Abandonware DOS title

Classic Windows 3.1 games

Windows 3.1 was the first Windows software (by Microsoft, of course) that became popular worldwide. Contrary to popular belief, Windows 3.1 wasn't a full operating system. It was a collection of applications running in an operating environment, and yes, there's a big difference. Why? Because to run Windows 3.1 you still needed an MS-DOS based computer.

The need of MS-DOS was perhaps the main reason why games that ran under Windows 3.1 weren't so many. In fact, most of them are little more than puzzle games, card games and simple strategy games. That doesn't mean Windows 3.1 lacked good games; in fact, a few of them are still very much enjoyable today.

As you can imagine, backward compatibility is a problem. To run these games you need a virtual machine or, if you like the challenge, you could install Windows 3.1 on DOSBox. On archive.org you can even play a few Win 3.1 games online directly in your browser.

balance-of-power-1990-04

Balance of Power: The 1990 Edition

simulation1989 Mindscape
Balance of Power: The 1990 Edition is a geopolitical strategy game developed by Chris Crawford and released in 1985. It is considered a classic in the genre of political and strategic simulation games. The game is set during the height of the Cold War, specifically in 1986, and it allows players to step into the shoes of either the United States or the Soviet Union. The primary objective is to maintain a balance of power on the global stage while avoiding a nuclear war.
blades-exile-02

Blades of Exile

rpg1997 Spiderweb Software
castleofthewinds-3

Castle of the Winds

rpg1993 SaadaSoft
Castle of the Winds (1993, by Saadasoft) is a perfect example of an atypical roguelike (no ASCII, runs in Windows) turned into a liberated game. Surprisingly Castle of the Winds is still very playable to this day, if you can make it run under a recent version of Windows.
chips-challenge-win3-01

Chip's Challenge

puzzle1991 Epyx
Chip's Challenge is an abandoned top-down puzzle game designed by Chuck Sommerville, developed and released by Epyx in 1991. Chip's Challenge was released on DOS, Windows 3.x and many other home computers such as Atari ST, Amiga, C64, ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC.
civ1-7

Civilization

strategy1991 MicroProse Software
Civilization is the critically acclaimed strategy game designed by Sid Meier and Bruce Campbell Shelley that became a staple in 4X turn-based strategy. Civilization was developed by MicroProse Software and released in 1991 for DOS, Windows 3.x, Amiga, Atari ST, Mac, etc. Civilization was followed by sequels, the last one being published recently. The goal of the game and the main gameplay features never changed; the fan-base is still strong to this day.
colonization-6

Colonization

strategy1994 MicroProse Software
Colonization is a turn-based strategy 4x game developed and published by MicroProse in 1994 for DOS, Windows 3.1, Linux and Mac. The setting is the European Colonization of the New World. Colonization gameplay and interface are similar to Civilization, another Sid Meier game. However, there are some differences between Civilization and Colonization: playable nations (European powers), resources and commodities, declaration of independence, etc.
deadlock-08

Deadlock: Planetary Conquest

strategy1996 Accolade
freddy-pharkas-04

Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist

adventure1993 Sierra On-Line
Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist is a comedy point & click adventure game set in the old American West designed by Al Lowe and Josh Mandel, developed and released by Sierra On-Line in 1993 for DOS, Windows and Macintosh. Initially released on floppy, Freddy Pharkas was later re-released on CD-ROM as a new edition.
gabriel-knight-2-03

Gabriel Knight 2: The Beast Within

adventure1995demo Sierra On-Line
Gabriel Knight 2: The Beast Within is a point-and-click adventure game developed and published by Sierra On-Line. It was released in 1995 as a sequel to the original Gabriel Knight game, "Sins of the Fathers". The game was designed by Jane Jensen, who also wrote the story and script.In GK2 The Beast Within, players assume the role of Gabriel Knight, a novelist and supernatural investigator based in New Orleans. This time, Gabriel travels to Germany to investigate a series of murders that seem to be connected to werewolf legends. The game combines traditional adventure gameplay with full-motion video sequences.
gabrielknight-5

Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers

adventure1993demo Sierra On-Line
Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers is a point-and-click adventure game developed and published by Sierra On-Line. It was released in 1993 and designed by Jane Jensen. The game is the first installment in the Gabriel Knight series.The story revolves around Gabriel Knight, a struggling writer living in New Orleans. He inherits a bookstore from his deceased uncle and soon becomes entangled in a series of mysterious voodoo-related murders plaguing the city. As Gabriel investigates, he uncovers a dark and supernatural conspiracy tied to his family's past. The plot weaves together elements of voodoo, secret societies, and the paranormal, creating a compelling and atmospheric narrative.
indy-desktop-adventures-2

Indiana Jones and his Desktop Adventures

action-adventure1996demo LucasArts
kings-quest-6-4

King's Quest 6: Heir Today, Gone Tomorrow

adventure1992 Sierra On-Line
micks-str-poker-02

Mick's Strip Poker

strategy1999NSFW -
myst-09

Myst

adventure1995demo Cyan Worlds
Myst is a classic puzzle-adventure video game that was first released in 1993. It was developed by Cyan, a small independent game development studio. The game was initially released for the Macintosh platform and later ported to other systems, including Windows, PlayStation, and more.Myst is a first-person point-and-click adventure game. Players explore a visually stunning 3D environment, solving puzzles and uncovering the game's narrative. The game's story revolves around a mysterious island called Myst. Players find themselves on this island without any clear explanation and must explore the various locations to discover the secrets of the island and the people associated with it.
pipedreams-2

Pipe Dream

puzzle1989 The Assembly Line
Pipe Mania (also known as Pipe Dream is a tile-matching (sort of) puzzle game about flowing liquids developed by The Assembly Line in 1989. You must build a path made of pipe pieces to let a green liquid (sewer goo?) flow. It's simple, original and addicting, that's why Pipe Mania was cloned a number of times.
pq4-1

Police Quest: Open Season

adventure1993 Sierra On-Line
questglory4-11

Quest for Glory 4: Shadows of Darkness

adventure1993demo Sierra On-Line
Quest for Glory IV: Shadows of Darkness is an adventure role-playing game (RPG) developed and published by Sierra On-Line. It was released in 1993 as the fourth installment in the Quest for Glory series. The game was designed by Lori Ann Cole and Corey Cole, who were also responsible for the previous entries in the series.The game is set in the dark and mysterious land of Mordavia, heavily inspired by Eastern European folklore and horror themes. The story revolves around the player's character investigating the supernatural occurrences in Mordavia and facing the dark forces that threaten the land.
rodent-revenge-01

Rodent's Revenge

puzzle1991 Microsoft
shadowgate-splash

Shadowgate

adventure1988 ICOM Simulations
Shadowgate is an abandoned fantasy-themed adventure game developed by ICOM Simulations and released by Mindscape in 1988 for Macintosh, DOS, and also for Amiga, Apple IIgs, Atari ST, NES. Shadowgate uses the ICOM MacVenture engine (Deja Vu, Uninvited). Shadowgate was later remade in an enhanced version for Windows 3.1.
simcity-6

SimCity

simulation1989 Maxis
SimCity (or SimCity Classic) is a popular city building simulation in which you, the mayor of a city, have to build a metropolis from the ground up. You can build police and fire departments, assign industrial, residential or commercial areas, manage power distribution, build ports and airports. Grow your city from village to metropolis and try to keep your citizens happy.
simcity2000-1

SimCity 2000

simulation1993 Maxis
SimCity 2000 is a classic city building simulation, part of the popular SimCity series, developed by Maxis and designed by Will Wright. SimCity 2000 is a huge step up from the 2D predecessor SimCity and boasts improvements like: isometric view, underground, water pipes, subways, new buildings like prisons, schools, libraries, museums, etc.
sim-earth-3

SimEarth

simulation1990 Maxis
SimEarth is a simulation in which you can shape and mold a planet in almost every way you can imagine. In SimEarth our planet is simulated as a whole: life, climate, atmosphere are all aspects of a single Gaia-like Earth. SimEarth can be played in two modes: game and experimental. In game mode, you have to to develop (and preserve) Earth with limited energy levels. In experimental mode, you are given unlimited energy to do what you want in a classic sandbox style.
sim-tower-5

SimTower

simulation1994 OPeNBooK Co.
SimTower is an old Windows 3.x (1994) building and business simulation game where the player is tasked with the management of a skyscraper nonetheless. Raise floors, build apartments, shops, offices and try to avoid bankruptcy if you can. SimTower spawned some similar games for mobile devices, most notably the wonderful Tiny Tower, It's surprisingly good even after all these years.
simtown-01

SimTown

simulation1995 Maxis
tetris-classic-02

Tetris Classic

puzzle1992 Spectrum HoloByte
incredible-machine-2-1

The Incredible Machine 2

puzzle1994 Jeff Tunnell Productions
the-incredible-toon-machine-05

The Incredible Toon Machine

puzzle1994 Jeff Tunnell Productions
turbo-pascal-7-01

Turbo Pascal 7

application1992 Borland Software Corporation
Turbo Pascal 7 (TP7) is a programming language and integrated development environment (IDE) that was popular in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was developed by Borland as an evolution of their earlier Turbo Pascal versions. Turbo Pascal 7 was released around 1992.Turbo Pascal 7 gained popularity in educational settings and among hobbyist programmers due to its ease of use, fast compilation times, and the availability of a free version.