Abandonware DOS title

The most popular text-based games

In the past, lots of games used ASCII characters (text) to represent the game world. These text-only video games may seem primitive and outdated and, in fact, the genre almost died with the fast evolving graphics of modern games.
A few genres traditionally linked to the beautiful world of ascii characters still survives: roguelikes (nethack, angband, etc.) and interactive fiction, for example.

Most popular text-based games

Norton Commander 5.5
applicationDOS
DOSBox
applicationWindows XP/98/95, Linux, Mac OS
1893: A World's Fair Mystery
adventureWindows XP/98/95, Mac OS
nortoncommander-5

Norton Commander 5.5

DOS19984.2/5 Peter Norton Computing
Norton Commander was one of the most popular file manager applications ever released for MS DOS. Its clever side-by-side windows interface and the ease of use allowed DOS users to copy, delete, move and preview any kind of file without the hassle of typing every command by hand. Norton Commander was first released in 1986, but the latest and final ...
dosbox-1

DOSBox

Windows XP/98/95LinuxMac OS2002freeware4.1/5
DOSBox is an open-source emulator that allows you to run software and games designed for the MS-DOS operating system on modern computers. As you probably already know, MS-DOS was a popular operating system used in the 1980s and early 1990s. DOSBox emulates the necessary hardware components and provides a DOS-like environment, allowing users to...
1893-world-fair-04

1893: A World's Fair Mystery

Windows XP/98/95Mac OS20033.6/5
1893: A World's Fair Mystery is an interactive fiction game developed by the American studio Illuminated Lantern and released in 2002. Set during the Chicago World's Columbian Exposition of 1893, the game combines historical fiction with mystery-solving gameplay.In 1893: A World's Fair Mystery, players take on the role of a detective investigating ...
qbasic71-01

QBASIC

DOS19914.4/5 Microsoft
QBasic, or QuickBASIC, was an interpreted version of the BASIC programming language developed by Microsoft. It was designed to be easy to learn and use, making it accessible to beginners and hobbyist programmers. QBasic was part of Microsoft's QuickBASIC product line, which included both compiled and interpreted versions of the language. QBasi...
zork1-2

Zork I: The Great Underground Empire

DOS19824.2/5 Infocom
Zork is one of the most popular text-adventures and one of the first interactive fiction games ever created. The first Zork was developed in the seventies and ported on various platform by Infocom in the early 80s. Infocom was one of the most prolific developers of text-adventures for home computers and created memorable interactive fiction ga...
borland-turbo-basic-1-03

Borland Turbo Basic 1.0

DOS19874.1/5 Borland Software Corporation
Borland Turbo Basic was a programming language developed by Borland, a software company that was prominent in the 1980s and 1990s. Turbo Basic was part of the Turbo series of programming languages and development tools that Borland created during that time.Turbo Basic was designed as a fast and efficient version of the BASIC programming language. B...
wordstar4-01

Wordstar 4

DOS19864.2/5 MicroPro International
WordStar 4 was a popular word processing software program during the early days of personal computing. WordStar 4 included features typical of word processors in that era, allowing users to create, edit, and format documents. It used a command-driven interface, where users would enter specific commands to perform various tasks. The software wa...
dbase3-02

dBASE III

DOS19844.2/5
dBASE III is a relational database management system (RDBMS) that was popular in the late 1980s. It was developed by Ashton-Tate, a software company. dBASE III was a successor to the earlier dBASE II and was part of a series of dBASE products. dBASE III played a significant role in the history of database management systems, especially during ...
rogue-1

Rogue

Windows XP/98/95DOSLinuxMac OS19844.2/5 Artificial Intelligence Design
Rogue is one of the first RPGs in the history of video gaming. It's a text-based dungeon crawler in which you have to fight your way in the dungeon to recover the Amulet of Yendor. Rogue became popular around 1980 on mainframes and later ported to various platforms, including DOS in 1984. Rogue is simply the father of all the roguelike games that c...
tasm-02

Turbo Assembler (TASM)

DOSWindows 3.xWindows XP/98/9519894/5 Borland Software Corporation
Turbo Assembler, often referred to as TASM, is an x86 assembler for MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows. It was part of the Turbo Assembler/Turbo Debugger (TASM/TD) package that Borland released as part of their Turbo Assembler product line. Borland was a software company known for its development tools during the 1980s and 1990s.
softporn-4

Softporn Adventure

DOS1981freewareNSFW4/5 Sierra On-Line
gwbasic-03

GW-BASIC 3

DOS19884.1/5 Microsoft
GW-BASIC (short for Gee Whiz BASIC) is a dialect of the BASIC programming language that was developed by Microsoft. It's one of the early implementations of BASIC and was included as the default programming environment in early versions of the MS-DOS operating system.GW-BASIC was initially released with MS-DOS 2.0 in 1983. Subsequent versions of MS...
a-night-with-troi-01

A Night with Troi

DOS1991NSFW4/5
adom1.1-05

Ancient Domains of Mystery (ADOM) v1.1

Windows XP/98/95DOSLinux1996freeware3.9/5
borland--dbase-5-02

Borland DBase 5

DOS19944/5 Borland Software Corporation
js-shogun-02

James Clavell's Shogun

DOS19894.3/5 Infocom
James Clavell's Shogun, a text adventure game developed by Infocom and released in 1989. Infocom was known for its interactive fiction games, and "James Clavell's Shogun" was one of its later releases.This text adventure game is based on James Clavell's novel "Shogun" and follows the story of John Blackthorne, an English navigator who becomes invol...
hitchhikerguide-1

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

DOSMac OS1984freeware4.2/5 Infocom
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a humorous free text adventure game based on the novel of the same name written by Douglas Adams (if you never read it, shame on you!). The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was designed by Douglas Adams himself and interactive fiction god Steve Eric Meretzky, it was released by Infocom in 1984 for DOS and for...
ibm-visicalc-1-01

VisiCalc 1.0

DOS1979freeware4.3/5 Software Arts
VisiCalc was the first spreadsheet software for personal computers, and it played a pivotal role in the early history of personal computing. It was developed by Dan Bricklin and Bob Frankston and first released in 1979 for the Apple II computer. VisiCalc is often considered the first electronic spreadsheet, and its success had a significant impact ...
borland-paradox-4-03

Borland Paradox 4.5

DOSWindows XP/98/9519934/5 Borland Software Corporation
dos-navigator-1-01

DOS Navigator v 1.5

DOS1991freeware4/5
empire1-1

Empire: Wargame of the Century

DOS19874/5 Northwest Software
borland-c1-03

Borland Turbo C v1

DOS19874.1/5 Borland Software Corporation
questprobe-spiderman-01

Questprobe Featuring Spider-Man

DOS19864.1/5 Adventure International
Questprobe Featuring Spider-Man is an abandoned text-based adventure game designed by Scott Adams, developed and released by Adventure International in 1986 for DOS but was also published for Acorn Electron, Atari 8-bit, BBC Micro, Commodore 64, Dragon 32, ZX Spectrum, MSX. Questprobe Featuring Spider-Man is part of the Questprobe game series, the ...
dnd_text-02

DND

DOS19844.1/5
dungeon-crawl-dos-03

Dungeon Crawl

Windows XP/98/95DOSLinux1997freeware4/5
Dungeon Crawl (also known as Linley's Dungeon Crawl from the name of the original programmer: Linley Henzell) is a classic roguelike: an RPG with permadeath, procedural generation and high replayability. Dungeon Crawl was released on 1997 but it's not maintained anymore. The spiritual successr of Crawl is DCCS (Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup).
chinaseatrader-2

China Sea Trader

DOS19893.5/5
norton-desktop1-02

Norton Desktop

DOS19924/5 Peter Norton Computing
black-friday-02

Black Friday

DOS19833/5
ace2-compression-01

Ace 2.02

DOS20012.6/5
checkit-3-02

CheckIt 3

DOS19902.8/5