accounts are free, but for $9.95 a month, you gain the ability to rise to higher ranks and use better items.
Massively-multiplayer specialist publisher NCSoft tends to produce hardcore online RPGs like Lineage and Guild Wars, but its latest release is much more approachable. Dungeon Runners is inspired by classic dungeon-crawling hits like Diablo, offers three character classes, and randomly-generated levels for maximum lasting appeal.
Free to download and play, Dungeon Runners also offers a $4.99/month premium membership package that comes with access to the most powerful items, shorter log-in waits, extra bank storage, and other bonuses. Whether you opt to pay or not, you'll be able to play in both solo and multiplayer dungeons, complete quests, and develop your character in this viciously addictive game.
Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory
From British developer Splash Damage, Enemy Territory is a free first-person shooter, similar to Halo or Counter-Strike, set during World War II. It was originally planned to be sold as an expansion to Id-produced Return to Castle Wolfenstein, but in a fit of generosity, the game's publisher released it as a free, stand-alone download. It sprang to popularity quickly, and even spawned a (full-priced) sequel called Quake Wars, which Splash Damage is currently finishing.
Enemy Territory supports far fewer simultaneous players than the other games on this list, with most servers running 32 to 64-player games. But if you're looking for an online shooter that doesn't have the big price tags or high system requirements associated with most recent games in the genre, you'd be a fool not to check it out.
Posted: 15 Jun 2007