Following the publication of my new casino sites list to look out for, many regular readers exclaimed how some of these titles reminded them of the glory days of MS-DOS gaming!
A brief personal note: It’s my mom’s birthday today. That’s exciting to me because she’s got a PC and she’s never taken it apart. She could be cool, if she’d just take a little more interest. Also, I’m pretty sure she’ll be buried on the PC Gamer front page. That’s all in a very personal way. Also, how cool is that? Some of the earliest PC games are written in MS-DOS.
1. Jam On
By the programmer and photographer Paul Smith, released in 1988.
This is the first game to take advantage of the new IBM PC/XT processor.
2. Master of Magic
By Jon Schindel, released in 1990.
Only the biggest, most demanding gamers of the late 1980s enjoyed this modernized version of the classic D&D series.
3. The Running Man
By Steve Miller, released in 1988.
Written by a very young Frank Borth. You are Roy Ranger, who one day goes out of his house to walk home but is chased by the city’s killer, a killer called the Last One, which is linked to a murder of Ranger’s father. His path to save his mother is through the city’s wild terrain where he encounters people like The Headless Man, The Knife-Throwing Kid, Nightrunner, The Sewer Dweller and many more along the way. Eventually he meets The Madwoman who can actually help him to escape. It’s like the original Doom.
By Dave Grossman, released in 1990.
This is the second game to be written entirely in BASIC.
5. Final Fantasy
By Nobuo Uematsu, released in 1990.
See also The Lord of the Rings: Return to Mount Doom, which makes a somewhat better match for being a DOS game. The second entry is a significant part of our gaming history as well. We love it a lot.
6. Gauntlet II: Mortal Crisis
By Keith Stuart, released in 1991.
This game would have been a great DOS game if it was just called Gauntlet II, but people hated the DOS version so much they pushed to have it remade for DOS 4.0. The enhanced DOS version became our first portable DOS game.
By Vernor Vinge, published in 1993.
The sequel to the first game, by the same author, gives the player full control over the natives of Earth’s destroyed planet.
8. Wizardry 7: Shadows of Xanathor
By Peter Gabriel, released in 1995.
Wizardry 7 is a sequel to Wizardry 8, which itself was a sequel to Wizardry 6. The author reworked some older game mechanics to fit a new gaming format – there was no huge amount of trial and error. The authors made the decisions early on, which ended up being the game’s strong points. The spell and item systems were amazing and the combat engine was great, too. Wizardry 7 is still one of our favourite DOS games.
By George Zeebe and his team, published in 1996.
The single most successful example of a genre that’s still being written in the 2000s. You explore strange worlds and often defeat powerful enemies in the process. It’s been out of production for several years now, but it’s not going to go away, I promise you.
By Stephen Poynder, released in 1996.
Rogue makes its first appearance in the PC Gamer top ten, but was actually our first DOS game, published in 1995.
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Hey, I’m Rory and I am the ultimate accidental geek.
Born in London I was never interested in technologies until I started a part-time job at Apple and now I can’t get enough. Join me as a help you navigate the world of tech with some of my fellow geeks.