8 Shareware Games Everyone Should Have Played

8 Shareware Games Everyone Should Have Played

Who doesn't remember Commander Keen or Wolfenstein 3D, two great shareware games that helped many a gamer get into gaming. Today we celebrate those games with a gallery of eight of the most influential shareware games in the history of shareware.

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"You Haven't Thought of Since The 90s" isn't very accurate when some of the listed ones are Wolfenstein and Doom which get referenced all the time when talking about modern FPSes.

Raptor was one of the key shareware titles of my childhood, I remember having to clean out my whole 7MB partition to install that. Nowadays it's on GOG and such so all those who only saw the shareware back in the day can now upgrade to the full game. Tyrian was another big one, that's freeware these days (and ties into another listed game, try typing "destruct" on the title screen). Abuse, the first sidescroller with mouse aim that I played, is also freeware these days but hasn't been updated to work with modern computers.

Oh and hell, I see my CD full version of Epic Pinball on my disc stack! Good times.

Emahgehrd! Raptor! :D I'd completely forgotten about that old gem. There's just so many games I played in ye olden days, I never could keep track of them all.
Feel free to make more lists on this subject. I do love myself some nostalgia :)

Scorched Earth was a daily routine in high school computer lab. The best was being able to manipulate the text so not only were you annihilating your opponent, but also personally mocking them as well! Good times.

And in the first Duke Nukem Duke looked ravishing in his pink vest.

I still have the original Duke Nukem on a floppy disk. Good times.

The lack of Descent on this list has rustled my jimmies.

KDR_11k:
"You Haven't Thought of Since The 90s" isn't very accurate when some of the listed ones are Wolfenstein and Doom which get referenced all the time when talking about modern FPSes.

Yeah, although the id games were very influential, they don't quite mesh with the title of the article, considering that I own all three of them (Commander Keen being the third) on Steam.

WRONG. I played four of those this year. And I had no idea the other four even existed.

...I still play Scorched Earth on occasion. I think it was actually my first PC game. Glad it made the list, though.

Shareware hmm now that takes me back some. I played a lot of these games back when I was too poor to buy games.

image

Ah the memories...

Haven't thought of since the 90s? Bitch, please: http://www.gog.com/game/raptor_call_of_the_shadows_2010_edition

Have also played Wolfenstein 3D and Doom in the last 30 days as well as watched an LP of Duke Nukem and Duke Nukem 2. And nobody forgets about Commander Keen.

Ouch. As others have pointed out already, Wolf3D and DooM are exceedingly poor selections for a list like this.

Here's some alternates:
* Bio Menace
* Kens Labyrinth
* Jill of the Jungle
* Halloween Harry ("Alien Carnage")
* Boppin'
* Skunny Kart

Some of these are my favourite games of all time. I've probably played some of these within the last 5 years. Super obvious ones like Doom, Wolfenstein and Commander Keen aside, Duke Nukem 2? Raptor? Really went for the obscurity there.

Man, when I think of shareware I think of stuff from the days when Epic Games was still Epic Megagames. Remember Jazz Jackrabbit, Jill of the Jungle and One Must Fall 2097?

There's some franchises in need of rebooting.

Er, hopefully without being too much of a twat,this was an epic non-article! I remember all those games and many are referenced all the time. I loved shareware, free games, never had the money to buy the full games. To my shame I had a pirate copy of doom when I was thirteen. Have bought it about four times since on various systems so I like to think ID would understand!

ok Raptor brings back so many memories, it was THE definitive top-down shooter on PC.

But where is Jazz Jackrabbit? That was for years the only good PC platformer.

The only ones of these I haven't thought of since the 90s are those that I didn't think of during the 90s either. The rest I still play to this day. (And I still know Wolfenstein like the back of my hand. Except for E2M8, which is just bullshit.)

Where the heck is ZZT on that list? It had a full map editor with programmable creatures and events that puts to shame even recent games.

Also, I'm seeing Scorched Earth instead of Tank Wars. Is one a clone of the other or something? I loved the heck out of Tank Wars back in the day.

What, no love for this guy?

image

At least get the basics down!

Kakulukia:
WRONG. I played four of those this year. And I had no idea the other four even existed.

Pretty much this, except with me I was well aware of five of them, and had played two of the five (plus a sequel to a third one) in the last year. These lists are always terrible, but this one is especially bad. It's more like a list of three or four four obscure shareware games and four or five games that, if you somehow /don't/ know what they are, you're probably still a little kid.

I hope this style of article is not the first of many. Gotta give it up for Raptor: Call of the Shadows, though.

One of my favorites that was sadly omitted was Hocus Pocus. Who here's got fond memories of that Apogee classic? =)

Oh and definitely thumbs up to the person up there who mentioned Jazz Jackrabbit!

Scionfall:
One of my favorites that was sadly omitted was Hocus Pocus. Who here's got fond memories of that Apogee classic? =)

Oh and definitely thumbs up to the person up there who mentioned Jazz Jackrabbit!

I remember Hocus Pocus! That game was so much fun.

I agree that this gallery should've been titled differently - If we weren't supposed to have thought of these games since the 90s why were some of the most influential games of all time on the list?

Also, I think of Raptor: Call of the Shadows daily, since my hotmail email address is inspired by it =)

In terms of other games not included, my big one is Wacky Wheels. Sure it's a Mario Kart clone but I played it through the glories of Shareware before I actually played Super Mario Kart and have very fond memories of it.

Yea for including Raptor!

Clearly missing:
Terminal Velocity, Descent, Whacky Wheels and, yes, Jazz Jackrabbit

Wolfenstein
Kommander Keen
The Adventures of Captain Comic
Doom
Scorched Earth
Duke Nukem
Kingdom of Kroz
Raptor: Call of the Shadows

I played Raptor: CotS within the last year, thanks to GOG.com. Doom I have played as well through Steam, but honestly it just doesn't hold the appeal for me it did when I was young.
I actually played Kommander Keen again this year, again from GOG.com.
Oh, and of course I have played Wolfenstein within the last month. So.... I guess your title is wrong!

 

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