playing games from the 90’s on your mac (free)

I’ve been spending the past few weeks looking for old games I played when I was six; games like SimCity 2000, SimFarm and SimTower. After fumbling through the Internet like a blind rat in a maze, I managed to be able to play them all (legally). I decided to write a short blog post on how to play those games. 

Short version

  1. Download Boxer
    Just open the zip file and tada! you’ve got Boxer.
  2. Head down to Abandonia
    Search for the game (e.g. DinoPark Tycoon) you want and download it.
    Make sure it’s compatible with dos boxImage
  3. Unzip the file
  4. Import the game
    Open Boxer and drag the unzipped folder onto “import a new game”
  5. Install the game
    The installer is usually something like “setup.bat” or “install.bat”, so just click “launch installer” and follow the instructions.
    The installer is sometimes an .exe file.
  6. Play the game
    You can access all the games you have installed from the “browse your games” menu upon opening Boxer.

Long jibber-jabber version (get links from above)

  1. Download Boxer
    Boxer is an emulator that allows you to play MS-DOS games. MS-DOS (Microsoft Disk Operating Software) is the operating system that IBM PCs used to run on. DOS is no longer in use and there is no other way you can play DOS games without an emulator, unless you have a really old IBM PC, then good for you.
  2. Head down to Abandonia
    Abandonia is a site whereby you can download dos (I’m going to stop capitalising them because it annoys me) games for free, as they are freewares. Freewares are softwares that you can use for free, and these old dos games are sometimes released by the makers as freewares after a decade or so, because they’re awesome people.
    You can find said freewares, or any of the dos games, anywhere else on the Internet and install it the same way.
    Search for the game (e.g. DinoPark Tycoon) you want and download it.
    Make sure it’s compatible with dos box
  3. Unzip the file
  4. Import the game
    Open Boxer and drag the unzipped folder onto “import a new game”
  5. Install the game
    The installer is usually something like “setup.bat” or “install.bat”, so just click “launch installer” and follow the instructions.
    Sometimes, there are a lot of .bat files that you can choose from use as an installer, so don’t just click on any of them. I have SimCity 2000 which gave me quite a bit of trouble – instead of installing it like that, I had to open the installer “install.exe” and install it manually, for some reason that eludes me.
    When in doubt, consult the all-knowing world wide web.
  6. Play the game
    You can access all the games you have installed from the “browse your games” menu upon opening Boxer.
    You might want to create a folder for all your DOS games to keep them organized. Note that, even though the same game, accessing it via the external folders (i.e. accessing it manually) will not have the same save files or configs as when you access it directly through Boxer.

 

Any questions, mail me at claireleong@mail.com.
I’m not an expert, but I’ll try to help when I can.

 

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