Archive for the ‘Windows Games’ Category

Lego Digital Designer: all the fun of Legos without stepping on them in the middle of the night

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007

screenshot of Lego Digital Designer

Okay, the truth is out: we all love Legos! There's always been something very satisfying about the look and feel of those little plastic blocks. From the simplest construction–look, I made a cube!–to complex animated beasts, everything just kinda' looks cool when it's made out of Legos.

In fact, the only real drawback with these little Danish blocks is when you step on them in the middle of the night. There is nothing in the world as sharp as those little plastic corners at 4:30 in the morning when you've just GOT to go.

Logo Digital Designer protects you from that danger, while giving you much of the fun of the Lego experience. Whether using a pre-built model as a starting point, or just starting with a blank screen, you can build just about whatever you want. The Camera Control lets you rotate your virtual model, and to zoom in and out, getting a better view of your handiwork from all angles. You have an unlimited number of bricks, so you'll never run out. Once you're done, you can check the Price Window to see how much your project would cost if constructed with real Lego bricks. Heck, you can even click through to the online store to buy them right now.

Lego Digital Designer is available for Windows (XP) or Mac (OS X 10.3+).

Download Lego Digital Designer

Unleash your inner Jimi Hendrix with Frets On Fire

Sunday, August 5th, 2007

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Are you an air guitar aficionado? Do you lust after that sunburst Strat hanging in the music store window? If you've got a computer keyboard, this may be your lucky day.

Frets On Fire is a keyboard-based guitar playing game. Using a combination of Function keys and the the Enter key, you play along with individual notes and chords to rack up a big score. You can start at Easy level to learn the moves; graduate to Medium as you gain confidence, and eventually you'll be at Amazing, shredding with the best of them. There are tons of songs available, or you can import from Guitar Hero, or even create your own songs.

It may not be time to quit your day job yet, but with Frets On Fire, you'll feel like that big recording contract is just around the corner.

Frets On Fire is available for Linux, Mac (x86 processors), and Windows.

Download Frets On Fire

Take control of your controller with Xpadder

Friday, July 13th, 2007

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Got a perfectly good gamepad, but a game that doesn't like it? Xpadder may be just what you're looking for.

Xpadder is a controller-to-keypad translator. You can run keyboard-only games by mapping keyboard keys to keys on your game controller. If you can type it, you can do it through your game controller. Even mouse commands can be emulated. Xpadder supports up to 16 controllers at a time, for multiplayer games.

Testimonials on the website tell stories of using Xpadder to create "hardware macros", where long strings of characters are mapped to controller keys, enabling users to perform complicated series of tasks with simple button presses.

Xpadder can auto-detect many controllers, but even if yours isn't one of them, you can still set it up manually to take advantage of the software. Along with "normal" controllers, Xpadder can work with any other type of controller: joystick, steering wheel, dance pad, and more.

You need to be running Win98 or better to use Xpadder.

Download Xpadder

Halloween Harry saves the day in Alien Carnage

Monday, June 18th, 2007

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Originally published as Halloween Harry, the game Alien Carnage has recently been re-released as freeware. Featuring both flame throwers and zombies, it was truly state-of-the art back in the early 90's, and is still exciting today.

Halloween Harry, our intrepid hero, is responsible for penetrating the alien ship that has hidden itself under the city. Calling on his extensive arsenal of weapons, including the photon cannon, micro nukes, and even the very powerful Omega bomb, Harry will have the nasty aliens on the run in no time.

Alien Carnage is an old-school game, and will most likely work best on an old-school system; released before Win2k or XP were a twinkle in Bill's eye, you will probably have better luck with earlier versions of Windows. The included ReadMe file has some more useful suggestions about this.

Download Alien Carnage

Make the world safe once again with Acidbomb

Saturday, May 26th, 2007

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Did you ever wake up in the morning and decide that your life was too boring? That you wanted a challenge? That maybe you should join the bomb squad? This could be your lucky day!

Acidbomb is an action-packed puzzle game that puts you in the ultimate hot seat: you are the bomb disposal expert, and everyone depends on you. You have limited time to defuse your bomb, and just to crank it up, as you get closer and closer to the end, and the pressure starts to mount, the screen starts shaking and the volume and intensity of the sound increases. If you are successful, you're the hero, but it you don't get it completely right, then KA-BLOOIE!

With fifty different levels and constantly-changing bomb configurations, you will never play the same game twice. Extensive documentation clues you in on how the various types of bombs work and what your best approach may be to defusing them.

Acidbomb is available as a "lite" version, without music, or you can grab the whole package, music and all.

Download Acidbomb

Plasma Pong: the wait is over

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2007

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The story goes that an early prototype of PONG was set up in a Northern California watering hole and became so popular that people would line up before opening for a chance to play. After a short while, the big console broke down and the bar owner called to have it removed from his establishment. Upon further examination, it was found that the reason that the machine stopped working was because it was too full of quarters. Pretty popular. The folks in line thought that PONG was a good thing, and that it was worth the wait.

Good things indeed come to those who wait. For those of you who have waited since our last review of Plasma Pong for a Mac version, that time has come. Recently released is the OS X port of this mesmerizing game, available for both PPC and x86 machines running 10.4+.

Plasma Pong is PONG with a twist: not content to just move paddles back and forth to bat the "ball" around, players operate in a plasma environment. The game field comes complete with swirling colors and fluid dynamic principles are the order of the day: squirt plasma into the environment, create a vacuum that attracts the ball, and even generate shock waves to keep things interesting.

In addition to the Mac version, there is a new version available for XP and Vista, so there’s plenty to go around.

Download PlasmaPong for Mac

What’s a six-letter word that starts with “r”?

Tuesday, May 15th, 2007

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We all enjoy word games and puzzles. Sometimes they are interesting and challenging. Other times they are frustrating and aggravating. What is that missing word? How am I going to fill that hole? Can somebody help me?

Using Word Finder Pro is like having the “cheat” codes for a crossword puzzle. If you know you need a six-letter word that starts with an “r”, you can generate a list of all possible words that will fit that space, subject to the words in Word Finder’s word list.

Word Finder Pro comes with a list of some 172,000 words, so you can make Scrabble or the New York Times crossword puzzle cower before you. You can also add your own word lists, or download additional and updated lists from the publisher’s web site.

Amaze your friends. Hold your head high. Be the envy of all those around you. Do your crosswords in ink.

Well, maybe not that self assured….

Download Word Finder Pro

Easy to learn, but hard to master: Typhoon 2001

Monday, April 23rd, 2007

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Typhoon 2001 is a free OpenGL-based game inspired by the Atari Jaguar game Tempest 2000 and the arcade game Tempest.

You control the Claw and battle any number of Flippers of various types to control a Web, the field of play for the game. Typhoon 2001 comes with a hundred Web files, and includes an editor so you can create your own.

There are three scoring modes, so you can adjust to the way you want to play. You can get bonus points for destroying an enemy off in the distance, or for taking down several in rapid succession. Powerups appear periodically when you destroy an enemy, allowing you access to new weapons, and awarding you bonus points.

As a graphics-intensive app, Typhoon wants the biggest, baddest graphics card you can get, preferably an OpenGL capable 3D-Accelerator card.

Typhoon 2001 will run on any version of Windows from Win98 up through Vista.

Download Typhoon 2001

Tremulous

Thursday, March 29th, 2007

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Whether you're a Human or an Alien, you'll enjoy Tremulous, an exciting multi-player first-person shooter that incorporates elements of real-time strategy. Based on Quake 3, the goal in Tremulous, of course, is to wipe out the opposition. This is accomplished not only through killing them, but also by destroying their "spawn structures," effectively keeping them from replenishing their ranks.

Humans advance by receiving credits that allow them to purchase new weapons and upgrade their arsenals, while Alians evolve into new classes of beings, each more powerful than the last. Start as a Dretch and do your job well and you may soon evolve into a Basilisk, Marauder, or Tyrant. The game ends when all players on a team have been killed and all of their buildings have been destroyed.

Tremulous is a free, open source project that is available for Linux, Mac, and Windows. With a large support community and an active forum, there is a lot of interest in this exciting, award-winning game.

Download Tremulous

Yo-Ho! A pirate’s life for me

Tuesday, March 20th, 2007

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What does a pirate from Boston say? AHHHHHHHHHHH!

A certain Cap'n Jack Sparrow's got nothing on you here. Pirates: Battle for the Caribbean is a rousing action game where you can attack enemy ships, earn gold, and even control Great White Shark, all with 3-D graphics and amazing sound effects. For a change of pace, try playing as the British Captain, and get back at those swashbuckling buccaneers.

Bad pirate jokes not included.

Download Pirates: Battle for the Caribbean