60 Best MS-DOS Games You Must Play
MS-DOS stands for Microsoft disk operating system. It is one of the most successful operating systems that have been developed to date. This was the real revolution in programming despite its small size and relative simplicity.
It was debuted back in 1981 and probably didn’t seem like a promising platform for gaming, but from 1981 to 1997, publishers released thousands of games from every genre for the PC.
I remember when we first got our own home PC in the late 90s. My friends and cousins would come over to our house to play games, taking turns, and often arguing about who’s the better player.
I grew up playing the Famicom and NES (Nintendo Entertainment System), and those were some great gaming experiences. Back when you would have to listen to these sounds trying to connect to the internet. For nostalgia’s sake, listen to it again!
Those were the days of Minesweeper, Solitaire, Commandos, saving up and buying games, cool screensavers, trading floppy disks, and using Encarta for school projects. Also, people were talking non-stop about the famous Y2K bug.
I’m sure most gamers during this time would agree, PC gaming picked up, and MS-DOS was part of that success story. So, I made a list of some of the best MS-DOS games that I used to play and if you have not played these, give them a try.
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Everybody has heard of Doom. It was released in 1993 and developed by id Software, and published by GT Interactive. Doom is known as the father of FPS games because FPS games weren’t called FPS until a while after Doom was released.
It has brilliant sound effects and music. It got mad famous, and shortly after Doom, there was an influx of copycat games.
It’s very simple, you traverse the levels, and you’ve got to find keys to get through doors and shoot up enemies.
This game was for sure the perfect package offering more levels and an assortment of weapons to fight off the legions of hell, and most notably the double-barrel shotgun. I was too young to play this game when it first launched but got introduced to it in the late 90s.
I was about nine back then, but I still remember being so immersed by the game’s atmosphere. The enemies are running away from the spider mastermind. Yes, a true classic!
If you have experience with the board game, you’ll know what to anticipate from the DOS version of Risk. The objective is for players to conquer the globe by launching assaults on other nations and seizing control of them.
Create military forces, tactically relocate soldiers to reinforce locations, aiming to bolster your stance, and engage in both offensive and defensive actions.
This is a 1991 release, developed by Robert Cook and James Brown and published by Mindscape. This is an isometric kind of action-adventure game with puzzle-solving elements.
You’re in a building with various floors, and you have to make your way through the building and solve various puzzles. So, there are various doors that you have to unlock with keys and solve various puzzles.
Also, there are traps like grenade launchers and electric floors. You have to get around all these traps with a laser pistol. The laser can be used to solve puzzles. The laser ricochets off the walls and flip switches that will open doors, turn on/off machines.
In this bio facility, there are bionic enemies, who you will defeat while solving the puzzles. It’s really fun, and I think games with puzzle-solving elements do age well because they’re timeless.
This edition represented a significant departure from the original SimCity titles. The perspectives were altered, offering terrain depth, and the inclusion of subterranean features required players to contemplate the placement of pipes, subways, and various authentic underground structures.
I remember when I was in fifth grade, we would always play this game in our computer class. I copied it over on a floppy disk and installed it on my PC. What a fun, fast-paced action game where you steer your spaceship through a track of floating panels, tunnels, and obstacles.
This game also added another level of challenge through special panels providing feel speed or explosion. The gameplay was balanced and challenging but not too frustrating. It is a game I still remember fondly.
This strategic 2D game revolves around careful planning. It allows for up to four teams, with a maximum of four worms per team. The objective? Eliminate your adversaries’ worms before they target yours. Worms operate on a turn-based system, requiring you to decide which opponent to strike next and what actions are most logical at that point in the game.
It was developed and published by LucasArts, an awesome Star Wars FPS game definitely worth checking out. It was published in the same era as Doom. However, it came a couple of years after Doom.
So, at the height of the first-person shooter craze where a lot of Duke Nukem and Doom clones were coming out. This is probably one of the best with a great storyline.
You play a guy called Kyle Catarrh, and you are striving to foil the Empire’s plot, a project called Dark Trooper Project. You traverse various Star Wars-themed levels and are up against different well-known Star Wars enemies.
It has amazing audio and music with some brilliant cutscenes. It feels great fighting Stormtroopers in that kind of the first-person scenario.
Mario Teaches Typing
An excellent method for enhancing typing abilities, Mario Teaches Typing offers four games with progressively increasing difficulty levels. Players have the option to embody Mario, Luigi, or even the Princess. By typing the letters or words scrolling across the screen, players can execute various actions to achieve their objectives.
The Lion King
Disney’s Lion King surely brought the challenge. This 2D game offered fun and challenging gameplay. This game was amazing.
You start as young Simba, where you’d be flung around by monkeys, riding ostriches, flee stampede, catch bugs with Timon and Pumbaa. After some level, Simba transitions into an adult, and you would be squaring off with the one and only Scar.
Heroes of Might and Magic 2
For those familiar with Heroes I, this game serves as its successor. Set in the magical realm of Enroth, this fantasy-themed game features six distinct castle types and six creature variations within each castle, constantly presenting players with challenges to conquer using their magical prowess.
This game holds it down, offering a solid and simple environment design that is still relatively easy to look at today. You play as a manager oversees steam of hospitals with a goal of working yourself up the chain to earn that dollar.
This game has a clear story, and you are tasked with ensuring the profitability and reputation of each job you’re assigned to. It is a rarity in the modern gaming landscape and still a fun game that focuses on micro-management gameplay.
You are building up a hospital with your liking with a few funny quirks along the way. You should check the style out if you get the chance.
In this turn-based, military-themed game, players have the opportunity to re-experience historic battles and wars. Panzer General garnered controversy as it was the first video game that enabled players to assume the role of Nazis.
The Incredible Machine 2
Somewhat, a forgotten game. The first sequel in the Incredible Machine franchise added new puzzles, parts, and a new interface. I remember playing this game back in 2000 and spending hours figuring out some of its puzzles.
Especially the editor mode was great, which allowed you to create your own puzzles. It’s one of those games that requires strategy and creative problem-solving. This one is highly recommended for gamers of every age.
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Widely regarded as one of the most triumphant educational games ever created, players essentially embark on the Oregon Trail, emulating the experiences of numerous intrepid families in the 19th century as they sought a fresh start on the West Coast.
It was released in 1993 by Bullfrog and published by EA. This game is one of my favorites from back in the day, and it’s also one of the most enjoyable to play. Syndicate is a kind of isometric game where you control androids or cyborgs, and they do your bidding.
The scenario is it’s a very bleak future and the corporations waging war against each other. In each corporation has these cyborgs doing their bidding. So you control a team of up to four cyborgs at a time, and each mission will be different.
You will be tasked with an assassination, kidnapping, getting some tech, or persuading people. There’s this brilliant weapon in the game called the Persuadertron, which influences people to do what you want them to do. So, they’ll be persuaded to come and work for your corporation.
You will also encounter enemy syndicate cyborgs, and it can get a bit hairy at times when you run into a huge number of enemy corporations.
Overall, it’s a good and fun game, which can be very challenging. It takes several attempts to do some of the missions, and they do get very hard as you progress. You also got a global map, which shows the countries you take over, and slowly you will take over the world.
You get a great array of weapons, and you can also upgrade your cyborgs. If you upgrade the legs, they can walk faster, and upgrading arms make them stronger. There are all sorts of upgrades, and you can use the money to research weapons to get a better arsenal.
Construct and oversee the diverse aspects of a contemporary skyscraper. Players must carefully plan, determine the optimal locations for facilities within the tower, and arrange everything to ensure maximum functionality and satisfaction.
Big Red Racing
Now, this was a game you definitely want to get into if you went into arcade racing games with multiplayer support. I remember playing this game back in 1997.
The quirky art style, commentaries, MTV style soundtrack made for a fun interactive racing game that offered fast driving in a 3D environment with the most awesome range of vehicles. I’ll never forget this one.
Yes, it did age poorly, but I’d still give this one a shot for the sake of nostalgia.
In this puzzle game, players are presented with grids containing small, multicolored shapes, each adorned with a face. Blocks are positioned at the bottom of the screen, and players must manipulate, rotate, and align them with the corresponding colored shapes.
This somewhat forgotten action strategy game will keep you busy for hours. Armed with only a sword, your sole mission is to protect your village from those pesky hoardings. They always attack your village and try and eat everything they find.
If you survive an attack wave, you get rewarded with better weapons and also being able to expand your village.
I remember planning my town and using real-time action elements to fight the horde off. It’s truly a memorable gaming experience.
Grand Theft Auto
The inaugural edition of this game, which transformed the notion of open-ended gameplay, set a lofty standard upon its release as a DOS game. Players assume the role of a minor criminal aspiring to make a significant impact within the world of organized crime.
Monkey Island/ Monkey Island 2
Monkey Island was released in 1990, and Monkey Island 2 was released in 1992. They were both developed and published by LucasArts. Both of these games are among my favorites of all time.
They are among the best point-and-click adventure games ever made. If you like point-and-click adventure games and you haven’t played these, make sure to play them. You will love them.
The humor in these games is absolutely unmatched, and it is genuinely really funny, dry humor with a great story. You play as Guybrush Threepwood, an aspiring pirate who ends up on an island.
Here you will start doing tasks for other pirates or pirate leaders on the island. You have to do the tasks in order to become an official pirate. You get into all sorts of scrapes, and you will meet your arch-enemy, pirate LeChuck.
You also get in love with the governor (Elaine Marley) on the island, and all sorts of stuff end up going on. The puzzles can be quite tricky, but you’ll get there. In the end, there’s nothing that’s completely insolvable due to being difficult.
As I said, the humor is unmatched and fantastic. So, if you’re going to check out one of these games, I’d say I prefer the second part, but I would advise you to play the first game too. The graphics are far more primitive in the first game, but it is still a fantastic game and worth checking out.
Lemmings is a captivating puzzle-platformer game that was initially released in 1991. The game’s primary objective is to guide a group of small, green-haired creatures called Lemmings through various levels, filled with obstacles and challenges, to reach a designated exit point safely.
Players are tasked with assigning specific roles and abilities to the Lemmings, such as climbing, blocking, building, digging, and more. These abilities are crucial for navigating the intricate levels and ensuring the Lemmings’ survival.
As the game progresses, the levels become increasingly complex, requiring careful strategy and precise timing to ensure that the required number of Lemmings make it to the exit.
Lemmings gained immense popularity due to its charming graphics, innovative gameplay mechanics, and catchy soundtrack. The game’s success led to the development of numerous sequels, spin-offs, and adaptations across various platforms.
Its enduring appeal lies in the engaging puzzles and the player’s emotional investment in the endearing Lemmings, making it a timeless classic in the realm of video games.
Prince of Persia
Back when we would be taking turns playing this game at my cousin’s house. It’s one of those old IBM PC-compatible computer games. I remember being taken by the animation movements and dungeons you had to get through.
This game was challenging for me as a kid and still is. Though I died many times, I still have many fond memories of playing.
Before getting the PC, I also remember playing this game on SEGA. My uncle would come home, and he would pass the level for me as it was so difficult for me.
This game marked the beginning of an entire series. The concept involves players constructing, expanding, and overseeing a city across various scenarios, ranging from relatively uncomplicated to progressively challenging. Manage earthquakes, floods, and fires, and become the leader people desire to support.
Command & Conquer
Command & Conquer is a real-time strategy game, released in 1995 by Westwood Studios and published by Virgin. We’re going right back to when real-time strategy games were very primitive and in their infancy.
Command & Conquer is a franchise that’s still going today. So, you may have played one of the more recent ones if you haven’t played this. But I thoroughly recommend going back and playing this one.
In this game, you’re managing resources, building your base, and then fighting your enemies. This game is really fun, and I’ve spent hours and hours on this back in the day.
There are some brilliant cutscenes, which might look a bit cheesy nowadays. But back in the day, the cutscenes looked very impressive. I remember the sequel Red Alert having particularly good cutscenes with actual actors.
Stratego is a classic strategy board game that originated in the early 20th century, with roots tracing back to a French game called L’Attaque. The game’s objective is to capture the opponent’s flag or to immobilize their entire army, using a combination of tactics, strategy, and deception.
Each player commands an army of 40 unique pieces, including soldiers, spies, scouts, and bombs, which are arranged on a 10×10 grid. The pieces’ identities remain hidden from the opponent, creating an atmosphere of intrigue and suspense.
Players take turns moving their pieces, with the goal of outmaneuvering and capturing the opposing pieces, while simultaneously protecting their own flag.
Stratego’s enduring popularity lies in its perfect blend of strategy, memory, and bluffing. As players strive to deduce their opponent’s plans and devise their own counter-strategies, the game becomes a thrilling battle of wits.
The combination of strategic depth and unpredictable gameplay keeps Stratego fresh and engaging, securing its position as a beloved classic in the world of board games.
Duke Nukem 3D
It was the first FPS game I played. It was so addicting that I got hooked. I remember moving through the 3D spaces, the ammo locations, every enemy spawn, the music, red-light district, and strippers.
I’d play the game every afternoon after school, where me and my friends would take turns trying to beat each level. This is what gaming was about, pure fun and memories.
This well-received role-playing game boasts a humorous undertone during gameplay, despite its premise of a near-apocalyptic nuclear war that almost eradicated all life on Earth. A small group of human survivors must now forage and acquire the skills to rebuild civilization, depending on underground shelters, water purification systems, and other essential resources.
It is a 1994 game, also made by LucasArts. There are many LucasArts games, which shows that they were one of the best developers for the PC back in the 90s.
TIE Fighter is in the X-Wing series, so the first game is X-Wing, and the TIE Fighters is the second. There is also X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter, which came up afterward, but the TIE fighter is the best one in the series for me.
It’s really good and fun. I liked it the best because you get to play the bad guy. So, you’re fighting for the Empire rather than the rebels, and you’re piloting various types of fighters.
The game is like a space simulator, and you get various missions where you’ll have to do an escort or assault on a rebel fleet. You’re piloting different TIE fighters like Tie advance and TIE bomber.
Fighting in the space is awesome, and the cutscenes were really good too. Graphics do look a bit dated, but it doesn’t really detract from a good gaming experience.
Gameplay is fun and takes a bit of strategic thinking. Sometimes, there’s quite a lot going on, so you have to learn a few keyboard controls to control and pilot the ship.
Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares
Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares is a turn-based 4X strategy game released in 1996 as a sequel to the critically acclaimed Master of Orion. In this epic space adventure, players assume the role of a leader who must guide their chosen alien race to galactic supremacy.
The game is centered around exploration, expansion, exploitation, and extermination (4X) as players venture into uncharted regions of space, colonize new planets, manage resources, research advanced technologies, and engage in diplomacy or warfare with other factions. The ultimate goal is to either conquer the galaxy through military force or achieve diplomatic victory by uniting the majority of races under your banner.
Master of Orion II was celebrated for its depth of gameplay, diverse races, and intricate research tree. Each race possesses unique traits and abilities, making every playthrough a distinct experience. Players can also customize their race and ships, adding another layer of strategy to the game.
The captivating combination of exploration, empire-building, and strategic warfare has solidified Master of Orion II: Battle at Antares as a classic in the 4X genre, inspiring countless other games in the realm of space-based strategy.
The DOS era, gaming in the 90s, and nostalgia. Well, Hocus Pocus always played a big role and still stands as one of my childhood favorites.
You explore whimsical areas, killing monsters, collecting globes, and collecting many magic potions on your way. Some of the potions will restore health others will grant special powers such as super jump that will allow you to access new areas.
This charming 2D platformer is still one of my favorite childhood classics.
Lords of the Realm II
Lords of the Realm II stands out among medieval strategy games due to its lack of reliance on magic and absence of technological advancement.
As a player, the primary objective is to effectively manage and increase food production, expand the population, and concentrate on maintaining citizen satisfaction, while simultaneously preventing invasions from rival groups.
This was released in 1993, developed by sensible software, and published by Virgin. It is a point-and-click game, you’re controlling a small team of soldiers, and you need to make your way through the level.
You have to kill all the enemies and hostages too who need to be rescued. It is quite simple to play, you just point the cursor at the enemies you want to kill, and you click one mouse button to shoot and the other mouse button to throw grenades.
The Need for Speed
Players have the chance to experience driving incredible sports cars across a variety of thrilling tracks. Some of these tracks feature open roads, where players find themselves speeding down expansive highways, often with police hot on their tail.
An appealing feature of the game is the ability for players to select the time of day for their races.
This high-speed action platform game was the PC world’s answer to Sonic The Hedgehog. When you play as Jazz on a quest to rescue the rabbit princess, you travel through different planets to gather clues regarding her whereabouts.
You acquire different weapons, various power-ups and eventually face off against the villain tortoise, Devan Shell. This game will guarantee to take you back a couple of years with some great gameplay and a cool soundtrack.
Family Feud is a popular television game show that has been adapted into various formats, including board games, video games, and online versions. The show, which originally premiered in 1976, has entertained audiences for decades with its unique blend of trivia, humor, and family rivalry.
The game pits two families against each other in a contest to guess the most popular responses to survey questions posed to a group of 100 people. Each family takes turns providing answers, accumulating points based on how many people in the survey provided the same response.
The winning family advances to the Fast Money round, where they have the opportunity to win additional cash prizes by quickly answering a new set of survey questions.
Family Feud’s enduring appeal lies in its engaging format, which encourages friendly competition and collaboration among family members. The show’s charismatic hosts and often humorous answers provided by contestants add to the entertainment value.
Family Feud has become a beloved staple of television game shows and continues to delight audiences with its timeless charm and exciting gameplay.
I couldn’t find much info on the developer, but I think it was created by John E. Dell. I used to play it as Dope Wars, and I think it got various names, but Dope Wars is a more updated version of it.
You can also play it in your browser. I think this game will be the most accessible game on the list for most people because you can just jump on your browser and play this game. It is by far the most simple game on this list.
It is a drug-selling simulator, and you’re a drug dealer. You start with X amount of cash, and you have to start buying and selling drugs, and you have 30 days to make as much money as you can. There are no objectives other than trying to beat your last high score, and that makes for a surprisingly addictive game.
This game (appropriately enough) is like crack, and you can’t stop playing it. Each turn is a day, so you take a turn by traveling between various places. I think it’s set in New York, and you travel between Manhattan, Staten Island `and Coney Island.
Every time you travel to one of these places, a day passes, and basically, the hope is that you’ll buy your drugs cheap in one place, and you’ll sell them at a higher price in another place. There are all sorts of different drugs to buy, including hash, cocaine, heroin, weed.
Various things happen in the game, like the Marrakesh Express will arrive, which means the hash price will drop. You can also get into scrapes and also get chased by the police. You will have to kind of work your way around different things.
Settlers of Catan
Settlers of Catan, now simply known as Catan, is a highly acclaimed board game designed by Klaus Teuber and first published in 1995. The game is set on the fictional island of Catan, where players assume the roles of settlers who must build and expand their settlements by strategically trading and acquiring resources.
Catan is played on a modular board with hexagonal tiles representing different terrains that produce various resources, such as wood, brick, wheat, sheep, and ore. Players must use these resources to build roads, settlements, and cities while also trading with other players to acquire the resources they need. The game’s objective is to be the first player to reach a certain number of victory points, which are gained by constructing buildings and achieving certain milestones.
Catan’s popularity is driven by its accessible yet deep gameplay, which combines strategy, negotiation, and luck. The modular board design ensures that each game is unique, providing endless replayability. Catan’s success has led to the creation of numerous expansions and spin-offs, as well as adaptations for digital platforms. It has become a modern classic in the world of board games and is often credited with sparking a renaissance in tabletop gaming.
This game was a classic, and even after 28 years, I still often find myself playing this one. It’s easy to look at Wolfenstein 3D. Both the ceiling and floor are one solid color with repetitive blocky textures. But the gameplay was nonetheless exciting and fun.
Sensible World of Soccer
Sensible World of Soccer is a top-down football simulation game, released in 1994 as a sequel to the popular Sensible Soccer. The game boasts an extensive roster of clubs and national teams, offering a realistic and immersive experience.
Known for its fast-paced gameplay and easy-to-learn controls, it quickly gained a dedicated fanbase. The managerial mode allows players to take charge of a team, handling tactics, transfers, and finances.
Its combination of engaging gameplay, managerial elements, and broad appeal has solidified Sensible World of Soccer as a classic and influential title in the sports gaming genre.
Escape from the Planet of the Robot Monsters
This was developed by Atari and published by Domark in 1991. As a kid, the name of the game was an instant attraction. When I saw the cover, I was like, wow, this looks cool. It had a cool cartoony cover.
It is a really good and fun game with brilliant music. It’s an isometric game where you’re running around and shooting loads of robots trying to save the lady. You will have escalators that will take you to different levels, and you are running around shooting robots.
Zork I: The Great Underground Empire
Zork I: The Great Underground Empire, released in 1980, is a groundbreaking text-based adventure game that immerses players in an interactive, fictional world. Set in the ruins of a vast underground empire, players navigate the environment and solve puzzles by typing commands in plain English.
The game is renowned for its innovative design, captivating storytelling, and clever puzzles, which challenge players to think creatively.
Zork I’s influence on the gaming industry is immense, inspiring numerous sequels, spin-offs, and other text-based adventures, making it a timeless classic and an essential milestone in video game history.
Warcraft 2 – Tides of Darkness
This game stands out with its pixeled but detailed visuals, great campaign and scenario modes. You could also select the characters, which was a pretty cool feature for that time.
The way characters talk back to you as a player comic style, the speeches, RTS gameplay, and random map all made for some great gaming experiences.
Long before that deadly game of chess in the Harry Potter movie, we had Battle chess. This game was cool, even for a chess game, and inspired many to learn and play chess more.
It was a truly creative concept to see as you get to watch small in-game 3d animations going into battle and taking each other down.
The Lost Vikings
This platformer was developed by Silicon & Synapse (now called Blizzard) and published by interplay in 1992. This is a puzzle game where you control three Vikings, and each Viking has a different set of skills.
One Viking can charge and bash, one can be used as a shield to hold up against enemy attacks, or he can hold the shield up in the air so that his two buddies can jump on the shield to get to higher places.
You will use their skills to control them one at a time to traverse a level. Switch between whichever Viking you want to control, and then you have to get them all to the end of the level.
As with any puzzle game, it can sometimes be challenging, making it a great puzzle game. It looks fantastic, and you’ll have plenty of fun playing it.
Mario’s Game Gallery
Mario’s Game Gallery, released in 1995, is an educational game collection featuring the iconic Nintendo character, Mario. Aimed at younger players, the game offers five classic board games with a Mario-themed twist, including Checkers, Go Fish, Dominoes, Backgammon, and Yacht (a Yahtzee variant).
Each game is accompanied by Mario’s lively commentary and animations, making them more engaging for children. Mario’s Game Gallery introduces players to these traditional games while providing a fun, interactive learning experience.
Its appealing visuals, familiar characters, and educational value make it a memorable and enjoyable title for young gamers.
One of the most popular games of that era, Quake was innovative for its time and offered excellent gameplay.
I was taken by the exploration enemies and arsenal of weapons you could choose from, but for me, nothing could beat that good old axe.
I still remember the different levels from that sci-fi military installations to working your way through castles and dungeons. It was a memorable gaming experience and a good title to play.
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Jones in the Fast Lane
Jones in the Fast Lane, released in 1991, is a life simulation game that follows the daily activities and decision-making of the titular character, Jones.
The game’s objective is to achieve a balanced life by managing aspects such as career, education, finances, and social interactions. Players navigate the game board, making choices that impact Jones’ life trajectory.
Its innovative gameplay, which simulates the trials and tribulations of modern life, along with its humorous and engaging presentation, made Jones in the Fast Lane a memorable title that still resonates with fans of life simulation games.
Day of the Tentacle
This is the last LucasArts game on this list, Day of the Tentacle, a point-and-click adventure game. This is the sequel to Maniac Mansion, but it’s quite different from it. The graphics look gorgeous, released in 1993 after six years of Maniac Mansion.
It had two versions, one on a floppy disk and one on a CD full voice acting. I would recommend you to play the talkie version. The game was also remastered recently, so you can go down that route and play on Steam or PS4 or whatever you want to play on.
It has brilliant humor because Tim Schafer and Dave Grossman created it, and it was their first project together as team leaders. As they worked on Monkey Island, they brought a lot of that good dry humor over to Maniac Mansion.
It has some great and fun puzzles, and the characters are good too. You play three characters Bernard, Hoagie, and Laverne, his two friends, and they get sort of split into three different time zones.
Hoagie gets flung 200 years into the past and Laverne 200 years into the future, and then Bernard stays in the present. So, as you switch between the three characters, you’re switching between these sort of periods in history, and you have to solve puzzles based upon this.
It’s such a good idea to have this time travel element, which makes the puzzles fantastic When you perform something in the past, it will affect the present and future. The puzzles are good, and the story makes it a fun game.
The Settlers, released in 1993, is a real-time strategy and city-building game that tasks players with establishing and managing a thriving medieval settlement. Players must gather resources, construct buildings, and maintain a balanced economy while expanding their territory and defending against potential threats.
The game is distinguished by its charming graphics, in-depth gameplay mechanics, and a focus on micromanagement. The Settlers’ unique blend of strategy and simulation elements made it a popular title, leading to the development of multiple sequels and expansions, solidifying its status as a classic in the real-time strategy genre.
Dune II – Battle for Arrakis
A real-time strategy game developed by Westwood Studios and published by Virgin, quite similar to same as Command & Conquer. I think it got a bit different name in the United States, something like Dune 2 Building of a Dynasty.
It follows the plot loosely of the film Dune, and you have the different households like Hawk Conan and the Tradies. They’re fighting each other to control land and the planet, and you have to harvest the spice.
If you’ve seen the film, then you might remember the saying, “He who controls the spice controls whatever it is the world.” I can’t remember the exact quote, but you have spice, and you account of the giant spice worms or whatever they were called.
This game is amazing, and I think even better than Command and Conquer. It came out three years before Command & Conquer, but it’s kind of where the John Roux started.
So, if you’re a fan of real-time strategy games, definitely go back and look at this because it’s a real slice of the history of where that genre became like a real player in the market.
Z: The Game
Z: The Game, released in 1996, is a real-time strategy game developed by The Bitmap Brothers. Set in a futuristic world, players command robotic armies led by warring brothers Zod and Zee in a quest for galactic domination.
The game is distinguished by its unique territory control mechanics, wherein players capture and hold sectors to generate resources and unlock new units. Z: The Game is known for its challenging AI, fast-paced gameplay, and a lighthearted, humorous atmosphere featuring comical animated cutscenes.
The combination of innovative gameplay and engaging presentation has made it a cult classic in the real-time strategy genre.
Going back to 1990, this game was brought to dust by Ocean, one of the big players at the time on Commodore 64, Amiga, and DOS. Ocean did a fantastic job, and PANG was available on all sorts of systems. I first played it on the Amiga, then DOS.
PANG is a game where you are a guy with a sort of grappling gun or a harpoon. You fire it into the air and hit bubbles, and the bubbles pop, and they split in two, and when the bubbles get a certain size like very small, they will then vanish.
This game requires you to destroy all the bubbles on the level without getting hit by them. It is very interesting and super addictive but can get quite tricky. You can also play this game as a co-op with two players. Each time you will try to beat your own score or your friend’s.
This game was released in 1990, developed by Bitmap Brothers, and published by Image Works. Bitmap Brothers was another big player in the late 80s and early 90s on the home computers, and they had such a distinct signed kind of graphical style.
You would just know by the box art of a game that it is a Bitmap Brothers game. Speedball has gorgeous graphics and a fun game to play. It did get an update and re-released on PS3 and PSN.
This is a futuristic sports game, and you are in a metallic arena. Two teams are competing with each other, and you’re controlling one of the teams. You will pass around the metal ball and finally try to score a goal.
There are other ways to score points as you’re constantly taking each other out. It’s very simple and kind of like a futuristic American football game. This is super fun when two friends are playing against each other.
Ultima Underworld – The Stygian Abyss
This is a first-person action role-playing game released in 1992. It was developed by Looking Glass Studios and published by Origin Systems. The game is set in a fantasy world called The Stygian Abyss, and the player takes on the role of the Avatar, who must explore the depths of the Abyss to save the missing daughter of Lord British.
The game features a fully 3D environment, allowing for complete freedom of movement and exploration, and features intricate puzzles, a deep storyline, and challenging combat. Ultima Underworld is considered a classic in the genre, and is remembered for its innovative game mechanics and immersive world-building.
It remains a popular title among fans of the RPG genre, and is regarded as a landmark game in the development of the immersive sim.
Blood is a first-person shooter video game released in 1997 by Monolith Productions. The game takes place in the dark and foreboding world of Transylvania, where the player takes on the role of Caleb, a resurrected undead seeking revenge against the evil cult known as the Cabal.
The game features a rich and atmospheric environment, with beautifully detailed levels filled with danger, mystery, and dark humor. Caleb is armed with an array of weapons such as a machete, shotgun, and flamethrower to take on the Cabal’s minions and defeat their leader, Tchernobog.
The game’s soundtrack, sound effects, and voice acting are all top-notch and add to the eerie and immersive experience. The game’s gory and violent content also adds to its charm, making it a classic in the horror genre.
In conclusion, Blood is a timeless classic that stands the test of time and is still considered one of the best horror games of all time. If you’re a fan of horror games or first-person shooters, you can’t go wrong with Blood.
SimCity 1989 is a classic city-building simulation game developed by Maxis and designed by Will Wright. The game allows players to create and manage their own city, starting from scratch and building up to a thriving metropolis.
Players must make decisions regarding zoning, budget, and infrastructure while managing the needs of the citizens and responding to natural and man-made disasters.
The game was ahead of its time, introducing concepts such as traffic flow and pollution, and providing players with a unique experience in city-building simulation.
The game was released on a variety of platforms, including the Amiga, Commodore 64, and PC, and was widely popular and well-received, leading to a number of sequels and spin-offs.
SimCity 1989 remains a classic in the city-building genre and is still enjoyed by players today. Its influence on the genre and its impact on popular culture can still be seen in modern city-building games, making it a timeless piece of video game history.
X-Com: UFO Defense
X-Com UFO Defense is a classic turn-based strategy game released in 1994. The player takes on the role of commander of the X-Com organization, tasked with protecting the Earth from extraterrestrial invasions. The game has two main parts: base management and tactical combat.
The base management involves managing resources, researching new technologies, and deploying forces. The tactical combat involves controlling a squad of soldiers in turn-based battles against aliens.
The game features a high level of difficulty and permadeath, adding a layer of tension to each mission. The player must make strategic decisions on how to allocate resources and choose the right tactics to successfully defeat the aliens.
X-Com UFO Defense is widely considered a classic of the strategy genre and remains a beloved game for many players.
Scorched Earth is a military strategy in which all resources and buildings in an area are intentionally destroyed in order to deprive an enemy of those resources.
This practice has been used throughout history, most notably during World War II, where Nazi soldiers burned down entire cities and villages in order to prevent them from being used by the advancing enemy.
This strategy creates a devastating impact on both the enemy and the local population, as they are left without basic necessities such as shelter, food, and water. In addition, it can also cause long-term damage to the environment, as the destruction of resources and land can lead to soil erosion, water pollution, and deforestation.
Despite its destructive nature, scorched earth remains a common tactic in modern warfare, with some countries using it as a last resort to protect their own resources.
Sid Meier’s Civilization
Sid Meier’s Civilization is a turn-based strategy game that was first released in 1991. The goal of the game is to lead a civilization from ancient times to the modern era, building a powerful empire and advancing through the ages.
Players can choose from a variety of different civilizations, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. The game features a complex economic system, a variety of different military units, and the ability to interact with other civilizations through diplomacy or conflict.
Through careful management of resources, research and development, and successful military campaigns, players can build a powerful civilization and become the dominant power in the world.
Over the years, the series has been updated and expanded, with numerous sequels and spin-off games, and remains one of the most popular and well-regarded strategy games of all time.
So, what are your thoughts on these games? Do you remember some of them? Which were your favorite games back then?