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 These text-only video games may seem primitive and outdated and, in fact, the genre almost died with the fast evolving graphics of modern games.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
QBASIC
applicationDOS
DOSBox
applicationWindows XP/98/95, Linux, 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 ...
qbasic71-01

QBASIC

DOS19914.3/5 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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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 ...
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...
tasm-02

Turbo Assembler (TASM)

DOSWindows 3.xWindows XP/98/9519894.1/5 Borland Software Corporation
Turbo Assembler, often referred to as TASM, is an x86 assembler for MS-DOS and Microsoft Windows. As a key component of Borland's suite of development tools, TASM was packaged alongside Turbo Debugger (TD), forming the Turbo Assembler/Turbo Debugger (TASM/TD) bundle. Turbo Assembler was favored for its speed and compatibility with the popular ...
a-night-with-troi-01

A Night with Troi

DOS1991NSFW4/5
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...
empire1-1

Empire: Wargame of the Century

DOS19874/5 Northwest Software
planetfall-1

Planetfall

DOS19834.2/5 Infocom
borland--dbase-5-02

Borland DBase 5

DOS19944.1/5 Borland Software Corporation
adom1.1-05

Ancient Domains of Mystery (ADOM) v1.1

Windows XP/98/95DOSLinux1996freeware3.9/5
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...
onenil-3

One-Nil Soccer Manager

DOS19923.9/5 New Era Software
One-Nil Soccer Manager is a text-based soccer management simulation game that was popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was developed for various home computer systems, including DOS, Commodore 64 and Amiga. In One-Nil Soccer Manager, players take on the role of a soccer team manager, making strategic decisions to guide their team to s...
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...
softporn-4

Softporn Adventure

DOS1981freewareNSFW4/5 Sierra On-Line
word-perfect-5-02

Word Perfect 5

DOS19893.9/5 Corel
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 ...
starsaga-1

Star Saga: One - Beyond the Boundary

DOS19873.6/5 Masterplay Publishing 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...
business-simulator-03

Business Simulator

DOS19873.9/5 Reality Development
Business Simulator is an abandoned business simulation game developed and released by Reality Development in 1987 for DOS only. Business Simulator is a text-based management simulation designed by an university professor.
championship-manager-1-01

Championship Manager

DOS19924.1/5 Domark Software
Championship Manager is the first chapter in one of the most successful football manager games series. The first Championship Manager was a text-based British football/soccer simulation and included teams from four English divisions, European cups and domestic cups as well. Championship Manager was designed by Paul and Oliver Collyer and ...
dos-navigator-1-01

DOS Navigator v 1.5

DOS1991freeware4.1/5
norton-desktop1-02

Norton Desktop

DOS19924/5 Peter Norton Computing
melody-maker-3-01

Melody Maker 3

DOS19924.3/5
checkit-3-02

CheckIt 3

DOS19903.1/5
amnesia-3

Amnesia

DOS19864/5 Cognetics corporation