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  #31  
Old 04-19-2017, 06:34 AM
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I missed out on the DOS era of games. But I did have access to an Amiga and fondly remember playing SimAnt. I think my childhood fear of spiders is at least slightly attributable to omnipresent threat they present to your ants in this game!
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  #32  
Old 04-19-2017, 07:03 AM
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I remember buying the original Warcraft after drooling over the box. No reviews, just a kid hyped up by the box copy.

If I recall correctly, the application name was simply "war". So there in your DOS prompt you'd type in war and slam enter.

Shit was about to get real
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  #33  
Old 04-19-2017, 08:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yimothy View Post
I spent a lot of time playing DOS games as a kid, as well as struggling to get them to work.
I played a lot of these! Alley Cat was actually pretty fun, and Sopwith was...something. And Digger! I can't recall where exactly I played that, but I know I've seen those graphics before. Of course, Scorched Earth was basically a better version of Tank Wars, and both of those spawned the whole Worms series.

Let's see, our first DOS computer was an IBM PC Jr that we got in maybe 1986. Here are a few of my favorites from back then:

Jumpman (no, not Mario)



Montezuma's Revenge (skip to 20:45, I don't know how to embed a time-code using the YouTube tag)

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  #34  
Old 04-19-2017, 08:10 AM
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I have a certain amount of nostalgia for this era of games, I guess inexplicably, because I didn't participate in it at all.

My family's computer in the early-to-mid 90s was basically mono-color, ascii-only graphics and we just had a few simple games on it (which I nevertheless played often).

I've dug up some old DOS games via Abandonware and played them on DOSbox, though. Actually PC gaming as a whole is sort of uncharted territory for me. It's something I want to dig into further someday.
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  #35  
Old 04-19-2017, 08:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yimothy View Post
Scorched Earth:
A brilliant, ridiculous artillery game. Turn explosions up to max, get a shield and some parachutes for when you blow the ground out from under yourself, and get nuking. Had an editable file it pulled quotes from for the tanks to say when shooting at each other, but I'm sure nothing I put in there was as good as "From hell's heart I stab at thee", which came included.
I played so much Scorched Earth with classmates in my eighth-grade computer lab. A few years later someone showed me a copy of Worms on PC and my immediate reaction was "this is just Scorched Earth with cute characters"!

I keep meaning to check out ShellShock Live, which appears to be trying to modernize the "artillery genre" with online play and RPG hooks.
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  #36  
Old 04-19-2017, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yimothy View Post
Sopwith:

The second greatest dogfighting game of all time (after Intellivision Biplanes (part of Triple Action)).
Now I'm remembering this one side-scrolling game where you were a jet fighter and I can't remember the name. You had missions like "destroy three bomber planes" or "destroy five oil rigs" and sometimes there would be a UFO, I think?

I can't remember if it was "Stealth Bomber", because that was a flight simulator game by MicroProse. You flew around in an F-19, doing missions in various war scenarios. My brother loved it and he was also quite good at it. It was too bad we never figured out how to save the records because I think he got every citation but the Congressional Medal of

JUMPJET! That was the title of the game!



It was shareware but I'm fairly certain it was just a complete game. I remember... someone getting the highest score, I can't remember if it was my brother, my dad or my brother's friend. We never beat that score, though. Good times.
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  #37  
Old 04-19-2017, 09:08 AM
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Originally Posted by muteKi View Post
You know what was a cool game? Xargon. Very familiar to anyone who played Jill of the Jungle too.
Oh, man, I very much remember Xargon. It also creeped me out quite a bit, which I suspect comes down to the music. That's some eerie-sounding stuff. Both it and Jill were fun games.

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Originally Posted by YangusKhan View Post
By the time I first played home computer games, I think we had Windows 98 (maybe 95). But I do remember having some floppy discs with games and that needed to be run through DOS, so I learned how to do that. IIRC I had some weird Mega Man port and then, like, Jazz Jackrabbit?
I actually have the CD version of Jazz that I sent off for back in the day. I think it was a promotional they ran with Jazz Jackrabbit 2. It's a weird amalgam of Sonic and Mega Man which doesn't always work, but is shockingly solid compared to most console-style attempts on PC in the day.

Last edited by Sarge; 04-19-2017 at 10:08 AM.
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  #38  
Old 04-19-2017, 09:57 AM
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I wish I could remember my own favourite old DOS games, but I have the memory of a goldfish, so I'll have to content myself with reacting to everyone else.

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Originally Posted by KCar View Post
I remember soundblaster wrangling was a real problem for me in the old days. Any time I got a new game it would take a week before I could play it.
Ayup! I didn't understand what the fuck an IRQ was, but I sure as hell had to care an awful lot about it!

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Originally Posted by spineshark View Post
the castle of dr brain/the island of dr brain - maybe the zenith of edutainment software in my opinion.
I loved-loved-loved these as a kid, but I tried to play one of them on the Internet Archive a while ago and oof. Pretty hard to go back to.

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Originally Posted by MCBanjoMike View Post
The Quest for Glory games are a great series of semi-open RPG/adventure games with lots of charm and I swear I'm going to replay them all at some point.
I was only introduced to these for the first time ~five years ago by my ex-wife, and I really enjoyed playing through the first few despite having no history with the series. They hold up really well!

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Originally Posted by Eishtmo View Post
Conflict, a Middle East simulator
I would love to learn more about this. I thought that Conflict was just an NES game (the SNES sequel to which is near and dear to my heart), and can't find anything about any computer game from that era of the same name.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yimothy View Post
Scorched Earth:
A brilliant, ridiculous artillery game. Turn explosions up to max, get a shield and some parachutes for when you blow the ground out from under yourself, and get nuking. Had an editable file it pulled quotes from for the tanks to say when shooting at each other, but I'm sure nothing I put in there was as good as "From hell's heart I stab at thee", which came included.
I still put a copy of scorch.exe in the root directory of every new PC I get. It's a good luck tradition at this point. That same exe has been copied through every computer I've owned since my 486.
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  #39  
Old 04-19-2017, 10:13 AM
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Some edutainment games I remember playing:

Reader Rabbit (Ready-for-Letters specifcally). My dumb little 5 year old brain had a bit of trouble thinking of "necklace" as a compound word a la "neck + lace".

Math Rabbit. This was some early primitive graphics in comparison to the rather colorful and detailed work of Reader Rabbit and I remember distinctly thinking this was some sort of homebrew pirate clone sort of thing. Looking it up now I realize that, no, the game was just old, before the wonders of things such as SVGA.

Carmen Sandiego Junior Detective. This was kinda fun, I guess? A goofier take on Carmen and, irritatingly, kinda had a bunch of pixel-hunty crap in the process. Your robot companion's BE ALERT MY POWER IS RUNNING LOW message unsettled me (seems to have been a design carryover from the previous Space one, anyway that's all for a different thread).

A couple busytown games, too. They're minigame collections and, frankly, less exciting, but they were also made by the guys who made the Ecco games and even going back to them now I think, "damn, that's some impressive sprite work". Computer-aided dithering, though, I would presume.
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  #40  
Old 04-19-2017, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Googleshng View Post
And then of course there was the one time I had a chance to start playing that one crazy game whose name I keep forgetting that was basically like an 8-payer simultaneous sci-fi text adventure (with the bulk of the text in little booklets so whoever's not in the hot seat has something to read while waiting for their next turn).
That sounds like one of the Star Saga games; there were two of them, and the final entry in the planned trilogy never saw the light of day. Of course. They were pretty great, although the second one was somewhat more difficult because there was an invading enemy fleet that would move across the map over time. The first game, by comparison, was a fairly relaxed space exploration sandbox game.
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  #41  
Old 04-19-2017, 10:33 AM
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I still haven't found the old helicopter game I played as a kid that had this voice clip in it that would play when you lost

I did however re-discover Skyroads about a decade ago and that game both was and is very good and has had a couple interesting modern remakes like Tasty Static. Apparently the developers released the game (and an earlier version of basically the same ideas, Kosmonaut) as freeware quite a while back, and it's worth a revisit.

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  #42  
Old 04-19-2017, 12:52 PM
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U L T I M A U N D E R W O R L D



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  #43  
Old 04-19-2017, 12:58 PM
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Virtual Karts isn't particularly noteworthy a game, but the intro is pretty spectacular.


the great irony of course is that even a fast go-kart isn't going to go above 55

anyway this was one of two games we had when we got our first home computer, the other being a copy of Sonic CD but that's not a dos game so who even gives a shit I mean seriously
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  #44  
Old 04-19-2017, 01:21 PM
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Oh god, that 10 FPS 3D gaming. So many memories.
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  #45  
Old 04-19-2017, 02:15 PM
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You know what's kinda cool? DOS Castlevania. In a way it's agonizingly close to great, because it's a very small number of issues that keep it from being a perfect port of the NES original. (PS: play with Tandy sound if you can)
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  #46  
Old 04-19-2017, 07:34 PM
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I think I missed the DOS era, but I do remember a whole lot of old PC gaming I did. The only thing I remember specifically doing in DOS was using a boot disk to boot directly into SimCity 2000 because the computer didn't have enough memory to boot it from windows.
- I also remember the Dr Brain and Busytown others have mentioned. I also had Treasure Math Storm and Spelling Jungle.
- I played the shareware platformers (Jazz Jackrabbit and Hocus Pocus) that came with the Gravis Gamepad
- I remember shareware Castle Wolfenstein 3D but no recollection of DOOM until much later
- School games like Oregon Trail, Hotdog Stand and SimCity. I think we also had Sid Meier's Pirates.
- I had Civilization, Colonization, Transport Tycoon and Railroad Tycoon. My brother and I played a lot of these games for many years.
- My dad dated a woman that left us Kings Quest 4 and Laura Bow 2.
- We had The Incredible Machine or it might have been the Even More Incredible Machine.
- I got Pizza Tycoon in a bargain bin and then lost the recipe book and had to order a new one. I never did figure out how to do the mafia deliveries.
- somewhere in here I got Pharaoh and Lord of the Realm also. Oh and Robert E. Lee: Civil War General
- I had a friend who had a mac and SimFarm (we lived in the midwest. his dad played real life farm)

Looks to me like most of this stuff was around 94-95ish which lines up with when I believe my dad got a home computer. My dad is a bench jeweler, so he had no interaction with computers in his job other than maybe a point of sale system, so we were probably a little late to the technology. Based on photos from the internet, I believe my dad got a Compaq Presario 520 All in One PC with a 66 Mhz 486 processor. It came with TabWorks.

So, I guess this is all pretty much off topic for DOS, but as a kid who's parents were mostly anti-game systems, I played a ton of pc games and remember them fondly and I'm feeling super nostalgic now.
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  #47  
Old 04-19-2017, 08:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Meditative_Zebra View Post
I missed out on the DOS era of games. But I did have access to an Amiga and fondly remember playing SimAnt. I think my childhood fear of spiders is at least slightly attributable to omnipresent threat they present to your ants in this game!
I watched some videos of this on whim the other day, and man that is a weird game (my only prior exposure to it was something like 5 very confused minutes futzing around with the SNES version in an emulator). From the looks of it, it seems like the game is one part janky proto-RTS and another part proto-idle-game, with just enough connective glue to keep the two halves together. I kind of want to play it now.

It's a cryin' shame the world never got a "Sim Ant 2000."
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  #48  
Old 04-19-2017, 09:40 PM
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I knew a kid who was really into SimAnt. I didn't really get it. I liked taking a bunch of ants over to fight the red ants, but I didn't understand the overall goal of taking over the yard and then the house by spreading to new tiles. I also would get frustrated if I died to the lawn mower because I hadn't kept an eye on that screen to see what the human was doing.

You could futz with percentages of types of ants and behavior. I had no idea what was best. I just wanted to go fight.

It wasn't my favorite sim game, but I did understand at least the general idea. (more than i can say for SimEarth)
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  #49  
Old 04-19-2017, 09:47 PM
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i think i played most of the super solvers games, even if the only one i ever actually had was the spelling one (kinda boring). my favorite was by far gizmos and gadgets, which had a bunch of (obviously, simple) physics and engineering type stuff along with really fun exploration sections

we also had qbasic gorillas. to this day my brothers and i are absolutely convinced the banana bombs in the worms series are a reference to it, even if they obviously don't really work the same
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  #50  
Old 04-19-2017, 10:16 PM
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I played it on Mac, but it had DOS and Windows ports too that are more-or-less identical: Monopoly Deluxe. Monopoly with all sorts of little goofy touches and flourishes that did honestly kinda make it feel more alive to a 5 year old kid like I probably was at the time? I remember never wanting to buy stuff directly when landing on it because the auctioneer ramble cracked me up so much. I also liked cheating by taking control of the computer players and stealing all their stuff.
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  #51  
Old 04-20-2017, 06:10 AM
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oh, that reminds me of Dinopark Tycoon. I liked the auction in that game because they other bidders were funny. I think there was only one time I actually managed to turn a profit. Most of the time, I'd sink a bunch of cash into a dino that would immediately escape and then I've got no cash and no exhibits.
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  #52  
Old 04-20-2017, 08:35 AM
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Since a lot of these old games only had a very limited color palette the developers had to get pretty creative to overcome the technical limitations. There's a collection of pretty amazing art created by Mark J. Ferrari, the illustrator for The Secret of Monkey Island, showing how he used color cycling to incredible artistic effect as well as a more technical explanation of how it all worked.

Quote:
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  #53  
Old 04-20-2017, 08:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muteKi View Post
I still haven't found the old helicopter game I played as a kid that had this voice clip in it that would play when you lost

I did however re-discover Skyroads about a decade ago and that game both was and is very good and has had a couple interesting modern remakes like Tasty Static. Apparently the developers released the game (and an earlier version of basically the same ideas, Kosmonaut) as freeware quite a while back, and it's worth a revisit.

Skyroads is weirdly hypnotic and more than a little existential. A soothing game about inevitable death.
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  #54  
Old 04-20-2017, 08:41 AM
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I signed up for a Shareware of the Month club on Prodigy in '93 or so that was the source of almost every game I played until I got a Playstation in high school. I burned an obscene amount of time on EGATrek in the middle 90s.
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  #55  
Old 04-20-2017, 08:44 AM
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Yeah, I was a bit late for this, but Castle of the Winds and several Apogee shareware discs were my jam on PC until I got into high school.
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  #56  
Old 04-20-2017, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MCBanjoMike View Post
Of course, Scorched Earth was basically a better version of Tank Wars, and both of those spawned the whole Worms series.
Man, we would have middle school fights over which was better. While Scorched Earth had more effects and crazy things going on, I was in the Tank Wars camp, feeling that the gameplay was smoother and lack of crazy stuff going on meant you could actually plan your strategy better.

And when neither were available, sometimes you had QBasic Gorilla. We figured out how to edit the code to make the banana bigger, but I think that didn't also increase its hitbox or damage? Good times.
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  #57  
Old 04-20-2017, 09:20 AM
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Anyone play any DOS pinball games? I know Pinball Construction Set is the one that gets put on a pedestal, but as a relative latecomer to the PC with no money, the shareware version of Extreme Pinball was my jam.



Sure, the physics are pretty wonky, but check out that sweet mid-90s VGA table art!
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  #58  
Old 04-20-2017, 09:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCar View Post
I remember soundblaster wrangling was a real problem for me in the old days. Any time I got a new game it would take a week before I could play it. I remember a weird cludge where if I ran games in Windows 3.1, they would have full sound with terrible color, and if I ran them in DOS they'd have full color but the voice channel wouldn't work. That might have just been my computer, but it was constant.
I remember vividly trying to get Space Hulk to play with some dang sound, and how I finally jury rigged a solution that played three notes before crashing so hard I had to reinstall Windows.
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  #59  
Old 04-20-2017, 09:43 AM
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Oh, yeah, I think I had the full version of Extreme Pinball somehow. I'm wanting to say it was part of a bundle on a 10 for $10 pack that also included Ultima VII?

Like much of Epic MegaGames' output, that music was cool stuff. Of course, the game I put most of my time into of theirs was:

One Must Fall 2097.

Seriously, that game was awesome.
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  #60  
Old 04-20-2017, 10:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Sensible View Post
Anyone play any DOS pinball games? I know Pinball Construction Set is the one that gets put on a pedestal, but as a relative latecomer to the PC with no money, the shareware version of Extreme Pinball was my jam.

Sure, the physics are pretty wonky, but check out that sweet mid-90s VGA table art!
I had Epic Pinball, and two tables from shareware versions. I loved it, especially the andriod table where you had to activate the android through table goals. Never did wake the thing up, but it was fun trying.
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