Wednesday, March 21, 2029

Classic DOS Games


 If there is a link not working or game you want to see - be sure to contact us

If you found this site, it is most likely from a plug on one of the games you found. All games found by WHISPER GAMES are personally played and re-packed for user friendly un/install style with desktop click for any version of windows, including full screen as well

While there are many sites out there that deal in "abandonware", Whisper Games specializes in repacks of some of the best for the ease of your enjoyment. This is where the game is played, tested to make sure it works out of the box and then it is repacked with an installer, desktop icon for ease of play. Many people, such as myself, have parents or just "not-so-computer-literate" friends/family that would like to play, but messing with "DOSBOX" settings just will not work.

The list is very linear as there were TONS of BAD dos games back in the day, and I am not referring to graphics, as that is a given, but some games should never have been released, let alone on the shelf for purchasing. So if there is one you are looking for and do not see it listed, I most likely either have it, or know where to get it, but for now, the list is mostly (fantasy) STRATEGY/RTS, RPG and TYCOON style.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

HeroQuest (Hero Quest)

I remember a Christmas when I was only a child. We were visiting some friend of my mom and decided to celebrate together as well. Snow was falling outside the window, music was playing on the radio and we had just finished one of the biggest turkeys I have ever seen. Slowly it dawned upon us that the time for giving out our presents had come. For the most part my brother and I got the standard gifts; new socks and some jumpsuits, but the last package made this particular Christmas the best one to this date! Hidden behind all the others there emerged a big square bow-tied present for the both of us. As we ripped of the paper we suddenly saw that it was a game. Not any kind of game, though, but one of the earliest RPG-type games ever made: Hero Quest - The board game! Me and my brother stayed up all that night (and many of the following nights as well) playing this game from start to end. We had never seen anything like it before, and I have been hooked to RPG’s ever since. If I can look at any game on Abandonia and say: “That game changed my life!” then it would have to be this one.

Of course since this is the PC version of the board game there are certain differences, but they are all for the better. For instance you can only see the view from the person you are playing, instead of seeing everything on the table. Makes the game more realistic. And also the intro is much cooler in the PC version. As for the rest of the game it is just as the board game. So those of you who are familiar with the game can just download the game straight away. The rest… read on.

You can play any combination of four heroes, a barbarian, a dwarf, an elf and a magician. This means that you can in fact play the game in hot-seat mode if you want to play it together with a friend. At the beginning of each mission you are given a brief description of the story behind, and what you will need to do in order to progress. A tip is to start with the easiest missions and start earning some quick money so that you can buy some needed equipment. Also you should check everywhere for hidden treasures and secret doors as there are plenty of both in the game. It is also worth mentioning that the game is completely mouse controlled. The graphic and sound is nice too, and re-creates the feeling of the board game to the smallest detail.

The plot in the game is, however, nothing special. It is a standard story in which the world is in danger, and only you can save the day… that is IF you can prove your worth…

As a closing let me just say that I still have the board game in my closet, and that I do enjoy to bring it out once in a while. For me this game will always mean something special.

Battletech - the Crescent Hawk’s Inception

Battletech - the Crescent Hawk’s Inception (CHI) is the first of many computer games set in the Battletech universe. Based on the Battletech pen-and-paper tabletop game by FASA, CHI lets the player take command over a number of Battlemechs fighting other Battlemechs or infantry. If you would like to find out more about the pen-and-paper version, check this site out. Battlemechs are gigantic war-machines up to ten meters tall that supposedly cannot be destroyed by anything other than another Battlemech.
In the game you play Jason Youngblood, son of Jeremiah Youngblood, chief of the security forces on Pacifica. Jason has recently started his training to become a Battlemech pilot himself and this is where the game starts.
CHI has two different modes of play. One plays like a role-playing game in real time and the other is a turn-based combat system. This is the same system seen in Fallout, another tabletop pen-and-paper game ported to computer. The main portion of CHI plays in real time; you use the arrow keys to move around the world and enter buildings. As Jason your immediate concern is to finish your pilot training. For this you will need to take courses, manage your income by investing in stocks, buy a personal weapon and of course follow Battlemech lessons. One point of critique about the game is that having to wait before you can buy the best weapons and take part in the more advanced courses means you frequently have to walk around the map doing absolutely nothing. This is only the beginning of the game, though. Once you have finished your lessons, Pacifica is invaded, and the real game starts. You are one of the few survivors of the invasion, and the task of liberating Pacifica falls to you. To accomplish this task several subplots need to be resolved, usually by fighting but also by exploring and some puzzle-solving.
Technically, CHI is anything but a marvel, even by 1988 standards. Sounds are all but absent but since only PC-speakers are supported, this is not a bad thing. Graphically, only the weapon-firing sequences are pretty; unfortunately these are repeated ad nauseam. The menu controls are awkward (I had to struggle even to find a way to exit the game in the change settings menu). CHI has a high degree of backwards compatibility but that is useless today.
The game runs in DOSBox, but the sounds, which are already sparse, are then inaudible.
Now for the verdict: Battletech - the Crescent Hawk’s Inception is a game which tries to incorporate the Battletech combat game with the storytelling of a role-playing game. Although not a complete failure, this game tries to be a Jack-of-all-trades; fans of the Battletech game fail to see the relevance of exploring the world and solving puzzles and people new to the Battletech universe are frustrated by having to fight yet another battle when they really don’t want to. All in all, CHI remains a game worth playing, especially for fans of the Battletech universe, but a game that can become a lLinkittle boring towards the end.

Battletech: Crescent Hawks Revenge

Some of you may think of Dune 2 as the mother of RTS games... in some ways, it's true. But not in all - there were RTS games long before the first concepts on Dune 2 were laid out. Crescent Hawks Revenge is one of them.

The game picks up shortly after the events of Battletech: Crescent Hawks Inception (if you haven't played that game, I suggest you do that now ->Click here), with Jason Youngblood, now a member of the Crescent Hawks, beginning a search for the whereabouts of his father. Of course, things don't go quite as planned - but it's better I'll leave the exact what, who and where for you to discover.

The gameplay isn't quite what you may have gotten used to with any of the modern RTS games - in fact, you have barely any control over specific actions of your mechs. You can order them where to move, what to attack and modes of these actions (eg you can order the unit to fire at will, only in self-defense or not attack at all), but majority is left to the pilots' AI. Surprisingly, this solution is pretty effective. The game pauses when you click on the unit to give it commands, so you can take time planning your moves as you see fit.

That doesn't mean that the game is anywhere close to easy - in fact, you're thrown into deep water straight from the beginning (and literally!). Your very first mission puts you with a damaged Jenner (a light mech that packs a nice array of weapons) against a fully functional Locust (very light mech with thin armor). Sounds simple? You bet. Except, the Jenner's sensors are damaged which makes it hard for its pilot to hit a barn from ten meters. To make things worse, if you allow the Locust to get in two or so shots at your downed dropship it's game over!

That's not the easiest mission in the game, but a good representation of overall difficulty - in other words hard like a Battlemaster's armor! In addition, you can only save your game after you succesfully complete a mission. Because of that, some missions become really excruciating.

Should you, however, exhibit enough wits and sheer determination to make your way onward into the game, you'll quickly find quite a few reasons for liking it. First, the missions and their enviroments are pretty varied - there is very little repetitiveness if any at all - and second, you don't actually have to succeed in EVERY mission to beat the game (altough that does kind of help). Some of the scenarios will remain in your memory for a long - LONG - time, like the one where you stalk a Dragon mech (whe you'll play it you'll understand what do I mean).

Your actions in an earlier scenario may affect you in the future (eg if you let the Locust in the first mission to escape, it will return a few scenarios later - there is a number of such cases). There are times when you have to pass through a block of three or four missions without any repairs to your mechs - obviously, not the easiest thing to do.

The graphics in cutscenes are drawn quite well and in a 256-color palette, but sadly in the actual game they are pretty ugly and limited to sixteen color VGA palette.

Music is pretty scarce - does not appear during the missions, in fact, only during the cutscenes - but when it comes on you can expect it to be nothing short of awesome (check out yourself, the MP3's should already be in the Music section). SFX are limited to a few basic weapon sounds (annoying blips that might have as well come from the PC Speaker) and some digitized speech samples. While nowadays games that don't have digitized speech are extremely rare, back in 1991 it was quite an achievement.

While it may not fit everybody's tastes, Crescent Hawks Revenge is - and will forever remain - a solid piece of gaming entertainment.
It's almost a crime to be unfamiliar with this awesome game, so why not download and play it now - especially when so much fun and challenge used to fit on the space of a single floppy disk.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

War Diary (1996)

Ah, War Diary, back in 96 me and a friend spent hours re-playing the demo. It had only two levels but they where so fun we couldn't stop. I remember how close I came to order the game (by snail-mail, had no internet back then) but stumbled upon Warcraft 2 somewhere along the line, and of course - bought that instead. But some years later I managed to get War Diary anyway, totally free on the great Home of the Underdogs site! And I'm glad I did, because I'd always wanted to play the rest of this title.

War Diary is an historical strategy game very similar to the first Warcraft both in graphics and game-play. It is based upon events that took place in 16th century Korea, invaded by the Japanese warlord Toyotomi Hideyoshi, who aimed to get through this country in order to conquer China. The Japanese possessed a weapon the Koreans had never encountered before: Guns. Using matchlock guns that had been copied from the Portuguese in 1542, the Japanese advanced quickly. You play the defending Korean force. The game-play consists of building and managing buildings, characters, and weapons. Buildings are used to build things, like other buildings, training troops and creating weapons. The types of buildings that you can build are: Main Hall, Barracks, Arms Works, Guard Tower, Blacksmith's, Shipyard, Temple, Tool Works, Heavy Arms Works, and Stables. You also have three primary resources that you must manage: food, trees, and Iron which are gathered by you're peasants. These resources brings you the income needed to enlarge you're lair and army.

Your army consists of archers, footmen, knights, artillery battalions which can be equipped with a whole host of weapons including six different kinds of swords, bows, crossbows, a range of powerful cannons and ballistics. Transports and battleships take your fight on to the sea and enemy islands. You also have priest-units that can heal you're troops and throw deadly fireballs as well (one of the few non-historical facts, but then again who am I to challenge the great mystics of ye olde Orient?). Use you're different units to locate and crush the enemy. Most levels are won this way, but some differ. One has you searching for a prince and see to it that he is brought to a specific place on the level unharmed.

Cut-scenes prior to each level consist of background pictures with scrolling text briefing you on the following mission, and here much of the historical facts are featured. The CD-version of the game had a long animated intro-video as well. The music is great and sound very Oriental and creates the right mood for the setting. The F10 button brings up a menu where you can save, load and exit the game. You can save whenever you want, but only have a total of 7 saves.

Although very many aspects of this game are identical to the first Warcraft, the game does have some cool features of its own. One is the overnight schedule that shifts between night and day. Enemy troops won't spot you as fast at night as in daylight, and you won't spot them as fast. Another feature is the weather changes, bringing rain for instance or maybe lightning that can randomly strike one of your men as well as an enemy! There is also wind which can make you're water-related troops sail fast or slow depending on which direction it blows and you sail. A wind-meter shows you its direction. These environmental effects add much more life to the game-play then so many other games of its kind, and I believe War Diary was the first to do so.

Yet another great feature is the market, located in you're main hall building. Here you can trade/sell your resources (trees, food, and iron) to raise more money for your army or buy resources you are running low on.

The last feature that is worth to point out is that each character's weapon can wear out, at which time the character is weaponless until another weapon is chosen or provided. This can be become a huge pain in the butt of course, but if you ask me it actually adds more realism to the game because archers for example can run out of arrows just as in real life. So you've got to keep making weapons in order to supply you're troops. All the features I've mentioned would have been a great addition to other similar games from the same period and even today. It should also be mentioned that although very much a Warcraft clone, War Diary does not feature the lame click-on-the-move-icon-first-to-move-you're-unit crap'o which made controlling units in Warcraft 1 pretty annoying. But I guess the reason for this is that War Diary was released in 1996, two years after Warcraft made it's debut.

So if you liked Warcraft and think War Diary sounds interesting I urge you to spend some time with it. It should not disappoint.


7th Legion (1997)

7th Legion... well, this game is somewhat similar to Command & Conquer. "Yes, another C&C clone," you may think, but this game is somewhat unique in a way.

The story is about two factions, the 7th Legion and The Chosen. It takes place in a future in which the Earth has been overpopulated and its precious natural resources are running out! Many scientists broadcast warnings of impending doom! The governments of Earth enact the PEP - the Planetary Evacuation Program - to safely get everyone off Earth into space on massive Colony ships, thus giving the planet a chance to heal.

However, when they said "everyone," they didn't mean the entire population, and there was even a lottery that was created to see who would be lucky enough to escape the mass famine and chaos that was to come sooner or later. It quickly became apparent to many people that only the most worthy specimens of the human race - the smart, powerful, and rich - were going to get aboard one of those ships preparing to jump into hyperspace.

In the centuries following the evacuation, much of Earth's population perished. The survivors, the somewhat scattered tribes of those left behind, started forming themselves into seven "Legions," all vying for control of what was left. The events of the past, the PEP, and the evacuation all clouded into myth and legend. The most well-known legend tells of the "Returning," a time of war, when the Chosen will come back to claim the Earth, with three signs signaling their return: The Night without Darkness, The Day without Light, and the Rain of Fire.

As the game begins, the seventh generation of the Chosen, those descended from the evacuees, have returned as once said, and are prepared to make war on the descendants of those left behind, who have united under the banner of the most powerful of all the legions: the 7th Legion, hence the game's title!

The game does have a Command & Conquer feeling, but you don't collect resources; you get them every few minutes, and combat is somewhat different thanks to power cards and power-ups. Power cards can either be positive or negative to the player or the enemy! Also, power-ups are crates scattered around the map which can include invisibility, rapid-fire, or the ability to inflict extra damage if collected by a unit. When a unit collects a crate, any nearby units near the crates also receive the bonus!

What sets 7th Legion apart from most Command & Conquer clones is that the player and his enemy can use power cards. These items are at the top right of the screen, and you basically drag one of them to a friendly or enemy unit, where it will have an effect: some cards destroy or damage units and some may be helpful in other ways, such as making the units invisible or stronger in battle! Also, unlike in most games in which you collect credits, in this game you receive a certain amount every few minutes. The base amount is 7500, but this can increase if you kill more enemy troops. You also can get special orders which will tell you, for example, to destroy several of their troops or buildings, and in return, you'll receive a nice amount of bonus credits!

The game has a few flaws, such as one of the early problems within the RTS genre: unit pathfinding. Sometimes, if you select a great amount of units all together they will split up all over the map if not controlled properly. Another one is that if you are facing the CPU in a skirmish battle, it could be a bit too easy for an RTS expert. If you know how to play this game well you could win in ten minutes or so, but apart from that, the game is very good. Despite its flaws, this game can be quite fun!

*Special Thanks to Deem2031 for the graphics fix for Vista/XP and 7!


Utopia (1991)

Ever read Thomas Moore?
He described Utopia as a place where (among other things a man and a woman would see each other naked before the wedding and decide if they like what they see – at the time that the parents were still arranging the whole thing)! Well this Utopia is nothing like that, but you get a chance to build your own world.

First time I heard about this game was when I asked to be assigned for a game no one else would like to review and Tom gave me this… Didn't even know what the game was about, but after reading some other reviews and especially the manual, I knew this was the game for me!

So let's start playing. At first you'll see an interface you'll really hate (at least I did). It's an early copy of some other interfaces with a really unoriginal arrow as a pointer. 0 points for creativity, but 8 points for doing the job (better then having no pointer at all). The scrolling could do with a renewal also, but…
I guess I'm just demanding too much. Must always remember this game was made back in the early 90s!

Compared to some other games from that time it's awesome. This is the one, that I believe got games like Caesar 2 & 3, Pharaoh, and many other games going.

It's about building basically – so a comparison with Sim City is a natural one, but in Utopia you're advancing from stage to stage, collecting medals as well – and only after you've achieved a certain standard of living you'll be ready to proceed to the next stage!

You have different types of buildings, which are needed to make the place work:
-It's on another planet, so you'll need to produce your own oxygen.
-For every production as you well know, you'll need energy.
-For things to work you'll need workers, who will work only for money, so you need money…
-And don't forget the army. You are not alone in the universe you know!!!

Aliens will try to attack you when you're little piece of Utopia looks nice enough for them to take it!
When that happens, you'll need a Command Centre, build as many as you like, but remember only one can be active at the time.

Basically the active one is the place where all the action during an attack takes place – you command through it – that's why it's the Command Centre (duh). That's also why it's a primary target for your enemies (better build a few, otherwise you're in big trouble).

You can counterstrike as well, but then you don't have any command of your troops, you'll just get a report telling you if they succeeded or failed miserably (as I have playing this game).

But the thing I loved most about it (and it's I believe the most original part) is the ability to spy on the aliens!!!

You need enough money to Linkdo that of course, but you'll have the upper hand, and it's always fun to peep on an slimy purple 10 eyed alien female while undressing – right?

Anyway – I'd give this game a 3. I really hated the interface – you must click on the red square every time you wanna leave a certain screen – blah! Otherwise it's a game, that will offer you some entertainment the second time around also – so it's not a one time wonder…