freeware and open source games

Screenshot of Gate 88Screenshot of Gate 88Screenshot of Gate 88

Gate 88


Gate 88 sees you taking control of the head of the green army, locked to the death in a power struggle over the galaxy. Or maybe it doesn't. The game isn't too heavy on the story, so it's really up to the player to give a reason beyond "They shot at me".

Not that you're going to be worried with it. You'll be far too busy fending off the waves of red ships, sending your own ships to the red base, and dying. Your main objective is defending your base, and destroying the reds. This is performed mainly by creating friendly ships, who you order about in place of putting yourself on the line. Unfortunately, the reds have the same idea, and send in multiple ships to complete the job. You can place turrets, research weapons, and make and break alliances to achieve your aims. It's all very frenetic, and there's rarely a moment where you're just waiting for something to happen.

A word of warning though, the tutorial is by far the best option when you start, because the game has a large learning curve, and the menu navigation can be a little difficult to come to terms with.

Gate 88 has multiplayer support, but I wasn't able to test it because apparently nobody uses it. This is a pity, because the game is very obviously geared towards multiplayer. It's a shame that such a good game has such a small user base, but hopefully it'll pick up and online matches will become more plentiful.

Graphics-wise, the game is neither helped nor hindered by the animations. After an extended playing session the giant pixels start to strain your eyes, but for the most part it fits the games general feel. It's easy to tell the difference between your units and your enemies, and the buildings are distinct enough to know which of your enemies to target and which of yours need protection. The menu animations, however, are almost amazingly distracting, to the point where it feels like they're attempting to stop you from playing the game.

Audibly, the music complements the game, but starts grating after a while. The upgrade sounds and the notice sounds are particularly irritating, all the more so due to their frequency.

All up, it's an amazingly in-depth game, but one that suffers from a lack of players in the online mode. I'd certainly recommend it to anyone interested.