Beta release: Internet Archive library of 1990s MS-DOS games


Of the the real takeaways I get when I fiddle with old school games is just how far mechanics and usability have come in computer gaming: comparing the intuitive interfaces of today’s games against the grueling hunt through menus, oddly colored sprites (is that a button or just decoration?) and weird key combinations really makes me appreciate even 2nd-tier modern games. Of course, back then you got a fat book of instructions with your box full of floppy disks, and plenty of hours of loading screens during which to read them.


Also, apparently you can’t do anything that involves saving files, so most non-trivial games aren’t actually going to work. So that sucks. For a moment I was kind of excited about firing up the old Gold Box games. God I loved those.

Yeah, part of that was actually functioning as DRM - you needed the manual (i.e. a legit copy) to be able to play the game.

Some at least you can download and run locally in Doxbox, so those are playable. Unfortunately most of the good ones are stream-only. I was wondering why games that might potentially still have some commercial value were being allowed on here - now I know.

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Codewheels at the ready, it’s Gametime!



I was going to make some comment about how they don’t have any of the later generation dos stuff I used to play, like Descent.

But then I found Mantis Experimental Fighter…the first real simulation style space fighter I ever played.

It would have been nice if they had used one of the versions of dosbox that supports save states so you could save and pick up where you left off later. Still, for a free service, this is pretty fucking awesome.

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