ScummVM: Play your old adventure Games on your new Computer

Do you remember playing classic point and click adventure games? I really miss the days when LucasArts didn’t just rehash the same Star Wars games over and over again. The late eighties to mid nineties had a number of innovative adventure games that still hold up to this day. That means people still want to play them — enter ScummVM.

ScummVM is a virtual machine that will allow you to play your classic 2D point and click adventure games on current hardware. Not only does it support LucasArts titles (hence the name), but it supports adventure games from Activision, Humongous Entertainment, Sierra, and quite a few other developers. If you’re not sure if ScummVM will play your favorite adventure game, you can check out their compatibility list.

Interestingly, this wonderful open source application has support for numerous platforms. Not only that, but ScummVM will support a game regardless of which platform the adventure game was originally released for. Of course, it supports the expected operating systems like Windows, Linux, and OS X. If you’re interested in tinkering, you can install ScummVM on the Nintendo DS, Sony PSP, and even Apple’s iPhone. You shouldn’t get too excited, though. There is pretty much no chance of ScummVM ever being released through the app store because of Apple’s release rules. You’re going to have to jailbreak to run ScummVM on your iPod Touch or iPhone. Good luck with that!

So, what if you don’t have any classic adventure games? You’re in luck! There are four classic adventure games that are available for free right on ScummVM’s site. You can also find copies of some of these more elusive games on eBay,, and some less legitimate sites.

On a side note, there are two LucasArts adventure games that are not supported by ScummVM: Grim Fandango and Escape from Monkey Island. The reasoning behind this is their vastly different game engine. Instead of using the 2D SCUMM engine, these games use the 3D GrimE engine. If you’re looking for a way to play these games, you might want to look at Residual. This application is in very early stages, but Grim Fandango is playable for the most part.

These classic games are still lots of fun, and now you don’t have to fight with installers or old technology to get them to work. ScummVM is simple, free, and available to almost everyone.

Image Credit: ScummVM & LucasArts

Grant is a writer from Delaware. In his spare time, Grant maintains a personal blog, hosts The Weekly Roar, hosts Quadcast, and writes for video games.