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0 A.D. r20 (alpha)

Build a mighty empire and conquer the world with this attractive RTS game

by Mike Williams

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Based on 1 ratings
License: Open Source
Operating Systems: Linux, Mac OS X, Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 7 (64 bit), Windows Vista (32 bit), Windows Vista (64 bit), Windows XP
Requirements:
Languages: English
Software Cost: Free
Date Updated: 01 April 2016
Watchlist: Add download to my watchlist
Downloads To Date: 2960
Developer: wildfire games
RSS News Feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/0AdNews
Twitter Feed: http://twitter.com/#!/play0ad
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/play0ad
Back up your data with Acronis True Image 2016 with a 1-PC LIFETIME license, only $29.99, saving 40%, from store.downloadcrew.com
0 A.D. (alpha)
Build a mighty empire and conquer the world with this attractive RTS game

0 A.D. is a historical RTS game where you're placed in a variety of scenarios and challenged to obliterate your opponents.

As you might guess from the name, the program is set in the distant past. You start by choosing from more than 50 maps, each of which pit ancient civilisations together in their own scenario (Athens vs Sparta, Rome vs Celts, whatever it might be). And then, in a click, you're under way.

It can be that quick, at least, but as a beginner you'd be better off learning the basics, first (a fairly detailed Online Manual tells you more). It's not that the game is complicated, as such - the principles are the same as other empire-type game, in that you'll build structures, create units, select these and give them commands - but there is a lot to master.

Once you are feeling at home, though, you'll soon be enjoying the game for real. Your tiny starting encampment will soon become a mighty city, your citizens will be scouring the countryside for resources, while your army (or even the navy) seeks out and destroys your opponents. And despite the alpha tag, all this gets depicted with far better graphics than you'd expect from an open source project, or even some commercial games.

The wide range of scenarios, and the ability to control several unique civilisations means 0 A.D. should hold your attention for quite some time. If you need a little variation, though, you can always bypass the standard scenarios and set up a multiplayer game. And the program is designed to be highly customisable: there's a level editor, and key aspects of the game can easily be tweaked to totally change its look and feel.

Verdict:

There's a lot to learn initially, but once you've mastered the basics 0 A.D. provides engrossing gameplay and some gorgeous graphics. Worth a look if you enjoy detailed empire building-type RTS war games.

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Spotlight: Free Full Software

Spektrel Art 1.0.0

Free Full Commercial Software

Spektrel Art is a stand-alone program and Photoshop plugin which transforms digital photos into "magical art that glimmers and gleams with intersecting lines of tapered light".

What does that mean? Essentially it applies a configurable mix of effects, enhancing edges, smoothing backgrounds and emphasizing colours. Take a look at the thumbnail for one example, and the official product page has more.

Spektral Art works much like any similar tool. Open an image, click one of the thumbnails to apply a particular preset, or click a few buttons and drag some sliders to fine-tune the results.

There's surprising scope for variation, too. For example, just switching from the "Light" to "Dark" theme can transform a bright and friendly image into something dark and sinister, at least in some cases (results vary depending on the source image).

Please note, the demo version doesn't allow images to be saved.

SPECIAL OFFER: as we write, the developer is offering Spektral Art for free. The offer expires August 29th. Please note that you must provide your name, address and phone number to receive your free license.

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