Abandonware DOS title

Classic DOS games

Before the age of blockbuster titles assembled by vast teams of programmers, level designers, visual artists, and musicians, there was an era where smaller companies, or even solitary developers, faced an uphill battle to bring their DOS games to market and achieve even a modest level of sales.

Envision a time when the creation of a video game rested in the hands of one or two individuals, often toiling away in makeshift studios, perhaps even a garage. These games were compact enough to fit onto a single floppy disk (for those unfamiliar, they were once the most common storage device for PC), requiring enthusiasts to venture out to physical stores and acquire big boxes filled with maps, manuals, and other assorted goodies. It was an era devoid of the convenience of digital downloads and the ubiquitous presence of the Internet as we know it today.

From text-based adventures to pixelated platformers, MS-DOS facilitated a diverse array of gaming experiences. These games captured the imagination of players worldwide, laying the foundation for the vibrant gaming industry we know today.

In those formative years, prior to the widespread dominance of Windows, game development companies crafted some of the most enduring and beloved titles in the history of Personal Computing. This is the rich tapestry of nostalgia and innovation that I evoke when I reminisce about the timeless classics of the DOS gaming era.

alleycat-splash

Alley Cat

action1984 Synapse Software
Alley Cat is a platform game released by Synapse Software in 1984. In Alley Cat, the player controls a cat named Freddy, who navigates an alley and various apartments in search of food and adventure. Freddy earns points by completing tasks in the apartment screens. The ultimate goal is to reach and successfully court the female cat, Felicia, who appears in a special screen after completing certain tasks.
bubblebobble-3

Bubble Bobble

action1989 Taito
Bubble Bobble is widely regarded as one of the most beloved and charming platform arcade games of all time. The gameplay objective in Bubble Bobble is straightforward: players must clear each screen of various monsters and advance through numerous stages to ultimately reach the final level. Players control two adorable dinosaurs, Bub and Bob. These dinosaurs possess a unique ability: they can blow bubbles to trap their enemies. Once an enemy is encased in a bubble, Bub and Bob can pop the bubble, defeating the trapped enemy. The game features a series of increasingly challenging levels, each populated with different types of monsters.
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Caesar 3

simulation1998 Impressions Games
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.
doom-3

Doom

shooter1993demo id software
Doom was released by id Software in 1993. It is widely regarded as one of the most influential and groundbreaking video games of all time, particularly within the first-person shooter (FPS) genre.Set in the future on the moons of Mars, the game follows the player-controlled character, known as the "Doom Marine", as they battle through a research facility overrun by demonic forces unleashed through experiments in teleportation. The game features fast-paced, intense gameplay, with players navigating through labyrinthine levels while battling hordes of monsters using an arsenal of weapons ranging from pistols and shotguns to rocket launchers and plasma rifles.
driller-2

Driller

action-adventure1987 Incentive Software
Driller (also known as Space Station Oblivion) is an abandoned action-adventure game developed by Incentive and released by Epyx in 1987 based on the Freescape Engine. In Driller, you control an excavation probe in a real 3d environment, through a first person view. The goal of the game is to place a drilling rig in each of the 8 regions of the moon Mitral.
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Eye of the Beholder

rpg1991 Westwood Studios
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Eye of the Beholder 2: The Legend of Darkmoon

rpg1991demo Westwood Studios
Eye of the Beholder II: The Legend of Darkmoon is a first-person party-based role-playing game (RPG) developed by Westwood Associates and published by Strategic Simulations, Inc. (SSI). It was released in 1991 as a sequel to the successful "Eye of the Beholder" game.Set in the Dungeons & Dragons universe, specifically the Forgotten Realms campaign setting, the game follows the story of the adventurers known as the Heroes of Waterdeep. The party explores the mysterious and ominous Darkmoon Temple, facing a variety of challenges, puzzles, and battles against monsters and powerful foes.
lslarry1-1

Leisure Suit Larry 1: In the Land of the Lounge Lizards

adventure1987NSFW Sierra On-Line
Leisure Suit Larry: In the Land of the Lounge Lizards is the first adventure of the Leisure Suit Larry series, created by Al Lowe and published by Sierra On-Line. As a virgin male in his forties, your goal is to, well, find the woman of your dreams. In 1991 Sierra released a VGA remake.
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Maniac Mansion

adventure1987 LucasArts
Maniac Mansion is one of the most famous point-and-click adventure games developed by Lucasfilm Games, designed by Ron Gilbert (who later created Monkey Island) and Gary Winnick. The story is a blend of old sci-fi and horror B-movie elements. Players can choose between several characters, each with unique abilities useful for solving various puzzles. Maniac Mansion was also the first game to use the popular SCUMM interface.
moo2-administratoroffer

Master of Orion 2: Battle at Antares

strategy1996 SimTex
Master of Orion II is a 4X turn-based sci-fi strategy game set in space. Master of Orion 2 gives the player an empire to run by controlling food and production, managing economy and researching new technology. The player can wage war against other races or use spies and diplomacy to achieve victory.
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Night Hawk: F-117A Stealth Fighter

vehicle simulation1991 MicroProse Software
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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.
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Police Quest 1: In Pursuit of the Death Angel

adventure1987 Sierra On-Line
Police Quest: In Pursuit of the Death Angel is an adventure game released in 1987 by Sierra On-Line, designed by former police officer Jim Walls. It's the first installment in the Police Quest series and is known for its realistic portrayal of police procedures.In the game, you play as Sonny Bonds, a police officer in the fictional city of Lytton, California. The story follows Bonds as he investigates a series of crimes, ultimately leading to a confrontation with a notorious drug lord known as the Death Angel.
premiermanager-1

Premier Manager

sports1992 Gremlin Graphics / Gremlin Interactive
Premier Manager was released in 1992 by Gremlin Interactive for the Commodore Amiga and MS-DOS platforms. It was one of the earliest football management simulation games and allowed players to take on the role of a football club manager in the English football league system.In Premier Manager, players were responsible for managing all aspects of their chosen football club, including tactics, transfers, training, finances, and team selection. The game featured real-life teams and players from the English football league.
princeofpersia4d-4

Prince of Persia

action1990 Broderbund
Prince of Persia is an abandoned DOS platform game set in Middle East, developed and released by Broderbund in 1990. Designer Jordan Mechner created a game that made a lasting impression of gamers thanks to a clever use of a tecnique called rotoscoping which makes the animation of the protagonist very realistic.
quake_002

Quake

shooter1996demo id software
Quake is a first-person shooter (FPS) video game developed by id Software and released in 1996. It is the successor to id Software's immensely popular "Doom" series and is known for its groundbreaking 3D graphics, fast-paced gameplay, and multiplayer capabilities. The game was created by a team led by John Carmack and John Romero, two of the co-founders of id Software.In Quake, players assume the role of a nameless protagonist known as the Ranger, who is tasked with stopping an invasion of monsters and otherworldly creatures unleashed by an entity known as Quake. The game is set in a dark and atmospheric fantasy world filled with medieval castles, dungeons, and other gothic environments.
rickdangerous-2

Rick Dangerous

action1989 Core Design
Rick Dangerous is an action-packed platformer game set in the 1940s. As the fearless explorer Rick, you'll navigate treacherous environments, avoid deadly traps, and defeat enemies to uncover ancient treasures. With retro graphics and challenging gameplay, it's a must-play for platforming enthusiasts.
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Street Fighter 2

action1992 Capcom
Street Fighter II is a classic arcade fighting game developed and published by Capcom. It was first released in 1991 as a sequel to the original Street Fighter. Street Fighter II is widely regarded as one of the most influential and iconic video games of all time, credited with popularizing the fighting game genre and shaping the arcade scene of the 1990s.The game features a diverse cast of characters, each with their own unique fighting styles and special moves. Players can choose from a roster of eight initially playable characters, including Ryu, Ken, Chun-Li, Guile, Blanka, Zangief, Dhalsim, and E. Honda. Additionally, four boss characters - Balrog, Vega, Sagat, and M. Bison - become playable through cheat codes or special editions of the game.
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Taito's Super Space Invaders

shooter1991 Taito
Super Space Invaders is a video game developed and published by Taito Corporation, released in 1991. It's a sequel to the classic arcade game Space Invaders, which was originally released in 1978 and is one of the most iconic video games of all time.In Super Space Invaders, the core gameplay mechanics remain similar to the original Space Invaders, where the player controls a ship moving horizontally across the bottom of the screen, shooting at waves of alien invaders descending from the top. One notable addition is the inclusion of power-ups. Additionally, the game features a variety of different enemy types with unique behaviors and attack patterns.
daggerfall-01

The Elder Scrolls 2: Daggerfall

rpg1996 Bethesda Softworks
The Elder Scrolls 2: Daggerfall is an old school first-person 3D RPG developed by Bethesda Softworks and released in 1996 for DOS. Daggerfall is the second chapter in popular The Elder Scrolls series. The open world gameplay, the procedural generation of dungeons and the freedom of exploring and taking on the quests at your own pace are some of the features that contributed to make this game one the most loved RPGs of the time.
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The Need for Speed

racing1995 Electronic Arts
The Need for Speed is a first-person perspective racing game developed and published by Electronic Arts in 1995 for DOS. The game immerses players in high-speed races with the primary objective of winning each race across a variety of game modes. Players can choose from a selection of high-performance cars and race on diverse tracks. Players must navigate through traffic, avoid pedestrians, and evade the police, who add an extra layer of challenge to the gameplay.
oregontrail-2

The Oregon Trail

simulation1990 MECC
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The Secret of Monkey Island

adventure1990demo LucasArts
The Secret of Monkey Island is perhaps the most popular point and click adventure game developed by Lucasfilm Games and designed by the trio Ron Gilbert, Dave Grossman and Tim Schafer. In Monkey Island you're the would-be pirate Guybrush Threepwood on a quest to become a fearsome pirate in the Caribbean. Monkey Island uses one of the most friendlier interfaces for adventure games: the SCUMM engine.
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Transport Tycoon Deluxe

simulation1995 Chris Sawyer Productions
Transport Tycoon Deluxe is a business simulation game that puts the player at the head of a transport company to compete against rival companies. The player can build stations, airports, railroads to transport passengers, mail and various goods using trucks, trains and planes. The game became a cult and a few talented fans created some of the best remakes ever seen: OpenTTD and Simutrans.
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Ultima 7 Part 1: The Black Gate

rpg1992 Origin Systems
Ultima VII: The Black Gate is a top-down RPG where you, the Avatar, have to find out what's happening in Britannia by solving quests, meeting interesting NPCs and fight hordes of headleass monsters. The land of Britannia is shaken by mysterious earthquakes, a new religion (the Fellowship) is spreading and is replacing the old virtues, and who is the Guardian? Ultima 7 takes another leap forward in the Ultima Series by upgrading both graphics and the interface. 
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X-COM: Ufo Defense

strategy1994 MicroProse Software
UFO: Enemy Unknown (or X-COM: Ufo Defense) is a sci-fi tactical strategy game created by Julian Gollop set in a not-to-distant future where aliens are invading the Earth. The gameplay switches between tactical combat, where you fight aliens in a turn-based fashion, and strategic micromanagement, where you manage your X-COM base and personnel.

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