There once existed a time when now classic computer games such as King’s Quest, Wing Commander, and Ultima, were considered cutting edge. These games were both entertaining and offered a truly immersive gaming experience that modern computer games fail to deliver. Although the era of really great PC games seems to have come and gone, it is still possible to play classic DOS games on a modern computer system.
Play DOS Games
To play classic DOS games on a modern PC or Mac all one needs to do is download and install DOSBox which is an Intel x86 emulator. DOSBox can be downloaded here. After you’ve downloaded and installed DOSBox you can use the following steps to play DOS games on your computer:
1. You will first need to create a folder on your computer that DOSBox will use to emulate the MS DOS environment. I made a folder under Documents called DOS.
2. Start DOSBox. Once DOSBox has started you will need to mount the folder that you just created. The command to mount a specific folder in DOSBox to be used as the C:\ drive under MS DOS is mount C “C:\Your DOS Folder” this will vary based upon where you created your dos folder.
3. You can also mount floppy drives and CD-ROM drives as needed using the following commands:
- To mount a floppy drive under DOSBox type: MOUNT A A:\ -t floppy
- To mount a CD-ROM drive under DOSBox type: MOUNT D D:\ -t cdrom
4. To play a classic MS DOS game under DOSBox you need to first install the game according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This will vary depending on the game and the installation media. Pictured below is the installation sequence for the classic Sierra Online game Conquest Of Camelot.
5. Once you’ve gotten your game installed you can run it under DOSBox using the manufacturer’s instructions. Pictured below you can see Conquest Of Camelot running on a Windows 7 computer!
Abandonware DOS Games
Older software that has been discontinued and can no longer be purchased legally is typically referred to as abandonware. In some scenarios the software’s copyright status is unclear while in other scenarios the original copyright holder may have chosen to release the older software package into the public domain.
To find abandonware DOS games simply do a Google search for “abandonware.” As a precaution, you’ll want to double check the copyright status of the abandonware DOS game that you plan to download before actually doing so. Although copyright infringement charges are rarely brought against individuals who download abandonware, anything is possible. In some cases, you can legally purchase a valid license for abandonware DOS games for a very low price such as the King’s Quest Collection which is available from Amazon.