Commodore 64 is alive in 2023
Although it is well known that I am a big Amiga fan, I also have a lot of love for the Commodore 64, which I still have and actively use in 2023.
There is a lot of new release games, demos and even a new operating system for the Commodore 64 in 2023 to enjoy. So today I wanted to shine a light on the amazing world of Commodore 64 in 2023!
What astounds me is the shear amount of games and demos released for the C64 in the last 10 years. The C64 scene is ALIVE. Really alive.
But when you mention Commodore 64 to most people, it evokes fond memories of their childhood playing classic games which defined the C64 during its "Golden years" in the 1980's.
There are so many more games and applications for the C64 released on itch.io, csdk and many other places online too, that never see a physical release but are just as awesome.
New releases are not limited to games and demos either - Messiah MIDI cartridge filled with Music creation tools leveraging MIDI and SID functionality, C64OS (Which I covered in more detail in this blog here), Wifi64 to connect to BBS via the internet WiFi connection from the C64, SID tune released on cartridge like Sid Chip Club and DubCRT, 1541 Ultimate II cartridge to run d64, crt and tape images from SD/USB with REU support built in, SD2IEC to load d64 images from SD, and Magic desk released cartridge multi-game images!
This shoot em up impresses with great gameplay and graphics - the action is fast but doesn't ever feel unfair. I got into the game quickly and loved playing it.
Sarah Jane Avory has released a number of great games for the C64 in recent years, and I look forward to seeing more soon.
This game is seriously impressive. Graphically and musically it blows my socks off, and the gameplay is incredibly satisfying.
At it's core it is an adventure platform game.
The attention to detail, even on the level intro screens is impressive.
I am so impressed with this game.
As you progress into the dungeons you have to find keys, interact with objects to make progress:
Did I mention the graphics are amazing?
The level variety and challenges makes a Pig Quest a lot of fun to play. Definitely recommended.
The graphics are very good in this game, the attention to detail very nice to see:
You have to launch your rockets from the hanger, a bit like the launch sequence in the old Raid over Moscow game.
Fortunately it is a not a ridiculously hard and frustrating as leaving the hanger in Raid over moscow was, and the graphics look so much more impressive too.
As you move through the game, different game sequences appear, this one where you shoot enemies in space quite similar to the Beach head sub game where you shoot battle ships in the sea.
Nothing wrong with taking inspiration from classic games to create a new one with a different theme, and I think Terrestrial is a wonderful blend of old and new.
In this game you need to re-activate/restore a damaged space station and destroy all the aliens inside.
I can see I need to understand how to avoid running out of Oxygen and health so quickly. I guess I am not going to the right rooms to keep the supply replenished..
From the start I am very impressed with the graphics. Given demo sceners are behind it, this makes sense!
As mentioned, this game follows the slicks "view from the top" racing gameplay style, with reminds me a bit of Supercars II on the Amiga, but with Last V8 style difficulty with avoiding obstacles on the track!
There are multiple scenarios and tracks within each scenario to work through, and this is a definite game to grab and enjoy, especially since it is free.
Kinda reminds me of Japanese cute characters in this game, but with a very pretty game map and fun to play.
I like that it is easy to get into, but actually a lot to do in it - plenty of maps to explore and unlock.
At the checkpoints you can review the game map and see how you are doing, your inventory, and also which rooms you have explored and which ones remain.
After choosing the circuit to race (note that there are additional areas to unlock in the game as you progress), you visit the shop to upgrade your car with any coins you have.
I enjoyed this game a lot - and I expect it would be a lot of fun with a few friends around to play against!
Lykia itself is a proper full on Adventure game:
Another graphically impressive game, and just goes to show that not all great new release games on the C64 are platform games, driving games or shoot em ups.
As you explore the level, the map updates to the right, making it easy to see where you have been and where you currently are.
As a dungeon crawler game, I was hooked quickly and really enjoyed it. The control method deserves special mention as you can access and manage your inventory via long press on the fire button - very smart.
The simplicity of the game (showing it's Vic 20 origins) doesn't detract from very simple and addictive gameplay to drop bombs from the surface ship to destroy submarines below the surface.
The submarines fire missiles to the surface that destroy your ship, so you have to keep moving, and adjusting your bomb drop position accounting for the different speeds and depth of the submarines below.
This game looks like a simple vertical platform game, but it has an interesting game mechanic that you need to hit enemies of a specific colour. The colour changes after touching the correct one, so you then know the next colour to target.
You can fall through the bottom to the top as the enemies also do this. This gameplay means you can't just touch all the enemies, you have to do it in the correct order.
I found this game a lot of fun. Even though the graphics are simple compared to other games I have shown here, the gameplay is excellent and easy to get into.
You can't really sit still in the game - the car is constantly moving even if you don't touch the joystick, so you need to really pay attention!
If you have played the games Columns before on the Megadrive, you will know what to expect here, matching columns of similar colours to collapse them.
I have tried to focus on some of the electronic released C64 games here, as many of them sneak under the radar and so many people don't know about them.
In essence it kinda reminds me of Miner 2049'er on the C64, where you need to walk over all the platform surfaces on each level to activate the batteries on the ship.
Where is differs is the need to jump and hit the platforms underneath too, like this level below. It adds an interesting mechanic to a tried and trusted platform game formula.
This game takes advantage of SuperCPU or other accelerators if you have them. It can also play fine on a unaccelerated C64, but admittedly does seem a little slower.
The game screen is a little busy I had to admit, and finding objects seemed hard as a result. But I think if you kept trying for long enough you would enjoy playing this game.
Nothing new if you have played Miner 2049'er in my view, just new levels, adjustable difficulty and nicer music.
I enjoyed the original game back in the 1980's, and I enjoyed this too, although the level of graphics used in platform games in 2023 is just so much higher than this, which makes it hard when trying to keep to the original theme of the old game too.
This is a save em up and shoot em up rolled in together. Basically, if you have played Wizball, it is similar concept, but using a polar bear who can fly through space and walk on the ground.
The upgrades remind me constantly of Wizball, as do the spot effects. But they are not a direct copy, just lovingly re-imagined.
This next C64 game dates back to 2020, but still think it is worth a mention here. I only found out about it recently from an Amiga port of this game. The game is called Luma, by Shallan.
This puzzle game involves positioning batteries and reflectors in the correct positions on each map to correctly send the laser beam of each laser gun to the correct destination.
It quickly gets more difficult and the easy entry into the game makes this game extremely easy to get into and enjoy.
When you start getting very limited number of shifts in each level, it gets a lot more challenging and you need to think a lot more before starting to move things around!