Jan 5, 2009

A belated yet aptly adventurous look at Good Old Games

Good Old GamesOne of the things I apparently missed when not blogging, was the opportunity to help spread the word about the -even to this day in beta, mind- Good Old Games site/service/thingy and let you all know just how excited I was. Well, quite a lot. GOG.com, you see, was full of promise and seemed to be pushing all the right PC gaming buttons, turning all proper retro knobs and fiddling with the necessary anti-DRM levers. Happily it didn't let me down and -impressively- the thing keeps getting better and better. So, yes, I guess I haven't been disappointed yet and probably wont be for quite some time, so it's pretty safe to actually recommend giving it a try.

But, what is this GOG thing, I'm sure some of this blog's aging denizens will ask. Simple, really. In its most obvious form it's an online store featuring downloadable games for the PC, some nice web 2.0 bits and a vibrant forum. What's really important about it though and what truly sets the whole service apart from anything else, is the simple fact that the available games are true PC gaming classics updated to seamlessly run on Vista and XP. What's more, said games come with a ton of extras ranging from avatars, to wallpapers, to manuals and extended game guides, usually cost no more than 6$ and are completely and utterly DRM free, meaning you can easily copy them, back up them up, install and re-install them without ever having to face irritating copy protection schemes. No cumbersome Steam-like interface/loader has to be dealt with either.

As for the games on offer, fear not. They are -generally- gems of the highest caliber or -at least- quirky and unique productions. Here's a semi-random selection of what's available to give you an idea: Fallout, Fallout 2, Jagged Alliance 2, Hostile Waters, the Oddworld series, Gothic, MDK, Unreal Tournament, Freespace 2, Sensible Soccer 2006, Patrician III, Descent and M.A.X.. Impressive, eh? And wait till we get to the newly accommodated adventure games. They are a bloody dream and include hard to find games like the Feeble Files, hugely successful titles like Broken Sword II and even cult classics like the incredibly funny Simon the Sorcerer I and II. Bliss! As for classic cyberpunk thriller Beneath a Steel Sky and fantasy point-and-clicker Lure of the Temptress they are both available for free.

And now for the obligatory very short review bit: Good Old Games is indeed an excellent service. I have been using it for quite a few months -ever since its first beta really- and haven't encountered a single problem with installs, billing, downloading or anything else. Customer support is impressive, the constant introduction of new features more so and the game catalogue regularly expanding. The odd competition, gift, free game or promotion are also welcome, as is the lively and quality community built around GOG. Oh, and these guys are really swift at accommodating community requests too.

Related @ Gnome's Lair:


  1. hhhmmmmm... I just got rid of our cat.

    I will have to check this GOG out. Any free simple game sites you can add that an 8 year old might like..? I need a few fun little games for my son.

    The place is looking good, nice and clean! I really like the "About" section..!! :)

  2. But what about System Shock 2? The game of the nineties I was most sorry to miss.

  3. DOSBox shouldn't be required. Somewhat like Gametap, the older games have been 'fixed' to work on XP and Vista.

    I have to echo Gnome's recommendation. I've not used it extensively, but it does work well when I have.

    I wish they offered the Ultima series.

  4. Great stuff. I had heard about this interesting project, but didn't realise there were such great games available. Revolution Software's games are excellent and worth a look. Looking forward to future releases as well and would like to see Deus Ex make an appearance - I love that game.

  5. Well, I could mention that some of GOG's games do actually use DOSbox or ScummVM, but really cant see why I should dear DJP Mom :)

    Hey, what did you do the poor thing Deitrix? At least while I'm thinking of kid-friendly stuff to suggest. Guess Ron Gilbert's Putt-Putt series do come to mind, but I'm not sure if they are available as freeware. Oh, and knew you'd appreciate the about bit...

    Indeed comrade Pacian. I'm sure they are quite aware of your need for SS2. It's highly understandable. Then again, a boxed version off of eBay should be well priced too...

    So do I guttertalk, so do I. And -of course- thanks for the support ;) Could also use a euro version of gametap, really.

    And to think I had never tried Lure of the Temptress before. A free treasure dear Neil. Deus Ex... what a game... truly theatrical ...

    Me too

  6. I might just add that this is a Polish company behind it... namely CD Project, who also happen to be a publishing house and folks behind Witcher games.

  7. Please pardon my purely reflexive "credit where credit due" post - you're right, it's not your responsibility but GOG's :) I'd also like to second the Putt-Putt games (no, not freeware, but try your local library), which play well with Vista, shocking!

  8. You're absolutely correct Barts dear. This is indeed a Polish venture, and -what's more- from excellent team.

    Oh, that's fine dear DJP Mom, you certainly had a point mind... I'm pretty sure though that GOG do mention the emulators they use....

  9. I'm just curious - do these games work out of the box for XP or if there some tinkering involved.

    Would hate to spend money and burn weekends trying to get some of these classics working :(

    The price is really attractive though :) I might get Operation Flashpoint GOTY or Fallout Tactics ...

  10. They work perfectly on XP/Vista Roys. Well, at least those I've tried did, though I'm pretty sure nobody has complained yet. Give it a try.

  11. Yes I will :) after I'm done with Mount & Blade, that is

  12. Fair enough... May I suggest you start off with Fallout 2 and Simon the Sorcerer then?

    Oh, and Mount and Blade. Should try the demo.

  13. I've completed Fallout 2 and played Simon The Sorceror before. I love the latter - it's funny and is probably the only point n' click game that I actually played over a hour - usually don't have the patience :(

  14. Very well then.. how about some M.A.X. turn based fun?

  15. Thanks for the 'heads up' Gnome, I've just got Fallout 1 &2 for £5.

    Now that's what I call a bargain!

  16. An excellent bargain my friend. And now you will see just how amazing they are, and understand why fans weren't that excited with Fallout 3.