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Saturday, February 28: Patrick's Favorite Free Games

Patrick Norton

Here at The Screen Savers, we love games. Games help us punch through writer's block, fill our copious free time, alienate our spouses/boyfriends/parents, amuse our friends, and provide an easy escape from the terminal condition commonly called life.

The only thing we like better than games? Free games. Here's a list:

  • Grand Theft Auto (http://www.rockstargames.com/classics/) is free. You know a game company is having a banner year when it repackages the game that started it all—and gives it away. It's a whopping 328MB download. Download it, install the latest version of DirectX, and find out how far Grand Theft Auto has come.

  • Puzzle Pirates (http://www.puzzlepirates.com) is brain-frying puzzles, many centered on the classic Tetris stacking style, all in a pirate setting. After playing dozens of hours, I can safely say that this game makes no sense. Empty the bilge, swordfight, navigate, and sail, all by puzzle. It's curiously engaging.

  • FlightGear (http://flightgear.org) is seriously cool. It's an open-source multi-platform (Linux, OSX, Windows, and more) free flight sim. Very, very cool.

Site of the Night: Overclocked Remix

Martin Sargent

You might not think of chirpy, MIDI-like videogame music as high art, but scores of digital musicians are trying to change that. At Overclocked Remix (http://remix.overclocked.org/index.php), you can find hundreds of videogame sound tracks remixed into jazz, reggae, electronica, classical, and most every other musical genre. There are also tutorials on the site that instruct you how to make your own videogame remixes. Unfortunately, the site is loaded with pop-up ads.

  • Mall Monster (http://www.gamehippo.com) is an oddly compelling little game. You're a kid trying to escape the evil monster in the mall. Run too much, the monster hears you, you die. That's just a tiny tidbit of GameHippo.com. This site is heaven for low-budget gamers. No shareware, no demos. All free games, all the time.

Download of the Day: Progress Quest

Morgan Webb

When I was younger, I spent a year playing Phantasy Star 3, and I loved the game because it was a role-playing game, and there was the potential of beating my older brother's scores. All I needed to defeat him was massive amounts of time, and, at that age, I had plenty of it.

Unfortunately, because I have a career, some friends, and my own laundry to do, Phantasy Star, Everquest, and the rest of these role-playing games have fallen by the wayside (though they will always be my first love). Fortunately, I recently discovered Progress Quest (http://www.progressquest.com). It is a free role-playing game that streamlines your quest.

Slay Monsters, Collect the Gold

You pick your character, roll the dice for your stats, and launch yourself into a world of demons, monsters, and mystical objects. The best part of Progress Quest for a busy woman like me is that the game plays itself.

You slay monsters and collect gold and loot, which you then sell to purchase better loot. You accomplish small tasks (such as "fetch me a sock" or "placate the camels") to accomplish larger tasks and collect experience along the way. The game minimizes to your system tray. Check in once in a while to see how many teenage Fairy Dragons or demon Bacon Giants your great warrior has killed. It's all the adrenaline rush without the commitment.

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