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.
New features in 7.8 include (see entire changelog for full history):
- New Premium Feature: Playlists are now available with a ton of new options! They can also be displayed next to your platforms in LaunchBox and Big Box.
- New Premium Feature: Custom filters have now been replaced with auto-populating playlists, which are much more flexible and more performant!
- New Premium Feature: Playlists can now optionally created on imports to divide up Arcade platforms into various subdivisions such as Capcom Classics, Namco Classics, etc. These playlists can also be created after the fact using Tools > Create Missing Arcade/MAME Playlists.