Remember all those funky DOS games you used to play? They came on plastic squares that slotted into the front of your 486, and you had to type something to get them to load. And none of them work, because your new computer runs Vista and doesn’t even have a floppy drive, and anyway the abandonware site tried to give you a virus and the game just complains about 16 bit mode, whatever that is.
If you’re a bit more technically apt than that, you could get the games to run in DOSbox (it emulates an old PC in a window on your new one, so you can actually play them through). Assuming about 50 minutes on average for a single scenario in Dune 2 (that last level is a biatch, unless you cheat by saving frequently and reloading if a missile obliterates your base), it’ll still take you about 24 hours of solid gameplay to finish all 3 campaigns. Much more, if you replay the last half of the game to fight on all the different maps (which is worth doing, if you’re a die-hard fan).
Multiply that by the number of games you’d happily play again if you had the sheer time on your hands that you did when you were eight, and you realise it’s unfeasible for most adults. So, leech off the time spent by other adults, watch some recorded gameplay videos, and let the internet take your inner child back to a time when the internet didn’t yet exist.
Speed Demos Archive dot com would appear to be the place to go, unless you had the same games as me and are content at picking from what I could find myself:
- Jazz Jackrabbit 1, Episodes 1, 3, Holiday Hare ’94
- Cosmo’s Cosmic Adventure, Episode 1
- A bunch of Mechwarrior 2 speedruns and cutscenes
- One Must Fall 2097: Here, and here
- Commander Keen episode 1
- A lot of Commander Keen 4
- Realms of Chaos
- Dune 2, of course: Intro video, and the last mission
- Wolfenstein 3d and Rise of the Triad
- Duke Nukem 1, 2 and 3D
- Major Stryker and Raptor: Call of the Shadows
- Wacky Wheels!
- Stunts (and that hilarious old physics bug)
- X-Com: Enemy Unknown. Intro and game. The screams still haunt me.
- Zone 66 and demo
- The Incredible Machine (very silly)
- Lemmings. Which you can play online here.
- Space Hulk, intro and gameplay. Still the scariest PC game I’ve ever seen.