I got my first computer when I was 10 back in 1996; it was an AMD Am386-40 (the fastest 386 you could buy) with 8 MB of RAM, running DOS 6.22 and Windows 3.1 on an amber monochrome (later a B&W) monitor.  Anyways, since the early 1990's, my brother and I have loved to play DOS games.  Back then, all 3 of our non-Linux computers were 486's and below (the Linux server was a 486 as well), and were just right to run most of the DOS games up to that point.

Nowadays, with modern multi-core systems running Windows NT-based OS's (which do not fully support 16-bit DOS applications), without special software, most of them don't work well, if at all.  For a while, in the mid-00's I had a second computer hooked up (a P3-700 P3-933, with a genuine Creative Labs SB16, running Windows 98), just to play older DOS games.  I do still have that machine, but it was merely serving as a placeholder until the DOSBox emulator being developed worked well enough.  (More on that in a moment.)

Between the mid-90's (when I got my first exposure to shareware DOS games, Microforum's Complete Encyclopedia of Games 2-CD set) and about 2004 I downloaded, and otherwise got off shareware CDs, whatever shareware games that were available and interested me.  I did eventually find full versions of some of them, like Descent (my all-time favorite DOS game) and Jazz Jackrabbit.  Since 2004, I've been hunting down full versions of DOS games online, including some that I hadn't played before (like Wolfenstein 3D, DOOM, and Quake, most likely because of their graphic nature).  As a result of this, and the success of DOSBox, our DOS games collection has swelled to epic (pun!) proportions.

The special software I keep referring to, the open-source program called DOSBox, is an emulator (a program that reproduces the behavior and functions of old hardware and/or software on a modern system) of an x86-based PC running DOS.  Of course, due to its nature as a hardware emulator, it takes plenty of processing power to run well; this isn't the sort of thing you should attempt to run on an old P2-400, for example.  (For that matter, you shouldn't even bother running Windows XP on a machine that old IMO, even though it's supported.)  As of this writing, DOSBox is very stable, and runs over 90% of the DOS games in my personal collection flawlessly (only one game has any serious issues); a user-submitted compatibility list is available on the DOSBox website.  The current release is version 0.74, and is available as both a source package, and as pre-compiled binaries for Windows (XP and higher), Mac OS X, and other UNIX-like OS's.  (That is to say, POSIX-compatible, Linux-like, Un*x, or whatever terminology you're familiar with.)

Getting back to DOS games… My areas of interest for DOS games are, for the most part, action/adventure, arcade, and first-person-shooter games, but I have been known to branch out on occasion.  Below is a sampling of those categories, as well as a couple of others; not all of the games will have their own page.

Note added 3/09/11: I will be reworking this area of the site for the next few months, so things may be a bit wonky until then.  (The Descent and Jazz sections in particular need to be CSS'ed something awful.)

Any questions or comments you might have about the pages, a particular game, or DOS games in general may be directed to insectoid (at) budwin (dot) net; please put IWP: in the subject line.  I do appreciate the feedback, both good and bad.  However, any spam mail will be subject to immediate de-resolution!  Requests for copies of non-shareware (i.e., purchased) games are treated likewise.



First-Person Shooter (FPS)

Educational / Puzzle

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