The Internet Archive has been a prodigious resource for years when it comes to accessing content that has been disappearing over time on the Internet, and games have also had a special place in this work. Thanks to its combination with the DOS Box emulator and the latest versions of browsers, a very special branch of this content was presented at the beginning of the year.
It is neither more nor less than the possibility of executing in our browser any of the 2,400 games that the catalog available by those responsible for this project has. Many options and much nostalgia that have forced us to make an attempt to select some of the most outstanding. These are for us - here, of course, tastes may vary - the 28 best games of the MS-DOS era that we can enjoy directly and free in the browser thanks to this service.
This cooperative game was a success in arcade games of the 80s and had a version on various platforms. And one of them was the PC, in which we could also enjoy this recreation of the world of "Dragons and Dungeons" and choose any of the four characters -each one with its advantages and disadvantages- to try to go as far as possible. In this catalog there is also its sequel.
The first version is not available in this catalog, but it is this sequel that reinforced the legendary original concept of a game in which, as in many concepts of the time, graphics were almost secondary. The level of addiction offered by that simple concept was astonishing, and like other chosen ones on this list, Arkanoid had versions for virtually all platforms that existed at the time of its launch.
A classic that has had a sad ending recently with the closure of the studio by EA but that was a milestone for the time. The creation of an absolutely great Will Wright takes shape again in our browsers and does it with that glorious 2D perspective so striking and so typical of those years.
You are going to allow me the whim of including one of those games that I spent more hours than I should have been playing with my classmates -in the UPM IF Calculation Center it was a classic-), because Scorched Earth was a prodigy of that magic in which simplicity did not prevent one from wanting to play again and again. The trajectory calculation that was the basis of this unique tank battle was not new, but it was the one that popularized a genre that would later become a fundamental pillar of many other later successes such as Worms.
There are classics and there are classics among the classics. Golden Ax is one of them, and after getting many of us to stop paying on Sundays in arcade games, it also triumphed on all the platforms it appeared on. This arcade put us in the role of one of the three different characters - a warrior woman included, curious for the time - and forced us to take on all the enemies that came before us.
It was one of the games that really stood out as much for its gameplay as for its graphics or its music. In Prince of Persia the physics of the character seemed more real than ever - his weight and inertia were key in movement and when it came to avoiding obstacles - and that gave an added value to a game that in fact would end up inspiring sequels as much in video games as adaptations -not very lucky- to the cinema.
It was not the first game by id Software and its great creators, but it was the seed of what would later become a revolution in the video game industry. First-Person-Shooters (FPS) owe a lot to this true myth of the video game industry that, yes, they still do not allow now essential things like side scrolling. But that gives it even more charm, don't you think?
As with the Arkanoid, the original video game is not available in the catalog, but we do have other titles such as this second part that confirms the success of its predecessor and that also provided that fun concept of the tribes to divide the friendly and sacrificed ( Or safricables?) Lemmings in one of the twelve available, each with its own peculiarities. Just great to note that it was often not possible to save all of them.
This is one of the few titles that continues to be played today (although specifically it is its sequel Street Fighter II Turbo, released in 1994), something that shows the degree of perfection that this fighting game achieved in its day. Even without that striking 3D perspective from later fighting games or a more limited catalog of characters and movements, each in his style became a little legend in himself. A must on the list, of course.
Larry Lafter was the particular Alfredo Landa of video games of the late 80s. An irreverent game for the time and that even had sexual content - he gave you a test at the beginning to verify that you were of an appropriate age. The adventures of this peculiar gigolo conquered a lot of players on various platforms, and in fact they liked it so much that they had six more installments directly and other related ones that have even reached our times.
Frank Herbert's novels inspired movies and, of course, video games. In this catalog we have the second installment of Dune, a strategy game with a simple but very addictive development that was reinforced in the second installment and in which we could again choose between the different houses (Atreides, Harkonnen and Ordos) to compete for the conquest of the planet Arrakis and, of course, for the control of the spice. Beware of worms, yes.
Virgin's game is based on the 1992 Disney animated film and is an ode to platforms where the adaptation of the Disney characters was finally a success. The video game was as much fun for the little ones as we were by then a little older, and although the control with keys is a small challenge - beautiful console controls - it is a fun and charming game.
The ambition after the launch of an absolutely revolutionary Doom went further in this installment - the first is not available - and its creators went from using (successfully, for the record) the shareware model to move to a commercial model in which the game It arrived directly at the stores. Although on a technical level there were no major changes, it did take advantage of the evolution of the hardware to offer a game engine with more levels much more intricate and large. More Doom than ever, go.
The Lucasfilm Games games marked a before and after in the graphic adventure segment - now sadly forgotten - and one of its great successes was the adaptation of the third installment of the adventures of Indiana Jones. As in the rest of the installments of the games of this producer, fidelity to the story was accompanied by a very special humor and those fun puzzles that made it almost impossible not to stay glued to the screen until they were solved. If you want you can also enjoy another great Lucasfilm classic in this segment, Maniac Mansion.
This video game that had two sequels was one of the pillars of all kinds of games based on turn-based game mechanics. As with Civilization -not available in the catalog, too bad, and this places us in space-, players had to build an empire through exploration, research, colonization and, of course, war. Enough ingredients to entertain the most painted.
In MS-DOS there is an important catalog of video games dedicated to the RPG genre, but one of the most outstanding was Eye of the Beholder, part of a trilogy that is fully available in this service and therefore we can fully enjoy it. Developed as a computer version of the famous Dragons and Dungeons board games, it became one of the clear references and, as in other cases, its many successes were taken advantage of by other similar but much more modern titles.
Another success of the arcade games that made its transition to various platforms of the time - already more established in the 16 and even the 32 bits - and which was also known as Bubble Puzzle Bobble. Here Taito once again demonstrated that a simple concept and simple 2D graphics can be perfect companions to a fun and highly addictive development. Another classic in real-time puzzles in which the colored bubbles were our allies ... or our nightmare, of course.
Developed in the early '70s, this game has become a legend since its launch and led to nine more installments. It sold a whopping 65 million copies, and was one of the "franchise" games on computers like the Apple II. His original orientation was educational and he tried to explain to children the realities of life in the American West in the mid-19th century. For many, another one of the essentials in the history of MSDOS games.
This colorful RPG game allowed PC players to explore that huge virtual world called Britannia, and in addition to the realism of some sections there was a unique feature: players could pick up, use or move practically any visible object that existed in the scenarios of Ultima VI . It was the first game in that legendary saga that was developed specifically for MS-DOS and harnessed the power of VGA graphics at the time.
Another of the fighting video games that featured a large number of versions: all the platforms of the time had their corresponding edition, and the MS DOS version also allowed you to enjoy those fights in which the enemies that were happening on stage they were getting more difficult. There was not too much variety in movements, but for the time it was one of the best achieved and most popular fighting games on the market.
This video game, also known as 4D Sports Driving, was one of the pioneers in the treatment of 3D car simulation video games, and in addition to that attention to simulation, the game also had a race track editor. The game was also especially fun due to the presence of loops and jumps, and its creators even allowed to reproduce the race after finishing it. You may find the codes required at the start of each game to unlock security safe.
Another of Broderbund's successes - which was something like the Electronic Arts of the time - was the Carmen Sandiego franchise, whose first installment was this. In it this villain sigular faced the ACME Detective Agency, but that playful section was combined with an educational one, since the game was conceived for the educational market with the aim of teaching geography and history - and later also mathematics and English -.
Flight simulators became one of the most popular segments, and among the highlights was this Gunship 2000 that covered the terrain of helicopters and also did so with ambition. You just have to take a look at its 170-page manual that accurately described the various options of a game that put us at the controls of different combat models and that despite those graphics is still a very curious proposal. Two other examples: Chuck Yeagers AFT and, of course, Falcon 3.0 (those exterior views ...).
There were still a few years left for Deep Blue to put Garry Kasparov in check - and never better said -, but chess games also began to have their place on the PCs of the time and in fact began to be seen as valuable training tools for amateurs and professionals of this sport. The Chessmaster franchise sold the most video games of this type, and this 1989 title already showed unique power. The creator of the video game placed it at around 2,000 ELO USCF points, but in reality it is estimated that his score was around 1,550-1,600 ELO points.
This action game became very popular and actually had a second version. In its development we put ourselves in the role of Heimdall, a demigod of Norwegian mythology who had to protect the entrance to Asgard, home of the gods. The action-adventure game presented an isometric perspective in which our hero was collecting objects to fulfill the main mission while touring the different islands present in the game. The graphics in the MS-DOS version are very reminiscent of those in the Amiga and Atari ST editions.
One of the legendary games of the 80s ambitiously explored science fiction and the concept of a model with open endings, in addition to using revolutionary 3D graphics for the time (although now they are logically simple) and that game mechanic in which space trade was the basis of development. Elite's influence was felt in its sequels (Frontier: Elite II and Frontier: First Encounters) and also in later titles like Wing Commander and even Grand Theft Auto.
Some may argue with Tetris about the narrative, but it is impossible not to mention it in virtually any list of myths in the world of video games. In this version of the arcade game developed by Spectrum Holobyte in 1986 at least they had the detail of mentioning their original creators, A. Pajitnov and V. Gerasimov, and although the graphics are really mediocre -very MS-DOS, I would say-, the magic is still there.
Another of the ubiquitous titles on the 16-bit equipment of the time and that also came to MS-DOS in a conversion that graphically certainly did not stand out but at least retained the rest of the components of this fighting arcade in which our objective it was to destroy all enemies with cakes. The possibility of playing simultaneously with another player was one of the clear attractions of a game that has also become a benchmark.