Old School Gaming on the Modern Mac with ScummVM

ScummVMScummVM version 0.11.0 (Your Palindrome) was released recently for Mac OS X. What is ScummVM you ask? Well, simply put, it is a collection of several gaming engines all wrapped up in a tidy package that enables you to play yesterday’s classic adventure games on today’s modern systems.

Back in the days when DOS still ruled the earth, adventure Games like The Secret of Monkey Island and Day of the Tentacle captured my imagination, captivated my sense of humor, and challenged my noggin. Characters in adventure games were funny, quirky, and often a little nerdy (I’m looking at you, Bernard). As a future geek myself, it was much easier for me to relate to the affable Guybrush Threepwood than it was to the grim nameless marine of Doom.

ScummVM was built as a Virtual Machine (the VM part of the name) to interpret games that ran on LucasArts’ Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion (the Scumm part) engine. As the project matured, other gaming engines have been included into the app so that it is now compatible with classic games from Sierra Entertainment, Adventure Soft, Revolution, and many other developers.

In addition to obtaining a copy of ScummVM you’ll actually need your original game CDs or floppies (yikes!) in order to play. If you haven’t clung on to your gaming past, no worries. eBay and Amazon are your best friends. You can find many vintage titles for sale on both sites. Additionally, the respective developers of Beyond a Steel Sky, Flight of the Amazon Queen, and Lure of the Temptress have re-released of these games as freeware, and the ScummVM download page conveniently hosts these game files.

Monkey Island

If you’ve ever been hard up for a great gaming experience on your Mac (and who hasn’t been) do yourself a favor and check out ScummVM today.

ScummVM is free and Open Source. You can download it for the Mac and just about every other system under the sun, including the (ta-dah!) iPhone, from the ScummVM project page. Be sure to also check out the project’s compatibility chart for a full list of supported games.

Comments

12 Responses to “Old School Gaming on the Modern Mac with ScummVM”

  1. Albert K. on February 4th, 2008 7:51 am

    I clicked on the URL and nothing happens… it may be shutdown or something like that….

  2. MikeH on February 4th, 2008 8:50 am

    Works here. First I’ve seen this project mentioned…Playing the Police Quest series from Sierra again is uber-nostalgic.

  3. Ammon Beckstrom on February 4th, 2008 9:06 am

    Albert K. which URL are you having trouble with? The ScummVM site is mirrored on Sourceforge. If you’re at work or school (where game sites are typically blocked) try accessing the ScummVM links via http://scummvm.sourceforge.net/

    Hope that helps!

  4. Miles Evans on February 4th, 2008 9:20 am

    Wow awesome…I was just fiddling with Dosbox trying to get some old games to work (The Horde!), but this is really much more polished.

  5. Ammon Beckstrom on February 5th, 2008 7:54 am

    If the game you want to play is supported by ScummVM you’ll be up and playing much sooner if you use ScummVM rather than trying to configure Dosbox to play it.

    By limiting themselves to (an ever increasing) select number of game engines ScummVM is able to deliver on compatibility and ease of use.

  6. MGB on July 3rd, 2008 11:40 pm

    I’m having a problem saving my game on Curse of Monkey island using ScummVM 0.11.1 The save path has been set to a scummvm savegames folder which it created it my documents. I Go to the in game menu and choose a box to save the game, yet no screen shot appears, which is what it should do. I go back and try to load it through the in game menu, but nothing is there. I have tried to change the save path to different things with no sucess. What am I doing wrong here?

  7. Andrew Scott on December 31st, 2008 5:33 am

    Try Boxer! It comes with sample games & packages your old DOS games to run on the Mac with a single click. It rocks!

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