Thursday, August 11, 2011

Free Stuff: Freeware DOS Games Part 1

One day back in 2007, when I should have been doing something far more important, I made the discovery that there were a bunch of DOS games legally available on the internet, games that had been officially declared as freeware by their owners. Not one to turn down the chance of some gaming on the cheap, I spent several hours tracking down and downloading many of them. Throughout 2007 and 2008 I continued to stay on the lookout for more freebies and by May 2008, goodness knows how many hours I'd put into finding, installing and troubleshooting these games. I'd even gone to the trouble of capturing each game's title screen so I could set it as the preview image for the game's folder.

The problem was, of course, that I barley put any time into actually playing these games. I can't have spent more than an hour playing most of them; Some of them I never even touched and I'm not likely to at this stage.

Having wasted all that time and effort though, I might as well put it to some positive use. The other day I was thinking that I should put the screencaps I took up here, give a little synopsis of each game (or at least what I've played of it) and point everyone in the direction of some pretty interesting games of yore. Well, I've got nothing better to do right now, so let's get started.

(Click on the screenshots to go to the full-sized ones on Picasa.)

Adventures of Robbo

I haven't even taken the time to figure out how to get past the first level of this one. It's seems to be a puzzle game in a similar vein to Adventures of Lolo, where you control a robot who must "collect all bolts" as the charmingly amateurish voice work tells you at the start of the level.

Alien Carnage

A 2D platformer/shooter from Apogee where you start off equipped with a jetpack and a flamethrower. How can you go wrong there? Some really nice looking graphics for the time, though the controls feel a bit sluggish.


A Qix-type game developed by Dmitry Pavlovsky, one of the original tetris developers. Simple, but fun.

Loading it up now, I see that the hight scores are dominated by one A2M. Stay classy, JiliK.

Bio Menace

I actually played this a decent amount in 2007. It's a fun, but tough shooter/platformer from Apogee. Gotta love those EGA graphics.

Caves of Thor

A top down ASCII game where you collect treasure and shoot guys or at least it seems to be from the thirty seconds I've played of it. :D

Chex Quest

A Doom mod for kids that came free with Chex breakfast cereal at one point. From what I played of Chex Quest 1, this is a really solid, fun shooter with an impressive amount of work put into it. The link above is for Chex Quest 3, a 2008 continuation of the series by one of the original devs. It includes both Chex Quest 1 & 2 and runs independently of DOSBox.

Clyde's Revenge

I've barley touched this, but it seems like an okay platformer. It's certainly more playable than Clyde's Adventure, the previous entry in the series that had you loosing health every time you walked or jumped. In a platformer?! Who thought that was a good idea? :D


This would probably be a pretty enjoyable Arkanoid clone if the ball didn't move so damn slowly. Even cranking the CPU cycles way up in DOSBox doesn't entirely fix the problem. Pity.

Cybersphere Plus

The sequel to Cybersphere. Sadly, the ball's still moving in slow motion here.

The Elder Scrolls: Arena

I haven't played a whole lot of this, but I did manage to make my way out of the initial dungeon and into the first town, leaving a trail or rats in my wake. It seems playable enough, but the thought of navigating randomly generated dungeons throughout the game makes this a far more daunting prospect than Morrowind ever was.

Although it wasn't freeware when I took these screenshots, The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall has also been released gratis by Bethesda. You can grab it from the official site here.

Well, that's it for today. More to come soon.

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