products have been called a bane to retro PC game
collectors, everywhere. They are sometimes presented
by eBay (among others) sellers as original software -
whether knowingly or unwittingly - and although such
titles are not counterfeits, they are worth only a
fraction of the price of the original releases. This
article contains information to help retro game collectors
learn how to avoid purchasing a SLASH title for the price
of an original release.
Based in Minneapolis, the SLASH Corporation was a game
company which repackaged and resold classic 1980s PC
titles from such companies as Sierra On-Line, LucasArts
Entertainment, Electronic Arts, The Software Toolworks,
and others. Its President (founder?) was Charles F.
Bond, and it existed as an independent company from 1991
to 1995. In June of 1996, GT Interactive Software
Corp purchased SLASH, and reintroduced it as part of their
Value Products Division. Mr. Bond was given a seat
on the board of directors and the title of Vice-President,
TELL THE DIFFERENCE
how can a collector of classic games distinguish between
an original PC game and a re-published SLASH version?
Well, this guide would be fairly pointless f it couldn't
answer this question, wouldn't it! In fact, there
are FIVE (5) distinguishing features of a SLASH product.
(Note: not all characteristics will be common to every
game; some will have one or two features from this list,
some more, some all.)
Box Cover Art
& Other Documentation
SLASH re-releases come in cheap, white, one-piece
cardboard boxes with flapped openings on either end.
Original releases are usually come in higher grade
cardboard boxes, often with the company logo affixed in
some way upon them.
system requirements labels for older games were affixed
onto the box or slipcover casing AFTER it had been
manufactured. This permitted companies to use the
same box for different platforms (such as MS-DOS, Apple II
or Macintosh). SLASH re-releases have their labels
as part of the box itself. Further, SLASH
re-releases often use black lettering on white labels,
whereas original releases will have color within the label
or graphic images (such as the company logo). For
those SLASH re-releases that use the original system
requirements box on the cover, and not the white
background/black print, the lettering is difficult to
read. The reason is:
The Cover Art: Original
releases often have crisp, breathtaking covers. Due
to the inferior quality of computer graphics of the day,
covers were not of game images, but of conceptual art.
A SLASH re-release uses those same covers, but since they
are reprints of scanned images, the quality is somewhat
poor. SLASH covers seem out-of-focus, fuzzy and
difficult to read the printing. Often, the black
print/white label stands in stark contrast to the cover
image, appearing to have been placed over the original
release cover, scanned in, and then reprinted.
3.5" and/or 5.25" disks found in original PC
game releases usually have color labels, company logos or
graphic art. SLASH re-releases use plain black
lettering on a white label.
Manuals & Other Documentation: SLASH
re-releases use photocopies of the original game
documents, printed in monochrome on cheap paper, clearly
in an effort to keep the cost of their reproduction as low
as possible. No special brochures, high-quality
glossy covers, or any other extras that the original PC
game releases used!
thought: if your goal is to play one of these classic
games, a SLASH re-release is one of the least expensive
methods of acquiring a physical copy of it. Don't
forget that your new computer may not be able to play
those ancient games, though!