I am beyond excited for the launch of Cheerful Ghost Games through our new BBS. It's a launch that Travis and I have been working for the whole year through a series of little projects that are finally complete.

Cheerful Ghost is A New Wave BBS!

Back in the late 80's and early 90's if you could get the Internet it was expensive and having access to a desktop computer wasn't common. In my family my parents always set aside some money for a family computer even if it wasn't top of the line. Our first desktop computer that had a modem was a Gateway 486 SX/25 with a 2400 baud modem running Windows 3.11 for Workgroups and DOS. At the time that wasn't the fastest modem out there but that modem allowed me to connect to local BBS's or Bulletin Board Systems that I used to play games, download shareware and chat with friends. Back then BBS's were one way my friends and I played games together and dialing in to play Legend of the Red Dragon or Tradewars was something I did daily. At the time it was my dream to run my own BBS and I had the software and ability to do it I just couldn't convince my parents to buy another phone line.

I might not have been able to run a dial-up BBS but Cheerful Ghost is the most modern form of that dream and for the last seven years it's been a great place to get together to talk about the stuff we love. Today is special because we now get closer to the BBS dream in that we're launching Cheerful Ghost Games BBS. Like BBS's of yore, our take on it brings some classic BBS single player games to a modern format as well as some of the very best JavaScript/browser games and one game in particular we created ourselves!


Well, I can talk a bit about each game but I recommend you head over to the new BBS to see each game in action for yourself.

Cheerful Fortune Each great BBS must have a fortune program that's one part notable quotes and two parts nerd culture. I wrote Cheerful Fortune to be a browser based revisioning of the Unix fortune and BBS fortune programs but with a more Cheerful Ghost focused curation of quotes and sayings. I also released Cheerful Fortune under an Open Source license and welcome contributions to the program through code or fortune files. If you're not a developer but want to see some particularly nerdy quotes or trivia added contact me and I can work with you to get your material added.

Cheerful Fortune is Open Source and I think that Cheerful Ghost built games should have components that are freely available or become Open Source after an amount of time. I think the model iD Software has with their game engines is one I appreciate and something similar could work for our future game releases.

I plan on releasing more Cheerful Ghost games with a focus on games we can all play together. Stay tuned for more on that in the upcoming months.

What Old School BBS Games Can You Play On Cheerful Ghost?

One thing I absolutely had to do when we launched our new wave BBS was include some authentic BBS single player games and we found three that are pretty special. Each BBS game we've included on Cheerful Ghost is true to its original form and as such runs in your browser using DOSBox. It's a crazy technical feat to run the DOS operating system in your browser and as such requires you to have a proper keyboard to play each of the BBS games.

Another note about each of our old school BBS games we include is that they are stateless. What that means is that your score and game session only exist in the current browser window duration you have it open and the game running. So if you exit the game OR close your browser you're gonna have to start over. The good thing is we curated each BBS game to run fine this way as each game is fun for a brief or long play session by yourself.

But enough of that, what are the BBS games you can play?

Freshwater Fishing Simulator

Freshwater Fishing Simulator is a special BBS game that did the whole modern Indie "Simulator" game craze thing back in the 90's before it was cool to do it again.

Don't Wake The Sysop

Don't Wake The Sysop is a meta BBS game where you try and make as much noise as you can without actually incurring the wrath of the BBS Sysop. See back in the day PC's had a speaker and many BBS's allowed you to ring the Sysop that basically beeped the PC speaker to alert the Sysop you wanted to chat. Some users would do this way too much annoying the Sysop and would get kicked off the BBS. Sometimes I'd ring the Sysop and we'd chat about stuff, which was pretty fun when the Sysop was having a good day.

Unfortunately Don't Wake the Sysop won't actually ring my PC but you can play it to relive those special 90's moments that won't be coming back.


Barneysplat! wasn't my favorite BBS game of all time but it's one that made a pretty lasting impression on my addled teenage brain. Barney and Friends was a very popular show at the time and Barneysplat! was a very timely parody of it where you try and use whatever unsavory means you can to sabotage the show. I thought it was a hilarious game and my friends and I talked about our exploits in the game. Thinking about it from a fresh perspective the game is essentially about trolling a kids show with a positive message of friendship because the game thinks it's cool to be an asshole. I've decided to include it in our first wave of curation not because it's an odd game but serves the WTF player demographic well.

We're A New Wave BBS - What New Games Games Do You Have?

Cheerful Ghost Games is a new BBS and as such I wanted to include some interesting new browser games. Each game we've included we can because they were released as Open Source. These games are the first run of many more we plan on dropping in the upcoming months so stay tuned for what’s next!

Candy Box & Candy Box 2

When I realized we could include Candy Box and Candy Box 2 for people to play on Cheerful Ghost I nearly fell out of my chair. The developer of the Candy Box series Aniwey released both games as Open Source and I forked the source on GitHub to make slight alterations to make them playable on the site. You can play Candy Box or Candy Box 2 online elsewhere but part of what made BBS's great wasn't that they had exclusive games but what games the BBS Sysop curated to include and the community that you played them with.

Candy Box is one of the coolest browsers games i've ever played with a ton of personality and charm and if you haven't played it, you need to do yourself a favor. How the game progresses is a joy and I still haven't completed it yet but keep unlocking a bit each time I do.

My recommendation is that you start with Candy Box and when you're done with that play Candy Box 2.

Candy Box [start here] -

Candy Box 2 [the incredible follow up] -

What's Next For Cheerful Ghost Games BBS?

The big dream is to release Cheerful Ghost created games on our BBS that you can all play together. We're also going to include other awesome games to play alongside our own creations and this is just the first part of the cool new thing we're doing. As such anything new you do takes a bit of time to settle in and as such we're all interested in hearing more from on how we can improve.

I hope you find some fun with our new BBS games and if you find them as fun to play as we did putting it them together make sure to tell someone.

Travis   Admin wrote on 08/06/2018 at 01:56pm

As much fun as I've had over the past few years designing things for the site, this change is up there in my favorites. Designing something to look like you're using an old pre-GUI computer in the browser was a load of fun, and I hope you guys enjoy the retro feel as much as I loved making it. We have a retro feel in a few other aspects of the site, from the regular Classic reviews on Cheerful Ghost Radio, to the 80's/90's feel of the RAD and MUST PLAY ratings on the ghost scale, and now this. I've found a lot of different ways to do scanlines over the past few months and I was surprised that it was pretty easy in CSS :D

Just in case you haven't scrolled down past this post, I posted a review of the Candy Box games. Spoiler alert: they're amazing.

Azurephile   Super Member wrote on 08/07/2018 at 02:59am

I used to play Legend of the Red Dragon and Usurper. I've also run my own BBS for a limited time.

Travis   Admin wrote on 08/07/2018 at 03:09am

You ran a bbs? That’s awesome!

vdogmr25 wrote on 08/07/2018 at 07:26pm

Oh boy! Here I go playing candy box again!

Travis   Admin wrote on 08/07/2018 at 08:15pm

Hahaha, it’s so fun right? I ended up playing through both for my review but then playing it again the day we launched. It’s strangely deep.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 08/08/2018 at 02:51am

I still can't seem to be able to get the armor on the Castle entrance level. Like I made it through fine but never got the armor. It's kind of strange, i'm not sure how to avoid the projectile except that randomly my character makes it through.

Travis   Admin wrote on 08/08/2018 at 03:32am

Yeah that one seems to be that if you kill them fast enough, you'll get past the projectiles. If you linger too long, you get hit.

And I think I got the armor on the first trip through, strange. May be a %chance instead of a guarantee.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 08/08/2018 at 03:33am

Ok so just keep grinding. Makes sense.

Azurephile   Super Member wrote on 08/10/2018 at 03:36am

So, ah, I'm sorry if I missed it, but how exactly do we access the BBS? Do you we just go to the games list and select them that way?

Is there a chance we can get L.O.R.D. and Usurper? I'd love to see those games again.

Travis   Admin wrote on 08/10/2018 at 12:17pm

Yeah just click Games up top.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 08/10/2018 at 03:31pm

Straight up i'm planning to remake LORD next year. Porting it would be cool too but I think that would honestly be more work to port old LORD to Cheerful Ghost than remake it in our style on the web.

Azurephile   Super Member wrote on 08/10/2018 at 07:26pm

@Travis thanks!
@Jon aww, LORD was good. But, a remake might be good, too.

jdodson   Admin   Post Author wrote on 08/10/2018 at 07:59pm

LORD is one of the coolest games of all time. I think our version should do it justice.


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