A Study of Operating System Games

August 2nd, 2010 by Benj Edwards

The Great Operating System Games on Technologizer

Many computer operating systems throughout history have shipped with at least one free game — Solitaire and Minesweeper are some of the most famous examples. Knowing this, I thought I'd take a stroll through history and examine other OS pack-in games.

I ended up with an amusing collection of over twenty games from 1971 to the present. The resulting gallery is up now on Technologizer. I hope you enjoy it.



8 Responses to “A Study of Operating System Games”

  1. K4DSP Says:

    Nice job, Benj. You made Slashdot too!

  2. Christian Says:

    Excellent article! Oh the memories :)

  3. Lost Chauncy Says:

    Fun and Fascinating. To me (in answer to your question) it indicates two things: (1) That Windows tries very hard to do whatever the other guys is doing - first - bigger and better and (2) that consumers are still drawn to 'more is better.'

  4. Kris Browne Says:

    I'm surprised nobody mentioned the stable of games which are standard parts of emacs…. snake, tetris, doctor, dunnet, and more.

  5. Benj Edwards Says:

    Thanks for the feedback guys. I'm glad you liked it.

    The emacs games would have been cool to include, Kris. Sorry I couldn't put everything in my article. If I had included every OS pack-in game in history, the slideshow would have been hundreds of slides long. :)

  6. mnky9800n Says:

    I had a port of the Trek game for DOS as a kid. It was called EGA Trek. I would always name my captain Picard and my dad would always name his captain Kirk. Some how Kirk always had the high score. I was only five. Incidentally, if anyone is interested in playing a Trek game you can download it for free here:

    http://classicgaming.gamespy.com/View.php?view=GameMuseum.Detail&id=73

  7. BDD Says:

    Gorillas was a lot of fun to tweak. We made the bananas fly faster, cause bigger explosions, and at one point even made the bananas larger. Then we changed the graphics to poorly-drawn versions of Spiderman and Green Goblin (a la the Atari 2600 game) lobbing bombs at each other. I'm sure there were other things we did, but nevertheless a fun game with code available for tweaking…

  8. Daniel Says:

    Hey Benj. Great list!

    As soon as I saw DONKEY.BAS, I recognized it! Man, what memories.

    Fun stuff.

    And, oh, a coworker of mine is a cousin of yours or something. Dunno if Drew mentioned that yet, but I'd love to meet up with you sometime.

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