games people play, for free
December 24, 2008 12:41 PM   Subscribe

95 Old School Games You Can Play Online: Every game is reviewed and rated. Includes a link to every game on the list, a visual and mini description and how each one is played. [Bonus, some links at the bottom of the page to more games].
posted by nickyskye (46 comments total) 73 users marked this as a favorite
Bubble Bobble! Sweet! My sister and I got to play that game on vacation, staying at other peoples' houses as kids. We were allowed to play 20 minutes a day, so when the game was on pause or between levels, we'd look away and count the seconds that we weren't actually playing. It was a brilliant maneuver.
posted by ORthey at 12:48 PM on December 24, 2008

(Note: requires Java.)
posted by archagon at 1:04 PM on December 24, 2008

That might be the first time I've ever seen someone mention one of my very first computer games: Alley Cat. Bravo.
posted by yellowbinder at 1:08 PM on December 24, 2008


Oh hey, that's kinda cool.

Super Mario World


Rolling Thunder

posted by penduluum at 1:10 PM on December 24, 2008

I have to add - Miner VGA. I wish that was in English, anyone remember all the hotkeys for the stores?
posted by yellowbinder at 1:11 PM on December 24, 2008

Some of those are going to get taken down pretty soon, I would bet. Especially the Nintendo properties.
posted by delmoi at 1:20 PM on December 24, 2008

Luv alley cat! Poor pussy is piteous when it falls.
posted by binturong at 1:24 PM on December 24, 2008

Tempest! Asteroids! Space Invaders! Frogger! Awesome. Takes me back to my old Commodore 64 and the arcades I used to visit in the 1980s. Thanks for this post.
posted by velvet winter at 1:29 PM on December 24, 2008

Alley Cat is the best (and also one of my first computer games).
posted by archagon at 1:39 PM on December 24, 2008

Gee, thanks, nickyskye. I'm back home for Christmas, but instead of dinner with family and then drinks with friends, I'll spend hours in my old room playing Blaster Master. It's just like being in high school again.

I curse you for posting this.

posted by ford and the prefects at 1:41 PM on December 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

Awesome. As soon as the baby goes down for her nap... thanks, nickyskye.
posted by gaspode at 1:45 PM on December 24, 2008

Oh, and I just saw they have Moon Patrol. That was my favourite! Oh happy day.
posted by gaspode at 1:47 PM on December 24, 2008

They look fantastic. But WHY oh why did they have to hard-code a control scheme that uses CTRL and arrow keys at the same time? Flipping through virtual desktops makes it impossible to play.
posted by yath at 1:58 PM on December 24, 2008

Ah Duck Hunt, one game from my Luddite period that I actually played. And by "played" mean beat every single poor bastard that ever came before me.

Seriously, I was like a god with that zapper, I could effortless take down anything at any speed, that damn dog wasn't laughing much at me, I can tell you.

To this day, I have no idea why or how. And it's a skill that has yet to translate into huge piles of cash for me, which is a shame, because I was led to believe that everything post 2000 was going to using be lightgun-pointed-at-a-TV based technology.
posted by quin at 2:00 PM on December 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

My 12 hour shift on Christmas Day suddenly became a lot more bearable!
posted by fullerine at 2:02 PM on December 24, 2008

Mario, Mario! )) The Best - foreeeeva... kinda kul ))
Also Pakman, and tetris...
Whoa, my youth...
posted by Leo Golan at 2:20 PM on December 24, 2008

I remember a vastly different Alley Cat in CGA that I would play on my dad's PC at work. There was just one big building with many windows, and each window contained a different minigame...swimming through a goldfish bowl and avoiding electric eels to eat the fish, for instance.
posted by HeroZero at 2:29 PM on December 24, 2008

I used to play Joust after school almost every day. Nothin' says entertainment like jousting on pixelated ostriches that you're forcing to do the one thing they can't. Oh, and then making them crush ostrich eggs for points. It's like pixelated ostrich abuse.
posted by miss lynnster at 2:31 PM on December 24, 2008

I was prepared to hate on this list, but there are some gems.

It's always a delight when joy overtakes the urge to snark.
posted by lekvar at 2:40 PM on December 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

ostriches that you're forcing to do the one thing they can't

Oh, they can fly, you just need a fairly good sized hang-glider wing, some solid rocket boosters, and a nice length of runway.

One thing that they absolutely can't do, however, is land.

Which invariably leads to much sadness.

And really big fried drumsticks.

I'd forgotten how much I loved Joust.

posted by quin at 2:41 PM on December 24, 2008

posted by DU at 3:01 PM on December 24, 2008 [4 favorites]

Lunatic Fringe screensaver for Mac was a classic. Stay in one place, it's Asteroids. Move around, and there's all kinds of wonderful stuff.

Also, a DOS game called Gorillas.

Good times, good times.
posted by djgh at 3:25 PM on December 24, 2008

Adding "Lizard Wizard" to my list of prog-rock band names.
posted by naju at 3:43 PM on December 24, 2008

Please sit down before you read the next few words.

Yie Ar Kung Fu

Are you alright? The awesomeness has a tendency to overwhelm.
posted by P.o.B. at 4:02 PM on December 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

I just flushed $5 in quarters down the toilet to appease the arcade gods.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 4:38 PM on December 24, 2008 [5 favorites]

I sucked at these games then. I suck at them now.

The circle of life.
posted by Joe Beese at 4:53 PM on December 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

Dear djgh,

Here is Lunatic Fringe reborn for Mac OS X.

Love, Santa.
posted by rokusan at 4:56 PM on December 24, 2008 [1 favorite]

There was a game packaged within Windows 3.1 (I think) called something like "worm wiggle" in which you led a bunch of snakes in search of a pellet? Anyone remember? The other game was a gorilla tossing a banana...
posted by Rumple at 6:24 PM on December 24, 2008

Thanks rokusan. Anyone else wanting to wile away a few hours will need the following in conjunction with that:

Needs to be unzipped, then you're good to go.
posted by djgh at 6:36 PM on December 24, 2008

Rumple, I think those were qbasic demo games.
posted by flaterik at 6:49 PM on December 24, 2008

Rumple: that game was Gorillas. My housemates and I used to play beer-fueled best-of-101 matches of that back in the day ("the day" being the mid-'90s). Good times.
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:53 PM on December 24, 2008

Thanks guys --- yeah the other one is Nibbles. We used to have intra-office tournaments on nibbles instead of doing data analysis for our dissertations. Can I play those on a mac?!
posted by Rumple at 7:19 PM on December 24, 2008

Needs Chip's Challenge. I played that game for years on windows 3.1.
posted by lilkeith07 at 7:19 PM on December 24, 2008

Too bad the flash version of "Gauntlet" only superficially appears to be like the original.
posted by mrbill at 8:51 PM on December 24, 2008

This page is awesome - except I want to know how they claim that Pong was invented in the late 1700's.
posted by spinifex23 at 10:33 PM on December 24, 2008


The quest for a non-gameboy 720' continues.
posted by kernel_sander at 11:55 PM on December 24, 2008

Dang. Was wishing they had Montezuma's Revenge. I haven't seen that one anywhere for ages. But these others will keep me busy for quite some time, thanks!
posted by iamkimiam at 12:29 AM on December 25, 2008

If you want a puzzler to keep you till the dawn of 1/1 when your relatives leave, play Solomon's Key.
posted by ersatz at 3:22 AM on December 25, 2008

Rumple, you can! Run Gorillas/Nibbles inside of QBASIC inside of DOSBox inside of Mac OS X (no, seriously, it works!).
posted by danb at 9:52 AM on December 25, 2008

Further proving that MeFi continues to be the best site on the Internet, I was just told "you suck" and "I wanna play" by my fiancee who was previously engrossed in a movie on television. Woo hoo.
posted by djspicerack at 4:32 PM on December 25, 2008

Christmas cheer is in the air! I think it's safe to say that this would make my day. Not coz I like them video games - hated them as a kid, still do as a matter of fact - but because Duck Hunt and Alley Cat bring back memories, which, it appears, has a far greater pull than a complete lack of hand-eye coordination.
posted by the cydonian at 6:17 PM on December 25, 2008

Rolling Thunder? Fucking SWEET!
posted by Eideteker at 7:53 PM on December 25, 2008

1943! Reminds me of doing laundry at the mega Mat down the street..
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 8:12 PM on December 25, 2008

Hrmm.... the Dragon Lair link is to the shitty NES game, not the original arcade like the description talks about. Also Gauntlet is some crap Flash implementation that is buggy and slow. If you're interested in playing much better ports of old skool NES games I'd recommend the FireNES plugin for Firefox.
posted by daHIFI at 8:41 AM on December 26, 2008

"1941 - counter attack", the first game in the list, does not link to a playable version. AND THAT'S THE ONE I WANTED TO PLAY THE MOST! NOOOO
posted by tehloki at 10:57 AM on December 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

Ah, I found the original Alley Cat. What a completely bonkers game. At what point did we start expecting video games to kinda sorta make sense?
posted by HeroZero at 7:15 PM on December 27, 2008

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