LaunchBox is a portable games database and launcher. It was designed to work with DOSBox (which comes bundled with the program), but can now handle PC games, emulators, even import your games from Steam.
There's a lot of functionality here, but a splash screen helps out by listing the various possibilities, and providing links to video tutorials.
If you prefer to jump straight in, there are wizards to immediately import DOS and other games, but even as a beginner, it doesn't take long to set something up manually.
We clicked Game > Add, and were prompted to enter a game name. Type in just part of a game title - "Meier" - and LaunchBox quickly searches Wikipedia, presenting you with various matches. Choose one of these options and LaunchBox finds all the associated metadata (title, release date, genre, platform etc), and you can download any associated images (box art, screenshots etc) in a couple of clicks.
Next you must tell LaunchBox more about the game itself. There's nothing particularly difficult here, either: it's just a matter of pointing the program at the executable files/ folders, and (if necessary) telling it to run the game via DOSBox, ScummVM, or an emulator.
Repeat this process a few times and LaunchBox presents your games via their cover art. You're able to organise and filter your collection by genre, platform, ESRB rating, developer, and publisher. Clicking any of them displays all the metadata you downloaded earlier, including a rating and description,and you canlaunchyour favourite with a click.
A LaunchBox Premium version extends the program with a big-screen home theater-type view, colour themes, custom fonts, saved filters and more. A single $20 payment covers lifetime upgrades and usage on as many PCs as you like.
New features in 7.12 include (see entire changelog for full history):
Retro achievements are now accessible in LaunchBox from retroachievements.org! Add your account under Tools > Options > Search > Retro Achievements, and then your achievements will show up in the LaunchBox game details sidebar.
New Premium Feature: Retro achievements are now accessible in Big Box as well from the game details menu, or with a hotkey or controller button via Options > Keyboard Mappings > View Achievements or Options > Controller Buttons > View Achievements.
New Feature: Community star ratings are now available in LaunchBox and will show as a slightly different color. You can download the community's star ratings for your games by using Tools > Download Metadata and Media.
New Feature: Star ratings set in LaunchBox will now automatically upload to the LaunchBox Games Database in order to contribute to the community's ratings. You can disable this under Tools > Options > Search.
New Feature: Two new options have been added to Tools > Options > Search: "Use Community Star Ratings when Filtering or Arranging by Star Rating" and "Minimum number of community ratings in order to use". These will allow you to specify whether or not you want to use the community star ratings when filtering and arranging your collection, and how many community votes are required before considering the value.
New Premium Feature: Star ratings are now available in Big Box! They will show up by default in the game details views, but can be disabled under Options > Game Details.
New Premium Feature: Star ratings can now be set in Big Box from either the game details menu or via a hotkey or controller button under Options > Keyboard Mappings > Set Star Rating or Options > Controller Buttons > Set Star Rating. An option is available to hide the Star Rating from the game details menu as well.
Improvement: Three new fields have been added to the LaunchBox list view: Star Rating, Community Star Rating, and Community Star Rating Count
Improvement: Removed the seldom-used game details popup, which was made mostly irrelevant by the game details sidebar back when we implemented it. It wasn't very usable with all of the added images and became completely horrendous with the achievements; there are also some performance improvements as a result.
Improvement: Syncing your collection to the cloud now reports progress and is much quicker; viewing your collection on the web is much quicker as well :)
Improvement: Star ratings can now be set at half values
Improvement: The included version of 7-Zip has been upgraded to the latest version (16.04)
Improvement: The end of the Download Metadata and Media process in LaunchBox has been optimized to be multi-threaded so that the interface does not appear to be locked up when finishing up the process
Improvement: When switching the global theme in the Big Box options, platform-specific and playlist-specific themes are now reset in order to reduce confusion
Improvement: There are two new Theme Settings for Big Box custom themes: Force16X9AspectRatio and Force4X3AspectRatio, which should hopefully resolve issues running certain themes on 16x10 monitors and similar situations
Fixed: Game titles are no longer overwritten when downloading metadata and images and a new LaunchBox Games Database ID is found
Fixed: Developers, genres, and other non-game text lists in Big Box had an occasional issue with the text index caused by The, A, and An
Fixed: Big Box marquee screen had some placement issues when using a smaller resolution on the main display than on the marquee display
Fixed: When using the Text with Game Details view in Big Box, the logo at the top of the list was sometimes not updating
Fixed: Viewing videos full screen from the Big Box game details menu was sometimes not showing the video
Fixed: After closing the Options window, the LaunchBox main window border was corrupted on some systems
Fixed: "Prioritize Music over Video Audio" in Big Box was not working on rare occasions and the video audio and music would both play at the same time
Fixed: On Big Box games text list views, the selection bar was sometimes missing when first loading up the view
Fixed: When switching themes per platform or playlist in Big Box, sometimes it was confusing and/or the theme was not saving due to invalid views for certain themes. The view is now reset to the default when switching themes for a particular platform or playlist.