Image: Damien McFerran / Time Extension

If you're old enough to have lived through the early '90s, then chances are you'll recall the first time you played DOOM. Heck, the game was so famous at the time it even scored a mention on the American sitcom Friends – a sure sign of global superstardom, and no mistake.

What makes DOOM's success all the more remarkable is that when it was originally released, it wasn't sold through typical retail channels. Developer id Software instead distributed the game as 'shareware'; a common delivery mechanism in those days, shareware was built around the idea of giving away a portion of a game for free and then allowing the buyer to unlock the full version via a payment made directly to the developer.

As a result, there are many, many copies of DOOM on the market which are branded differently, as anyone could package it up and distribute the shareware version. You can see one such copy in the photos of this week's CIBSunday; purchased from an independent video game retailer in a sleepy English village in the early '90s, this is typical of DOOM packaging from the era.

DOOM would, of course, grow into a 'proper' retail release and would eventually find its way to practically every home system of the period, including the PlayStation, Saturn, Jaguar, 3DO and even SNES – but there's something truly magical about these early shareware releases.