The start of a fresh year brings in many things. I was hopeful after a number of people contacted me that one of those new people would be a staff writer. I received a number of people who claimed they wanted to write for Commodore Free, and after a number of emails and to-ing and fro-ing , as to what to write and the format etc, I became excited that the magazine had moved up a level. Sadly as the emails slowly dwindled down to 2 people my hopes became dashed, I guess some people underestimate the amount of work required in even just a simple article, the research and time needed to devote to such articles can quickly catch up time on the writer. Then the emails stopped, it not unusual, this happens every few months, however with the large number of volunteers I was sort of hoping at least one would be genuine.
So at the start of the New Year, its back to my good self as the emails have dried up. I used to keep chasing people and geeing them on, however this takes more time from me writing and editing, so I just put it down to one of those things that happens and guessed they have lost momentum or steam, after there generous efforts. Still, enough about “these guys” and more about this issue......
The usual news from around the globe, a book review, and we then have a review of the splendid Donkey Kong Junior on the Commodore 64. The Cover Tape also makes a short lived comeback and then fades with this issue. Leonard Roach comments on one of his programs, we have some Vic games to review and another Alf Yngve and Richard Bayliss game that looks quite classy. So that’s about all I would like to say and I will leave you with the following:
Volunteers are always welcome! Contact me for more information.
I would like some help with Amiga Games reviews. The 8-bit games I have mostly covered on my own, Should you feel compelled to write contact me for more information and we can work something out. Remember it will take a great deal of your time so please think carefully before you volunteer.
I would like to continue the E-tape and have decided after being contacted that I will take any form of program not just in TAP format, so 8-bit guys... that means D64 or PRG files are welcome. Remember, the game must be your own; exclusives are most welcome and try to throw together some instructions. I note that Vic users never sent any programs for inclusion in the magazine. Well, to be fair, neither did plus 4 or Pet users so c'mon guys – letss have those submissions.
Thanks to my usual Crew of helpers (listed in the rear of the publication) and for your time in helping out.
With the start of the New Year and another later-than-normal issue I would like to close by shutting up and letting you continue with the magazine
Commodore Free Magazine
Tape loader source by Martin Piper
Once again, here's yet another cover tape for you. The bad news is that this issue's cover tape will be the final cover tape that I (Richard Bayliss) will compile for the time-being. Reason being; that it has been really difficult finding Public Domain content of good quality. Not only this, we hardly had any submissions for future cover tapes. Therefore I have decided to call it a day in compiling the tapes. However, there's some pretty good PD games for you in this issue to relax and enjoy. As promised, no SEUCK games. We do hope you will like these fun games.
Okay, hands up! Who remembers “Encounter” by Novagen? Anyone?
Good. Hell Racer is a tribute to the classic game, and it is a Hell Race.
WELCOME TO HELL RACER. A catchy and action-packed hunt in 3 different atmospheres during night and day. Before you start your engines and blast away, you should know the following basic procedures.
Steering of your hover bike can simply be done by using a joystick, plugged into port 2. You can move left or right, and also accelerate using forwards. Pulling back will decelerate and act as a brake. It is worthwhile to start the game in practice/trainer mode before you consider to go for the ultimate Hell Race.
The aim of this game is to control your bike through each course during the day time and also during the night time. Unfortunately your race won't the all that easy as this is no ordinary race. It is a futuristic violent race. Therefore you will be facing fearsome competitors. Luckily your bike is armed with a laser cannon. Should you spot any of the fearsome competitors, you can shoot them off their bikes. In order to complete a level, you have to shoot all of the competitors. You had better watch out though. Should a competitor hit you, you'll lose a life. Watch out for the ultra-high poles. Should you crash, a life will be lost. Lose all lives and the game is over.
(C)1998 Super High Invented Technologies
|Music||GRG, Geir Tjelta, Kristian Roston|
Did you enjoy 5x5 last issue? Well, from the same creators of the fun word game comes this fun puzzle game called 'Needle in the Haystack'. Written by Didi/Laxity. The concept is very simple and there's not a major plot to this fun game. It features some wonderful music by the composers of a C64 music composing group called Blues Music. The music gives a nice atmosphere to it.
On to the game instructions. The idea of Needle in the Haystack is simple. You are presented with a board with various mini squares in a grid. Your task is to move the cursor around the grid, to match a pattern which is displayed on the right, above the status panel. You will have a certain amount of time to do exactly that. Should you manage to complete your task within the time limit, you will be moved on to the next level, where a new pattern will show, and you'll have less time to find it. Should time run out before you match the pattern inside the grid the game will be lost. Bonus point will be rewarded according to the remaining time that is left on the board.
Vault Man is a fun platform game, inspired by the classic Lode Runner and Jumpman Junior games. However with a small screen and a very puzzling feel to the game.
The idea of this game is to run around the game screen. Climb up and down ladders and collect gold. Then drop it in to the door. Only 3 bars of gold can be carried at a time. This is due to the weight of the bars. Press fire when on any switches to open or close gates.
Watch out for various hazards. Should you hit a hazard or they hit you, you'll get stunned. The same thing will happen if you fall from a great height. You will have a certain time limit to complete each level. Should the time run out the game will end.
(C)2011 Steven Flanagan
To end the games front for this final cover tape. We have a fun FREESCAPE game, written by Steven Flanagan, who runs the 3D Construction Kit web site at http://www.3dconstructionkit.co.uk/. This game is quite a stunner, which gave me the privilege to compose some music specially for this game.
The Devil has invaded your coastal village, and has captured the population of your village. One hero lies in his way: YOU. You are the chosen one to put an end to the darkness. As a priest – alone – you must search and defeat the evil devil and rescue your people. You will start from the main road which leads all the way down to your village – but you cannot get there.
This game requires a lot of skill and patience. There's a few puzzles to solve, should you need to get far. Various obstacles will be in your way, and you must watch your step. Falling from such a great height will not do you any good.
Use a Joystick in Port 2 to guide yourself through the Freescape atmosphere. Up will move you forwards, and Down will move you backwards. Left/Right will allow you to turn around the atmosphere of each room. Pressing fire will allow you to shoot at certain objects (some of which may need quick fire). Pressing spacebar will activate/deactivate shooting mode.
Use joystick directions to move your cross-hair around the screen. Press FIRE to shoot at objects. Pressing space bar once again will restore you back to walking mode.
Can you defeat the Devil and retain the people from your village, or will your Village be completely empty and feel the Demon's wrath? Good luck, you'll need it.
Since this E-Tape is going to be one of the last, there will be no cover tape next issue – unless you all can help. If you have a game, demo, utility or music box you'd like to show to the C64 world for the Commodore Free magazine, then please email your submissions to richardbayliss.c64@--gmail--.com (remove --). I'll take a look at your stuff. If it's worthy of a release, then your program could reach Commodore Free in time for an upcoming issue.
Hope you have enjoyed this feature, and keep on supporting Commodore Free, so that we can keep this feature alive.
SEE YOU NEXT TIME :)
Anyone who missed last year's World of Commodore Show will be please to learn there are a couple of blogs/picture websites set up for people just like you and me who couldn’t make the show. To read all about it and gasp at the pictures:
Steve Gray is working on a new project called the BX720D. Commodore announced it would release a BX-256-80 or BX-700 machine in 1983. However, fate intervened and ultimately the machine was never released.
The specifications are:
CBM-II 710 computer 8250LP disk drives, 8088 coprocessor board
Yes it’s true, a company goes to the desert and uncovers hundreds of ET cartridges! The games were part of a cache of some 800 Atari video games buried more than 30 years ago in a landfill, and dug up in April 2014, and then sold on eBay.
TOSEC is updated.
The Old School Emulation Centre is a group who are preserving games or other programs for the home computer and game consoles.
In this update: 8 new, 131 updated, and 7 deleted.
The KIM Uno is a small "open-source hardware" project to build a replica of the classic 1976 KIM-1 computer. It doubles as a 6502 programmable calculator. It costs about $10 in commonly available parts (board & parts without case or power supply), but provides a faithful KIM-1 'experience'. An atMega328 (Arduino Pro Mini, actually) mounted on the back of the board contains all the logic and memory.
Think you’re a Commodore Geek and know all? Then test yourself to see if you know everything about the legendary computer brand.
RIP Ralph Baer: the Father of the games console dies aged 92. The world would have looked very different without him and his work.
For more information, check out the article from The Register.
The site and article states:
“Few modern gamers know of Baer, but all owe him a debt of gratitude for ushering in the first generation of home systems in the 1970s and helping to inspire the arcade and home console explosions in subsequent decades.
Baer in the early 1970s built the Magnavox Odyssey, considered to be the first commercial home games console, and would later create the wildly popular 1980s memory game Simon.”
Jani was making backups of old turbo-tapes to disk and noticed that the quality was very poor on some tapes. He had a LOAD-IT datasette with a signal meter. Problem with it was that you could turn the knob (head alignment) 45 degrees and still have same two (lousy) bars on the meter. There was a need for something more accurate when adjusting the alignment to get the best signal while reading the tapes.
His solution was to implement an analogue VU-Meter to show the signal strength.
Martin Maly has created an online development website/ tool for retro computers.
The features are: Code editor, Simulated workspace for your files, Compiling engines for 8080/8085, Z80, 6502, 6800 and 6809 CPU. Embedded emulators for all these CPUs and emulators for PMI-80, PMD-85, JPR-1, ZX Spectrum, KIM-1 and the Grant Searle Single Board computers.
GeekTunes is a great music player with safety in mind. It has been designed for use in the car with big, easy-to-use buttons, so you can keep your hands on the wheel more while driving.
The Android version will play MP3 files wherever you put/find them on your phone or tablet, iOS version will play tunes in your iPhone/iPod media library. In addition it will play...
The iOS app supports remote control - great for a true hands-free experience.
The app also comes with advanced features for searching for tunes and a super easy drill-down feature which will allow you to navigate to your favourite artist or album using big safe buttons with ease.
The app also supports playlists which you can create yourself, and randomisation of playlists. Internet radio support will also allow you to mark which tunes you like and you can email yourself a list of your favourite tunes whenever you want to.
Upload files onto the iOS app using iTunes or FTP client software, or copy them anywhere onto your Android device and then scan for them.
Many more features, and many more to come!
Mastertronic Chronicles is a blog about the witch finder Mastertronic games for the Commodore C64. The most recent reviews are: Kentilla (1986), Fist II: The Legend Continues (1989), Kickstart 2 (1987), Hacker II: The Doomsday Papers (1989), Kane 2 (1988), Dan Dare II (1989) Spacewalk (1984) and UCM: Ultimate Combat Mission (1988)
The website Codetapper has an interview with Ricardo Puerto who programmed the Amiga game Risky Woods for Dinamic back in 1992. From a technical viewpoint, the game is fondly remembered for the amazing sprite trick that was used to create a smooth scrolling 16 colour parallax layer behind the action. Probably the first commercial Amiga game to use this particular technique...
Sir Clive Sinclair has launched a new crowdfunding project to fund the Sinclair Spectrum Vega. It is 32 years after the first ZX Spectrum rolled out. However, rather than this being a new platform it is simply a retro-gaming computer system which runs and is preloaded with 1,000 classic Spectrum games. It also seems to be lacking in the keyboard department by quite an alarming amount.
From: Joseph Rose
Subject: Cc65 Optimizations
Hi! Joseph Rose, a.k.a. Harry Potter, again. I am asking you to advertise my cc65 optimizations for me. They are at http://sourceforge.net/projects/cc65extra/files.
COMMODORE FREE: Job done!
Want to see how that game you played for years ends? Then you need the web page c64endings.co.uk, which has some new game endings of Commodore C64 games. The new ones are: Autotest (Daisy Soft / Byte Back), Arachne (Tony Espeset) Black Night (Accola) Bionic Commando (US) (Capcom), Blood Brothers (Gremlin Graphics), Better Dead Than Alien (Electra Software ), Bell Ringer 3 (G. Straume, S. Connolly) Bushido (Firebird), BAT (Ubisoft) and Moving Target (Players Premier).
This is the 16KB cartridge version of the game Honey Bee. In this arcade adventure you are the Honey Bee, and you have to fly to 16 different areas to collect pollen. The game was developed by Richard Bayliss, with graphics from Wayne Womersley (Sprites), and Steven Day (Graphic) and Richard Bayliss (Character) and the music is by Joachim Wijnhoven
Kick Assembler has received another update. Recent changes are: Additional config files are now possible. Improvements for the "==" and "! =" Operators with Boolean values. Import Enhancements for binary and text files. Added: Addall, uget the "+ =" and "- =" operators.
Roy Fielding has created a new game for the Commodore C64. In this game you must guide your paper plane through the hazards. You can use left / right to steer and adjust your speed. The music from the game was created by Timo Taipalus.
The group Oxyron has released Bitfire. It’s as the readme file says:
A fixed interleave loadersystem with depacker and an image writing tool. Aim was to make the loader as fast as possible while being as tiny as possible. So at some points size and speed had to be traded against each other. An own, however d64-compatible (bam copy is sufficient), file format is introduced to make the code less complex and loading faster. Also, functions that are not used regularly (like turn disk detection) are available as statically linkable functions and thus make the resident part on c64 side even smaller. Being that tiny ($99 to $200 bytes, depending on configuration) and still fast makes it perfect for being used in demos. The imaging-tool creates diskimages with all demofiles and a dirart on it. Also, it is accompanied by an lz-packer based on doynamite, however smaller in code and a bit faster than that, while yielding nearly the same results.
Afterlife have released issue 10 of their disk magazine containing:
alwyz rants`/ spreaddisk / habitat on wired.com /phreaky times / hardware news / memory xfer 101 / back page
Reset is an English pdf magazine for the Commodore C64 user.
This edition contains amongst other items:
Editorial, Reviews: Soulless, The Adventures of Scooby Doo and Leisure Suit Leo II. They Were our Gods, Paper Plane, News, Return of the King, From Bedrooms to Billions, C64: A Visual Compendium, C64 Power Supply.
In this episode Scene World say “Cinemaware is back! AJ and Joerg talk to Matt Falcus and Sven Vößing from Cinemaware, who have taken their classic games to entirely new levels.”
PlayIt64 is a tool to generate an executable .PRG file from a .SID file. First the PSID header is analysed to get information needed to build an interrupt player routine and displaying some data on the screen. Then the header is cut off and the tune data relocated to $0EB0 in order to achieve reasonably small files, 6 or 7 blocks larger than music data. PlayIt is meant for PAL systems only and adjusts NTSC tunes to the right speed.
Anthony Stiller has a new action game for the Commodore C64. The game Sopwiths and Pterrordons is made with Shoot'Em Up Construction Kit (SEUCK) and is based on the 1942 and 1943 games, but in prehistoric times. In the game you are a pilot and you have to shoot the flying dinosaurs.
|Created with||Sideways S.E.U.C.K|
|Tape Loader||S-Load by Daniel Kahlin|
|Loader Music||Richard Bayliss|
You are a pilot who was going to land safely to see your family. Unfortunately, your airport has been invaded by illegal smugglers. Your mission is to clear the airways by blasting out the enemy planes, so you can return back to your base and make a safe landing. Good luck pilot.
Stewart Wilson Subchrist Software has released a new version of Sprite Pad. Sprite pad is a Windows program
Jasmin68k has released a new version of D71 Ultimate. With this software you can write to a real 1571 disk drive using a C64 cartridge and Ultimate. D71 disk images
Changes in this version:
GOS is an Operating System - BASIC Extension hybrid written for Commodore 64 computers between 1992 and 1995.
GOS features a disk cache, readahead disk buffer, memory manager, memory compression, mouse support, BASIC variable transfer, linking BASIC files and external commands loaded from diskette.
Thanks to its disk cache and track buffer, the external commands are as fast as the internal commands.
The web page c64games.de has been updated.
You find now totally 6257 programs. .
Recent additions are Anabasis, Auf Achse, Blazing Castles, Bowman (Loadstar), Bunker (Sintax 1986), Colorout (Run), Gem Quest Preview, Go-Kart Simulator, King Solomons Mines, Laberinto (Sputnik World), Linnan Valtaus, Looter, Lunar Blitz RX, Melting Trail, Mini Arcade Climax, Moonspire Preview, Old Sam - The Bridgebuilder, P0Snake, Paper Plane, Penultimate Fantasy, Pixel City Skater, Power Pyramids, Tai Chi Tortoise and monopoly online .
Ilker Fiçicilar developed GOS in the nineties. GOS is an Operating System and BASIC extensions for the Commodore 64. Features include: disk cache, read-ahead disk buffer, memory manager, memory compression, mouse support, BASIC variable transfer, linking BASIC files and external commands loaded from diskette. After 19 years Ilker found his original diskettes and they are now available again.
LSR 64 is a system that makes it possible to control a laser with your Commodore C64. The hardware is from ViTi and the software was developed by Hermit. The laser system reached the number one place in the Wild Demo Competition at the Arok Party (2014).
Information from the YouTube website
Laser show with commodore 64 (c64). Released this project at an 8-bit computer demoscene meeting at Arok Party in Ajkarendek, Hungary, on 19 July 2014. Its final version. Credits: idea, hw (laser dac), system code, show code by Viti, additional code, song system, great song (called 'Flash It Back') by Hermit of Samar Productions, SIDrip Alliance, Singular Crew.
A YouTube video is available here
Tony is working on a new device to play TAP files on your Commodore 64 you can choose from a special menu the desired TAP the devices should cost about 30 USD.
* Small, it uses a right angle 6pin edge connector, so around half of the PCB is inside c64 case.
* no buttons to press, you invoke a playlist-down-load by: shift+run/stop..... run/stop....shift+run/stop. The device detects that motor-signal goes on/off/on. (The device always pulls SENSEn low)
* The playlist is all the TAP files available on the SD card, it's downloaded as a BASIC Program, so you type LIST to see it.
1 sys 856 " Monty 2 sys 856 " game2
You select the tape to "insert" by typing RUN 2 (for example.) The assembler routine (in cassette buffer) then check current-basic-line at 0x39 and turns the Sense pin around as output and send 16bit value that the TAP adapter picks up as the selection you want, then a regular LOAD command is started.
* SAVE command will work.
* Cassette pass-trough.
* Record TAP file to SD card from the pass-through connection
Read more on the lemon forum
Hi65 is a "high-level" Commodore 65 BASIC 10 emulator. The emulator can run programs written for the machine in BASIC.
* Incorporated Ingo Berg's MuParser routines into Hi65. They form an open source evaluator of mathematical expressions, that enables Hi65 to evaluate and calculate expressions (e.g. for variable assigns) with an even higher complexity than what a physical Commodore 65 could do. However, they are disabled by default in Hi65 for speed reasons (the native Hi65 expression evaluator is limited to expressions with at most one operator, but is over 275 times faster to evaluate them). The MuParser routines can be toggled on or off with the Hi65cfg utility, from the Hi65 Edit and Launch Tool, or directly from Hi65 with a pseudocommand (see below).
* Implemented a BASIC 10 pseudocommand to enable, disable or verify the status of MuParser within Hi65. The syntax is: MUPARSER 0 to disable it, MUPARSER 1 to enable it, and just MUPARSER to display a message telling you whether it's currently on or off. It works either from the command line or from within a BASIC 10 program.
* Added 36 new error messages that do not appear in the physical Commodore 65, that are triggered whenever MuParser fails to evaluate an expression for some reason. This does not affect compatibility and makes debugging programs easier because they are more specific than a generic "SYNTAX ERROR" could ever be.
The Commodore 65 is an unreleased computer from Commodore featuring 256-color graphics, a 3.54 MHz processor and a maximum of 8 MB of RAM.
Timo Voutilainen has developed a Real Time Clock (RTC) module for the Commodore C64. The RTC holds the Current time and date available to a computer, there is also a program to set the time and date, and there is a driver available for GEOS.
Top ten comic book games
In this latest episode Paul Monaghan and Phil Hockaday from the team don their capes and spandex to discuss what they feel are the best games based on comic books.
As well as this Paul has a chat with Adam from Retro Collect who is hosting the second Video Games Market in Leeds on 7th Feb, more details can be found at http://events.retrocollect.com/
Check out our Official Retro Asylum YouTube channel for more retro discussion
Project 64 will collect all the documentation for the Commodore C64 and keep it alive. The project has moved to GitHub where users can add documents and alterations, the more people that participate in Project 64 the better.
Norber Kehrer has four calculator emulators for the Commodore 64 and Atari 800XL. The Calculator emulator models cover the Hewlett Packard -35, HP-45, HP-55 and HP-80 from the 70s.
Wiebo de Wit has created a retro blog, but the latest posts are all about the ultimate 1541 II hardware adaptor for the Commodore 64, with a look at what machines the device supports, How to use various functions on the device and more
And while on the subject of the 1541 there has been a firmware update. The Changes in this version are: Ability to write a .tap file to a real tape. Support for the new Flash chip (revision D). Improvements to the configuration screen (USB module).
A hardware re creation of the commodore 64 using a real SID chip and with a small LCD touch panel screen attached, this is from the website
More information and an amazing video can we found here:
If you are tired of playing the original version of Boulder Dash, but love the game genre then help is definitely at hand for you. There are people who have created new versions of Boulder Dash. One such person is Firefox, who has just released his latest version, and it’s available from here:
And read more on the lemon forum here:
Text pulled and truncated from various emails, but I thought you may find reading them interested, especially if you want to print to laser printer from GEOS, Also a number of readers wanted to buy Dales laser lovers disk set but I wasn’t able to contact him or pass on any information for him as he has apparently left the “scene” Dale did some amazing work and pestered Maurice to update Geos and add further options to print to colour laser printers
Dale used to sell what was called the “Laser Lovers Disk collection”. The collection is two D81 files plus PDF documentation, the files can be downloaded for free now from Shadow's webpage at:
The geoSpecific CD has the "Antigrav" articles:
And issue 32 of Commodore Free (near the bottom of the contents):
Finally the brilliant Cassiopei device now supports the VIC-20 with a memory expansion. For more information head over to the website
The Cassiopei, is a cassette port based device. It can load PRG files 50 times faster then the standard tape protocol and more importantly it can work on all 8-bit cassette port equipped Commodore computers. You plug it in, type LOAD on your CBM and press the menu button. The menu is loaded and shows you all available programs on the device, simply choose one from that menu and it starts automatically, very easy. No fast forward, rewind or those annoying load errors.
The device has 8MByte of internal flash memory to which you can add .PRG files or .TAP files. It does not support .D64 and does not emulate a disk drive.
This is a German disk magazine (d64) and contains the following articles: Tips and Tricks, Computer Spaß, Hardware, Calendar, Scene, Temple of Terror, Voidrunner, Diam, Skateboarding, Whitch, Total Eclipse, SVS-Calc 2.0 and other systems.
SVS-calc has recently been updated. New in this version of the update are: Password for files. Export function for PlusGraph files. New horizontal 3D graphs. Improvements for the Symbolic Names. Faster video output by using faster machine language routines.
Oricutron (formerly known as Oriculator) is an Oric computer emulator, and is available for AmigaOS 4, MorphOS, Mac OS and Windows. Changes in this version are: Improvements to the memory access and automatically start Jasmin diskettes. Added a virtual on-screen keyboard and the remapping of the keys. And a 6551 ACIA serial port emulation, including a virtual modem over TCP / IP.
A USB HID adaptor. The devices features: Support for USB mice, joysticks and pads, Compatible with any Amiga, Internal USB stack, Boot loader for firmware updates, status LED, and a 16-bit micro-controller. On the web page is available a list of tested devices.
Rob Cranley has released an updated version of his game called Atoms-X. The game is based on the classic public domain game. Atoms is a strategy and action board game. Changes in this version are: There are some key features added, the manual is updated, the code has been improved, and there are some minor bug fixes.
A new edition of the English and German Amiga magazine Amiga Future is available now. In this edition: Preface, News, Descriptions: Chaos Guns, Icaros Desktop 2.0, X-Surf 100, Pipe Mania, Erben der Erde, SS VoidBlast, Tales of Gorluth, Donkey Downfall, Xump, Goat Lizard DX, MorphOS 3.6, AmiKit 1.7, MPlayer, WinZoom, Petro's memories. Special: Demo Scene, Emulation, Classical Thoughts (17) Oxxi Inc. Workshops: Programming with AmigaOS4 (8). Interviews: Pascal Pappara.
NetSurf is a compact but unbelievably fast web browser for the Amiga, RISC OS and Linux operating systems. NetSurf supports HTML and CSS: changes in this version are: several minor bug fixes. Also a disc cache option, added support for CSS3 is extensive.
Paolo Besser has announced the release of Icaros desktop Version 2.0. In This new version are TLSF memory management, improved speech SDK, better m68k support, Directory Opus 5 Magellan, and much more.
Icaros Desktop is a pre-configured AROS desktop environment for the PC platform, distributed on a bootable live media. The AROS Research Operating System is an open source lightweight, efficient and flexible desktop operating system, aiming at being compatible with AmigaOS 3.1 at the API level, while improving on it in many areas.
TORCS is a highly portable multi platform car racing simulation. It is used as ordinary car racing game, as AI racing game and as research platform. It runs on Linux (all architectures, 32 and 64 bit, little and big Endian), FreeBSD, OpenSolaris, Mac OS X and Windows (32 and 64 bit). The source code of TORCS is licensed under the GPL ("Open Source").
TORCS features many different cars, tracks, and opponents to race against. You can steer with a joystick or steering wheel, if the device is supported by your platform. It is also possible to drive with the mouse or the keyboard. Graphic features lighting, smoke, skid marks and glowing brake disks. The simulation features a simple damage model, collisions, tire and wheel properties (springs, dampers, stiffness,), aerodynamics (ground effect, spoilers,) and much more. The game play allows different types of races from the simple practice session up to the championship. Enjoy racing against your friends in the split screen mode with up to four human players.
TORCS was initially created by Eric Espié and Christophe Guionneau; substantial parts have been added by other contributors. The project is currently headed by Bernhard Wymann. The TORCS source code is licensed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL 2), most of the artwork is licensed under the Free Art License.
Wayne Ashworth has released a new updated version of Renegades. The game is a clone of the game Alien Breed, but it is played with two players. Changes in this version: New title screen and music (Mark Becker). Improvements for character selection and character statistics. New tile-set, folders, blocking doors, not real walls, random pick-ups.
TileWorld is a free clone of Chip's Challenge, a puzzle/logic game where the aim is to collect computer chips and solve puzzles. This version includes the freely distributable content, but using chips.dat file from the original game (if you have it) allows the play of the original levels. This is not required to play TileWorld.
Guide Maker is a program for the Amiga that allows context-sensitive help documents for Amiga to create programs. New in this version: Improvements to the user interface, more program display settings. Documentation updates and some bugs have been fixed.
Glen Van Den Biggelaar has written an article about the Commodore Amiga 2000.
He documents the different models and the add-on cards for the A2000, and also talks about Video Toaster and the use of Amigas at NASA.
Andrew Gillen released an update for the game, the Incredible Adventures of Moebius Goat Lizard. In the game you have to collect the alien creatures and stay away from the bombs. Changes in the updated version include: In-game music, more enemies, enhancements for 2-player game, and a modified game in which you can create your own screens.
ADTWin is a free tool for writing Amiga disks from a PC. It requires a PC with a parallel port running Windows XP (later 32bit versions of Windows might work as well) and a floppy drive that is connected to the PC's parallel port by a self-made cable .The disk content has to be provided in the form of an Amiga Disk File. Only the original double-density disk format (for 880kB disks as used solely on all Amiga models from Amiga 500 to Amiga 3000) is supported (though HD disks can be used). The write process is about as fast as on the original Amiga (~40s per disk using appropriate PC hardware). It is not possible to read disks.
The main use case of ADTWin might be to get Amiga software (that is available on your PC by means of an ADF) running on an original old-school Amiga (e.g. the Amiga 500) that has no other means (like USB, CDROM, Ethernet, PCMCIA) but its floppy drive to exchange data with the rest of the world.
Achim Kern has released a new game for the Amiga.
SpiderCave – Written with Hollywood5 and available for AmigaOS 3 (m68k) AmigaOS 4 (PPC) AROS (i386) Mac OS X (i386)* Mac OS X (PPC) MorphOS (PPC) WarpOS (m68k/PPC) Windows (i386) Linux, Android, IPad2
The goal of this little computer game is building ladders and collecting yellow spider eggs.
Our hero must build long ladders with help of a space ship from a working platform to reach the spider nets. This is very dangerous because the mother spiders will drop blue eggs with green acid gas to destroy your ship and ladders. The game becomes more difficult level by level - round by round. Watch for bonus, extra life, weapons, secrets, and much more to discover on your way fighting through the cave. You can save the level codes if you reach the higher levels.
Smokin 'Guns is a first-person perspective shooter set in the Old West the game includes weapons that have been created historically correct according to Firepower, shooting speed, reload time, etc.
Requirements: AmigaOS 4.1 system with a 3D Card (128MB VRAM min) and Warp3D support (will not work with WaZp3D). At least 1GB of RAM is needed to play the game. LibboostyGFX version 1.x.x. must be installed.
Lemming880 has created a new platform game for the Amiga using Backbone. You will need an Amiga A1200 or faster, but the game can play on an A500, albeit with a lower frame rate. In the game you must collect all the coins, kill the enemy and destroy the final boss!
This is a from scratch development for AmigaOS4.x that aims to be an improved version of Thore Boeckelmann's diskimage.device for AOS3.x.
Thore's DiskImageCtrl program doesn't work with this device for this reason. This should not be a problem however as there is now (as of v52.2) a ReAction GUI that provides the same functionality as this program and more.
Some new features of this device are: no hardcoded limit on the amount of useable device units, large file support, CD audio tracks and support for many more disk image formats through an extensible plugin interface.
After installing a new version of diskimage.device you should always perform a soft reboot as this is the only way to make sure that the new device version has been loaded. DiskImageGUI tries to be within reason backwards-compatible with older device versions, but this might not always be perfect, so it's not recommended to use a newer DiskImageGUI with an older device version (or vice versa).
|Programming||Alf Yngve Martin Piper, Case/TAT (Info-Linker V1.0)|
|Music||Richard Bayliss (Title+Game), Drax/Vibrants (Game instructions)|
Alf Yngve seems to never sleep releasing game after game of a high standard, with another game release this time entitled “Wacky Waste.” In the game you must guide who else but “Ratty” the rat across four different parts of Garbageville in an attempt to become a racing champion.
The game is split into 2 distinct sections:
During the walking stage, you must reach the exit leading to the next racetrack. You can move the JOYSTICK and fire in 8 directions. Beware though! The ROTTEN TOMATOES jump out of hiding to get you! And the Nasty COCKROACHES lurk in buildings, pipes, and other places jumping out to attack you.
During the racing stage you STEER Ratty's car. He can spit gunk forward or backwards. The racing tracks are full of obstacles and pitfalls. You must either avoid these or SHOOT the competing drivers, who will drop SLIPPERY GOO and spit at you, avoid to the crazy BANANA PEELS that pop up from time to time!
You earn a bonus life for every 10.000 points scored,
The standard of animation in the game is very high, especially on Ratty, and Richard has this time “nailed” the music with a very interesting techno title screen and nice, splatty style in-game music theme that matches perfectly well with the action. Not sure why but I kept humming the Roland rat music whilst playing the game.
The two stages make the game more interesting, and the whole thing is really well put together. Another interesting game from Alf.
Galaxians of Xiabex was created by Roberto Ricioppo. The game is a scrolling shooter, and in the game you control a drone fighting on the planet Xiabex. You have to fight against the relentless Galaxian Empire.
If the synopsis of the game sounds familiar, the game play will be instantly recognisable. You control a ship and can move left and right and to a small amount forwards and back. Pressing the Fire button releases your, ermmm... “fire power” for want of a better phrase!
The game is an endless scrolling landscape, a planet where the enemy aliens move on predetermined paths across or up and down the screen. The game sadly is nothing that hasn’t been done time and time before. The game doesn’t really add anything new to a tested formula, with average sounds and no animated graphics, the only bonus is the main screen's title music, that builds up a suspense. Sadly, that feeling is soon crushed as the game begins. It's not a bad game – just doesn’t add anything new.
|Programming||Alf Yngve and Richard Bayliss|
A hostile party UKRAP (United Kingdom's Robots Against People) has put the city of London under siege. Poor people have been banished to their own homes. Your mission is to help Vikram and his dog rid the city of those evil robots. Vikram can shoot water at the Robot's hate circuits. However, he must watch out for the Robot's hate rays and other obstacles. On the other hand, the dog is invincible and can scare robots away by barking at them. Can Vikram save London from the evil robots and meet at a final showdown at its creator? Or will the robots take over the world and banish all humans to their own homes? Good luck Vikram.
This is a Interesting game again from Alf, because you are controlling not only Vikram but also his faithful dog. Both are chunkily but well-animated characters that make a very unique style for the Commodore 64. The game is a side-scrolling blast 'em-up scroller where you are attacked by robots throwing hate at you. You can shoot water to short-circuit these robots, there are various power ups and quite amusing animations. This is a nice game – it makes me wonder if Alf ever sleeps with the amount of output he seems to be producing – his imagination must be running overtime. I have no Idea how he thinks these game up.
To move you use a joystick. you can move left, right, and up and down, and you press the fire button to blast water at the robots.
The game music is ok, but it doesn’t seem to fit the game. I would have gone more atmospheric than anything else on this one. The music also just suddenly stops, and then you hear nothing for a while, then starts again. I presume it ends and then re-loops but the pause is a little disconcerting. Anyway ... an interesting game that’s quite enjoyable to play.
Download from Here
Lemon Discussion here
ARCADE Version can be seen played here
The C64 long play version can be seen played here
Mr Sid has released Donkey Kong Junior for the Commodore 64 (PAL and NTSC). The author says this version for the Commodore 64 is “A 100% accurate port of the Atari 7800 version, which is highly regarded as an excellent conversion of the arcade original”. With The graphics created from scratch by STE'86 (Steve Day) and music, sound effects by encore (Mikkel Hastrup):
Donkey Kong Junior was released in 1982 by Nintendo as a video game. It was released for a variety of platforms. In the game you try to rescue your father Donkey Kong, who has been imprisoned. Donkey Kong's cage is guarded by Mario,
Mario has captured Donkey Kong and placed him in a cage as punishment for kidnapping his girlfriend Pauline. You, “Donkey Kong Jr” must rescue his father from Mario by working his way through a series of stages. However, Mario will attempt to stop you by releasing animals and putting obstacles in his way.
With a total of four stages, and each stage having its own unique theme, you can run left and right by moving the joystick and jump by pressing the Fire button. While jumping you can grab overhead vines, chains, or ropes to move higher up the screen. You can move down faster by holding only one vine, you can climb faster if you hold two. Watch out for the wandering creatures that will kill on touch. To pass the first three stages, DK Jr. must reach the key at the top. In the fourth stage, DK Jr. must push six keys into locks near the top of the stage to free Donkey Kong. After a brief cut scene, the player is taken back to the first stage at an increased difficulty. You lose a life if you touch any enemy or projectile, or if you fall from too great a distance, or fall off the bottom of the screen. You also lose a life if the timer counts to zero. Lose all your lives and the game ends.
This is a really nice conversion that was sadly missing for the Commodore 64. Everything feels, sounds, and looks as far as I remember like the original. In fact, looking on YouTube at the original arcade and various conversions the Commodore 64 version seems to stand up to the quality of the other versions. Had this been released in the 80`s it would have sold shed loads of units. It looks like a really quality release from Nintendo, but obviously this is a home brew release. The team behind the conversion must be complemented on the version that is almost faultless in its quality and accuracy.
This conversion and indeed any conversion is difficult to score. Do you score on accuracy of conversion or the quality of the graphics and sounds compared to other commodore versions? So I have taken into account the accuracy of the conversion of the game. If I were to make any comment, it does feel like it's dragging on the C64 – rather than on other versions I have played that seem more fluid. Maybe I am just picky!
I am thankful that our illustrious editor-in-chief and publisher Mr. Parker will still allow me to write for his magazine despite my absence. My thanks to him and to you all for your patience with this Mid-western U.S. redneck.
Ladies and gentlemen of Commodore, as you know times are hard all over the world. This recession which, I think, started with the housing market collapse in the United States and thus infected the finances of the rest of the world has all of us strapped; scraping to save whatever dollar, pound, or Krugerrand we have as we first as individuals, then as nations, try our best to scramble our wages around enough to make ends meet and keep ourselves from losing everything. Usually what we need to do is just sit down with our families and take financial inventory of what we have coming in and, conversely, a list of what's going out. If you keep a careful grip on what's going where and when, it makes it better to know what is left and how to allocate same.
I've been pounding on my Commodore off and on for about 20 years now and have, in my own estimation (no ego problems here) come up with some pretty good working models of money management software written entirely in BASIC for easy manipulation by those who have a working knowledge of the language. These ideas were birthed from an idea I got from a type-in program from "Run" magazine back in the day called "Money Manager with EZ Budget." Though "Money Manager" is a capable program to balance your checkbook and see how bills are paid each month, I figured in my own little redneck way that Rex Dey (the program's creator) needed an expansion on his idea. Thus was written by Yours Truly a little helper of a BASIC program whose working name is, "The Ledger."
"The Ledger" allows the user to record all the information about a debt, including how much is owed and when to pay it, then saves all that information in a one block sequential file on drive 8 of your computer. Each debt has its own file so there is little chance of mixing up the information by the constant swap of data that occurs sometimes with more complex programs. "The Ledger" allows you to make a payment on account and records that number in the same file as the information file.
I pulled this program out of the cobwebs of my forgotten Commodore software at the close of 2014 (the program is about a two years old) when I decided, after several (and I mean *SEVERAL*) calls from a credit card company to my work phone, demanding payment on the account that I already paid on. Having a lack of data on the account before me made it hard to prove telephonically that I made the payment and to give the proper information. My desk at home is strewn with bills and papers so locating information was hard. Then it struck me one night that I sat down at the Commodore and wrote a 27 block program that would allow me to electronically keep track of my bills, and give proper information to anyone who contacted me by simply booting up my Commodore, loading the software, then calling up the "SEQ" file containing the information, and quoting from the monitor what I have done and when.
I found the disk containing "The Ledger" and loaded it from drive 8 into the Commodore's memory. My son was right back when he was 11 years old and suffering under leukemia treatments. I was working on a play for church one day, and when I got writer's block he commented, "Dad, just walk away from it for a while, and come back to it later with a fresh perspective." Well, being in "cold storage" for two years allowed me to see what I had to still do with "The Ledger," so immediately I started working on it again, adding new commands like a directory reader and an expanded menu selection. It took me a couple of weeks of late nights and several sheets of printer paper looking for misplaced semi-colons and strings to get "The Ledger" up to a better working order. Sure, the program was all right in its Version 1 style, but the extra added commands gave more control of the data to the user. It took me about two hours of data input to get my twelve debts (and counting) I have saved to one block "SEQ" files that can be read by "The Ledger," but I wasn't going to sit at the keyboard waiting for the credit card people to call; I immediately got onto the phone and started the interaction, but this time with "The Ledger" loaded in front of me, I could give the proper information as to how much I paid, and to which office it was sent to. This shut the hose heads up and they just thanked me for my information, then hung up the phone.
When a user loads "The Ledger" for the first time, he or she is faced with the painstaking task of entering every bill into the program's database. Some of the questions asked by the File Creation subroutine may not have an answer that can be found on a statement, so I personally would type "none" or "not found" in that space to continue on. To make the program work the best, be sure to fill in every question asked by the File Creation subroutine with a word, number, or symbol. After all the data for a bill statement is entered, the program asks if you want to save the data and what name you want to save it under. Once a file name has been chosen, the program saves that data in the aforementioned one block data file.
What I find fun in the program is paying on a statement and entering that number in the "Make a Payment on Account" subroutine. Here in this part of the program a user just calls up the file to make a payment on. The program will then tell you how much you owe and how much of a payment is demanded to keep the account current with the party owed. You can opt to pay that amount or pay a different amount. I usually choose the "What Amount Then?" option for I personally pay weekly on as many bills as possible until the bills are all paid, or I reduce the payment to a point where a paycheck will cover the debt. My weird method of debt paying is what I like to call "chopping down the tree;" each stroke of the pen on a check send a little to the party owed, making it small enough for one final check can pay it off. On some bills, this "chopping" process will take several months, if not a year or two; others will be paid in a couple of months, and out of my life forever; reoccurring bills like mortgages and utilities get chopped down to their smallest level possible, then a final WHACK at the end of the month sends it falling and out of the way till the next cycle.
This brings me to the part of the program that I don't like to use, but it is a necessary evil when it comes to reoccurring debts, and that's the "Update Statement On Account" subroutine. Selecting this option from the main menu puts the user into a place where, when the file name is inputted, they have to make changes to the data like what the new payment is and when it is due. A single letter selection allows the user to save all this data again as new, and the file is updated.
One of the things about "The Ledger" that a person may not like is that the program only saves the current data inputted into the subroutines, thus eliminating, or "erasing" any previous information in favor of the new inputs. A simple fix to this apparent faux pas is to save any new data as a separate file on the disk. For example, instead of selecting "Y" at the "Save Data As:" input, choose "N" and save the new data under a different file name. In my case with, say, the electric bill, I would save it as "ELECTRIC 1/15(1)," indicating that this bill is the electric bill for January 2015, and the bracketed number shows that I'm making the first installment on the bill.
This program has helped me in my constant battle against creditors, collectors, and other hose heads that want to get into my wallet and take food money away from my family. I don't know how it is in the rest of the United States or the rest of the world, but sometimes a little money each week going to the accounts receivable department of a collector is better than not receiving anything at all. It is also fun to watch what I owe a business or service being calculated downward by the program's amount calculator so I know how much I owe and when.
Sadly, this program still needs a lot of work. I have demonstrated Version 1 at the Las Vegas CommVEx Commodore computer exposition a few years back, but the updates and additions have yet to be viewed by the Commodore public. The hard thing about alpha testing programs is that the programmer knows how to get around certain "quirks and bugs" in the work where a beta tester would find it a problem and not know what to do. My prayer for a general release date for "The Ledger" is July 31st, 2015, but beta testing should start sometime in late February or early March of that year. I will be looking for volunteers who have the time to run "The Ledger" through its paces and finding bugs that I don't know about and giving suggestions to make the program better. I know that most Commodore users have gone well past BASIC programming and are working in much more complex languages, and I am still a novice in the programming field, but any suggestions on making the program better would be beneficial.
If you are interested in becoming a beta tester for "The Ledger" or any future programs that come from The Roach Center for BASIC Commodore Studies, then please let your intent be known to me by either posting on my Facebook page (Lenard Roach), my website (www.lenardroach.com), or just blast me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your input could be exactly what takes "The Ledger" and other Commodore works from a good program to a great program.
** This article was written on a stock Commodore 128 using GeoWrite 2.1 and translated to PC using the Big Blue Reader conversion program. **
|Publisher||Springer; 2015 edition (31 Dec. 2014)|
Roberto Dillon, an active developer and, as a professor of game design, is no stranger to Commodore Free and was interviewed here
And had his previous book reviewed “The Golden Age of Video Games”
and is a regular e-mailer into Commodore Free with comments and news about up-and-coming Commodore events. So it was exciting to learn he had penned another book, this time solely about the Commodore 64.
The book start with a long introduction. The author then states:
More than 10,000 games were officially published during the C64 lifetime by a new generation of young and passionate developers. While many of these were non exclusive but shared across other competing platforms as well, they often originated or found their best rendition on the C64, making it the platform of choice for many gamers and developers alike.
So then... we have yet another book about Commodore!
Many may moan at the number of recent releases, yet another academic is cashing in on the retro fad of Commodore and wonder what this book can offer over the numerous books already covering every area of Commodore history and gaming. Well ...
This book does try to cover all bases from past to present, and maybe even beyond! For a start there is an interview with the editor of one of the best Commodore fanzines available for Commodore machines, namely the editor of our well loved Commodore Free magazine (yep, that’s an interview with me then, isn’t it?)
A quote from the interview reads:
I am not a “real” Editor. It is all a labour of love but I am well aware it is no way professional: spelling mistakes and poor grammar make up most of the text. However, the enthusiasm I put into each issue I hope shows through.
Not only does the author document the machines, games hardware, and general machine history, he is very current and up-to-date with the latest developments in software, hardware, and general machine usage. A good example of this is the recent Commando re-version like Commando Arcade, released in 2014 by nostalgia. The author nods toward this achievement located here http://csdb.dk/release/?id=130973 along with touching on software like the Contiki operating system and current games publishers! This shows the writer is well in the "scene" and a good understanding and fondness to follow developments. I feel it shows this is not just another cash-in but a look at the machine from the inside.
Interestingly, there are a number of titles or games mentioned that I hadn’t come across or even heard of before! Also, titles I had but they were long-forgotten. After digging out the tapes and LOADING the actual games, I spent a good few hours playing what can only be described as "forgotten classics." Well, it beats writing up the magazine!
The author says:
It didn’t take long for kids in the early eighties to understand what was possible on their C64 and start dreaming big, demanding better and more engaging software especially if this had some sort of educational aspect with no aliens to blast left and right
Heck! The author even submitted games for the TND SEUCK competition The game can be downloaded here: http://tnd64.unikat.sk/seuck/SEUCKCompo2014/Shaken.zip and while it may not have been the best entry in the competition it is a worthy entry nevertheless.
The author follows this with a walk-through of its creation in the book of the SEUCK games concept and final released version. It’s a pure SEUCK so you can follow the tutorial if you have ever wanted to use this tool, but stumbled. This may be the tutorial to get you through to a finished product.
We have some brief overviews of the machines architecture as he says:
For example, a simple SFX for a gunshot could be programmed by selecting The noise channel (bit 7 in 54276), setting the highest possible volume, defining Very fast Attack and Decay times and then set a Release time possibly in accordance With the reverberation suggested by the particular virtual environment:
10 POKE 54273,21: POKE 54272,31 : REM set a low frequency for the gunshot 20 POKE 54296,15 : REM volume maxed 30 POKE 54277,16 : REM attack/decay set to 8 and 6 ms respectively 40 POKE 54278,250 : REM setting sustain volume to 15 and Release time to 1.5 s 50 POKE 54276,129 : REM select noise channel. Start note (Attack, Decay, Sustain) 60 POKE 54276,128 : REM stop the Sustain to start the Release phase and end the SFX
And I love the photos inlay text that reads:
Great Giana Sisters (© Rainbow Arts 1987). “Look, she has a sister, not a brother and they are great, not super!” unfortunately these arguments were not enough to convince Nintendo’s lawyers about Giana’s legitimacy as a videogame heroine.
The book charts the machine's software history from early games to, as stated earlier, the latest developments on the machine, with a look at how software was taken from the bedroom coder to a multi-million Pound big-business empire with the later software being created with “game engines” (and you thought that the engine was a new idea didn’t you?)
The book is light-hearted and does list some mistakes Commodore made and maintains that nothing is perfect, but what it does offer is a realistic history of the machine and what it means to be on of the people who still love its quirkiness. There are nods there to other Commodore systems like the Pet and the VIC; however, as you would expect, this is mainly hardcore 64 territory.
I spoke with Robert and he insisted he didn’t want the book to be just another “academic literature”. However, it would seem Springer Press had other ideas and the book seems to be listed for a rather unrealistic price. Maybe pressure on Springer to re-price the book more realistically from us “users” would show that there is still demand and ultimately (as they are a publishing company) money to be made from a reduction.
The book covers the following items (as taken from the index):
|Requirements||16k VIC-20 + Joystick.|
|Tested||VICE 2.4 (NTSC and PAL) and real VIC (PAL)|
9 Levels + 2 Bonus levels
3 Game modes:
Find 3 power units and leave the evil spaceship. At the Bottom of each level there is an escape area. Every power unit raises your firepower.
Personally I was quite excited to see another Misfit program released towards the end of last year. He seems to have a very unique style of programming on the VIC. It’s a style I think not only fits the VIC’s format but is “easy on the eye” and superbly slick. So you can imagine I quickly plugged in my memory upgrade and loaded the game into memory.
From the title screen you know this is going to be something special; the Crazy VIC music playing was enough to get me dancing around. I quickly hooked up the sound to my Hi-Fi and turned the volume up. As the music belted out, the screen actually jumps up and down in time to the music playing, a lovely touch and just shows the level of detail the programmer puts into his work. It would be a great tune with just the base and drums belting out, but as the zany tune kicks in, it really becomes a work of VIC art (assuming art is music or music is art). The tune itself is quite short but loops well.
OK, finally pressing a key and getting to the main screen:
Very odd colour washes in this game, interesting but still odd sort of psychedelic!
The screen is shrunk slightly – presumably to keep the VIC nippy as the game is running.
You have to collect 3 items on the screen. As you collect the last the screen goes green colour so you know to head for the exit and onto the next level. You need to ride over the flashing power units and not just shoot them! If you do it doesn’t count. Could the game be improved? Yes, I think it could. Does it stand out well? As it is, yes. More VIC music please... it's excellent!
A very unique-looking game, with some mind bending music, but that’s something you expect from the programmer. The term “classy” may be overused but it's justified!
|Requirements||(PAL) 16k VIC-20 + Joystick.|
|Description||Port of the Namco classic tank arcade game|
|Tested||VICE 2.4 and real VIC (PAL) and Commodore 1701 monitor|
!! PAL only!!
After his conversion of Pooyan I was excited that Beamrider had converted another of my favourite games to the VIC. This version sadly suffers from annoying problems, the game feels very slow paced and a little jerky, its faster than basic, but is by no means a machine code zoomer. The game was written in C and really needs a re-write in Machine code to add that extra boost of speed, I believe its still a work in progress so who knows? By the time you read this…. maybe it can be speeded up somehow with code optimisation. Anyway, it’s a small negative and now that’s out of the way lets look at the review.
I found a Namco version on YouTube here
You can see it’s very close to this conversion on the VIC.
Of course the Namco version's screen size is completely different than the VIC, so the programmer has made some adjustments to the layout of the game so it fits with the VIC’s hardware. It's possibly not until you see the games side by side that you really realise that the screen on the VIC is so much different from the original. You know something has changed but it doesn’t ruin the game. The tanks suffer a little on rotation as they go stubby and fat, rather than on the arcade where they are the same no matter what the orientation. Again, this is a limitation of the hardware rather than the programmer. It seems that most of the features of the game have been implemented, even down to how the explosions happen, where there is a massive bang that looks like it would take out a whole wall but then it all seems to clear away. Again, this is how the arcade version works and is mirrored on the VIC to look and feel the same.
So this is you
You have to look after your base and protect
Enemy tanks look like this
You see what I mean about how they change shape with orientation
You must shoot the enemy tanks to protect your base. If an enemy tank hits you then its Game Over. If an enemy hits your base again the game is over, but kill all the enemies and you go to the next level. It's simplistic but that’s why it's such a great game, easy to play, frustrating and fun.
It’s a great conversion and I feel guilty for marking it down. IF the speed could be improved it would definitely notch the score up. I can see the work involved in getting the screen to fit and the whole mechanics to work, again another excellent conversion.