For the first time in over 20 years, we are heralding the return of a much loved piece of gaming history with the classic RPG, Wasteland! Mutants. Again. Even more than there were last time: they seem to materialize out of the very grains of the radioactive desert sand. Venomous yellow eyes.
User reviews: Very Positive (124 reviews)
Release Date: Jan 1, 1988

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Recommended By Curators

"Fallout's (and now Wasteland 2's) cult classic predecessor. Its reactive world & colorful writing make it worth playing despite the clunky interface."
Read the full review here.

About This Game

For the first time in over 20 years, we are heralding the return of a much loved piece of gaming history with the classic RPG, Wasteland!

Mutants. Again. Even more than there were last time: they seem to materialize out of the very grains of the radioactive desert sand. Venomous yellow eyes. The black gunmetal glint of Uzis as they close in for the kill. There's nowhere to run, and nothing to rely on but your MAC 17 machine gun. What a way to save the human race.

The year is 2087, eighty-nine years after an all out nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union turned vast swaths of the Earth into a hellish wasteland where survival is a daily struggle against thirst, hunger, radiation sickness, ravaging raiders, and mutants - always mutants. You are a Desert Ranger, one of a band of stalwart lawmen born from the remnants of a U.S. Army detachment who survived the nuclear holocaust by holing up in a maximum security prison. You may wear ragtag uniforms and carry make-shift weapons, but the Desert Rangers are the only law left in what was once the American southwest.

Now something more secretive and sinister than the usual roving bands of mutants and raiders is menacing humanity, and it's your job to investigate. Recruit the help you need, follow any leads you find, but beware. The wasteland is lawless desert and a lonely place, and the choices you make will shape the world around you. Better choose wisely. Your life depends on it.

Key Features

  • The godfather of the modern post-apocalyptic cRPG
  • One of the first reactive and immersive worlds that delivered persistent consequences to player choices
  • Featuring toggle-able modern updates such as new paragraph voice over, new music tracks and updated portraits. Play in classic mode to get the original experience
  • Awarded "Adventure Game of the Year" in 1988 by Computer Gaming World
  • Contains backstory and tie-ins to its long-awaited direct sequel, Wasteland 2, coming soon for digital download through Steam!

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP
    • Processor: 2 GHz Processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 3D graphics card
    • DirectX: Version 7.0
    • Hard Drive: 100 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Minimum monitor output or 720p.
    • OS: OSX 10.6 or higher
    • Processor: 2 GHz Processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: On board Intel GFX
    • Hard Drive: 100 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Minimum monitor output or 720p.
    • Processor: 2 GHz Processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 3D graphics card
    • Hard Drive: 100 MB available space
    • Additional Notes: Minimum monitor output or 720p.
Helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.5 hrs on record
This is the game that the Fallout games got their inspiration from. It is very similar in gameplay to Fallout 1 and 2. The graphics are obviously dated but you won't care. Create a party of four desert rangers and go into the wasteland. You advance skills by either use or buying points after promtion. There is plenty of dark humor. There is one thing I feel I must warn you about and that is the limited inventory space. If you drop something it is gone forever. Learn from my mistakes and never drop a key card or something that you don't know the use for. You will eventually need it.

If you liked Fallout you will like this. I have it in my top 10 games that I actually finished list. For those who don't know me if I finish a game it is my highest form of praise.
Posted: September 25
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0 of 3 people (0%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
Too many graphics. 10/10
Posted: October 21
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3 of 12 people (25%) found this review helpful
5.4 hrs on record
While this game was nice in its time, it deserves its place as a forgotten classic. Wasteland suffers particularly bad from the nervous humor that was common in its contemporary story-based computer games. While Fargo deserves credit for sparking a sub-genre he also deserves a slap for not being able to eliminate all the very bad design-flaws in Wasteland, in the sequel.
Posted: October 8
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23.0 hrs on record
Old. Old and terribly difficult. Old, terribly difficult and yet beautiful in its own way.

It was interesting going back and playing through this game to see just how much more difficult games used to be. I loved it when it was state of the art, but I never did finish it. I think I got into the sleeper base in the Apple IIc days, and assumed my inability to complete it then was due some bug (naturally).

I played through the game in full this time around and enjoyed the story beginning to end. Also, I'm pretty sure my prior inability to complete it had more to do with only skimming the flavor text than with any sort of bug.

It's most definiately not for everyone. It isn't even for the average person who enjoys playing old, chunky UI games from their childhood. It just *might* by for such a person who also happens to be playing it as a follow-up or aside to Wasteland 2, however.
Posted: October 9
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0.3 hrs on record
I wish I had heard of this 'back in the day'.
Posted: October 4
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1.4 hrs on record
Never got a chance to play the original Wasteland. So, obviously I'm excited to play the game that inspired the Post-Apocolyptic genre.

Cool, starts off simply. I decided to keep the preset characters as it was 2 in the AM and I felt it unnecessary to make my own.

So, start it up. I'm on the world map. I click ONCE on my Laptop's touchpad, but the game mistook it for being clicked 1,000 times. So, it took me 1,000 paces... Straight into a Radiation Field and I die.

It's been less than 5 seconds.

10/10 Will play this obsolete game and beat it when I figure this game out.
Posted: September 27
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128 of 142 people (90%) found this review helpful
0.1 hrs on record
So here I am - heading back home on a bus from school, early 1989. The only real thing on my mind? Firing up the Commodore 64 and rejoining the bunch of Desert Rangers that have just escaped from their first encounter with the Scorpitron. Clips of various calibres were burnt through, LAW rockets fired, two mortally injured - but the team survived. Just.

How had this game got to captivate me so much? To this day, Wasteland ranks as my No.1 game of all time. Not a maybe, not a floating possibility amongst five other great games - but the clear front runner and sole contender. One that I doubt will ever be usurped in the immediate and all-consuming effect that wandering into the radioactive barrens of the American mid-West had on me.

Wasteland is a top-down RPG that follows the 'good guys' of Desert Rangers - attempting to put right the wrongs and work out what strange events are happening in post-nuclear desert around Las Vegas. Fully customisable characters are still fun today, but in late 1988, this was unheard of. Brawlers, pistoleros, ranged specialists to hi-tech geeks were all here - including murderous cyborgs, dodgy gamblers, bar owners and lethal, radioactive vermin. Wasteland introduced the options of restraint, or over-kill - depending on your mood and temperament. Do you carefully take a single shot at your target? Or burst fire of a trio of bullets? Or to hell with accuracy and lead count and simply rip through a magazine? Your ammo, your choice.

A newcomer to Wasteland in 2014 will be woefully unimpressed. What's all the fuss about? It looks archaic has virtually no sound and the main storyline can be completed in a very short time span. But a quarter of a century ago, this game shattered the adventure genre apart and set a whole new level of benchmark. The highly influenced offspring of the Fallout games show plenty of direct lineage back to the original game. But none enthrall in quite the same way that Wasteland did.

Even Steam refers to Wasteland 1 as 'The Original Classic'. For those lucky enough to have been around on its first release - that phrase sums it up perfectly.

10 out of 10.
Posted: May 9
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36 of 39 people (92%) found this review helpful
87.2 hrs on record
The classic that started it all. This game brought rpg's from the dungeons to bombed-out cities and deserts. This was one of the first games to have memory and be able to save your progress, so when you made a change in the game world by killing someone or doing a mission it stayed that way! If you've never played this game I'll tell you about it. You're going to need imagination, like a lot of it. Because of limitations of Commador 64 this game relies on descriptive writing to give you a picture of whats happening in and out of combat. You'll need to when fighting with your party to find the right rhythm of attaking, dodging, and relaoding. Just like the first fallouts and most old rpg's, don't have mad if a rat takes you down early on.

Over all if you want to play this make sure you know what you're getting, this is 26 years old. Its basicly a table top rpg program. You'll need to imagine the acton if thats what you desire.

p.s. Don't run right to Vegas
Posted: September 6
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33 of 47 people (70%) found this review helpful
5.0 hrs on record
Wasteland is a product of its own time - low-res graphics, clumsy user interface, and a habit of not exactly telling you how to accomplish things like, say, giving the Visa card to Head Crusher (the game wants you to use one member of your party and put the Visa card on the seat you were previously sitting in opposite of Head Crusher, rather than, say, walking up to him and giving it to him directly).

This was fine back in the day. This is because that game was released in the era of computing known as The Bad Old Days, where you had to manually configure your PCI/ISA cards to avoid IRQ conflicts, where you had to make DOS Bootdisks to free up enough memory just to get the damn video game running, where you could write a little graphical menu in DOS where you could park the heads of your incredibly expensive 10 MB hard drive. You know, just in case the FBI comes around to ask you why you've been pirating so much ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ software to the rest of your Warez buddies on the BBS networks. Computer users had to put up with a lot of ♥♥♥♥ just to get games like Wasteland running, and so games like these were walks in the park compared to knowing the exact DOS commands to Telnet into the Matrix or some ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ like that.

This version of the game runs entirely in a custom emulation environment. It includes a custom soundtrack written by a fan which is pretty cool. The game also allows you to read the paragraphs inside the game (complete with voice overs) when it asks you to read paragraph 38 or another random arbitrary number. The storytelling is pretty good. Other than that, it's pretty much just like the old PC version, which is as accessible to new players as noise music is to regular people. It will definitely make the old, bearded crowd sigh and reminisce about The Bad Old Days.

I recommend you give this about five hours, read a summary and the paragraph book, and then wait for Wasteland 2 to finish up.
Posted: July 7
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13 of 16 people (81%) found this review helpful
0.4 hrs on record
A classic that led to the creation of Fallout. While primitive by younger audience standards, this was the first game to offer you free reign in an RPG, allowing you to make mistakes and having those mistakes alter the game and the characters within it.

This game still sits above my desk, the original box and manuals (dog-eared and badly torn from use) as a testament to it's well-deserved place as one of the best games ever made.
Posted: June 23
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12 of 17 people (71%) found this review helpful
1.3 hrs on record
Well... Wasteland 1. For a game that came out in 1988, this sure has some things going for it. For one, it's the godfather of the Fallout games... but don't let that fool you. First of all, this came out 9 years before Fallout 1, and it shows. Graphics quality is low, of course, and combat is the type of turn based Pokemon had in the first generation, but instead of showing you and your enemy, it just shows a profile of what you enemy supposedly looks like, just to show you something other than text. Second of all, the differences in Fallout and Wasteland are very obvious, story-wise. I'm not going to go into details here, but the apocalypse in Wasteland happened in the late 90's. The 1990's that is. So yeah, that's just some perspective.

Overall... most parts of this game have not aged... well. They haven't aged badly, per se, but they have aged. Graphics quality is low, as you should expect from a game in the late 80's. The combat is, as I said above... iffy. The story, however, is great. The writing is also great. But then, comedy and satire always age relatively well.

For me, having not played this when I was younger like most people who will buy this game (people born in the 80's, or earlier I mean), and only having messed around with it in DOSbox (not a very... shall we say, fun situation), I think it's done well enough over the years for me to say that this is still a good game. The addition of the paragraphs and voice over also make this game so much easier to experience than in DOSbox, seeing how most people don't actually have copies of the original Paragraph booklet anymore.

But yeah. I'm going to say this game is still fun, almost 30 years later, and reccomend it to everyone who wants a taste of what Fallout was before it was Fallout and/or want to experience an old game with some new updates.
Posted: June 25
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4 of 5 people (80%) found this review helpful
4.6 hrs on record
I bought this game for $2.99 today. I installed and launched the game to be greeted with the most amazing intro music ever. Right then and there I knew this game is going to be awesome. The detail and enviornment in this game is astounding for its time. This game was easy for me to get the hang of because of my careful decisions at the start of the game. However, if I were to have gone on the different side of a mountain I would have been desert cooked toast. 10/10
Posted: June 25
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2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.3 hrs on record
Once upon a time, long before Nintendo and Sony, when the "PC Master race" was still in it's larval stage, there was The Bard's Tale. There were no 3D graphics cards, or surround sound features. There was just a glorified text adventure with a few pixels of color to give you an idea where you were, what you were doing, and what that giant robotic scorpion that just destroyed your entire group 'sort of' looked like.

Computer games were more tabletop than arcade - the best parts of them took place entirely in your own imagination. When Wasteland appeared, it was from another world. No wizards and swords and dragons. There were guns, goth chicks who spit on the ground, and horribly demented bad guys named after Donald Duck's nephews. The game only gave you 10 words to describe each and every one of them, but in the world of the imagination, they were tough, gritty, and completely bad ♥♥♥.

Technology and the capacity of the human mind to always make things better than they once were has left this classic behind - to the degree that it is now sustained purely by nostalgia than actual contribution. To speak of Wasteland to today's League of Legend's addicts is to listen to the haunting tails of the first appearance of the motorcar, whose alarmly breakneck speed of 10 MPH was fueled by the doomed souls of hell hosted sinners.

So I do recommend this game - but only if you approach it as an automated, self-mastered table top RPG. You will be given brief snippets of data, and your imagination will be expected to fill in the gaps. Essentially, this game is only as amazing as you are willing to make it.
Posted: September 23
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3 of 4 people (75%) found this review helpful
9.3 hrs on record
The additions really spoil the fun. You can't run the game in original 320x200 mode because of the new overlays. Oh, and the overlays look awful. The idea behind the ingame narration is really cool, but implementation is horrendous. The fonts are completely out of place - it looks like a ♥♥♥♥ty windows '95 hack on top of an old dos game.

The game runs with a "smoothing" filter by default, but if you disable filtering (the filter looks like total crap btw) you still get the crappy filtered mouse cursor when overlays come in play.

It's not a complete waste of money - you still get a pretty awesome soundtrack and neat extras in form of original pdfs, but the game itself is spoiled by horrific updates which should either not be there or need to be reimplemented. I also see little to no point in the ugly inxile logo and a splashsreen which can't be skipped when you start the game.
Posted: May 24
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
I'll update this review when I get further in the game (which looks like a difficult task), but so far I can say this:
The interface is _not bad_. It's archaic, but if you leave the settings at the defaults, and then remember to press they key that corresponds to the first letter in the line you want to select, it's fine!

It's _fine_. It's _brutal_ and you need to use your imagination.

I suppose if you don't have good touch-typing skills, it might be hard, because the mouse is picky as to where you can click.
Posted: July 6
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
33.7 hrs on record
First timer playing this game from 1988 in 2014, so my review isn't biased by nostalgia.

As with any old game, you'll need to spend time figuring out what to do though the game comes with several guides that will expedite your experience. You could also consult for additional help. A particularly useful section is the weapons section, which covers weapon damage and other details that aren't available in game.

Once you understand the control scheme and what options you have the game is solid, and still holds up today.

The game is difficult and doesn't hold your hand.
Posted: June 26
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1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Better than fallout but hard to figure out controls. 10/10
Posted: September 11
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1 of 2 people (50%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
This game truly is a classic. The interface and graphics have been updated slightly, but you'll still basically get the original experience. And if you buy it during the Steam sale, you can get it for 3 bucks. How can you go wrong investigating some of the history of PC gaming at that price?
Posted: June 20
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
4.6 hrs on record
For someone who loves the new Fallout 3, this game surpasses it in every way except the graphics. The game gets even crazier, events are wierder and more out there, the atmosphere of "war never changes" is multiplied X 3! I hate 80s pc rpg's, but I love this one. At first it may seem difficult, but as you learn to play, you learn to get emersed even more the Fallout 3 or NV ever did!
Posted: June 23
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0 of 1 people (0%) found this review helpful
2.6 hrs on record
Loving to relive the fargo legacy 10/10
Posted: June 29
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