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Free alternatives to classic/well known games

User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 656

#1

Now that I've mentioned "lots of quality products that have been from the start developed under a GPL license" in another thread, I thought I'd share this one too. Some time ago I got interested in games that are obviously aimed at recreating a certain well-known commercial game but aren't doing exactly a remake - rather, it's a "same but different" kind of game that follows the original very closely in most cases, but uses completely new resources, name etc. to avoid copyright infringement. (The game that actually prompted my search in this direction was Freedoom.) The results are very interesting more often that not. Here's what I've managed to find so far, take note though that it's quite biased towards my own genre and style preferences, but I've also included suggestions from other people.

1. Free content replacement for original engine/engine recreation

Battle Isle 2200

Doom

Duke Nukem

The Great Giana Sisters

Half-Life

Heretic

Hexen: Beyond Heretic

M.A.X.: Mechanized Assault & Exploration

Panzer General II

Quake

Quake III: Arena

RPGMaker

Total Annihilation

Transport Tycoon Deluxe

Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness

X-COM: Enemy Unknown


2. Freeware clones

A-Train

Carrier Command

Chip's Challenge

Crayon Physics

Crimsonland

Dungeon Keeper

Elasto Mania

Elite

Escape Velocity

Guitar Hero

Herzog Zwei

Lemmings

Lode Runner

Master of Magic

Microsoft Flight Simulator

Minecraft

OutRun

Paratrooper

Planet Defender

Railroad Tycoon

Rescue!

RPGMaker

Robot Odyssey

Scorched Earth

Secret Agent

Sentinel

The Settlers II: Veni, Vidi, Vici

Sid Meier's Civilization II

Sid Meier's Colonization

SimCity

Stars!

Stunts

Super Mario Bros.

Super Mario Kart

Total Annihilation

Transport Tycoon Deluxe

Turrican

Warlords

Warlords II

Wing Commander

Wing Commander: Privateer

Worms


3. Free games inspired by classic titles (not exact remakes)

Age of Empires

Anno series

Battle Isle 2200

Battlefield series, Call of Duty series

Bos Wars, Command & Conquer: Red Alert

BoulderDash, Emerald Mine, Supaplex, Sokoban

Castle of the Winds, Ancient Domains of Mystery

Castlevania series

Celtic Legends, Heroes of Might and Magic, Civilization

Command & Conquer series

Dark Colony

Descent

Diablo

Doom

Doom, Quake etc.

Dune II

Earthworm Jim

Empire Deluxe

Fleet Command, Harpoon

Frontier: Elite II

Gradius, Castlevania, R-Type

Grand Prix Legends

Grand Theft Auto series

Gun

Half-Life: Counterstrike

Heroes of Might and Magic series

KKnD, StarCraft

Lost Vikings

Master of Magic

Master of Orion

Natural Selection

Oxyd, Rock'n'Roll

Populous

Puzzle Bobble

Quake III: Arena, Unreal Tournament

R-Type

Scorched Earth

Sid Meier's Civilization II

SimCity

Star Wars: TIE Fighter, Descent: Freespace

StarCraft

Solar Fox

Super Monkey Ball

Turrican series

Ultima series

Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness

Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos

Warsong, Master of Monsters

Warlords II

Wizardry VII

X-COM: Enemy Unknown


4. Board game implementations

Diplomacy

Risk

Space Hulk

Titan



This post has been edited by MrFlibble: 19 April 2017 - 12:20 PM

5

User is offline   LeoD 

  • 496

#2

IIRC the new Nexiuz won't be free.
But there is Xonotic.
1

User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 656

#3

Right you are, fixed that and also added the "lite" version of Nexuiz too.
0

User is offline   Mad Max RW 

  • 214

#4

Nice. How about Spring RTS? It's an open source 3D Total Annihilation remake.



This post has been edited by Mad Max RW: 06 July 2012 - 09:02 AM

1

User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 656

#5

Yeah, I keep forgetting to add that one. Thanks for reminding about it! :rolleyes:
0

User is offline   The Commander 

  • I used to be a Brown Fuzzy Fruit, but I've changed bro...
  • 1,235

#6

RTS:
Warzone 2100 - http://wz2100.net/ (A game released in 1999 that is now open sourced like EDuke32, in my view a lot of RTS games today used ideas from this game)

FPS:
Red Alert: A Path Beyond http://www.moddb.com...t-a-path-beyond (Red Alert done in the C&C Renegade engine aka W3D)
Renegade X http://www.moddb.com/games/renegade-x (C&C Renegade done in the UDK)

Posted Image

This post has been edited by Cody: 06 July 2012 - 01:11 PM

1

User is offline   Lunick 

  • Snazzy Ex Tazzy
  • 4,696

#7

Thank you for this huge list. Looks like there are some fun free games here.

LeoTCK - EDIT: Jimmy, Blow it out your ass!
http://duke3dmaps.tumblr.com/
Posted Image
0

User is offline   Mad Max RW 

  • 214

#8

I have another good one. Wing Commander Saga. It's a years in the making free unofficial Wing Commander game based on the Freespace Source Code Project.


1

#9

Really enjoying Freedoom. Probably the best Doom remake I've ever played.
0

User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 656

#10

View PostCody, on 06 July 2012 - 01:08 PM, said:

RTS:
Warzone 2100 - http://wz2100.net/ (A game released in 1999 that is now open sourced like EDuke32, in my view a lot of RTS games today used ideas from this game)

FPS:
Red Alert: A Path Beyond http://www.moddb.com...t-a-path-beyond (Red Alert done in the C&C Renegade engine aka W3D)
Renegade X http://www.moddb.com/games/renegade-x (C&C Renegade done in the UDK)

Thanks for bringing these up, I know most of these projects and they're all very different - perhaps with some adjustment of initial criteria they can be included in the list, although I think a separate remake index is a good option too :rolleyes:

Also, of interest might be the Open Source Game Clones list, which mostly focuses on engine recreations and source ports, but also has a section of "inspired by" games.

View PostMad Max RW, on 06 July 2012 - 03:44 PM, said:

I have another good one. Wing Commander Saga. It's a years in the making free unofficial Wing Commander game based on the Freespace Source Code Project.

Thanks for the info and links on this one, I'm not very familiar with the Wing Commander series and TBH I thought that the "Saga" was an official release :P

BTW, there are some "fan sequels" of well-known games, like Return to the Roots (a.k.a. The Settlers 2.5), Broken Sword 2.5, Heroes of Might and Magic 3.5: In the Wake of Gods and Space Quest: Vohaul Strikes Back.
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User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 656

#11

Added several more titles to the first post:
Alien Assault
Flare
Guns and Spurs
La-Mulana
Lao's Quest
Summoning Wars
0

User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 656

#12

A couple of oldies:

Hostile Takeover - a turn-based strategy game that borrows a lot of elements from the Warlords series. This one has a random map generator and both single-player against an AI opponent and two player hot-seat mode. Download: HOSTIL11.ZIP

Screenshots:
Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image
Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image

The Kingdom of Syree - a role-playing game that is obviously modelled after the early Ultima games. This game is free but its sequel is already shareware. Download: SYREE102.ZIP

Zorak: The Mountain of Terror - another Ultima clone. Download: ZORAK100.ZIP
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User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 656

#13

Here's a neat site dedicated to free gaming alternatives:
Free alternative games
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User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 656

#14

I've reworked the list so that now the items are sorted by the game they're an alternative to, with the original games in alphabetical order. Also the list now includes shareware and liberated games, not just pure non-commercial ones.
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User is offline   Martin 

  • 155

#15

Hedgewars is indeed an awesome Worms clone. I highly-recommend it! Graphics are on-par with Worms Armageddon, and it's got great gameplay. If you want Worms but don't want to pay for it (or pirate it), this is the game for you.

<span style="color:#FF0000;">WANTED:</span> American versions of Duke Nukem: Zero Hour, Hexen, and Quake II. I live in the UK. Will pay via PayPal. Drop me a PM.
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User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 656

#16

Okay, added some more stuff (Super Angelo as the obvious Super Mario Bros. clone, Skunny Kart and Wacky Wheels as Super Mario Kart clones, and some others). If you have further suggestions (especially concerning old shareware clones of very well known games), be sure to post 'em here :huh:
0

User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 656

#17

Added the following titles to the list:

Robot Odyssey

Scorched Earth

Wing Commander series


I've also found a couple of neat community-made Doom episodes that work nicely with Freedoom as a first episode replacement (the internal Freedoom levels are okay but they often have a noticeably different style):

CH Retro Episode
This is a creative reimagining of the shareware episode of Doom, with immediately recognizable yet subtly different visuals, and overall clever level design. It starts as a relatively straightforward thing but the levels quickly get interesting, and are full of puzzles and secret areas. The download link at the review page does no work but the file can be obtained here.

Simply Phobos
Another Knee-Deep-themed episode, but quite different from the one above. The author of Simply Phobos has a preference for vast, spacious areas, and also isn't shy of almost literal visual quotations from the original levels. It's equally fun to play nevertheless, and captures the atmosphere of the original game quite well too. In addition, this episode comes with an optional music pack in a separate WAD.
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User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 656

#18

Here's a couple more Doom Episode 1 tributes that work with Freedoom:

Phobos Revisited
The aim of the author was to create a "same but different" kind of feeling, following the original levels quite closely yet introducing something new at every turn. Phobos Revisited was designed to run in the original game as well as with source ports, and it won the Cacowards award in 2004. Screenshots can be viewed here at the team's website.

Phobos Outpost/Planet Phobos
Another interesting work, this one deviates a lot more from the original - for example, the first level is nothing like Doom's E1M1 - however later on similar details and areas become more frequent. The levels here are supposed to represent a single, coherent installation (the eponymous outpost), and at the end of each level the starting area of the next one can briefly be seen. Difficulty is a bit higher than in other similar works, or in the first episode of the original game for that matter, but clever design makes them interesting to play. For some reason, the author renamed the episode to Planet Phobos at some point, although no content was apparently changed.

The same author also released an Episode 2 replacement, The Base of Evil (which was also renamed to Planet Hell later), however it doesn't seem to work with Freedoom for now because of a missing textures issue.
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User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 656

#19

Added Jazz Jackrabbit as another counterpart to Sonic the Hedgehog.
0

User is offline   ReaperMan 

  • 1,263

#20

Wolf 3d clone/remake.... called wolfram.
http://www.moddb.com/games/wolfram
1

User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 656

#21

Yeah, I know about it. It's cool, but I'm in doubts about this one since it's a one-to-one recreation of all original content (levels etc.) - something which had always been looked down upon by companies like id Software or Apogee. I'm no sure if it was created with official permission from id Software. Wolfram also uses original sprites in some cases (e.g. the HUD), and I try not to include such games on the list, since they're not completely free.
0

User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 656

#22

Added Star Lords as an alternative to Master of Orion, and onEscapee as a counterpart to Another World and Flashback.


This post has been edited by MrFlibble: 08 January 2013 - 09:00 AM

0

User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 656

#23

Added a working download link for Giana Worlds.
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User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 656

#24

I've just realized that Alien Carnage bears a lot of similarities to the Amiga/Genesis version of Alien 3: the levels are timed missions during which you need to rescue captives and reach the exit, and one of the weapons is a flamethrower; not to mention several direct references to the Alien franchise.

Also, added Amulets & Armor to the list.
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User is offline   Fantinaikos 

  • 296

#25

Cube 1 and 2, free Arena FPS:

1
http://cubeengine.com/

2
http://sauerbraten.org/

This post has been edited by TerminX: 27 June 2013 - 07:45 AM

0

User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 656

#26

They're already on the list, but thanks anyway.
0

User is offline   Person of Color 

  • Senior Unpaid Intern at Viceland
  • 2,888

#27

That free alternative is called BitTorrent. Why does this thread exist?

"Oh look this game is kind of like that game, but shitty."

Posted Image
There is no race, only racists.
Proud trigendered babysexual pan-Korean anarcho-transhumanist
Muslims are peaceful people oppressed by cis white males! Hillary for presidynt!
WE WILL NOT BE SILENCED BY DONALD TRUMP'S VIOLENCE!

This post has been edited by 486DX2: 27 June 2013 - 10:14 AM

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User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 656

#28

View Post486DX2, on 27 June 2013 - 10:13 AM, said:

"Oh look this game is kind of like that game, but shitty."

Why do you think "free" necessary means "bad quality"? I hope you did not mean to say that Alien Carnage is a bad quality game? Or many of the other games on the list?

This thread exists because I'm interested in obscure games which possess a certain resemblance of well-known titles. Incidentally, many of those are free games, or have been liberated, or are shareware in the Apogee model sense.
0

User is offline   Person of Color 

  • Senior Unpaid Intern at Viceland
  • 2,888

#29

Alien Carnage is amazing, but that's besides the point.

Free game alternatives are usually junk compared to commercial ones. Abandonware is different.

Posted Image
There is no race, only racists.
Proud trigendered babysexual pan-Korean anarcho-transhumanist
Muslims are peaceful people oppressed by cis white males! Hillary for presidynt!
WE WILL NOT BE SILENCED BY DONALD TRUMP'S VIOLENCE!

This post has been edited by 486DX2: 27 June 2013 - 11:07 AM

0

User is offline   Fantinaikos 

  • 296

#30

Sadly, free does not always mean quality.

Alien Arena for example (which is in the list), cannot be really considered a free Quake III, it is just an Unreal Tournament rip-off without personality and unbalanced weapons e game mechanics.
1

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