I bet it’s been a while since you played DOS games, right? The Internet Archive is a digital library that keeps old things alive, such as software, audiovisual content, games, books, and more. The best part about the website is that the access to all this information is free.
For gamers who want to relive retro games, it’s quite difficult to find the right PC emulator that actually works. Well, the Internet Archive added another important part of computing history and gaming to the platform: the DOS games.
Gaming before the modern computing era
PC gaming before was very different than what it has become today. In the early years of Widows OS, computer video games had to run on MS-DOS, Microsoft’s terminal operating system.
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DOS games have been very important in the gaming industry. They have given shape to today’s video games, evolving into the modern games we play today.
— Internet Archive (@internetarchive) September 29, 2016
The problem with these old games is that finding, downloading, and playing them can become very hard work. They fall into oblivion, and in a few years, they could even disappear completely.
Emulate MS-DOS games directly from your browser
Thankfully, the Internet Archive provides MD-DOS games that don’t require an emulator. Instead, it uses EM-DOSBOX, an in-browser emulator, to boot and play these games. This also removes the need to download anything else besides the game files into the browser.
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Once you are in its Software Library, you will find a huge list containing thousands of MS-DOS games. You can even arrange this list by year, title, or any available criteria to make your search easier. Some of the more popular titles there are The Oregon Trail, Prince of Persia, Wolfenstein 3D, Pac-Man, SimCity, SimAnt, The Settlers 2, Disney’s Aladdin, Golden Axe, and many more.
Once you find the game you want to play, just click on it and you will be redirected to a new page where you can launch it. Hitting the ‘begin’ button on top of the page, you will have two buttons to go full-screen and to mute/un-mute the game. After it launches, you will have to use the keyboard to control the game.
Each game also has all the information you need to know about it. Just in case you’re a bit skeptical of how it runs, you also have user reviews to read through.
Keep in mind it’s beta
First of all, you need to know that this is still in beta. However, you can contact directly with the software curator, Jason Scott, in case you want to report any issue or just ask him questions.
Another thing is that some games may take significant time to download all the game data to the browser before it starts. This depends on your internet connection and the size of the game you’re loading. Playstation-era titles can be a few hundred megabytes for sure. With that being said, you can have your own nostalgia fest by playing through your favorite MS-DOS games in the Internet Archive.
Photo credits: The feature image is a collage of several game screenshots and covers. The screenshot of the website has been taken by Danielle Ordonez for TechAcute and is owned by the Internet Archive.