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Freeware Games: What are your thoughts?

As a broke teenager with little to no income and a thrifty paradigm, I find it hard to justify $60+ videogame purchases. So my mainstay is the independantly created freeware games that can be found on this wonderful place we call the Internet.

I usually find them on reveiw sites, and I've yet to have any trouble with viruses and the like. It usually takes a while to find one that I really enjoy, but my tastes in games are rather unique anyway, so I expect that.

I really like to see origional ideas that would never make it to the open market, either because they're too simple or too strange. On the other hand, they tend to be a bit short, (though there are exceptions) and if you're used to playing Halo and Splinter Cell, they might seem a little tame.

I'm curious as to other's oppinions on the topic. Do you have any favorites, or maybe hideously bad examples of gamemanship? If you've never tried playing freeware games, these are some good places to start:
I'm always worried about spyware/ad-aware/viruses so I rarely play freeware games anymore. I like buying games that last a long time (RPG's) so that the cost can be justified. I read a hell of a lot of reviews and test demos before buying anything these days.

Fun on a rainy day I'd say but not much else unless you find an exceptionally fun game. Thanks for the links anyway Very Happy.
Game Fortress
I am an Independant Developer myself, so I have seen a fair portion of the market out there. Another really good site to check is, an archive for gamemaker games. Many gamemaker games are terrible, but quite a good number are also very very well done. GMG picks out and rates their games so people can find the good ones.
The way I see it, most freeware games fall into one of a few categories:

* Games that are just for adware / spyware etc. These are eeeeeevil, but it's not too hard to avoid them if you're not completely stupid.
* Games that suck so much nobody would pay for them, or even play them. Unfortunetly most freeware games fall into this.
* Games that people make for fun or as a hobby, and put on the internet so others can enjoy them. Most of these games suck, but some people put enough time in them to be fun and worthwhile.
* Game types and genres that are not popular enough to be worth selling, so they're just put up for free. Point in case: roguelikes. I LOVE roguelikes, but most people think they are either too hard, or they automatically suck because of no graphics / sound.

I could point out a million and one really crap freeware games, but it's much harder to find fun ones. But my favourite freeware game of all time would HAVE to be A.D.O.M. (Ancient Domains Of Mystery), a roguelike.
My favorites so far have been "Alex the Aligator" and "seiklus" (that one was made with Gamemaker I think...) Both are sidescrollers and are a lot of fun to play.

Alex the Aligator (by Free Lunch Design: is a very successful attempt at recreating the two-bit gameboy gaming experience, It has twelve levels of star and cherry collecting, people squashing, egg-spitting maddness, plus a bonus level if you manage to find all the stars and cherries on each level.

seiklus (by Autofish: is hard to explain, But I'd put it down as something like a cross between Castlevanya and The Neverhood Chronicles. You play a cloud-man who has fallen to earth and must collect all the talismans to return to the clouds. You explore the game world, solving puzzles and doing a fair bit of traveling into other areas, searching for clues and buttons.
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