Is it possible that this game was released as Freeware about a year after its release?
The "Slob Zone 3D" version is on a German magazine cover disc (PC Spiel 3/95), in the Shareware games section. The description file also states that there are three levels, and the remaining seven have to be unlocked by registering for $29.95. However, I have installed the game from that disc, and not only did it contain no Shareware information or messages whatsoever, but I could actually complete the game's full 10 levels just like that. The game's own Readme file also doesn't say anything about it being Shareware—although it doesn't mention it being Freeware, either.
So either the game was redistributed as Freeware, or someone at that games magazine messed up bad.
I'm taking the liberty of bumping this thread, since I repurposed it for a completely unrelated question.
Would still need an explicit official commentary for it to be freeware, regardless.
That's what I was hoping someone would know about. I haven't had much luck so far in trying to find out what the game's creators are doing today, or finding an official announcement somewhere that the game was made free. Silly companies, going out of business before the Internet Archive started!
I actually doubt that it was the case. The lack of any Freeware information with the game's documentation, the mention of a registration fee and address in the magazine's menu system, and especially the short timespan between original release of the game and the version on this cover disc would not suggest it. The game's screens show a copyright year of 1994, MobyGames says it was released in 1995, and this cover disc came out in February 1995.
Daniel Saner Wrote:
Not entirely related to your question, but I do wish MG publicly provided a source for the release info. It would be a whole lot easier for users and approvers involved in release info corrections.
I don't remember the game in question, but I remember PC Player once had a full version instead of a demo on one of their first cover CDs. They received two unlabeled disks: One with the full version for testing and one for the CD...
So it is completely possible that PC Spiel made a similar mistake.
So far I think it's the most likely explanation (see my post above).
I also remember a much-publicised case from some years ago, where another German magazine offered a 30-day trial version of the entire Corel Graphics suite, and people found out that during the installation, you could copy the full version executables (Photopaint.exe.bak! Brilliant) from a temporary directory to unlock the program. After this hit the news, the issue was quickly sold-out at newsstands.
Edit: Here's a news article on that.