Help Me Waste My Time!
May 23, 2006 8:22 AM   Subscribe

Where can one download simple or "obsolete" games for little/no money? I'm having a hard time finding anything decent.

I like having a game for vegging out. I'm not a hard-core gamer; I'm fine with something that's a couple years old. My computer's a little old, and I can't justify buying a newer one anytime soon just to play games. It can handle Civ 3, but that's about as far as it goes.

I've been cruising the web and I've been to sites like and They're okay for an immediate time-waster, but I'm sure there's something a step up from there.

I haven't had much experience with file-sharing. Is this the way to go?

By way of preferences, I like RPGs, turn-based strategy (or strategy with a real easy time-stop) and shooter games that don't involve real opponents. Anything that builds a character/game icon's abilities as it goes is a huge plus in my book.
posted by scaryblackdeath to Computers & Internet (22 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Here's pretty much the only resource you need:
posted by cosmicbandito at 8:24 AM on May 23, 2006

Err... Abandonia is pretty hawt.
posted by RokkitNite at 8:27 AM on May 23, 2006

Ha, I was actually just going to post a question about today...

Can someone please explain to me how to download files? They seem to have set up some sort or security or something that involves having a download manager or something, and it doesn't help that the FAQ on their site has not been updated with the new URL (it still has

I tried GetRight and NetVampire as suggested in the FAQ, but either neither of them work, or I couldn't get them configured right. Can someone post clearer instructions on how to configure ANYTHING to be able to download their files?
posted by emptybowl at 8:32 AM on May 23, 2006

I know this isn't a download, but you can buy Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn for $10 or so from, including shipping. It's widely considered one of the best RPGs ever and since it came out in 2000, it will probably run fine on your computer.
posted by EiderDuck at 8:38 AM on May 23, 2006

Please note that "obsolete" games are still under copyright, unless the copyright-holder specifically waives it.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 8:49 AM on May 23, 2006

posted by bitdamaged at 8:54 AM on May 23, 2006

emptybowl, a few weeks ago downloading was broken because the owner forgot to renew the domain. Everything should be working now: just click on the "Where to get it: Here!" link, enter the code in the image like this, click Go and your download should start.
posted by zsazsa at 8:54 AM on May 23, 2006

This wikipedia entry has a lot of good links and information.

Some old games get released for free such as Grand Theft Auto or Arena.
posted by utsutsu at 9:03 AM on May 23, 2006

zsazsa, it was last night I was trying to download. Even after entering the code, I kept getting some error page. seems to be something with my setup at home, because I the download started fine from here at work.
posted by emptybowl at 9:17 AM on May 23, 2006

It's not free, but Gametap has a whole bunch of what you're looking for. They have a free trial then it's $10 a month. I've had it for a few months and haven't quite decided if it's worth keeping yet. If it was more than $10, I would have cancelled it.

They have a bunch of older Windows and DOS games, and a bunch of old video game system games (no Nintendo.) The emulation works remarkably well, though you'll want a gamepad for the console games at least.
posted by sevenless at 9:28 AM on May 23, 2006

Here are some of my favorites:

Play SimCity Classic

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (BBC version of the infocom game with new graphics)

Alter Ego

DHTML Lemmings
posted by Otis at 9:33 AM on May 23, 2006 [1 favorite]

I personally like the OpenTTD project ... they're taking Transport Tycoon Deluxe and redoing it.
posted by SpecialK at 9:41 AM on May 23, 2006

Ever get into roguelikes? When you say "game icon" it sounds sort of like you have. Anyway, Angband, Nethack. Nethack has tilesets if you don't want to look at @ and & all the time; Angband does too, but it doesn't work as well.
posted by furiousthought at 10:00 AM on May 23, 2006

N is the best game ive played in a long while. plus its free.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 10:40 AM on May 23, 2006

Betrayal at Krondor was an awesome RPG. Back in the day, Sierra released it for free to promote its sequel. According to wikipedia, BaK is no longer "free" to download, but you can still find it easily enough through google.

For the ultimate combination of RPG and turn-based strategy, I highly recommend Master of Magic (last I checked, underdogs had it for download). The game has a lot of ways to win, and each way can cause a significant variation in your overall strategy.
posted by jmd82 at 10:45 AM on May 23, 2006

X-com was released for free a while (long time) ago. Apparently, it is available here.
posted by porpoise at 10:50 AM on May 23, 2006

you need to go to The best flash & shockwave games on the net, reviewed. Plus he seems like a nice guy
posted by Brando_T. at 11:02 AM on May 23, 2006

Can someone please explain to me how to download files? They seem to have set up some sort or security or something that involves having a download manager or something

Actually, you explicitly have to _not_ use a download manager (the doanload page should say all this). Perhaps you got temporarily banned while using one? The only security is a straightforward captcha type thing, and you can't download more than one file at once (hence the download managers triggering banning).
posted by advil at 11:06 AM on May 23, 2006

Geez, if y'all are going to start naming individual games, at least mention ur quan masters.
posted by juv3nal at 2:28 PM on May 23, 2006

XCOM: UFO Defense.

Crusaders of the Dark Savant.

I know you mentioned the "little money" thing, but see if you can buy / mod a secondhand Xbox. Pick up The Bards Tale, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Prince of Persia: Warrior Within, Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance, Baldur's Gate: Dark Alliance 2, Fallout: Brotherhood of Steel and Thief: Dark Awakenings. All are perfect for casual gaming.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 5:33 PM on May 23, 2006

"Abandonware" is a gray area... possibly illegal.

posted by IndigoRain at 11:58 PM on May 23, 2006

I like I couldn't tell if it's legal or not.
posted by antifuse at 2:34 AM on May 24, 2006

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