Play classic 1990s games with a fully functional Mac OS 8 emulator

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Mac OS 8 emulator
Return to the thrilling days of yesteryear with a Mac OS 8 emulator loaded with games from the 1990s.
Photo: Felix Rieseberg

Anyone wanting a serious dose of nostalgia should install a just-released emulator of a classic Apple desktop computer running Mac OS 8, first released in 1997. There’s even a bunch of games and productivity applications from the same era.

Today in Apple history: Mac OS 8 becomes an instant smash hit

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Mac OS 8 gave Apple a much-needed revenue boost.
Mac OS 8 gave Apple a much-needed revenue boost.
Illustration: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

July 22: Today in Apple history: Mac OS 8 becomes an instant smash hit July 22, 1997: Apple introduces its next-gen operating system, Mac OS 8, the first major OS refresh for Macintosh since System 7’s release in 1991.

Mac OS 8 introduces easier surfing of the internet, a new three-dimensional look and other features. It gets great reviews — but arrives at a very challenging time for Apple.

Today in Apple history: Apple outwits clone-makers with Mac OS 8

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Mac OS 8 gave Apple a much-needed revenue boost.
More than just a system update, Mac OS 8 was a nasty surprise for clone-makers.
Photo illustration: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

March 8: Today in Apple history: Apple outwits clone-makers with Mac OS 8 March 8, 1997: Apple renames the forthcoming Mac OS 7.7 update, calling it “Mac OS 8.” It’s more than just a name change, though: It’s a sneaky sucker punch that ultimately knocks out Mac clones.

Unfortunately for Mac users, the updated operating system does not deliver the total top-to-bottom rewrite promised by Apple’s Project Copland. However, the renaming strategy turns out to be a brilliant (if underhanded) way of getting Apple out of terrible licensing deals.

See an iPhone X run Mac OS 8, Warcraft II and SimCity 2000

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iPhone running Mac OS 8
An iPhone X emulates Mac OS 8 very well, including running Warcraft II and Sim City 2000.
Graphic: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Because phones are small, it’s easy to underestimate how powerful they are. Give an iPhone a larger display and it would make a fine desktop PC. Case in point: A new video shows an iPhone X running Mac OS 8.1 as well as a couple of games.