Hidden Gems for the C64

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I have previously written about my memories of the wonderful computer that I grew up with, the Commodore 64! In this post I will be listing some of my favorite games for the system that also are some hidden gems. But this list will be a little different then other lists on the net because I will be listing games that are actually still fun to play today! Let me explain..

The Commodore 64 is an very old system and has sooo many games released, but to be honest.. most of them suck. Back then you purchased games (mostly based of the very cool cover art) and played them over and over even though the game where poorly designed, frustrating, unforgiving and ugly! Today we know better. I have been looking back on the games I played and put my nostalgic feelings aside and just focused on the games that actually where good on the system, and that people still could enjoy today. Thinking, Would a person who never played a game is his life enjoy this game?
Ok enough talk, here is some of my favorite games on the Commodore 64 that I think are great and should be in everybody’s collection!


You have to win the game (2012)
This is an amazing port of a pc indie game. The original game (available on steam) also has this retro pixel design so the game converts very nicely to the c64. And this game is just amazing! Its an open world exploration game with metroidvania mechanics, where you have to revisit old places once you have found different objects and powerups. Great graphics, fun game play, tight and responsive control. I cant believe that this game has not gotten a physical release on tape/disc as this wipes most of the new games that gets physical releases today. Jet Set Willy is overrated, this game is not! Play this now! 🙂 Download

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Bruce Lee II (2015)
One of the best games in the platformer genre for the c64 is without a doubt Bruce Lee released in 1984. Bruce Lee is a very fun an challenging game. But not so challenging that you cant finish the game, and that is rare for a c64 game 🙂 But im here to talk about the fan made sequel to the original game created by Bruno R Marcos for the pc back in 2013. He kept the feeling of the original game but added new sprites, enemies and new challenging levels! I was not alone thinking that this game would have been awesome to have on an original c64. In 2015 Jonas Hulten released the converted version of Bruce Lee II for the c64, and he did an amazing job! If you like the original game you really need to go and download Bruce Lee II now!

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Bouncy Cars (1994)
There are many overhead racers for the c64, like Rally Speedway or the Super Sprint games but one game that i think beats those games in both control, level design and fun factor is Bouncy Cars! The thing that makes this a more fun game is the car handling, this is a drifting game. Yes a drifting game for the c64! And who doesn’t love drifting 🙂 So this game is all about mastering the controls and the drifting technique to get head of your opponent. You really need to be 2 players when playing this game. Oh and there is a sequel called Bouncy Cars Revenge which is essentially the same game but with new levels.

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International Karate – Time Trainer Version (1986)
Int Karate is a real classic game for the c64! With a total of 16 moves this game beats all other fighting games on the system! And it have aged well, still looks great and is still so much fun today as it was back in 1986. But this version that im talking about here is the Time Trainer version released  by The Fall Guys giving the game a much better scoring system! The original version had that “best 2 out of 3” scoring system which i never liked. Instead the Time Trainer version has a scoring bar with 12 points. The player that gets all 12 points of the respective players color is the winner! And the system can get really intense and fun as you “steal” points from each other trying to get all points of one color. This version makes an amazing game even better!

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Guns ‘n’ Ghosts (2013)
Two player games cooperative games are always so much fun, my obvious choice would be Bubble Bobble but this newly released game deserves a place in the list! Basically all you have to do is kill all the zombies that spawn on the level. Go to the next level and try to survive as long as possible. One thing I like in particular about this game is the asymmetric game play with the two different characters you play as in the 2 player mode, they have different ways to kill the monsters which makes this a very good cooperative game. Available to purchase from Psytronik.

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Super Bread Box (2012)
This is a conversion of a fantastic indie game called Super Crate Box released on PC back in 2011 and ported by Paul Koller to the C64 a year later. Try to survive all the waves of enemies that spawn at the top of a one-screen arena. There is always one crate box on the level an every time you pick one up you get a new weapon, and there are maaaany fun and crazy weapons in this game! As you pick up new boxes you eventually unlock more weapons and levels, which makes this game super addictive! The game is released by RGCD and is available for free or you can order the cartridge from RGCDs store.

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Archon (1983)
This is a great 2-player competitive game that mixes both strategy and quick interaction. Each player has a set of magical monsters and creatures with different strength and weaknesses, some are slow but have ranged attacks and some are fast but only uses melee attacks. You can win by controlling the 5 dots on the board or wiping the opponents monsters of the board. The chess-style moment is slow and has strategy, but the fun is when you go into combat and you can move your monster in real time. So much fun! There is also a great web-based version of Archon that you can play here.

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Metro-Cross (1986)
This is a great port of the original arcade game developed by Namco that was released 1985 in Japan. The game is very simple, all you have to do is to avoid all obstacles by moving up and down and jumping to reach the goal in time. There are powerups that temporarily makes you faster and invulnerable. But its very tough as you need to be very fast to avoid the obstacles and to catch those valuable powerups to make it to the goal before the time runs out. Very addictive!

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My favorite romhacks

Romhacks are great! Either a rom hack can change an entire game or just change small things. Add new features or fix broken once. Rom hacks that translates an entire game. Or hacks that creates a whole new games. There are thousands of rom hacks out there and new hacks are added frequently to romhacking.net This is a list of some of my favorite hacks for various systems.

Super Mario Unlimited (Nes)
This is my favorite romhack of the original Smb game. The problem with most Mario hacks with new levels out there is that the hackers have no idea what they are doing. Its like a 6-year old kid is playing with a level editor just mashing the buttons, the maps are horrible and dont have any idea or structure behind them. This is where Super Mario Unlimited excels, the maps are amazing! So well designed from start to finish. Just a solid fun adventure that even made me think that this was better designed than the original game, get it now! 😀 You can read my review of this hack here.

Download: RomHacking / TheIsoZone

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Super Mario 3Mix (Nes)
This is truly an amazing romhack. Its a total conversion of the original Smb3 with complete new maps and powerups etc. I can actually say that its better than the original Smb3 game *gasp* yes its that good 😀 This hack has sooo many cool and new features that i don’t even know where to start. All new levels, option to chose a character from start, battery-save! and new power-ups, and much more. And a thing i really liked is that the first World has levels from Smb1, the Second World has levels from Smb2 etc, I just loved that idea of mixing in maps from the previous Mario games to this hack. This is a must-have hack!

Download: Romhacking.net
Download: Official Site

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Streets of Rage 2: Multiple Enemies!! (Megadrive/Genesis)
This hack doubles the amount of enemies on the levels, but they have lower energy so its still balanced. The game is still as hard/easy as it has been but now with even more chaos! And it works really well, so much fun to plow through 7 enemies at once with one powerful attack 😀

Download: RomHacking /IsoZone

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Bubble Bobble – The New Quest (Nes)
This hack just adds new levels, that’s it! Bubble Bobble is an amazing game and its perfect as it is but this hack adds new levels that makes the game feel a little different. I don’t understand why they aren’t more level hacks for this game. A hack worth checking out if you want some new levels added to the cave of monsters! 🙂

http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/1598/

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Super Mario Land Graphics Hack (GameBoy)
This is just a graphics hack for the original Super Mario Land for the Game Boy, but wow this is how that game should have looked. Almost everything is changed, from the menu at the top to the backgrounds and sprites. And i just love that new cute super-deformed Mario sprite! You can read my review of this hack here, with lots of comparison images 🙂

http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/1314/

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Sonic Classic Heroes (Megadrive/Genesis)
Let me ask you a question, what are the two best Sonic games ever created? Thats right, Sonic 1 and 2! How about mashing these two together creating a massive adventure? Also add the feature to play as Sonic, Tails and Knuckles at once, switching between them on the fly! This hack also adds save-slots and lots of options. And the latest version even lets you play the characters from the Sega 32X Knuckles Chaotix! And all the characters in Sonic Classic Heroes have unique skills. One amazing hack!

https://info.sonicretro.org/Sonic_Classic_Heroes

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Balloon Assault (Nes)
Balloon Fight is one of my favorite games for the Nes but no one has created a hack for it, until now. The hacker “Quick Curly” managed to crack the code and was able to create new levels for this amazing game! Not just new levels, new graphics are added to the different levels and many other tweaks where done. Defiantly worth downloading if you are a fan of Balloon Fight 🙂

Download: RomHacking / IsoZone

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Super Mario All Stars NES (Nes)
Just like the idea of having a “All-stars” collection of all the Mario games released on the Nes in one file. Smb 1-3 plus the Japanese version of Smb2 aka “Lost Levels” is included. And apparently there is a save feature added too, very cool!

Download: RomHacking


Super Mario Bros. 2 Christmas Edition (Nes)
A very neat Christmas/winter theme hack for Super Mario Bros 2! So many things have been changed to give the game a Christmas touch. Just fun to explore the levels and see all the changes that has been made 🙂

Download: RomHacking

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Board Fight (Nes)
Board Fight is without a doubt the best hack out there for Balloon Fight! The hack started as a collaborative hack from the boards at Romhacking.net (hence the name of the hack) where users could contribute to the hack with there own level designs. Quick Curly did an amazing job with this hack implementing all the submitted maps with different sprites, not only does this hack feature new levels it also surpasses the original game with a total of 16 levels instead of the original that only had 12. And the best thing about this hack is that Quick Curly managed to remove those annoying bonus levels that I think really interrupting the normal flow of game-play. This hack is really fun and challenging, so find a friend and try to complete all 16 levels if you can! 🙂

Download: Romhacking.net / TheIsoZone

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Mario Adventure (Nes)

This is more than just a hack, this is a completely new Mario game for the Nes! This hack is considered to be the best ever made for the Nes! New levels, music, graphics, powerups and a new system on how you navigate around and finish levels. So many new stuff have been added that its impossible to cover them all here! One notable change is the added weather effects that change when you enter a new level or an old level you already have played. I still think – and i know many agree with me – that Super Mario 3Mix (that i mentioned above in this post) is a bit better than Mario adventure. But you really need to play them both! Get this now!

Download: Romhacking.net

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Super Pixel Bros & Super Atario Bros (Nes)
These two hacks are just visual upgrades, or maybe i should say downgrades for the original Super Mario Brothers 🙂 The graphics has been simplified, and now look as an very old console and its just beautiful and super cute!

Download Super Pixel Bros: Romhacking
Download Super Atario Bros: Zophar

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Excitebike 7 maps (Famicom Disc System)

Excitebike was one of the first games I played on the Nintendo as a kid, and i loved it! The game was fun, fast and addictive. And we spent hours building our own tracks with the level editor. I even built a fansite for Excitebike, thats how much i loved it 😀 But one thing that I always missed where a 2 player mode.Thanks to emulation we can now play the enhanced version called Vs. Excitebike that later was released for the Japanese FDS comsole, and this version had a 2 player mode!  But there was only 3 tracks to play in this mode. But now thanks to the rom hacker BZK you can now compete with a friend in 7 maps instead of 3!

Download Excitebike 7 maps: Romhacking

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Party Games – The Essential Selection

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We have played many party games on our gaming nights, some of them get phased out but some of them stick and we never seem to get tired of them. In this list I have decided to list just those games, the best of the best, the party games that we want to play over and over on every gaming night.
All the games in this list has support for up to 4 players. Some of them can only be played on console and some just on pc. If you want the bigger party game list you can find it here.

Mashed (Pc, Ps2, Xbox)
I have praised this many times before and wrote a blogpost about it naming it the ultimate party game. Even if you have played it thousand of times or its your first time its still super fun! Even if you play on the same level over and over it has always different and crazy results, where you cheer, scream and laugh at the same time. Don’t miss this game!

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Broforce (Pc, Steam)
As of 2015 Broforce is still in development, but we have been playing it since it first started and we never miss an update. This is a highly addictive co-op sidescrolling actiongame. Brofoce has a great tempo with action and fun situations. Every new game has different results as you constantly switch between new characters that have different weapons and powers and they are all so much fun. This is also one of those games that makes you scream and laugh from start to finish.

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Speedrunners (Pc, Xbox One)
Another addictive game that works great with 2-4 players. Its quick, simple to learn and very fun! It makes you go “just one more level!” the game is fun right from the beginning but as you learn the levels it becomes even better! So yes its a very addictive game, if you need another fun partygame to your collection be sure to check this one out!

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Beach Spikers (Gamecube)
A hidden gem and an exclusive for the Gamecube. You know this is a hit when you notice that its created by Segas AM-2 team. Don’t get fooled and think that this is another boring sports game, as all other games that Am-2 has created its aimed to be a fun arcade game. Its very easy to learn for new players, but also have some more advanced moves that makes that game even more fun. We always have a blast when we play this one, and its perfect for 4 players! A must-have if you own a Gamecube!

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Wario Ware (Gamecube)
Exclusive partygame for the Gamecube. This game is actually better in you have never played it before. Wario Ware is one of those crazy Japanese games containing hindered of quick mini-games. This game needs 4 players to be fun, and some of the best partymodes are locked from start so be sure to unlock them. Another must-have game for the Gamecube!

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Samurai gunn (Pc, Steam)
This in the best Arena Brawler i have every played! Amazing pixel graphics, great control and simple to learn. Add 2-4 players in one of the many arenas and get ready to laugh and shout at all the chaotic fun stuff that happens, its so addictive! Every person who i have introduced this game to have fallen in love with in just within a couple of minutes, get this game now!

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Clusterpuck 99 (Pc, Steam)
Remember Ice Hockey for the Nes? One button to shoot, one to tackle and also the charge shot when holding the button. Clusterpuck 99 is Ice Hockey on drugs and its sooo much fun! The controls are super simple and everyone knows what to do, just get the ball inside the goal. So this game is perfect as a partygame that everyone understands in just minutes. And its super intense, ending up with screams and laughter 😀 Really recommending this game!

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Other related list that i have posted on my blog:
One-screen Arena Brawlers
The best co-op games
Party Games for up to 4 players

RetrospelsmÀssan 2015

rsm_splash_620x383RetrospelsmÀssan v6.0 aka RSM2015 har Àgt rum, och jag plus vÀnner var sÄklart pÄ plats som vanligt. RSM har gjort mÄnga förvandlingar under Ären i formen av nya och större lokaler, och likt förra Äret sÄ befann sig mÀssan i Eriksbergshallen. Nya lokaler och förbÀttringar har alltid vart uppskattat, men detta Äret sÄ var allt exakt som det var förra Äret. Och det Àr ett bra betyg, det betyder att gÀnget bakom mÀssan har lyckats!

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Det roligaste pÄ mÀssan Àr alltid att shoppa spel och prylar. Jag var inte ute efter nÄgot speciellt detta Äret utan ville bara kolla runt, nÄgot hittar man alltid. Och lite spel fick jag allt köpt, och det blev en hel del japanska utgÄvor av diverse spel. Fick bland annat tag pÄ Sonic 1 och 2, de japanska utgÄvorna Àr riktigt snygga, speciellt manualerna som har en massa snygga artworks och skisser.
Köpte Àven en del Playstation spel, vÀldigt billiga sÄ jag passade pÄ. BÀsta fyndet var vÀl Dynamite Cop till Dreamcast som jag fick för 80kr i perfekt skick. MÄnga sÀljer detta spelet pÄ ebay för 150-250kr har för mig att detta spelet inte var alls lika bra som föregÄngaren Dynamite Deka, men ÀndÄ kul att ha.

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Retropie, den lĂ€ttaste installationen!

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Att installera Retropie pÄ en Raspberry Pi 2 var inte sÄ svÄrt som jag trodde. TvÀrtom, det var otroligt lÀtt! Jag var rÀdd dÄ jag inte har nÄgra kunskaper om linux alls, och har aldrig haft en Raspberry Pi. Jag förvÀntade mig att behöva trixa en massa med skumma kommandon i en terminal men nej, det var inget meck alls. Jag behvöde inte ens koppla in tangentbord och mus!

Jag köpte en Raspberry Pi 2, till detta behövs en HDMI kabel och en micro-usb-till-usb-sladd för att fÄ ström. Jag anvÀnde ett MicroSD kort pÄ 2gig (Retropie Àr ca 1,8gb sÄ jag rekommenderar ett större kort dÄ det knappt fÄr plats nÄgra roms pÄ ett 2gb kort) och en Xbox 360 kontroller med usb sladd.. thats it!

Kortfattat sÄ slÀnger man bara över Retropie pÄ sd kortet, det startar direkt. Men det saknas en massa emulatorer? Vart Àr Nes, Megadrive, n64 osv? Oroa dig inte, dom finns dÀr i bakgruden. Dom Àr bara osyndliga för att du inte har nÄgra roms. Allt du behöver Àr ett usb-minne med lite roms sÄ Àr allt klart sen. Super lÀtt. Följ instrktionerna hÀr: [OBS Denna guiden Àr skriven Mars 2015 och jag har anvÀnt Retropie 2.6]

1. Ladda ner senaste Retropie
2. Koppla in ditt MicroSD till din pc (med valfri usb adapter) och kör igÄng programmet Win32DiskImage och skriv över Retropie imagefilen till SD kortet.
3. Koppla in MicroSD kortet i din Retropie och starta Retropie
4. Koppla in din Xbox 360 kontroller nÀr Retropie Àr igÄng (eller emulationstation som frontenden heter)
5. NÀr emulationstation/retropie Àr igÄng sÀtt dÄ i ett tomt USB minne, vÀnta i ca 60 sekunder. Retropie skapar en mapp pÄ usb minnet. (rekommenderar ett usb minne med en ledlampa pÄ som blinkar nÀr nÄogot skrivs till eller frÄn den, sÄ vet du nÀr det Àr klart)
6. Ta ut Usb minnet och koppla sedan in det i datorn. Du kommer se en mapp som heter ROMS pÄ USB minnet
7. Kopiera in valfria roms i katalogerna som du ser i ROMS katalogen. nÀr du Àr klar ta ut USB minnet frÄn datorn
8. koppla in USB minnet i Rasperry enheten igen, vÀnta en stund.. kan ta lÄng tid om du har lagt in mÄnga roms.
9. Starta om retropie och nu har det plötsligt dykt upp fler emulatorer, och alla roms ligger nu dÀr!

Thats it! För mer avancerade tips och tricks, kolla in mitt andra Retropie inlÀgg hÀr.

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Kan Ă€ven meddela att Xbox 360 kontroller, bĂ„de med trĂ„d och trĂ„dlösa funkar direkt utan att behöva göra nĂ„gra instĂ€llningar. Bara att koppla in receivern och starta kontrollerna 🙂

64JPX Adapter Review (c64)

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I got my c64 when i was 7 years old, a couple of years before i got my first Nintendo. I loved my c64 but even back then i never understood why the controller only had one single button, it was so irritating. And it bothers me still today. There are always workarounds when the developers created all these amazing games, the most obvious example is all the platform games, you often need one button to execute your action  (punching or firing your weapon), but then you also need a button to jump. So how did they solve this, well just push up on the joystick. So simple but yet extremely annoying, i just hate to push up to jump it should have its own button! And now, finally its possible!

The 64JPX – JoyPad eXpander is a small apapter for the c64 (and  Amiga and Atari compatible systems)  that makes it possible to use a Sega Genesis/MegaDrive, Nintendo SNES/NES gamepad on your c64, and the best part is that it has these on-the-fly selectable enhancement modes that for example places the “push-up-on-the-joystick-to-jump” to one of the buttons on the gamepad.

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I have to be honest, i prefer to play games with a gamepad. Sure Joysticks and the Commodore 64 is something special, but i still think a gamepad is so much better to play with. Therefor i just had to have a 64JPX. Its possible to connect a Snes gamepad but i prefer the Sega Genesis controller so i bought the model of the 64JPX that had support for the Sega gamepad
Some of you might say “But you dont need an adapter to connect a Sega Genesis/Megadrive gamepad to the c64, they already work” Well that’s true, but not many people know that a connected Sega gamepad on a c64 can actually break the controller port on the c64!  With the 64JPX you dont have to worry about this, just plug and play.

And now to the fun stuff, the “Enhancement modes” There are three different pre-defined modes that you can switch between on-the-fly while playing a game by pressing a special button combination on the gamepad.
If buttons A, B, or C are pressed at the time the start button is released then 64JPX will enter one of the alternate enhancement modes. With the default mode the A button on the gamepad works just like the button on a Joystick. B and C are turbobuttons, perfect for shooter games.
My favorite mode is the Platform/Racing mode that changes the A button to simulate pressing UP on the gamepad. In platformgames like Giana Sisters you now have a dedicated jump and fire button, i just love this! And it also works great on racing games where up sometimes is used to accelerate or switching gears. There is also a Waddle mode for those Joystick-killer games where you have to waddle the joystick left and right, but instead of breaking your controller you can just enable this mode and press a button.

I made a video demonstrating the three different enhancement modes on some c64 games.

I was really pleased with the 64JPX adapter and I really recommend it! The adapter is created by the man who is behind the 64hdd website. I sent him a couple of mails regarding some questions about the adapter and I got a reply very fast, very helpful. No problems ordering and the shipping was very fast.

You can get a 64JPX from 64HDD.com here: http://www.64hdd.com/64jpx/64jpx.html

IMG_2953_620x465My C64G with the 64JPX, Protovision 4 player adapter, Sd2EIC Sd card reader, The Final Cartridge III and a Scart-cable

Review: Darkness (c64)

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Do you remember those old Commodore 64 games when you didn’t know what to do, no explanation in the game on how to play it, no manual describing the story and no text or tutorials explaining what the hell was going on. And the games where also extremely hard and frustrating, but somehow you just accepted this and just play them over and over again. This is how it felt like to play Darkness.
In Darkness you move from one screen to another and there are over 100 screens, and you have no idea where to go and it’s extremely easy to get lost also without a map in the game you don’t know what to go so you just go back and forth and after while you will probably die and here’s one of the most frustrating parts of the game, You one have ONE life NO continues! Every screen has enemies spawning at random places and attack you very quickly so its very easy to get hit. Yes you have a little life bar and the possibility to upgrade your weapon, but that’s not enough! So after exploring many many screens and have no idea where you are and where to go, you suddenly die and its GAME OVER.. all is lost! This is not fun or challenging instead its hard, frustrating and evil!

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Making a game like this today is very hard to accept when comparing how games are designed today. Back in the 80’s we didn’t know better and just accepted these frustrating games. But today games are so much better and fun. They have clever level design with built-in tutorials to make the player learn the game while playing them. Today’s games are about playing the games and having fun, giving the players extra lives to reach the goal. Darkness doesn’t live up to today’s standard and instead is a game from the past.

There are so small things that could have been added to Darkness to make it sooo much better and playable, first why not adding an in-game map? The “newly” released c64 game Fairy Well from 2012 had an great in-game map showing you all the screens, where you are, and what screens you have visited and where to go! It made the game so much more fun! Why not add this into Darkness? And why not add a couple of extra lives and continues? why not? People may not agree with me and this this is how it should be, evil and frustrating. But i think a couple of more lives would make it better. Also the game is pretty repetitive, you move from screen to screen and enemies spawn an attack you, i just don’t see the fun in this. If there would have been some puzzle elements added, maybe small quests, people to talk to  and other stuff to motivate you instead of just running around and getting confused then the game maybe would have been a little more fun to play. Its a shame because the game has potential and the graphics are amazing and has great music and sound effects.

I love to support new games that are made for the C64. I love to support the publishers like Psytronik and RGCD that make these games real but a game like this is hard for me to recommend. If you want an old-style and frustrating game and want to support the developers then purchase this game, but if you are looking for a fun game i would probably recommend purchasing some other game from Psytronik or RGCD.

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Darkness is avalable on Psytronik here and on RGCD here.