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Nice looking DOS games

Feb 23, 2018
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There were some games that managed to look good while using the ugly default palette in CGA/EGA like these games:
Jeopardy!
Oh man I played that Jeopardy sooooo fucking much, holy shit are those contestant pics such a blast from the past. Reminds me of a Monopoly game I played a ton of as well.

I have so many fond memories of DOS games, I gotta do some searching and post some of my favorites later.
 

ael85

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Across the universe
Another weird looking game, Thunder Offshore. Spanish racing game with a unique rendering approach. Idk what kind of rendering technique it uses, it looks like Novalogic's Voxelscape but more limited. Definitely not an FMV game (it could look like that in the gif).

You are very interesting in your knowledgeable descriptions. How old are you? What do you do?

Keep posting mate I'm enjoying and learning.
 
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BusierDonkey

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There were some games that managed to look good while using the ugly default palette in CGA/EGA like these games:
Jeopardy!

Total Eclipse

Avoid The Noid

Adventure In Serenia



The crude drawings in Adventure In Serenia look unusually nice even for a old game with blocky graphics.
Oh that reminds me, Family Feud! We played Family Feud so much on our Tandy 1000 that we had all the boards memorised. Good stuff!

 
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ymoc

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Crusader: No Remorse




Some of the fire effects and explosions were so good at the time.
Don't forget the awesome live action cutscenes!!!


Shit was awesome!!!
Even though you played missions completely solo, you felt connected to the other resistance members who updated you on your progress or some shit going down.
The bad guys really had a nice impact too, you could put a face to the 2d sprite.

And it was so awesome to come to your home base after a successful mission, go shill at the bar and talk to your buddies, buy some weapons from Weasle...



I think the sequel made a huge mistake abandoning the base hub area.

I remembered I still got the original box in the basement.




THEME HOSPITAL

Two Point Hospital didn't hit the vibe IMHO. Theme hospital still rules supreme.

Also found the box!
SETTLERS 2




FLIGHT UNLIMITED




HEROES OF MIGHT AND MAGIC 2

Probably the most charming in the entire series. The design is so clean, I love it. No particles obscuring view. No overbearing elements that stick out. Just perfection.





DUNE (1992)

It's a totally unique RTS/Adventure hybrid. I still play it every few years. Such great vibe.


I found the original box!
Sim Tower 1994

One of the most underrated Sim games.
It's not technically a DOS game, it was Windows 3.1 or something, but whatever ;)

 

BusierDonkey

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would be awesome if someone took all these dos games and put them into a 100 pack of "best dos games" like a rare replay of sorts

does that already exist?
That would be a licensing nightmare. Many of these developers still exist. For the ones that don't, it might not even be possible to republish them as the rights could be tied up in estates.

You can find bundles of some games pre-packaged in places like GOG or Steam. Sometimes there are sales where some of the separate games are bundled together as well.


A few I found just doing a couple quick searches, these prices are shit, they go on sale on humble from time to time:
 

stranno

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You are very interesting in your knowledgeable descriptions. How old are you? What do you do?

Keep posting mate I'm enjoying and learning.
Just a regular gaming enthusiast 😅. I like creative approaches in limited environments (for today standards, of course), like DOS. So this is definitely interesting for me. 36 yo btw.
 
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The first few Mortal Kombat games had pretty faithful DOS ports because the original arcade games were coded in assembly language which made the conversion a breeze.

Feel free to slip this fact into conversation at your next dinner party to seem sexy and interesting!
Now you made me look like a fool!

Seriously, back in the days arcade and console ports of games were always the least interesting games on DOS/Windows. PC gaming was just such a different animal, I didn't even know anyone actually played those, I knew about SFII, Mortal Kombat, Mega Man X, etc. I just did not ever see anyone playing them much back in the days.


Dark Forces:


Ultima Underworld


Little Big Adventure


Magic Carpet (looks better in action)


Dune


7th Guest (not a type of game, but it did look pretty good at the time)
 

petran79

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DOS is quite a loose term, it covers anything from 1981 to 1994, that is quite a leap in tech. There were some real artist that achieved wonders with EGA and 16 colors
To me DOS means basically the successor to the Amiga computers and anything post-1992.
 

Ban Puncher

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Now you made me look like a fool!

Seriously, back in the days arcade and console ports of games were always the least interesting games on DOS/Windows. PC gaming was just such a different animal, I didn't even know anyone actually played those, I knew about SFII, Mortal Kombat, Mega Man X, etc. I just did not ever see anyone playing them much back in the days.
Mortal Kombat on DOS was the exception rather than the rule. Most arcade and console conversions to PC back then ranged from bad to absolutely disgusting. A lot of them would focus on having nice enough graphics for screenshots on the back of the box or in magazines but the illusion quickly disappeared when you actually saw it in motion (or lack thereof as it would be a stuttery 2fps mess) and heard the piss-poor MIDI renditions of classic tunes. Lots of kids got conned out of their hard earned pocket money for unplayable dogshit ports of big name games on DOS.
 
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stranno

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Bullfrog's Syndicate graphics weren't anything special but the intro was amazing.



Action Forms' Chasm: The Rift had very detailed models for 1997, but for some reason it has a ton of jittering, looks like a Playstation game in that regard. Note: The random video i used has additional tearing.

 
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Jan 29, 2019
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Mortal Kombat on DOS was the exception rather than the rule. Most arcade and console conversions to PC back then ranged from bad to absolutely disgusting. A lot of them would focus on having nice enough graphics for screenshots on the back of the box or in magazines but the illusion quickly disappeared when you actually saw it in motion (or lack thereof as it would be a stuttery 2fps mess) and heard the piss-poor MIDI renditions of classic tunes. Lots of kids got conned out of their hard earned pocket money for unplayable dogshit ports of big name games on DOS.
So my memory was not playing tricks to me!
 

ymoc

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Boppin

A fun puzzle game with slightly over the top characters (they would commit suicide if you lost all health)
:)






Solar Winds by Epic

A 2d semi-open world space shooter game with an interesting story. I remember only playing the shareware version and being hyped.
It was tons of fun. The power management mechanic is so satisfying when you get that sweet sweet white tier shield up and running aaaaah.
Years later I managed to get a hold of the second episode and boy was that an utter let down. It turned out that the free part of the game actually constituted about 3/4 of the entire game length.
Still can't believe it.






Aethra Chronicles

The turn based combad is so satisfying.

Played the shit out of it even when I couldn't understand any English at all. You can imagine how utterly hit&miss it was, for example, to cast spells (which the game has a bunch of, with no descriptions, just names. I think the explanations were written in a separate file or something).

Barely understood a single word, much less the actual story. Eventually I finished it. It just, well, ended.
Much later I found out the game was never even fully published and just the free episode was realeased as shareware. What a shame.

Lots of classes to choose, lots of items to collect, lots of spells to learn and skills to master.


You have the world map traversing


Dungeon crawling


Cave crawling, traps disarming...
 
Feb 23, 2018
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One Must Fall 2097 - this game was THE SHIT. Mech fighting game that had an RPG-lite career mode, the music was amazing, and these graphics were fucking great. I always liked the USA PC anime look that the characters have, so many old PC games have a similar style.



D/Generation - cool puzzle game, the simple isometric graphics of this game always looked slick to me.



It Came From the Desert - I don't even know what genre to call this game, but it had a real cool vibe. I remember the shooting parts where the ants were right up in your face freaked me the fuck out as a kid.



Gobliiins - fun puzzle game where you have to juggle 3 different characters. Really enjoyed the shading of the art.



Rise of the Dragon - look at this shit, what a cool atmosphere



Harley-Davidson: The Road to Sturgis - the game isn't great, but the premise is cool and I loved the art of the gas stations for some reason. I thought it was cool how much stuff you could buy, and it would actually show your character wearing it.



NASCAR Racing - these graphics look pitiful now, but playing this on my 386 was a treat. It had a paint editor included so you could create your own custom livery, which was fun.



A-Train - I ADORE the aesthetic of the original A-Train... the colors are just so pleasing, and I love how boxy everything is. Too bad it was confusing as fuck as a kid, and I even tried playing the most recent one on the PS4 and couldn't figure out a damn thing.



Life & Death - my uncle had this on his computer and I would play when I visited. Didn't really know what I was doing, but I love how it looks.



Battle Chess - I'm not even a chess player, but its Battle Chess! The pieces FIGHT ON YOUR SCREEN! I don't even know why I had this (maybe it came with my computer?) but it was always fun to watch all the different battle combinations.



Monopoly - the graphics aren't really that interesting, but this game, along with Jeopardy and Family Feud above, are SO nostalgic to me. Its crazy to think back to a time where playing something that looked like this was completely enrapturing.



Red Baron - soooo simplistic looking now, but has a great art style, especially the menus.

 

pottuvoi

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This game has came out on so many platforms over the years and I've played it so many times and it's only now I'm learning that in the US it's called "Out of This World? Damn.
Funnily the game actually runs within virtual machine, so ports were extremely easy. (Basically port the VM and you had working game.)

Another weird looking game, Thunder Offshore. Spanish racing game with a unique rendering approach. Idk what kind of rendering technique it uses, it looks like Novalogic's Voxelscape but more limited. Definitely not an FMV game (it could look like that in the gif).

Looks like voxels, perhaps intersection to bilinear heightfield in the end. (reason why slopes look nice.)
Not sure about ships, could be similar to voxel tech in Blade Runner. (Or just a lot of sprites and rotation.)
 
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dase211

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It Came From the Desert - I don't even know what genre to call this game, but it had a real cool vibe. I remember the shooting parts where the ants were right up in your face freaked me the fuck out as a kid.



NASCAR Racing - these graphics look pitiful now, but playing this on my 386 was a treat. It had a paint editor included so you could create your own custom livery, which was fun.



A-Train - I ADORE the aesthetic of the original A-Train... the colors are just so pleasing, and I love how boxy everything is. Too bad it was confusing as fuck as a kid, and I even tried playing the most recent one on the PS4 and couldn't figure out a damn thing.



Life & Death - my uncle had this on his computer and I would play when I visited. Didn't really know what I was doing, but I love how it looks.



Red Baron - soooo simplistic looking now, but has a great art style, especially the menus.

These look cool man.
 
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Hudo

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Boppin

A fun puzzle game with slightly over the top characters (they would commit suicide if you lost all health)
:)






Solar Winds by Epic

A 2d semi-open world space shooter game with an interesting story. I remember only playing the shareware version and being hyped.
It was tons of fun. The power management mechanic is so satisfying when you get that sweet sweet white tier shield up and running aaaaah.
Years later I managed to get a hold of the second episode and boy was that an utter let down. It turned out that the free part of the game actually constituted about 3/4 of the entire game length.
Still can't believe it.






Aethra Chronicles

The turn based combad is so satisfying.

Played the shit out of it even when I couldn't understand any English at all. You can imagine how utterly hit&miss it was, for example, to cast spells (which the game has a bunch of, with no descriptions, just names. I think the explanations were written in a separate file or something).

Barely understood a single word, much less the actual story. Eventually I finished it. It just, well, ended.
Much later I found out the game was never even fully published and just the free episode was realeased as shareware. What a shame.

Lots of classes to choose, lots of items to collect, lots of spells to learn and skills to master.


You have the world map traversing


Dungeon crawling


Cave crawling, traps disarming...
Oh wow! Never heard of Aethra Chronicles. How does it compare to the Ultima games? I'm kinda interested in trying it out.
 

ClanOfNone

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Nov 24, 2018
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Aethra Chronicles looks like a windows based ultima clone, crazy that I missed that back in the day.
 

dirthead

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What about the SF2 versions?

The first one looked ok but it was really slow.



Then a korean programmer, equiped with a cheap capture card and the SNES version, did a really weird job in terms of graphics but the gameplay was much better.



The canadian mod of the previous one.



The official port of Super Street Fighter 2 was way better but the characters were quite small.



The opposite version, shrinked backgrounds and gigantic characters, Super Street Fighter 2 Turbo. Probably the best Street Fighter ever seen on MSDOS.

The best SF ever seen in DOS was when MAME still had an official DOS version...
 

ymoc

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Oh wow! Never heard of Aethra Chronicles. How does it compare to the Ultima games? I'm kinda interested in trying it out.
actually....I never played any of the Ultima games.... :hides in shame:
I imagine it might have some similarities but probably it also has many shortcomings. There are definitely some bad design decisions (like inns, stores or training guilds having same graphic blocks as all other houses that you can't enter, and you end up guessing where things are) It's difficult to keep track of quests and such...
You create 2 or was it 3 character from the start, which are your main characters and then you can recruit others along the way.
It's pretty unforgiving if you don't know what you're doing and you can end up restarting the game altogether.
I still love the dungeon crawling. Some classes are totally OP which is awesome to me at least haha. Thief/figther with deadly strike +sword of speed basically makes you unstoppable and you can singlehandedly wipe out entire squads of enemies :D

You can get it for free here http://netsilik.nl/Aethra/ along with some pointers.
 
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stranno

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The best SF ever seen in DOS was when MAME still had an official DOS version...
Well, we are talking about native DOS games.

I'm not sure if MAME was the first emulator ever to emulate Street Fighter II: The World Warrior. Callus should be really close in time.
 

Hudo

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actually....I never played any of the Ultima games.... :hides in shame:
I imagine it might have some similarities but probably it also has many shortcomings. There are definitely some bad design decisions (like inns, stores or training guilds having same graphic blocks as all other houses that you can't enter, and you end up guessing where things are) It's difficult to keep track of quests and such...
You create 2 or was it 3 character from the start, which are your main characters and then you can recruit others along the way.
It's pretty unforgiving if you don't know what you're doing and you can end up restarting the game altogether.
I still love the dungeon crawling. Some classes are totally OP which is awesome to me at least haha. Thief/figther with deadly strike +sword of speed basically makes you unstoppable and you can singlehandedly wipe out entire squads of enemies :D

You can get it for free here http://netsilik.nl/Aethra/ along with some pointers.
Thank you so much for your reply! I think the bad things sound bearable, but let's see, haha. I totally recommend the Ultima games! You can skip the first three, IMHO. I would say that 4, 5, 6 and 7 are the Ultima games to play. Ultima 7 gets often praised as one of the best RPGs ever made.

And whole not strictly DOS games, I can also recommend the Ambermoon and Amberstar games. They are kind of the spiritual predecessors to Albion (German RPG games and basically all made by the same team).
 
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ymoc

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You're welcome!!!
Oh that sounds a bit less daunghting. Maybe the sheer volume of the series made me reluctant to dive in.
So it's ok to start with 4? No prior knowledge or stories needed to know to enjoy the game?
Thank you for the recommendations :)
 

stranno

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New batch of games, this time from Dynamix, the original developers of Mechwarrior, The Incredible Machine and Tribes. But they also delivered some cool plain-shaded polygonal games in late-80s and early-90s.

Mechwarrior (1989). The original game, tho I dont know if its connected with the second one (developed internally by Activision) or even the SNES game.



Ghostbusters II (1989). WHO YOU GONNA CALL? Well, He-Man of course. GB2 featured cool EGA graphics, great MT32 sound and some cleverly designed stages.



Deathtrack (1989). I dont know if this game use polygons in the track or it is just a raster effect (like Outrun), but it looks pretty cool, the rear view, the weapons and especially the cars! It is supposed to be based on Death Race 2000 but ... in circuits?



Die Hard (1989). Talking about cleverly designed levels ... this game is like a realistic clone of Xybots with many great details, like the broken glass or the fan. Unfortunately the gameplay is not as good and it is crazy short, you can beat it in about 15 minutes.



David Wolf: Secret Agent (1989). Things got hot here in the 3D effects department. This game is more a technical demo than a proper game, with striking stage intros and cool effects.



Nova 9: The Return of Gir Draxon (1991). Not especially attractive for 1991 but shading was ok.



Front Page Sports: Baseball '94 (1994). Their last DOS game. Replays are really cool.



Thanks Major Thriftwood channel for all this footage, he must be a great Dynamix fan :messenger_tears_of_joy:
 
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dirthead

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Well, we are talking about native DOS games.

I'm not sure if MAME was the first emulator ever to emulate Street Fighter II: The World Warrior. Callus should be really close in time.
You're right. Callus was first.
 

Godzilla Emu

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1988: Strip Poker II: A Sizzling Game of Chance


Wow. The Commodore Amiga was so far ahead of the pack graphically when it came to terrible pr0n games in the 1980s.

Behold! Hollywood Strip Poker Pro on the Amiga:


(40 year old) Bridget (with hilariously big hair) says: "Do it!"


My 14-year old self says: for Hollywood Strip Poker on the Amiga, always bet maximum and call the girls bluff. 1980's-tier, 16-bit hairy nudity awaits :messenger_tears_of_joy: .... :messenger_ok:? 🤔


But even Bridget and her failed LA acting career couldn't hold me back from the PC platform once this released:





 
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Feb 23, 2018
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1988: Strip Poker II: A Sizzling Game of Chance


I remember playing this while sleeping over my best friends house, we would stand in the doorway like 10-15 feet away from the screen because the images looked better from that distance lol


Here is another PHENOMENAL game - Coaster, by Disney of all companies. The whole game is designing a roller coaster in a 3D CAD looking environment, and then riding it in real time. Your tracks were then judged by a cast of characters afterwards. I don't even want to know how many hours I spent playing this... I really loved how CAD like the interface was, since it made me feel like I was actually designing something professionally and not dicking around on the computer for hours on end.






And the graphics aren't notable, but anyone remember these gems?

Arcade Volleyball



Chopper Commando

 
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