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Recent releases of commercial DOS games

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Introduction and overview

Over the last few years, I have been following the development of new DOS games. Yes, even in 2018 several new games were released. And some of them are even sold and available in elaborate boxed versions!

What is the motivation behind this return to physical distribution? Nice physical editions for homebrew console games have existed for years and have become quite common. While it is partly due to the need for electronic components, the pleasure of recreating or reliving what would have been the experience in the good old days certainly plays a large part in it, and physical distribution of DOS games most certainly provides a nostalgic experience. I mean, you can actually put the box on a shelf! How cool is that? ;-P

Ok, so what does all this mean? Well, that publishing a DOS game (and selling more than 0) in 2019 is possible!

But what are the rules of the "game"? What must be included to get a measurable success? What kind of price is deemed reasonable, or even typical? How successful (in terms of sold units) were those who did commercial releases?

The intent of this page is to attempt to answer those questions and provide an overview of what exists.

Your help please! What games did I forget? In particular, are there DOS game projects that failed to take off on kickstarter or just did not sell?

TitleTypePhysical priceDigital priceDemo versionSource codeVolumeDated
Planet X-3 Kickstarter $20 (Manuel + Disk)
$35 (Manual, Box, Soundtrack on cassette)
$40 (The above, autographed)
$60-$500 (other options)
$10 None No 2548 backers 2018
Lizard Independant $18 (Disk + Instruction card)
note: ($25 CAD)
10$ Yes Yes 43/50 sold on eBay (according to listing) 2018
Linux Tycoon 2 Independant Unknown (sales suspended) Unavailable? No Yes (GPL) ? 2018
Shenzhen Solitaire for MS-DOS Kickstarter $10 (3.5" floppy with source, signed) Unavailable? None Yes 293 backers on Kickstarter 2017
Retro City Rampage (486) Independant 39.99$ (Box, disk, 24 page manual, Cloth map, Decoder glasses, steam key) 9.99 (+ Wii version) None No Limited to 1000 units, numbered with sticker of authenticity
(sold out)
2015
Definitions:

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Planet X-3

Quite a complex game, but designed to work even on very old hardware, which means this is a very attractive game for anyone who enjoys retro-gaming on real hardware.

It supports several video modes, such as CGA monochrome (640x200), CGA RGBI (320x200, 4 colors), CGA-Composite (160x200, 16 colors), Tandy (160x120, 16 colors), and MCGA/VGA (320x200, 256 colors). It also sounds great through the SN76489 (3-channel sound chip used by Tandy) and the OPL2 (Adlib).

The Kickstarter campaign for this game was a big success, have a look to the updates and to the author's videos to learn more about this game.

Planet X-3

Planet X-3

Box

Box

Box

Box



While the Lite edition is the disk and printed manual, without a box, the Standard edition comes in a nice box and also contains a tape cassette of the soundtrack!

Il will probably take a few weeks until all backers receive their copies. If you missed the campaign, perhaps at some point the game will be available from his creator in the Music & Software section of his website.

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Lizard

This is a DOS port of a NES games, for which a cartridge version had been successfully kickstarted in 2014.

Lizard

Lizard

Physical edition

Physical edition

Physical edition

Physical edition



The physical edition is simply the disk accompanied by an instruction sheet. It appears to have been limited to 50 units (Some may still be available. See the eBay listing)

A free demo is available, and a download version of the game is also sold.

Homepage: http://lizardnes.com/

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Retro City Rampage

This is the DOS version of Retro City Rampage (a game available on a lot of other platforms) edited in 2015, limited to 1000 units.

Retro City Rampage

Retro City Rampage

Retro City Rampage

Retro City Rampage



Only one physical version was available (but the color of the floppy disk could be chosen) and was full of goodies: A retail box, a 24 page manual, a floppy disk, a cloth map, decoder glasses, a steam key for other versions of the game...)

The DOS version can still be downloaded by buying the Wii version of the game.

Here's an article about the development of the game: How 5 years of burning ambition brought Retro City Rampage to DOS

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Shenzhen Solitaire

Shenzhen Solitaire is a DOS version of the solitaire game from Shenzhen I/O. A simple Kickstarter campaign took place in 2017 and attracted 297 backers.


Shenzhen Solitaire

Shenzhen Solitaire

Shenzhen Solitaire

Shenzhen Solitaire



According to the Kickstarter page, the physical edition is minimalist: A signed 3.5" floppy disk with the game and its source code. But in fact, there was also a small box (of a size similar to a pack of cards, quite appropriate!) and some buyers received a special extra: A Shenzhen I/O badge!

The game has not been reedited since, but it was updated in April 2018 to support Soundblaster cards!

Gamasutra has a making-of article: How (and why) we ported SHENZHEN SOLITAIRE to MS-DOS

Here is an interesting review of the game: Shenzhen Solitaire - A Review of 2017's New Commercial DOS Game


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Linux Tycoon 2

Linux Tycoon 2 is a Linux Distribution Simulation and Management game. According to its webpage, orders are on hold right now and there is no pricing. Also, there are no pictures of the boxed edition.

The game works in text mode and is also available for Linux, Windows, MacOS X, Mac OS (68k) and Commodore 64.

Linux Tycoon 2

Linux Tycoon 2

Linux Tycoon 2

Linux Tycoon 2


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