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Boxing Day
March 21, 2011 3:58 PM   Subscribe

Boxer - the DOS game emulator that’s fit for your Mac, making it beautifully, trivially easy to run DOS games [via]
posted by Blazecock Pileon (39 comments total) 50 users marked this as a favorite

 
Fuck yes, now I can play Star Control II!
posted by Threeway Handshake at 4:11 PM on March 21, 2011


The zip includes Commander Keen 4, as a nice little bit of nostalgia. I also tried loading up Alpha Waves and Amnesia, and they work great. The interface is what puts it over the top, for me.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:13 PM on March 21, 2011


Fuck yes, now I can play Star Control II!

If you're jonesin' after some Star Control II, try the semi-official remastered version, The Ur-Quan Masters.
posted by Electrius at 4:15 PM on March 21, 2011 [7 favorites]


Huh, it's one of many front-ends for DOSBox. Except it sounds swankier than most:
Boxer plays MS-DOS games on your Mac. It's based on the robust DOSBox emulator, with a lot of magic sprinkled on top. Run DOS programs from Finder. Wrap your games into tidy gameboxes that launch like Mac apps. Painlessly install games from CD-then bundle the CD with your game so you don't even need it in the drive.
Summary from kottke, as BoxerApp.com isn't loading (cached here, and available here in a stripped-down format, with a new direct download link).
posted by filthy light thief at 4:21 PM on March 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


C:>\awesome
posted by starman at 4:26 PM on March 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Also note: there are DOSBox front-ends for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, if you were feeling left out.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:29 PM on March 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Descent! (Which is slated for Wiiware too, which excites me alot. Hope they cram in online play)
posted by mwhybark at 4:36 PM on March 21, 2011


take THAT, mid-90s critics of the mac as gaming platform!!!!
posted by tremspeed at 4:36 PM on March 21, 2011 [19 favorites]


This is pretty easy. I just drag and drop a game folder and I'm playing the game in seconds. So far, no configuration necessary.
posted by naju at 4:38 PM on March 21, 2011


Aw, man! As soon as I saw this post, I thought to myself, "huh, I wonder if I can find Commander Keen..." Next up, Duke Nukem I.
posted by bxyldy at 4:52 PM on March 21, 2011


Wow, this is simply amazing. It makes me happy that I kept my old DOS disks and changed them over to CDs. It is totally worthwhile. Raptor here I come.
posted by Nackt at 5:33 PM on March 21, 2011


It's amazing that DOSBox is freeware. Even GOG uses it. I still play Master of Magic and Master of Orion with it.
posted by Splunge at 5:34 PM on March 21, 2011


Been using Boxer... well forever, since I got my first Intel mac in 06.

Used it to play a ton of old DOS games like Dune 2, X-COM, and Privateer (though the lack of a good joystick made it a pain in the ass).
posted by SirOmega at 5:38 PM on March 21, 2011


awwww shit princess maker 2.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 5:38 PM on March 21, 2011


I always preferred the first shit princess maker.
posted by clockwork at 5:43 PM on March 21, 2011 [11 favorites]


That must be a Japanese import, right?
posted by Splunge at 5:47 PM on March 21, 2011


@bxyldy - here's Duke Nukem for ya
posted by blakslaks at 5:47 PM on March 21, 2011


Wait, can I play Microsoft Decathlon on this?
posted by escabeche at 5:51 PM on March 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Advanced Civilization, the best implementation yet of the old Avalon Hill board game. (There is a web-based implementation but it's multi-human-player only.)
posted by aeschenkarnos at 5:59 PM on March 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Congratulations! You've managed to turn your state-of-the-art machine, still costing many thousands of dollars into something that runs the kind of stuff the crap 386 out in my garage can. Finally, an Apple computer that's more about function than form.
posted by crunchland at 7:04 PM on March 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


My college roomate flunked out of CS because of X-COM. I can't *afford* to flunk out of *life*, dammit.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 7:32 PM on March 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


DOSBox plays Tempest 2000 rather nicely.
posted by pashdown at 7:49 PM on March 21, 2011


Thanks BP!
posted by caddis at 8:25 PM on March 21, 2011


X-Com still gets dusted off once in a while. I wish there were more than one way to beat it, or that I could forget how to do so...that first time you play through a full game...what a rush!
posted by Chekhovian at 12:23 AM on March 22, 2011


What was that stylish/arty type game that started with the guy running along some cliffs, and then he gets attacked by a wolf or dog or something?
posted by i_have_a_computer at 1:52 AM on March 22, 2011


I know the developer personally and have taken part in making various design and usability decisions along the way, so it's nice to see Boxer finally getting some love, even if it means the servers behind the site getting pounded ten feet into the ground via Kottke and DF.

Escabeche: Yes you can. Once you've loaded up Decathlon, you'll have to lower the default speed of the emulation quite a bit. You can do so by invoking the inspector window (Cmd-i). DOSBox, which is used internally as the emulation engine, isn't cycle-accurate, so it's likely that you won't get the speed to exactly match that of a real 4.77 MHz PC XT. Close enough, though. Those old CGA-era games are often a hassle since they were programmed with certain machine speed assumptions.

filthy light thief: Indeed, Boxer is a bit more than yet another DOSBox frontend, it's actually a proper Mac port. A lot of code has been stripped away and replaced with proper OS X integration, making configuration a whole lot simpler too. Tons of changes under the hood, large and small. To truly appreciate the work that the developer put into this, you can download the official Mac version of DOSBox and compare the process of getting your games up and running, with scaling and other options configured to your liking.

I was a DOSBox user for years before discovering Boxer. There's absolutely no going back now.
posted by jklaiho at 1:53 AM on March 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, okay, but where can I find me some Eye Of The Beholder trilogy?
posted by tumid dahlia at 2:58 AM on March 22, 2011


tumid dahlia, if your morals allow for such transgressions, you can Google for "abandonware" and the very first result (as of this writing) will probably serve you well.
posted by jklaiho at 3:00 AM on March 22, 2011


No, I am a fine, upstanding citizen, who always pa-...
posted by tumid dahlia at 3:29 AM on March 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


What was that stylish/arty type game that started with the guy running along some cliffs, and then he gets attacked by a wolf or dog or something?

Out of This World.
posted by naju at 6:25 AM on March 22, 2011


What was that stylish/arty type game that started with the guy running along some cliffs, and then he gets attacked by a wolf or dog or something?

It sounds like you might be talking about Out of This World (called Another World in Europe, apparently). I used to own it back in the day. It was hard as hell.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 6:30 AM on March 22, 2011


I still have maybe 500 review CDs leftover from the late 90s when I ran a game review site (AllAboutGames.com)... Just hanging on to them for no reason... no reason at all.... really.... oh dear. I'm never going to finish FFXIII now.
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:07 AM on March 22, 2011


Oh, wow, Boxer's interface and game importing wizard are just so completely awesome. I want to install game after game just to go through the process.
posted by tapesonthefloor at 11:23 AM on March 22, 2011


Wow. An amazing number of good titles are just demos because the publishers still sell the full DOS versions.
posted by Thorzdad at 1:46 PM on March 22, 2011


naju: Out of This World.

Mr. Bad Example: It sounds like you might be talking about Out of This World
Yes! That's the one. Awesome. Thank you!

Now, if someone could just give me the number to a BBS that would allow me to download the full game. It seems my old hangout if off-line...
posted by i_have_a_computer at 10:05 PM on March 22, 2011


Speaking of Out of This World, there was a sequel called Heart of the Alien (available only for the Sega CD), where you continued the story in the role of the "alien". Unfortunately, the red-haired character you played in OoTW unavoidably dies in the sequel—which kinda sucked.
posted by blueberry at 2:23 AM on March 23, 2011


FYI, Out of This World is being re-released for iOS.

Boxer looks pretty cool.

posted by snuffleupagus at 4:42 AM on March 23, 2011


Hurm. Many of the titles I have are late 90s thus Windows 95/98, although some of them are dual MS-DOS/Windows freaks.

I'm importing Archimedean Dynasty (Blue Byte) now, and will in a moment bring in Twinsen's Odyssey (Adeline/Activision), two of my huge, huge favourites from that era. If the Windows 95 stuff is off the table for now (I can't find mention of support for it in Boxer) I may have some free time in 2013. As long as I don't try to install XCOM Apocalypse.
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:18 AM on March 23, 2011


seanmpuckett-

I stumbled across Archimedean Dynasty yesterday while searching for a dos version of Mechwarrior 2. I can't believe I never played it! It's such a great game. The Abondania copy removes the cutscenes and most of the voice-overs, and the feel is just great. Sucked up my whole day. Really a top notch game- the perfect complement to tie-fighter/privateer/mechwarrior 2. In some ways, it's a much better game, a stand alone story and world that really works w/o the franchise. I'm glad I missed it the first time around-- I can play it now for the first time.
I can't run the new boxer.app, but Boxer v.87 is far superior to just using dosbox on a 6 year old macbook pro. I'm seeing textures I never thought I would see as a kid, turning on shrapnel and nebulae, only the occasional crashing when I pause to change the music or check my email. we truly live in a world of riches and significant others bored of our gushing.
posted by kittensofthenight at 11:09 AM on March 23, 2011


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