Software die Spass macht

DOS Puzzle / Arcade

Space Invaders (1978) was the revolutionary first SHMUP "shoot 'em up", which set the template for an entire genre. The goal is to defeat wave after wave of descending aliens with a horizontally moving cannon to earn as many points as possible. The download site claims it to be a Windows version, but it is of course a DOSBox game. Strg and Alt keys move the cannon and the Arrow Upwards key shoots. Space Invaders is a very simple game, but it was a technological marvel in its time.


Pac-Man (1983) is probably the most popular arcade of all times. Its graphics and audio are ancient by today's standards. Nevertheless, it continues to captivate new generations of players with its simple design and ever-increasing difficulty (just like Tetris and Boulder Dash). A yellow puck-shaped character has to eat all of the pellets in a maze without getting caught by four ghosts. There's only one maze in the whole game, but the ghosts move faster with each successive round. Noteworthy fact: the size of the zipped Pac-Man download is only incredible 11 KB!


Soko-Ban (1984) is one of the most difficult puzzle games for PC. The objective is simple: help a warehouse keeper (jap. Soko-Ban) move crates to their proper, final position. But like other classic puzzle games, it is easy to learn yet hard to master. The last few levels are very difficult in that you cannot afford even one false move.



Boulder Dash (1984) is a CGA puzzler that became a bestseller and a classic like Tetris. It sparked numerous clones even decades after its release. The concept is simple: guide an adventurous character through 16 caves packed with tricky puzzles to solve. Your basic goal on each level is to collect the specified number of diamonds and advance to the next level.



Tetris (1986) is yet another classic video game that deserves all the praise it gets. Here I offer a link to an enhanced version of the original 1984 Russian puzzle game. It was ported to IBM PC in 1986 and is the first tetris game in full color. It is also part of the collective subconscience, needs no instruction book and still stands as a fun game, even today. There are better versions around, but for pure nostalgia you can't beat the original. Fun fact: the word Tetris is a combination of "tetramino" and "tennis".



Arkanoid (1988) is an improved version of the classic arcade game Breakout. You must control a ball with your paddle and attempt to break all of the colored panels. Work your way through the different levels and complete each one with a high score. With a plethora of rounds and panel configurations, this arcade game has great playability and is a huge amount of fun!


Pipe Dream (1989) is LucasFilm's classic and addictive puzzle game. Transfer fluid to a destination tile before time runs out. Move and rotate pipes to connect to each other. Some tiles have overlapping pipes, so the game becomes difficult very quickly as you must keep track of where the pipes really lead to. If you like fast action/puzzle games such as Tetris in general, you'll love Pipe Dream.



Mastermind (1989) is a nice abandoned DOS adaption of the popular eponymous logic puzzle game ("Superhirn" in german). Objective of the game is to guess a varying combination of colored tokens. The player gets up to ten tries to guess the combination. After each turn the PC shows how many tokens were guessed right, and how many tokens do occur in the combination, but in a different position. You use this information to guess the proper combination as fast as possible. Sounds easy? Give it a try!


Lemmings (1991) was one of the cutest and most famous games in the nineties. Inspired by the legend of the dumb lemmings running straight in to danger, the lemmings pop from a portal and walk straight until they find an obstacle. The goal is to build a way to the exit with minimum casualties along the way. Of course dangers are everywhere: pitfall, traps, cliffs, etc...



Dynablaster (1992) is an excellent PC conversion of the popular arcade/puzzle hybrid Bomberman. Goal is to drop bombs at the right spots to destroy wall segments and enemies, find extras to increase your bomb's fire-range and the amount of bombs you can drop at once. You must, however, be careful to not get hit by your own bomb's fire. When you find the exit to the next level, you can enter it as soon as all the enemies are cleared from the screen. And yes, there are cheats!



The Incredible Machine (1993) is undoubtedly one of the most unique games ever produced for the PC, and a dream come true for anyone who likes to tinker with gadgets and toys. It is a puzzle game par excellence and beyond. You have to use wacky gadgets and tools given for each level to accomplish objectives: Rube Goldberg devices! Puzzles start out relaxing and get fiendish very quickly, as later levels require not only ingenuity but also precise timing. A brain twisting, world famous, creative puzzle game and a true classic.



The Incredible Machine 2 (1994) is the gorgeous successor of The Incredible Machine, with a lot of new and challenging puzzles to solve. The objects available range from simple sticks and ropes to electric generators and even living animals. If you enjoyed TIM, you'll love TIM 2. One can say this series is the precursor to all the puzzle solving video games existing today!