Cyningstan DOS Games

Games for Early PCs

Barren Planet is Released!

A battle in full flow in Barren Planet
A battle in full flow in Barren Planet

Sunday, 23rd April 2023

Today Cyningstan released Barren Planet, a turn-based strategy game for the IBM PC. Available for download from the Cyningstan web site and from Itch, the game is a battle over a mineral-rich mining planet between two profit-hungry interstellar corporations, each with its own private military.

This latest game in Cyningstan's series of new games for old hardware is designed to run on the original IBM PC from 1981. It supports the original 4.77 MHz 8088 processor, and requires only four-colour CGA graphics. It is compact enough to run from a 360k floppy disk. It will of course work on DOSBox.

The game is provided with a one or two-player campaign called First Landing, telling the story of the two corporations' first landing on the planet. The whole campaign lasts between seven and ten battles before one side comes out victorious, out of sixteen possible battles. So players might see different battles on subsequent play-throughs. There is also support for future expansion through DLC.

Barren Planet features 4-colour CGA graphics with a choice of three palettes: an attractive red palette that suits the theme, nostalgic cyan and magenta, or high resolution CGA monochrome. There is music and sound effects using the PC speaker. Control is by keyboard only, but the whole game requires only four directions and fire controls, making it suitable for mobile play under emulation.

There is no charge for the game, although donations are gratefully accepted. It can be downloaded from the Barren Planet page on the Cyningstan website or from Itch, and people are encouraged to distribute it to other suitable download sites.

Cyningstan is a one-man developer specialising in games that run on the original IBM PC. Barren Planet is their fourth full game to run on this specification. Also available are Ossuary, The Anarchic Kingdom and Team Droid.

Barren Planet

Size 122kb, downloads 348.

This download requires DOSBox to run. The zip file has all the game files tidily stored in the barren  folder. Extract the contents of the ZIP to wherever you put your DOS games and have fun! A read of the manual would be beneficial for this game if you want to know what you're doing. (read more...)

Barren Planet manual

Download: barren.pdf
Size 3397kb, downloads 340.

Here's a PDF manual for Barren Planet. It's worth reading if you want to know what you're doing when you first run the game. It includes a full tutorial to get you started. The reference sections at the end tell you what you need to know about all the units and terrain in the game. (read more...)


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