<body><script type="text/javascript"> function setAttributeOnload(object, attribute, val) { if(window.addEventListener) { window.addEventListener('load', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }, false); } else { window.attachEvent('onload', function(){ object[attribute] = val; }); } } </script> <div id="navbar-iframe-container"></div> <script type="text/javascript" src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script type="text/javascript"> gapi.load("gapi.iframes:gapi.iframes.style.bubble", function() { if (gapi.iframes && gapi.iframes.getContext) { gapi.iframes.getContext().openChild({ url: 'https://www.blogger.com/navbar.g?targetBlogID\x3d8701199\x26blogName\x3dIndependent+Gaming\x26publishMode\x3dPUBLISH_MODE_BLOGSPOT\x26navbarType\x3dBLUE\x26layoutType\x3dCLASSIC\x26searchRoot\x3dhttp://indygamer.blogspot.com/search\x26blogLocale\x3den_US\x26v\x3d2\x26homepageUrl\x3dhttp://indygamer.blogspot.com/\x26vt\x3d-3885218248821958630', where: document.getElementById("navbar-iframe-container"), id: "navbar-iframe" }); } }); </script>
 

Sunday, January 28, 2007
A list of the best freeware platformers released last year, in (more or less) alphabetical order. Click on title for permalink. Instructions on how to unzip .RAR and .LZH files can be found in this FAQ.

- Cave Story was released in 2004, translated in 2005 (sorry, guys)

1. A Game with a Kitty 2: Darkside Adventures
2. Gambare Natsuki-San
3. Goonies 20th Anniversary, The
4. Lyle in Cube Sector
5. Knytt/Within a Deep Forest
6. Noitu Love and the Army of Grinning Darns
7. Painajainen
8. Poyo
9. Spud's Quest
10. Treasure Tower
11. La-Mulana (special mention)

For the sake of completeness: Satan Sam, Vivid Conceptions, ... (Suggest/comment)

Reviews



1. A Game with a Kitty 2: Darkside Adventures

A Game with a Kitty 2: Darkside Adventures is the latest platformer release by Bernie, featuring a much improved gameplay engine and plenty of secret locations to discover. You take on the role of an Arch-Chancellor on a quest to retrieve the lost crown, which equates to plenty of jumping and throwing stuff around.

The protagonist of the story can use the stars collected as weapons, but his inventory capacity will only allow up to thirty of them to be stuffed into his deep pockets. Special skills are awarded for surviving boss encounters, though certain jumps are pretty difficult to execute properly. Only four major locations in total, with an average of four to five short levels assigned to each.

There are several tough puzzles to figure out but nothing too perplexing with a bit of thought. Needless to say, a recommended download for fans of classic NES titles especially the Mario series.

Name: A Game with a Kitty 2: Darkside Adventures
Developer: Bernie
Type: Freeware
Platform: PC
Size: 14.7 MB
Difficulty: 4/5
Rating: 9
Direct download link: http://www.origamihero.com/agwak2da.exe
Other platformers by Bernie: Skyhammer, A Game with a Kitty

Return to top





2. Gambare Natsuki-San

Gambare Natsuki-San is an excellent puzzle platformer by Alpha Secret Base, borrowing a few elements from an obscure PSX game called Umihara Kawase Shun. The rope has been replaced with a metal gadget, able to extend and grab on to walls and ceilings.

Press the Z key to activate it, and use the directional keys to move around while holding down the same button. Jump using the X key, and tap the C key to bring up the pause window. Selecting the third option from the main menu will take you to the tutorial, complete with demonstration regarding controls and advanced techniques.

The objective of the game is to collect all food items, while avoiding water and contact with spikes. It's entirely possible to finish all fifty levels in one sitting. Very addictive and highly recommended.

Name: Gambare Natsuki-San
Developer: Alpha Secret Base
Type: Freeware
Platform: PC
Size: 9.41 MB
Difficulty: 3/5
Rating: 8
Direct download link: Click here

Return to top





3. Goonies 20th Anniversary, The

The Goonies 20th Anniversary is an excellent remake of the console classic by Retro Remakes competition veterans. Your quest involves saving a group of local kids trapped in an underground cave, and perhaps stealing a bit of loot while you're at it. You can punch at the enemies to protect yourself and collect vitality drinks to restore health.

Like most platformers, there are a number of keys to collect in each stage though your character can only carry one at any time. A save function can be accessed from the main menu by pressing the k and control key at the same time. OSX and Linux versions are available as well.

Name: Goonies 20th Anniversary, The
Developer: Brain Games
Type: Freeware
Platform: PC, Mac, Linux
Size: 11.6 MB
Difficulty: 2/5
Rating: 7
Direct download link: http://goonies.jorito.net/download/theGoonies.zip

Return to top





4. Lyle in Cube Sector

Lyle in Cube Sector is a platformer that is reminiscent of the classic Metroid series in more than a few ways. Exploration is a key element in this game, as you seek out the culprit responsible for the kidnapping of Lyle's lovable kitten.

The protagonist starts off with no possession or special skills, but will soon acquire the ability to pick up blocks and use it to eliminate enemies or jump twice as high. Things begin to unravel pretty quickly once you have learnt a trick or two, plus there are many rooms to explore and secrets to discover.

Don't be put off by the retro graphics, this is one quality effort that fans of classic platform games should not miss.

Name: Lyle in Cube Sector
Developer: Bogosoft
Type: Freeware
Platform: PC
Size: 1.14 MB
Difficulty: 4/5
Rating: 8
Download page: http://www.sitesled.com/members/bogo/lyle.html

Return to top





5. Knytt/Within a Deep Forest

The story of Knytt begins with an abduction and a crash landing on some unfamiliar planet, which means plenty of land to explore although there's hardly any interaction with other creatures. Save points are easily accessible, Knytt will glow red when in danger, and the shining beam of light will assist your search for the necessary repair items.

There's about sixty screens worth of adventure which equals to roughly an hour or two of play. Of course, this isn't a Nifflas production without several unlockables and secrets to reward the curious.

In Within a Deep Forest, you control a bouncing ball made out of different materials which is always in perpetual motion throughout the entire game. Starting off with the basic blue, your jump height will change depending on the type of ball in use. A comprehensive tutorial provides all the information you need, while solutions to most puzzles can be found in the forums. Press F1 to play in full screen mode.

Name: Knytt/Within a Deep Forest
Developer: Nifflas
Type: Freeware
Platform: PC
Size: 20 MB (each)
Difficulty: 3 and 5 respectively
Rating: 7
Direct download link: Knytt, Within a Deep Forest

Return to top





6. Noitu Love and the Army of Grinning Darns

Controls in Noitu Love and the Army of Grinning Darns are stripped down to basics, featuring the standard punch and jump plus two more attack variations assigned to both the left control and shift key. Much like Capcom's Mega Man series, you get to utilize certain devices to change form and access special powers. The first few levels may seem repetitive but the game does get better after the second stage.

Most of the highlights occur during boss battles, where each leader has to be defeated using different strategies. The final boss encounter is simply amazing, even when compared to other platformers freeware or otherwise. A word of advice, you'll miss out on quite a bit if the easy difficulty setting is chosen. Press alt-Enter to play in full screen mode.

Name: Noitu Love and the Army of Grinning Darns
Developer: Joakim Sandberg
Type: Freeware
Platform: PC
Size: 7.58 MB
Difficulty: 4/5
Rating: 8
Direct download link: http://www.konjak.org/noitulove.zip

Return to top





7. Painajainen

The developers of Painajainen had noted that this platformer was partly inspired by both of autofish's earlier efforts, namely seiklus and velella. Made in two weeks for a Finnish game competition, it chronicles the story of a boy trapped in his own dream.

Finding and getting butterflies to follow your character grants you special powers, with subtle hints on each ability provided on the same screen. Press enter to access the map and a progress chart. A few bugs exist but can easily be solved by pressing the E key for a quick return to the starting point. The save game area is located just next to it.

Name: Painajainen
Developer: Virtanen Games
Type: Freeware
Platform: PC
Size: 5.09 MB
Difficulty: 1/5
Rating: 7
Direct download link: http://koti.mbnet.fi/erkkavir/Painajainen.zip

Return to top





8. Poyo

From the wonderful world of Game Maker comes Poyo, a new platforming adventure which took Lazrael only one month to complete. You control the main character using the arrow keys, but most of the puzzles in the game can only be solved by figuring out the proper way to utilize your warp ability. Tap the X key to jump and use the Z key in conjunction with a directional arrow key to dash past traps or activate switches.

Press the down arrow key while standing in front of another creature to start a conversation. Instructions are printed on a text file which can be found in the zip package.

The F4 key can be used to switch between windowed and full screen mode. Features forty-five levels and six boss encounters.

Name: Poyo
Developer: Lazrael
Type: Freeware
Platform: PC
Size: 4.22 MB
Difficulty: 3/5
Rating: 8
Direct download link: http://lazrael.avalanchestudios.net/crap/Poyo_Official_1.zip
Other games by Lazrael: Super Haunted Insomnia Tower, Starlit Zone Fighter, Pozzo - Jello Crusade, Flapper

Return to top





9. Spud's Quest

Dizzy has had it's fair share of halfhearted remakes. With Spud's Quest, fans no longer need to endure such indignity though our lovable egg has now been replaced with a protagonist named Spud. You can only carry three items at any time, so expect a lot of backtracking in this game.

Name: Spud's Quest
Developer: Chris Davis
Type: Freeware
Platform: PC
Size: 4.04 MB
Difficulty: 4/5
Rating: 7
Direct download link: http://total-klik.net/file.asp?action=dload&file=16

Return to top





10. Treasure Tower

Treasure Tower is a game by David Newton that mixes a bit of WarioWare gameplay with platforming elements. Guide a noble knight through twenty rooms to reach the top of a tower and collect the treasure.

Most of the actions available to you can be carried out by using the arrow keys. Press up to enter doors or activate switches. Tap the left shift key to jump. Run over items to collect them.

You begin each game with 36 seconds on the clock, which can only be replenished by collecting food. Running into obstacles such as spikes or ghosts will cause you to lose valuable seconds.

Name: Treasure Tower
Developer: David Newton
Type: Freeware
Platform: PC
Size: 4.29 MB
Difficulty: 3/5
Rating: 7
Direct download link: http://wired.st-and.ac.uk/~wong/treasuretower/treasuretower.zip
Other platformers by David Newton: Special Agent

Return to top





11. La-Mulana (special mention)

La-Mulana is a freeware free-roaming platformer game designed to look, sound, and play like a classic MSX game. It's heavily influenced by the classic Konami MSX game 'The Maze of Galious' and anyone who has played that title will probably recognize the similarities very quickly. You play the whip-wielding Indiana Jones-esque archaeologist Lemeza Kosugi as he investigates the ancient ruins of La-Mulana in an attempt to find its treasure and one-up his father, who is trying to get the same treasure as well.

The game is huge, with many different areas to explore and dozens of items and weapons to find. Each area has a large variety of puzzles and traps and you need to solve the puzzles in each area to discover the Ankhs and Ankh Jewels, which allow you to fight the eight Guardians of the ruins. To solve the puzzles you'll need to be able to read the tablets scattered throughout the ruins, which will require a Hand Scanner and translation software for the portable MSX that Lemeza has brought along on the adventure. Your Hand Scanner will also allow you to find items and search the bones of less fortunate adventurers.

Name: La-Mulana
Developer: GR3 Project
Release: 2005 (translation - 2007)
Type: Freeware
Platform: PC
Size: 6.11 MB
Difficulty: 6/5
Rating: 9
Direct download link: http://agtp.romhack.net/extra/LA-MULANA.zip
Translation patch: http://agtp.romhack.net/download/la-mulana-patch.zip

Return to top
13 Comments:
Anonymous Anonymous said at 1/30/2007 05:50:00 AM:  
Hmm, La-Mulana's the only one of those I found myself coming back to again and again.
Blogger Alex said at 1/30/2007 09:00:00 AM:  
Great post. Some absolute gems in there.
Blogger gnome said at 1/30/2007 09:05:00 AM:  
An absolutely fantastic post. Wonderful games!
Blogger Michael said at 1/30/2007 03:16:00 PM:  
this is awesome. How did I ever miss the release of AGWAK2?! Are you planning to do this with other categories? Because that would be a godsend. :O
Anonymous Anonymous said at 1/30/2007 04:39:00 PM:  
Great list with a lot of underappreciated gems. But La Mulana should be higher than just 11th place, especially with the translation now.
Blogger Steven said at 2/02/2007 08:18:00 AM:  
I wonder if web platformers count? The gameplay wasn't the deepest, but I was a huge fan of Mission in Snowdriftland while it was running; level design was very good and character design was absolutely excellent...
Anonymous Popoyt said at 3/12/2007 04:20:00 AM:  
Gambare natsuki san didn't work... are you sure about the link ? I downloaded it but the game just won't load.

Anyway thanks a helle of a lot about the whole website, IG is wonderful !!!
Blogger Tim W. said at 3/12/2007 04:44:00 AM:  
Works fine here. ;)

You may need 7-Zip to unzip .LZH files.

http://indygamer.blogspot.com/2005/06/faq.html

If that doesn't work then you will have to install files for East Asian languages (Control Panel -> Regional and Language Options -> Languages). Hope that helps! :)
Blogger Carl said at 6/18/2007 06:03:00 AM:  
La-Mulana not only deserved a higher rank, but a higher level on the difficulty scale... Some of the puzzles in that game are just insane! And anyone who's finished the Hell Temple is probably scratching "Difficulty 325235/10" over and over into the padded walls of their loony-bin right now.
Blogger Paul said at 6/29/2007 11:31:00 AM:  
WaDF = 5/5???

For Nifflas's games:
Knytt: 1/5
WaDF = 2/5
Operator Status = 3/5
#Modarchive story = 4/5
Knytt XH: 4/5
Operator Status XH: 5/5 or 6/5 (AND I BEAT IT >_>)

Can't wait to try La-Mulana. It should be a nice break from failing to beat the undead core with 3hp in cave story over and over again.
Blogger ryan said at 7/28/2007 12:45:00 PM:  
Lyle is a fantastic game. I say make it number 1!
Anonymous Anonymous said at 10/21/2007 04:32:00 AM:  
La-Mulana should be at least fourth if not even higher. I appreciate that you at least mentioned it, but heck, ever seen DCRB's LP?
Anonymous Anonymous said at 11/16/2007 05:53:00 PM:  
Finally! A website for the best freeware games ever. I'm so cut that natomic studios is dead.