You can buy this forgotten '90s shooter from its original website, which is a perfectly preserved time capsule of PC gaming's golden age

Bad Toys 3D
(Image credit: Tibo Games)

Bad Toys 3D is described by publisher Tibo Software as "a 3D first-person shooter with funny graphics and sounds." Originally released in 1995, it's a simplistic Wolfenstein 3D knockoff that sees you exploring flat mazes of Windows screensaver-like brick walls, blasting purple pom-pom monsters with pistols and shotguns. "THE FACTORY FOR TOYS HAS BEEN BOUGHT BY THE COMPANY DELTA MILITARY SYSTEMS RECENTLY," reads the game's blurb. "NOW IT IS OUT OF CONTROL. WHAT IS GOING ON?"

I don't know whether Bad Toys 3D is any good, although even the publishers don't seem wholly convinced by it, saying "You won't find DOOM here". What makes it fascinating for PC gamers, though, is the context in which you can buy it today. As pointed out on X by MS-DOS gaming enthusiast Anatoly Shashkin. You won't find Bad Toys 3D on Steam, GoG, or any digital distribution service, but you can buy it direct from Tibo's own website, an experience which offers a perfectly preserved time-capsule of nineties' PC gaming.

First, there's the website itself, which looks like it has barely changed in the last twenty years. There are a couple of modern features like a contact form, but the design is distinctly early noughties. The weirdly aligned blue Arial text, the bevelled, drop-shadowed red buttons, the inexplicably tiny Jpeg thumbnails. It's a pristine relic of a bygone age, the Internet equivalent discovering an intact Roman villa in some overgrown forest. There's even a link to the shareware version of Bad Toys 3D, which Tibo states "includes 3 levels".

(Image credit: Tibo Software)

It isn't just the website that's decidedly old-school. The game is packaged to install on older versions of Windows, a process which further compounds the nostalgia. Shashkin highlights a point in the setup process that asks the user to install WinG, stating "When was the last time a game installer asked you to do this?" That said, you'd better make sure your PC can run it before investing. If you don't have a 386 processor and 3.5 Megabytes of disk space, you're out of luck.

For someone who grew up with shareware PC games and the old grey Windows UI, seeing Bad Toys 3D and Tibo's archaic website is a fierce nostalgia hit. But it's also a reminder of how narrow our modern view of the Internet has become. So much of your Internet use is funnelled through a tiny handful of websites and storefronts, and it's easy to forget just how much else is out there. It makes me wonder what other ye-olde games are still lingering on forgotten bespoke websites, awaiting some passing browser to stumble upon them.

If you want to give Bad Toys 3D a go yourself, you can download the Shareware version here, Shashkin notes that while Bad Toys 3D is a 16-bit game, the installer is 32-bit. So if you're running a 64-bit machine, you'll likely need to install a virtual DOS program. Shashkin mentions that he uses OtVDM, which you can download here.