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MrRoboto19XX
02-02-2010, 10:53 PM
Back in the mid-late 90's, I like many others (I hope not too many) fell victim to several alluring "Galaxy of Games" type CDs that were sold in bargain bins at Staples and Babbage's. The promise of 300+ games always fell short of course, but there would usually be a few good free or shareware titles in them.

However, I've found that most of these have been lost to time, and have no idea how to find any info on them. To make matters worse, I use a Mac now, so I can't even test out the old disks to test out said games.

One game in particular that eludes me is called "Dave Dude in the Holiday Story". Google provides little more than the same faqs that I looked up 12 years ago, and no Youtube videos seem to exist. Alas, for the time being, the game seems doomed to fall into obscurity like many others, as many were mail order only.

So has anyone played the full version of this game, or even the demo? More importantly, what's your experience with shareware titles, ever order a full version of one? Ever have one seem to be lose forever?

Gapporin
02-02-2010, 10:58 PM
You've probably already seen this, but you can download Dave Dude here (http://www.softlookup.com/display.asp?id=3371) (the shareware version).

As for my own shareware experiences, I've been trying to track down a Monopoly-cloned game that was DOS based. Obviously, everything was changed to avoid infringement, and if I remember correctly, there might have been a few twists as well. I have no idea what the name is, but I played the heck out of it back then. I still think about it now and then.

Of course, no discussion of shareware is complete without mentioning Soleau Games and Steve Moraff.

pseudonym
02-02-2010, 11:02 PM
It's not lost but does anyone know where I can get a good copy of the Windows Entertainment Packs. I've looked a few times and d/l'd a few but they didn't work very well.

MrRoboto19XX
02-02-2010, 11:10 PM
Bah, I knew I had forgotten something! I suggest those who can take a look at the link Gapporin posted, I recall it being...decent at least, and it had a decently odd sense of humor about it.

Granted, that was 1997, I recall "Dharma and Greg" being decent too, so who knows how accurate any of these memories actually are.



Of course, no discussion of shareware is complete without mentioning Soleau Games and Steve Moraff.

LOL I remember Steve Moraff, dude was ubiquitous on those old disks, and he was responsible for every 3rd shareware title that showed up on HappyPuppy, of course who could forget how those always-too-loud greetings whenever you exited out of a game, but always about 20 seconds late so you were never prepared.

HI I'M STEVE MORAFF, CALL 1-800-VGA-GAME TO GET ALL THE INFORMATION ON OUR BRAND NEW GAMES!

phreakindee
02-02-2010, 11:13 PM
Oh, Soleau how I loved their games. Balloon Challenge I still want to get the full version of. I did order plenty of shareware games, and more recently have begun collecting more shareware titles as well as their full versions (not retail versions, I had those). I still have hundreds of shareware floppies (many from before it was "shareware") as well as many of those "Galaxy of Games" type CDs and disks. Actually just got a few more in the mail today, oddly enough.

Even more oddly my package came with an original floppy of Best of Windows Entertainment Pack, which is one of my favorites since it really does contain the best of the 30 or so games. I also have the four Windows Entertainment Pack floppies somewhere, as well as the Puzzle Packs, Arcade Packs and other assorted things MS put out back then.

Here's the link to the installers for the four Entertainment Packs, zipped:

http://www.4shared.com/file/214091972/d9c4656b/ENTPACK1.html
http://www.4shared.com/file/214092061/44b291f1/ENTPACK2.html
http://www.4shared.com/file/214092127/c87f9bf7/ENTPACK3.html
http://www.4shared.com/file/214092289/d76ee023/ENTPACK4.html

Kitsune Sniper
02-02-2010, 11:54 PM
I buy a lot of these shareware disks for MobyGames research, but I stumbled upon two games that are pretty damn awesome - but the company folded in 1997, stopped accepting new registrations, and went on to build a new company, which failed after a few years.

It's a damn shame these shareware games aren't available as full downloads, because many of them ARE DAMN GOOD.

What's so odd about Soleau Software, though? I've stumbled upon a few disks of theirs over the past two years.

Twitami
02-02-2010, 11:55 PM
One of my favorite PC games was a game called Dark Orbit. It is not the current game that comes up when you google it, but an older one by the same company that does the PC game Fate. I remember they had some spyware crap in some of their games. Now, the "web driver" or whatever it was called, is gone. But, the game will no longer work. I even bought the full version on CD cause I liked it so much.

:(

Push Upstairs
02-03-2010, 04:02 AM
I remember downloading the shareware (demo?) of a build powered game called "Fate" off the AOL games channel years ago.

I remember playing it a few times, and always being confused about what the hell was going on with the setting.

Wikipedia lists it and a page that has the demo. It was short term fun back when I was on my early 3D FPS games kick.

Ed Oscuro
02-03-2010, 04:07 AM
By coincidence I was just thinking about Dave Dude the other day (thanks for reminding me of the name!) and how it probably hadn't aged well at all. But I'll go re-install it and check it out when I have a bit of time. The author put a quote from JFK in the Readme if I remember right.

Was the shareware release given the "Holiday Story" subtitle? I don't remember that part. Remember plenty of other things though.

Also, the best part of Empire of Games (sort of a precursor to Galaxy I guess, maybe same distributor) was that it advertised DOOM (I think both versions) on the back but didn't have DOOM inside. Whups! Class action lawsuit time? Of course, we're all knee-deep in DOOM everything and anything these days so it's no big deal...I like having access to the other stuff more.

Kitsune Sniper
02-03-2010, 01:17 PM
One of my favorite PC games was a game called Dark Orbit. It is not the current game that comes up when you google it, but an older one by the same company that does the PC game Fate. I remember they had some spyware crap in some of their games. Now, the "web driver" or whatever it was called, is gone. But, the game will no longer work. I even bought the full version on CD cause I liked it so much.

:(

I have a few games that came included with some magazines that no longer work because they require internet access. Oops!

MrRoboto19XX
02-03-2010, 03:40 PM
By coincidence I was just thinking about Dave Dude the other day (thanks for reminding me of the name!) and how it probably hadn't aged well at all. But I'll go re-install it and check it out when I have a bit of time. The author put a quote from JFK in the Readme if I remember right.

Was the shareware release given the "Holiday Story" subtitle? I don't remember that part. Remember plenty of other things though.


I don't think it had the subtitle, because I remember looking it up back then and wondering if it was in fact different game. I'm sure it hasn't aged well at all, what with it advertising "16 Different Screens!" and everything, but I still feel this calling to play it and beat it, it can't be that hard.

The two things I remember about the game are the bartender's reaction to when you give him milk, and the fact that I could never figure out how to get into the door at the theater (this is where my game always ended, out of sheer puzzlement).

To this day I find myself intrigued by that bloody door!

Ed Oscuro
02-03-2010, 09:16 PM
Curses...now I HAVE to spend some time with it this weekend. Might as well, C&C Renegade is almost done (poop @ that game) and No One Lives Forever is boring me a little. Wait, playing Dave Dude again can't be a bad thing.

Arkhan
02-03-2010, 09:29 PM
Galaxy of Games 3 kicked ass. I still have that on CD!

alot of the games you can find on sites like the underdogs, and cdos.org

There was this game Metal Knights on GoG3. fun game for LANs.

Ed Oscuro
03-07-2010, 06:07 PM
GUTEN TAG!!!!

Today brings fond (there is possibly a lie in this sentence) reminiscences of Dave Dudums and his Holiday Story, also known as Dave Dude 32-Bit or whatever it is - the Holiday Story is Dave Dude; I see no evidence anywhere there is a sequel or another version of the game; the basic game is about going on his holiday. Sit back and let me regale you with this tale of bravery, SEX, and close tiger jowls in the jungle and even honest work - not all at the same time, at least! (Actually, those are things you will mostly have to experience for yourself, because most of this game's worthwhile content is in the first half, and all of it in the shareware version.)

I played the shareware version back in 1996 (or slightly after). Today I finally found my Galaxy of Games 3 disc and ran back to that exact computer to load it in. (A little side note: Playing through it again, some of the puzzle solutions came back to me, but not all of them. I went looking at the random hint sheets about the Internet, in some cases to discover the answers to puzzles I had solved years ago but which I didn't have the patience for today. One involves a purple "pen" at a blue window that magically turns into a yellow pencil when it's picked up. The game has abominable design; there's a fair amount of pixelhunting. But the game's sense of humor is always fresh and there are a couple humorous digs at software companies and society in general here and there.

Once I got going, it was pretty simple to somehow blunder onto the bus to go on vacation (I'm still not sure what triggers it; I replayed it after a crash - more on that in a bit - and after solving all the puzzles and collecting all the inventory I wandered around a bit and the bus didn't show up). Here is where you enter your registration key. Yes, the Shareware version is the full game, and you unlock the full game at "Passport Control," which is a nice touch.

Now here's what your $18 (if you paid, which would be an injustice) gets you:

Next you appear outside an ugly hotel (go inside for a screen blank and a message), use an ugly quarter to look at an ugly jungle, climb over an ugly wall and try to avoid the jungle tiger (which may or may not be a slightly redrawn Scar from The Lion King), and then go to an ugly dock where you do some more stuff; backtrack through the jungle (just go "up" the screen every time), do something else at the ugly hotel, back down the jungle, get changed, game over.

It wasn't that simple for me, though. I had fun loading games after viewing the variations on Dave Dude's game over screens, and somehow I managed to screw up three times. That was your third and final attempt. the game thundered. The game crashed and Windows immediately came up with a report of a fatal exception in Explorer, a BSOD, and then some more screens. I had to hard reboot. So yeah, this game gets nasty when you fail at the registration and tries to kill your PC. Wouldn't that make it malware?

Couldn't get my game to load so I decided to play through the entire game from the beginning - it only takes literally 5-10 minutes (aside from having to wait around at the end...I'm not sure what's going on there, maybe you have to wait for a period of time before the bus gets ready to leave) to complete all the puzzles in the main city. Then I got lucky, and the game loaded so I watched the ending, which has Dave and a girl sitting at the sides of the screen on beach towels (except Dave looks about 10 or severely stunted, even without the girl onscreen), as the credits I had already read in the manual scrolled by. Then the game crashed. Then I uninstalled Dave Dude.

This game is happy end!!!1

Overall, the game's visual style reminds me of Hugo's House of Horrors, but with even worse animation and graphics. That is no mean feat. There is some personality to items, and the game's sense of humor perhaps matches Hugo in a few places, but there is a serious lack of actual content to stretch out the experience. I feel it would have been worthwhile to make the graphics more detailed and take up more space so that you could actually see what you need to press.

Some severe problems with the game:
Interface bloat - they really should throw away items that you'll never use again; there's room for three rows of items, though only two fill, at which time half of those items will never be used again.

Navigation - though navigation became second nature for me, it is clumsy and annoying. You have to click on a few small directional buttons, and there is a center button you can click to go eight steps at a time. Hooray. Unfortunately that doesn't mean you can see a "I don't to go there" message four more times than is possible with the regular glitchy movement: The game often keeps Dave moving in the direction opposite the one you've pressed, and often at barriers that bring up messages. Moving perpendicular to the stuck direction seems to help. Also, for some unknown reason Dave occasionally stopped moving right or up, so I had to go through all the screens by traveling left again. Thankfully, that didn't happen to me in the last area which does not have the linked ring design. Also, if you miss the directional buttons (or really any part of the interface that you want to click on) the game will happily bring up the About screen, followed by a Registration screen, before you can get back to your game.

Overall...Hard to judge because I imagine lots of people didn't pay for the game, and some people would have bought into the one shareware mindset of "if you liked this, please send us some money." But giving prospective buyers the impression that there will be FURTHER AND GRANDER!!!1 adventures for JUST $18 is pretty damned reprehensible. The availability of the reg code on the 'net makes this a moot point, if you know to look for it, but in 1996 it would have been a painful learning experience and probably the cause of angry parents and phone calls to the Credit Card company.

So...as a freeware program that doesn't cost a lot, er anything, it has some decent moments and is a short quickie that is fun if it's not exploding your session of Windows 95.

As a payware program it is one of the worst I've played, even if you factor in the shareware mindset. This game is not worth $18; maybe the collection of dimes and a quarter you find in the game, though.

Final arbitrary score: 20/100 PUNKTE!

Apparently the authors in Germany had an exchange program with some students from Holt High School, a name I recognize (i.e. it's not too far away from here).

Ze_ro
03-08-2010, 12:14 AM
One that I was never able to get was a game called "Reaping the Dungeon". It's a rather unusual roguelike game with a strange "futuristic mining" type theme. I really enjoyed it, and the shareware version itself was pretty deep. I looked it up a while back, and it seems that the author now offered the full version for free, as long as you linked to his website (http://www.heuse.com/), where he sells a mahjongg type game. Since I never really had a website, I could never really do this. I tried to find a full version online that I could just pirate, but all the downloads I found turned out to be the shareware version (often never labelled one way or the other).

--Zero