Building a wickedly powerful Cartel in Dopewars – A blast from the past
We won’t trifle over the details of how I got onto such a line of thinking, but I was triggered by the memory of the old game Dope Wars. For the uninitiated, Dopewars is a game about buying and selling drugs on the streets of New York. The goal is to buy low, sell high, avoid the cops, pay off the loan shark and buy a trenchcoat with more pockets. Simple, eh?
It’s an old game that has it’s roots in DOS and through the years dozens of variations have come and gone. There has even been a truly watered down version for the iPhone. However, the game that sticks out in my mind is the old Windows version put together by the now completely defunct group of Beermat Software.
Their version was pretty nice in that it extended the number of days you could play per session to 90. You also got big ass weapons that could completely annihilate Officer Hardass. The health dynamic was also improved to where you could end up dead from infection from your wounds or you could meet with an unfortunate accident of waking up in a tub of ice with a kidney removed. For a completely juvenile game it was actually pretty damn sophisticated.
I bought a copy of this game years ago for a mere $5. However, the software and registration are long since lost to me. But, does the game still exist? Is it possible I could still play? Their version was actually a pretty decent rendition and I’m surprised no one has taken up the mantle to continue their work. Too bad they didn’t release the source code. Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t this version written in VB6?
But anyway, to the Google engine I went and in short order I was able to secure a legit copy of the game. I managed to get version Dopewars 2.1 which has multiple cities and weapons and the ability to increase the game to 90 days. The only minor point is that the game tried to install some seriously old 3rd party software, but it’s merely a checkbox so no big deal.
Now that I have the game, what about a the Registration Key? Clearly I can’t buy one, the company has gone out of business. There is a slim chance I wrote that key down somewhere that I still have access to – such as a CD full of games – but where that disk lies is anyone’s guess.
To the Google machine again and in no time flat I had a Registration Key that was accepted by the game and the 90 day option was unlocked. Holy Dingos! Check that out! Quick as you like, the game has been downloaded, installed and unlocked.
I remember the opening screen quite well and the game UI looks exactly like I remember. I’m now off to play my first game in what is surely a decade. If anyone else wants to play along or toss out a favorite moment or even some form of strategy, don’t be shy! Let’s hear from you.
If you want to play along, you can download the game from here:
https://archive.org/details/swizzle_demu_Dw21 – Version 2.1
On the right hand side, click Windows Executable
For the Registration Key, click here:
Now, before anyone throws their hands in their air to raise a grievance about the content or piracy, let me say this. It’s merely a game and if you want to pitch a fit or join a bandwagon, go protest Grand Theft Auto or something. And as far as piracy is concerned, since we can’t buy the game anymore and it was originally released in 1998, I’m pretty sure we’re okay with using a serial number on an abandoned game from a defunct company.
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