March 20, 2009

Several old games released as Freeware

When we used to go by our original name of "Apogee Software", this company was involved in a lot of games. Most of them of a different era, they looked different, they felt different, and they were a lot less complicated. The legacy of the company is quite large, and as the years have marched on, a lot of titles from that era have been left behind technically. We started to release some of the old titles for free way back as far as March 1998, when we released some old 80's era Infocom style adventure games such as "Beyond the Titanic" & "Supernova". That was our first foray into the world of freeware releases. As the years went by, we started releasing more and more of our older discontinued games as freeware. A lot of them were released in the "Apogee Legacy" series of interviews from about three years ago. (If you never read that series, you should, there's a lot of good stuff in there).

However, we've been getting requests since then about the remaining titles that we no longer sell. Today we're here to bring the freeware releases full circle, so to speak. Today we are releasing five more games as freeware, and re-releasing three others as well! The one game that is most notable in this release group is Kroz. Kroz was our first ever game, it was the one that founded the company, and got everything rolling back in 1987. Hard to believe our first game is 22 years old now, but that's what was built out of Scott Miller's bedroom in Garland, Texas all those years ago. Here is a complete list of what is being released today:

  • Kroz - Our first ever game, a text adventure game by Scott Miller [ download ]
  • Arctic Adventure - a CGA based scroller game by George Broussard [ download ]
  • Dark Ages - an EGA based scroller game by Todd Replogle [ download ]
  • Monuments of Mars - a CGA based scroller by Todd Replogle [ download ]
  • Pharaoh's Tomb - a CGA based scroller game by George Broussad [ download ]

We're also re-releasing some previously released freeware games.

  • Beyond the Titanic - Text based Infocom style adventure game by Scott Miller [ download ]
  • Supernova - Text based Infocom style adventure game by Scott Miller [ download ]
  • Word Whiz - A text based trivia game from Scott Miller [ download ]

The reason we are re-releasing those is because they're being released with source code (under GPL). These were found when we were doing research into Kroz, which is also being released with source code, too!

There were a lot of Kroz games. Seven officially, but many of them had alternate names and variants. There's been a small, but persistant number of requests over the years for the Kroz source code. In the earliest days of the company, we used to actually sell the source code to Kroz (and other titles from that era). We were finally able to make it through the dusty old floppy disk archives in Scott Miller's effects. We found the Kroz source along with the source for these other games, so it's all been GPL'ed, and you can check it all out for free! Kroz has a rather complicated list of games and aliases and whatnot. We strongly suggest reading the readme file that comes with that download.

A few notes about these releases:

  • These are all being offered as freeware (which is not to be confused with public domain or the illegal concept of "abandonware"). YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN WITH THESE Do not contact us for help with them, you will be mercilessly ignored.
  • Given the ages of these things (the newest one came out in 1990), you almost certainly will need DOSBox to get them running. This is a free third party program that lets you run older DOS based games in newer OS's (especially Vista) when they wouldn't be able to otherwise. You can get that at
  • A huge thanks go out to two fans who helped out a lot with the restoration of the Kroz archives. This would be Frenkel Smeijers & Jeremy Wrezinski. We probably couldn't have been able to put out the release without their help, as some of the materials we no longer had in our archives. Thanks, guys!

You can download these releases via the links above, or visit our main downloads page where you can check them out as well as everything else we have available.

This bunch of freeware brings our concept of freeware releases to a close. The reason I say that is that of all the games we no longer sell, they've all either been released as freeware previously, or are in this batch (except for one, and that might be revived at a future date, hence no freeware release on that one yet). Unless we discontinue something new in the future, there's no more to come from this well. Make sure and read our games page for a list of freeware, discontinued, and whatnot games. You can also check out our timeline history page for more details as to when what was released.

We want to close out by giving you this really cool little extra. It's a flash based version of the "Kingdoms of Kroz II" game. It was put together by the aforementioned Jeremy Wrezinski and his friend Wayne McMahon. It's quite cool, and we spent some time here playing this for real. A big thanks to Jeremy for letting us host it on our site. It originally appeared on his site at this location.

You can also check out the game on our site at this page, which also includes instructions on playing the game.

P.S. Hi Bryan!

Posted by Joe Siegler on March 20, 2009 at 3:13 PM | Permalink | Discuss this story on our forums
News Categories: The Classic Games