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The Web's Best FREE Games
|Sometimes, we wonder how computer game companies stay in business. There are so many great free games out there on the Net, that one could spend a lifetime and not play all of them.
In this section, we offer a roundup of the Web's best freeware games, demos and free online games. Everything we list here is well worth the download time.
Send us E-mail if you're aware of any free games that we haven't listed below and we'll consider them for a listing.
- Neopets - This unique, free service lets you design your online virtual pet. Once you've created a virtual pet here, you can participate in a variety of activities with them: play games, chat and win prizes.
- SpeedyClick.com - Looking for some online fun, as well as the chance to win prizes? An impressive site, SpeedyClick.com offers over 500 interactive contests and games, all of which are free to participate in. While you're here, be sure to register for a shot at winning $20,000.
- Gamesville - This outstanding, free contest gaming site offers online multiplayer games such bingo, poker, trivia and more. Be sure to check out the fun Roundball Madness NBA game ("the world's largest office pool"). You also get the chance to win cash prizes, and we've had a number of visitors who've reported that they've won $5, $10 or $20 here. No special software required; all you have to do is sign up.
- Allegiance - Microsoft is offering a full beta version of its eagerly anticipated new online space-combat game available for free at this site. Allegiance features tactical squadron-based combat, one-on-one space dogfights and cutting-edge graphics and sounds. Once you download the demo, you can play against others at MSN Gaming Zone (where membership is free). 55 megabytes. (For Windows 98/95). Requires DirectX 7 Windows drivers.
- Small World Baseball - If you don't want to shell out money for an online fantasy baseball league, then you'll enjoy this free service. Small World Baseball lets you draft and manage teams composed of your favorite MLB players. Here, you can compete against thousands of other managers online for a variety of goodies, including World Series tickets, as well as weekly prizes.
- Solar Empire - Looking for a challenge? Here's an excellent, free online space combat game where you compete with other players for control of the solar system. This popular game is attracting a growing following. It's easy to learn and highly competitive. (This game is WebTV-friendly).
- Winter Scenes Tetris Game - Here's a nifty freeware version of the classic Tetris game that features the sounds and sights of winter. If you like the lovely background winter scenes, be sure to also grab the related "Animated Winter Scene" free screen saver here. 740 kilobytes. (For Windows 98/95).
- TournamentGames.Com - Do you enjoy playing the solitaire game that came with your computer? Are you looking for a better challenge, as well as the chance to compete with others online and win prizes? TournamentGames.Com offers a free, fun online solitaire game with daily $50 prizes. Features nice graphics and sound. (For Windows 95/98).
- Phatgames.net - A fun, free online gaming site that features such popular titles as multiplayer backgammon and chess, as well as over 30 single-player games. Most of the games are Java-based (which means that you can jump right in and play, without downloading anything). Phatgames.net is now accepting beta testers for their free online "Old World" role-playing game, which looks quite promising.
- Brain Blitz - Looking for some quick online fun against real, live opponents? Brain Blitz offers a fun collection of free games, featuring built-in chat and instant matchmaking. Here, you'll find both multiplayer games (such as checkers, go, tic-tac-toe, reversi and kono), as well as single-player games (which include trivia games on various topics). There's also an eclectic selection of Java-based games (adventure, arcade, board, casino, puzzles and more).
- GuessAgain.net - Take a shot at winning small cash prizes at this online gaming site, which features number guessing games. Cash drawings are held on a daily and weekly basis. (U.S. only).
- Free Solitaire - A cutting-edge collection of eight solitaire games that features large, realistic card graphics. If you're tired of squinting at the tiny cards in other solitaire games, then this free game is for you. You can even use any image you'd like as a card back. Games included are Forty Thieves, Free Cell, Indian Patience, Klondike, Montana, Pyramid, Sea Towers and Spider. 1.16 megabytes. Pentium required. (For Windows 95/98/NT).
- iPong - Here's a fun, free online game, where you can play such arcade classics as Pong, as well as variations such as Power iPong (a 3D variation on Pong) and iPong Trivia. There's also the "iPong Big Money Challenge" that offers a combination of all three games and awards winners a $20 prize. From time to time, iPong also awards additional cash prizes, ranging from $10 to $100. A well-done, entertaining site.
- 1-On-1 Basketball - A must for hoops fans, 1-On-1 Basketball is a free online game/simulation that lets you compete against players from around the world. 1-On-1 Basketball has attracted quite a following and it's easy to see why: it's a unique and challenging game that lets you become the "manager" of a basketball player, who you try to maneuver to the top of the rankings by controlling their attributes and strategy. (WebTV users can join in the fun here, too).
- Gametown Emulation - Sure, today's cutting-edge multimedia games are fun. But there's something special about the classics of yesteryear, like PacMan and Space Invaders. (Perhaps the fact that they're still so addictive). This site specializes in the golden oldies of gaming. Using the "emulators" linked here, you can play these original arcade titles on your computer, for free. Be sure to read their disclaimer. (For PCs and Macs).
- Be A Contender - Do you enjoy hockey? This new online free gaming site offers a fun round-based hockey game in which you can win cash prizes. Acting in the role of a general manager, you can create up to three separate teams to rack up points based on player statistics. Prizes are awarded to the highest scorers after both the regular and playoff modes of gameplay.
- FunBets - Here's a challenging, free stock market game in which you compete head-to-head against other players to win over $40,000 in prizes. The object of FunBets is to buy and sell futures contracts to win money. The contracts are based on real-life events like basketball games, elections, box office receipts, etc. You start out with $1 million in "Fun Bet Dollars" and direct access to their trading floor. Each week, they offer dozens of events for you to bet on.
- Accel Emulation and Games - This site offers a roundup of various "emulators" that let you play console video games on your computer. Emulators here include those for Nintendo 64, PlayStation, Dreamcast and Game Boy.
- Beat the Weasel - Here's a free online "game show" in which you can win prizes. In this strategy game, you compete in word puzzles against other players online and try to build up poker hands. You can also chat with the other players (and in fact, the chat feature is an integral part of the game).
- Trivia Blitz - Trivia Blitz is a fun, Java-based game consisting of ever-changing multiple-choice questions. If you score 1,500 points or more in a 7-question round, you become eligible to win cash prizes. Click here to play Trivia Blitz.
- Free-Games.To - A solid directory that offers reviews, ratings and descriptions of the Web's top freeware games. Categories here include card games, arcade, action, strategy, board games, adventure and simulation titles. Games here include downloadable Windows titles, as well as Java and Shockwave games.
- Wireplay - An impressive online free gaming network from Britain, Wireplay lets you go head-to-head with other opponents online. To get started, all you need to do is sign up and then download their free software (it's 4 megabytes and is for Windows 98/95). Wireplay supports many games, (some of which are commercial titles that you'll need to own). However, several of their games are totally free (and very good), including Backgammon and Air Attack, a World War II flight sim.
- Columns Millennium - Do you enjoy Tetris style games? Here's an entertaining freeware game in which you aim to line up three blocks of the same kind in various directions. Lots of cool features, including chain reactions, real-time rendered background effects, three difficulty levels and more. (For Windows 98/95) 4.2 megabytes.
- Caesar - Classic commercial games never die: they just become freeware! Impressions Software is now offering its 1993 masterpiece, Caesar, for free (but with no tech support). In this ground-breaking strategy game you assume the role of a city builder in ancient Rome. Challenging and lots of fun. (For DOS and Windows). 800 kilobytes.
- Arkanoid For Win32 - Remember the classic game, Breakout? Arkanoid is a new freeware version that updates the ball-and-paddle game of yesteryear. Steer your spaceship to destroy the blocks, collecting power-ups to improve your ship as you move through increasing levels of difficulty. This newly released version includes new features, levels and effects and clears up previous glitches. (For Windows 95/98. 614 kilobytes).
- ShockBlitz.com - Here's a fun collection of free Shockwave-based games for the whole family. Categories include action, adventure, sports, arcade classics, casino and puzzles. Most of the games range in size from 50 kilobytes to 200 kilobytes and loaded reasonably quickly on our 56K modem. You must have the free Macromedia Shockwave browser plug-in to play these games.
- DailyDemo - Addicted to game demos? Get your daily fix at this well-designed site that offers the hottest new free game demos around. There's a "Top 10" section that shows, at a glance, what the most popular demos are. There's also a "Classics" section that rates various blasts from the past. There are also game previews, reviews and more.
- The Gameroom @ wrestleINC.com - Here's a good place to go for free, Web-based gaming fun. Here, you'll find such blasts from the past as Asteroids, Pacman, Centipede, Breakout, Pong and Blackjack, as well as newer games. There's plenty of other original, entertaining titles here as well.
- Stan's NetChess - This free service lets you play chess games online via a graphical interface, with your moves updated automatically. No Java or downloads are required to play at this human vs. human site.
- Chessed - Are you looking to play chess online against live opponents? Chessed offers a popular, free service that lets you play online and quickly find a partner. Chessed is available in two forms: a live Java-based game (which requires a recent browser) and an E-mail version. Note: if you register at this site, you can play rated games and your wins, draws and losses are recorded at the site. (Registration is free, too).
- Candystand.com - A fun, family-oriented site that offers an ace collection of original, free Shockwave games that you can play in your browser. There are many types of games here: arcade, sports, word games, pinball and trivia. Many of the games offer prizes you can win, including videos, Nintendo Game Boys, T-shirts and DVD players. You must have the free Macromedia Shockwave browser plug-in to play these games.
- Clickomania - A wonderful game for all ages, which challenges you to remove colored stones from the screen by clicking on stones of the same color. As is the case with Tetris, the premise sounds easy, but the game isn't as simple as it sounds. Clickomania is free, but you're encouraged to send a postcard to the author. (For Windows 98/95). 363 kilobytes.
- Lycos Crossword Puzzles - You know you're officially a geek when you start playing crossword puzzles on your computer. Search engine giant Lycos offers a new, free crossword game (for both "masters" and regular folks) at this site daily. There's also a fun find the words puzzle game here, too. Both are Java-based, which means you need a relatively new browser to play.
- PrizePoint - This major, impressive new contest and gaming site lets you compete against hundreds of online opponents around the clock for "prize points." Prizes include everything from a "quick $10" prize to DVD players, sailing trips and autographed sports memorabilia. Membership here is free and you get 1,000 prize points when you sign up. PrizePoint is the brainchild of Chris Hassett, creator of the PointCast news delivery system. (Requires a Java-capable browser and a reasonably speedy connection).
- Bingo Blitz - Here's a free online game in which you can win cash prizes by playing bingo. This game works just like your standard bingo: just mark off the numbers as they're "called" and if you can complete the shape they're looking for (sometimes it's an X, sometimes a Z, etc.) then click the "Bingo" button and you've won. You'll need to register to play (registering is also free).
- Free kids' games from Microsoft - Here's a roundup of free educational, fun games for children from Microsoft. Titles include "The Magic School Bus," "Escaping Monkey," "Skeleton Puzzle" and "Meteor Meltdown." (For Windows 98/95).
- MSN Gaming Zone - Looking for some real, live competition in free online gaming? If so, this site is hard to beat. Microsoft's gaming center is the biggest resource of its type on the Web, with over 12 million registered users. Membership is free. The Zone supports up to 76,000 online players simultaneously at peak times. Free games here include backgammon, bridge, checkers, chess, cribbage, go, hearts, Mind Aerobics, reversi, spades and Bingo Blitz.
- MSN Gaming Zone now offers a much-improved interface, which features a real-time display of the number of people playing different games. This feature makes it easier to locate opponents to compete against.
- Among MSN Gaming Zone's more helpful new features is its free ranking system, which shows you how you stack up versus the competition.
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