Retrogame engine ScummVM turns 20 years old, gets an update

Manny Calavera
(Image credit: LucasArts)
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Preservation project ScummVM (opens in new tab)—named after the Script Creation Utility For Maniac Mansion, the engine used in LucasArts' classic adventure games—was launched on October 9, 2001. Initially, it was about reimplementing games made in SCUMM like Secret of Monkey Island so they could run on platforms they weren't designed for. Since then, the ScummVM team have broadened their remit and reverse-engineered all kinds of games, from Plumbers Don't Wear Ties to Blade Runner.

On the occasion of its 20th birthday, ScummVM updated to version 2.5.0 and now supports 2.5D games. Grim Fandango, The Longest Journey, and Myst 3: Exile are now supported on desktop platforms, and compatibility has been added for several more games including Little Big Adventure, The Journeyman Project 2: Buried in Time, Private Eye, and Crusader: No Remorse. 

With this version the GUI has received "a major rework", support for certain localized versions of games has been enhanced, and other improvements have been made that you can read about in the blog post (opens in new tab) and release notes (opens in new tab).

"We wish you great adventuring," the ScummVM team writes, "happy puzzle-solving and exciting journeys to RPG worlds, and hope to see you around in the coming years."

If you'd like to know more about their work, Richard Cobbett profiled the ScummVM team in 2017 for the article How ScummVM is keeping adventure games alive, one old game at a time

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games (opens in new tab). He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun (opens in new tab), The Big Issue, GamesRadar (opens in new tab), Zam (opens in new tab), Glixel (opens in new tab), Five Out of Ten Magazine (opens in new tab), and Playboy.com (opens in new tab), whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.