Raspberry Pi Education Games DosBox Recipes

April 20, 2013 9:12 am Leave your thoughts

Some of you might have known that I have a view from my previous article that computer games are great for children. This of course depends on the games that you give to the them, unfortunately these days, it’s not so easy to find games that actually teaches them something as oppose to blowing things up. Now don’t get me wrong, I love playing first person shooters such as Call of Duty, Crysis, etc. However they are not suitable for kids under 15 really.

Fortunately, there are a lot of DOS abandonware games that are very suitable for children. I know these games because I was fortunate enough to live in an era where educational games still sell.

These are the games that help children practice their English, Math, Physics and other subjects, though not advanced of course, but it’s enough to introduce them to different subjects. Nowadays, there are not that much of them, the only ones that I can still see on the market are “Oregon Trail” (which is now a Wii and iOS game) and Magic School Bus (which is basically their original games made to work on newer machines). You can check them out if you are interested.

Anyway, let’s start with what we are here today, DosBox recipes for educational games on Raspberry Pi. Please note that all the configurations are based on the original Raspberry Pi running at “High” overclock with 256 MB RAM. It’s currently split to 65MB GPU and 196MB System RAM. I’m going to choose for your some of these old DOS games that actually still looks good now. Also, since DOS games are low-resolutions it’s best to set your hdmi_mode = 4 if you are using VGA monitor like I do, this is so that the computer doesn’t have to waste resource doing interpolation on the DOS games.

Please note that although I can’t provide the games’ download links, you can easily find them in a whole host of different abandonware websites in the Internet. Don’t worry they are very easy to find just by mentioning their titles.

Eagle Eye Mysteries

eagleeyemysteriesThis is a game where you play as a detective solving cases in your neighbourhood. While the game looks simple, this game is actually good for teaching English speaking, reading and analytical skills (obviously there are slangs in the game but nothing bad). The only way you can solve the case is by reading all of the facts and collate all the interconnected facts together in order to deduce the solution to each cases. Try to play it and you’ll understand, even now I still need a bit of time to solve the harder cases :D.

Here’s the DosBox Conf recipe:

With the recipe above, you’ll get all the sound and modest gameplay speed. If you are not sure where to place the config, visit my previous dosbox article.

Eagle Eye Mysteries In London

eagleyelondonThis is a sequel to the original Eagle Eye Mysteries. This actually have better cases and more interesting reading. There is also fair amount of historical facts and classic literatures being used as part of the cases in this game. Again this is great for English reading and early exposure to history and literature.

Just like the original one, there is not that much high frame rate animation happening on this game only good old puzzles, that is why it’s perfect for emulation on this low powered Pi.

Super Solvers Gizmos and Gadgets

gizmogizmoThis is one of my favourites. Playing this game introduces a child to many of the basics of exact science such as mechanics, electrical, magnetic energy, etc. This has a bit of platforming action too so it doesn’t get boring at all.

From the screenshots on the right you can see that there are a whole bunch of physics puzzles that needed to be solved each time the player enters a new area. Pretty good fun.

Treasure Math Storm

mathstormmathstormAnother one of the same series of the Super Solvers. Like the name suggest this game is specifically for Mathematics learning. There are a lot of basic maths operations activities as well as money calculations.

Interesting game, although the graphics are a bit more dated than the Gizmos and Gadgets. Still fun to play though even now :D

The Island of Dr. Brain

dr brainThis one is a classic. In this point and click adventure game, you are expected to solve different kinds of puzzles and some of them are quite challenging. Prepare to spend good hours of fun with this game, even if you’re not a 10 yrs old kid :) The graphics still looks great even for today’s standard. Well of course it’s not high definition or anything, but the artworks are seriously well done.

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego Deluxe

carmen sandiegoThis is another classic, a real detective games involving a lot of logic and deductions. Here the player must be able to piece together a whole bunch of information from different places that the player can visit in the game. One of the most interesting aspect of the game is that this game is played at 640×480 pixels, making this the highest resolution game of our list today. While the colours are not that great (standard 16 colours), the details do made up for it.

In this game you basically fly around different countries to find clues for different crime suspects. The best thing about it is that every time you switch country you will be presented some facts about the country that you are currently on. This is a great way for learning geography.

Here’s a working DosBox configurations for this game.


Categorised in: , ,