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Petri Wessman's weblog

Good Old Games

You know how some old computer games used to rock and probably still would, despite retro graphics and limited technical merits? And you know how hard some of those games can be to actually find nowadays, even via eBay and such? …and if you answered “sure” to both of those, you’re probably familiar with the frustration of finally getting that game (or installing an old favorite) and finding out that no, it no longer runs in Windows XP or Vista. Or if it runs, it runs at 60x speed and is totally unplayable. Or some such.

Well, the guys behind Good Old Games are trying to do something about that, and make some money on the side. They are promising a selection of classic games (including Fallout 1 & 2, Freespace 1 & 2, and so forth), tweaked to run on XP/Vista, with absolutely no DRM, and for a cheap price. Sounds a bit too good to be true… but looks like it isn’t. The site is currently in open beta test (I have an access key), and judging by my experiences so far: they are delivering what they are promising, and more besides.

I signed in to my beta account and bought a copy of the first Fallout game for $6. Download was smooth and included a bunch of extras including wallpapers and the game soundtrack in mp3 form (!). It installed without a hitch and ran perfectly (on Windows XP). I’ve never really played Fallout before, just tried it out a bit on a friend’s computer – so I’m now actually playing it for the first time. Sure, the graphics are pretty retro, but the game itself is great. I hear Fallout 2 is even better

…and since beta testers apparently get one free game as thanks, so I also got me a free copy of Fallout 2. That one also worked right “out of the box” (so to speak), and included an mp3 soundtrack etc.

I find it really hard to find anything negative to say about this new service. The games really do work, there is no crap DRM, the price is low, and the website is both stylish and has a nice and smooth user interface. Sure, the game selection now in the beginning is small, and that’s the only bad thing here – but if there is any justice in the world, this thing will take off and their catalog will expand.

Want to try it out? Head over to the site and sign up in the beta, I think they are still open. Getting both Fallout games for a total price of $6, with runs-on-XP tweaks, is a bargain.

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