My first computer was the amazing Commodore 64, a 1 mhz, 64 kilobytes of RAM, 1 button Atari type joystick computer that being an American, meant a 5 1/4" single sided floppy disk drive that ran slow as hell because of Commodore's decisions during development of the machine.
I got this little baby in December 1987. However by that time the next year all the computer gaming magazines were more and more covering PC DOS computers. Those 1500-3000+ in 1988 dollar machines that were generally WORSE for gaming than my C64 which cost about a tenth the price. No real audio, 4 Color CGA (or 16 EGA if you were big pimpin), and bad for games of the time analog joysticks. My friend Dave had a Franklin DOS PC and it was just.. eurgh.
Yet the PC was becoming king, while the superior Amiga and Atari ST were left in the dust unless you lived in Europe.
As time went on and it continued to (unjustly) become the de facto home computer audio and graphics continued to improve. In 1993 when I was in the Navy I bought my first machine, a Tandy 486 25.
Frankenstein. My often upgraded 486 that takes a licking and keeps on ticking. Even if certain parts do not...
As time went on I would go from computer to computer, but this special little guy got tons of upgrades over the years as it really was mighty bare bones to start. Modems. Sound and joystick cards. Game controllers. CDROM drives. "Overdrive" chips. More RAM.
It was pretty much the computer that I used for 3-4 years. The Last Days of DOS.
Then we entered the Internet Age and the Age of Windows 95.
But that will be another series.
In this series we will be covering DOS games, both CDROM and 3.5 720k-1.44m byte disk formats as that as all this machine could ever have. Sadly I never got a 5 1/4th inch drive meaning Ultima Savage Frontier was never bought as I only saw the 5 1/4 version. And now its worth a TON.
Due to some of the weird ways DOS games and collections were games will only sort of be in alphabetical order, and some will be dual Windows 3.1/95 / DOS formats or in anthologies. Please keep this in mind.
Also keep in mind in some cases I have hardly if ever played some of the games below, or my memories are so hazy of them I simply don't remember much. Most of the games I get even these days are at the sub 20 dollar price point, and some were like 5 bucks at the Navy Exchange back then. I was trying to make up for lost time quite often, getting EGA or CGA games in the days of VGA!
Here we go!
688 Attack Sub is a simulator I barely played. Alien Breed is a (at least my copy) buggy port of the Amiga Gauntlet clone. Bard's Tale 2 is of course the sequel to the legendary Bard's Tale RPG. The Construction Set finally gave DOS BT players lots of color BT fun and an ability to make your own dungeons. Battle Isle 93 I don't think I ever got working. Bioforge is another of the earliest "Survival Horror" action adventures. Budokan is a serious styled fighting game in the pre Street Fighter 2 era. Bullfrog Compilation has Populous, Populous 2, Syndicate, Theme Park, and Powermonger. I think I traded off Populous because I have it on the Genesis.
Card Game Classics is a neat little suite of Windows 3.1 card games. Classic 5 is a set of traditional games. Castles is the fun real time castle building and defending game. Command HQ is a weird RTS that came with my computer along with another title by Dan(i) Bunten to go with the 2400 baud modem. Crime Wave is an action game in the style of NARC. Crusader No Remorse is an isometric action game. Cyber Empires is a real time strategy title. Cyclones is one of the earliest FPS titles with mouse aiming. Darkspyre is an RPG of some sort.
Destruction Derby is a port of the 1st gen Playstation 1 game that REALLY needs a Pentium 100 to play properly. Definitive Wargame Collection includes Warlords, Gold of the Americas, Conquest of Japan, Battles of Napoleon, Decisive Battles of the Civil War, Wargame Construction Set 2: Tanks!, Panzer Battles, D Day, Global Domination, Reach for the Stars, When Two Worlds War, and Sword of Aragon. (Games from SSI, SSG, and Impressions.) I.. haven't really messed with these. Deluxe Paint II Enhanced is more or less shown (disks in storage) because you sort of need it to make art for BTale Construction Set. On the Amiga DPaint was GOD. Not that I can draw mind you.. Duke Nukem 3d Atomic Edition is the legendary FPS that made us forget all about Doom for a while. F-19 Stealth Fighter is the amazing upgrade to the C64's Project Stealth Fighter. Flight Sim Toolkit I never really got to do much but it is apparently capable of making flight simulators. Four Crystals of Trazere is a pretty rad real time isometric RPG.
I have no idea what Essential Frankenstein even IS. Gabriel Knight is a Sierra adventure game. Global Conquest plus the Strategy guide with upgrade disk is the other game that came with the PC. The strat book was purchased separate. Its another weird RTS prototype from Bunten. Gunship 2000 is the sequel to the first computer game I ever bought on my C64. (Cuz my parents weren't willing to get me Autoduel for some reason..) Heimdall 1-2 are odd action RPGs from the UK. King's Bounty is the prototype for the Heroes of Might & Magic turn based wargames. Leisure Suit Larry 3 is another Sierra adventure.
Lemmings is the classic puzzle game that came with my original Sound Blaster. Lightspeed is a cool spaceship fighting/trading sim except I can't find my disks and its a bugger to find replacements online for it. Lucasarts Archives Volume 1 is a huge collection of SCUMM adventure games plus a screensaver. (Ill cover the games included plus other Lucas adventure games next picture.) Magic Candle is a pretty interesting turn based RPG in the Ultima tradition. Master of Orion II is one of the greatest games ever made. A turn based 4x game. (Explore, Exploit, Expand, Exterminate) Might & Magic World of Xeen is the CD compilation of Might & Magic 4-5 which form one gigantic game in the Bard's Tale/Wizardry style. Links is the successor to the Leaderboard series and is still my favorite videogame golf titles. The Microsoft games packs are some Windows 3.1 collections. One has Windows versions of classic Atari Arcade games with some gameplay mods you can use, and the other is more generic Windowsy games. Mile High Club (Sigh) is a suite of flight sims. (Jetfighter II, Wing Commander, F14 Tomcat, Heroes of the 357th, Mig 29, Wing Commander Academy, ATAC, and Megafortress.)
The Powermonger manual from the Bullfrog set they included for some reason, a Cheat/Hint disk, the Star Wars screensaver thingie and 2 issues of Interactive Entertainment which were like an attempt at making a PC games magazine in a multimedia format. I have them here because they have a free game. Walls of Rome, and The Lost Admiral. The latter is a classic turn based wargame. CD Power I don't even know how I got it but its got a pair of games I have never heard of on them. (Tower of Souls and Millennia Altered Destiny) Classic Spectre VR is an ok multiplayer tank sim from some other compilation pack and is currently chilling with the Mile High Club in that case. Full Throttle came with the 8x CDROM Sound Blaster 32 kit I got off Ebay for like 30 bucks when the thing was originally 400 dollars or so. Monkey Island Madness has Monkey Island 1-2 on it and I don't remember how I got it. The rest of the games are Lucasarts adventure games. One of these days I will "get" adventure games..
Back when game magazines sold, and PC gaming wasn't relegated to online digital or mail order sales game magazines had CDs packed in with them. Sometimes they gave you full games. Like Duke 3D! Descent! Star Control 2! Zork 1-3, Red Baron! Battlecruiser 3000AD (DEREK SMART DEREK SMART DE-REK SMART!) Betrayal at Krondor! Sheesh. I am not gonna list all of them. Just click on the pic to see the full sized one. Note some of these disks require Win 95-98 to install the game even if the title was a DOS one.
Another issue in the pre Internet days was getting help for the stupidly hard puzzles in games. Quest for Clues solved that problem for you. Origin Systems published these collections of game solutions for RPG and Adventure titles on the computer. Shay Addams edited it and most of them originally appeared in:
QUESTBUSTERS! A fanzine with reviews, talk, and solutions for the computer game RPG and Adventure genre. Later on another higher quality magazine called Enchanted Realms would do something similar, but classier. Sadly I cannot find anything out about them or find back issues for sale or scanned.
On the right is an example page from Questbusters while on the left is another tip book, this one just covering RPGs during the time when it was pretty much JUST PCs for computer gaming here in the US. In a lot of ways it is MUCH better than Quest for Clues and has a lot of cool interviews and tips for general RPG play than QfG does. But I love both of them.
Example pages from Enchanted Realms, the Wing Commander 1-2 Strategy Guide plus the two Secret Mission add on disks.
Now.. this is just Numerals through M of my DOS games collection counting some titles by the compilation packs they came in. This also leaves out the Hobby Games Gone Computer titles I have already mentioned here: http://wargamedork.blogspot.com/2012/11/game-collection-hobby-games-gone.html and the greatest RPG series ever which will get it's own entry or possibly be brought up with a little two letter company whose games changed everything...