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 These text-only video games may seem primitive and outdated and, in fact, the genre almost died with the fast evolving graphics of modern games.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
Borland Turbo Basic 1.0
applicationDOS
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/98/95LinuxMac2002freeware4.2/5
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...
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...
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...
gwbasic-03

GW-BASIC 3

DOS19884.2/5 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...
mission-mainframe-04

Mission: Mainframe

DOS19873.9/5
dbase3-02

dBASE III

DOS19844.3/5
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 ...
a-night-with-troi-01

A Night with Troi

DOS1991NSFW4/5
football-fanatic-05

Football Fanatic

DOS1998freeware3.9/5
borland--dbase-5-02

Borland DBase 5

DOS19944.2/5 Borland Software Corporation
1893-world-fair-04

1893: A World's Fair Mystery

Windows XP/98/95Mac20033.3/5
arj-1

Arj

DOS19904.3/5
ARJ is a file compression utility and file format created by Robert K. Jung. The name "ARJ" stands for "Archived by Robert Jung." It was popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s as a compression tool for MS-DOS and other systems. ARJ offered high compression ratios and various features, such as archive encryption and error recovery.
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.
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...
softporn-4

Softporn Adventure

DOS1981freewareNSFW4/5 Sierra On-Line
msword-1-01

Microsoft Word

Windows XP/98/95Windows 3.x19833.5/5 Microsoft
rogue-1

Rogue

Windows XP/98/95DOSLinuxMac19844.2/5 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...
mickey-space-adventure-04

Mickey's Space Adventure

DOS19853/5 Sierra On-Line
borland-turbo-c-2-02

Borland Turbo C v2

DOS19883.8/5 Borland Software Corporation
dungeonmasterass1enc-1

Dungeon Master's Assistant Vol 1

DOS1988protected4.1/5 SSI Strategic Simulations Inc.
norton-editor2-01

Norton Editor 2

DOS19904.2/5 Peter Norton Computing
melody-maker-3-01

Melody Maker 3

DOS19923.8/5
js-shogun-02

James Clavell's Shogun

DOS19894.2/5 Infocom
b1nuclear-3

B-1 Nuclear Bomber

DOS19813.6/5 Avalon Hill
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/98/9519933.3/5 Borland Software Corporation
borland-eureka-1-04

Borland Eureka: the Solver

DOS19873.9/5 Borland Software Corporation
Borland Eureka: the Solver is an abandoned text-based application developed by Borland Software Corporation and released in 1987 for DOS. The product is designed to solve complex problems, generate tables and plots, and perform what-if analysis. The user writes an equation, sets options, and instructs the software to solve the problem. The pro...
jamesbondview2kill-1

James Bond 007: A View to a Kill

DOS19853.9/5 Angelsoft