DOS Shooter / Platformer
Mach 3 (1987) is a classic arcade shooter released by Loriciel Electronics. The game was popular during its time and is known for its fast-paced gameplay. Slay all the enemies, avoid the mines, and travel between distinct worlds to kill the evil mastermind. The action is very smooth, and overall it's a very polished CGA game that manages to overcome many hardware limitations. Mach3 remains a nostalgic favorite among retro gaming enthusiasts.
StarGlider (1987) is a legendary wireframe 3D action shooter developed by Argonaut Software and Realtime Games. One of the first of its kind ever. Your goal on each level is to find Starglider one, a golden bird with animated wings, then destroy it. With revolutionary spaceflight dynamics and a long list of innovative features, StarGlider ranks as one of the most underrated space sims of all time.
Prince of Persia (1990) is a fantasy cinematic 2D platformer. The plot revolves around the eponymous Prince who has been imprisoned by the evil Grand Vizier Jaffar. He has one hour to escape the dungeon and rescue the Sultan's daughter who has been placed under a curse by Jaffar and given a choice to marry him or die. The felicitous character animations, considered cutting edge at the time, were based on videos of the game designer's brother performing stunts as well as action sequences from classic films. Jordan Mechner used a technique called “rotoscoping” to get life-like ultra-fluid animations for the prince. You can learn more about the process from this Forbes article.
Xenon 2: Megablast (1990) is a SHMUP (Shoot 'm up) masterpiece. Piloting the "Megablaster" ship, your mission is to survive five levels, blasting hundreds of aliens in the process. Xenon 2 introduces significant innovations to the genre; the graphics are superb throughout. Definitely one of the best-looking and most fun SHMUP in PC gaming history, and a must-have for every shooter fan. For invulnerability press F7 in the graphics selection and "I" during game :)
Scorched Earth (1991) is the mother of all turn-based artillery games, where you control tanks and engage in battles against other players or computer-controlled opponents. The game is set on a 2D grid, and players take turns adjusting the angle and power of their tank's shot to try and hit the enemy. The terrain is destructible, and the goal is to eliminate opponents by accurately targeting and firing projectiles. You can choose from a variety of weapons, each with its own characteristics, such as missiles, napalm and even a nuke. Highly addictive!
Gorillas (1991), also known under the source code's file name GORILLA.BAS, was a cute little video game included free with the first version of Microsoft's QBASIC program. It is a turn-based artillery game. With allusions to King Kong, the game consists of two gorillas throwing explosive bananas at each other above a city skyline. The players can adjust the angle and velocity of each throw as well as the gravitational pull of the planet. "Gorillas" is a good example of a small, but well-coded BASIC game with which you can spend more minutes than you realize. Simple gameplay and primitive graphics probably won't make the game addictive for anyone, but it's certainly a lot of fun while it lasts.
Wolfenstein 3D (1992) is the popular DOS classic that started the first-person shooter genre! This smoothly playable game is set during World War II in a 3D maze-like layout. Allied spy William "B.J." Blazkowicz tries to escape from the german prison Castle Wolfenstein and to carry out a series of crucial missions. He kills enemies with a knife and a variety of guns, collects ammo and treasures, and advances from humble beginnings to the final level, where he encounters the mighty Führer-bot. Here are manual and cheat codes!
DOOM (1993) was all the craze in the mid 90s. In this ultra-famous 3D FPS, the player takes on the role of a tough Space Marine fighting his way through hordes of invading demons from hell. Cheatcodes are typed in during gameplay and the most known are as follows: IDDQD sets health to 100% and makes player invincible (god mode), and IDKFA grants full armor (200%), all weapons, full ammo, and all the keys. Start the game in DOSBox with the AUTOEXEC.BAT file. You don't really need a manual for DOOM, but for the sake of nostalgia, here it is.
Jazz Jackrabbit (1994) is a fast-paced 2D action platformer and PC world's answer to Sonic the Hedgehog. Jazz, the hero of the rabbit planet Carrotus, must rescue the beloved rabbit princess Eva Earlong and defeat Devan Shell, leader of the turtle terrorists. The game is characterized by its fast, action-packed gameplay and its colorful, cartoon-like graphics. Here is also a link to Archive's PC Collection (Redump) with 21 different ZIPs, including Jazz Jackrabbit 2!
Earthworm Jim (1994) is a funny, action packed 2D platformer that became popular for its humorous and offbeat style, quirky characters, and imaginative level design. It follows the adventures of a simple earthworm who gains superpowers after a high-tech space suit falls from the skies, granting him increased strength and intelligence. Earthworm Jim remains fondly remembered by fans as a classic and unique video game.
MechWarrior 2: 31st Century Combat (1995) is a classic 3D mech simulation. It was a groundbreaking title that provided players with a realistic and immersive experience of piloting BattleMechs, which are large, heavily armed and armored walking war machines. The game features detailed graphics, immersive gameplay, atmospheric soundtrack and a variety of mechs with different characteristics, weapons, and customization options. It remains a nostalgic favorite among fans of both the BattleTech franchise and mech-themed video games.
Duke Nukem 3D (1996): Murderous aliens have landed in futuristic Los Angeles, and humanity suddenly finds itself atop the endangered species list. The critically acclaimed followup to the hit Duke Nukem II raised the bar for first person shooter interactivity to new heights. Run, jump, crawl, swim, jetpack and shoot your way from Los Angeles to the moon and back in over 40 levels ranging from movie theaters, skyscrapers, space stations, to alien lairs and more. Here are the cheats... The installer already contains DOSBox, you start it with a *.bat file. Be sure to try it out!
FINAL DOOM's (1996) gameplay and cheats are similar to the original DOOM, but with new levels of challenging design and complex layout. Players battle hordes of demons and other monsters in two separate 32-level episodes titled "TNT: Evilution" and "The Plutonia Experiment." The download features a comfortable installer, so no further actions are required. A must for fans!