December 29, 2008 Just bought yourself a netbook and found yourself wondering what games will run without help from a modern GPU? Not to worry - there's a good ten million or so people out there in the same boat, and we've done some of the hard work for you.
The following games have been tested and verified as working and playable on a Lenovo IdeaPad S10, so other netbooks based on an Intel Atom CPU and Intel GMA 950 graphics, like the Acer Aspire One and the MSI Wind, should run them without issues.
Steam games that work on a netbook
Steam is a digital distribution service created by Valve, developers of a long list of critically acclaimed shooters from Half Life to Left 4 Dead. Thankfully, Steam is not just a way for Valve to sell their latest first-person shooter - there's also a heap of older hits and newer independant games available that don't need the latest and greatest GPU to run.
- Audiosurf - An interesting, hypnotic take on the music game genre by indie developer Dylan Fitterer with equal parts Guitar Hero, Connect Four, Wipeout, and your music collection.
- Peggle Extreme - Strangely addictive puzzle game by casual outfit PopCap.
- Reaxxion - Breakout done 21st Century style with a dash of Pinball.
- Ultimate Doom - We'd be surprised if anyone needed an explanation for this seminal first-person shooter that is still widely regarded as one of the best games ever made.
- World of Goo - A critically acclaimed, IGF award winning puzzle game based on physics and construction.
Free games that work on a netbook
- Beneath a Steel Sky - A sci-fi point-and-click adventure game from the early 90's, since released for free by developers Revolution (Link)
- Cave Story - An amazing labor-of-love project from a lone Japanese developer with Super Nintendo-era 2D graphics that has been compared to Metroid. (Link)
- Maelstrom - An Asteroids clone that many Mac users of the pre-OS X era will remember, now available free for OS X, Windows and Linux. (Link)
- Warning Forever - Simple yet addictive "doujin" shoot 'em up from Hikosa T Ohkubo. (Link)
Other games that work on a netbook
- EVE Online - A sci-fi MMORPG set in space with a free 14-day trial. (Link)
Good Old Games
Good Old Games is a new online store currently in beta that offers DRM-free digital copies of older games that have been updated to work in modern Windows environments - with nothing in the catalogue over US$10. So far, we've only tested Fallout 2, the turn-based RPG predecessor to the current hit Fallout 3, which worked beautifully, but we're presuming that pretty much everything available here will work fine.
What are you playing?
Got any games working on your netbook that you think Gizmag readers should know about? Just leave a comment below, making sure to mention what make and model your netbook is and a quick explanation of the game.