Open Source DRM-Free Games

How much more free can a game get, than free in price? Off course “DRM-free and open source” is the correct answer. Look what I have found for you.

Just like Firefox and other open source projects, there are game developers who let you access their code. Mostly these games are hobby projects and free in its price as well. A lot are outdated, abandoned, forgotten, but there are also some pleasing titles to be found as well, even a few impressive active projects. I took the time to look up in the web for the interesting ones and created this list. Have in mind that I didn’t play most of these games and I cannot judge them.

If you are a Windows user, then you can usually download an executable file from the download sector on the Website. The Linux user can lookup in the repository of their distribution. If it is not there, then either the website provides a pre compiled executable or you can lookup on the various places I linked. Just make sure you get the newest version, as not all sources are up to date.

What is Open Source?

Open source means the source code of a project is accessible to others than the developer, usually to the public. In general this allows the examination or modification of the programs code and rebuilding it on different computer systems. The license of the code or included proprietary media files can grant or limit specific rights and freedom, like distribution for in example. In this article I don’t make a distinction between truly free software and open source content.

40 GAMES

Most, but not all of the games in this list are sort of inspired by, re-imagination or even clones of popular games. Have in mind a few are not developed anymore, progress is slow and unfinished. This can be a problem with multiplayer modes, where only a handful or no one is playing. Sometimes the decision to include a specific title wasn’t easy, but even a dead project can be enjoyable today; if the underlying composition is good. With that it mind, have fun with the exploration.

Overview

A little compact list of all titles from the list below. The links point directly to the websites: 0 A.D., The Battle for Wesnoth, Blobwars: Metal Blob Solid, Chromium B.S.U., Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup, Endless Sky, FlightGear, Freeciv, Freedoom, FreedroidRPG, Frets on Fire, Frozen Bubble, Gravity Bone, Hedgewars, Mari0, Minetest, Nethack, Neverball, Oolite, OpenArena, OpenSurge, Pingus, Pioneer, The Secret Chronicles of Dr. M, Spelunky Classic, Super Tux, SuperTuxKart, Stunt Rally, Taisai Project, Tales of Maj’Eyal, Teeworlds, The Dark Mod, TORCS, Warfork, Warzone 2100, Widelands, Wizznic, Wyrmsun, Xonotic, Zero-K

0 A.D.

Genre: Real time strategy

Similar To: Age of Empires

Battle for Wesnoth, The

Genre: Turn based strategy

Similar To: Warsong / Fire Emblem

Blobwars: Metal Blob Solid

Genre: 2D Action platformer

Similar To: –

Chromium B.S.U.

Genre: Vertical arcade bullet hell shmup

Similar To: –

Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup

Genre: Roguelike dungeon crawler

Similar To: Linley’s Dungeon Crawl

Endless Sky

Genre: 2D Space trading and combat

Similar To: Escape Velocity

FlightGear

Genre: Flight simulator

Similar To: Microsofts flight simulator

Freeciv

Genre: Turn based strategy

Similar To: Civilization 2

Freedoom

Genre: First person shooter

Similar To: Doom

FreedroidRPG

Genre: Isometric rpg

Similar To: Diablo / Paradroid

Frets on Fire

Genre: Music Rhythm

Similar To: Guitar Hero

Frozen Bubble

Genre: Match block puzzle

Similar To: Puzzle Bobble

Gravity Bone

Genre: First person adventure

Similar To: –

Hedgewars

Genre: Turn based tactical artillery battle

Similar To: Worms

Mari0

Genre: Jump & Run + Puzzle

Similar To: Super Mario Bros. + Portal

Minetest

Genre: Sandbox survival and building

Similar To: Minecraft

Nethack

Genre: Terminal roguelike dungeon crawler

Similar To: Hack / Rogue

Neverball

Genre: 3D action-sport dexterity

Similar To: Super Monkey Ball

Oolite

Genre: Space trading and combat simulator

Similar To: ELITE

OpenArena

Genre: Multiplayer first person shooter

Similar To: Quake 3 Arena

OpenSurge

Genre: Jump & Run

Similar To: Sonic

Pingus

Genre: Realtime puzzle

Similar To: Lemmings

Pioneer

Genre: Space adventure simulator

Similar To: Frontier: Elite 2

Secret Chronicles of Dr. M, The

Genre: Jump & Run

Similar To: Secret Maryo Chronicles / Super Mario Bros.

Spelunky Classic

Genre: Roguelike dungeon platformer

Similar To: La-Mulana / Spelunker

Super Tux

Genre: Jump & Run

Similar To: Super Mario Bros.

SuperTuxKart

Genre: 3D Kart racer

Similar To: Mario Kart series

Stunt Rally

Genre: 3D arcade racer

Similar To: VDrift

Taisai Project

Genre: Vertical bullet hell shmup

Similar To: Touhou series

Tales of Maj’Eyal

Genre: Roguelike dungeon crawler RPG

Similar To: NetHack / Dungeonmans

Teeworlds

Genre: Competitive 2D platform shooter

Similar To: Towerfall

The Dark Mod

Genre: First person stealth

Similar To: Thief series

TORCS

Genre: Racing simulation + AI programming

Similar To: RARS

Warfork

Genre: First person arena shooter

Similar To: Quake / Warsow

Warzone 2100

Genre: Real time strategy

Similar To: Command & Conquer

Widelands

Genre: Realtime strategy building

Similar To: Settler 2

Wizznic

Genre: Puzzle

Similar To: Puzznic

Wyrmsun

Genre: Realtime strategy

Similar To: Warcraft 2

Xonotic

Genre: First person arena shooter

Similar To: Quake / Nexuiz

Zero-K

Genre: Realtime strategy

Similar To: Total Annihilation

More

A lot didn’t make into this list for various reasons. First and foremost the ZDOOM engine, which is a port of the original DOOM to modern PCs. It is not just a game, but a whole engine to load up other games. This tool is so powerful, it allows for easy modification and creation of new games.

Then there are new projects, which only works if you have the original game files of an old commercial classic, in example:

Honorable mentions, partly through community recommendations:

My main sources for the research was:

There are off course a lot more, but I leave it here to you. If you want, leave me a comment with recommendations. But I want to stay at 40 games in the list and probably won’t include anymore. The more people know about a specific project, the more history and credibility the devs have, the more I am interested into. Easy installation process on Linux and Windows are big plus too.

Let us spread the world with open source games. :-)

2 Comments

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.