Abandonia is a great website that will let you download and play classic video games that are no longer being supported, no longer under copyright, or have simply been abandoned by the original developers and owners. You can find many classic games there, like Battlechess, Civilization, or Gunship 2000, and it’s all completely free.
There’s always been a controversy among gamers as to whether or not a certain type of game is worth playing or if it’s just for chumps or fad followers. Specifically, there’s a kind of game software that the original developers are no longer laying claim to, basically. These games are called ‘abandonware’ because they have been ‘abandoned’ by the original makers or owners.
There are literally thousands of games that fall into this category. Look at the amount of games that comes out every year lately, and you’ll get an idea of what we’re dealing with. The number of games that are being created every year has gone up, rather than down, and the capabilities have gotten better over time, but for some of us, no game made today will ever have that nostalgic feel to it that the games we played as kids will have.
In much the same way as my younger friends love Mario, I have a soft spot in my heart for games like Battlechess or Archon. These are games that I spent a lot of time playing, as a kid, with family or friends, as well as solo. I can remember how excited I was when my father would bring home a new program, I would pester him for hours to let me try it until he would finally give in and let me see the new program before he even had a chance to look at it. I would spend hours and hours trying to figure out not just how to play these games but to also figure out how they worked and what I might learn from them, as far as computer programming went.
Many of these games didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me as a young child, and I was often delighted when I could figure out even a small part of how they were supposed to work. I believe that messing with these kinds of programs when I was young helped greatly to give me a more analytical, logical skillset than most other kids of the time. Push key A on the keyboard and action B happens on the screen. This sort of basic cause and effect rendered in the form of a game was instrumental in building my computer oriented sense of the universe I lived in at such a young age, I still believe these games have merit today. Who knows, maybe they can help your kid in the same way they helped me. Maybe you will just find joy in playing the games you remember from yesterday, or maybe you just want to see what all the fuss was about way back in the dark ages of computer gaming.
Whatever your goal for abandonware might be, Abandonia most likely has you covered. They have an extensive database of abandonware, including titles and descriptions for more than 1000 games. Each game has its own link that will help you download it, as well as an information page giving more information about it such as the year it was made, or any other programs (like DOSbox) you might need to run it. The whole site is layed out very sensibly, and there is a great community of abandonware gurus and fans that frequent the site in the forums who are glad to help any way they can.
All in all, I think Abandonia is a great free website and a perfect example of what the web can provide to both modern audiences as well as historians in cyberspace. Go take a look yourself, and maybe you will find that game you used to play back when you were a kid. Until next time, my friends.
Check out Abandonia here.