Internet Archive brings over 2000 free classic MS-DOS games to your browser


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The Internet Archive is turning into one hell of a games repository. After adding early console emulation back in 2013, then adding 900 arcade games to the mix last year, the Internet Archive has now made over 2,000 MS-DOS games available for free. And did I mention you can play every single game in your browser, thanks to the power of JSMESS and DOSBox?

Yes, that includes Duke Nukem 3D and Wolfenstein 3D. Yes, it includes some Lemmings titles. Yes, it includes Oregon Trail. Yes, it includes some (but not all) Infocom games. Yes, it includes The Incredible Machine and King's Quest and Island of Dr. Brain and Leisure Suit Larry and a ton of other Sierra games.

internetarchive dos

Here's what it looks like in action.

But wait! Before you head over, here are some words from Jason Scott, who did a lot of the legwork on this:

"I really worked hard to have only fully-functioning programs up, or at least, programs that gave viable, useful feedback. Some of them will still fall over and die, and many of them might be weird to play in a browser window, and of course you can’t really save things off for later, and that will limit things too. But on the whole, you will experience some analogue of the MS-DOS program, in your browser, instantly."

As Scott says, the lack of save games is the biggest issue right now. Even so, it's a hell of a lot of fun to mess around with for an afternoon—probably the most consumer-friendly way to use DOSBox so far.

The main question is whether companies will let it stand. While some of these games are certainly abandonware and thus in the legal grey area where emulation is sort of "wink-nod legal" albeit frowned upon, other games are still actively being sold today—like, for instance, Duke Nukem 3D, which is on sale in this week's Humble Bundle. I'd hate to see companies bring legal action against the Internet Archive over 20-year-old games, but it could happen.

I guess what I'm saying is "Enjoy it while you can."

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