A Collection Of 1980s Games
See also the 1984 version of Computer Canasta
Warning: the games and utilities in this collection (obtained from various sources) were originally designed to be run under DOS only (Windows hadn't been invented when they were written!). Unless you are comfortable working in DOS-only (if you run Windows 3.x) or in a DOS-box under Windows 9x or Windows ME, please do not attempt to load them. Users of Windows XP or later may have to set the compatibility to "Win95" to get them to work.|
CFS can offer no support for these games we arent even 100% sure that they work properly or are truly free!
This is a collection of classic 1980s games (and some utilities), most using the computer language BASIC which has the file extension BAS. To run them you will need to use the command:
gw temple.bas (where temple.bas is the name of the BAS file you wish to run)
The games presented in this collection include The Temple Of Loth (temple.bas), Lunar Lander (lander.bas) and Hopper (hopper.exe), all considered classics in their era.
You will probably find that many of these games will run too fast for your computer (a Pentium IV 3+GHz is a long way from an XT running at 4.77MHz!). Your Turbo button (if fitted) might slow down the computer sufficiently but there is an old DOS utility called GOSLOW.COM which could help too. This utility is included in the download but you use it at your own risk.
There is also another, more modern utility to slow down your computer called SLOWDOWN. Version 3.10 (last updated November, 2002) of this utility is also included in the download but, again, it must be used at your own risk. Visit the authors Website for more information.
Some games, like Temple of Loth and Canasta can run on the fastest computer without trouble if you use DOSShell (313kB download), a GUI frontend for the DOSBox emulator that avoids the typing of commands at the DOS-prompt. It allows you to add new records, edit or delete existing records, has an easy-to-use interface, and more. It requires that DOSBox is installed on your computer first (1.38MB download).
Completely FREE Software makes no promises about the suitability of these games for any purpose. If they trash your computer, give your grandmother hemorrhoids, or make your girlfriend pregnant we are not responsible! Use them at your own risk!!!
Programs in this collection include:
Many of these programs become full screen and, if you are using Windows 95 or later, it is not easy to shutdown that screen when you have finished with them. We have found that the easiest way is to Alt-Tab back to the regular Windows screen (so that the system tray is displayed on the bottom) and then right click on the DOS program icon (the game) and click on Close. Answer Yes to the Windows dialog box.
Associating BAS files
If you dont know how to access these programs which have the extension BAS and you are using Windows 95 or later you can do the following:
From now on, every time you double click on any file with extension BAS it will load it into GW.EXE (GWBasic).
- Open up the directory which contains these programs using Explorer and, holding down the SHIFT key, right click on any of the files with the extension BAS (ie anatomy.bas).
- In the context menu which appears you will see an "Open with..." command.
- Click on that and a small dialog box will open up on the screen.
- At the bottom of this dialog box is a button labelled "Other" which you should click on.
- There will be a "browsing" dialog box open up and you must find the file GW.EXE and click on that.
- You will be returned to the previous dialog box and, before clicking "OK", make sure that the "Always use this program to open this type of file" box is selected.
- Click on the "OK" button
Creating BAT files
If you wish to automate the launching of any of these BAS programs you can create an ASCII text file with the extension BAT which contains the following information:
Change the program name (in this case temple.bas) to the name of the program you wish to run and then name the file temple.bat or whatever name the file is. It must be created in a true ASCII text editor (NotePad is perfect) but not in a word processor (WordPad, Microsoft Word, etc) unless you know how to Save as... a TXT file.
Note: there are some sample BAT files in this collection, including temple.bat (as per the example above) which can be modified and then renamed.
The part of the command which says gw is a command for a file (gw.exe the GWBasic program) to launch the BAS file. When you have finished a game just close the DOS window (saying Yes to the Windows dialog box).
There is a README.TXT file in this collection which includes the information about associating files and the creation of BAT files (see above). Print this page and you will have a hard copy to ensure that you have all the instructions to make these changes.
If you are the author of any of these programs we would love to hear from you. We would also like to hear from anyone who knows of any files in this collection which are not truly free. When most were written the concept of shareware was just being conceived and they lack detailed licensing information. A few of these games request that satisfied users might wish to send money to the author but none (that we know of) are actually shareware and the request for money is nothing more than that, a request. We do not suggest sending money to any address without first writing to ensure that the author is still in residence.
Do you have any old games like these?
If you have more information about these games tell CFS. We would also like to know if you have any similar old games you wish to add to this collection. You do not need to be the author but we do ask that you check that the game(s) is not shareware. Please contact CFS before sending any games to us. With your help we can build up an excellent collection of pre-1990 games for the PC.
Are you interested in DOS?
You can access quite a few DOS programs of various types from the Interesting DOS programs page. You can also get a copy of FreeDOS, a free DOS-compatible operating system for IBM-PC compatible systems.
Please do not write to us if you have a problem with any of these programs! Sorry, but youre on your own.
For lovers of cardgames, here is a copy of the 1984 version of Computer Canasta (version 2.0) by John E Thayer.
This DOS game is great fun to play though the red on black color scheme can be a little hard to read in direct sunlight. A tip for players: cards are accessed by pressing their face value ("k" for king, "3" for 3, etc) and then the first letter of their suit ("c" for clubs, "h" for hearts, etc).
Please do not write to us if you have a problem with this game! Sorry, but youre on your own.