The player controls a barbarian called Hegor who must make his way through a number of dungeons and underground lairs. The goal of the game is to defeat Necron an evil sorcerer and also the brother of Hegor.
Barbarian was first developed for the Atari ST and released in 1987, along with the Amiga version. The game was also ported and released on Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, MSX and PC (DOS) in 1988.
The box cover artwork was done by popular fantasy artist, Roger Dean. He also designed both the Barbarian and Psygnosis logos.
The game is a third person platformer and uses a rather unique control system. Pushing left and right on the joystick moves Hegor. Pressing 'fire' brings up the command menu at the bottom of the screen. Using up and down scrolls through the commands and once a command is highlighted, pressing 'fire' will perform that action. This control system eliminated the need for extra buttons to play.