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September 02, 2014, 05:59:47 AM
TIGSource ForumsPlayerGamesHotseat Multiplayer Freeware: The Best
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Author Topic: Hotseat Multiplayer Freeware: The Best  (Read 28775 times)
Feliz Lombriz
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« on: January 19, 2009, 07:53:17 PM »

So I've made a similar list elsewhere, but this looks like the place where all the freeware specialists hang out. Down to business:

Offline multiplayer, same-console multiplayer, local multiplayer, 2-people-on-the-same-computer multiplayer... call it what you like. Good freeware hotseat multiplayer games are what gaming is all about, in my opinion. (Hotseat = Multiplayer with real people on the same computer/keyboard. No online networkish stuff.) I believe that games are best as social experiences with one or more friends, so I actively search out the best hotseat games I can find.
Background: After sifting through all kinds of mediocre to horrible stuff, I made a little website a while back of the very best freeware multiplayer hotseat games I could find anywhere on the net. I've revised and updated those findings for this post. So, more or less in the order of awesomeness...

-Worms with ninja ropes try to blast each other to bits with awesome overly destructive weapons. It's like a real-time Worms clone. Truly fun once good mods (Doom, Promode, etc.) are added. (See the Layman's Guide)
Genre: Action (Wormy side view cavern fighter)
Hotseat: 1-2 Players
On-line: Infinite Players?
Platforms: Windows 95/98/NT/2000, XP, Vista (32 bit), Linux
[Gusanos Promode Version] [Review/Video]

Liero (Link to DOS version. Download Liero for XP/Vista below)
-Same gameplay summary as Gusanos above. Liero is, in fact, the original game that Gusanos is based off of. Liero is more old school but about as fun.
Genre: Action (Wormy side view cavern fighter)
Hotseat: 1-2 Players
Platforms: Windows 95/98/NT/2000/XP, Vista
[Download Liero 1.34 - XP/Vista Compatible]

FleaFall Champion
-Cute little fleas hop around frantically as they compete to get the Orb in 3 different game modes:Super Grab, Thief, and Basketball. Features a cool 2-key gameplay concept: a chargeable trajectory-aiming hop-movement system. Easy to learn, hard to master. Very addictive. Get 3+ people playing this and it's a blast.
Genre: Arcade action (Side view trajectory-aiming hopping game?)
Hotseat: 1-4 Players
Platforms: Windows 95/98/ME/2000, XP, Vista
(Note: This game used to cost $23.95 but is now freeware)

Lemming Ball Z
-Lemmings in Dragon Ball Z costumes floating around and blasting each other with various Dragon Ball Z moves, energy balls and whatnot. The hyper, over-the-top attacks, huge explosions, plethora of flashy effects and superman-style action gameplay more than make up for the cheesy Dragon Ball Z premise. You might want to turn the blood off.
Genre: Action (Side view flying deathmatch beat-em-up with energy balls)
Hotseat: 1-2 Players
On-line: 4? Players
Platforms: Windows, Linux
(There's also an old 2D version of Lemming Ball Z for older computers and nostalgics)

Rampart (Note: Link temporarily removed. It's unclear whether or not Rampart is officially classified as "freeware." If anyone can clear that up that'd be great.)
 1.Build/repair your castle by blocking off and claiming land with makeshift ramparts (walls) of connected tetris-type pieces.
 2. Place your cannons.
 3. Blow your pal's carefully designed castle walls to smithereens.
-Repeat. PC port of the old arcade game. An intense, unique action/strategy/puzzle piece combo. Really fun with 3-4 people.
Genre: Action/Strategy/Puzzle (Top view castle defense battle)
Hotseat: 1-4 Players (Mouse, joystick and 2 keyboard players)
Platforms: Windows 95/98/ME/2000, XP

The Ur-Quan Masters (Star Control 2)
-Build a team of 25 different ships, all with different primary and secondary attacks, and blow each other to smithereens. Ships face off 1-on-1 until one team runs out. Planets have their own gravitational field that will suck your ship in if you’re not careful. (Note: Description of 2 player Melee mode, not main game)
Genre: Action/Adventure (Top view space combat)
Hotseat: 1-2 Players
Platforms: Windows 95/98/NT/2000/XP, Linux, Mac OS X

Liquid War 5
-Liquid/particle physics war game. You control a small blob of "liquid" that follows your cursor. Try to surround your colorful opponents with your liquid so your troops will "eat" the enemy and convert them to your color. You'll slowly grow until you dominate the screen or time runs out. Makes me think of real-time Risk for some reason.
Genre: Unique/Strategy/Action (Top view particle combat)
Hotseat: 1-6 Players
On-line: 1-6? Players
Platforms: Windows, DOS, Linux, Mac OS X
(Note: Liquid War 6 is also in development)

Lode Runner On-Line: The Mad Monk's Revenge
-A classic. Run around and collect gold while avoiding the cannibalistic monks. Use bombs, booby traps, paint and sleeping gas to help you out. All just like any other platform game, but you can’t jump. Instead you must go though mazes of ladders, teleporters and more. A great actiony co-op puzzler/strategy game.
Hotseat: 1-2 Players
On-line: 2 Players
Platforms: Windows 95/98/NT/2000, XP
(Note: For compatibility with Windows XP, go into the properties of the .exe (Right click->Properties). Under the "Compatibility" tab check "Run this program in compatibility mode for: Windows 98" and "Run in 256 colors")

RecWar (Recreational Warfare)
-Offers 3 different vehicles (tank, hummer or hovercraft), 7 different weapons and 3 modes of game play (Deathmatch, Team War or Capture the Cow). The graphics aren't amazing and the concept isn't too unique, but the gameplay is geat. Capture the Cow mode is good chaotic fun with 2-player hotseat and a few dozen bots.
Genre: Action (Top view 2D vehicle combat)
Hotseat: 1-2 Players (Plus computer players)
On-line: 1-64? Players
Platforms: Windows
[Review][Extra levels]

Little Fighter 2
-Cute short chibi people beat each other up with bats, boulders, milk bottles and more. 5 different gameplay modes. 12 initial characters and many unlockable characters, all with unique moves. Add enough computer players and you have all out war-style chaos.
Genre: Action (Side view scrolling fighter
Hotseat: 1-4 Players (Plus computer players)
On-line: 1-? Players
Platforms: Windows
[Also see Nintendo Vs. Sega mod. Like a cheap Smash Bros. scrolling fighter.]

Fight of the Sumo-Hoppers
-Super old school stickman sumo wrestling game: black and white graphics, no sound and some of the most addictive game play on earth. Adjust your feet to force your opponent to the ground. Super addictive once you get good at it. The computer player is insane.
Genre: Action/Retro/Unique (Side view cool unclassifiable sumo game)
Hotseat: 1-2 Players
Platforms: DOS
(To run on Windows XP/Vista you need DOSBox. I recommend using the DosBox Game Launcher frontend)

Comet Busters
-Shoot at comets or your friends’ spaceships. Choose from 5 special abilities (energy shields, cloaking, disruptors, teleportation, etc.) and tweak your ship’s properties (bullet speed, top speed, acceleration) to find the best strategy for blowing up your pals. The asteroids concept has been rehashed to death nowadays, but everything mentioned above make this a fun one to play with a few friends.
Genre: Action (Top view space fighter - Souped up asteroids clone)
Hotseat: 1-4 Players
Platforms: Windows 95/98/NT/2000/XP/Vista?

Mr. Blocko: Super Tournament Edition

-It looks like Tetris, but instead of controlling the Tetris blocks, you play as a little guy stuck inside the Tetris board. You run around frantically, claiming the blocks and shoving them into rows while you friend tries to do the same. Crush, trap or hop on your pals to steal their points. Awesome bonus: Use the built-in Game Engine and Player Setup to customize every aspect of the game. If all the Tetris games were anything like Mr. Blocko I might actually play them.
Genre: Action/Arcade (Tetris-based block-shoving platformer)
Hotseat: 1-2 Players
Platforms: Windows 95/98/NT/2000, XP

Scorched 3D
-A 3D remake of the 2D game, Scorched Earth. Scorched 3D has beautiful destructible worlds and a variety of tanks to choose from. As you win games you can get money and buy lots of weapons. It's kind of like a more serious Worms 3D. (Actually don't think it's incredibly fun, to tell the truth, and was considering taking it off the list, but others will probably enjoy it.)
Genre: Turn-Based Strategy (3D tank artillery combat)
Hotseat: 1-24 Players
On-line: 1-24? Players
Platforms: Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP/Vista?, Linux, MacOS X


Alright that's all I've got! I've dug through just about every freeware games site and can't find much more that's better than that. But I'm sure there's lots of stuff out there I haven't found. The whole point of this thing is to find any other awesome hotseat games that I haven't mentioned. (And slight emphasis on the awesome. Just stick to the stuff that's actually worth playing.)

What do you got? Commence sharing hotseat games!

« Last Edit: April 20, 2009, 12:46:13 PM by Feliz Lombriz » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2009, 08:13:57 PM »

FYI: Your links are messed up.
Great list, though!

William Broom
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« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2009, 08:38:31 PM »

Excellent first post! I'll contribute a few of my own - Tigers may well know them already but I guess it's worth cataloguing anyway.

Sumotori Dreams
Physics fighting game of sorts. Not much skill involved but it is absolutely hilarious to play.

Everyone knows this one but in case you don't it's a turn-based physics fighting game. Highly innovative but a little hard to get into.

Bizarre smash bros-like game featuring random characters from Batman to Predator to Simon Belmont.

Marshmallow Duel
Stupid, chance-based game that is far more enjoyable than it has any right to be.

Blazing Trails
Mysterious marble-racing game. Similar to Skyroads and apparently a remake of a game called Trailblazer. The cumulative time scoring makes for some very fun competitive gameplay.

Operation Spacehog
Old sidescrolling shmup with co-op. Has really awesome powerups and selectable characters that really make a difference to how you play.

There is one other I would like to post but I've forgotten the name. It was a game somewhat like Puzzle Quest. You played a Bejeweled clone in the corner of the screen, with elements like wood, iron, fire and food. By combining them in different patterns you could summon different characters who would automatically move across to attack your opponent's castle. With combinations of 8 blocks or more, you could summon dragons, storm clouds, giants and stuff like that. Anybody know what it was called?

« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2009, 08:39:01 PM »

I have a recommendation. Seige is an entertaining hotseat game, it's sort of what you'd get if you mixed casual matching gameplay with an RTS. Different combinations do different things, or create different units, which then attack the other player's castle. Great fun, though hotseat only.

If you're wondering why I linked to WinSite, FAIND (the dev) isn't around anymore and all the other links I can find link to their page, which is down Sad.

This is the game Chutup was talking about at the end Smiley didn't realize until I posted it.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2009, 09:25:00 PM by PaleFox » Logged
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« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2009, 08:44:38 PM »

Nice list, I didn't know some of these.
Battle for Wesnoth is also worth of note.

But, while there were only few hotseat experiences in my life so far, I've had the very, very best ones with Marshmallow Duel, it's so great Grin:handthumbsupR: The game pits two players against each other in a randomly generated, but simple arena, duking it out above a horrifying, deadly pool of.. well, molten marshmallow Droop Anyway, you pick up powerups flying around in little clouds, which range from barely useful to damn powerful, but every attack can be dodged by a skillful enemy. So you run and climb around, try to bounce the other player into the pool, or actually counter his attacks, so when he thinks he's just about to win - bang - lost!
There's even an excellent homebrew DS-port, so you can play hotseat with a single DS Smiley

And while I was typing it was already mentioned, cool Grin It's really not that very chance-based! Wink

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« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2009, 08:50:53 PM »

GeneRally is a pretty awesome hotseat racing game. It has realisticish rubber burning and drifting and stuff. Plus it's topdown, so you know it's a good racing game.

Kurve is a neat tronish snake game. It gets awesome cause, since you only need two buttons to play, you can fit up to 6 players at a time.

And of course, I would be a bad person if I didn't mention Cortex Command as one of the awesomest hotseat multiplayer games I've ever played.
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2009, 08:52:39 PM »

How could I forget MindArms? One of the better freeware fighting games, in my opinion, especially to be lauded for being it's own engine and not just MUGEN like nearly everything else. It's not done, but there's 6 or 8 characters finished and it's quite polished. It also works over the network, I think, but I don't know how to make it work and can't read Japanese. Varied characters, entertaining to play. It's not, you know, Guilty Gear, but worth a go.

Also, a little Macintosh love: Dome Wars! I used to play this on our old computer when we still had a Mac (System 9 was the best). Basically one of those Scorched Earth clones, yes, but a good one with customizable weapons as part of the game. There's versions that work on comps as old as Sys7. No Windows version, of course Tongue.
William Broom
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« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2009, 09:12:11 PM »

I've also heard that Triumph War 2099 is supposed to be good, but I've never been able to convince any of my friends to play it.

Erik Svedäng
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« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2009, 10:58:54 PM »

Fight of the sumo-hoppers!!!  Shocked
I have been searching for this game for like 10 years, THANKS  Kiss Kiss Kiss

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« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2009, 11:08:16 PM »

i looooove hotseat games! Screamy

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« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2009, 10:30:02 AM »

great first post! welcome  Gentleman

im sure you will like these games as well!

Super Mario War 1.8
(14 MB)
[1-4 players]

its a multiplayer death match stomping fun game with lots and lots of modes and great playability and gameplay.
up to 4 player on one pc for maximum frentic chaos fun!
(btw this game is ported to many many different systems...super mario war ports)

gameplay clip.

there are 4 match types:

single game
world (offers a map like in super mario bros 3)

here are the 21 game modes:

frag limit
time limit
coin collection
yoshis eggs
capture the flag
king of the hill
card collection

check out the well done readme that comes along with the game which describes the game modes etc.

already mentioned by chutup   Beer!

(10 MB)
[1-4 players]

very good beat em up/jump n run in the vein of super smash bros brawl with well known characters from different games.

gameplay clip


Streets Of Rage Remake v 4.01b
(72 mb)
[1-2 players]

fantastic remake of the streets of rage series with new modes, moves, graphics...and most important smooth gameplay.

2 player mode available...1 with gamepad, 1 with keyboard.

Current version :
8 characters
43 locations having multi-path splits
52 enemy types keeping all of their moves
37 different remixes
Options and modes not present in the original


gameplay clip

Jump n Bump
(1 MB)
[2-4 players]

stomping deathmatch fun!

from the readme:
Leap over the log, and bound off to the right to play.
The different rabbits are controlled with:

                     DOTT    LEFT/RIGHT/UP
                     JIFFY   A/D/W
                     FIZZ    Mouse Buttons
                     MIJJI   Joystick

Jump around like crazy and try to get on top of the others.

gameplay clip

Madness Reloaded
(12 MB)
[2 players]

hotseat fun with lots of weapons, polished graphics and smooth gameplay.
you can also check out the predecessor Madness 4 Lethal Tournaments

cursor keys for movement.
double tap up for jetpack.
shift and ctrl for shooting.
(F11 toggle on/off interpolation...F10 toggle background on/off...
btw be sure to check out the readme for some useful gameplay tips)

gameplay clip (of the predecessor madness 4 lethal torunaments)

« Last Edit: January 21, 2009, 10:00:24 AM by AuthenticKaizen » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2009, 01:39:03 PM »

I've also heard that Triumph War 2099 is supposed to be good, but I've never been able to convince any of my friends to play it.
FFFFUCK I cant explain how much I love you right now.
THANK YOU for poosting this as I forgot this game's name.

I used to play this game with a friend and my brother years ago, and we played it regularily until we were able to beat it, and then we immediately started over.

I love this game and I love you for mentioning it <3
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« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2009, 07:52:10 PM »

Mordi's unfinished, but still awesome Worms takes the worms formula and removes the turn based system. What you get is an awesome and insane platform shooter experience.

Great range of weapons and outfits and customization make this great Local (and it might have LAN) multiplayer

And hey, theres a level editor to add to the awesome.

Heres the link, great game:
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« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2009, 08:45:39 PM »

There's this neat little fighting game called Indie Brawl. I hear it's pretty good, even though it's not done yet.  Wink

William Broom
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« Reply #14 on: January 21, 2009, 06:42:12 AM »

Oh wow, how I love Jump n Bump! A precursor to Super Mario War that I actually like better due to charm/nostalgia. Does anybody else remember the level Multiplicity? It had tons of fake, unmoving bunnies, and if you stood perfectly still you were practically invisible.

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