Review Information

Platforms

Windows - Written for Microsoft's GUI OS. Has built in network support, very easy to configure LAN parties for. Has more games than any other OS. The latest version of the Windows OS, isn't always compatible with the oldest games (i.e. games for 95 might not work on XP).

Linux - Open source patent-free OS. Very smooth and secure with native networking, but often times overkill for your needs and sometimes hard to find drivers. Most programs have to be compiled before they can be ran. A large amount of software is made for Linux.

DOS - Microsoft's previous OS. It doesn't have native network support and doesn't support 32-bit applications. No new games are being made for the OS. Most programs can be ran under Windows, or with DOSBox.

Macintosh - Apple's home computer line. Software is usually solid and hardware is high quality. Has native networking but very few games made for it.


Connection Types

Many games will have more methods of multiplayer such as modem or serial connection, but we're only interested in large multiplayer games.

TCP/IP - TCP/IP is a very strong communication protocol that has become the current standard in networks. It is fast, self-repairing, and very solid. TCP/IP uses IP address lookups to find a computer across a network of any size and most new games support TCP/IP.

IPX - Novell Network protocol used to be the king player back in DOS days. As such, most DOS games that supported network play used their protocol. It was a solid protocol, but it's a bit of a drag to get working on modern computers though.


Play Modes

Cooperative - This mode is quite common. All the player are on the same team fighting for a common goal.

Deathmatch - In this mode every player is out for himself and fragging your buddies is mandatory. Nothing feels better than hearing your friend curse your name from across the room as you feed him fiery death.

Teams - As the name suggest, this mode uses teams. Usually only multiplayer games that allow for large numbers will use teams. The teams usually fight against each other to try to win.

Capture the Flag - Capture the Flag is an exciting method of playing where each team has a flag at their base. The objective is to find the opposing team's flag and bring it to your base to score points.

Other - Of course, there are many different play modes for LAN games. When a game has more than the common methods the review will explain how the other play modes work.