The Internet Archive, which brought nearly 2400 MS-DOS games to the convenience and comfort of your browser last summer, has expanded its collection with programs from the Windows 3.1 era, including more than 1000 games.
A lot of the games in the collection are shareware releases, which is why you see things like the Taipei exit message asking you to send five bucks to the author if you like the game. Much of it is proto-indie stuff you’ve never heard of, but there are some names in here you may recognize, too, like The Even More Incredible Machine, Sim Earth, American Civil War: From Sumter to Appomattox, Hoyle Solitaire, and even Out of This World, the Americanized version of the groundbreaking platformer Another World.
It’s not what you’d call a tightly-packed collection of super-smash hits, and some of it is just silly—witness Trash, pictured, which is literally a (very amusing) “cheap shot” against the Apple Macintosh, a relic of the war before the Console Wars—but also a fun slice of history, from a time when Windows hadn’t quite evolved into a full-blown operating system.
“The colorful and unique look of Windows 3/3.1 is a 16-bit window into what programs used to be like, and depending on the graphical whims of the programmers, could look futuristic or incredibly basic,” archivist Jason Scott wrote. “For many who might remember working in that environment, the view of the screenshots of some of the hosted programs will bring back long-forgotten memories.”