Currently, it seems that video games are all about the special effects, the online multi-player capabilities or the numerous maps; some even have the ability to be customized by the user. Video games have come a long way in the past few decades, progressing from pixilated blocks to first-person games that transport players into a different world.
Despite the progress made, the classics are classics for a reason. Classic games like the Mario franchise are constantly being updated, but game enthusiasts now have the opportunity to play the originals without paying a dime.
Archive.org provides a user-friendly experience through their software library for MS-DOS games. Visitors to the site are hit with a myriad of game options from the classic Donkey Kong to obscure titles like Jazz Jackrabbit. Game enthusiasts could spend hours looking through the archives for new and old experiences.
The role playing games are a far cry from the games currently on the market. Curse of the Azure Bonds was originally released in 1989 and is reminiscent of a storyline-heavy version of games where players choose a way to attack a dragon, and then fifty things happen without touching the controls. The game is difficult to play using the keyboard with unclear directions on which key does what.
Within the chaos of odd and difficult-to-use games, there are a few diamonds in the rough. For example, Galactic Conqueror is a classic worth revisiting. Released in 1988 by Titus Ltd, the third-person perspective game was originally played with a joystick but has been adapted to keyboard controls. Players participate in ground, aerial and space combat after first flying a spacecraft while dodging dangerous meteors and spiky objects.
For those who enjoy the well-known video games, Archive.org has those tucked away as well. They have a version of Mario Brothers that includes a pixilated Mario dodging turtles to get to the top of an easy map. The game requires the use of obscure keys on the keyboard and may be confusing at first.
On the other hand, Charlie the Duck is an adorable game that is easy to use. It is almost impossible to die even when the player falls into the gap between the grass. It turns out that since Charlie is a duck, he can swim across the gaps without any harm. He can also resist damage very well receiving multiple hits from mushroom-like creatures before losing a life.
SimCity is another game that is laughable compared to versions available to users on PC, phones and other gaming platforms. The original, published in 1989, contains no level of detail. Current Sims games allow players to see the people in their city and control mundane actions. In the original, gamers are considered the mayor of the town and are only allowed to run the city on a larger scale by placing essential buildings and dealing with possible disasters. The game also offers terrain variety so the user can get a different experience each time.
Archive.org may offer hundreds of games, but many are not worth the time to wait for them to load. Game enthusiasts may enjoy the novelty and bored students may enjoy the distraction, but in general, the website is a disappointment for gaming.