The life of a gamer can be an expensive one.
Computers and consoles cost hundreds of dollars. Many games go for $50 or more. And if you want to play with a friend, you’ll need to shell out for extra controllers.
All this and more can really add up, but if you have a computer and the time and patience to go digging, there’s an enormous array of legitimately free games to be found online.
They range from no-budget indie games to big-budget online RPGs. Some may feature advertisements, offer optional paid content or charge a fee after you’ve reached a certain point in the game. But your initial outlay will always be zero dollars, and that gives you the chance to decide if a game is worth the cost.
Below is a sampling of free offerings. Check Ticket next week for more.
‘Bonsai Defense’Promote the growth of branches and specialized defensive and offensive fruits on your bonsai tree to protect it from pests that want to destroy its vulnerable roots in this novel take on the tower defense genre. For Windows and Mac OS.
Where to find it: http://www.bonsaidefense.com
‘Cuboid Sandbox’More petri dish than a game, this interesting diversion lets you poulate a gray field with red, blue and yellow cubes that will quest for food and territory battle each other over access to resources. Can be played online or downloaded for Windows, Mac OS and Linux.
Where to find it: http://www.freeindiegam.es/ 2012/09/cuboid-sandbox-cominu.
‘Diaspora: Shattered Armistice’Built on the open source “Freespace 2” engine, this action-packed space combat game puts you behind the controls of ships from the more recent “Battlestar Galactica” series.
It’s an impressive fan project with a lot of visual oomph, capturing the scale and visual splendor of the series’ spectacular space battles and putting you right in the thick of them.
This isn’t the only option for “BSG” fans, either; the free-to-play “Battlestar Galactia Online” (http: //us.battlestar-galactica .bigpoint.com) has been active for some time now. For: Windows, Mac OS and Linux.
Where to find it: http://diaspora.hard-light.net .
‘Slender’Search spooky, dark woods for eight drawings, but don’t let the Slender Man catch you! Guaranteed to make you jump. For Windows and Mac OS.
Where to find it: http://www.parsecproductions.net /slender
‘Star Wars: The Old Republic’Bioware’s answer to “World of Warcraft” is set to go free-to-play to level 50 (with some paid content) later this fall, less than a year after its release; it’s free up to level 15 now. And hey, even Blizzard’s fantasy juggernaut knows the score these days — it’s been free up to level 20 for a while. For Windows.
Where to find it: http://www.swtor.com.