Freeware Spotlights

It’s been a long time since I mentioned Freeware/Indie stuff, so I figure I’ll bring ’em out shotgun-style.

First, The Spirit Engine 2 is now Freeware!  It joins its somewhat more aged predecessor as a standout among free RPGs.  Not only is it *not* RPGMaker (therefore liberating itself from engine and font constraints – both are fantastic), but it’s got a great character-driven and moderately political plot.  There are some significant subplot differences based on which characters you pick, too, so I actually played through it twice in rapid succession.  It’s about 8-10 hours long, I’d estimate, on a first playthrough.

The second is really a group.  Recently I became aware of Daniel Remar‘s various games, and played through a couple of them.

Iji is to me the standout of the two.  An action-RPG similar in some ways to both Super Metroid and System Shock 2, it has a plot that shifts in tone based on your decisions and – more significantly – actions in the game.  The trailer, if nothing else, is worth watching to get an idea what it’s like.  The full game took me a little under 3 hours, but I’ve already replayed it once and plan to go through a third time.

Hero Core is more recent and less polished, but also shorter and probably more accessible than either of the above two games.  It’s a more directly Metroid-ish game, but it actually reminded me a little bit of The Guardian Legend, too.  Lots of nifty optional content, but still takes only a little over an hour to complete and the difficulty is spot-on.  It’s very retro-styled and even contains a “retro” language setting which is really great to read.

All of these are worthwhile games, and none are longer than 10 hours.  The price, of course, is the most reasonable of all.  It’s interesting to note, also – all three of these games (aside from the music) was made by one individual (Mark Pay for TSE2 and Daniel Remar for the others).  That’s some inspiring dedication!

Leave a Comment