Who needs fancy graphics and snazzy physics known in modern gaming? I prefer the creative, classic DOS games of yore to today’s hyper-real slaughter fests. Up until this weekend I had know idea how to play old DOS games on my Mac,and then I found Boxer.
Boxer is a DOS game emulator for OS X and is based on the open source project DOSBox. It packs a few little tricks to help you load and launch your games with ease. The problem is these tricks aren’t very obvious so I’ll give you a little walkthrough.
After downloading and installing Boxer, the first time you run it it will ask you to choose a designated game folder. Which ever folder you choose will auto-mount as your C: drive every time you start Boxer. From here you can navigate to the folder with your game in it and launch the .exe file. Wait, you don’t remember how to navigate around that black screen with a white blinking cursor? Yea neither did I.
Luckily Boxer makes it a snap to run your games straight from the Finder. Just go to the game folder and add ‘.boxer’ to the end of it’s name. Now you can double click the folder and it will automagically launch in Boxer. Some games require you to have a CD-ROM loaded but Boxer can handle that too! Just make a copy of the game folder inside the game folder and add a ‘.cdrom’ to the end of it’s name. Boxer will automatically detect it and mount it as a virtual CD for you. Can’t get much easier than that!
Other niceties include Mac friendly keyboard shortcuts like cmd+F for fullscreen view and cmd + up/cmd + down to increase/decrease the CPU speed. Other ones are listed on the Boxer site.
Now you can relive the gaming classics. If you need some ideas to get started take a look at the adventure game Sam and Max: Hit the Road or the first person that took the world by storm, Doom. Try your hand at the original Warcraft or one of my favorite turn-based strategy games Heroes of Might and Magic 2. Remember those old education games from the Learning Company like Treasure Mountain? There are a ton more games up for grabs at Abandonia, which is dedicated to abandoned DOS games and Squakenet.
Even thought these games might be old, they are still just as addictive. Be sure to give yourself some time to get sucked in.