As a Christmas gift to my brother I decided to do a little research and figure out how he could experience some of the old-school gaming enjoyment that I grew up with. Remember the old games? 2D. Bad sound. No story. Yes, those were the days! Forget all that World of Warcraft stuff, I’m talking about old-school DOS based games.
Well, I hope you’re reading this Taylor because I have detailed below how to setup the DOS emulator and install just about any game you want. I hope this doesn’t hurt your grades in school. I’m sure some of these games made me dumber growing up and, once you start playing some of these, you’ll definitely see why!
First we’ve got to install the DOS emulator, DOSBox. You can do that using your favorite method (Synaptic or command line), example:
sudo aptitude install dosbox
Once DOSBox is installed you’ve got the emulator, you just need to create a folder to store your totally RAD games and play them. First you’ll want to create a directory to store your games. Perhaps in your home/ folder. Open a terminal and use:
You’re already 2/3 of the way there. (What did I tell you about Linux being easy!) At this point you’ll need to install your games and you’re ready to go.
A great place I found to download a TON of old-school games is at Abandonia. They’ve got a lot of old titles that I remember playing when I was a kid. From Tetris to Double Dragon, Prince of Persia, Rampart and a LOT more. Take a look through those and see what you’d like to play. When you’ve found something simply click the “Get it” button and download the .zip file. You’ll want to extract this .zip file into your newly created dosgames folder. (note: look for the little icon that says “DOS BOX” to make sure its completely compatible. If its got that icon you are SET! A few games I found are “protected” by the ESA. If you see this, unfortunately, they aren’t available for free download.)
After you’ve installed the games you want to play it’s just two quicks steps to actually launching them. First you’ll need to start DOSBox, which is done simply by running the command.
This will load a DOSBox window that looks like the old-school DOS command line. You’ll then need to mount your local dosgames folder so that it knows where to find the games.
mount c /home/username/dosgames (replace username with your own, or substitute the path with your local dosgames path)
At this point use the good ‘ol DOS navigation to find the folder, look for the executable and get playing. Remember, use cd to move to a new directory and dir to list the contents. Look for a .exe, .com, or .bat file to launch the game. For example, with Prince of Persia you would do the following after downloading and unzipping to the dosgames folder:
mount c /home/username/dosgames
That should be all. …and if you’ve got other games you’d like to play that perhaps you still have copies of for whatever reason, simply copy the appropriate files to your dosgames folder and play away! Let me know if you have any trouble with this. Between DOSBox and Abandonia you should have hours of wasted gaming in front of you!