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List of retro gaming websites  "No "abandonware" stuff here"

User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 454

#1

Being generally a retro gamer type, some time ago I've started a list of interesting places on the Internet that have to do with old games. I was delighted to learn that these days, many people are not only interested in nineties-era games per se, but are actively researching, collecting and sharing relevant information and files in thematic communities and dedicated websites. Here I'm not talking about the abundant "abandonware" websites that follow the simple "logic" that if something is "old" it can be distributed willy-nilly. Many sites make sure to only offer content that is licensed for free distribution, be it shareware episodes or full versions of games that were officially "liberated" by copyright holders.

The two sites that probably had the greatest impact on my experience in the retro gaming world are DOS Museum (later to be known as Demu.org, and now moving over to archive.org as the Classic PC Games collection) and RGB Classic Games. I'd like to express my utmost gratitude to these sites' administrators, Swizzle of Demu.org and DOSGuy of RGB Classic Games.

Freeware & Shareware Archives

Remain in Play
This is as much a database of commercial games that have been released into public domain as it is a gaming site. It provides info, screenshots and downloads of freeware games, but keep in mind that the database includes not only playable games, but also source code and raw data if those were the only things released to the public. There options to filter games by type of distributed content, and it's a good idea to look for binary executables if you want to get playable games and not files that are barely useful if you aren't a programmer or game developer yourself.

Liberated Games
A website that is quite similar to Remain in Play, this is a database of former commercial games that have been released as freeware. This includes the games themselves and the source code, where applicable. The website offers limited browsing capabilities though (only games by alphabet), but contains extensive information on each title, links and additional items like source ports for specific games.

Theodor Lauppert's Game Gallery (mirror site)
Here you'll find interesting, insightful reviews of games, tons of related links, screenshots, demo/shareware/freeware downloads etc. You can browse games by genre, title, platform (featured games aren't limited to PC only), or country. There are also a few interesting related sites:
King Svatopluk's Court - a nice site dedicated to various RPGs like the Elder Scrolls series.
Svatopluk's Game World - various articles about games.
Svatopluk's DOSBox - a large, unsorted collection of screenshots from various DOS games.
Svatopluk's Arcade - a lot of info and screenshots about all sorts of arcade games.

Demu.org (formerly known as DOS Museum)
This is by far one of the largest archive of shareware episodes, demo versions, extras and utils for DOS and Windows games, as well as a selection of other programmes. Quite a few rare items can be found here, so it's a must see for everyone :P The only imaginable drawback is that original file names of archives aren't always preserved, and some games have been repackaged in RAR for better compression. Both playable and unplayable demo versions (and also preview slideshows, trailers etc.) are present. There's an option of ordering a DVD with the entire collection of the site per mail. Links to sites that offer full versions of featured games for purchase are present where applicable.

RGB Classic Games
Behind this site is an extensive agenda of preservation of old games (DOS and Windows), and thanks to the initiative of the site's author some old titles have been officially released into public domain by their respective developers following Internet petitions. RGB Classic Games is unique because it aims to include every existing version of each featured game, and the community members actively search for rare releases of old games. Each game on the site is accompanied by an brief but informative description that contains info on developers, publishers, current availability etc. Non-playable content is usually not included. The site also offers their complete collection on DVDs. Links to sites that offer full versions of featured games for purchase are present where applicable. There's also an extensive archive of emulators and other utilities you might need to play the games on modern machines, and comprehensive guides to successfully running old games on new hardware. In addition, there is an option to play featured games right in your browser.

Hallfiry's CD Index
An incredibly powerful search engine that allows to view contents of more than two thousand magazine cover disks from the 90s and the 2000s. Prominent English, German, French, Polish and other magazines are featured, and links to CD images are present where possible (including links to the Internet Archive's CD Archive).

Kult Cover Disks - The Cover CD & Magazine Archive!
Hallfiry's extensive collection of gaming magazines and magazine cover disks (mostly in German).

Kult Game Downloads
Hallfiry's database of shareware and demo releases of PC games from the 90s and the 2000s, as well as patches and various extras.

Smush The Cat
A nice collection of shareware episodes, demo versions and freeware full versions of old DOS and Windows games. Descriptions and other info are scarce, but links to official and related websites for games are present if possible. There's an option to browse by multiple categories (platform, game type etc.). The site also offers utilities that might be needed to run the old games on modern systems.

dosgames.com
This is a popular site with a large archive of DOS games, offering playable demo versions and shareware episodes. Well-known classics are present alongside more obscure titles. There's also a community forum where people can get help with getting a game to run on a modern machine, or locating an old game they just can't find. A selection of utilities needed to run the games is also available.

DOS Games Archive
A sister site to dosgames.com. Non-playable content is also present, as are full versions of games that have officially become freeware. There's a multi-category browsing option (by genre, playability etc.), a number of selected screenshots for each game (unfortunately, they're not always from the demo version), cheat code listings and links to places where you can buy the full version if a game is still sold.

The DOS Multiplayer Archives
This site focuses on playing old DOS games over the net (through DOSBox). It offers demos of DOS games that have multiplayer capability, already bundled with DOSBox configured for online play. The collection of games isn't very large at the moment, but it can be expected to grow. Currently, the focus is on the less known games that have a multiplayer option, because they're not as easy to run on modern systems as those well-known classics (Doom, Duke Nukem 3D etc.) that have source ports to newer platforms, as well as large supporting communities.

Game Reviews

Hardcore Gaming 101
A dedicated old-gaming site with a huge database of detailed articles about PC and console games and game series.

The Computer Show
This is an archive of previews, reviews, walkthroughs and other articles about games that have been released in the nineties.

Ancient DOS Games
Periodic issues of video reviews of DOS games can be found here.

HappyPuppy (archived copy)
This seems to have been one of the most active gaming sites in the nineties, with reviews and links to shareware and demo downloads. Definitely worth of checking it out! :P

FTP Archives

Gamers.Org has several old FTP file archives on their site:

Quote

Special Features and Services at Gamers.Org:



FTP Archive at the Polish Interdisciplinary Centre for Mathematic and Computer Modelling
A nice FTP archive of shareware and demo programmes and games.

The following are mirrors of a certain old FTP site with shareware and demo downloads:
http://www.ftp.funet...ex/msdos/games/
ftp://nic.funet.fi/pub/msdos/games/

Sites Dedicated to Specific Games and Companies

Litude's Apogee Software Game Information Vault
A dedicated research website that aims to provide an exhaustive account of all known Apogee Software game releases.

El Zee's Amulets & Armor Forum
A fan forum for discussing Amulets and Armor, a first-person action/RPG game that runs on the Doom engine.

leileilol's Unofficial Amulets & Armor Shrine
A little site about the game, which aslo includes downloads of the shareware version.

Rise of the Triad Headquarters
As the name suggests, this is a site dedicated to Apogee's Rise of the Triad, and it contains extensive information about the game and everything related to it. The downloads section offers source ports, the shareware version, and various extras. There's also a forum.

The Sierra Help Pages
As the name suggests, the site is dedicated to games by Sierra On-line. There's extensive information about the games, hints and tips, and helpful information about running them on modern machines. The site also features and extensive collection of demo versions of Sierra games.

The Sierra Chest
An extensive database of Sierra games, with screenshots, downloadable demos, and various links.

SierraGamers - The Official Website of Ken and Roberta Williams
Exactly what it says on the tin, it's a site maintained by Ken and Roberta Williams and dedicated to Sierra games and legacy. A must visit for every Sierra fan, and anyone interested in the history of computer games.

The Chaos Regime
A site about games by Bitmap Brothers. Features demo downloads, screenshots and interesting info.

Interplay Official Website
The official website of Interplay Entertainment. They've got tech support for their old games, as well as demos, patches and other extras like PDF manuals and, in some cases, even music. Some links seem to be broken though.

Westwood Remembered
A tribute to Westwood Studios, this archive at CnC World is a copy of the company’s official site from 1996.

Miscellaneous Gaming Sites

VOGONS (Very Old Games On New Systems)
Home to the official DOSBox forum, this is the number one place to go if you have trouble running an oldie on your shiny new hardware.

A Force for Good
This website is about old PC games, and how to run them on modern systems. It offers detailed reviews of many games, both for DOS and Win9x, and general information articles about where to find old games, and what tools and tricks to use to get them running.

Videogame Music Preservation Foundation
A database of music from video games, regardless of platform. You can browse entries by games, by artists, formats or platforms. Also has its own Wiki.

leileilol's 90's Hunter
An interesting collection of obscure shareware and freeware games from the nineties. Also featured are largely unknown modifications for certain old games.

Leliork's Site
The site features a rather extensive list of old FPS games, organized by year of release, and contains screenshots and download links for demo/shareware/freeware releases of each game (if applicable). The content seems to exclude vehicle FPS games though, but it has quite a few rare titles so it's worth looking into.

S&F Prod.
A neat site about oldies, with various interesting and useful info about classic games (and, in some cases, utilities like game data extractors).

CuteFloor’s YouTube Channel
Has a large section of videos from unreleased DOS games, as well as alpha and beta versions.

Retro Game Forum
A promising forum dedicated to old gaming on various platforms, including home computer systems, consoles and game arcade machines.


This post has been edited by MrFlibble: 30 August 2014 - 03:19 AM

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User is offline   Hool 

  • 162

#2

http://www.abandonia.com/

Has some old Abandonware on it, if any one is interested.
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User is online   MusicallyInspired 

  • 2,492

#3

The forums on Abandonia have links to ISO images as well in the ISO Cellar subforum.

Roland SC-55 Music Packs
new! It's Green (Duke3D BETA Track!) in FLAC, OGG, & MP3 with metadata loop tags
Duke3D, Doom, Descent, Hocus Pocus, and more...
Legacy of Grabbag Metal Medley
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User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 454

#4

Well, I've aimed at making the list of websites that are both abandonware-free and user friendly (no registration required to get access to files or information). Abandonia, despite deserving respect in that, unlike some other "abandonware" websites, it does not indulge in outright piracy (the admins make sure that games which are still sold are not downloadable, and even provide links to places where such games can be bought), does not meet the above requirements.
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User is online   MusicallyInspired 

  • 2,492

#5

The ISO Cellar in their forums does.

Roland SC-55 Music Packs
new! It's Green (Duke3D BETA Track!) in FLAC, OGG, & MP3 with metadata loop tags
Duke3D, Doom, Descent, Hocus Pocus, and more...
Legacy of Grabbag Metal Medley
0

User is offline   Martin 

  • 155

#6

Not exactly what you're looking for, but Scary-Crayon is a wicked little site. It's like the inner child of some grown-man's mind letting out onto a web page. Old late 80s - early 95s toys (Power Rangers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, etc), but also a sizeable gaming section. Of interest to you guys is, like most of you, he was raised on and swears by PC. Thus, some old PC game reviews, often of ports from arcade or console. He's even got videos on some. His page on the various PC incarnations of Street Fighter II is a really cool article. Weird but cool website.

<span style="color:#FF0000;">WANTED:</span> American versions of Duke Nukem: Zero Hour, Hexen, and Quake II. I live in the UK. Will pay via PayPal. Drop me a PM.

This post has been edited by Martin: 04 April 2012 - 03:29 PM

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User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 454

#7

View PostMusicallyInspired, on 04 April 2012 - 12:20 PM, said:

The ISO Cellar in their forums does.

Whoops, I think I've poorly worded my post above. While I mean no offence against Abandonia, it's not on the list because a) some of the games that can be downloaded there were not officially released as freeware or public domain software by their respective copyright holders (although none of the downloadable games are officially sold elsewhere) and B) the ISO cellar requires both registration and (IIRC) a certain number of posts in the forums for a user to get access there. The (B) point is a bit redundant though, since, as I have already said, I've been aiming for completely -abandonware-free websites.

On another note, I think I could have also added the Shareware CD Archive at archive.org and http://cd.textfiles.com/ to the list. They aren't as easily browseable as the other sites on the list, but you can find more stuff that way if you're not shy of some digging :P

View PostMartin, on 04 April 2012 - 03:29 PM, said:

Not exactly what you're looking for, but Scary-Crayon is a wicked little site. It's like the inner child of some grown-man's mind letting out onto a web page. Old late 80s - early 95s toys (Power Rangers, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, etc), but also a sizeable gaming section. Of interest to you guys is, like most of you, he was raised on and swears by PC. Thus, some old PC game reviews, often of ports from arcade or console. He's even got videos on some. His page on the various PC incarnations of Street Fighter II is a really cool article. Weird but cool website.

Right, I could have added this here as well :P In fact, recently I've stumbled upon a very early version of SF2IBM at cd.textfiles.com, without even knowing that it was a completely unofficial, bootleg port of the SNES version, and some further research has led me directly to the Scary Crayon site :D
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User is online   MusicallyInspired 

  • 2,492

#8

Ah, I thought you were going the other way with that.

Roland SC-55 Music Packs
new! It's Green (Duke3D BETA Track!) in FLAC, OGG, & MP3 with metadata loop tags
Duke3D, Doom, Descent, Hocus Pocus, and more...
Legacy of Grabbag Metal Medley
0

User is offline   RacerBG 

  • 1

#9

Nice collection man (I know most of them anyway). B)

Let's shoot them all!
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User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 454

#10

Thanks! B)
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User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 454

#11

Your mileage may vary, but personally I find Mecha-Neko's game reviews at Super Adventures in Gaming quite entertaining to read B)
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User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 454

#12

Some FTP goodness:
ftp://ftp.farlep.net/pub/clubix/demo/
ftp://ftp.farlep.net/pub/clubix/demo2/
ftp://ftp.farlep.net/pub/clubix/demo3/
ftp://ftp.gameaholic.com/pub/
ftp://ftp.peliplaneetta.net/pelidemot/
ftp://ftp.piotrkosof.../windows/games/
ftp://ftp.tpnet.pl/pub/games/

And a few FTP mirrors:

Blizzard Entertainment:
http://ftp.gameaholi...p.blizzard.com/
ftp://ftp.games.skyn...p.blizzard.com/

Westwood Studios:
http://downloads.sil...C/Westwood_FTP/
ftp://ftp.games.skyn...p.westwood.com/

The first Westwood one also has downloads of the free Command & Conquer games:
http://downloads.sil...m/C&C/Freeware/


This post has been edited by MrFlibble: 11 June 2012 - 04:36 PM

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User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 454

#13

The Games Shed - a retro gaming blog that also includes a video section (and an affiliated YouTube channel).
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User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 454

#14

OCUK PC Games - ( INDIE ) ( RETRO ) Database
This is a list of over 300 retro indie games (both complete and WIP), including remakes of well-known PC and Amiga classics.
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User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 454

#15

Flight Sim Flypast
A nice place dedicated to old school flight simulators.

Classic Combat Flight Sims
Exactly what it says on the tin.
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User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 454

#16

NaSPA Software Library - Games
A collection of downloads at the website of the National Systems Programmers Association.
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User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 454

#17

The file archive at Demu.org had finally moved to the Classic PC Games collection at archive.org. It is now possible to browse games by various criteria, including year of release and developer/publisher, but thumbnail view is no longer available.

The original Demu.org website is now primarily focused on game research.
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User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 454

#18

Retrospec

Quote

Retrospec are a team of coders, graphics artists and computer musicians who have gathered together (and are grooving in a cave with a Pict? - Ed.) to bring you the best remakes of old 8 bit games and new original games with a decidedly retro feel that we can. We meet here in the clubhouse - a remarkable building with rooms on at least 5 planets (and a cosmic toilet, baby!)

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User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 454

#19

Indie Retro News - a shiny new blog set out to post fresh updates on retro games.
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User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 454

#20

A detailed playthrough of Amulets & Armor (with YouTube videos for every level):
http://forums.someth...04&pagenumber=1

Another nice YouTube channel, lots of videos of DOS games:
http://www.youtube.c...8/videos?view=0
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User is offline   Person of Color 

  • Senior Unpaid Intern at Viceland
  • 2,751

#21

If you're into actually building DOS/Win9x boxes, or hell, even just upgrading one, VOGONS is the most valuable site there is. The people there have no life and have spent countless hours benchmarking and documenting every piece of known hardware you could imagine. Any questions? Add site:vogons.zetafleet.com to your Google search. Someone there will know.

Can't figure out which card has the best VESA performance? Trying to find a revision of the SB16 without the "hanging note" daughterboard bug? Worried about overpaying for vintage gear? These virgins know EVERYTHING.

I'm building my buddy a sick-ass retro rig as a surprise birthday gift, since his was destroyed in the move. I'm talking P-233, Voodoo2, 40GB HD, 64 megs of RAM, the fuckin' works. Thanks to VOGONS, I know know what memory timings the Sound Blaster AWE32 needs! Thanks aspies!

P.S. I have nothing against autistic people BUT FOR GODS SAKES, GO OUTSIDE. STOP SPENDING 10+ HOURS BENCHMARKING TWENTY YEAR OLD PCI VIDEO CARDS IN YOUR SPARE TIME. Oh wait, go ahead and do so I don't have to.

Posted Image
There is no race, only racists.
Proud trigendered babysexual pan-Korean anarcho-transhumanist
Muslims are peaceful people oppressed by cis white males! Hillary for presidynt!
WE WILL NOT BE SILENCED BY DONALD TRUMP'S VIOLENCE!

This post has been edited by 486DX2: 07 February 2013 - 07:46 PM

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User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 454

#22

Not sure if I posted this before but here's the complete archive of SynTax, "a disk based adventure/RPG/strategy magazine" that had been published from 1989 to 2004.
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User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 454

#23

We love DOS games! - a really nice site with lots of screenshots from DOS games.
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User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 454

#24

While not directly a gaming website, the site of Bjorn Lynne (composer who wrote the Seven Kingdoms soundtrack) has some nice MP3 and MIDI music for download.
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User is offline   RunningWild 

  • 65

#25

View PostMrFlibble, on 04 April 2012 - 10:06 AM, said:

Well, I've aimed at making the list of websites that are both abandonware-free and user friendly (no registration required to get access to files or information). Abandonia, despite deserving respect in that, unlike some other "abandonware" websites, it does not indulge in outright piracy (the admins make sure that games which are still sold are not downloadable, and even provide links to places where such games can be bought), does not meet the above requirements.


While I respect this line of thought, I know the reality is many people will take the game if they can get it. So, I don't bother to fight that inclination on my site. Also, since I'm promoting games that aren't mainstream status quo, I don't want to add deterrents to any of my readers to actually playing the games. Most people I know who play modern games do it for 2 reasons : graphics and ease. Basically they're lazy and I'm doing my part in removing excuses for them.

Additionally, I own extra copies of many of my games, purchased for full retail price back when they came out. The developers have enough of my money, enough to cover maybe 5-10 copies bought off GOG before they take their cut (which I'd imagine is sizable). I don't know what percentage is actually making it's way into the hands of the actual developers, more likely the rights-holders (completely different). Granted, I'm dealing in gray-area of legality admittedly, but I'm more concerned with the developers getting paid than their publishers or whoever is holding the cards at this point in time.

I also figure that anyone interested enough in gaining a license to play a given game can either buy a used copy off Amazon, Ebay, or GOG if they're so inclined and I in no way discourage that. The main difference is the games I have up are often set up to run out of the box with a minimum of fuss (since I already put in the time getting many of them working). If it came down to it, I'd probably pay for a license for a reader if they really wanted something and weren't able to pay themselves and I didn't have an extra copy kicking around.

The main point of difference between my site/blog and most others I see is that I cover the game in a modern context, adding all the existing source ports, mods, level packs, portals for tools or anything related to the game, and anything related to the subject. I also go back and actively update games as I find more info or links. My coverage is more broad-brushed and I aim to be exhaustive; which allows the readers to dig as deep as they want into any given game or subgenre (EG - Orthogonal RPG's : http://www.evil-soft...ober_2011_Games). My intention with it is to have a central portal that can be used a launch-base for any given game or subgenre I cover.

This post has been edited by RunningWild: 29 May 2014 - 09:56 PM

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User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 454

#26

DEMU.org is back, and with a cool new (retro) design ^_^
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User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 454

#27

Retro Reviews - a selection of video reviews of retro PC games.

Retro Spirit Games - a blog dedicated to modern games done in retro style.
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User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 454

#28

Added the following sites to the list, all three courtesy of Hallfiry:
Hallfiry's CD Index
Kult Cover Disks - The Cover CD & Magazine Archive!
Kult Game Downloads

Details on each site are in the first post.
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User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 454

#29

Another interesting YouTube channel:
Gaming History Source
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User is offline   MrFlibble 

  • 454

#30

Added Litude's Apogee Software Game Information Vault to the list.


This post has been edited by MrFlibble: 30 August 2014 - 03:19 AM

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