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The Escape of the Rock-n-Roll DOSBox Freak Show

Date/Time Permalink: 12/15/11 04:27:23 pm
Category: Linux Gaming

Oh my God! It's the return of your old favorite classic, the Rock-n-Roll DOSBox Freak Show, in which I, in the name of truth, justice, and barfing butterflies, randomly snarf up abandonware DOS games from Internet archive sites, plug them into DOSBox, and report what they did to my brain! And those are often very funny things! Sometimes I discover a crusty old classic that curls my toes with joy, and sometimes I get a hoary old croaker that upsets me so terribly that I find myself in a therapist's office showing her where on the doll the bad game touched me. Well, anyway, let's strap in and fly though this...

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Brix

Neat and interesting puzzle game, this is one of the classics no DOSBox collection should be without. You use a white cursorbox to drag blocks around, with the goal of getting two or more blocks of the same pattern adjacent to each other, which then dissolve with a satisfying crunch. You'll have to avoid obstacles and utilize little elevators to accomplish this. Later levels are brain-bending, but you get a ton of levels with many imaginative tricks to test your skill on all levels. That being said, it's a block-puzzle game, so don't look for adrenaline-junkie thrills here, OK? Get it here, blockhead!

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Cosmo's Cosmic Adventure

Another Apogee classic platformer. Cosmo is a cute little green alien with suckers for hands, which must make life inconvenient for day-to-day tasks. But they serve him well for this quest since he can use them to stick to and climb vertical surfaces. Cosmo can also jump, drop little trip-bombs, and jump on enemies' heads. Basically, it's every platformer cliche you've ever heard of, but it's such a cute little kid-friendly game that asks nothing of you but to continue pursuing relentlessly to the right edge of the screen. Suck it up here!

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Cyberbox

This is nuts, but this was one of the first dippy little DOS games I ever played, and then I forgot about it for 20-some-odd years, and then one day a block of brain cells accidentally re-lit as a result of being bitten by a radioactive B-complex-vitamin, and I suddenly hankered to play this again but didn't remember what it was called. And I finally found it! It's nuts because it's kind of like Sokoban on steroids, with boxes you can only push this-a-way or that-a-way and plain little graphics. I have Cyberbox-2 here - but the whole series including all the fan-made levels survives today on this page by one of the version's original authors, all versions now freeware! Yeah, try to contain your euphoria as you get it here.

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Floor 13

This is one of those games where the screenshots build things up too much. It's not a 3D action thing, there's no video-clip conversations with special agents, nothing on your cool-looking Sam Spade desktop moves. You just key through menus and read files, with the occasional dialog, so it's more like a text adventure with fancy window-dressing. Now that we have that out of the way, this is a very-well-done one-of-a-kind game where you play a political manipulator of the Winston Smith sort. Your job is to clean up messes your government gets into, and keep the public approval rating high. That might involve anything from wire-tapping to kidnapping to ordering a good old-fashioned secret-police murder and subsequent ghosting. The game is cynical, blackly-comic, sarcastic, gritty, and (despite its British pedigree) so damned relevant to today's post-Bush America and FOX News audiences that I'll probably be kidnapped and my laptop melted before I can post this. Get it from the shadowy guy in the trenchcoat on the corner. And boy, is it ever screaming for a re-make!

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Spellcraft: Aspects of Valour

This game sucks. You see the title and mentally associate it with Warcraft, Minecraft, Starcraft, etc., thinking it's going to be like a real-time-strategy something with wizards. Instead, crafting a spell of something simple like Fireball involves one platypus egg, three sets of cocao beans, a bat's wart, seven lizard boogers, a lock of hair from the brow of Lady Gaga, Barbara Streisand's left-nostril nose hair, ear wax from the Statue of Liberty, and three tablespoons of sour cream, laid out on a 48x64 square workbench where you have to sort it all out in an intricate pattern that you have to memorize from a book you have to hunt down with one leg tied behind your back and if you make one mistake you have to start over only this time with bamboo shoots hammered under your toenails. And that's just for one shot of Fireball, which you never got to mix up because your enemy sneaked up behind you while you were pulling your hair out trying to put all this crap together and cracked your melon with a stone club, which is why there are no wizards today. Share it with someone you hate.

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Xargon

The classic action-platformer with rockin' music, a buff Bo-Duke dude firing laser dashes out of his crotch, squawky VGA-Soundblaster effects, and an elaborate sprawling epic fantasy land that throws everything from ogres to robots at you. It makes exactly as much sense as a 1980s Stephen Speilberg movie, but what do you care? Shoot down that walking claw-thing and collect your levitating cherries and rubies and dodge the flying-sphere drones and don't forget the hassle you get making your way through the water level in that fussy little submarine. Xargon is the dude! Get ready for manly action time!

Previously in "The Rock-n-Roll DOSBox Freak Show" series:
The Rock-n-Roll DOSBox Freak Show
Son of the Rock-n-Roll DOSBox Freak Show
Return of the Rock-n-Roll DOSBox Freak Show
Son of the Return of the Rock-n-Roll DOSBox Freak Show

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