Back in the early to mid 90’s (or, god forbid, the 80’s) the choice for peripherals for your PC was rather limited. You had your (few) well known brands (Logitech, Cherry, Microsoft) and then you had a whole slew of cheap brands which were always a massive gamble. Driver issues, spongy buttons, the cursor not moving the way it should, etc. … cheaping out on an unknown brand could cost you dearly … . But there was one brand you could always rely on. A brand that had a stellar reputation for making mice that were virtually indestructible: LOGITECH. It was the “upmarket” brand, costing more than others but what you got, was quality. It’s surely no surprise then that the mouse we recommend for all your MS DOS gaming is the Logitech MouseMan (3-button).
There was no better mouse pre-scroll wheel than the MouseMan. Moulded to fit the human hand, it was very comfortable to hold and the size helped prevent cramp from extended gaming sessions. In terms of accuracy this mouse is very satisfying to use considering it’s still a ball mouse. The only downside is the lack of a scroll wheel which makes this mouse less suitable for Windows 9X games that benefit from a wheel. This is why we mainly recommend it for MS DOS and Windows 3.1.
Besides quality hardware, you also received excellent drivers which let you configure your mouse speed inside of MS DOS along with many other options such as acceleration (a rarity at the time). The downside was that their drivers used more memory than the default Microsoft drivers so for older games which were hungry for every scrap of conventional memory, you were better off with MS DOS drivers (a boot menu is very handy here, I may write a tutorial on how to make those sometimes).
If you do have a retro PC and wish to do some solid DOS gaming and want to snap one of these up, it isn’t too hard to find one BUT be sure it’s the right model! Logitech used the MouseMan name for many years for various mice with wildly different shapes. The different MouseMan releases that had this same shape were released between 1994 and 1997. My version was the “MousePort” version but there’s quite a few different models & names including one called “Sensa” which features a wood-grain look (I bet LGR would salivate to get his hands on one of these!). They’re essentially all the exact same mouse and as far as I could tell, only the exterior looks different.
The originals can also be a little pricey depending on your luck but luckily Logitech rebranded these mice for Compaq and HP so if you see a black version on eBay: yes, it’s the EXACT same mouse, minus the Logitech branding. We will be reviewing more mice from the 90’s & early 2000’s in the near future so if you’re looking for something a little more modern with a scroll wheel, we’ll give our best picks soon!