ScummVM Is Bringing CD-ROM Games Back

ScummVM Is Bringing CD-ROM Games Back
Screenshot: Mobygames / Reactor Inc

ScummVM, the collection of recreated last-century game engines that allows replaying classic adventures from the likes of LucasArts and Revolution, has just added support for Macromedia Director. This opens the door for the return of previously unplayable ‘90s CD-ROM games, starting with the legendary Spaceship Warlock.

ScummVM takes its name from Scumm, the Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion, the game engine created by LucasArts (then Lucasfilm Games) to ease development of the 1987 graphic adventure Maniac Mansion. The VM stands for “virtual machine.” Basically, ScummVM creates a virtual environment on your computer that’s ideal for these older, fondly remembered adventure games that would otherwise not run properly on modern machines.

Macromedia Director is the multimedia authoring tool for Adobe Shockwave that game developers, specifically those developing early CD games, embraced in the early ’90s. The stalwart team behind ScummVM has been working on adding Macromedia Director support to their platform for the past five years. On Tuesday, August 17, the team announced that ScummVM Macromedia Director support is a go.

Support is starting small. Select Macromedia Director 2-based titles are supported, specifically the 1991 science fiction classic Spaceship Warlock by Mike Saenz and Joe Sparks. It and the 1992 Japanese CD-ROM game L-ZONE are the only two games currently listed as “completeable” on the ScummVM’s Director games wiki page.

But the team is already looking to deepen support for Director 3 games like The Journeyman Project and Iron Helix. And with Director 4 support being actively pursued, it won’t be long before we can play Barbie and Her Magical House again as originally intended. This is huge news for all of us older gamers who struggled with CD-ROM drivers and game mounting back in the ‘90s. Bring on the barely interactive multimedia showcase games!

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