It’s now possible to play early ‘90s CD-ROM games via ScummVM

Screenshot from 1990s video game shows anthropomorphic frog police.

Project Starship's frog cops out in force. (credit: Rock, Paper, Shotgun)

The ScummVM community has just made the early CD-ROM gaming era more accessible. For five years, multiple people have worked on making Macromedia Director games playable on modern hardware, and today, that work is done.

Director was a critical component to early CD games that failed to scale up as Windows advanced (and as software like QuickTime fell by the wayside). But playing Spaceship Warlock or the bizarre Japanese art piece Eastern Mind: The Lost Souls of Tong Nou is now possible on current hardware without the use of specific emulators.

Time travel and killer robots at their most '90s.

Time travel and killer robots at their most '90s. (credit: The Obscuritory)

Librarian, historian, and game archivist Phil Salvador, who runs The Obscuritory, tweeted about the project on Tuesday. "In many cases, the classic games you can purchase on platforms like GOG.com are being run through an emulator, like DOSBox or ScummVM," Salvador told Ars. "But because Director games use features of their operating systems like Windows 3.1 or external plugins like QuickTime, there's been no clean, easy way to re-release those on the commercial marketplace. As the ScummVM team continues to improve support for Director, there's a good chance we could see some of these games on the market again."

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