PC Games Demo Pack

Today’s PC games just keep getting hotter — and unfortunately, your wallet usually feels the heat, too. Check out these totally playable and totally free demos for a little insight on where to plunk down your dollar.

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Quake 1.06
If you don’t already have this game, wake up and smell the future. Quake is the newest generation of first-person, shoot ‚em up games, which are already inspiring the next wave of imitations in the tradition of its 2-D precursor (a little game known as DOOM). It’s all the gore and adrenaline you’d expect from id Software, in a dark and brooding true 3-D landscape. Quake is a new technical benchmark — and its massive expandability is causing a revolution in third-party development on the Net. You may need the registered copy to get all the online excitement and custom-made levels, but you can get some great action in both single- and multi-player modes with this shareware version.

Licensing: Shareware, $40 for full version
Requirements: MS-DOS 6.0
Publisher: id Software
Download size: 8880 KB

Banzai Bug
If you’ve ever expressed interest in being a fly on the wall, here’s your opportunity. Banzai Bug is a rarity in the gaming world, an „insect flying simulation,“ in which you take on the role of the plucky Banzai, a six-legged flying ace in a 3-D cartoon world. This two-level demo takes you through the first part of Banzai’s adventures in an exterminator’s house: first on a scavenger hunt (literally), and then through a tunnel race.

Licensing: Demoware
Requirements: Pentium 90, Windows 95
Publisher: Grolier Interactive
Download size: 1100 KB

Destruction Derby 2
Take the slick graphics and realistic action of Nascar Racing, add the reckless abandonment of the Dukes of Hazzard, and you’ve got Destruction Derby 2. With better graphics and faster performance then its predecessor, DD2 looks to be a sure-fire hit. Check out this one-track demo for a look at things to come, and see if you can beat out the very aggressive computer cars. Or turn your car around and cruise around the track backwards at 200 mph. It’s really up to you.

Licensing: Demoware
Requirements: MS-DOS 6.0, Pentium 75
Publisher: Psygnosis
Download size: 3108 KB

Some strategy games are for military general wannabees. Others are for people who merely want to play God. Baldies is definitely the latter, giving you supreme power over a tribe of very small, very bald people. Transform your Baldies into either workers, scientists, builders, or soldiers, and guide them into building a cute little community. Then research various weapons, acquire military targets; and go beat on the Hairies who live across the way.

Licensing: Demoware
Requirements: Win 95
Publisher: Panasonic Interactive
Download size: 8919 KB

You won’t find the word „penalty“ in the rule book for this futuristic sports game. Hyperblade is just what it sounds like — a fast-moving sport with a nasty „edge.“ This demo puts you on the Los Angeles Shockwave team, skating against the Seattle Fury in a 3-D rendered sports dome arena, complete with screaming fans. Scoring is accomplished by tossing the „rok“ into your opponents goal, while fending off aggressive opponents and nasty hazards. You can try and score as many goals as you can, or you can take the offensive and try to lop off the other teams‘ heads — an effective defense.

Licensing: Demoware
Requirements: Windows 95, Pentium 90, 16 MB RAM
Publisher: Activision
Download size: 1800 KB