GameSessions is a digital distribution platform that encourages trying before buying. Their platform allows you to download and play full games for a limited time trial. If you are happy with the games, you can buy Steam keys from them.

The best thing about GameSessions is they seem to have regular game giveaways. Be wary as it is not as simple as getting a DRM-free download or a Steam Key. Here is what you need to know.

A GameSessions giveaway allows you to play a game without a time limit. However, the game is tied to your GameSessions account and it is a GameSessions version of the game.

Being a GameSessions version means two things:
1) Multiplayer systems that uses Steam or other platforms does not work in a GameSessions game.
2) A special game launcher is used to start the game and this launcher requires an “always-on” connection to the GameSessions servers. If the server connection is severed, the game stops. Note, I did manage to play for a couple of minutes after an Internet connection drop-out.

A special installer must downloaded to download the game. The installer cannot resume downloads if it is closed. So, if you need to reboot or the PC crashes, the download will have to start from scratch. The installer can pause and resume downloads if it is kept open.

A GameSessions tray applet/icon/thing loads when Windows boots and there is no option to stop this. If you don’t want it taking up space unnecessarily, you must disable the startup manually in the Task Manager. Regardless of the tray thing, there is always a GameSessions Hub Service that loads. I think this is required for installed games to run. To start a game without the tray icon, just run the shortcut installed on the Desktop or the Start Menu.

When playing a game, sometimes a little message pops-up in the bottom right corner. So far, I have only seen GameSessions messages, but I guess it could display ads too.

When you exit a game, a window pops-up advertising for GameSessions.

Recording videos or taking screen shots may be a problem as GameSessions games crash when utilities like Fraps or Bandicam are running. Luckily, I have not had any problems with GeForce Experience recording video.

If you can tolerate all of the above, then GameSessions makes for another fine way to acquire free games.

Trying out games is not bad either, but it is not all pros and no cons over having a demo version of a game. Some games cannot be trialled properly within the given time limit and some demos are smaller to download. It is still an option though and can be handy.

Fix Act of War to Work on Newer PCs

I use these steps to get  Act of War: Direct Action and High Treason to run on my Windows 7 64 bit PC with 4Gb RAM and a NVIDIA GeForce GT 525m 1Gb VRAM.  The original information for the fixes are in the links at the end.

  1. Install the game as normal.
  2. Install the latest patch.
  3. Download the Proper Windows 7 Fix for Act of War.
  4. copy the d3d9.dll file from the to the game installation folder.
  5. Download CFF Explorer from here.
  6. Run CFF Explorer and open ActOfWar.exe or ActOfWar_HighTreason.exe in the games’ installation folder.  Make sure to backup those files before modifying.
  7. Select Nt Headers -> File Header on the left column and click on the Click here on the row with Characteristics.
  8. Check the box that says App can handle >2gb address space.   Click OK.  If this box was already checked, then there is nothing to do and you can skip this whole CFF Explorer section.
  9. Save the modified file.
  10. Set the compatibility mode for ActOfWar.exe or ActOfWar_HighTreason.exe to be Windows Vista (Service Pack 1).  Also set the file to run as administrator.
  11. Inside the game installation folder there is a folder EugLoadingBar.  Inside this folder set the file EugLoadingBar.exe to run as administrator and have compatibility mode of  Windows XP (Service Pack 2).

An error message does pop up when starting Direct Action, but when you click OK, the game loads as normal.

Sometimes Direct Action will still crash on start up.   Rebooting the PC seems to fix this nicely.   Annoying but at least I still get to see this:

I needed to get a different version of ActOfWar_HighTreason.exe and fixed it to get the game running.

Thank you to the nice person at Proper Windows 7 Fix for Act of War for making the good fix file for the games.  There are instructions in the zip file too.

Thank you to the nice person at Permenant fix for AOW – High Treason runtime error at start and having to set mem lim for sharing the fix.