Sleazy freebies

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  • toasty

    Most of my DOS game experiences came from playing the cheap and cheerful games distributed for free with PC magazines. Every time my friend’s dad bought a new one we’d grab the floppy disk taped to the front and play anything we could get working. I’m not sure if these will compare to others’ suggestions, but below are my most memorable picks.

    Nightmare 3D
    Another FPS, and not quite standing up to the brutal brilliance of Doom, I think this is still kind of charming. I don’t really rate Episodes 2 & 3, but the first is still worth a play. It’s set in a haunted mansion with a huge garden, has plenty of interesting monsters, and remains one of the more atmospheric FPS games I’ve played.

    Crystal Caves/Secret Agent
    Two quirky puzzle-platformers made by Apogee. Summed up quite well by these images. Maybe a little tedious by today’s standards but they kept me occupied back then 😀

    Lode Runner: The Legend Returns
    Apparently everyone already knows what Lode Runner is. It’s another puzzle-platformer with cannibal monks and lots of gems. IMO the graphics still feel almost modern (for this version at least). I’m not sure if it could occupy my interest for an entire month, but we can see. I found the version I used to play here.


    Yeah, DOS shareware is awesome 😀 I remember these discs that came with magazines as well, some of them contained dozens of games. Just trying each one was a fun activity in itself.

    And wow, that version of Lode Runner looks a lot better than the version I used to play!


    I have good memories of Crystal Caves and Secret Agent, so it would be nice to know what other people think of them.

    I don’t know where I got them from, but I think it was late 90s/early 00s I got a bunch of Apogee games (some full/some demos) and those two really stuck with me. They have a sort of wacky animation style, and I think they’re more fun than the original Keen games. Maybe it’s my nostalgia glasses, but I’d recommend you guys give them a try!

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