What is ScummVM?

ScummVM in-game menu. Play DOS adventures with ScummVM.Originally ScummVM was created to run Lucasarts' Scumm games on modern operating systems, by replacing the main executable and using the game's data files. Typical source port behaviour. Scumm is an abbreviation of "Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion" and VM stands for "Virtual Machine". Scumm was used to build the point and click interface for Maniac Mansion, which was the first game to use this particular interface. Many other games followed, including Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders, Indiana Jones, Sam and Max, Monkey Island and Day of the Tentacle. Nowadays ScummVM also supports lots of Sierra adventures like Space QuestKing's Quest and Leisure Suit Larry and other adventure games. You can find the full list of supported games here. ScummVM is available for Windows 11, Windows 10 (and older), Android, iOS and many more platforms.

But why use ScummVM?

All DOS adventure games supported by ScummVM can be played perfectly fine with DOSBox. So why bother? Good question. One important reason to use ScummVM is that it integrates better in Windows. That basicly means you have 100% mouse support and a graphical user interface (GUI) from where you can manage and start your games. Moreover, ScummVM supports not only DOS games, but also adventure games made for other platforms, like NES, C64 or Amiga. We won't cover those here. DOS only this time.

How to play retro adventures with ScummVM?

Ok, enough talking. Let's play some games with ScummVM on Windows 11 or Windows 10.

Adding a game to ScummVM.Install ScummVM

  • Download ScummVM
  • Choose the Windows installer (Win32 or Win64 .exe)
  • Open the installer file and follow instructions

Get games supported by ScummVM

Add and play games

  • Start ScummVM by double clicking the desktop shortcut or the scummvm.exe file
  • Click the Add Game... button
  • Navigate to and select the folder where your game is in and click on Choose
  • A dialog window will open in which you can edit the configuration for that particular game. Global configuration (for all games) will be covered below, so press Ok to continue
  • If your game is supported, it will be added to ScummVM
  • To start the game, select it in the main window and click on Start
  • Having trouble with adding games? Visit the ScummVM wiki for elaborate instructions

ScummVM Configuration

You don't need to configure anything to play games with ScummVM. But you might want to change Window resolution or prevent your mouse cursor from leaving the ScummVM window while playing.

Window resolution and full screen

  • Window: when you want to play your games in a bigger or smaller window
    • When playing the game, press CTRL and ALT and + or - keys together to increase/decrease window size. Please note that an enlargement of 3x is the biggest size available
    • When you always want to use a certain window size, click the Options button in the main menu of ScummVM (when the game hasn't been started yet), select the Graphics tab and change graphics mode to normal, 2x or 3x and click the Ok button
  • Full screen: when you want to play your games in full screen mode
    • To switch between Windowed mode and full screen mode, press ALT and Enter keys together
    • When you always want to play in full screen mode, click the Options button in the main menu of ScummVM (when the game hasn't been started yet), select the Graphics tab and check the Fullscreen mode checkbox and click the Ok button
    • Don't want blurry and squashed graphics on a widescreen monitor in fullscreen mode? Click on Options, select the Graphics tab, set Graphics mode to OpenGL (no filtering), check the Aspect ratio correction and Fullscreen mode checkboxes and click the Ok button
  • For an overview of all graphics modes, visit the ScummVM wiki

Prevent or allow the mouse cursor to leave the ScummVM window

  • To prevent or allow the mouse cursor to leave the window in Windowed mode, press CTRL and M when you're in ScummVM

Other important hot keys and manuals

  • To enter the ScummVM load/save menu while playing a game, press the CTRL and F5 keys together
  • To toggle aspect ratio correction while playing a game, press the CTRL and ALT and A keys together
  • To quit the game immediately, press the CTRL and Z or ALT and X keys together
  • For more hot keys, open and read the readme file
  • For an elaborate user manual, visit the ScummVM wiki