Getting DOS Games to Run

For several reasons, running DOS games was often frought with difficulty unless you had an up-to-date computer - the main cause was that during these times technology and innovation were progressing at a great pace. Ever faster clock speeds, new buses, minimum main memory, minimum video memory, 3D accelerators required, etc.

Most games would have a sticker on the box that gave you an indication of what specifications your computer needed to meet in order to play the game. Sometimes these 'minimum system requirements' were coupled with 'recommended' system specs, so as long as your computer would sit somewhere between the two you could usually install and play the game quite happily.

My goal here is to document how to get certain games running on original equipment, since much of these details are difficult to find today. DOSBox is great, but in a lot of cases you still need to tweak the cycles to get it to run well.

I also realised when starting this project that nearly all versions of games out there on Abandonware sites are just a dump of the installed game directory. This may or may not be all you need to get the game working, so where I have the original game I've provided each disk's directory listing so you can see which files resided on what disk - this may help if you need to recreate the original install disks due to bad sectors or whatever.


If you have knowledge of a specific game and how to get it running as it was originally intended, you too can contribute to these pages - just let me know and I'll add it in here, along with you being credited. Oh, and I have included a bunch of early Windows games too. These are suffixed with an asterisk (*). To find a game first choose a letter range or view games by year:

Select a range:    0-E    F-L    M-S    T-Z