Lego Sega Classic Arcade Machines – Vote Now

LegoSegaArcade_TITLEWhen you stumble upon an awesome idea you must let everyone know about it. My good friend Raj informed me of a Lego Ideas campaign created by SpacySmoke which proposes the creation of classic Lego Sega arcade machines.

The idea campaign is still gathering support, so if you would like Lego to take note, then please throw your support behind this great idea by voting now – who wouldn’t like a Thunder Blade or Yu Suzuki classics like Space Harrier and Out Run replica Lego machines in their home? I have cast my vote, so should you!




LegoSegaArcade_figuressource: SpacySmoke on Lego Ideas

Go Back To The Future With DMC Watches

Back To The Future fans rejoice! If you can’t get to a DeLorean and hit 88 MPH (141.6 KMH for us Australian folks) to go back in time, then you can use one of these DMC watches to keep (up with) time!

Of course, there was only ever going to be one inspiration for these watches, the original (and damn cool) DMC-12 sports car. Check out some of the DMC watches (below) from their Alpha, Dream and 1981 collections.

Oh yeah, for a limited time, you can get 10% OFF any DMC watch purchase by using the coupon code ‘WELCOME19’! What are you waiting for, get that flux capacitor going and grab your very own DeLorean time machine!

photo source: DMC Watches


Tiny Retro Gaming Pocket Sprite Device Fits in Your Hand

Oh wow, this (Pocket Sprite) is so damn cute that we just had to share it with you all!



Playing Tetris on a Flip-Dot Display

Tetris has always been a killer title for millions of gamers around the world. If you had a Game Boy, then we bet that you have played Tetris. Now, imagine playing Tetris on a mechanical display instead of digital. That’s hard to imagine, right?

Well, looks like Sinowin does imagine such things! Sinowin took a small computer, added a joystick and connected these to an old-school elongated flip-dot display, you know, like the ones that show the departure and arrival times at airports. No matter the platform, Tetris still remains a killer game, even on a flip-dot display. This is so damn cool!

source: sinowin

[story source:]


2018 Reset64 C64 Craptastic – Judges Report

Note from Kevin Tilley (Reset64 editor): This article was originally intended to be published as a Reset64 mini-issue in 2018. Unfortunately we were unable to make this happen. However, Ausretrogamer have graciously offered to host the report and better late than never, right? Thank-you all for your patience and we hope you enjoy this rundown. See you all at Craptastic 2020!

Welcome! We are so pleased to be able to present you with this rundown of the Reset64 2018 4kb Craptastic Game Competition, which was officially launched on February 22nd, 2018, and ran until midnight on 30th June. It was a thrill to once again host such a well-attended and high quality competition, with the sheer amount of participants and overall quality of the entries blowing us away!

Remember, Craptastic does not mean crap! Far from it. Craptastic means wacky, bonkers, far out, offbeat and silly. However, the key word is fun – we hoped both coders and players alike would enjoy the compo. A part of the judging criteria was that the game needed to be fun to play and really push the 4kb limit. The compo was also a chance for newcomers and coding veterans alike to participate together, push their coding skills, learn and just have a whole lot of fun doing it! It was also a great opportunity to do something a little bit different, and explore slightly wacky ideas that would otherwise be left on the back burner. In the 2016 competition, some entries were truly excellent, others excellent but silly, others truly awful but funny – all of this is in the spirit of Craptastic.

It was so great hearing some of the wonderful dev stories coming out of the compo. Once again, we’ve had a mixed bag of developers from absolute beginners, veterans and even a few who have returned to C64 coding from the computer’s commercial days. We have some of these stories fleshed out a little bit as trivia within each game’s entry. One story that nearly brought a tear to my eye was Jamie Fuller involving his 6 year old daughter in the development of one of his entries, using some of her ideas and design – truly the spirit of Craptastic!

I’d like to thank a few fine folk who have made this competition such a success. Firstly, the participants. Thank-you all for your wonderful efforts and bringing a smile to the faces of so many. There would be no compo without you and this year’s crop of games was amazing. I’d also like to thank the sponsors for donating prizes (Bitmap Books, RGCD, Protovision). Please support these companies because they all do amazing work for our retro gaming scene. Thirdly, a big thank-you to our judges for spending the time required to write all of the notes and scores for each game. A special thank-you to Richard Bayliss for his tireless efforts supporting Craptastic, as well as coding/compiling the official compilation disk. Finally, thanks to Roy Fielding for the original Craptastic concept and the push needed to get both compos on the road. There are also many others who have helped out or shown support for the compo, so thank-you too!

Read on and enjoy.


Kevin Tilley
Reset64 Editor

The Sponsors

A craptastic compo needs craptastic prizes, right? A big thank-you to the following sponsors for their support:

Bitmap BooksPublisher of some of the finest retrogaming themed books around!

RGCDCommodore 64 game publisher and host of the 2019 16kb Cartridge Game Dev Compo.

ProtovisionCommodore 64 game publisher, including Sam’s Journey and Galencia!

2018 Craptastic Judges

Any competition needs judges, and this time we decided to do something a little bit different. It was decided within the Reset64 team that judging would be fairer if it was completely independent, so the rule was made that no judge could be involved in an entry, or have a group mate in an entry. That alone just about excluded the entire panel of the 2016 compo. However, we were able to recruit some passionate folk from various backgrounds who wanted to give it a go. We’d like to thank the judges for their hard work!

Mat Allen

Mat needs no introduction. He is a long time Commodore fanatic, Lemon moderator, contributor to many C64/RetroGaming books and zines (including Reset), as well as a staff writer on the 2018 Zzap!64 Annual. He’s everywhere!

You’ll find Mat hanging out over at the Lemon forums, as well as posting on various C64 related Facebook pages.

Louie Dimovski

Louis is a staff writer over at Vintage is the New Old, as well as owner of the RetroGamerNation YouTube channel. He is also a fellow Australian and is a passionate C64 gamer!

Louie on Twitter: @RetroGamerNatn

Jamie (RVG)

Jamie is the big boss man over at the excellent RetroVideoGamer (RVG) website. It’s a great source of news, reviews, interviews and feature articles. There is also a really cool RVG podcast you should check out. Jamie is a passionate retrogamer with a soft spot for the Commodore 64.

RVG on Twitter: @RetroGamingRVG

Andrew Hayes

Andrew is an active contributor to retrogaming news sites and is also an avid retrogames streamer. He is super passionate about the C64 and was only too happy to come aboard and help out!

Andrew on Twitter:@hayesmaker64

Daniel Hotop

Dan just finished working on Hunter’s Moon Remastered for Thalamus Digital as lead programmer. His C64 conversion of QWAK finished 2nd in the 2015 RGCD cartridge compo, and he produced two entries in the previous Craptastic compo.  He’s a very accomplished coder who also happens to love playing games as well.

You can find Dan on Twitter: @IcelandicHitman

Andrew Fisher

Known on the scene as Merman, Andrew needs no introduction. He is a seasoned Commodore journalist, contributing to publications such as Commodore Format, Commodore Force, Scene World and of course, Reset. Andrew has most recently contributed SID music to Barnsley Badger (Psytronik) and Exploding Fish (Megastyle). He lives and breathes the Commodore 64!

Catch Andrew on Twitter: @Merman1974

Denny Pahlke

Denny might be new to the C64, but he has jumped in head first to become very passionate about our beloved machine. He has his own YouTube channel where he publishes his Panda64 reviews (and produced a separate review video for every 2018 Craptastic entry) and he is producing a C64 documentary!

Catch Denny on Twitter: @DennyPahlke

The Games:

Out of Compo: Shinobiden Zero
by @_fou_lu

 Game intro:

Unfortunately arriving post deadline, @_fou_lu presents us with his unfinished ninja themed arcade adventure, to give us a taste of what could have been (or what may be in the future!).

The Judges:

Dan: An interesting concept, Asian style games are lacking on the C64. Clearly unfinished, but I can see potential should @_fou_lu continue to polish it and break the 4K barrier.

Louie: I like the ninja sprite, very well defined. Ninja moves across the screen quite well and the bright, colourful maze environment is engaging. But ultimately the game feels like an unfinished demo and lack of sounds detracts from overall game play.

Merman: This mini-RPG shows some great promise, with interesting graphics. But it is a long way from complete.

We Say!

Kev: @_fou_lu has the basis for what could be a really nice game here as everything screams ‘potential’. What we have is clearly unfinished and buggy, but still well worth seeing and if nothing else, a worthy coding exercise for bigger and better future projects!

#24 – $100 Blox

By Cout

Game intro:

Cout tests our psychic abilities by submitting a game based on a “mathematics game theory problem for 100 people, but the game simulates the problem with just one player”. Seems like a missed opportunity to us as it could well have been the first ever 100 player game on the Commodore 64. Oh well!

The Judges:

Denny: Cout is making simple games – but that is not a bad thing! They work well and are fun to play pretend with. This one I had tons of fun pretending that Cout has to give me lots of money after playing! Keep up the great work!

Dan: The loot box experience now on the C64… only there is zero payoff. Written in BASIC, might have been better if it was 2 player then at least there would have been some payoff.

Hayesmaker: Despite the rudimentary BASIC implementation, I had a ton of fun with this game on my live stream… Asking viewers to guess the winning box number from the 100 boxes for a giveaway was a ton of fun.  I’ll definitely keep using this game for giveaways, despite the looks!

Mat: This is definitely the ideal concept of WTF from the competition. Your level of enjoyment may depend on whether you can work out what’s going on or not, or be lucky in some circumstances. It’s pretty basic (literally), but designed to make you think more than anything else.

We Say!

Kev: Not quite as much fun as randomly finding $100 in a real actual box, but slightly more fun than watching a YouTube playlist of Celine Dion music videos straight after a midnight screening of Titanic. We love you COUT, we really do!

#23 – Plunko

By Cout

Game intro:

Plucked straight from the US version of The Price is Right, Plunko has the player dropping disks from the top of a board, which bounces downwards to its eventual resting spot, where you can win big!

Fun Fact:

Cout put this game through 100,000 rounds during testing! You also have a greater chance of winning top dollar from the middle, but it is twice as likely you will get nothing as well!

The Judges:

Denny: There’s not much to say about this one, it’s the Price Is Right game we all know. Fun fact is though, that Cout actually offers up the statistics of his algorithm he put through 100,000 rounds of testing! I love dedication and an eye for detail like that!

Louie: Nice attempt at trying to recreate this fun style of game. But puck movement feels totally random and there was no real objective to the game, other than perhaps to try and get a perfect score. Otherwise it is well presented.

Mat: Compared to Moonrock, this one is slathered in skill, although Pachinko never was that predictable. And it definitely has a bit of that “one more go” feel to try and get a better score overall. Sound effects are annoying though!

We Say!

Paul: Oh, Cout. What have you done? Here I was expecting a truly crap game, without any element of ‘tastic’ to it, and you’ve gone and spoiled everything by releasing a game that I actually found addictive. This could be world-changing. I don’t care if it’s ridiculously simple… watching those counters plinky-plunko down the screen towards the score chambers is actually an entertaining way to spend time. It’s not my winner… of course it isn’t. But I’ve played it enough to say that it’s not in my bottom ten. Well done, Cout!

#22 – I Found a Moonrock in my Nose

By Cout

Game intro:

The judges didn’t pick this one as their winner, but they did dig for gold in Cout’s homage to a famous Simpsons episode. You should have a go too… Who knows, you might like it!

Fun Fact:

The title comes from a line said by Ralph Wiggum on The Simpsons, from the episode This Little Wiggy (Season 9, Episode 18).

The Judges:

Denny: Wow, what a game. I was reading the manual and did not remember The Simpsons episode it was speaking of. But yes, after having searched for moon rocks in my nose I can clearly remember it again. This is a booger searching simulator and I approve of it.

Hayesmaker: Another fun game to stream, I’m not sure exactly, but this is definitely “craptastic”. Also teaches a valuable life lesson not to pick your nose!

Merman: Gains a point for using a quote from the inimitable Ralph Wiggum, but this nose-picking simulator is scraping the bottom of the barrel.

We Say!

Ant: When it comes to picking a winner everyone knows that it’s not always easy to extract that nugget of gold. And while IFAMIMN isn’t my top choice I always appreciate Cout’s prolific and often heavily random number-based entries into the Craptastic competitions. Laced with tongue-in-cheek (or in this case, digit-up-nostril) humour, they always give me a bit of a smile. There isn’t much in this one, but there is a strange level of tension as you select your nostrils of choice. I would have liked to have seen the nostril tally increment during play, though.

#21 – G7000 Racer

By Igmar Coenen

Code by I. Coenen
Charset by D. Almer

Game intro:

A game where you drive like an idiot without consequence. G7000 Racer features gameplay that harks back to the days of the beginning of gaming itself! Why are you driving into oncoming traffic? Who cares, just go with it!

The Judges:

Denny: Very enjoyable little game, and quite addicting too when you get into it enough! I would love to see more variation in terms of enemies or movement that would make the game actually way harder and much more fun!

Dan: Reverse Breakout, you have to dodge the bouncing ball not hit it with your large bat. The large size of the objects makes it really difficult If not impossible in some cases. Fun for a blast but the minimal presentation leave little to return for.

Hayesmaker: Just dodge the oncoming traffic by moving right and left.  No reason to let go of fire (it allows you to dodge faster, so why let go?).  It plays better in hard mode!

We Say!

Paul: G7000 Racer is a racing game with absolutely no sense of speed, almost no need to move your car and nothing to race against. In fact, it’s more like G7000 Dodge ‘Em as you slide left and right across the bottom of the screen in an attempt to avoid what looks like a falling car. That’s all there is to it and it isn’t enough to keep you playing for long at all.

#20 – Roll Roll Roll

by Cout

Game intro:

Cout proudly presents us a game that lets out the inner gambler in everyone. A thrilling game of chance which begins by a simple role of the dice, but eventually leads to a trip to the pub for a bet on the races and a chicken parmigiana. Classic stuff, it’s all downhill from here.

The Judges:

Dan: A simple game, however this time we are aware of the risk/reward scenario, using dice lets you way up the probability of getting better, make it a hold or fold challenge. Again could really do with a 2 player mode, but this has some depth single player.

Louie: Enjoyed this, the concept is great for statistic/probability nerds like myself. I like the Expected vs Optimal stats at the end of the game, this was a nice touch and provides the player with feedback with how well they performed from a relative perspective. There’s not much in the game but just enough to have me play this quite a few times.

Mat: Out of all the four games by Cout, this has probably the most interesting concept and the one designed to evaluate real world principles. An educational game, shudder? Nah, but it is fun to try and game the system and see if you can do better than the optimal, which is entirely possible as I scored $49!

We Say!

Rob: Another simple one, where there isn’t much to it beyond the probability hook. Roll the die, and choose whether to keep or reroll. The reliance on randomisation means there’s a challenge, but if anything, it’s not a long-term one.

#19 – Sheeps

by Matthew Clarke

Game intro:

Matthew Clarke dares to dream about the possibility of Amazon delivering electric sheep by helicopter. A 4k Craptastic proof of concept that may indeed revolutionise the delivery method of mail order electric sheep world wide. Or not?

Fun Fact:

Sheep outnumber humans in Australia by a ratio of about 3:1.

The Judges:

Dan:  Thrust with Sheep. I found this utterly unplayable. Sometimes, holding up would not stop the sheep from hitting the deepest pit and dying, then if they did start to fly they would shoot up to the top and run out of fuel and die. Looks nice otherwise.

Hayesmaker: Not sure if the game is bugged, but thrusting didn’t stop me crashing my sheeps on every drop… I love a good gravity game, but I couldn’t work out a single safe strategy for landing despite many attempts.

Louie: Good vibrant graphics that are well presented. Thrust controls need to be refined, I never felt like I had any control of the thrust mechanism. Takes too long to stop a sheep from falling and when thrust was being lowered it did not feel like it made a difference until I reduced it to 0.

We Say!

Cam: Argh. I am so mad at this game not being fun! Taking Lunar Lander and adding rocket-powered sheep sounds like an absolute winner of an idea, but instead Sheeps is so thoroughly difficult it feels like the whole game is broken. The jets on the sheep are simultaneously too weak and powerful, meaning that your sheep will more than likely just plummet to the ground every single time, or be thrust to the top of the screen where it runs out of fuel and dies. Definitely the biggest disappointment of the lot.

#18 – 4kventure

by Endurion

Game intro:

Endurion follows up his 2016 Craptastic entry with something completely unexpected – a 4kb text adventure set in an escape room!

Fun Fact:

Endurion first conceived the game for a 4k adventure compo hosted by the late Paul Panks way back in 2007, and went on to finish the game for Craptastic 2018 and dedicate the game to Paul.

The Judges:

Dan: They say “text is cheap”, in programming we say “strings are expensive”, to attempt a text adventure in 4K is ballsy. Sadly the lack of “commands” command makes this nigh on impossible unless you find the txt file on CSDB. Even then it doesn’t help much. Fun if you like Escape Rooms, dull if you don’t. Beware the crash bug 😉

Mat: You wouldn’t expect an adventure game in the contest, but here you go. Despite its limited size, it’s quite clever, makes you think logically, and with only a small set of verbs, you don’t have to struggle that much with trying to find the right command to progress. Highly impressive.

Merman: A clever piece of coding, but the limited vocabulary and tricky puzzles means I was not drawn back to play it more.

We Say!

Kev: Now, this is totally out of left field! I was not expecting a text adventure from Georg, but am thankful that he has gone out and created something completely different, true to the spirit of the compo! Takes the escape room concept to the confines of 4kb and a very simple verb/noun parser. A great entry!

#17 – Parking Assistant Chicken

by Goerp

Code by Goerp
Music by Roel

Game intro:

A thrilling game of chicken, while driving in reverse with only your ‘parking assist’ beeps to guide you. The Commodore 64 version of a real life game that is played out worldwide in Supermarket car parks every day!

The Judges:

Denny: The idea of this game is bonkers and I love it! I played this game together with my brother and I haven’t had this much fun in a while – a classic game of chicken, but with a really cool twist! The music is incredible!

Louie: Enjoyable in its simplicity. Fun little two player game that can see players adopt different approaches to decide the right time to be chicken in search of the perfect balance between risk and reward. A single player mode would provide greater lastability.

Mat: Can’t deny this isn’t something else, chickens playing chicken! A two player title is always welcome, just a pity there wasn’t room for rudimentary AI so one player could also join in the fun. But what’s there is well executed and has a fair amount of skill and judgement involved.

Merman: A very unusual idea with well thought-out presentation (including an animated chicken) – but it needs two players and is a tricky concept to grasp.

We Say!

Ant: What a weird egg this game is (I strongly recommend reading the instructions)! I fully approve of this concept and once you get into the game proper it’s well implemented. I mean, you can’t go wrong with an abstract two-player game involving flapping chickens and crashing cars. I’d like to see an enhanced version with various AI options. Unique and interesting (and surprisingly good music)!

#16 – Memory Safe

by Jamie Fuller

Game intro:

Use your memory to remember a string of 16 numbers and break into a safe containing treasure (perhaps an original boxed copy of US Gold’s missing game, Murder). Not recommended for aging C64 owners who can’t even remember their own birthdays. This is just cruel, Jamie!

Fun Fact:

Memory safe supports Commodore 64 paddles!

The Judges:

Dan: Paddles support is nice to see and would really help sell the concept I feel, sadly I don’t have a pair. Simple concept, well executed, nice rolling dial graphics. Great for parties I would think.

Louie: Nice idea that really stretches the memory capacity of 40+ year olds. Turning the safe dial initially feels satisfying but does become laborious as you longer into the game. Not sure what to make of what is found in the safe but I feel it was worth the effort to unlock.

Mat: It’s Simon, but dressed up in some very impressive presentation for 4k, complete with animated dial, numbers and sound effects. Whether you can actually recall a sixteen digit number without cheating is another matter! The ability of your memory will really factor in how long you wish to play this.

We Say!

Paul: This isn’t really a game, but it’s very well-presented and engaging nonetheless. The title is self-explanatory… to open the safe, you must remember an increasingly-long number combination. That’s all there is to it, but it’s executed with style.

#15 – Toxic

by Richard Bayless/Shaun Pearson

Programming and sound effects by Richard Bayliss
Graphics and design by Shaun Pearson

Game intro:

The locals have been poisoned and it is up to you, Debbie Lambaart, to clean each site and decontaminate the area. The on board Geiger counter measures your level of contamination. Too high, and its certain death. Zero, and it’s off to the pub for a pint. Hooray!

The Judges:

Hayesmaker: Toxic features an impressive in game UI, including score, border graphics, toxic meter, and high score. Gameplay involves fiddly spraying of toxic pools which randomly appear on the map.  Not a bad game for 4KB.

Louie: Decent blasting fun with urgency picking up as the toxic counter reaches the red zone. Main character is adequately defined and moves about at a good pace. Some nice sound effects in play. Introducing different colour toxic spills that have different impact on Toxic counter would add more depth to game.

Mat: Interesting premise, and the graphics and presentation are cute. However the gameplay is quite repetitive, and in a way, the difficulty (and thus the requirements based on the Geiger counter increases) are very slow to increase. High scores are really quite easy to achieve as a result.

We Say!

Rob: Toxic’s presentation is what stands out immediately – some lovely sprite work, alongside the instrumentation panel. The gameplay itself is fun, running around the screen, and dousing the toxic puddles before they spread. The only real downer is that it’s a bit too much of a slow burn – taking a lot of play before things become a serious threat to the player.

#14 – Freaky Fish

by Design/Chaos

Programming by Chris Page
Graphics by Brent Page
Sound by Chris & Brent Page

Game intro:

You are Freaky Fish and have the ability to trap the dynamite from the fisherman by blowing massive bubbles, catching the dynamite and floating it back to the surface. This game combines everything we love about fishing. Big fat freaky fish, dynamite and massive explosions. That’s how we roll at Reset.

The Judges:

Jamie: Completely whacko idea but one that surprisingly works. Great idea, graphics and presentation, just got slightly repetitive.

Louie: Well-presented graphically but game play frustrated as bubbles would seem to go through dynamite sticks without getting picked up. Other fish in the ocean look good but I would have liked to have seen them act as a hindrance to your own fish rather than just being there for decoration.

Mat: It certainly doesn’t take any prisoners from the off, and the first couple of games are likely to be very short! But once you work out when to go after the dynamite and when to leave it, the fuse length, and the speed of everything, then the scores slowly creep up. You are liable to find it quite frustrating though in amidst the enjoyment.

We Say!

Ant: I absolutely adore the whole concept and the visuals of Freaky Fish. It’s very cute. Unfortunately there’s a big difficulty curve initially due to the inertia, slightly sluggish controls and unfair collision detection. However, when it clicks and you get the hang of it, Freaky Fish is a whole lot of fun. Thanks to changing pond sizes there’s actually a nice difficulty curve ongoing. Cleverly implemented and a very enjoyable game if you persevere.

#13 – Mind the Mines

by Derek

Game intro:

A clever variation of Minesweeper from Derek’s Terrible Software. Make your way up to the top of the screen with only a clue to the number of mines adjacent to your position to help. The quicker you get through, the higher your score. Oooh, the tension!

The Judges:

Dan: Minesweeper remixed, interesting use of the mechanic; however without it mapping or changing the map it is mostly just brutally hard which kills the “one more go”. The controls are a bit too fast, having it move on the grid I feel would help, too often I would overstep and BOOM.

Hayesmaker: A unique twist of minesweeper with a brilliant moody soundtrack and 9 random levels. It won’t become easy no matter how many times you beat it! Plays brilliantly too.

Mat: There’s a fine line between addiction and frustration here, and it manages to walk that tightrope quite precariously. As a combination of arcade puzzler crossed with Minesweeper, it does exactly what it says on the tin, but you’ll be hard pressed to get past level 3! There’s even more than one piece of music which is very impressive.

We Say!

Cam: What I like about the Craptastic competition is that it encourages exploration of new and unusual ideas, even if they don’t always work. Mind the Mines has an interesting concept, and the graphical presentation is top notch with things like your footprints staying on screen so you can see where you’ve gone. I just found myself playing it while looking at the status bar at the top of the screen instead of the gameplay area, which is a weird way to play a video game.

#12 – Rabid Robots 4k

by Richard Bayliss/Alf Yngve

Programming and sound by Richard Bayliss
Graphics and concept by Alf Yngve

Game intro:

Dressed as one of the Blues Brothers, you must protect your puppy, probably named Kujo, from an onslaught of killer rabid robots. A single screen, 8 level shooter, this cracking game from Richard and Alf is the perfect high score chaser!

Fun Fact:

A 4k demake of an earlier SEUCK title from Alf and probably the first ever demake of a SEUCK title!

The Judges:

Denny: Very fun game and very cool idea and concept! I’m impressed by how this game makes you feel dread when you are fighting robots off to protect you little dog, well done!

Dan: Shoot things as the come in from the side in an endless score run, with a doggy twist, now you have a dog that you have to protect/move out of the way as well. It adds much needed flavour to this tried and tested genre. Not much else to it though and the music is very repetitive. Worth a quick bash.

Louie: Quite a fun little blaster. The movement interaction between boy and dog adds depth to the game play. All characters are nicely drawn. Some addictive qualities to the game made me what to have a few goes time after time.

We Say!

Kev: It’s an absolute privilege having Richard and Alf participate in the compo, and their entry doesn’t disappoint. A 4k Demake of a previously released enhanced SEUCK collaboration between the two, Rabid Robots 4k is a clever single screen shooter and high score chaser, with the added element of having to also protect your best mate whilst looking out for yourself. Should have polled higher!

#11 – Elevator Eric

by Derek

Game intro:

Similar in concept to ancient titles such as Nifty Lifty (ZX Spectrum/BBC Micro) and Wacky Waiters (Vic20), Elevator Eric, the first of three Craptastic 2018 entries from Derek’s Terrible Software, is pure oldschool platforming fun. Remember, the only way is up!

Fun Fact:

According to Derek, the game was programmed in about 1.5 days after a break from coding on the C64 of about 30 years!

The Judges:

Dan: Custom font, animation, and a surprisingly large number of well-drawn pick-ups put this title above most. The concept is simple and elegant however the very limited path one can take limits any strategy from the game and it becomes more game of chicken than skill to get a high score. With some different routes, and options to change the route this could be up there with Frantic Freddy.

Louie: Simple but classic arcade platformer done well. Big bright sprites that present well on screen and control movement is spot on, which is a must for this type of game. Just missing a jolly tune in the background.

Mat: For 4k in size, this is really well programmed, plenty of colour, logic and design, harking back to some older games that it name checks on the title screen. Unfortunately it’s also rather easy, which is really the only detriment against its score here.

We Say!

Paul: This reminds me of another game, but for the life of me, I can’t think what. It’s fun though, and in fact I consider it to be a fair bit better than many early 80s budget games. It’s short and fairly easy, but there’s a decent risk/reward element in there to tempt you into coming back for higher scores. I’d like to see an expanded version of this one.

#10 – Space Poker

by Karol Stasiak

Game intro:

In the game of Space Poker, no one can hear you scream. The higher your hand, the more fuel that will be added to your ever dwindling supply. Then you can safely nuke them from orbit, just to be sure.

Fun Fact:

Karol: “Space Poker was written in a brand new programming language called Millfork. In fact, the game was used as a test project for the language. The game source code is available at

The initial name for the project was “Card Games on Motorcycles”. The player’s spaceship is referred to in code as “bike”. The game was supposed to look a bit like Excitebike, but with playing cards instead of ramps.”

The Judges:

Dan: Novel concept, rather than a straight collect-a-thon you have to make a bet on what else you are going to get and avoid more than you collect.  Having a well established “set” such as poker allows you to make a guess at your chances of getting a particular combo which adds depth the game and extra fuel payoff can add some tension to the title. Graphics are simple, scrolling looks odd. But worth a few goes.

Louie: Brought a big smile to my face when I started playing. Ship moves around well, cards are very well defined, game moves at a good pace and I like how you have the choice as to how you want to proceed (do I go for a quick pair or hold out for something more ambitious). A good example of risk and reward trade off game.

Mat: Fly through cards and make the best hand, there is a bit of skill, judgement and luck involved here. Definitely does not pay to wait around! Fun to play, easy to pick up, hard to put down, but a little frustrating. If anything, it does teach you what all the poker hands are!

We Say!

Ant: This is such a cool idea and a great mash-up of concepts! Of all the games in the comp, this is the one that I want most to see an enhanced version of. The implementation here is good but possibly let down a little by the memory restrictions. If collision detection was a little tighter, movement wasn’t confined to lanes, and the difficulty was a bit more gentle, I think we’d definitely be onto a winner. Throw in some enhanced graphics, a little music, maybe the ability to ‘draw’ a new card, and hey, how do I get in touch with the developer?

#9 – Endless Worlds

by Derek

Game intro:

A casual game by Derek’s Terrible Software™, which has the player endlessly falling and jumping onto randomly placed platforms and collecting the diamonds as you go along. Very similar in style to several Android/iOS games, but a first for the Commodore 64!

The Judges:

Denny: Another solid game from Derek. The music, the fluidity and the controls are outstanding. The only BIG downside is, that the platforms appear totally randomly and you can’t jump to reach some, making the game heavily reliant on luck instead of skill to get far. I can see this game being outstanding if put into a fully featured game, and I would love to see where Derek could take it.

Dan: You’ve seen the endless runner, you’ve seen the endless climber now meet the endless faller, true innovation! Derek’s presentation goes up a notch this time with added music and parallax scrolling effects. Has a nice 1 more go, but seldom 5 more.

Mat: Quite similar to a number of other titles, an endless “dropper” as I like to call them, but again, impressive for 4k in size, together with title music, which is a bit of a rarity here. It’s fun to play albeit a little unpredictable in how far you can progress due to the random nature of the spawning platforms.

We Say!

Paul: Hey, this is pretty decent. There are countless mobile games like this, although more of them feature you jumping up the screen rather than falling down, as you do in this one. Given the memory restrictions, there’s nothing in the way of variety but as a simple high-score game, it’s a fun little diversion that doesn’t out-stay its welcome.

#9 – Mach Tank

by Jeffrey Ouellette (Malcontent)

Game intro:

Ah yes, finally a chance to really kick the arse of alien robot scum, without prejudice, and destroy their factory cities in your Mach Tank. It’s every human’s dream come true!

Fun Fact:

The landscape of each of the ten levels for each game is procedurally generated. No one game of Mach Tank will ever be exactly the same!

The Judges:

Denny: One of the games I could not get enough of. At the beginning you literally go WTF because you don’t know at all what you are supposed to be doing. It clears up pretty fast, but it really impressed me how much fun this game was!

Louie: Well-presented overall. Going through buildings is quite fun initially and I like that you have the choice to go for enemy planes, etc. as well. Nice large game map enhances the sense of freedom within the game.

Merman: Although the graphics are a little simplistic on first glance, the procedural generation of the cities is a very clever piece of programming. Reading the notes to discover the objective (the top-right tower block must be destroyed) made it make more sense.

We Say!

Rob: Mach Tank has easily got to be the fastest game in the compo. Its combination of frantic level movement, destructible levels and race against the clock action made for a great blasting experience. With ten levels to blast through, it’s one entry which I can’t help would make for a great speed running challenge… seeing just how fast can one clear out the entire game!

#8 – Trump Tower

by Megastyle

Code by Docster
Music by DMX
Sprites by Rotteroy
Charset by FX

Game intro:

Megastyle make their triumphant Craptastic return with this one-button ripper. Party it up at Trump Tower with our favourite anti-hero Donnie. Collect the lost money, scattered underpants, and don’t forget to… ahem… grab the pussy(cat)..

Fun Fact:

Based on 100% real life events, guaranteed!

The Judges:

Dan: Simple concept, there is clear planning in the level layout it slowly teaches you the mechanics as you go along, music and sfx, with ending tune, simple but well executed graphics, wry humor and a very very high one more go factor.

Hayesmaker: No 2018 craptastic game compo would be complete without a Trump reference. This is a top-class high score runner, but instead of scrolling levels, you negotiate the many floors of Trump tower.  Grab those coins and cats for bonus points!

Mat: One thing’s for sure, Megastyle aren’t going to be on Chump’s Christmas card list! It’s an endless runner type game, but the humour is pretty evident, the premise not so ludicrous (as the wig wearing one emulates Jet Set Willy), and to be honest, it thankfully plays pretty well too. The comedy version (is that not possible?!) of Yakety Sax is the icing on the presentation.

We Say!

Kev: Another lovely one-button casual game from Megastyle. Guiding ‘Donnie’ through Trump Tower is a blast, with perfect jumping physics, lovely graphics and typically patriotic music! A truly Craptastic entry from the veterans at Megastyle, fitting the theme and spirit of the compo but also being a very clever concept and expertly crafted 4k game.

#7 – Kalle Kloakk 4k

by Megastyle

Programming by Docster
Graphics & Music by Rotteroy

Game intro:

One thing we hate at Reset towers is when one of the staffers (who shall not be named) constantly forgets to change the toilet paper after doing their business. The boys in Megastyle emphasize with this, and have made a game about it (well, kind of!). Craptastic!

The Judges:

Louie: Loved this as the game is played in two stages. Plan and execute game style provides great depth to game play. Music suits the game. Hi-res graphics means that the main character is quite well defined and the toilet paper graphic hits the mark. Quite a fun game.

Mat: It’s either coincidence, or there’s a fascination with toilets in this year’s competition. This one requires collecting toilet paper, and is as much a game of reactions as forward planning, when stopping the columns in various heights. I liked it, although it can be frustrating not stopping the bar at the lowest point for certain rolls. Could easily be expanded into a bigger game with the same ideas.

Merman: A very amusing idea is backed up with a neat twist on the platform game – the player sets the heights of the platforms and then tries to collect the toilet rolls. With only a limited number of levels it loses out on lasting appeal.

We Say!

Cam: Definitely one of the better games of the competition in my eyes, as it has a simple concept and executes it well. There’s a bit of skill and strategy involved in setting up the levels before traversing them, and it’s a nice way to while away ten minutes or so. Plus there’s plenty of silly toilet paper jokes which I am always a sucker for.

#6 – #2vABC

by James

Game intro:

Collect all the dots on the screen to open the toilet and progress to the next screen. It sounds simple enough, but just like trying to do a poo after a week of eating nothing but takeout, it ain’t easy but it’s oh so satisfying!

Fun Fact:

The game includes an impressive simultaneous two player mode!

The Judges:

Dan: n++ in 4K with two player support. Chef’s Kiss. The graphics are simple yet functional, controls are a little on the annoying side, a better jump would be nice but it gets the job done. Good to see this concept boiled down so well.

Mat: To quote Han Solo, “She doesn’t look like much, but she’s got it where it counts!” Completely formed from PETSCII, but very smooth, very playable, very addictive and quite challenging. Even though the concept is about toilets. Maybe inspired by Jet Set Willy, who knows. Only really loses out on presentation.

Merman: The first screen is cleverly designed to help the player understand the controls, but it is tricky to get beyond it. What is revealed is more variety and some clever ideas. Although it looks graphically simple by using the ROM font, that is part of the appeal.

We Say!

Rob: I absolutely dig the PETSCII visuals here, it certainly is a stand out amongst its peers in the compo! The platforming mechanics are incredibly fully-featured for such a small codebase – bouncing around those levels certainly was joyful. Whilst I appreciated the first level for introductory purposes, there were a couple of jumps which were truly not fun to master at all.

#5 – Dustin’

by Graham Axten/Privy Software

Programming, design and graphics by Graham Axten
Sound and SFX by Vanja Utne

Game intro:

We’ve encountered some pretty dirty C64s in our time, including one on the net quite recently that had been kept out in the weather for years and the motherboard was infested with dirt and ants. Dustin’ is a game that simulates those conditions and turns them into an enthralling and addictive high score chaser. Be warned, instant frustration applies!

Fun Fact:

Dustin’ was re-released on Graham’s page complete with a handy high-score saver.

The Judges:

Denny: I never tried any of Graham’s work before this game so I was extremely surprised by playing such a perfect game in a little competition! This game has everything I want from a game, and more. Not only is this game amazing, it also gets you into the “Tetris-Zone” while playing it, making it a really special game for me! I still play it, amazing work Graham.

Dan: An interesting take on the QIX/Centipede dodging mechanic, controls are smooth, the board design adds extra complexity in “reading” the field. The music does grate quickly but it has the all important one more go factor.

Hayesmaker: Dustin’ is a simple but fun single screen arcade game.  Avoid the electric pulses whilst cleaning the dust from C64 motherboards for score. Didn’t keep me hooked, but fun for a short go every now and then.

Jamie: Great fun, great sound, great graphics and an original idea.

Louie: Fun little game that elevates when you start getting in the groove of collecting the dust particles in quick succession. Character movement is fluid and pulse movement patterns are clever. Music suits the game very well. Quite addictive game and would be great as a party game.

Mat: Cute, adorable, and with a reasonably balanced, increasing difficulty curve, I rather enjoyed guiding Dustin about to collect all the dust balls. The funky pounding soundtrack adds to the action, and the graphics are far simpler than they appear, and are very cleverly implemented.

Merman: A great-looking game at first glance, and it soon becomes addictive as you chase a high score.

We Say!

Ant: So full disclosure, Graham and I both entered the comp under the banner of Privy Software. That said, I’m putting Dustin’ as my top Craptastic choice (please send all concerns regarding bias to my PO Box, written on a tiny top hat). Dustin’ has everything I want in a game like this: simple gameplay, precise controls, fun tunes, fast action, lovely graphics, smooth difficulty curve, and an homage to the C64 motherboard. Pretty much perfect.

#4 – Chef Quest

by Anthony Stiller/Privy Software

Programming, design and graphics by Anthony Stiller
Music by Vanja Utne

Game intro:

Anthony Stiller swaps his trademark top hat for a toque blanche and tries his best to keep the Kitchen clean, despite the monsters making a terrible mess in this mini RPG. Are you brave enough to dare embark on Chef Quest? Grab your recipe book, switch on the Thermomix and go!

Fun Fact:

Anthony has revealed that he had to drop a whole heap of planned features so Chef Quest could fit in 4k. I wonder?![Anthony] I’m glad you asked! I was a little (i.e. very) ambitious with Chef Quest and to squeeze this into 4k a lot of features were cut. Here’s a short list, and some of these may make an appearance in an expanded version one day: Different Chefs with varying abilities; different weapons that affected monsters depending on type; extra dungeon features; a special ‘critical attack’; an actual cooking mini-game; recipes; and, most importantly, a flying doughnut monster.

The Judges:

Denny: Haven’t played such a silly fun game in a long time! A fully featured dungeon-crawler with many little cool ideas inside 4k! Incredible work by an incredible coder!

Dan: A dungeon crawler in 4K is ambitious, the sideways walking and fighting reminiscent of early mobile games. The nice graphics sell it, the music is a bit lacking and I think SFX would have done better in this case. Good reaction tester with RPG elements.

Hayesmaker: This one has me hooked as well. I need to find all the ingredients and beat that 3rd dungeon! Just reading the dropped features to squeeze this into competition limits make me want to see this game get a full release! Superb and surprisingly deep action RPG!

Jamie: Great game! Fun and addictive but became repetitive for me.

Louie: An interesting take on the RPG genre and it plays out quite well. The fighting mechanism works well and variation in the cycle speed adds a little more depth to what otherwise would be one dimensional game play. Variance in music is a nice touch. Presentation is good.

Mat: An RPG in 4k? With graphics and sound?! There is some serious wizardry going on here (pun intended), but the execution is terrific, the premise bonkers, and it does require some reactions and timing skill to complete. Could easily be expanded further with more memory.

Merman: This is so impressive, from the map generation to the graphics and music. A mini-RPG with a great sense of humour and an original take on combat mechanics. My favourite entry in the competition.

We Say!

Paul: You’d think it would be difficult for me to look at this without any degree of bias, seeing as it was written by our very own “Handsome” Ant Stiller. You’d be wrong, though… I’m nothing if not objective (and harsh if needs be). I’d give that Ant a sound verbal thrashing if the need arose! Fortunately that’s not necessary, as Chef’s Quest is superb. It reminds me a little of the excellent PC game, 10000000, and although it has to be simpler than that game due to the platform it’s on, it’s a brilliant concept which could be expanded into an outstanding “full” game. There’s so much to build on here but with such an excellent core, Chef Quest is my game of the competition.

#4 – Orbs

by Annina Games

Code by Raffaele Formato
Graphics by Federico Sesler
Music by Attila Szoke 

Game intro:

Orbs is a game like no other on the C64. Think of it as the lovechild of Micro Hexagon and Tetris and you’ll still be nowhere near the mark – but like those two gems, Orbs is hypnotic, compulsive and frustrating. Persistence is the key!

 Fun Fact:

The game is a demake of Duet, which was published on the Android/iOS platforms.

The Judges:

Denny: A very impressive game! This game has some sort of meditative feel to it with its slow moving puzzles and repetitive music you enter a very empty state of mine after a while! I really appreciate how well this game is put together and how it does not punish you! Very well done.

Dan: A slick and novel puzzle game, more complicated than it seems and they give you unlimited tries at the start of the level to compensate and you will need them. Nice tune, interesting side graphics, smooth scrolling, rapid retry and mind bending.

Hayesmaker: This game requires precision control of two orbs which rotate around a fixed point as you try to avoid the platforms which fall in progressively more difficult patterns.  Learning the correct paths gets hard really quickly, you’ll need expert reflexes to complete Orbs.

Jamie: Original game, simple idea that works well. Great sound as well.

Louie: A simple game concept executive very well. Loved the backing music, side graphics look great and the obstacle shapes move down without any stutter. Highly addictive, I just wanted to uncover each new bit of text that was revealed after completing a level, great game.

Mat: More an experience than a direct game, given there doesn’t appear to be any lives, there is a “zone” aspect to the title, complete with vaguely trippy soundtrack. It’s a very clever, intricately designed game, but it does get somewhat tricky rather early on, and does require an awful lot of trial and error amid the mild frustration of having to repeatedly replay sections.

Merman: Nice presentation and graphics, but I found this puzzle game very frustrating – especially when set back to the start of the current section/level so often. A few tweaks of the difficulty could have made the difference.

We Say!

Paul: Wow, did this game drive me mad. It took me ages to get more than a few moves into the game, and I didn’t even know there were levels until someone mentioned it in competition! Spurred on by this revelation, I tackled it anew and made good progress. It’s another memory test but unlike Memory Safe, it’s much more “gamey”. The way it’s presented is really lovely, and the whole package comes together perfectly which is why, if I’d been judging, Orbs would have been one of my top three.

#3 – Snake-a-Space (aka Molly)

by Jamie & Mollie Fuller

Coding, graphics & music by Jamie Fuller
Concept and ideas by Molly Fuller

Game intro:

Jamie Fuller presents us with a truly Craptastic title, straight from the mind of a child! A worm astronaut named Deena collects falling projectiles while balancing on the back of a giant wriggling snake called Tibly, who isn’t feeling well as things would have it. Beware of Picki, the rolling pig. YESSSS!!!

Fun Fact:

Jamie involved his six year old daughter in the development of the game by translating her ideas into a fully fleshed out concept!

The Judges:

Denny: Designed by his little daughter, and made by a person who really understands how to translate an idea into a fully functioning game. Intense, and at the same time silly fun! Great job!

Dan: Snakes in space with blind pigs? Kids are really good at coming up with this kind of stuff. The random rolling pig keeps you on ya toes and add flair to an otherwise tired concept. The snake wiggling is very smooth, and falling star effect. Great creativity, top notch presentation, sadly a bit lacking in variety so one or two blasts is all you will need.

Hayesmaker: Catch the bombs to save your snake.. In space! Fun catch em all game. My only niggle is I would’ve preferred the option to have fire button act as jump instead of Up.

Jamie: Great graphics, fun to play, colourful and very addictive.

Louie: Technically impressive. The graphical wave landscape movement is so effective that it started to make me feel nauseous while playing. Nice large and bright characters with scrolling starfield backdrop gives the game the impression of high production values. Fun game play.

Mat: This is what the competition is about, worms in space, blind rolling pigs and an angry snake. The effect on the snake as it undulates is very impressive, likewise the rolling pig. Takes a little time to get going, but when it does, can be very challenging. Really, the only concession is that given it isn’t actually used; it would have been nicer to map jump to the fire button instead of using up.

Merman: A charming and very original title, with the movement of the snake especially well designed. The one drawback is the way it takes time for the difficulty level to increase, meaning it lacks challenge for experienced players.

We Say!

Kev: If there is one game that really captures the spirit of Craptastic, it’s Molly. We’ve got giant rolling pigs, falling stars and the action takes place on a giant wriggly snake.  Conceptually, Molly is a well implemented yet simple catchem’up that is good fun for short bursts. Developed by Jamie based on ideas from his six year old daughter, Molly. Aww, how lovely is that!

#3 – Wave Hero

by Geir Straume

Game intro:

Slap on the sunscreen and grab the jet ski as you jump the waves in this endless runner. Wave Hero is Geir Straume’s love letter to the Flappy Bird/Canabalt formula and it doesn’t disappoint!

Fun Fact:

Geir: “There’s a “craptastic” game ending, if you manage to get far enough.”

The Judges:

Denny: One of my favourite games out of this compo! The way the physics work is so fun, and I could see this concept being able to be taken further and make it a bit more complex! Amazing game, respect!

Dan: Any endless runner, well executed however. The water effect is particularly nice.  They way the player rises to the water and then floats up and down after death is nice touch. Clouds are cute as well. Simple affair but that is what makes the addicting.

Hayesmaker: Really enjoyable high score infinite runner. How far can you go?! Love the water effects, both graphics and the muffled underwater engine noise.

Jamie: Flipping awesome game and not only looks and sounds great, it plays great.

Louie: Could easily be included as an event for one of the Epyx Games Series, such as World Games or California Game. Graphically, the game looks spot on and the watercraft moves very well through the water. I like the little touches like the riders ponytail bouncing up and down. Ultimately it’s a superior version of Flappy Bird that is well executed.

Mat: Another of the popular one-button “endless runner” type games, but with a couple of twists of its own, especially as the leap is dependent on the depth below the surface. Also it manages to counter some obvious tactics in the process, meaning it keeps you on your toes, doesn’t get predictable, and hones the reactions, although oddly enough, it arguably gets a bit easier as it gets faster!

Merman: Instantly appealing, a cross between Flappy Bird and a jet-ski. Great wave animation and good presentation, just needed a bit more variety.

We Say!

Ant: Wave Hero was the first entry I tried in the comp and I was amazed at the level of quality and playability. “Bloomin’ ‘eck!” I exclaimed. “This one is going to be hard to top!” and while Wave Hero isn’t quite my personal winner, it’s one of my favourites. The sprites are lovely, the water effect is very cool, and the sound effects are crisp. Most importantly, the single-button control feels great. A very impressive game.

#2 – WTF

by Misfit

Game intro:

Ahh Misfit, deliberately trolling C64 gamers everywhere by producing a game that will enrage anyone who plays it. Guide Werner the stupid ball to the goal by scrolling his world left and right, which Werner will then try and follow. Pure Craptasticness!

Fun Fact:

Misfit is the author of the amazing Cheese & Onion on the Commodore VIC20.

The Judges:

Denny: One of the best games of this competition! I would love to see Misfit put in the time to make this game a fully featured release!

Dan: What if we make a game with Wizball controls said nobody else since Wizball, until Misfit that is! Lovely hires chars, smooth scrolling, interesting puzzle game, would be nice if there was some marker to show me where the ball/thing was aiming for, but nice idea done well.

Hayesmaker: In this game you control the camera, and a bouncing ball which tries to catch up.. Innovative and brutally difficult but fun levels.

Jamie: Great game, awesome graphics!

Louie: Challenging game that pulls you in to give it just one more try. Unique control mechanism focusing on controlling the screen rather than the character is novel and refreshing. Graphics are colourful and WTF is quite well animated. Quite enjoyable

Mat: Bounce your way to the goal by scrolling the screen to varying degrees, avoiding the hazards along the way. It’s a very clever concept, exceeding well executed, that sadly just might prove too frustrating for some players to handle without throwing objects at walls. At least there are infinite continues of sorts to get through to the end.

Merman: Moving the background rather than the sprite is highly original, it just takes some getting used to. Great graphics, shame the difficulty is so high.

We Say!

Cam: An interesting concept but ultimately an unsatisfying one, WTF connects the player’s jump height to how far away from the centre of the screen they are. We have 40 years of connecting jump height to how long you hold down the jump button without anyone complaining, but hey. Hazards are tiny and poorly signposted and the whole game is an exercise in frustration.

#1 – Conga 4096

by Paul Koller

Game intro:

Paul Koller astounds us with his 4k demake of RGCD’s recent PC game, Pan Dimensional Conga Combat. An arena shooter at heart, Conga 4096 will test the reflexes of gamers and also the durability of joysticks!

Fun Fact:

Paul is well known for his demakes/conversions of contemporary indie titles to the Commodore 64. These have included Super Bread Box, Micro Hexagon, C64anabalt and most recently LuftrauserZ, which have all been published on cartridge by RGCD.

Paul: “To simplify the in-game collision detection, both enemy bullet and player enemy collision detection is done using the sprite background and sprite sprite HW collision registers respectively. Due to the limitations of the sprite to sprite collision register, any collision that includes sprite #0 (player sprite) is assumed to kill the player. This implies that collisions with explosion sprites are also registered as player death! There was no way around this without incorporating a much more elaborate collision routine, for which I did not have the space. Knowing this, you have to play a bit more careful when moving fast, in order to not hit enemies immediately after you’ve killed them.”

The Judges:

Denny: Such a great port of the original game called Pan-Dimensional Conga Combat by RGCD! Technically this game is impressive as it’s fun to play – definitely a great achievement by Paul Koller.

Dan: Holly Molly, a conversion on the C64 is always a tough affair, a down port even more so, a down port in 4K is madness, yet here it is, and it’s perfect for it. Sure I can see something that could be better if given 16K but they are optional. Full marks on all accounts apart from concept and originality 😉

Hayesmaker: Almost a clean sweep from this demake of a full Steam game: Conga Combat by RGCD. I’ve been hooked to this game since release, and I will never give up trying to beat that high score!  Fast and furious non-stop action, just awesome.

Jamie: Amazing idea for a game, brilliant and the best of the bunch for me, all in 4k which is simply amazing.

Louie: Fun single screen game. Vibrant and well defined sprites. Music and sound effects are spot on for this type of game. Overall quite polished and has strong addictive elements to game play. Would be a good party game.

Mat: Paul is doing it again, de-making another game, and attempting to put people into hospital with more crazy light effects! The gameplay in itself is somewhat like the old Atari arcade Quantum, and there is a fine balance of inertia to control, as you only get one life. One and done here. Lovely graphics, drum beats, and a definite “one more go” feeling.

Merman: As a fan of the original Pan-Dimensional Conga Combat, this was an amazing sight to see released in the 4K competition. Great coding and presentation really distills the essence of the gameplay.

We Say!

Rob: Paul Koller’s winning entry is an absolute showcase for what can be done in a mere 4k. The frantic action is engaging as you whirl around the playfield, taking out enemies using your tail, and charging up your mega blast to blast the bigger meanies. It’s one amazing package with great music, crisp visuals making a tough challenge more than worthy of its first placing.

BONUS: Anthony Stiller mini-interview!

[Kev]: Hey Ant! Chef Quest is a quirky and absolutely charming concept. How did the idea come about?
[Ant] Hey Kev! Thanks very much for the kind words. The original idea for Chef Quest actually came from some manga comics that my youngest daughter has been reading called Delicious in Dungeon (by Ryoko Kui) where a Dungeons & Dragons-like party go adventuring, run out of supplies, and start harvesting the dungeon denizens so they can continue their quest. I loved the idea and wanted to take that concept and make it even more quirky. “Hey, why not make it an actual adventuring chef?” I thought to myself.

[Kev]: Fitting a mini RPG into 4kb is an amazing effort! How did you find the memory constraints while fleshing out the ideas for your game? What were some of your biggest challenges?
[Ant]: After seeing Minima Reloaded by Robin Harbron I really wanted to try my hand at a 4kb Rogue-like RPG. The memory constraints were obviously a major challenge (I did quickly question my sanity at trying to do an RPG) so I’ve use a few tricks. All of the dungeon content (ie traps, treasure, and monsters) is procedurally generated from a pseudo-random number seed (two seeds, actually, to simulate the two paths you can take) and this itself took a lot of trial and error to find seeds that worked well. The dungeon rooms and corridors are all built using coordinates (and to save memory I made multi-purpose routines so, for example, the routine to draw the rooms and corridors also draws the screen borders – they’re all rectangles!). There was also a lot of code tweaking to squeeze what I could out of the code compression. Oh, and I always had to keep in mind that I had to keep enough room for Vanja’s great music!

The biggest challenge, however, was cutting all the content I had planned (I was somewhat … ambitious). I had a lot of cool ideas but I found I had to start culling early on and then I just kept culling and culling, right up to the day I submitted the final version! Still, that just means when I make the full version it will be like a whole new game, maybe!

[Kev]: Your 2016 Craptastic entry, Attack of the Mutant Cabbages, was your first C64 game. What did you do differently in regards to your approach for programming Chef Quest? Is there anything in particular that stands out?
[Ant]: Wow, that seems like a thousand years ago! I really had almost no idea what I was doing back in the Cabbages days. Even down to the toolsets I was using! I definitely planned and designed Chef Quest better, with more structure, even though I was trying some new things. With Cabbages I felt lost during the whole process but with Chef Quest I was more confident and much more able to see the big picture, as it were. Experience really matters.

One of the big standouts is how you can build up a great repertoire of code snippets, macros, procedures or whatever. It is so handy having a toolkit of things that just work (that said, I seem to always be tweaking these as well). Additionally, I had moved to a different dev environment about six months prior to starting on Chef Quest and having a solid grip of this toolset also helped me a great deal. And this seems like a good segue to your next question!

[Kev]: What is your dev set up? Are there any particular tools that you use?
[Ant]: I cross-platform dev using Kick Assembler on PC (it can seem intimidating but its scripting language is really powerful and, well, I just love KickAss). I use the KickAss package in Sublime Text, which works well and adds some convenient functionality (and I very much enjoy using Sublime to write the actual code). Graphics are forged using good old SpritePad and CharPad. I’ve not had to worry about sound and music just yet but I’d like to have a go at GoatTracker.

I replicate this setup on my MS Surface Pro so I can work on the train as I commute to and from work (I try to do at least 20 minutes of game dev a day) and I use sourcetree/bitbucket for source control and backup everything regularly. Always back up your work!

[Kev]: What’s next for Anthony Stiller? Would you like to reveal or plug any upcoming projects?
[Ant]: I guess it’s no secret that I am still lovingly working on Petunia Pickle’s Pumpkin Peril for Pond Software. While I have overshot my self-imposed deadline (life got VERY full over the last year) I am extremely happy with my progress and I’m hoping to roll into a proper testing cycle with some of my favourite testers in the next few months.

There are always new ideas bubbling around and, while I am focusing on getting Pumpkins finished, a more feature-rich Chef Quest is on the cards. As a personal side project I am playing around with how to bring a better port of Elevator Action to the C64. And then there’s a text adventure idea thanks to inspiration from fellow Pondie, Stefan (keep an eye out for his excellent Hibernated adventure games!). Oh, and did someone mention trebuchets?


Super Mario Bros. 64 Has Been Unleashed On The C64

Wahoo, after 7 years in development, Super Mario Bros. is finally released on our beloved Commodore 64! A huge thank you to ZeroPaige for the hard work in coding this masterpiece.

For those few that don’t know, this creation is a Commodore 64 port of the 1985 game Super Mario Bros. which was originally released for Famicom and the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES). This brilliant port contains the original version that was released in Japan and United States, as well as the European version – how awesome is that! It also detects and supports a handful of turbo functionalities, and has 2 SID support. We can finally experience Super Mario Bros. in fully glory on our C64s!

The download links can be found on the Lemon64 forum. The disk-image contains 2 programs:

  • SUPER M. BROS.64 – the game (everything in one file); and
  • SMB.64 DOCS – the game manual.

A cartridge-file is also provided, containing the game which can also be used on the C64GS!

For more details on this game and all its features go here.

NOTE: If the Super Mario Bros. 64 file(s) have been taken down, then that is the work of Nintendo’s DMCA notice to file sharing sites 🙁


Tetris 35th Anniversary Silver Coin

Last year’s NZ Mint commemorative Space Invaders 40th Anniversary Silver Coin totally blew us away. Luckily for us, there is another classic video game anniversary this year which NZ Mint will help us celebrate and commemorate with one of their beautiful and special silver coins.

35 years ago, a puzzle game was born from the imagination of computer programmer, Alexey Pajitnov. That puzzle game was Tetris! Inspired by Alexey’s favourite puzzle board game, Pentominos, Pajitnov created an electronic version that let players arrange puzzle pieces in real time as they fell from the top of the playing field. The resulting design was a game that used seven distinctive geometric playing pieces, each made up of four Tetriminos. The genius of Tetris is in its simplicity which hooks you in immediately, but to master it you need the precision of a skilled surgeon and the reflexes of a cat.

Tetris was dubbed the first ‘killer app’ when it was bundled in with Nintendo’s Game Boy handheld system. We easily spent thousands of hours playing Tetris all those years ago and the passion to play it till this day still burns brightly as the first time we made four lines vanish on screen! That fun little puzzle game from 1984 has been responsible for hooking people into playing video games.

To commemorate the 35th anniversary of Tetris on June 6, NZ Mint has released a limited edition 1oz silver coin. The silver coin features the Tetris game’s iconic Tetrimino shapes on a chequered, proof background, arranged in a way to make it appear as if they are falling, much like in the game itself – very clever and iconic! The coin is housed inside a specially designed Tetris-themed arcade cabinet and includes a colourful image of the Kremlin, paying homage to the game’s Russian origins. The cushioned black felt base which holds the coin can be slipped out by lifting up the arcade cabinet, revealing the gorgeous coin. The entire package, from the coin, the felt cushion and arcade cabinet housing oozes quality and gets the nostalgic juices flowing.

If you are a coin collector or you loved (and still love) playing Tetris, then the Tetris 35th Anniversary limited-edition silver coin is the perfect memento for you.

Disclaimer: NZ Mint kindly provided the Tetris 35th Anniversary silver coin for this article.