8bitrocket.com
24Dec/080

Merry Christmas: A Stocking full of guilt free and legal retro game roms

Merry Christmas: A Stocking full of guilt free and legal retro game roms

While I am fully aware of all the places you can obtain nefarious copies of
all the best retro games in digitized disk or rom format, but I also know of a great
big stocking full of free and legal games that will blow your mind. These are
not simply a collection of old public domain and shareware, but actual
commercial games from the 80's and 90's (and 2000's) that are now freely available for your
gaming pleasure. 

Llamasoft and Jeff Minter Zarjaz!
Lamasoft created some great games in the 80's and 90's across a wide
selection of platforms. They have made many of them legally available for
download to be played on your emulator of choice.  The games include the
classic Andes Attack, Lamatron, Photon Storm all the way to Lamazap on the Atari
Falcon and many others. Check for games on your favorite platform:
Atari 8-Bit,
Atari ST,
Atari Falcon,
Amiga,
Speccy,
C64,
C16, and
Vic 20.

Atari 8bit APX Software
Atari Archives has about 1/2 of the entire Atari 8-bit line of user
created
Atari Program Exchange
commercial software available for free download. Some
of the titles available include

Alien Egg
,

Eastern Front
,

Pro Bowling
,

Galahad And The Holy Grail
, along with a
host of
others
. Here at 8bitrocket, we recent posted
an interview with Chris Crawford
(Eastern Front), where he told a story
about the beginnings to the very innovative APX.

Miner 2049er and Bounty Bob Strikes Back
The official Big 5 Software web site has an

all-in-one emulator and rom pack
for you to use on your PC to play the Atari
8-bit versions of Miner 2049er the sequel, Bounty Bob Strikes Back.

The Atari 8bit.org software library
The Atari8bit.org site has a
nice selection of
games
whose authors and right holders are allowing free downloads. There are
Adventure International titles (Ghost Town Claim Jumper, and others, 
Synapse titles(Protector II,  Claim Jumper, and others), Atari UK (Heart
Break), and others.

Home Brews For Atari Consoles
I Know these are not commercial classic games, but in many cases they
are better than games released back in the day. Atari Age has a selection of
roms available for all Atari Consoles. They have taken down the ones that are
clearly not legal, but have left up the questionable ones and the ones whose
rights holders allow them to be downloaded. Since this article focuses on legal
and guilt free (see below for questionable links for the less inclined to worry
about those things) we will link to those, but you can  browse the entire
Atariage.com
collection
.  Home brew roms for:

The 2600
,

5200
, and
7800
. There are some absolutely fantastic free games in there. Be sure to
check out

Beef Drop
, and

Space Duel
For the 7800 especially.

The Public Domain Roms Site
As sort of a Catch-All, the
Public Domain Roms Site
has a collection of free commercial and PD games that have been put into the
public domain. The site is dedicated to games that are free to play on GPX
emulators, but of course they can be played on any system with suitable
emulator. The systems represented are: Amiga, Atari 2600, Atari ST, C64, Gameboy,
Gensis, Neo Geo Pocket, PC Engine, and the PSX.

PDRoms.com
Not to be confused with the site above, the
PDROMS site has a HUGE selection of legal
roms across EVERY video game console platform you can imagine (no computers
though).

 The Not So Guilt Free
All of the following sites are dedicated to the preservation of games
and systems via emulation. Because of this, they keep extensive collections of
game roms and have put them up for your downloading pleasure. The best way to
use a site like these is to first research a game thoroughly, get yourself
excited about playing it, then download the rom and have a go. These sites are
not designed for you to open up 50 FTP connections and shovelware entire
collections of software to your machine (most that you will never use). There
are ample FTP sites for that purpose, and a simple Google search and a little
effort will have that type of contraband in your hands in no time. I don't
recommend it  though, as it takes much of the joy out of retro gaming to
have EVERYTHING RIGHT AWAY because usually that means you will play nothing...it
just works out that way, I don't know why.

Many of these sites carry a huge collection of Public Domain and Legal Free
roms also (for your clear conscious).

Atari 8bit Games -
www.atarimania.com

2600, 5200, 7800, and Lynx -
www.atariage.com
,
www.Atarimania.com
(2600 and 5200)
Atari ST - Research -
www.atari.st
. Game disk images and research -
www.atarilegend.com
Amiga - www.lemonamiga.com
C64 - www.lemon64.com
Spectrum -
http://www.worldofspectrum.org

That's it. Have a safe and fun holiday season, and keep checking back because
we're not going dark during the holidays, so we'll have new content on an almost
daily basis.

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