Remember Those Computer Games from School? Play Them Now for Free

Ben Stegner 20-04-2015

Nostalgia is a powerful force 7 Websites For Sharing Your Nostalgic Memories Of Days Gone By Nostalgia may be bittersweet, but the mere thought of the past ties us all together socially. We share our best and worst memories. This is where the Web comes in as the great watering hole. Read More , but we live in a world where some memories are re-livable thanks to the Internet. Nothing really gets deleted from the Web Nothing Gets Deleted From the Internet, Ever. Here's How. These people are trying to back up everything on the web. It's a big job, but you can help. Read More , so from photos of last week’s vacation on Facebook to learning world history Get Introduced to World History with 7 Engrossing Sites Learning about our history is a major step to understanding our present. Stop being a history simpleton with these top resources that could be the stepping stone into our past. Read More , the past is accessible to all.


Today, we’re going to go back in time and play some games that you might have enjoyed while in elementary school. Since most of these titles are at least 20 years old, they’ve become publicly available. Some are clones of the originals, but there’s something here for everyone who enjoyed an educational game 6 Educational Console Games For A Fun And Successful School Year Contrary to popular belief, video games aren't a useless form of entertainment responsible for sucking precious time away from children and adults alike. Even generic first-person shooters such as the Call Of Duty titles could,... Read More during free periods of computer class.

Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? Deluxe (1990)

There are a bundle of Carmen Sandiego games, but this updated version of the original stands as one of the best and is a great entry point for the series. In it, the player travels around different locations searching for clues so they can arrest criminals. Once you’ve bagged enough crooks, you’ll go after Carmen herself to finish the game.

This long-running series is a staple of the edutainment genre How To Select The Best Educational Apps As Kids Go Back To School Edutainment is a multi-billion dollar industry. But how do you as a parent judge if the educational app you downloaded is the right one? It's impossible to tell without drilling down if a particular app... Read More , as it teaches kids about history and geography while still providing fun gameplay and detective work. If you enjoy the original, other titles such as Where in Time? and Where in Europe? are also available.

Thanks to the Internet Archive making thousands of classic games available Emulate Classic DOS Games Right In Your Browser For Free Play retro DOS games in a couple of clicks, thanks to The Internet Archive. Read More , you can stream the DOS version of Carmen Sandiego right now. As Justin pointed out, this game’s original version came out 30 years ago and the world’s geography has changed – there’s additional difficulty here!

SimCity (1989)

Likely the first popular simulation game (before the genre descended into weirdness 8 of the Weirdest Simulation Games You Can Play Now People are weird; like really, really weird. Some of those weirdos go on to be game developers, and that beautiful marriage of madness and digital potential creates the most random simulation games you’ll ever find.... Read More ), SimCity brought schoolkids hours of entertainment as they worked on creating the ultimate metropolis. The game’s open-ended nature meant you could name your town and take the process of building homes, businesses, and roads slowly.


SimCity also featured scenarios that allow you to oversee a real-life city in an imaginary state of trouble; your actions determine if the city crumbles or succeeds.

If you don’t want to go to the trouble of starting from scratch, take the fun route: load a city up and unleash a series of earthquakes, floods, and monster attacks on it. However you choose to interact with it, SimCity is a classic PC title that’s still fun to play around in.

It’s too bad that the SimCity game released in 2013 successor was such a disaster at launch SimCity 2013 - The Tale Of a Terrible Launch & a Terrific Game [MUO Gaming] SimCity was one of the first PC games I ever played when it was first released in 1989 - I was just 7 at the time. You'll understand then why this game holds a particularly... Read More .

The Oregon Trail (1990)

PC games don’t get much more legendary Nine 90s Computer Games You Can Play For Free Yep, we're talking free games, a collection of nine retro PC classics from the 1990s that you can play in your browser or download and run in DOSBox or Windows today! Read More than The Oregon Trail, a game installed on the computers of nearly every school in America back in the 80s and 90s. This game is another hybrid of fun and learning; as players hunt rabbits and elk and lose party members to dysentery or measles on their way to the Western frontier in the mid-1800s, they must learn to manage their resources and survive.


The Orgeon Trail was wildly successful, and most people reading this list have probably experienced it at some point in their lives. This title is hard proof that games designed to make you learn Why Games May Become the Education of the Future Parents and teachers are often wary of letting kids spend time playing video games, but a number of developers are introducing mods of popular games into the classroom and re-imagining how video games can support... Read More don’t have to be boring or have bad gameplay; round up a party and relive the memories of crossing the frontier online.

If you find the original game a bit bland, check out the parody title The Organ Trail, where you travel across America in a station wagon trying to survive the zombie apocalypse.

Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Kids Edition (2001)

Millionaire, the popular game show where a single contestant must answer a series of questions that become more difficult to win a million dollars, had a few releases of home computer games. Kids Edition took the formula and made the questions age-appropriate for kids, asking about basic history and science with an emphasis on pop culture.

Sadly, Kids Edition isn’t available online (though you can grab it from Amazon if you’d like), but clones of the regular game are available. Puffgames features a decent Millionaire experience for anyone who grew up with Kids Edition and is ready for a challenge.


You won’t win a million dollars, but trivia buffs will enjoy the challenge of being in the hot seat without all the pressure. Regis Philbin is included; what’s not to love?

Logical Journey of the Zombinis (1996) [No Longer Available]

This adventure starred the strange Zombinis, creatures whose physical attributes came into play in many of the game’s logic-based challenges.

More than the others on this list, Logical Journey require critical thinking skills and wasn’t too enjoyable for kids who didn’t pick up on the game’s rules. In one early level players must decide between two bridges to cross a cliff. Twin rock faces below the bridges are allergic to certain Zombinis and it’s up to the player to deduce how to get them across safely.

The game’s puzzles are entertaining and the difficulty is scalable for different ages. If you haven’t played it before and enjoy a good puzzle 19+ Challenging Free Online Puzzle Games You Have To Play Read More , it’s worth trying since the challenges take some thinking.


This is the only title on the list that isn’t available to stream online; you’ll have to download the file from MyAbandonware and run it yourself using the instructions on the page. For more Zombinis action, you can check out the remake of Logical Journey or the second game, Mountain Rescue.

Computer Class Dismissed

The greatest games never go out of style, and there’s something in each of these titles that make them worth rediscovering today. While the educational elements may seem a bit over-the-top to the adults of today, these games provided us with life skills 8 Life Skills That Video Games Can Teach You Video games are more than fun! They can teach you life skills that'll help you be more disciplined and successful in life. Read More in an entertaining way. If you didn’t have the pleasure of borrowing these discs in your school days, take some time to discover these classics.

Looking for more free retro games? We’ve uncovered awesome remakes of bygone titles 12 New Versions Of Classic Retro Games, Free To Play Re-live the thrill of playing classic games like Mario, Sonic and Megaman for the first time – thanks to fan creations. If you want to play new versions of your favorite retro classics – but... Read More , as well as the best games to emulate on Android 5 Best Retro Games That You Can Emulate On Android Emulation allows you to play retro games on your PC, but have you tried it on your phone? Here are five fantastic titles to try on your Android device. Read More .

I’m sure these aren’t the only games you played in school! What games did you treasure in elementary school? Did you try any of these titles for the first time after reading this list? I want to hear about your experiences, so chime in below!

Image Credits: boy at computer Via Shutterstock

Related topics: Educational Games, Retro Gaming.

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  1. nicole
    August 17, 2016 at 11:25 am

    im looking for an Indonesian game I played in primary school about 16years ago, where you got an award when you finish every level does anyone know it?

  2. John Seto
    July 3, 2016 at 8:30 pm

    Chuckie Egg on the BBC B

  3. kool
    May 19, 2015 at 8:54 am

    What about the game GAP in primary school?

  4. Lotus1922
    May 18, 2015 at 6:08 pm

    In the early 90s, there was a math game I played all the time in school that I can't find any trace of now. Don't remember the title, and I think there were a couple of related games bundled into it, but the one I specifically remember is a mouse in a maze. You controlled the mouse by answering various simple math problems that randomly popped up on the screen. Sound familiar to anyone?

  5. Tracy
    April 24, 2015 at 11:56 am

    The first ever game I remember playing is Frak on the BBC Micro in the early 80's. Makes me feel old!

    • Ben S
      April 27, 2015 at 12:05 am

      Most of the games on this list were ones I played in school - though some of them I played updated versions of! I never played any from the early 80s though!

  6. Robert
    April 24, 2015 at 12:50 am

    Bards Tale from ~1986 Loved that game, wish I could find a way to play this.

  7. McFuzz
    April 22, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    Pretty much everyone knows about it by now, but there's also Open Transport Tycoon Deluxe, complete with multiplayer support.

  8. adam connolly
    April 22, 2015 at 1:39 am

    We had a computer system calls ICON and my favorite game on it was Deep Sea Fishing if you dragged the net to close to the bottom it would rip and every once in awhile a shark would year you net.

  9. Jeri
    April 21, 2015 at 5:50 pm

    The 1995 version of Oregon Trail was much better. And how about some Cross Country USA? I used to play that edutainment game in grade school all of the time!

  10. Leah
    April 21, 2015 at 5:35 pm

    Thank you.

    • Ben S
      April 27, 2015 at 12:04 am

      Hope you enjoy reliving the old days!

  11. jkcook
    April 21, 2015 at 6:21 am

    My kids used to like Operation Neptune, too. It was a math game with a submarine.

    • Ben S
      April 27, 2015 at 12:04 am

      I didn't play any by that name, but I remember one that taught you math that took place in space. All I really remember about it was a green alien. It's probably lost to time now!

    • ...
      May 6, 2015 at 10:54 pm

      Sounds like Math Blasters to me. Good stuff.

  12. E. Arnaud
    April 21, 2015 at 2:28 am

    I miss TIM (The Incredible Machine) 1 & 2.

    • Ben S
      April 27, 2015 at 12:03 am

      I never played that one! I'm guessing it was about learning?

    • Dann Albright
      April 27, 2015 at 4:05 pm

      TIM was awesome! I don't know if I ever played the second one. I wonder if you can still get a hold of that somehow. I absolutely loved that game.

    • Dann Albright
      April 27, 2015 at 4:08 pm

      A 2001 game that people remember from elementary school? Man, that makes me feel old.

      The game that I remember most is Number Munchers and Letter Munchers. You had to move around a board and "munch" the numbers that matched a certain criterion; odd, multiple of 3, multiple of 4, and so on. Most of my (admittedly not great, but possibly slightly better than average) math skills probably got their start there!

  13. meg
    April 20, 2015 at 8:37 pm

    I loved a game called Spelunx, but I don't think it exists anywhere anymore. I was hoping it would be on this list! Oh vell . . .

    • Ben S
      April 27, 2015 at 12:03 am

      I haven't heard of that one! I know Spelunker on NES; was it a cave-exploring game?