Memories Made In Bits and Code

Expert Software 40 Games splash screen

My father, who died in 2001, was quite the geek in his own right.  He was coding software programs by the mid-1970s for work out of necessity.  Computers existed at that time, but programs were few and far between.  If you wanted to use the computer for a specific task, you had to write your own damned program.

When Microsoft unleashed Windows 3.11 on the world, my father was elated.  Finally!  Here was a computer with programs and graphics and free email (Juno).  And games.  Lots of games.

Expert Software Credits Logo

 

Expert Software developed 40 Games for Windows 3.1x, Windows 95, and Macintosh.  Although the CD-ROM contained an install function, users could run any game on the disc by simply double-clicking the EXE file in either of the two folders.  The file games.exe launched the main program screen.

40X Games Main Dialog Box

 

Two of the games, in particular, caught and held our undivided attention.  Bulldozer and Bulldozer II are puzzle games.

The object of the game is quite simple.  Use the arrow keys to maneuver the bulldozer and push the boulders onto the targets.  The boulders can only be pushed.  A boulder can be trapped and rendered unmovable.  The game must then be reset ([F2] key) to replay that level from the beginning.

Bulldozer Level 1 Animated GIF

 

As each level is completed, a box will appear that moves you to the next level.

Level One Completed

 

As you advance to each of the next forth levels, the game will give a pass-code that you can use to access that level if you decide to exit the game.  So you do not have to replay earlier levels each time you restart the program.

Password Code For Level One Completed

 

My father and I spent weeks playing these games in an effort to collect all of the pass-codes.  We succeeded!

Bulldozer

4 =  BONK
8 =  NERD
12 = BURP
16 = SPUD
20 = GROK
24 = SPOT
28 = KALE
32 = PODS
36 = TAPS
40 = KRIL
44 = GNIP
48 = GORN
52 = TUIP
56 = LOUT
60 = IAOM

Bulldozer II

4 =  CLAM
8 =  SOAP
12 = FERN
16 = COIN
20 = POGS
24 = KNID
28 = BOBS
32 = FINK
36 = BABA
40 = BOUY
44 = ARLO
48 = NAGA
52 = NUNC
56 = NOLO
60 = POIT

24 Games, which contains Bulldozer I only, and 40 Games, which contains both versions by Expert Software are no longer commercially available.  You might be able to find one or the other posted on the Web for download as abandonware, if you search Google long enough.

These games require no installation.  They may or may not run well on a modern Windows operating system, but they run beautifully in WINE on a Linux-based computer.

Old software never dies as long a we remember fondly those shared moments of joy and discovery.  My father would be pleased.

Update:

40X Games Main Dialog Screen

Bulldozer Builder

 

 

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5 Responses to “Memories Made In Bits and Code”

  1. matthew malazian Says:

    do you have the file for 40 games? I have 24 but not 40 😦

  2. Steve Feinstein Says:

    Bulldozer II reportedly included “bulldozer Builder” allowing folks to create their own levels. Is that on your CD? Or do you know whether it’s available anywhere? I searched for months without success.

  3. The Doctor Says:

    The Internet Archive has made the earlier version of this software available in the form of a free ISO image:

    https://archive.org/details/24GamesForWindows95

    Update:
    After examining the files enclosed in the ISO image above, I noticed that some files required for Linux users who run these programs under WINE were missing. WINE is not exactly an emulator and it’s not exactly a true Windows environment. It does require a bit of configuration alterations to work properly.

    There also may be some files that have been damaged due to data degradation:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_degradation

    “Data degradation is the gradual corruption of computer data due to an accumulation of non-critical failures in a data storage device.”

    The phenomenon is also known as bit rot, as in the expression, “That’s a load of bit rot!”

    To repair the files:
    1) Download the ISO image above.
    2) Mount or burn the ISO image to a blank CD.
    3) Extract the “program” folder from the “win95” folder and place it on your desktop.
    4) Download the repair files (1.6M):
    http://pages.suddenlink.net/the_doctor/repairfiles.zip
    5) Extract the files from the zip file.
    6) Drag-and-drop or copy the repair files to the “program” folder.
    7) Some files will be added and some files will be replaced.
    8) Test the repairs by double-clicking on the games.exe file.
    9) Rename the “program” folder to “xx games” (where xx equals the number of games).
    10) Move the folder to any directory you wish.
    11) Open the folder and right-click on games.exe to create a desktop shortcut (Windows and Linux).

    If you have any problems with the repair, please feel free to comment below.

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