Freeware Friday: An arcade in your own home

Bring back arcade goodness to your desktop.

Coin-ops are few and rare these days, but that doesn't mean that the memories and quarters spent are gone forever...well, maybe the quarters. In either case, this week's Freeware Friday involves dodging speeding tickets, pulling off 99-hit air combos, and dancing like it's a revolution. Sorry folks; accessories/fight sticks/steering wheels/dance pads not included.

I can only imagine the gas prices in this world... (Credit: Screenshot by Eddie Cho/CNET)

Need for Speed World
The Need for Speed series has been around for as long as I can remember. It's tackled just about every car racing scenario I could think of. You've run from cops, pursued criminals AS cops, hit up legal/illegal street races on and off the tracks, and even gone underground at one point. What's left? Freedom. Need for Speed World is the same tried and true racing formula set in an open world. Race other players, upgrade your car, and take over the leaderboards.

It's like watching artwork from deviantArt beat the crap out of each other. (Credit: Screenshot by Eddie Cho/ CNET)

Rumble Pack
Rumble Pack is an indie-developed fighter based on the MUGEN game engine. The game aims to please both casual and advanced players with its approachable but in-depth combat mechanics. Featuring outlandish characters capable of air combos, ultra moves, parrying mechanics, and even Capcom vs. SNK-style grooves, Rumble Pack is a steal at the ridiculous price of free.

It might not teach you how to dance in the club, but I bet it'd sound cool with tap shoes. (Credit: Screenshot by Eddie Cho/CNET)

StepMania is a dance and rhythm game engine that faithfully simulates the arcade hit Dance Dance Revolution. Though the game is surprisingly fun when playing on the keyboard, the true experience comes from connecting a dance pad that can be purchased for reasonable prices off eBay or even your local game store. Packed with support for skins, complete conversions for Pump It Up and other dance titles, and an endless supply of free song packs all over the Net, Stepmania should keep your fingers and feet busy for a while.

About Eddie Cho