Free Middle Earth (US only)! Other single player games I wish I was playing.

I apologise for a bits and pieces post. My husband’s band are launching an album today so it’s all a bit hectic here. (Go check out tinyfish though, they’re a prog band but despite that they are also awesome :))

Turbine has launched an amusing trailer for the Free to Play version of LOTRO. Apparently this will be repeated in TV spots in the US. Sadly for those of us in Europe, our version is delayed.

LOTRO Reporter asks for patience with Codemasters while they sort it out. But I think we can assume that the majority of EU players who are interested in F2P will not be patient and will just go and make accounts on the US servers instead as soon as they realise. That will be a great shame for any existing EU players who were looking forwards to the influx.

Other single player games

I wanted to take the opportunity to signpost a few indie games that have hit the radar recently. If I had time enough, and love …

Minecraft – it’s a sort of building game, and dungeoneering game. There are different modes of play – creative mode for building cool stuff and survival mode which is more of a puzzle game. People have built scale replicas of famous buildings (the reichstag).  If that’s intriguing to you, go check it out.

Recettear – It’s all about being a shop owner in a typical JRPG; so you do some buying and selling, and also sponsor adventurers to go get you more stock. The debt collectors are at your door, so get cracking! Tipa has written eloquently about her experience of the game’s demo. Terrifically silly fun with solid gameplay behind it, and released today via the usual downloading outlets such as steam and impulse. Capitalism ho!

Amnesia: Dark Descent – Billed as a first person survival horror game, you will be spending a lot of your time running away from monsters. Reports I have read agree that it is very scary indeed and extremely immersive. Larisa even wonders whether MMOs can learn anything from this type of play. I may be too wimpy for this type of horror myself, but if it is your thing, the game’s had great reviews.

If you are a fan of multiple choice text adventures, check out the new stories at Multiple Choice Games — choice of the vampire, and choice of romance (seems vaguely appropriate after having mentioned romances in comments on Wednesday). They also have some user submitted stories, including a rather smart one about paranoia. The web versions are all free.

Anyone tried any of these, or any other indie games you’d like to recommend?

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8 thoughts on “Free Middle Earth (US only)! Other single player games I wish I was playing.

  1. I’m quite a big fan of Choice of Games – I didn’t think much of Choice of the Vampire (it’s ambitious certainly but feels incredibly linear sometimes, and I didn’t particularly welcome the restrictions placed on my ‘character’ – like I was apparently totally in Clotho even though the text did nothing to make her interesting) but I like their other stuff. Heh, speaking of gender matters I think the freedom to choose the gender of your cast, and your level of heteronormativity is rather cool. I keep meaning to attempt to write one but Choicescript is annoying compared to something like Inform.

    • I thought it felt ambitious too. It was an interesting setup, but I kind of fail through lack of interest in Southern US history. I think if it was somewhere I felt more engaged with, I’d have been more interested in the historical figures.

      The romance one is funny though, it’s very very in genre. And I like that you can choose your gender and orientation a lot also.

  2. AMG! I just checked out the trailer for Amnesia and think, yep confirmed, that I tinkled meself a little bit. Not too sure I want to be playing THAT one by myself at night when all the family is asleep. :)

  3. My preorder for Recettear registered today. I’ll be playing it a bit tonight if I can swing it. I’m definitely looking forward to it after playing the demo.

    I hear Limbo on the XBox is solid, and will check it out someday. I keep meaning to play Battle for Wesnoth, too.

  4. The thing that gets me about LOTRO F2P is that this would never happen the other way around. Can you IMAGINE the uproar there would be? Not to mention that more people (and hence more monies) for WoW come from Europe.

    But then again, we take everything in our stride. Expenses scandal? No problem. Italian/French governments totally corrupt in basically everything? Meh, shit happens.

    Of course, I am somewhat irked that Syp “Does Gaming Journalism Avoid Tough Questions?” completely avoided the tough question of why Europe was proverbially bent over once again, but hey.

    • Yes, american journalists and websites don’t really feel it’s major news if we have to wait a few weeks for patches. I find that increasingly places like massively and wow.com have become more american-centric too.

      I don’t think it’s deliberate, but if Massively run an MMO night, they’ll do it on US timezones. And lets not talk about wow.com’s guest writer programme which is for americans only. I’d love a euro-centric MMO site, but until then, we’ll just have to foster our euro blogging comrades in arms. And whine a lot.

    • I agree it’s not deliberate, but I really don’t understand the whole Seed issue. Are there really such vast, abyssal differences in our laws/eligibility that it takes something like 3 months (assuming we ever get to sign up) to fix? All things considered, would it really be that hard just to have a dedicated reporter or two on each of those sites who can just focus on European news/occurrences?

      Although I’d rather have American-centric journalists than The Sun/News of the World journalists :P

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