Retro DOS Puzzle

Vanish5+ is a small DOS VGA puzzle game. Many years ago, I wrote an implementation of this game in C++, this is a port of that implementation to a newer iteration of my own custom language and runtime (previously seen in You Be At Orbit).

It features PCM sound effects (Sound Blaster compatible) and plays MIDI music in the background using OPL-2. Visuals are done in 320x240 256-color "Mode X" with a 6x6x6 fixed palette + 40 custom mapped palette entries for the in-game elements. The game is controllable via mouse (recommended), but it's possible to use it purely with a keyboard (cursor keys / Enter) as well.

See also: Release announcement

Gameplay Preview


The game is available over at

System Requirements

How To Play

Select the difficulty in the main menu to start the game.

The difficulty selects how many colors appear in the game:

Use the cursor keys to move the cursor to a colored cell and press Enter or Space to select the cell, then use the cursor keys to select a free (and reachable) cell to move the selected cell to. It has to be reachable from the current cell position (up/down/left/right) -- reachable cells are highlighted with a small square once a cell is selected.

With the mouse, you can just point'n'click to select the source and target cell.

The goal is to create horizontal, vertical or diagonal lines of cells of the same color, at least 5, but if you plan your moves, you can create a line of 9 cells.

A cell can be part of multiple lines when eliminating.

Longer lines bring more points than shorter lines. If you eliminate a line after a move, nothing happens. If you just move a cell and no line is eliminated, 3 new cells appear in random colors on the field. The game is over when the board is filled with colored cells and no free cell remains.

Game Concept

An Internet search tells me that the original game was a DOS game called "Color Lines" in 1992, invented by Oleg Demin. The DE Wikipedia has some details about the game's history:

Artwork Credits

Artwork (GFX, SFX, Music) used in the game based on content from:

Thomas Perl · 2023-12-29