It’s no secret that I am a fan of retro computing, particularly from the ‘golden era’ of computing in the 1980’s and 1990’s. I have mentioned it a few times here on the site.

For this reason, I was excited to see Abandonware: The Horror Collection come up recently. Those that are into retro computing would be familiar with the term ‘abandonware’ which exists in a legal grey area and is why this game took my interest. I wanted to see if the concept of abandonware would translate well to an actual game. The game is officially Early Access right now, so it’s early days, but I wanted to give it a spin to see what it was.


Abandonware: The Horror Collection is an interesting concept. The basic backstory behind the game is that someone ‘discovered’ a vintage 3.5” hard drive, cleaned it up, connected it to their machine and found some old horror games on it. The games are what they have been able to recover. The abandonware concept has been captured via the look and feel of the game.

There are two basic games that are part of this already. One is called ‘Red’ and the other is called ‘Gnome’. I believe more are planned, as the game is officially Early Access, but I’m unsure how many other additional minigames are planned.

Red is a simple Red Riding Hood style game, where you play the part of Red Riding Hood and must find some bread, jam and a key and make your way to Grandma’s house without being eaten by the big bad wolf. Gnome is a simple game where you must make your way through a simple maze to find your way to an animal to save them, with each level getting faster and more complicated.

I will say there’s not a lot of game play between the two games at this point. If you’re expecting a game where you can sit down for hours at a time, Abandonware is not quite there yet. This could well change in the future as the developers work on more minigames to include.

The games that have been included are very well done, easy to play, and a good little distraction. The controls didn’t take too long to get used to, though there is little in the way of mouse control which may throw some people. This would be somewhat in keeping with the earlier PC’s, where a mouse was a novelty. The minigames that have been included so far are still somewhat endearing and for me at least dragged me in.

Right now, the Red Riding Hood game is where most of the ‘horror’ element seems to be. It’s not as in-your-face or obvious as some other horror games I’ve looked at. It’s also not a great game if you’re looking for a good old-fashioned jump scare. It’s a little more low-key than that, which means it may be better suited to younger players than traditional horror games, as the horror element is a little less nightmare-inducing.

As far as minigames go though, they’ve done very well, with my only complaints being that the games are a little brief and there being only a small number of minigames in the initial release. Hopefully this changes as the game is updated. But for a low-cost set of minigames, it’s a solid choice.


Abandonware Horror Collection Image A
Abandonware Horror Collection Image B

The graphics are a little interesting. They are extremely simple but given the theme of the game this was expected. The graphics are very reminiscent of what the very early consoles were capable of, and they’ve captured this reasonably well.

This may disappoint some. Many retro enthusiasts are more interested in later hardware starting with machines like the Commodore 64 which were capable of much more than these simple graphics. I actually think this is perfect, as the very early machines seem to be left out of the discussion and I think having something that harks back to these machines is I think somewhat needed. They’ve captured this basic look fairly well. Some may think it’s overdone, but it’s also a good reminder of how far graphics have come in under 50 years.


The game is a solid start. I would have preferred there to be a few more minigames as part of the initial release so there was a bit more gameplay to be had, but I suspect this will improve as more development work is done. As long as this development continues, I think this could be a great collection of minigames with a retro feel. The lack of content right now is the only thing really holding it back.

This is otherwise an interesting way of showing what gaming was like in the early days of home computing, without the need to invest the money in early hardware. This wouldn’t be a bad choice for those that are looking for that kind of experience without investing a mountain of money.

About Author

Head honcho and tech guy behind the GeekJabber website, I also do my fair share of writing. I am a fan of vintage technology, casual gaming and music.