The ISA-Bus

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Tag Archives: five games

Five Games of Submarine Warfare

Sub Battle Simulator

Sub Battle Simulator (1987) is the oldest submarine game in this collection. It runs in CGA only. The demo allows five minutes of gameplay.

688 Attack Sub

688 Attack Sub (1989) is a complex simulation and was one of the first commercial VGA games. The demo is rather elaborate, you can see some screenshots here.

U-Boot Jagd

U-Boot Jagd (1993) is a German Windows game by Michael Roessmann. It is not a simulation, but a puzzle game, a bit like Minesweeper, a bit like Mastermind and a bit like Black Box.


SinkSub by Anders Wihlborg has become something of a classic and is now available for iPhone. Unlike U-Boot Jagd, it is a simulation of actual combat.

USS Sub Battle

USS Sub Battle by Geoffrey Miller is the newest game, ten years after Sub Battle Simulator. It is somewhat similar to SinkSub, just the other way round: You control a submarine attacked by other subs, destroyers, and choppers. unfortunately I couldn’t get it to run properly on anything, neither XP nor Win32s. It is probably 95/98 only.


Five popular German games

These are just a couple of games from Germany that are downloaded more often than others, not necessarily the five most popular, that changes from month to month anyway. Click on a thumbnail to get to the download page.

Giana Sisters

The Great Giana Sisters was a 1987 Commodore 64 game, soon ported to Amiga, Atari ST, and Amstrad CPC. The graphics, essentially the same on all platforms, were by Manfred Trenz. It was a clone of Super Mario Bros, too close for comfort in the eyes of Nintendo, who pressured the publisher (Rainbow Arts) to withdraw the game from sale. A planned ZX version not even hit the shelves.

Ten years later Rainer Sinsch started remaking the game, which had achieved a sort of cult status, for PC. At the Mekka & Symposium 1998, his remake was the winning entry in the 32k game competition. A larger version with better graphics soon followed. The games use an uncommon 360×240 resolution (the only other game I know to use it is from Germany as well, it’s Albion). In 1999 Rainer Sinsch started working on a Windows game that sticks less strictly to the Commodore 64 original, Giana Worlds

Sokoban 97

This is simply Sokoban, nothing else, and as such it is probably the most beautiful implementation ever written for Windows 3.1. It has a nice and fitting Japanese touch about it. The Window background shows the kanji for Sokoban (倉庫番) and the splash screen shows the release year in Japanese style: 平成九年, year nine of the Heisei period.


It’s a strange thing with Shisen-Sho. It’s a Japanese invention, found first on a Tamtex arcade machine, but nowhere has it been as popular as in Germany. More than two out of three of the implementations I’ve come across so far are from there. Maybe it’s because it fits the concept of the arcade puzzle so well.

This game, simply called Shisen-Sho was written ten years after the original boom (which was mostly an Atari thing) by Martin Fiedler. It’s a 32-bit Windows program, has functional yet beautiful graphics and six board sizes to choose from.


MegaPlex is a remake of Supaplex, the somewhat legendary Boulder Dash in a computer. It uses the graphics of Infotron, an earlier Mac remake or port.

Dave Dude 95

The 95 in Dave Dude 95 refers to the year, not to the operating system: This is a 16-bit Windows game. It is probably the only LucasArts-style graphic adventure game written for that platform, the others I’ve seen so far are more like Mystery House and don’t really use the graphics in gameplay.

Five games of world conquest

These are games that give the player a map of the real world, and the goal to conquer it all. Some of these games have been inspired by Risk, others not, all of them are for Windows, and all but one for 16-bit Windows.

World Empire II

The the latest game of this type that I have uploaded, the one that inspired me to this post, is World Empire II. It seems that World Empire was originally a DOS game, and this is its Windows 3.x port. I didn’t really figure out how to play it, the screenshot is from a savegame that’s in the archive. In any case it has the most detailed and professional graphics of the Windows 3.1 games presented here.

Dr. Hell's Conquest of the World

Conquer the world Japanese style in Dr. Hell’s Conquest of the World. Battles are fought with RPG mechanics. You start with a single hell machine, but you can hire mercenaries or tougher warriors after each battle. Some regions are protected by super heroes, be careful.


The ultimate board game of world conquest is, of course, Risk, and RiskIt, as the name suggests, emulates this board game. It is actually a quite authentic implementation, cards and all. Some features are disabled in the shareware version. The graphics were obviously designed for display on an EGA screen and look a bit strange on VGA.


The probably best known and most popular Risk implementation, WinRisk, is actually somewhat simplified. The cards are gone, the maximum number of players is three. But it can be played over modem.

Dogs Of War

I was a bit hesitant about including this game. Dogs of War is not a simple board game like the others, it is a complex war game with an economic as well as a military aspect. As a classic war game, it is based on a historical situation, in this case World War II. The winning condition is not to conquer all the territory, but the enemies capitals, when playing as Axis, two out of three will do. But all in all the similarities are still greater. This is the only 32-bit game in the bunch, and it has by far the best graphics. On a desktop of at least 1024×768 you can see the whole map at once.

Five games running in small windows

These are not the five games running in the smallest windows, either in general or among the games I know or offer for download. They are just five games, four for Windows 3.x and one for Windows 9x, running in small windows, none of the screenshots has more than 40,000 pixels, but still looking rather nice. I have omitted any games where the menu bar wraps, for example. Nor have I included any games with scalable graphics. Except for P. Höhn’s Memory, all the games below are from the USA.


Triplets is a sort of board game where two players try to uncover three smileys in a row or column. Pixel count 38,880.


Slider is an implementation of the standard puzzle of Klotski. The window is not only small, it is also completely custom, having no title or menu bar. The menus are accessed by right-click, a rare thing for a Windows 3.1 game. Pixel count 25,344.


P. Höhn’s Memory is concentration with a few extra features. The playing field can be set to a larger size, but this is how it starts by default. Pixel count 33,128.

Button Madness

Button Madness is an implementation of Lights Out (but before the concept was known under this name), the nicest I’ve come across yet. Pixel count 29,340.

Bear Resemblance Game

Bear Resemblance Game is a simple tile puzzle. It has the smallest window in the bunch, pixel count 21,600.

Update 2011-07-26: There are meanwhile four more games running in small windows.

Five games that kept me playing

It’s funny, but when you write about games as long as I have, you don’t really play them that much any more. Nowadays, when a game keeps me playing, it’s something special. Out of the 600 games I newly added since I started Download Central half a year ago, these are five that did keep me playing.

Zeek the Geek

If someone had shown me, some time ago, a screenshot of Zeek the Geek and told me that I would play this game, play it a lot, I might have laughed. But I did. I played it and played it until the levels got too hard for me. What’s so great at collecting flowers and avoiding the carnivorous ones as a bonneted cephalopod in a game designed for children? I really don’t know. It’s cute. Everything fits. Just try it yourself.


I discovered Slay on some old shareware CD I had owned for years. It’s a simple yet complex strategy game. Even though the shareware version is restricted to only one map, only one setting, and every game starts exactly the same, I found Slay strangely addictive. And I never really found anything like it, not even among Sean O’Connor‘s other games.

Raptor: Call of the Shadows

There aren’t many arcade-style shoot ’em ups for PC, not from the classic epoch. Half a dozen, maybe a dozen. Among these, Raptor: Call of the Shadows is in my as usual not all that humble opinion the best. It perfectly combines arcade quality graphics with PC style, somewhat RPGish gameplay. You control your plane with the mouse, which quickly gets very intuitive. Instead of lives that you lose with one shot you have a sort of hitpoints. You get money from your kills and use it to buy power-ups. If you want to know how much I played that game, just look at my collection of Raptor screenshots.


I’ve already mentioned Nibbly as the perfect example of the German arcade puzzle. Nibbly’96 frustrated me a lot with its pointless system of lives and time limits. But I kept on playing. Again, look at the screenshots. Currently I’ve reached level 8, but have not solved it yet.

Lomax Boulders

Another German arcade puzzle. Another huge screenshot collection. The gameplay elements of Lomax Boulders are all from Boulder Dash, but the way they are used here is unique and insane. There are five games, the shareware versions have about five levels each (the later ones less, I think), so combined they are a good sized game.

Five Windows 3.1 games with exceptional 16-color graphics

New York, New York

New York, New York is based on a simple concept, Towers of Hanoi. In this implementation you have to disassemble and reassemble the Statue of Liberty. (Makes you think of Keynesian job creation, doesn’t it?) The graphics aren’t overly detailed, but get an astonishing amount of atmosphere out of the Windows palette.

Destroyer for Windows

Destroyer for Windows is based on another simple concept, Battleship. Graphics not only show a lot of love for detail, they are functional as well: The hits your fleet takes are shown on the ships at the bottom of the screen.


I was a bit hesitant here: While it’s still impressive, the developers of WallBall did screw up a bit, and the graphics don’t display as they should under a 16-color setting. But it’s still impressive, it still sticks out.


MatchUp won’t make you say, wow, I didn’t think that could be done, but it’s still a very good usage of the Windows palette. It’s colorful and still harmonic.


Philippe Lesire’s Atomic for Windows probably tops them all. He managed to make his game look better than the Amiga original.