Gaming nostalgia and a possible time sinkhole…

Back in the day, I used to enjoy me the odd pc-based videogame. I was heavy into the racing sim games which varied from the high quality (Indy500 from Papyrus, Geoff Crammond’s GP1,GP2 and GP3) to the very low (Bill Elliot’s Nascar Challenge, and the old Road&Track Grand Prix Unlimited game – eeewww, what’s that smell??).

But my pc-gaming experience extended past the racing sim genre to include a few other favourites. Two of which I’ve recently re-experienced using a neat utility called DosBox. DosBox is an open-source DOS emulator. Indeed, I have been using DosBox at work for some time, since it’s the only way I can get a favourite old DOS-based design program running within XP. From their website:

DOSBox is a DOS-emulator that uses the SDL-library which makes DOSBox very easy to port to different platforms. DOSBox has already been ported to many different platforms, such as Windows, BeOS, Linux, MacOS X…

DOSBox also emulates CPU:286/386 realmode/protected mode, Directory FileSystem/XMS/EMS, Tandy/Hercules/CGA/EGA/VGA/VESA graphics, a SoundBlaster/Gravis Ultra Sound card for excellent sound compatibility with older games…

So locating the files for two of my absolute all-time favourites, 4D Sports Boxing and Out of this World (which was called ‘Another World’ in the UK), I immediately fired up DosBox, mounted the C:\ drive to a specified folder on my system and it ran them both flawlessly, sound included – just like they ran on my old 386 and P75 machines.

Out of this World is still a marvel of interesting gameplay. The theatrical intro, ultra cool background music and polygon based graphics made this one a cult hit then. It’s still a great challenge to play. Think of it as Prince of Persia but much more elegant and involving. I remember spending countless hours trying to figure out solutions to the problems I faced in the game, without the benefit of Google or it’s associated cheat and hint code environment.

So indeed, if you’ve got a hankerin’ for that pc game from long ago, check out DosBox and let the retro roll!!

And if arcade gaming was also your thing (think Zaxxon, Galaga, Q-bert, Omega Race and Joust) then you could always check out the Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator or Mame for short. You can find the mame site here, or if you’re a linux user, check your repos, you might be a quick ‘sudo apt-get install xmame-common’ away from retro gaming nirvana like I was. 😉

Caution: This post holds the potential for a massive time sinkhole. You have been warned!! 🙂

Were you a gamer in years past? Share some of your faves in the comments.

2 Responses to “Gaming nostalgia and a possible time sinkhole…”

  1. Simón A. Ruiz Says:

    Yeah, DosBox has eaten quite a few hours of my life as well… 🙂

    Ultima 7 (no Google, all the way through, WooHoo!), Prince of Persia (still hard), Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? (Though the fun of that one wore off after the “oh, cool!” nostalgia.), etc. All abandonware downloaded off the Internet.

    If I went back through my disk collection, $DEITY protect them from bit rot, I might have a bunch of other neat games to suck stretches of my life away.

  2. RichardQuerin Says:

    I remember playing Prince of Persia for quite some time. Although I never got into the Ultima type of games. I always seemed to go for sim games (racing, flightsims, sport sims, or sim city type stuff). Played a few first person shooters too. I remember being completely awestruck when I first saw Wolfenstein. 😉

    Thanks for reading Simón! 🙂

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