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 13.6 (see entire changelog for full history)?
- New Feature: Retro achievements, Steam achievements, and GOG achievements now support badges, on-the-fly filters, and auto-populate playlists (scanning your games via Tools > Achievements is mandatory for this functionality to work properly)
- New Feature: Achievements scanning has been added to the Tools menu as well as the Retro Achievements, Steam, and GOG integrations sections under the LaunchBox options
- New Feature: Over 240 brand new icons have been commissioned and are instantly available in the LaunchBox sidebar (voted #3 in the last community poll); they are available immediately in the default theme, and can be easily added to custom themes. Premium users can also customize these icons to their liking by adding their own images to the LaunchBox\Images\Platform Icons folder.
- Improvement: The hash value of your ROM is now used to determine whether a game supports retro achievements functionality, which fixes all of the previous game matching issues
- Improvement: The Box - Spine image type is now available in the Audit window
- Improvement: The Origin import has been replaced with an EA import and now works with the new EA App
- Improvement: Steam's last played date and achievement availability info now updates on LaunchBox startup
- Improvement: LaunchBox now downloads your play time and last played date information for GOG games
- Fixed: Flip boxes functionality was not always working properly when 3D Models were turned off in Big Box
- Fixed: Very rarely, some Steam games were mixing achievements from multiple different games
- Fixed: The Big Box clock was not updating its value in some views for some users
- Fixed: Multiple instances of MAME could potentially open due to the emulator's default running script
- Fixed: In the Add/Edit Playlist window, pressing the Games tab in certain situations would take a considerable amount of time to load the games in an auto-populate playlist
- Fixed: Custom-named platforms would not get placed in Platform Categories if missing a Scrape As value