The Best Free Dreamcast Game Downloads
The Dreamcast homebrew scene has thrown up many gems for Sega's classic console. In this article, Bright Hub looks at some of the best free point-and-click adventures, shooters and fighting games for the Dreamcast.
Introduction - Free Dreamcast Game Downloads
Sega may have abandoned the Dreamcast before its time had come, but independent and homebrew developers didn't give up the ghost. Thanks to the loophole that made it easy to burn Dreamcast games on to CD-R, canny software coders have produced a plethora of cracking emulators, shooters and beat-em-ups for the system over the last decade. Many of these are also playable on PC Dreamcast emulators, so even if you don't still have the original hardware, you can still sample some of the best free Dreamcast game downloads the Internet has to offer.
Free Point-And-Click Adventures for the Dreamcast
In the early 1990s, the point-and-click graphical adventure ruled supreme in home computer gaming. Combining stunning stylised graphics, twisting storylines, fiendish puzzles and often a liberal dose of humor, companies such as LucasArts and Revolution Software produced classic game after classic game. Many used a game engine known as ScummVM, and in the late '90s, homebrew graphic adventure enthusiasts began a mission to port the ScummVM engine to as many platforms as possible and to keep the point-and-click flame alive.
Today, there barely seems to be an electronic device that doesn't have a version of ScummVM coded for it, and that of course includes the Dreamcast. Moreover, not only does the ScummVM site provide an emulator playable on the Dreamcast and compatible with classic titles like the Monkey Island series, it also provides a selection of previously commercial games free to download. These include Renegade Software's pulp pastiche Flight of the Amazon Queen as well as Revolution Software's Lure of the Temptress and the awesome cyberpunk adventure, Beneath a Steel Sky, featuring art from Watchmen's Dave Gibbons.
For those gamers new to the point-and-click graphic adventure or wanting to relive some of the best games of the Nineties, these titles provide a great way to bolster your Dreamcast collection for free.
Free Dreamcast Shooters and Beat-Em-Ups
The Dreamcast hardware had many similarities with Sega's arcade boards of the late Nineties, allowing for some pixel-perfect arcade conversions, so it's no surprise the console became home to the shooters and fighting games loved in Japanese arcades. Homebrew developers have carried on this tradition, with a swathe of shooters and fighters to choose from.
Leading Dreamcast homebrew site DC Evolution has a wide selection of free Dreamcast games to choose from. These include spacey shooter NOIZ2SA, from one of the Internet's most famous and prolific independent developers Kenta Cho, an abstract bullet-hell style shoot 'em up which is visually and sonically stunning. Rekka, meanwhile, is a dark twist on AfterBurner with some biting satire thrown into the mix. The site also plays host to a number of fighting games developed using the freeware game engine Beats of Rage, designed in homage to the classic Streets of Rage coin op. Compilation Dreamcast disc images can be downloaded featuring new takes on classic fan favorites such as Mega Man and Road Rash.
The Dreamcast still hold a place in the heart of many gaming enthusiasts, and this is reflected in the quantity and quality of free titles that have been released for Sega's final foray into the home console market. Even now, nearly a decade after the Dreamcast slipped off the shelves, the homebrew scene for the console is as strong and vibrant as ever, providing gamers with plenty of free Dreamcast game downloads to keep the beloved console alive.