A downloadable time-travel simulation

dialer.com simulates the experience of calling up a BBS and downloading games. Think of it as a demake of Last Call BBS, if you like. Downloading the games from inside the virtual BBS creates new programs on your filesystem (also .COM files, of course) that you can run. One of them might even be fun!

This is a small slice of what I hope to develop into a much more interesting game experience, involving calling multiple BBSes, interacting with people on message boards, and delving into the hacking / phreaking / warez underground.

This was developed on my 286 over the past 2 months completely from scratch, and when I say "from scratch", I mean, "I wrote my own assembler, which can assemble itself", among other things. The full source code is available, and I wrote up some gory details of the Forth bootstrapping process for the true 8086 dorks out there. (You can download the assembler from within the game, though it's _extremely_ unfriendly to use without documentation or source code to refer to.)

Rated 3.3 out of 5 stars
(3 total ratings)
AuthorSpindley Q Frog
GenreSimulation, Puzzle
Tagsbbs, MS-DOS


dialer.com 35 kB

Install instructions

This file must be run under DOS, either using DOSBox or on a real MS-DOS machine. It uses the 8086 instruction set, 80x25 CGA textmode, and the PC speaker, and assumes just over 64kb of free conventional memory, so it should be compatible with virtually any DOS machine. (It does require at least DOS 3.0.) Seeing everything the game has to offer requires using the DOS commandline, as you can use dialer.com to download new DOS COM programs to run.


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This was fun


how do i export dialer.com to a Virtual Machine on Virtualbox

i use a real dos machine

Hi, is it ok to distribute this game on the DOS Game Jam Demo Disc? It will be a freely downloadable ISO image with games submitted to the DOS Game Jam with a small menu to select games.

I see that the source is available, but didn't find a license, so thought it might be better to ask :)

Feel free! Though it will probably play a little strangely from a menu, since the full experience requires you to launch different programs from the command line.

My other DOS jam game Neut Tower is also totally OK to distribute.

I thought this was a website, (and I know what is html)

Love this idea. Gonna check it out in the ao486 core on my MiSTer 

My wife called up the stairs, “Is that a modem? Don’t forget *70, we have call waiting!”



Hahaha, maybe I'll put that in as an option in a future release


I have literally wanted to do something like this for so long, although my project became a simulated google drive rather than a simulated bbs :D

Is there any way to get registered and access the rest of the games/files etc?

(1 edit)

No, sorry! Ran out of time to get any of that stuff going for the jam. Hoping to expand on the project in the future, but it'll probably be a while before there are any significant updates.

No worries, it's super cool as it is :D

This was fun! I hope you add more - looking forward to more doorgames, warez, messageboards. By the way, i couldn’t figure out a way to escape out of the forth interpreter and had to force shut down my machine :/ Any tips, or even a wordlist printout command would be helpful :)

Oh yeah, I didn't even think about that! It was more of a last minute "wouldn't it be cool to put one of the tools I wrote to make the game into the game" idea to pad out the file list than something I expected people to actually try and use, but of course if it's there you'll at least run it. I wanted to include the full source code but I ran out of time to write a self-extracting .com to wrap it all in. Ctrl-Z is usually how I quit when I'm running interactively, though I think Ctrl-C and "terminate" should also work.