FreeRCT / OpenRCT2

While city-building simulators like Sim City were fun, it was undoubtedly more fun to build and run an amusement park. So many great childhood memories comes from the two games that let me do that. First I played Theme Park (for Sega MegaDrive, even) a lot, and then later RollerCoaster Tycoon. The latter might be a bit hard to run today, but thankfully there are Free open source projects that work on taking care of that!

The most interesting project is FreeRCT. It's homepage appears to be down at the moment and the project has no binary release yet. But a lot of work seems to have been done, and as FreeRCT attempts to create everything from code to graphics from scratch I can image it will take some time before it's complete. I'd love to see it completed though. A fully Free - both code and assets - game of this type would be really fun to have!

Rollercoasters and roads in FreeRCT.
Another alternative is the OpenRCT2 project. It's an re-implementation of the RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 engine, that uses the same data files as the original. Besides being a total recreation of the original game it expands upon it by offering new features such as multiplayer support, fast-forwarding gameplay, OpenGL rendering and more. For me, the most important features is Linux support, which it has! OpenRCT2 is complete and if you have a copy of the original it shouldn't be to hard to get it working!

A slice of scenery from OpenRCT2.

Chaotic Rage - 1.15

Crazy zombie shooter Chaotic Rage got a new release! This action game with co-op support and local multiplayer has long been on my wishlist for an update as I really liked the concept and game idea. A huge number of new things have happened since the last release. There are lots of graphics updates and new models, new maps, new rendering features such as texture splatting and lightmaps, weapon display in first person mode (you can switch between different viewing modes ingame), weapons can now have attachments and there are many bug fixes and performance improvements.
Updated builds are not yet up, but should be there soon!

This is an old screenshot, imagine this but a lot cooler! :)

Red Eclipse - 1.5.8

The great, fast-paced parcour-FPS Red Eclipse got a new release! 1.5.8 is not a big version number change, but nevertheless contains a lot of new things. Among them can be mentioned new maps, map models and vanity items (that you can dress up your character with!), grenades now transitions from green to red based on the fuse timer so you can know when to throw them, team balancing has been improved, there are improvements for HUD and text rendering, and more. There are also several improvements for mappers, such as the ability to make bots perform certain actions, like dancing. And if you happen to have a pair of 3D glasses connected to your computer, this game can use them and this release have a few fixes for stereoscopic view modes.

An epic firefight in Red Eclipse!

FreeOrion - 0.4.6

It seems I have missed that FreeOrion got a big release in september! FreeOrion is a turn-based space empire and galactic conquest game, inspired by, but not a remake of, the Master of Orion games. Since the last release was a whole year before this one, the changelog is humongous. Among the more important features can be mentioned: reworked supply mechanics, reworked weapon part refinements, reworked ship repair, loads of UI improvements, turn processing time improvements, AI improvements and new specials, hulls, ship parts, etc. Again, despite the version number this is a completely playable and highly polished game. If you like 4X strategy games and/or space-themed strategy, FreeOrion is a must try! A Quick Play Guide can be found here.

FreeOrion takes a while to get into, but is very fun once you get the hang of it.

Unknown Horizons - 2017.1

I was just browsing around for something new to write about, when I stumbled upon some very good news: The fantastic city building RTS project Unknown Horizons is not only alive, but has just got a shiny new release! The last release was from 2015, but now 2017.1 is out! The changelog is really long: there are new gameplay features, loads of new and updated graphics, new sounds, interface improvements, text improvements and loads of other things! The only caveat is that multiplayer might not work. If that is the case, it will most likely be fixed in coming releases, since it has worked nicely before. A must-try for strategy-sim interested!

This is a very old screen from Unknown Horizons, but I couldn't find a newer one right now.

Trigger Rally - 0.6.5

Fast-paced rally racer Trigger Rally has added two new events, 13 new single races and a road sign option for map creators in its 0.6.5 release. There are also a bunch of bugfixes and code improvements. This game is fun, fast and steadily getting better. Well worth a try!

Co-driver signs shows you which way to go in Trigger Rally.

Übergame -

Übergame, the realistic and advanced FPS, has received a major release. It's dubbed and celebrates the two year anniversary of Übergame. New for this release are bots, better engine and renderer performance, an overhaul of the visual interface and many other smaller adjustments and improvements. This is a very well made game and with the new bots you can train on your own before joining matches online. Give it a go!

Übergame showing off some impressive landscapes and reflections!

Tanks of Freedom - 0.6.2

Tanks of Freedom, the beautiful turn-based pixel strategy game, has seen two new releases since I mentioned it last. There are several improvements to the level editor, it's now possible to look around the map while waiting for opponents in multiplayer mode, there are some graphical and UI improvements and of course some misc bugfixes. Enjoy!

Another beautiful tileset from Tanks of Freedom.

Warzone 2100 - 3.2.2

Warzone 2100 is a really good RTS, well worth a try if you haven't yet given it a go. It has multiplayer support, designable units, a campaign mode and is overall very polished. There is also a map editor available. Version 3.2.2 fixes some bugs and makes the game even better!

A grand view over a base in Warzone 2100.

GZDoom - 2.3.1

GZDoom, the modern Doom engine, lately reached 2.3 and 2.3.1. The latter is a smaller bugfix release while the former adds a whole slew of new features. The engine now has official scripting support, support for screen space ambient occlusion, an improved IWAD picker, many rendering improvements, etc. If you want to play Doom or any mods based on it with some modern graphic effects, look no further!

Another cool screenshot taken from the GZDoom forum. Note the reflections and the map on the wall.

The Bub's Brothers

More blasts from the past, as another game from my childhood makes an open source comeback. The Bub's Brothers is based on Bubble Bobble, a classic little platformer that is really fun to play in two-player mode. The Bub's Brothers takes this to a whole new level offering multiplayer for up to 10 players! Three players can play on the same computer and for more players the game has network support. Compared to the original there is also new levels, a random level generator and a big set of crazy bonuses. Polished 2D graphics are included as well!

Lots of players makes for some rather crazy situations in The Bub's Brothers.


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