What isn't there to love about playing video games on your favorite operating system? OpenBSD and video games feels like a natural combination to me. My resource has software lists, links to free games not in ports, lists of nonfree games, and recommendations.
New to OpenBSD?
OpenBSD is an operating system like Microsoft Windows, MacOS, or Android. The best explanations on what OpenBSD is, what you can do with it, and how does it work come from the frequently asked questions and Wikipedia. If you don't plan on using OpenBSD read the Wikipedia link and some of the frequently asked questions. If you already use or plan to use OpenBSD then the manuals, frequently asked questions, mailing lists, and other documentation will give you all the answers.
Many of the links are about old games because most of what OpenBSD can run and emulate are old games. Old can also mean classic, best ever made, and great genres that are no longer commercially produced.
The demos here are about the demoscene, not the limited versions of commercial games.
- Gremlin Graphics World
- The game publisher Gremlin gave permission to distribute many of its games for several computer systems.
- Home of the Hitmen
- Now a demo group they site also has good information about some consoles.
- PD Roms
- The name suggests public domain games, but they aren't. It does have links to many homebrew games across several systems.
- While pouet is mostly for demos and software toys they do have links to many homebrew games on wide range of systems.
- GameFAQs has walkthroughs, guides, cheats, reviews, and its own culture. Most of the older files are in plain text, but the newer ones use HTML and CSS.
- Similar to Wikipedia with maybe a little more information. Nice to browse through at least once.
- A great source of information, screenshots, scans, reviews, and ratings across many systems.
- Reddit: OpenBSD Gaming
- The OpenBSD Gaming subreddit is a forum on the same topic as this website.
- Wikipedia: List of commercial games later re-released as freeware
- The list is not that useful for OpenBSD directly, but can be useful finding which games are legally available to use in emulators.
- Wikipedia: List of open-source video games
- A list of the biggest open-source games.
- Wikipedia: Open-source video game
- The article mostly describes the history of open-source gaming.
These reviews mostly deal with commercial games.
- Angry Video Game Nerd
- He's going to take you back to the past.
- Racketboy: Hidden Gems
- It's a list of good games now forgotten.
- Retro Sanctuary: Top 100 Features
- Several top 100 lists with brief reviews and screenshots.
- /v/'s Recommended Games Wiki
- 4chan's /v/ compiled lists of good games across just about every game system ever made. The lists are full of the more obscure and sometimes obscene games. Not a site for the casual gamer.
OpenBSD has exclusive games? Yes it does, except ports and packages. The OpenBSD ports system is only used in OpenBSD and it has OpenBSD specific patches, but the games in ports are available for other operating systems.
BSD Games are a collection of terminal games and software toys that can be installed during an install or upgrade of OpenBSD. They existed before OpenBSD and now are significantly different than the originals.
My description of pig spoils the game. Don't read the rest of this section if you want to avoid spoilers. The pig program converts English to Pig Latin which is classified as a language game. The entire manual for it is in Pig Latin which is the point of the game. I translated the manual to English.
"The pig utility reads the standard input and writes it out to standard output in Pig Latin. Useful for generating monthly reports."
The fortune manual lists a tool called strfile that isn't installed by default. It creates a .dat file for fortune. The format OpenBSD uses is a line with % between each fortune. Here is an example.
When in Rome, do as the Romans do. % "I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all." - Ecclesiastes 9:11, King James Bible % "THIS IS MY PILL. It is round. It is pink. It makes me not care. Watch me take my round, pink pill ...and not care." - The Executive Coloring Book % ...
Wargames lacks a manual or any explanation how it works. It is a simple launcher for other BSD games based on the movie called WarGames. Playing the game spoils the end of the movie.
- caesar, rot13
- canfield, cfscores
- factor, primes
- worms - software toy
ddb is the kernel debugger that comes with OpenBSD. It includes a version of hangman similar to the one in BSD Games. This isn't an accessible game unless you can debug the OpenBSD kernel.
Ports is the third-party software repository for OpenBSD. Packages are the binary distribution of ports. Read the documentation to understand how to use both of them. Ports has readmes, extra documentation, website URLs, a software search, and more.
Many of the ports are software toys or not a game at all. I list everything in the games section of ports as I try them no matter if they are a game or not. Anything that isn't a game is labeled what it is.
There are more games than what I listed. These are the ones I have tried so far. Some of them are among the best games available for OpenBSD. I can't say the same for most of them.
- freedroidrpg - segfaults when loading saves
- numptyphysics - no longer seems to work
- npcomplete - extra levels
- Numpty Physics
- sumwars - bugged, can't advance past the bridge
- tome4 - not entirely free
- wtf - a dictionary program, not a game
Packages: Software Toys
- agm - anagram search
- an - anagram search
- OpenBSD manual pages: ports
- OpenBSD manual pages: packages
- OpenBSD: FAQ packages and ports system
- OpenPorts - unofficial list of ports
- Ports.su - unofficial list of ports
- /v/'s Recommended Games Wiki: Linux - many of these are in ports
- Wikipedia: Ports collection
I wouldn't call any of these games massive. Choria claims to be an MMORPG, but it has a single player mode and I have not found any servers for it. Crossfire has no active players. The Mana World has a small dwindling player base. The total online numbers don't show that many of the players are idling in the center of a town.
- Crossfire: Metaserver 1 - server listings
- Crossfire: Metaserver 2 - server listings
- The Mana World: Servers
- Evol Online - ManaPlus
- The Land of Fire - ManaPlus
- The Mana World - ManaPlus
- Wikipedia: Massively multiplayer online game
Ports includes MUD clients, not servers. MUDs are the precursor to MMOs and they could be described as text based MMOs.
- A Rape in Cyberspace - famous incident in a MUD
- The Mud Connector - beginner information, etiquette, slang, server listings, and more
- Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, Spades: Players who suit MUDs - a famous paper about types of MUD players
- Reddit: MUD - forum and wiki
- Wikipedia: MUD
- Wikipedia: MUD client
I would need the space of this entire document to explain how terrible some of the browsers such as Firefox and Chromium are from a user's point of view. All the browsers in ports are bad choices, but I think Firefox is the least worst.
- firefox-esr - Extended Support Release
- Choice of Games: Our Games - choice based interactive fiction
- Chrome Experiments: games category - games and software toys
- GamePlay - a few non-flash games
- IO Games - multiplayer .io games
- Itch.io: HTML5 web games
- Method of Action - educational design games
- The Plaza - incremental games
- Reddit: Incremental Games - mostly browser games
- Reddit: Web Games - links to and discussion of browser games
The Internet Archive has so many games across many systems I thought it deserved its own section under browser games. All the games linked here run in the browser and can't be downloaded. I found many games ran too slow in the browser to play.
- Internet Arcade - arcade games played through JSMAME
Games: Console Library
- Amstrad GX-4000
- Atari 2600
- Atari 5200
- Atari 7800
- Bally Astrocade
- Bandai Super Vision 8000
- Emerson Arcadia
- Entex Adventure Vision
- Epoch Game Pocket Computer
- Fairchild Channel F
- Mattel Intellivision
- Mega Duck WG-108
- Neo Geo Pocket and Pocket Color
- Sega Genesis
- Sega Game Gear
- Sega Master System
- Sega SG-1000
- Super A'Can
- VTech Creativision
- Watara Supervision
Games: Software Library
- Amiga Games
- Apple IIGS Games
- Atari 8-Bit Games
- Macintosh - early Mac games
- MS-DOS Games - uses Em-DOSBox
- Microsoft Windows 3.x Games
- ZX Spectrum Games
- ZZT - game engine
Game engines need games, game data, or other files to run. Ports sometimes includes games for them, but usually don't. Some of the programs are game engine recreations, forks, or source ports.
If the game engine needs the original game data from a commercial game it will need the original install disks. Few will accept Good Old Games versions. Some can use data from Steam installations, but Steam isn't available for OpenBSD. Total conversions may work, but I haven't found any that do.
- Wikipedia: First-person shooter engine
- Wikipedia: Game engine
- Wikipedia: Game engine recreation
- Wikipedia: List of first-person shooter engines
- Wikipedia: List of game engine recreations
- Wikipedia: List of game engines
While EDuke32 supports more than one game, it isn't doesn't support all Build engine games. None of the games it supports are free, but the version in ports comes with the shareware version of Duke Nukem 3D. None of the total conversions I tried worked with the shareware version.
- Duke Nukem 3D, Duke Nukem 3D: Atomic Edition
- Duke Nukem 3D expansions
- WWII GI
Flare is a 2D action RPG engine. It comes with one short game. Two more are available as mods. I wasn't able to get either of those to work.
I'm sorry if you came to this section looking for games because you wont find any. Hypatia is or was a game engine because development has stopped. I couldn't find any games for it. It comes with an unfinished demo the developer calls a game, but I don't.
id Tech 1, Doom engine
I am not sure where to begin. The Doom franchise and all the games based on the engine have so much written about them. Luckily I don't have to say much about OpenBSD and the Doom engine.
Chocolate-Doom runs Doom, Doom II, Heretic, Hexen, and Strife. PrBoom and PrBoom+ run Doom and Doom II. None of those games are free, but there are several free game data replacements. There are probably tens of thousands of mods known as WADs Doom and Doom II, but fewer for the rest.
Zauberer and Blasphemer the free data replacement for Hexen and Heretic didn't work for me in Chocolate Doom. Freedoom seems to mostly work with both PrBoom+ and Chocolate Doom, although there was some bugs.
- doomdata - Doom shareware
- doom1data - needs original game data
- doom2data - needs original game data
- Doom, The Ultimate Doom
- Doom II: Hell on Earth, Final Doom
- Heretic: Shadow of the Serpent Riders
- Hexen: Beyond Heretic
Games: Free content replacements
- Blasphemer - Heretic
- Freedoom - Doom, The Ultimate Doom, Doom II, Final Doom
- Zauberer - Hexen
- The Doom Wiki - all things relating to Doom, Doom II, Doom 3, and the Doom engine
- Wikipedia: Doom engine
id Tech 2, Quake engine, Quake II engine
Yamagi Quake II only runs Quake II despite the engine being used for other games. It wants the original game data which isn't free.
Hexen II: Hammer of Thyrion is similar to Yamagi Quake II. It only runs Hexen II and it also wants the original game data which isn't free.
id Tech 3, Quake III Arena engine
ioquake3 continued development on the original code. It runs Quake III Arena and requires the original game files to work. No free game data exists. The wiki says the demo files partially work, but the developers don't care about the demo.
id Tech 4, Doom 3 engine
dhewm 3 is a fork of the id Tech 4 engine and runs Doom 3 and the expansion Doom 3: Resurrection of Evil. There are no free assets available and it only works with the original game files.
- The Doom Wiki - all things relating to Doom, Doom II, Doom 3, and the Doom engine
- Wikipedia: id Tech 4
GemRB runs Infinity Engine games which are 2D isometric RPGs. You must buy all the games to get the game data and while demos should work I didn't test any. If you are able I suggest getting a copy of any of these excellent games.
- GemRB Wiki - includes information about installing games without Microsoft Windows
- Baldur's Gate
- Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn
- Icewind Dale
- Icewind Dale: Heart of Winter (expansion)
- Planescape: Torment
Instead says it is a simple text adventure interpreter, but like Ren'Py the games go beyond what the description says. Unfortunately most of the games are in Russian. I tried all the English games and all of them worked.
Aleph One is based on the original Marathon 2 engine. It runs Marathon, Marathon 2: Durandal, Marathon Infinity (Marathon 3), and 3rd party scenarios. Bungie released the Marathon game data for free years ago.
Ports has the data for the Marathon trilogy and two 3rd party scenarios. The scenario ports are nice enough to include commands to start each one, but it is possible to start Aleph One with the game directory as an argument. While it works I was only able to use software or OpenGL classic rendering. This probably varies from system to system. The few scenarios from outside ports worked, but I didn't extensively test them.
- Marathon 1 - in ports
- Marathon 2: Durandal - in ports
- Marathon Infinity - in ports
- Eternal X
- Excalibur: Morgana's Revenge
- Marathon: Evil - in ports
- Marathon: Phoenix - Way Back Machine
- Marathon: RED - in ports
- Marathon: Rubicon X
MegaZeux is a game engine similar to ZZT. The DOS version of MegaZeux is limited to text graphics. I read MegaZeux was ported to OpenBSD, but it isn't in ports so use the DOS version in DOSBox.
The controls in MegaZeux are not intuitive. Read the help file MegaZeux offers during the first configuration. If you missed it then view MZX_HELP.FIL in any text editor. It isn't plain text, but it is still readable.
- DigitalMZX: All games - version required must be 2.70 or below
Ren'Py is a visual novel game engine. It comes with two tutorial games for developers. Ren'Py on OpenBSD requires all the game files or source code to be exposed. When downloading games select the Linux version if one is available because it is most likely to have those files available.
Each game can have its own documentation and in game help systems. Ren'Py lacks a manual and most of the online documentation is for game developers. Use these lines for some basic help.
$ renpy -h $ renpy --help
Ren'Py on OpenBSD wont start because of a bug somewhere. This fix was posted on the mailing list.
$ export LD_PRELOAD=/usr/X11R6/lib/libGL.so.17.0
Ren'Py needs the full directory name of a game as an argument to start or it assumes it is in its base directory and will give you an error. Here is an example.
$ renpy /home/user_name/game_directory/
The version of Ren'Py in ports is out of date. It wouldn't run some of the newer games, but I had no problems with older ones. Check the release date of the version in ports then avoid games made after that date.
The quality of the free games runs from absolute garbage to amazing. Commercial games might work if they expose all the game files, but I didn't test any.
- Fuck Yeah Ren'Py - unofficial game list
- Ren'Py: Games List - most are free games
- The Visual Novel Database: Games Tagged Ren'Py
RPG Maker 2000
The specifications and games for RPG Maker 2000 are similar to RPGs on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The only software available to run them is EasyRPG which also works for RPG Maker 2003 games. At a glance the games seemed to work, but I noticed some font distortion issues.
EasyRPG is a game engine, not a game maker. That means it can only run RPG Maker 2000 games. It can't open, design, and compile them.
RPG Maker 2003
Same as RPG Maker 2000 the only software in OpenBSD to run these games is EasyRPG. If RPG Maker 2000 was close to RPGs on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System then I would say RPG Maker 2003 is close to RPGs made for Sonp PlayStation both in style and resolution.
EasyRPG is a game engine, not a game maker. That means it can only run RPG Maker 2003 games. It can't open, design, and compile them.
Solarus says it is an action RPG engine. All the games are clones of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System game The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past. Solarus has no manual or readme and the Solarus Wiki is nearly useless.
There are 3 games by the Solarus team in ports. The community has made 1 game and 1 demo. Solarus said my version was too new to run Tunics and too old to run the demo The Legend of Zelda: Book of Mudora.
The games in ports support a gamepad. To play them use this command.
$ solarus_run game_directory
Press F1 or D then left or right to get an in game help or option screen.
Game Engines: Single Games
The term game engine implies that you can play many games on it, but that isn't the case with these. They were designed to play only a single game with its expansion packs and mods.
The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind (Gamebryo)
OpenMW runs The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind including the expansions The Elder Scrolls III: Tribunal and The Elder Scrolls III: Bloodmoon. It has support for some, but not all mods. There is no free data for it and it requires the original game data from the Microsoft Windows version.
- The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind
- The Elder Scrolls III: Tribunal
- The Elder Scrolls III: Bloodmoon
RollerCoaster Tycoon 2
Neither RollerCoaster Tycoon 1 or 2 were built with a game engine, but OpenRCT2 is a game engine recreation. It supports RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 and can use some of the data from the first game. There was several compilations and versions of RollerCoaster Tycoon 2 which I assume also work, but I didn't see any explicit support for them.
Another game engine that requires the original data. CorsixTH says it can use the Good Old Games version which is surpsing since few or none of the others do. I tested the demo files and it works, but the demo has several limitations even with a game engine recreation.
Transport Tycoon Deluxe
OpenTTD recreates Transport Tycoon Deluxe and includes a free set of graphics and sound. If you have the original game it can still use those files.
Multiple Game Engines
Interactive Fiction, Text Adventure
I listed all interactive fiction engines here instead of splitting them. I have never seen a website with interactive fiction game downloads focus on only one engine. There are so few ports it wouldn't make sense to split them.
This section should be called Gargoyle because I think it is the best interactive fiction program in ports. I was surprised that Gargoyle supports graphics and sound. The only reason to use anything besides Gargoyle is to run Frotz in a terminal.
The Gargoyle website says the developers thought they were making the typography better than the X Windows rendering. The problem is they don't allow hinting. I don't know what fonts look better without hinting, but I haven't seen any on OpenBSD. Maybe on other operating systems it looks better.
The default fonts selected by Gargoyle look worse in Gargoyle than they do outside of it. DejaVu the default font for OpenBSD and many ports programs also looks worse without hinting. I didn't see an option to enable hinting. Maybe they hated it so much they never put it in.
- frotz - supports Z-code 1-6
- gargoyle - supports everything
- xzip - supports Z-code 1-5 and Z-code 8
- zoom - supports TADS 2-3 and Hugo
- The Dreamhold - a tutorial game
- Interactive Fiction Archive
- Interactive Fiction Database
- Brass Lantern - beginner resources, guides, reviews, links, editorials, news, and more
- Get Lamp - interactive fiction documentary
- How to play interactive fiction - a cheat sheet in different formats
- Interactive Fiction Community Forum - many contemporary authors of interactive fiction post here
- Interactive Fiction Wiki - everything related to interactive fiction
- Wikipedia: Interactive fiction
ResidualVM is similar to ScummVM except it focuses on 3D graphic adventure games instead of 2D. It supports few games and none of them are free.
- Escape from Monkey Island
- Grim Fandango
- Myst III: Exile
ScummVM runs 2D graphic adventure games that were made for other systems. Ports has the data for the CD version of Beneath a Steel Sky and Flight of the Amazon Queen. A few more are available for free on the ScummVM website.
- bass - Beneath a Steel Sky
- fotaq - Flight of the Amazon Queen
- Beneath a Steel Sky - in ports
- Drascula: The Vampire Strikes Back
- Flight of the Amazon Queen - in ports
- Hi-Res Adventure #1: Mystery House
- Lure of the Temptress
Multiple System Emulation
MAME emulates nearly every arcade system made. It also emulates other devices such as slot machines. MAME only needs the ROM files of a game to run. There is no manual so use this line to see the options.
$ sdlmame -h
MAME can start a game from the GUI or on the command line. MAME will not show the game in the GUI if the ZIP file or the directory with the ZIP file's contents has been renamed.
I included links to pictures of the cabinets because arcade games usually have instructions on the cabinet. Seeing the types of controllers, layout, and number of buttons helps to understand how to play the game.
- The Adventures of Robby Roto
- Alien Arena
- Car Polo
- Fire One!
- Hard Hat
- Robot Bowl
- Rip Cord
- Side Trak
- Star Fire
- Super Tank
- Teeter Torture
- Top Gunner
- World Rally
- Arcade Archive
- International Arcade Museum - manuals, screenshots, cabinet photos, and other useful information
- Wikipedia: Arcade game
- Wikipedia: List of arcade video games
- Wikipedia: Video game arcade cabinet
Mednafen emulates many home game consoles and handheld game systems. Some modules require external firmware files. The documentation included with the package is the same as the documentation on Mednafen's webpage. I avoid Mednafen because the configuration is long and complex.
MESS emulates over a thousand systems including home game consoles, handheld game systems, chess machines, calculators, and so much more. Many of the popular and recent systems don't work. I found emulators dedicated to one system are better than MESS, but having one configuration and interface is convenient. MESS needs the firmware of the system it will emulate and almost always the software it will run. Same as MAME there is no manual so use this line to see the options.
$ sdlmess -h
The developers have merged MESS into MAME. Ports is still using an older version from when they were split. I don't know if this will mean the port will disappear in the future.
- ProjectMESS - compatibility lists, emulated hardware information, and emulated software information
RetroArch is frontend for libretro cores or plugins. The cores emulate many systems.
Packages: libretro cores
- Sega Genesis
- Sega Master System
- Sega Mega Drive
- Sega SG-1000
- Sega SG-1000 II
- Nintendo Game Boy
- Nintendo Game Boy Color
- Nintendo Game Boy Advance
- Nintendo Entertainment System
- Nintendo Famicom
- Sony PlayStation
The computer systems I listed had operating systems, but it wasn't required to play games. It seems for those that the disk images were enough to start playing.
Atari ST, Atari STE, Atari TT, Atari Falcon
The ST series had firmware and an operating system called TOS. Hatari has everything needed to play games.
Commodore 8 bit series
This sections covers the list below, but there were other 8 bit systems by Commodore.
- Commodore PET
- Commodore CBM-II
- Commodore Plus/4
- Commodore VIC-20
- Commodore 64
- Commodore 64 Direct-to-TV
- Commodore 128
I briefly tested VICE and games seem to work with it. Both Frodo and VICE have the classic blue Commodore boot screen with Commodore BASIC.
- pouet: Commodore 64 Games
- pouet: Commodore 64 DTV Games
- pouet: Commodore Plus/4 Games
- pouet: Commodore VIC-20 Games
- Emulation General Wiki: Commodore 64
- Wikipedia: Commodore 64
- Wikipedia: Commodore 64 Direct-to-TV
- Wikipedia: Commodore 128
- Wikipedia: Commodore BASIC
- Wikipedia: Commodore CBM-II
- Wikipedia: Commodore Plus/4
- Wikipedia: Commodore VIC-20
FS-UAE and UAE both emulate many of the Amiga systems and the firmware which Amiga called Kickstart. AmigaOS wasn't required to play the games I tried.
UAE is a mess. Everything I seem to do to it causes it to crash. None of the software tests on their website work. I tried all sorts of options with no luck. When it locks and crashes it spews messages constantly and causes havoc with the window manager. It wont even exit properly without using the quit button.
FS-UAE was frustrating to get running the first time even though the package readme and the documentation covers everything. The internal firmware is enabled by setting kickstart_file = internal in the configuration file. Set the floppy_drive_0 = to a floppy image file location. Press F12 once the program is running. That is enough to get started.
- AMI Sector One - games, programs, demos, and music
- Dream17 Game Downloads - games from Team17
- Factor 5 Downloads - 3 games
The MSX is a standard and not a specific computer. It includes the MSX, MSX2, MSX2+, and MSX Turbo R. I imagine there was problems over the years between implementations of that standard, but I didn't see any problems emulating games.
openMSX supports cassettes, cartridge ROMs, disk files, and so on. It also emulates the firmware and can use a directory as a disk. I have never seen a game or emulator on OpenBSD that uses the menu key until now.
- Bubbo World - single game
- MSXBLUE-DEV: MSXdev Games - from the MSXdev competitions
- MSXBLUE-DEV: Other Games
See Sega SG-1000 in Game Console Emulation.
Fuse worked with the games I tried and it didn't require any extra files to make it work.
Game Console Emulation
There is so much to say about every console. Each one of these systems could fill a book by themselves. I am fairly brief with each section to prevent this from turning into an emulation document. I didn't put specific information and resources about MESS and Mednafen because they are covered in multiple system emulation. I suggest getting a gamepad because it works better than using a keyboard and mouse.
There are several game consoles that don't require firmware, but I haven't found any homebrew games for the following yet.
- Watara Supervision
- Amstrad GX4000
- Emerson Arcadia 2001
- Intelligent Game MPT-03
- Ormatu 2001
- UVI Compu-Game
MESS emulates all of those systems. Once I found homebrew games for any of those systems I will add a section for them.
Atari 2600, Atari VCS
Neither MESS or Stella require any firmware because whatever ROM the system needs is included with the game.
Virtual Jaguar is the only Jaguar emulator in ports. I haven't seen any games use the number pad and I hope I don't. I wasn't able to get many of the games and demos to run unless they were in a certain format. None of the CD games I tried worked.
- sdlmess - requires firmware
- Angry Video Game Nerd: Atari Jaguar (Part 1)
- Angry Video Game Nerd: Atari Jaguar (Part 2)
- Emulation General Wiki: Atari Jaguar
- Wikipedia: Atari Jaguar
- Wikipedia: Atari Jaguar CD
Interton Electronic VC 4000
Like many other obscure game consoles there isn't a homebrew scene for the VC 4000. The good news is one homebrew game exists and that gives me a reason to make this section. I strongly encourage you to try it so you too can say you played Flappy Bird for the Interton Electronic VC 4000 on OpenBSD. Clearly the pinnacle of gaming has been reached.
- Flappy Bird - single game, scroll down
There are few homebrew games for TurboGrafx-16 also known as the NEC PC Engine. I think it's because it wasn't a popular system, it looks difficult to program for, and the media contains whatever BIOS the system needs.
Mupen64Plus is the only working emulator in ports for this system that emulates the firmware. It includes all the needed plugins to work and has 3D acceleration support in OpenBSD. It only requires a game to run.
- mupen64plus-extra - extra plugins
- sdlmess - requires firmware
- Emulation General Wiki: Nintendo 64
- Wikipedia: Nintendo 64
- Wikipedia: Nintendo 64 accessories
- Wikipedia: Nintendo 64 technical specifications
DeSmuME is the only DS emulator in ports and it emulates the DS firmware. It supports using a gamepad, keyboard, and mouse. In OpenBSD a mouse can also be a touchscreen or graphics tablet. This might be useful since the DS used a stylus. I found some of the games nearly impossible to play without a stylus, but when I tried a graphics tablet it wasn't any better than the mouse. Maybe a touch screen with a stylus might work better. I didn't test if the microphone works.
Nintendo Entertainment System
The NES had so many variants and clones it would be difficult to list them all, but here are just a few.
- Dendy Classic
- Dendy Classic II
- Dendy Junior
- Dendy Junior II
- Dendy Junior IIP
- Dendy Junior IVP
- Generation NEX
- Micro Genius
- Nintendo Famicom
- Polystation II
- ... and hundreds more
Luckily none of that is important to emulation. I think Mednafen and Nestopia UE are good choices, but I recommend FCEUX.
- Emulation General Wiki: Nintendo Entertainment System
- Ultimate Console Database: Famicom Clones
- Wikipedia: Dendy
- Wikipedia: NES
- Wikipedia: NES-101
- Wikipedia: NES hardware clone
- Wikipedia: NES Zapper
Nintendo Game Boy, Nintendo Game Boy Color
VBA-M and Gambatte have command line and graphical versions. I prefer the command line, but neither of them could correctly use my gamepad without the graphical configuration. VBA-M gives Pango warnings and crashes when configuring a controller. mGBA has limited options and is best used as a RetroArch core. I suggest using Gambatte's graphical version for now.
- sdlmess - requires firmware
Nintendo Game Boy Advance
The options for Game Boy Advance emulation are similar to the Game Boy except without Gambatte.
- sdlmess - requires firmware
- Game Boy Advance Development: Games and Demos
- PD ROMs: Game Boy Advance
- pouet: Game Boy Advance Games
Super Nintendo Entertainment System
Also known as the Super Famicom in Japan the SNES was the follow up to the NES. As for as emulating it on OpenBSD I think Mednafen is a good choice, but I recommend Snes9x.
The Sega Genesis also known as the Sega Mega Drive had an odd history of peripherals. The Sega CD was a base that the Genesis plugged into. Then the Sega 32X plugged into the top loader of the Genesis. Even though the 32X and CD were peripherals they were also another game console. This created a patchwork monstrosity. I only discuss the original Genesis in this section because the emulation scene lists each of those systems separately.
Sega Master System
The Master System is also known as the Sega Mark III.
- sdlmess - requires firmware
I don't have much to say because I had no luck emulating games with Yabause, but it does emulate the firmware.
Some of the clones and variants of the SG-1000 include
- Othello Multivision FG-1000
- Othello Multivision FG-2000
- Sega SC-3000
- Sega SG-1000 II
Some of the emulation websites I saw lumped the SG-1000 together with the Sega Master System. Both are similar, but different systems. None of the emulators in ports require firmware.
Both PCSX-Reloaded and the core for RetroArch emulate the PlayStation BIOS, but PCSX-Reloaded is broken on Intel GPUs. So if you do use an Intel GPU your only choice is RetroArch unless you have the PlayStation firmware.
- mednafen - requires firmware
- pcsxr - broken on Intel GPUs
- sdlmess - requires firmware
- Candus Console Dev - demos and homebrew games
- PD ROMs: PlayStation
- pouet: PlayStation Games
- PSXDEV Network: Homebrew
- Emulation General Wiki: PlayStation
- Wikipedia: DualShock - controller
- Wikipedia: PlayStation controller
- Wikipedia: PlayStation technical specifications
- Wikipedia: Sony PlayStation
Live Media Emulation
I added live CDs with games here. None of these require an emulated disk.
Fedora has live DVDs it calls spins. One of the spins is a distribution of games for x86-64. Most are duplicates of what is in ports, but a few are not available in OpenBSD.
The live DVD has a problem in QEMU with APIC. When Fedora starts press tab and add a space then the word noapic to the line of kernel options then press enter. The emulated display will stay blank for a long time while Fedora loads. Some games don't work and the 3D games will cause problems. I tested this live DVD in QEMU, but it may work on Bochs.
The ReactOS live CD runs on x86 and x86-64 emulators. I tested it with QEMU, but it should work with Bochs and MESS. ReactOS comes with Solitaire, Spider Solitaire, and WinMine. Both the solitaire games are clones of the card games in Microsoft Windows. WinMine is a Microsoft Minesweeper clone.
- ReactOS: Download - use the live CD
- Wikipedia: Microsoft Solitaire
- Wikipedia: Microsoft Spider Solitaire
- Wikipedia: Minesweeper
Operating System Emulation
Operating systems that don't require a separate emulator and installation are listed here. Live CDs have their own section under emulation.
DOSBox is the only DOS emulator in ports. It is designed to run DOS games, but supports any DOS software including Microsoft Windows 1, 2, 3, 95, 98, and ME. It usually doesn't need any extra files to run games. Some of its great features are using a directory as a filesystem and using ISO files without mounting the image in OpenBSD first.
There are many thousands of DOS games made over the last few decades. To play any of them you need to know how to use DOS. If you know how to use a shell and terminal then DOS is easy to learn. Don't forget to read manual and package readme because you will need them.
There is a bug in DOSBox that causes games to run slower as the cycle count increases. The best way to find the best cycle count is to run a game that has audio and lower the speed until the audio sounds right. Put the cycle count outputted by DOSBox in cycles= in the [cpu] section of the DOSBox configuration. For me 33000 worked best, but 40000 to 50000 was acceptable. CPU Speed Test said 40000-50000 cycles in DOSBox is around the speed of an early Intel Pentium 1. If games or DOSBox crash try lowering the cycle count.
- 3D Realms Legacy: Downloads - freeware, shareware, demos, and assorted downloads
- DOS Games - games and demos
- DOS Games Archive - games and demos
- pouet: MS-DOS Games
- CPU Speed Test - in Russian
- CWSDPMI - Way Back Machine - needed by some games
- TOPBENCH - benchmark
- Emulation General Wiki: DOS
- Wikipedia: DOS
- Wikipedia: DOS Extender
- Wikipedia: DOS Protected Mode Interface
Games in Other Software
Games popup in unexpected places like a text editor. Software not intended to emulate or run games that includes one is listed here.
One of the old jokes about GNU Emacs says it's an operating system in need of a text editor. It shouldn't surprise anyone that it includes several games it calls amusements. More are available as addons. Both types of games are similar to the BSD Games collection.
- Dunnet - Wikipedia - builtin
- Emacs Wiki: Games - list of builtin games and download links to add-on games
Made by Mr. Satterly
With help from Mrs. Satterly