Everybody loves a good game. Be it on the computer, on a tablet, on a smartphone or on a console; be it a quiet game played alone or an engaging multiplayer; be it a mind-challenging puzzle or a blazing first person shooter; some people even play games that come out of a box! Whatever your personal taste in games is, you can’t deny you love them. And all the more so when they’re free. But how does one go about finding great new games to play?
Over the years, it has become increasingly difficult (at least for me) to find cool, simple and fun games to play on my regular computer. Popular platforms such as Steam do exist, but sorting my way through that is a mind-boggling experience, and the sluggish Steam client is yet another reason to never use it. But the need to play a good game doesn’t just go away. This is why I was really excited to lay my hands on Game Downloader.
Game DownloaderIf retro-like, light and free games are what your heart desires, you’re going to be just as excited about Game Downloader. True, you won’t find Portal 2 in here, or any other big, expensive titles, but you will find over 200 free and easy to download games in almost any category you can think of.
You can get Game Downloader from the developer’s website in about 1.5 minutes. It comes in a portable ZIP file, a regular installer or an installer for Portable Apps Platform. If you want, you can even get the source code, since Game Downloader is an open-source project. According to the website, Game Downloader is made for Windows 7, but is also compatible with Vista and XP. You will need .NET Framework 3.5 in order to run it.
Now that you’re all set, you’re ready to download some games!
Choosing & Downloading GamesOnce you’ve installed Game Downloader (or double clicked the portable version), the first thing you’d have to do is choose a category. Game Downloader offers multiple game categories such as adventure, board games, first person shooter, racing, sports and more. If you know what you’re after, this is a great way to narrow down the search. If not, just start browsing the different categories until you find something you fancy.
When you choose a category, the Games list below it will fill up with the relevant titles. The names might not mean a lot to you, but when you click on a name, a concise yet detailed description of the game will appear.
As you can see, Game Downloader provides a screenshot and short description for each title, as well as a version number, a file size (so you know what you’re getting into), and four more important Yes/No factors.
Hovering over these four icons with your mouse will reveal what each of them means, but to make a long story short, they tell you whether the game has single player and multiplayer mode, if it can be played online and if playing it requires an account. This way, you can get a quick general picture of the game, and decide if you’re interested or not. If this is not enough, you can have Game Downloader search YouTube for game-related videos. Simply click on the “Youtube” button.
You can also click the “Game Website” button to visit the game’s website, and get some further information on the game itself before you decide. If you’ve decided to give it a try, simply click on the “Download Game” button.
Your download will begin immediately, and the download window will pop up. From this window, you can still access the game’s website and the YouTube search using the bottom right buttons, and access the download directory and make the download window remain on top using the bottom left buttons. If you change your mind before the download is over, closing this windows will cancel the download.
And that’s all there is to it! You can now install the new game you downloaded, and play to your heart’s content. If you don’t like it, or if you want to find a different game, Game Downloader has a great variety to choose from.
Updates & SettingsGame Downloader is very simple, and therefore doesn’t require or even offer much tweaking. Clicking the “Settings” button on top will reveal this small window.
From here you can decide what happens when downloads complete and control the sounds and the timeout limit. If you want to change the default download directory, you can do that from here too.
Game Downloader keeps getting more and more games added to it. To make sure all the games are available to you, you need to have the latest version. You can always check for updates from the Help menu, just to be on the safe side.
Bottom LineWhile being extremely simple, Game Downloader is a responsive and useful little tool, that in its no-frills way provides a really valuable service – lots of free games that are easy to find and very easy to download. The only thing missing is a way to sort games by additional attributes such as multiplayer mode and ability to play online. Until someone picks up the gauntlet on that, you can still easily browse by category and see all the important details at a glance.
What do you think of Game Downloader? Did it help you discover cool games? Are there more ways to find free games you know of? Share in the comments!