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 Dec 14, 2004 - 04:00 PM - by Michael
* Back to Basics: Shareware Guide on AV

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PC Games/Hardware/Microsoft
Adrenaline Vault's got a guide to their picks of the top ten Shareware games of 2004, for PC gamers looking for something different.

With each passing year, it seems the number of PC games sold in retail software stores dwindles in comparison to the tidal wave of console offerings. As a result, those who prefer the computer for virtual recreation may find themselves having far fewer choices and long dry spells in finding exciting releases to play. Filling this critical gap are shareware games, which for a lower price with lower system requirements and less of a learning curve, provide at least as much bang for the buck as their retail counterparts. These more modest products, reflecting the imagination of small independent developers, often introduce more creativity and whimsy than many of the "me-too" retail titles. So for the fifth year in a row, while other sites issue holiday gift lists focusing exclusively on the much-ballyhooed conventional retail scene, I have unearthed for your viewing pleasure the very best hidden treasures that the rich shareware world has to offer. To choose the very best, I spend many hours scouring hundreds of shareware titles developed in countries all over the world (only half are from American companies), playing the full versions extensively to get a solid sense of the overall value. Any one of the selected offerings would be a perfect stocking stuffer for the holiday season. So while everyone else may be playing huge, expensive, and complicated games such as Doom 3 or Half-Life 2, many of us may be able to get a simpler, quicker fix for our gaming needs by going the shareware route.


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