Vintage Game Night
Dr. Sheldon Cooper, GOG.com, and Kickstarter inspired me to consolidate my old games onto a 20GB Windows XP virtual machine at home for the semi-weekly pleasure of enjoying “Vintage Game Night.” I’m not sure what Sheldon used to play older games, and despite still owning an IBM x286 and a Dell x386, both running MS-DOS 5 and 6, I went the more practical route. To start, DOSBox (a x86 DOS emulator) allows many older games to play easily on newer machines. I choose Windows XP just to avoid any complications with 32-bit vs 64-bit, the need for 256 colors, and Windows 7 in general is still too new to be sure. I loaded up what I have in my apartment from Sierra Online (how I miss you) and was playing King’s Quest in fewer than 5 minutes. Just install DOSBox, launch it, and mount your logical drive – easy.
GOG.com has several classics available for under $10 so I was able to fill in the gaps to my own collection. They also use DOSBox bundled with the software that mounts your drive automatically, so its pretty seamless – just click and play. Its been years since I played Zork and I never played the Wing Commander series so those are great additions to buy when I’m ready. I did lay down the cash for the entire Tex Murphy series when I saw it – such a great series that was ahead of its time. The cool thing about GOG.com is the lack of DRM and the TLC they give these games – maps, manuals, and even wallpapers, where applicable, are itemized in the download section of each game available – sure beats playing $10 for a game on eBay that is likely scratched and missing those needed accessories.
What really motivated me to get back into vintage gaming was the game revival trifecta on Kickstarter:
- Al Lowe is re-introducing Leisure Suit Larry after buying the rights to the series.
- Chris Jones has returned to develop the next Tex Murphy game, Project Fedora.
- Scott Murphy and Mark Crowe from Space Quest fame are introducing their new game, SpaceVenture.
The money I normally would have spent on expensive alcohol and dinner went immediately to these projects. Thankfully, the first two are fully funded and hopefully by this time tomorrow, SpaceVenture will be kicked off.
Finally, if you’re interested in the Sierra games online for occasional play on your PC for free then check our Sarien.net – its an Activision authorized portal developed by Martin Kool. His name speaks for itself. :)