Spotted on A Talent For War
For those of us old enough to have been there when the game was first released back in the 1980s, Elite remains one of the best-loved space sims of all time. With its vast game universe and free-form gameplay featuring a mixture of trading, fighting and exploration, it set a standard which few games have met since. Now you can get a taste of what all the fuss was about with the re-release of the sequels "Frontier : Elite II" and "Frontier : First Encounters", which are for the first time available to download through the Elite Club. The games are being released as shareware and are free to play for thirty days, after which you are encouraged to pay the modest $5 fee.
While they were perhaps not quite as enjoyable as Elite itself, and the original release of First Encounters was marred by bugs which rendered the game virtually unplayable out of the box, they are both still well worth a look. Frontier weighs in at only 466Kb and First Encounters at just over 2Mb, so even if you're on an analogue modem it shouldn't take more than a few minutes to grab them both. The only possible downside is that they're both presented in their original DOS format, so getting them to run may be less than straightforward, particularly if you use Windows 2000 or another DOS-less operating system. Having said that, Frontier is running perfectly happily under Windows 98 on my own system at the moment without any need to reboot to DOS. Your mileage may vary though.
Check the Elite Club for more details.