Game Freebies: Need for Speed Porsche Unleashed

Introduction: Since jkOnTheRun pointed it out, I’ve been having a bit of a rummage through the freebes on offer at the Windows Marketplace, including quite a few free games. They’re mostly demo versions, with just the first few levels, or racing games with just one type of car and track, but they’re generally small enough to download (takes a while on dial-up, but still do-able), and if you’re not really into gaming much (I’m not), the first few levels might be enough for you. Many of the games are quite old, but if you don’t have the latest PC specc’d up for gaming, they might be as much as you can run anyway.

What Is It?

A car racing game, with only Porsche cars. In the demo, you only get one model of car – a 911 Carrera – and one track – rural Normandie. There’s not much customising of either available. As long as you’re up for a blast around rural Normandie in a 911 Carrera, though, it’s quite fun. After the race is finished, you get a full replay, from various camera angles around the course.

Works ok under Windows XP. Quite fun to play, and worked smoothly, even at 1400×1050 resolution. Crashed a couple of times – the program, that is, not the car. I crashed the car hundreds of times.

Worth Downloading?

The fact that it crashed twice is a bit of a problem, but you might have better luck. It’s a good fun race, though, and works reasonably well with keyboard controls. The option is there for mouse control, but didn’t seem to work for me. Quite good fun, and worth the download, but it certainly wouldn’t convince me to buy the full game – even at the cheap prices this one apparently goes for now.