The Gold Box games have become legendary among RPG fans of a certain age. Published by SSI in the late 80s and early 90s, they are based on numerous classic D&D settings, including Forgotten Realms, Dragonlance, Dark Sun, and Ravenloft. This is the original old-school RPG, and it will finally be available on Steam this month.
The Gold Box games will be part of eight separate collections:
- (Eye of the beholder 1, 2, and 3)
- (Curse of the Azure Bonds, Gateway to the Wild Frontier, Hillsfar, Lakes of Darkness, Lake of Radiance, Secret of the Silver Blades, Treasures of the Wild Frontier, and Endless Adventures)
- (Dungeon Hacking, Menzoberranzan)
- (Champions of Krynn, Death Knights of Krynn, Dark Queen of Krynn)
- (Shattered Lands, Ravager’s Awakening)
- (Strahd’s Domain, Stone Prophet)
Steam titles are remastered by SNEG, a small publisher founded by former GOG employees that remasters and re-releases old games. They will feature several improvements, including a dedicated Gold Box launcher that makes it easier to manage and move players between games, enhanced DOSBox support, and various companion applications.
These collections are already available on GOG, and it is not yet clear if the Steam releases will be significantly different from them. The GOG versions, for example, don’t include auto-mapping apps, but that doesn’t matter because they are freely available for download; They do have hint books that are not mentioned on the Steam pages, but the Steam listings also do not say instruction manuals and trust me, you get along pretty well without them, so it’s reasonable to assume they will be included.
I contacted SNEG to inquire about the differences between the Steam and GOG releases and will let you know if I respond. In the meantime, some personal advice: the real Gold Box games are ancient, and if you don’t know you want to play them, you probably won’t. On the other hand, the eye of the Beholder 2: Legend of Darkmoon remains exceptionally playable and an excellent dungeon crawler.
Gold Box games and other classic SSI games will be available on Steam on March 29th.