Monday, March 28th, 2011
Boxer, the DOS Emulator for the Mac is out in shiny v1.0 release, and it is fantastic. A really well thought out app. Featuring, drag and drop installs, easy game library browser, and a fully working DOS prompt to test your command line skills out on. I have been fiddling with various emulators for OSX over the years, across various platforms (seeing as we will sadly never see the mighty Hyperspin on OSX), and so far, Boxer has been the easiest to hit the ground running with.
Alun Bestor, the dude behind Boxer has put a lot of love into it and it shows. From the friendly and helpful tone of the website, to the focused interface of the app itself. Everything does exactly what you expect it too from an interface point of view. But, don’t worry if you enjoy a good settings tweak (and who does not enjoy a bit of that of a weekend) there are still loads to set up yourself if you are that way inclined.
Back in the day, DOS was hard enough to get games configured and running natively. Having a separate floppy boot disk for every game was quite common. I am sure that my passion for computers was cemented by editing Autoexe.bat and Config.sys files to free up as much conventional memory as possible….*sigh* everything is just too easy these days!
I have been a Mac user for well over 10 years now, but, the DOS games of the early 1990′s still have a special place in my heart. They shaped and informed what I liked about games, and the titles from these formative years still influence my choices today.
Take X-Wing as an example, it looks and sounds dated now, but it was still one of the most immersive games I have played. Every mission was well paced and scripted. it felt like you were influencing an evolving space battle.
Compare that to something like Modern Warfare. The world is going to shit around you as the might of the US Military rains down, but it never feels like you are there. Sure, you are watching it, but you can’t influence it. You can’t develop your own ‘mini-narrative’ around what is happening you just have to suck it up. X-Wing never treated you as a camera for viewing amazing visuals, it want you to shape what you saw. This is still one of the qualities I look for in games today. You also have to love the warming ‘parp’ of an old SoundBlaster Pro card too!
Decent, Transport Tycoon, SimCity 2000, Rise of the Triad, Terminal Velocity, Sam and Max. I lost my of my teenage years to all these titles and more. I am looking forward to getting reacquainted with them via this great little app over the coming weeks.
Download Boxer here. It even comes with four game demos to try out, in true Shareware style!
I’ll also be interested in finding out what you will be playing on it.