To the best of my knowledge the games featured on this page are either
Shareware or freeware, if however, I have mistakenly added a commercial program and you happen to be the copyright holder, then please send me an email and I will remove
These games weren’t made by me but I think they might be interesting to people who are curious about archaic old computer games (like I am).
At the moment the list is a little bit ad-hock, but maybe in the future I’ll give it a bit more consistency.
To run these dos games on modern machines you’ll need to download
Running games in dosbox is easy, first extract the game into a new folder then locate the games main .EXE file for example MINERVGA.EXE, then just drag the .EXE onto the dosbox icon, this way you don’t have to type in the precise command line every time you want to run a program.
One other useful thing to know is that Ctrl-f12 can be used to speed things up and ctrl-f11 can be used to slow things down.
C dogs is a top down action game.
This is actually the sequel to another game by the same author (Ronny Wester), but I consider this the superior version.
C dogs consists of levels which each have a distinct goal, for instance kill a certain enemy or collect a particular item. Objects aren’t visible unless their in the players direct field of vision, which adds some depth to the gameplay, there’s also a fair amount of variety in weapons. One quirk you’ll need to fix in order to play is that the player health is set to 0% in the options menu by default, if you don’t set it higher you’ll die as soon as the game starts.
This game was supposedly inspired by the original Leisure suit Larry and like Leisure suit Larry it’s a text adventure with exploration elements. To play the game you basically type in commands such as “pick up pumpkin” you also need to control the magenta pant wearing protagonist with the keyboard, as commands are location specific (to some degree). This game is rather clunky by today’s standards and has some design flaws (in my opinion) but it also has personality and a charm of something malformed but well meaning.
Jetpack is a single screen action game with puzzle elements. In Jetpack you control a little man whose goal is to collect emeralds while avoiding traps and enemies. After you collect the “Jetpack” you can fly around the stages, you can also destroy certain walls using a thing called a “phase shifter”
Jump and bump is competitive 2 player fighting game featuring murderous bunnies. Each bunny attempts to crush their opponent; the bunny with the higher jump is victorious. Unfortunately there's no AI support, so if you don’t have friends this will be a fairly boring affair. However If your ever stuck in Antarctica in a situation similar to in the movie “The thing” and all you’ve got is a dos machine, some friends (who may or may not be alien) and a copy of Jump and bump you could have a pretty fun time before being assimilated.
Kens labyrinth is technically a 3d first person shooter, however in terms of violence it’s quite tame, it’s better described as being weird and sort of surreal. You’ll be throwing “jelly bombs” at giant spiders, flying heads and pirates. The author of the game (Ken Silverman) went on to write the 3d engine used in Duke Nukem 3d, Shadow Warrior and Blood (the build engine).
This game was made by a German hacker group (Alpha helix)
Its basically a beer themed shoot em up, similar to games like galaga. In between stages you can purchase beer themed weapon upgrades (appropriately at the bar) Also notably it contains a massive amount of audio samples from movies and especially German pop culture. I’ve read that there’s also a hangover themed level however I’ve never made it that far.
“Here be dragons”
Miner VGA is a puzzle game that also requires some strategy.
The goal of the game is to mine $20000 worth of gems and minerals and also find a diamond ring so that you can marry a prostitute who’s also the owner of the local saloon.
Putting the totally un-pc storyline aside the game is divided into 2 areas consisting of the main town and your mine, which can only be accessed via an elevator. Every time you dig or re-enter the mine you lose money, but if your money goes below -100 the game ends. While digging you also have a random chance of either causing a cave-in or hitting an underground spring, both events cause you to lose health, and once your health decreases to 0, you get game over.
The scrolling in this game is particularly slow, however it’s still playable.
Scorched earth is a turn based artillery game similar to worms or death tank, although it predates both those games. In Scorched earth you take turns, tweaking the power and angle of your cannon attacks until you hit an opponent and all opponents are defeated. New weapons can be purchased in-between rounds and there are multiple settings which can be altered.
Space dude is a rather zany game. It’s best described as a random series of mini-games that revolve around a deformed, disembodied dude on a flying surf board. Most of the mini-games consist of avoiding crashing into objects for a certain amount of time, within a pseudo 3d perspective. Failing to complete a segment sends you into another one, usually after an amusing cut scene. There’s a vague mission implied through the cut scenes, which suggests our protagonist is the champion of a futuristic city, and must save the city from a monster space-roach invasion. Far out, dude.
Stix world is a platform exploration game which uses vector lines exclusively for graphics. It has a lot of character and charm to it. Gravity depends on what surface the player is standing on, meaning you can sometimes walk upside down on ceilings, you can also zoom in and out of the game by using the page up and page down keys.
Warpath isn’t actually a dos game, so you don’t need to run it in dos box, but as it’s nearly 20 years old I thought I would include it on this list anyway.
Warpath is a real time strategy game set in space. Your goal is to take over a finite area of space, which is divided into 4 quadrants, each separated by an energy field. At the same time 3 other players or computer AIs are also vying for galactic supremacy. You can mine uninhabited planets and sell the ore, you can also colonize planets and trade with other races. The game is won if the opponents lose all their ships or if one player colonizes the entire galaxy.
Xargon is a platform action game, where you play the role of an archeologist who’s been transported into another dimension. You can shoot boulders and laser beams out of your chest. The game uses a similar engine to Jill of the jungle and has a few similarities to that game, for instance slightly stiff controls and the occasional segment where the player transforms into an animal.
Zeliard is sidescrolling platformer with rpg elements. You control a knight who must travel between villages, where useful items and equipment can be bought, and dangerous, monster filled caverns. Dying in the caverns sends you back to the previous village but removes half your gold, you also need to find several items to allow you to progress beyond certain points, for instance a cloak which shields against fire and shoes that let you to walk on frozen floors.