ITT: Good DOS games which are not well known, generally don't top "recommended" lists, and have not seen a revival.
This thread isn't for well-known popular timeless games like Doom or Fallout, nor for games which got popular later on like Strife or Dune 2.
Dune 1 - Cryo Interactive, 1992
This isn't Dune 2, the first RTS by Westwood, this game was developed separately at the same time. It's a hybrid of point-and-click adventure, RPG, and strategy.
In Search of Dr Riptide - MindStorm Software, 1994
Side-scrolling shooter/action adventure where you pilot a submarine. Good physics and a small variety of weapons.
Martian Memorandum - Access Software, 1991
The second Tex Murphy game, this is a walky point-and-click inventory/dialog adventure. Includes Access's proprietary "RealSound" system which played digitized voice out the PC speaker, sounded really impressive at the time. Good characters and plot.
Countdown - Access Software, 1990
Same game engine as Martian Memorandum, this is a "lost my memory" detective adventure with gritty characters and good plot. Access really knew how to make a good adventure game.
Crystal Caves - Apogee, 1991
Maybe a bit well known, this is a puzzle flatformer with an overworld and individual levels with varied enemies and objectives. You can complete levels in a different order which is good if you get stuck.
Secret Agent - Apogee, 1992
Same game engine as Crystal Caves, but different team made it. This replaces the mining theme with a fun parody of James Bond. I prefer this to Crystal Caves but both are fun games.
Star Goose - Logotron, 1989
Slow moving 2D shmup with 3D style terrain, like you can go into a valley and maybe dodge a shot above you. I've never seen another game like this, most other DOS shmups were (poor) clones of console/arcade vertical scrollers.
Super Speed Deluxe - The Game Factory, 1995
Vertical top-down racing game, all on one screen, kinda like Micro Machines on a smaller scale. Heaps of fun in a small package.
Clyde's Adventure - Moonlite, 1992
Puzzle platformer with a magic wand mechanic. I had a buddy whose religious parents wouldn't let him play violent games with blood, but we both loved this all the same.
Keen's Dreams - iD Software, 1991
Commander Keen needs no introduction, but this game seems to be the black sheep of the Keen Family. Uses the engine from the later Keen games, but is a stand-alone coffee break in between the first and second series of Keen games. It's supposed to be his dreams, and of course kids don't like to eat their vegetables, so all your enemies are potatoes, carrots, etc.
Digger - Windmill Software, 1983
Mr Do clone, you're an earthmover and have to collect all gems, but monsters come down the passages and even between them. As you open up more of the level, you become more vulnerable. Classic risk-vs-reward gameplay. Has modern remakes which run on Windows.
Traffic Department 2192 - Safari Software, 1994
Fast-paced top-down shooter on a city map. Fairly engrossing story in between levels. Strong female protagonist. A fair bit of swearing and can be funny at times.
God of Thunder - Adept Software, 1993
Legend of Zelda clone which went slightly in its own direction, more action-puzzle-oriented gameplay. Dialog is pretty funny if you like puns.
Liero - Joosa Riekkinen, 1998
Barely even /vr/, this is a "real time Worms" where multiple players can sit at the same keyboard and shoot each other with a great array of hugely destructive weapons. Has a continuing community and modern OpenLieroX port.
SWIV 3D - Sales Curve Interactive, 1996
3D remake of the original SWIV arcade game, great third-person shooter. SCI would later go on to trade as Square Enix.
Sango Fighter - Panda Entertainment, 1993
Street Fighter clone with characters from the Romance Of The Three Kingdoms saga (Cao Cao, Lu Bu, Dong Zhao, etc). Good simple moves and solid action. I think Super Fighter Team did a modern remake of this recently?
Tank Wars - Kenneth Morse, 1990
Artillery game, you probably know Scorched Earth. I always thought this was better than SE.
Les Manley: Search for The King - Accolade, 1990
Walky adventure similar to Sierra SCI0 games of the time. Nerdy protagonist who tries to find love. Sorta like Leisure Suit Larry but not as dirty or risky. Absolute bullshit puzzles.
Has an unpopular sequel which degenerates into 256-color tits-and-ass.
>ITT: Good DOS games which are not well known, generally don't top "recommended" lists, and have not seen a revival.
>and have not seen a revival.
>Has modern remakes
>Has a continuing community and modern OpenLieroX port.
>I think Super Fighter Team did a modern remake of this recently?
OP, if you aren't even going to stick with your own definition of "Hidden Gems", then why bother calling it that in the first place? Just say it, "Bunch of games I like that I don't see mentioned on /vr/".
SleepWalker - Ocean, 1993
Action/puzzle platformer where you play as a dog whose master is sleepwalking. You need to protect him from environmental hazards like water from hydrants (pic related), cars, and other things which would wake him up. Huge expansive levels and fast scrolling.
Total Eclipse - Incentive Software, 1988
First person puzzle adventure with true 3D graphics (at least truer than Doom's 2.5D). Large map with time-based completion and lots of cheap shitty deaths, but you'll want to come back to beat the damn thing, quite difficult. There were other games made on the same engine, then finally a construction kit in 1992 which let you make your own 3D worlds.
Dracula In London - SDJ Enterprises, 1988
Play through the story of Bram Stoker's Dracula, controlling characters and amassing the correct items/events to travel to Transylvania and kill Dracula himself. Has some graphical parts and the action is ANSI (pic related). Great gameplay, easy to reach the endgame with a few dead party members and Dracula fleeing, but tough to kill Dracula without losing any characters. CGA graphics but had a Windows 3.1 release with EGA a few years later.
Monster Bash - Apogee, 1993
Typical shareware action platformer, maybe a cutesy Castlevania cash-in. I liked it.
Jetpack - Adept Software, 1993
Puzzle action platformer. You have to collect every item while avoiding enemies. I can't do this game justice, except to say if you like puzzle platformers then give it a go. Currently freeware, has a built-in level editor, with many level packs available for download. Some of the community map packs are bullshit hard and need intense skill at the game.
Overkill: The Six-Planet Mega Blast - Tech-Noir Productions, 1992
Vertical EGA EuroShmup with good powerup system. Not too long, good game to sit down and beat when you have a few hours to kill. If you're a bullet-hell purist this isn't for you, but if you could stand a simpler version of Raptor Call Of The Shadows then check it out. This game was very hard to find in the early 2000s but commonly available on download sites now.
BurnTime - Max Design, 1993
Post-apocalyptic action/strategy with RPG elements. There's an overworld map with paths in between locations, you control one of 4 "main characters" who can recruit followers at each location. The idea is to either control the locations surrounding the cities, or kill your rivals by trapping them and starving them to death. Controlled only with left and right mouse clicks, might be good to play on DOSBox Turbo on Android.
Bad Blood - Origin Systems, 1990
Post-apocalyptic action-RPG. You play in a mutant-strewn nuclear wasteland as one of three characters with unique abilities which modify the way you'll complete the main quest. The human can enter the human cities easily but is weak, the half-mutant girl has a projectile weapon, the mutant character must become a slave but is very powerful. Make sure you get the feelies from Replacementdocs, cos there's an in-game "lingo" which you won't understand without the manual. I was never into Origin RPGs so I don't know if it uses an engine from the Ultima games. Sunk many many hours into this.
Street Rod - Logical Design Works, 1989
Racing/RPG where you start with a small budget and a slow car, then must street race your way to profit and beat The King before the summer is over. 1960s hotrod theme, think of a game where you build Greased Lightning. Has a sequel with more cars and varied race types. Has had various attempts at modern 3D remakes over the years but none have come to fruition. An individual recently acquired the rights and released the game as freeware, along with its ultra-rare data disk including new cars.
688 Attack Sub - John W Ratcliff, 1989
The first nuclear sub simulator. Considered better gameply than others like Silent Service. I had the original box of this and it came with a fucking huge manual.
Corncob 3D - Pie in the Sky Software, 1992
Insane 3D polygon flight sim. The story goes that WW2 never happened, but instead aliens invaded some time later. You fly WW2-era planes, but can also get out and walk around. Wacky visual effects when you get too close to alien power generators.
Castle Adventure - Kevin Bales, 1984
ANSI graphical adventure, collect items in a castle without dying.
A Nightmare On Elm Street
Those puzzles get real hard real fast.
Cool puzzle platformer made by a few guys that made Ecco
Kinda like Abuse, but with prerendered sprites and less good, but still good.
>Asterix and Obelix
Definitiv version of the sidescroller, despite worst music. The improved resolution, controls and hit boxes really make this game shiny.
does msx count?
Publisher(s) ASCII Corporation
Platform(s) PC-8801, PC-9801, PC-6001, FM-7, X1, MSX, SG-1000
Release date(s) 1986
huh they had it on pc98 also
never seen anyone talk about it, on msx everyone talks about ye art kung fu, but i played castle and would leave my msx on from friday to monday because i only had 1 floppy adapter, for the game, and no way to save, it was the bomb
Budokan: The Martial Spirit (1989)
Now, the controls are a bit wonky, but you get a strange feeling of having really worked for mastery once you can beat your enemies. How very apropos.
Yeah I loved this game. I was too young to understand the actual point of it, so I just ran around hunting and slaughtering villagers.
It was smart enough to have the same village stay hostile to you if you ever came back.
Realms of the Haunting
Adventure/action/horror hybrid game that is kinda like Doom but also like point'n'click adventure and dungeon crawler. It also has cheesy but awesome FMV so it's definitely worth checking out. Indiegala gives free steam keys every now and then so you can get a legal digital copy, but I'm sure you can find this from any abandoware site.
The Last Eichhof
A beer-themed shmup with lots of crazy sound effects.
Journey to the West - Panda Entertainment - is a beat'em up based on the Chinese romance. For two Players.
Floor 13 - Virgin Interactive, 1993
As the director general of fisheries and parks for the UK government, your job is to monitor the news, catalogue information on political opponents, issue black propaganda campaigns, order secret searches and surveillance, looting, kidnappings, torture, assassination, armed 'terrorist' attacks, literally anything and everything to keep your ruling party in power and keep embarrassing or damaging stuff out of the papers. The drab, bleak presentation makes this all feel as sterile and unpleasant as possible. You sign orders, read papers, and flip through reports about the mental state of your victims hoping that they'll provide some bit of information before they're disposed of.
If you make too many mistakes or call attention to your organization, you'll be forcibly removed from office by being thrown out of a window. If you succeed in keeping your party in power for more than two years, the powers that be decide that you know too much, and you're 'elected' as the next prime minister. If you complete all the Illuminati side-missions as well,
you basically become Hitler.
F 15 Strike Eagle 3 from MicroProse. Was a very intuitive game not to complicate to finish. Genre Simulation.
Gods by Bitmap Brothers. An arcade games based on the mythology of the ancient Greece.
The Scoop - Telarium, 1989
Along the same lines of Below the Root and Alice in Wonderland, this game is a murder mystery set in 1920's London. A woman has been murdered in a Jumbles bungalow with a jade hairpin, and her husband is nowhere to be found. You're a reporter for a run-down newspaper who needs to dig up clues about the case before going bankrupt. On the first night, a reporter for a rival paper is found murdered in Victoria Station under similar circumstances.
One of the last pseudo-text-adventure games they made. What makes this game special is how the gameplay differs from the usual fetch quest. You instead question characters, follow leads and piece together what happened entirely on your own. Each question you ask takes about five minutes, it takes a while to travel between locations, and each overheard conversation between characters (which will only take place at certain times when they're in the same area) will take an hour, so time management and note-keeping becomes crucial. There's nothing really aside from the dialogue and the context of the story to give you any indication that you're on the right track, and there's no multiple-choice question at the end which can be guessed through. It's a pretty solid detective game.
One Must Fall from Epic MegaGames. Fighting game with robot. You could compete in different championships from easier to harder.