Games! Games! Games!

Come on Sal, never miss a game!

Yeah! Over the MS-DOS collection over at is well over 2,500! Isn’t that great?!?

Well let’s take a peek at a few favorites…

Sadly DataEast’s greatest hit RoboCop doesn’t work correctly on the site, however if you were to do something evil like open up the inspector, and manually download the asset yourself it’ll load fine in actual DosBox. It’s a great side scroller, even 30 years later. Yes, 1989 was a long long time ago.

Buck Rogers – Matrix Cubed was a great fun SSI Action/RPG of the day, more of a maze crawler unlike Buck Rogers: Countdown to Doomsday being more older style top down. And speaking of, for any SSI/Buck Rogers fans out there I hope you have checked out I am not a Monster: Complete Edition, which rides the fun line of homage & parody.

And speaking of SSI, Curse of the Azure Bonds and it’s ilk are available as well! I’m not sure how a board game company with a vast library (and IP rights licensed) could possibly fail so hard. Maybe the games were too difficult? Maybe they were too involved? I guess I’m guilty of it too, as I’m the uncleansed masses that preferred Fallout 3 to 1&2. Just as Diablo took off as it removed the clock, and turned it into action.

Project-X was a favorite shoot-em-up on the Amiga, although it being PAL was surprisingly significantly harder to play on my NTSC Amiga, with not being able to see all the screen, running faster, and the insane blinking of some timing with the sprites. I didn’t know there was a PC version, but yeah it looks pretty much like the Amiga version. And it was one of the larger issues that a 386 PC with VGA & a SoundBlaster really not only was as good as an Amiga, but was just plain better as PC hardware kept on improving while Commodore trapped in their downward spiral just didn’t innovate.

Rise of the Triad – The Hunt Begins, this was a soso shooter, but where it really shone was it’s multiplayer maps and combat. It was a awesome time waster on the LAN. I never tried it dialup, or even in modern times, but many fond memories of this game. And it didn’t need insane requirements, unlike say Quake. And it was surprisingly more fast paced than DooM. I wonder sometimes if they had released the source code to ROTT (2002) much sooner than ID released DooM (1997), or around the same time if it’d have achieved more retro popularity? Or was it more of as LAN game, and my experience with it kind of lacking in single player the prevalent feeling?

MechWarrior was at first this incredible 3D game where you could pilot a battle mech in the 31st century! How awesome! It changed the world from the table top rules of BattleTech – The Crescent Hawk’s Inception into something action based. Amazingly the genre for some reason never seems to get the massive appeal I always felt it should have. Although Mark Kern is trying to do something with Mechs & Kaiju over at Em-8er.

3D games like NASCAR Racing arriving in 1994 were really pushing the boundaries of what you could realistically do in MS-DOS with 3D. And of course Quake basically drew the boundary of MS-DOS into Windows with the primary reason being better and uniform 3D drivers. You need a STRONG MS-DOS machine for this, so for me at least DosBox in javascript on a 2006 Mac Pro just wasn’t really up to the task.

Turbo Out Run, a SEGA classic game. The graphics are … well caught in a world between 1987 and 1990. I guess they either didn’t want to push the PC too hard, or accidentally release a superior game on a non SEGA platform? It could have looked better. It should have sounded better. It’s ‘fine’ but I kind of call shenanigans. Golden Axe is way better.

So this is by no means an exhaustive list, I left out a LOT, as 2,500 is way too much to give any reasonable review without it turning into a book, but I scanned the first hundred or so and picked out what caught my eye.

OS/2 2.00 CGA on PCem v13

I don’t know why I did it, as honestly I didn’t like it on CGA back when it was a thing.  Also, thankfully the hard disk speed on PCem is way faster than the real thing.  And I’m not complaining.


Text mode is all the same setup wise, but on reboot the installer goes forward in glorious CGA ‘high res’ mode.  Which is pretty terrible.

Welcome to OS/2!

Yuck.  I guess at the time I just felt lucky that I could at least run it.  Although once I got lucky enough to score an EGA card + monitor.  Anyways let’s continue the horror!

Command prompt

Yep, there is the desktop! .. barely.  The desktop constantly want’s to jump around which is annoying, just as command prompt’s cant decide if they should be black or white.  And the font’s get truncated.  It’s almost as if nobody cared about actually supporting CGA.  Which honestly I’m more surprised that it even made the cut.

Word and the fox

Sure, I could have changed the default font, but why should I?  I know Word 1.1 is very primitive but wow.

To be fair, Windows in CGA is pretty terrible as well.

Could they make the title bar any larger?

Not to mention solitaire on both is nearly impossible between the lack of colour, and the lack of any high resolution.  I suppose the Wyse 700 display ought to be much nicer, if only they had gone through the hell of making OS/2 device drivers.

One neat ‘feature’ of PCem is that it’s CGA emulates the single ported memory, so that the card & host cannot properly share the video memory so for programs not watching the retrace line you get the snow effect. (here is a demo, GP-01 by Genesis Project with snow, and here without snow).

but of course in this day & age all of this really is moot.