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 can launch your 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.
LaunchBox looks great, is highly configurable yet also very easy to use.
What's new in 11.8 (see entire changelog for full history)?
- New Feature: OBS Studio integration has been added, which allows you to easily record videos and automatically assign them to your games; take a look under Tools > Options > Integrations > OBS Studio in LaunchBox
- New Feature: Multiple videos can now be associated with your games, and videos can now be categorized under four categories: Video Snap, Theme Video, Trailer, and Recording. These categories can also be prioritized (like images) under Tools > Options > Media > Video Priorities.
- New Feature: You can now take screenshots that will automatically be associated with your games; see Tools > Options > Screen Capture in LaunchBox or under Controller Mappings or Keyboard Automation in Big Box
- New Feature: The Clean Up Media process has a new option to scan images for rough matches. This can make the clean up media process take an extremely long time, but will save you loads of disk space in your collection, especially if you download media both from the LaunchBox Games Database and from EmuMovies. The process identifies duplicate images in your collection even if they are different sizes, faded, etc. The largest duplicate image is kept, and the rest are listed for deletion.
- New Feature: New options have been added to all download media and import processes to remove roughly-matched duplicate images, similar to the Clean Up Media addition above. This should reduce the need to run the Clean Up Media process, as unnecessary duplicate images will automatically be removed during imports and media downloads.
- New Feature: A new IGameConfiguringPlugin interface has been added that will allow plugin developers to tell when a game's configuration application is being launched, has launched, or has closed, just like IGameLaunchingPlugin
- Improvement: The game add/edit dialog has been completely overhauled to allow for future flexibility and fixes a number of usability issues with the previous version (such as the multi-select dropdowns)
- Improvement: GOG game install state changes will now auto-update for games installed via the GOG Galaxy client
- Fixed: When using All Games as your startup view in Big Box, sometimes the alphanumeric index was not populating correctly
- Fixed: Corrected an issue with the pause key bindings that may be causing them to fail
- Fixed: The Play Mode filter in LaunchBox was not working properly when multiple play modes were selected