Space Shoot ‘Em ups or Shmup’s: A longish list of FREE games
The first section deals with games that you usually have to pay for. The sites you download these games from have a license to distribute them free. The only downside is that when you close the game down after playing it you are taken to the sites home page. To some this may be an invasion of privacy; to me it’s a small price to pay for generally good games (there’s always a few that are pretty lame). All you have to do is click on the X at the top right of the page and it’s gone. There’s no pop ups or malware. I’ve been using Gametops site for a few years now and have never had cause to complain.
I have tried to ensure that all the download links I’ve posted are safe from malware, however I would advise you to check any files you download for viruses just in case. If you own decent antivirus software all you need to do to check for viruses is to right click on the file that you’ve downloaded. If you have a sandbox program that could be used for added security. Following these games, I’ve then subdivided the games into Online multiplayer games, most of which are kick ass games, then follows flash games, that I only added as an afterthought. They are perfect for that few moments you may find you have at work. All are browser games, though several can be downloaded onto your computers. I’ve provided a link at the end of the flash game section. Then follows the freeware section, the Abandonware section and lastly by related games, that I really didn’t get time to complete. I would have liked more time to complete the project as there are other games out there, but I posted in the comments section yesterday that this would be posted by early today. I’m already past that deadline as it’s half an hour past noon. I’ll add other games to the thread as and when I find them. I hope that anyone interested in Space shoot ‘Em ups will do the same. There are some games that I probably shouldn’t have included, (mainly in the flash section), though I have tried to keep the theme about space. Many of the games do not come with installers, so it’s up to you where you unzip the files to. You’ll also find that you will have to create your own shortcuts; though in my opinion, that’s a small price to pay for something that’s free.
I considered adding a section for shareware games, but that is a large order to handle as there are loads of shareware games around. The first section actually includes shareware programs, but thankfully the files you’ll download (if you haven’t already, as I’ve already posted most of these in previous threads. I may add a list of those I know about (A lot of which I own)
Free commercial Games:
Overview: The key to survival of the human race has been hidden in the Forbidden Galaxy. Your goal in this classic shooting game is to reach the Forbidden Galaxy and retrieve the secret key that will define the future for all of humankind. You will fight your way through over 50 different worlds, all of which will blow your imagination. Tons of full screen explosions, smoke & weather effects along with super dynamic music tracks that will stun you.
Machine World aka Machine Hell:
Alien invaders have taken over the planet Earth. Humanity is at risk of being enslaved by race of the machines. You control latest military hovercraft and your mission is to destroy all evil robotic creatures and liberate our planet. You are fully equipped with many powerful laser, plasma, rocket weapons and various bombs. Fight through hordes of human like robots, monsters and their advanced killing machines. Experience adrenaline rushing combat situations, enormous explosions and mind blowing sound effects. Fight the Machine World and lead humans to victory!
The commercial version of this game is actually called Alien Stars. The only difference between the games is the name and the fact that with Alien Wars you get the browser opening to Gametops home page. Although some may say this is an affront to your privacy, I personally think it’s a small price to pay for a commercial game. I actually bought Alien Stars before I knew of Gametop. Besides whenever you do get directed to the home page, you can check to see if there are any more new games. The images below were found using Alien Star as a search parameter because using Alien Wars just brought up loads of unrelated stuff. :)
There may be a problem with this download at the moment. I re-downloaded it and the executable seems to be missing. I’ll Email Gametop and post details when it’s been fixed If anyone else reports the same problem.
Online multiplayer games:
Alien Arena (167Mb):
Alien Arena 2007 is a multiplayer online deathmatch game based on the GPL id source code. Powered by version 6.10 of the CRX engine, this game features incredibly smooth and fast game play with next-generation engine features such as shaders, real-time lighting and shadows, lens flares, light bloom and reflective water. The game over thirdy maps, nine weapons (with alt-fire modes), eleven player characters, mutaters, six game play modes, and an in-game server browser. With modes like Team Core Assault, Cattle Prod, Duel, Deathball, Capture the Flag, and All Out Assault, Alien Arena has an endless replayability factor. Version 6.10 includes a number of new maps, new weapon, and major engine enhancements.
Allegiance is a free, online, multi-player space simulation game. You pilot spacecraft, flying in a team with other players, defending and attacking sectors in space. Allegiance challenges your tactical ingenuity, your ability to function in a team and your prowess at blowing stuff up. Experienced players take command and lead their teams to victory or defeat. You can read about the game in more depth by following the Wiki link below:
You will require Microsofts net framework v1.1 or higher to play this game
Gate 88 is a multiplayer action real-time strategy (RTS) game. The player pilots a ship in 2D, as in Asteroids, while building structures such as turrets, factories, and research stations in an effort to destroy other's bases while protecting their own.
It also offers multiplayer capacity over LAN and the Internet via public servers. The user interface allows players to pilot their ship while performing strategic operations. The server Gate 88 connects to over the Internet is often not working.
Here’s a review I found by a guy called Alexander Rodseth:
About a week ago, I discovered a great little game, Gate 88. You control this little ship and can speed around in what seems like infinite space. However, you can also build stuff, research, shoot stuff and bump into things. Gate88 is like a colorful combination of the action of Asteroids, the strategy of Starcraft and the flow of …Flow.
The amazingly fitting old-school music, smooth animated vector graphics and hypnotizing scrolling backgrounds makes the game quite enjoyable. The gameplay is refreshing and unlike anything I’ve ever played before. I’ve only tried the single-player mode yet, but I’ve heard that the multiplayer-mode is supposed to be even better. I recommend giving it a try, it even has a built in IRC-client.
Starsiege: Tribes (usually called Tribes or Tribes 1) is a sci-fi first-person shooter (FPS) computer game. It is the first of the Tribes video game series and follows the story from Earthsiege and Starsiege. It was developed by Dynamix and published by the company now known as Sierra Entertainment in 1998.
Tribes was one of the first online-only games of its kind and sported several multiplayer features that other games have only recently included (32+ player support, 128 players max, troop transport vehicles, several different player classes). Most of the standard maps were outdoors in a variety of climates, from sunshine to snow and hail. In general, bases were scattered throughout the map depending on the gametype. The outdoor environments were and still are relatively huge, extending for several kilometers in any direction, but "jetting" and "skiing" gave Tribes a fast-paced feel.
You can see a detailed history of the game by following the Wiki link below. My son liked playing this game a while back, but lost interest when I lifted the restrictions on some of my other games.:
There is now a community server where you can play this game. All the files you require, that is the client file which is 135Mb zipped, the patch and the server files can be downloaded via their site.. There’s more files available from the community site that changes some of the in game functions such as something called happy jump. It’s not up to the latest fps games but it still looks pretty engaging.
Sever files 84Mb:
All the files can also be downloaded via the community’s web site (where I got the server file link from):
SubSpace is a two-dimensional space shooter computer game which was a finalist for the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences Online Game of the Year Award in 1998. This game, now freeware, incorporates quasi-realistic zero-friction physics into a massively multiplayer online game through the Continuum game client. It is no longer operated by VIE; rather, it subsists by support from fans and players of the game, who provide servers and technical updates. The action is viewed from above, which presents challenges very different from those of a three-dimensional game. The game has no built-in story or set of goals; players may enter a variety of servers, each of which have differing objectives, maps, sounds, and graphics
Sub space and the following game appear to be related. I’ve not had time to find specific download links for subspace, but they may be found by following the links to Continuum, which is another 2D multiplayer game, but side scrolling as opposed to top down. Though it appears there’s a subspace link via the following pages as well as via the Wiki entry for this game which you’ll find below the two links I’ve posted:
Ever imagine what it'd be like to play Asteroids against your friends? Want to savor the satisfaction of blasting people out of space in some addictive side-scrolling 2D spaceship shooter action?
Slap on some snazzy graphics, guns, bombs & big explosions and the beautiful revelry of flying past your enemy's debris as they cuss at you, and you have Continuum, the longest running massively multiplayer spaceship shooter game running today.
I don’t usually play flash games simply because I have too many bought games to get around to it, but while doing this and other reviews I’ve found several that I’ve bookmarked as they are quite fun. The list below isn’t exhaustive of what’s available. I’ve stuck generally with games that have a space theme, but not always, for example
Alien Abduction and Overkill Apache. All these games are ideal for those who have a few moments only to spare, though I’m sure there will be a few some will find worth downloading, though only a selected few are available for download; see the end of the flash games for a link to those that are downloadable. Most load very quickly, (Platypus is one that does take a while) and though instructions are generally available, they are rarely needed.
I found the mini-clip games thanks to Face, who posted a link to mini-clip games in the game discussion forums (Freeware games: A replacement thread……) There are hundreds of sites that offer free flash games. It would probably take me days or even weeks to work through all of them.
You will need one or more of several plug-ins such as Macromedia Shockwave or Java installed to play flash games. The following link will take you to a page that has links to all those you will need:
Watch out for the checkboxes when installing Macromedia’s Shockwave though as they try to install a Norton scanner onto your computer which is not a virus, but nonetheless it’s a pain as if you do allow it to be installed you’ll get nag screens whenever you turn your computer on.
I’ve given a star rating from 1 to 5 stars, five been excellent, though that’s based on only several minutes play with most of them. Even those scored with a one such as star wars may have excellent game play. I think I may have been biased towards the graphics on these, though the ones that got five stars definitely had a lot of both decent game play and excellent graphics.
Star Wars: (very Basic) *
Alien Attack: **
Alien Abduction: **
Alpha Attack (excellent for learning where your keyboard keys are): **
Crimson Viper: (Vertical Scroller – 3D) ***
EVAC: (Side Scrolling - 2D)***
Galactic Goobers: (Space Invaders) **
Galactic Warriors: (Vertical scroller – 2D)) *
Gamma Brothers: (Vertical and side scrolling 2 player 2D) **
Heli Attack2: (Side scroller) **
Heli Attack 3: (Side scroller) **
Hostile Skies: (Side scroller) ***
Hunter: (3D) ****
Lunar Command: (Missile Command) **
Mars Patrol ( Top down tank style game): **
Mission Mars: (Side Scroller) **
Overkill Apache (Side scroller) ***
Platypus: (Side Scroller) This is available as a share ware game which is really quite an excellent game. I have both Platypus I and II.
Rails of War: (top down) ***
Skies of War (top down) *****
Space Escape: (top down) **
Space Fighter (asteroids) **
Space Hopper: **
Starship Eleven: **
Starship Seven: *
UFO Joe (alien abduction) *
Link to downloadable miniclip games:
Fraxy is a 2D top down shooter which consists almost entirely of boss fights. A boss in Fraxy consists of at least one core (the main part of the boss) and various other parts (very similar to Warning Forever). In Fraxy the player can fight one of the many "default" bosses, or a boss created by the player themself, or even (if you're at this site you're probably aware of this) creations from other Fraxy players. The nearly endless possibilities of boss setups is what really makes Fraxy such a great game. If you like shooters at all, you will most likely love Fraxy, and even if you don't, you might enjoy it quite a bit as well.
The other side to Fraxy is the scenarios. Found from the title screen in the section labelled "Try", the scenarios can be anything from facing countless weak enemyies, to a series of boss battles. Currently scenarios are strictly one life only (if you die, you lose) , and can even have time limits. Unfortunately the game only comes with a very few basic scenarios for the player to try out, and custom scenarios are not nearly as easy to create as enemies. Custom scenarios are quite possible, and if you understand scripting at all, aren't that bad to make. A scenario can consist of pretty much anything a person could think of for a 2d shooter game, so they can offer a great deal of fun as well.
Keep your eyes open on the following site as there will be new scenarios to add to Fraxy:
You can add new bosses to Fraxy by following the link below. There is an image of each boss and a download link
This isn’t strictly a space shooter, but I thought it warranted inclusion in this list. Freeware Fan posted about this game about a month ago, and I reviewed it. Follow the link below for the full review, screen captures and the download link:
Review of the game:
The link below takes you to the games information page. You can find the download section towards the bottom of the page. Check out the screen captures I took. The game looks very basic, but I actually had some fun plying it and will be keeping it in my games folder.
Funkymom posted a link about month ago (mid Jan 08) that included links to orbiter, a space flight simulator, with some excellent graphics.. I nearly didn’t bother with it as there are so many games to play, but as it had a space theme to it I’m glad I did, if only for the cool images of earth I copied into my wallpaper stock. Anyway I wrote a short review which was posted in Funkymoms link. (It took me ages to find it) Follow the link below for the download link and a description of the game. It’s got some excellent game play if you’re into simulations. There’s a whole host of add on files that improve on the graphics especially Earth, the moon and Mars. (available from the download page) Check out the images to see how complex the set up controls for this game are, lol There are more in game images on the front page of the site dedicated to this simulator.
Noctis computer space flight simulator that’s less than 1Mb though the imaginary galaxy that is potrayed in this game is actually vast.
More specifically, Noctis is a space simulation in which the player takes on the role of an explorer in a spacecraft called a Stardrifter. No goal or measure of success is imposed by the game: it simply allows the player to explore a fictional galaxy (of a realistic size) and catalogue their findings in a shared database of names known as the GUIDE (for stars, planets and moons). Since the player in the game is manifested as a physical being, the exploration involves travelling between stars, refuelling the Stardrifter from Lithium ion-ejecting stars, approaching planets in star systems and their moons, and even exploring the surfaces of worlds whose environments allow landing. Many planets feature atmospheres and weather effects. Some contain plants and animals, or even mysterious ruins. Stars, planets and moons can all be named and annotated for future reference, through an in-game computer interface inside the Stardrifter. You can download data from other explorers by going to the site and downloading the file found on page 5 of the read me; though I had problems downloading it as I got the message ‘this file is not recognised”. My curiosity is aroused enough to contact the developer when I have time to see if there is a fix as I also couldn’t get the game to run either. I’ll post details if I get around to it. If anyone does download this and tries it out I’d really appreciate some feedback on whether they had problems to as the description above really sounds intriguing.
In the game’s sci-fi setting, a fleet of Stardrifters was left behind by a race of sentient cats known as Felysians who abandoned their home world (planet Felysia, star system Balastrackonastreya) long ago for unknown reasons. The Felysians were the only sentient beings in the Noctis galaxy, so there are none to find in the Noctis game.
Once you get to the page that the link below takes you to, you need to search the buttons at the top of the page for Noctis. The download link is to the left of the page. You’ll also find a contents page. There is an update to be found within the contents pages (pg 5).
Parsec 47 4.6Mb:
This has very similar to graphics to Gunroar; in fact it’s made by the same developer I think? It’s billed as, and I uote “ Retromodern hispeed shmup” lol It’s definitely all three or is that four of those. I found myself drawn into the game despite it’s retro feel. There’s no intro no help and no options menu. I had to try virtually all the keys before I could find which ones were appropriate for the game. The up and down arrows control the difficuly settings that you can find to the left of the game field, though it’s quite difficult to read the script. Cnt will get you going and Z allows you to fire. The arrow keys are then used for movement in game. I’m sure there are other keys to discover, but I’m not going to finish this ‘Shmup, (Hmmm, I prefer Shoot ‘Em up actually), if I spend too much time checking these games. :( I later checked the game file and found two read me’s. The one with a suffix e (ie read me e has a detailed list of keys you will need to know. When the game is first loaded it is loaded in low res’, you’ll also find details of how to play it in high res’, which all computer now should cope with. :) Oh yeah, open GL is required for this (as opposed to Direct X. You can download Open GL free by following the link below:
Open GL download (required to run the game):
Another game from the same developers as Parsec47 and Gunroar, with similar graphics, but different gameplay. You can also find details of the game in the readme – e found in the games folder. When unzipping the file you need to specify where you want it to go as there is installer. This also requires Open GL to work.
The player fights a large boss, which changes its form each stage; there are five stages for each of forty levels per game mode. Stages cannot be played separately, but any level in any mode may be played without playing the lower-sequenced levels. This game can be and is often used for improving at a particular type of game on which its modes are based.
Distance of the player to the boss affects the strength of the player's beam weapon.
• Normal Mode: This mode is similar to most standard shooters. The player has three bombs that, when launched, release a rapidly rotating white circle whose boundaries cause enemy projectiles to dissolve. The player's ship slows down while discharging its beam.
• PSY Mode: Based on the game Psyvariar, this mode allows the player to charge a bar by coming extremely close to and thus scratching against enemy projectiles. The player moves more slowly while firing, and when the player’s bar is filled, the ship becomes invincible for a short amount of time. The player can also spin the ship which causes the area around the ship where bullets are scratched to increase, but the ship slows down.
• IKA Mode: Based on the game Ikaruga, this mode allows the player to switch between white and black. While white, white projectiles reflect at the enemy, and vice versa with black. This mode tends to be the easiest of the four because players only have to dodge half of the enemy’s bullets at any given time, and also because the half that players do not have to dodge end up dealing extra damage upon collision.
• GW Mode: Based on the game Giga Wing, this mode gives the player a voluntary shield that reflects shots fired by the enemy, in a style similar to the IKA Mode, and protects the player in a manner similar to the PSY Mode; it has a lengthy, automatic charge time.
Space Combat 2.56Mb:
Wow, the zip file unzips to 142Mb. I was wondering how the game could look like the first two images in the images library below. You will find a word document (if you don’t have word you can use wordpad to read the document) This is definitely one worth following up if you have time. The following account is taken from the developers web site:
Space Combat is a game produced by Laminar Research to provide a simulation of space combat with accurate physics, unlike most other games of the same genre. Although originally a shareware game, the latest version of Space Combat - 1.40 - is now freeware.
In the game, the laws of physics are modeled fully, so ships do not behave like aircraft: they behave like spaceships in a frictionless vacuum. This means that any velocity picked up will be maintained unless an opposite force is applied by the engines.
The game is a free-form simulation, with no plot or mission system. The spaceships have things such as biodomes and customizable engines. The ships have weapons (lasers and torpedoes), as the name suggests.
Universal Combat (445Mb):
This Space shooter /strategy game was made abandonware by it's developer several weeks ago. It’s quite a large download compared to all the other games here, but then it’s got a lot more going for it. Check out the video links below to see whether you fancy getting this great game:
Strategy Guide/game manual:
This was the prequel to Universal combat You can find the download link by following the link below. You will also find an earlier version of Battlecruiser and Universal combat on the same page. There’s some images of games under development on the page also.
I actually wrote a review of this one so just follow the link for details. This is an excellent space shooter, though it’s a little hard to get used to the controls. Most of the images I took concentrated on the menus etc, but there are a few in game images taken. They remind me of an arkanoid game that I like very much called clash, which has what you could loosely describe as vector graphics, but not quite. You’ll see what I mean if you try the game (highly recommended)
Other related games:
This section is unfinished. I just ran out of time to add anymore at this time. Besides I need a break, lol.
Air Assault aka Air Shark:
Fly’n’kill helicopter combat game dangerously packed with tons of enemies.
Air Assault II aka Air Shark II: