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?
Limited to 1000 units, numbered with sticker of authenticity (sold out)
Physique price: Price to obtain a physical copy (on CD, floppy, etc..)
Digital price Price for the downloadable version.
Demo version: Is a free demo available?
Source code: Is the source code available? (with or without purchase)
Volume: How much were produced and/or sold?
RATillery RATillery is a simple artillery game inspired by gorillas, but written to run even on early PCs. In RATillery, two fireball-throwing rats fight atop stacks of crates in a warehouse. I created and posted this game as freeware in 2016.
With Côté Gamers (a French publisher) we decided to create a physical edition of the game. In order to add something new, I made several improvements, including
support for VGA 320x200 256 colors and VGA 640x480 16 colors, support for Adlib and Tandy sound, a practise mode and a much stronger AI opponent...
A Kickstarter campaign was first attempted for a Physical edition with box, high quality instruction manual, post cards, etc in April 2019. Unfortunately, it was not kickstarted.
But now in February 2020, Coté Gamers is offering a budget edition (Box, game on floppy and post cards only). The game may be ordered right now! Visit the
Côté Gamers product page for more information.
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.
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
Music & Software section
of his website.
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
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.
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