SB Recommends Commodore 64 Games

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  • Agent USA
    • wourme: Travel around the United States, cultivating diamonds and searching for the fuzz bomb. I always liked the mix of concrete reality and abstract strangeness in this game.
  • Agent X II
    • wourme: I'm not sure whether there was an Agent X I. This is a fun scrolling shooter with great spacy music. The second stage I remember being kind of like Elevator Action, and I never beat it. I wonder now what the third stage is like.
  • Airwolf
    • wourme: I never really watched the show, but I found the game pretty amazing. It was extremely difficult—I came close, but I don't think I ever quite finished it. Or maybe I did. I can't remember.
  • Archon 2: Adept
    • wourme: Rather than resembling chess like the first Archon game, this one has a fantasy theme with elemental magic. As in the original game, an action battle takes place whenever enemy characters meet up.
    • Felix: I like the original better (partially for historical import; it's probably the oldest non-arcade game that I think actually holds up today), but this is good too.
  • Battle Through Time
    • wourme: Kind of like Moon Patrol but more elaborate, this game takes you through various wars in history and beyond. After World War III, you (representing humanity) are reprimanded for destroying the world with nuclear weapons. The game explains that if Commodore 64s were running things, sprite collisions would be the only violence.
  • B.C. Bill
    • wourme: A prehistoric man hunts dinosaurs and other odd-looking creatures, with the goal of amassing and supporting as many wives and children as possible. The children eventually leave, and the wives sometimes attempt to.
  • Booga-Boo
    • wourme: A cricket explores an alien world. You can jump very high, and you need to as you avoid the dragon and the carnivorous plants.
  • Boulder Dash (also on: Wii VC)
    • wourme: One of my all-time favorites. I'd still rather play this than most modern games.
  • Bozo's Night Out Longplay on Youtube
    • wourme: You play a drunk guy trying to walk home from a bar every night. Anyone you touch will beat you up (including the old woman with a cane). I used to play this game quite often.
    • Cycle: I used to play Bozo all the time. I loved how bizzare the park was. It seems to me he was trippin' on acid, not drunk on beer judging by the things you encounter! Also, you start seeing pink elephants when you're really pissed.
  • Break Dance
    • wourme: This game isn't especially fun–it's basically just Simon–but it's quite amusing nonetheless.
  • Bristles
    • wourme: I somehow remember this game looking a little nicer. I also thought it starred Mario and Luigi, for some reason.
  • Bruce Lee
    • wourme: As old as it is, I think this game is still better than most fighting games and most platformers out there on any platform. It's also proof that the use of a licensed property doesn't have to result in disaster.
    • Cycle: Bruce Lee is an awesome game, it's one of the best on the system for sure. Looked great, played (mostly) great and the two-player mode was rad. You could either help player one, or hinder them. There is a great windows port of the game here: http://planetflibble.com/blitz/
  • Bubble Bobble
    • Greng: suited the chunky pixels and lots of colours perfectly.
    • Felix: Notable for being just about as good as the NES version. I think the C64 organ grinder music sounds great here.
  • Bulldog
    • wourme: A pretty good scrolling shooter with excellent title screen music.
  • Burning Rubber
    • glitch: played this a lot at a friend's place when i was like 7 or so. played it on an emu a while ago. still fun. still great music. vertically scrolling race'em-up with HUGE JUMPS and the joy of ramming opponents into walls and have them explode with C64 sound-effects.
  • Caesar the Cat
    • wourme: Run around on a table and catch mice before they eat all the food. If you run into something heavy at the wrong angle, it takes you down with it.
  • California Games (also on: Wii VC)
    • vamos: The BMX and hackysack events are brilliant, and I had a lot of fun with rollerskating too. Still a great party game that is guaranteed good times.
  • Castle Wolfenstein
    • wourme: Sure, you've played Wolfenstein 3D. But have you played the original game?
  • Commando
    • wourme: I think it's amusing to compare the anemic music in the NES version to that of the C64 version.
  • Cosmic Causeway
    • vamos: Even my mum liked this, and she hates games.
  • Crush, Crumble and Chomp!
    • dessgeega: the thing person's Rampage
      • if rampage was a home computer game that leans toward but never entirely inhabits the realm of the simulation game instead of a single-screen beat'emup arcade game, it would more of less be crush, crumble and chomp. i particularly like the diversity of the monsters you're allowed to play.
  • Crystal Castles
    • wourme: A great port of the arcade game.
  • Deceptor
    • wourme: A very challenging game in which you can switch between three forms (shown at the bottom of the screen).
  • The Detective Game
    • vamos: This still intrigues me, and would be my recommendation for an obscure game that's still worth checking out — atmosphere-packed murder mystery with a lot of interesting ideas but an awkward menu system.
  • Demon Stalkers
    • wourme: An Alien Syndrome-style game. This and Gauntlet were the two 2-player cooperative C64 games I spent the most time playing with a friend.
    • kthorjensen: This reminds me of Fire King, which I just found out was a sequel! Instead of being level-based, it's more of an open world RPG thing. You also didn't mention that Demon Stalkers had a LEVEL EDITOR, which was one of my favorite things. A lot of C64 games had editors / design tools, actually, not to mention the game creation apps made for the system, like Shoot Em Up Construction Set, Adventure Construction Set and goddamned Garry Kitchen's GameMaker which was awesome.
  • Dino Eggs
    • wourme: A nice time travel-themed single-screen platformer. You have to gather eggs and avoid being stomped or contaminated.
  • Donald Duck's Playground
    • wourme: In this game, Donald Duck works different jobs to buy playground equipment for his nephews. You can also play as one of the nephews and use the equipment. I guess this is kind of an educational game, but it's a good one.
  • Dragon's Lair 2
    • wourme: A pretty tough game with amazing music. (There are some nice arrangements out there, too.)
  • Dream House
    • wourme: Not exactly a game, but the most entertaining program we had at my elementary school. I always ended up using the fireplace fire to make everything burn.
  • Drol
    • wourme: A decent platformer with some nice artwork.
  • Ducks Ahoy
  • Falcon Patrol
    • wourme: A nice jet fighter game. Bombs and crashed planes can damage things on the ground.
  • Fire King (also on: PC)
    • kthorjensen: Fire King is like Gauntlet: The RPG before Diablo was and needs to be rediscovered.
  • Flimbo's Quest
    • RobotRocker: Flimbo's Quest was damn close to NES quality, shame it doesn't hold up today as it is really repetitive and the movement is sticky
  • Frogger 2
    • wourme: A more elaborate version of the original Frogger game, if you like that sort of thing.
  • Ghostbusters
    • wourme: I sure wish David Crane still made games. His were always so excellent.
  • Ghosts 'n Goblins
    • wourme: I think this one is pretty well-known. Ridiculously difficult but somehow compelling.
  • G.I. Joe
    • wourme: A fun, pretty elaborate game with nice graphics. I especially liked the vehicle parts.
  • Goonies
    • kthorjensen: Very, very difficult puzzle-platformer where you control two Goonies on the screen, switching between them with the Space bar. This game required some insanely precise timing.
    • droog: I loved that game as a kid, and a huge Goonies geek. The only problem with it was the length.. once you got good at each of screens you could blow through the game pretty quickly.
  • Great Giana Sisters
    • Cycle: Well, we all know the story here, right? Shortly after being released, the publisher was forced to remove it from shelves due to legal pressure from Nintendo (the game was an obvious knock off [of Super Mario Bros.], and although it had some original aspects and levels, some parts were directly ripped from Mario […]), preventing the release of a complete Spectrum version. It ended up being one of the most pirated games on the system and physical copies are highly prized. The music is also quite famous, and was pretty much my favourite part of the game.
  • Green Beret
    • wourme: Also called Rush'n Attack. I could never get anywhere in this game. I don't even like it, really. But some of the music is just amazing.
  • Gyroscope
  • Gyruss
    • wourme: A classic by Konami, set to Bach.
  • H.E.R.O.
    • wourme: This game carries a feeling of constant danger, with the poisonous walls, the delicate use of bombs, and the possibility of being stranded forever.
  • Hunchback
    • wourme: A fun little action game that can be pretty frustrating. (Featuring the bells.)
  • The Island of Dr. Destructo
    • wourme: A fun dogfighting game. The planes you shoot down crash into the large ships, eventually causing the large ships to sink.
  • Impossible Mission
  • International Karate + (also on: Amiga, Amstrad CPC, ZX, ST, Amiga CD32, GBA, PlayStation, WiiVC)
    • vamos: still brilliant, from the inventive move list to the animations in the background to the ball-repelling bonus game.
    • Bennett: Don't play the C64 IK+, play the Amiga one which is even more fluid and playable.
  • Jammin'
    • wourme: When you carry an instrument, you play the level's music. When a monster grabs an instrument from you, it plays a distorted version of the music.
    • Loki Laufeyson: […] pretty and poetic. it had some kind of spiritual effect on me for some reason.
  • Kikstart 2
    • vamos: Many happy hours spent with the easy-to-use track editor and split-screen multiplayer. A game about balance.
  • Knight Games
    • wourme: Maybe not as well known as Summer Games, Winter Games, and so on. This is a fun game with a lot of variety and some pretty epic music in places.
  • Lady Tut
    • wourme: A pretty fun little maze game.
  • Little Computer People
    • wourme: Not exactly a game, but something very interesting and ahead of its time. You watch and interact with a little guy in a house. You can talk with him, play cards, or just tell him to do different things. If you run him out of food and water, he becomes sick and eventually bedridden.
  • Lode Runner 4
    • wourme: All of the numbered Lode Runner games are basically the same, but I always liked the colors used in Lode Runner 4. I spent a lot of time using the level editor. I did so with just about any game that included a level editor.
  • Lode Runner's Rescue
    • wourme: An odd spinoff of the Lode Runner series. I always thought the protagonist looked like Lewis Carroll's Alice. Like the other Lode Runner games, this one has an editor.
  • Maniac Mansion
    • Felix: The later SCUMM games are pretty hit or miss for me, and I really wish this one got the sort of attention that Monkey Island does nowadays. Feels like it bridges Sierra/edutainment aesthetic with what came later and into the 90s. A classic.
  • Manic Miner
    • wourme: Speaking of frustrating, I never had any of the Jet Set Willy games, but I had Manic Miner. I kind of disliked it, I think, but I'd play it anyway when in the mood for an unreasonable challenge.
  • Mancopter
    • wourme: I like this game better than anything I've seen in the current console generation. Okay, I guess that goes for a lot of these [C64 games].
  • Mayhem in Monsterland
    • vamos: A speedy console-style platformer with great music, level design packed with secrets and cute dinosaurs.
    • Tulpa: definitely worth it, it's a great game.
  • Mission Elevator
    • Adilegian: […] the most evocative of any of the elevator games for the C64 thus far discussed (for me, at least). And it was so brutally hard. I tried playing it again recently, but I couldn't figure out how to get my USB Dualshock-clone mapped to the controls for the game. Owing, in part, to being unable to find out what its original keyboard controls were. Come to think of it, I don't even know how I found them out in the first place when I was a kid!
    • wourme: A unique, experimental game. Half the challenge is figuring out how to play.
    • Loki Laufeyson: moon dust is really cool when it's all mysterious, but when you actually work out how to play, it seems boring and rubbish.
  • Mr. Do
    • wourme: A great fast-paced digging game.
  • Mr. Do's Castle
    • wourme: A worthy spinoff of Mr. Do.
  • Mr. Robot
    • wourme: This is somewhat similar to Manic Miner, but the difficulty is more reasonable and it includes bombs, magnets, and a level editor.
  • Nebulus
    • vamos: Rotary tower scrolling! An irritatingly punishing and unfair game where the only way to win is to memorise the locations of unsignposted traps… but I can't help but love it.
  • Odell Lake
  • Ollie's Follies
    • wourme: A fun platformer with pretty good animation and physics. When you have an egg on your head, you can destroy the killer robots.
  • Oubliette (also on: PC)
    • T.: Oubliette! huge variety of classes, monsters, spells. stupidly hard and broken. It's lovely!!
  • Outrun
    • wourme: This may not be the best-looking version of Outrun, but it definitely has the best version of the Splash Wave music.
  • Park Patrol
    • wourme: That plaintive cry of the drowning swimmers . . . .
  • Pharoah's Curse
    • wourme: As frustrating as this game was for me, I always found myself loading it up again. I liked to imagine entering a hole in the ground and finding all kinds of strange colorful places. Only without all the the danger, I suppose. As irritating as the bird was, I always felt guilty shooting it and hearing it cry as it slowly fell.
  • The Pit
    • wourme: One of the first Commodore 64 games I ever played. The whole game takes place on one screen, and I like that about it.
  • Pitstop 2 (also on: Wii VC)
    • wourme: A fun racing game. I remember being impressed with the way the tires gradually wear down.
  • Pooyan
    • wourme: Another classic Konami game. I'll bet anyone who has played this even once can instantly recall the theme song.
  • Popeye
    • wourme: As I understand it, this is the game that inspired Mario Bros. In fact, I think that Miyamoto actually wanted to use Popeye as his protagonist, but Nintendo couldn't get a licensing agreement so he used Mario instead.
      • glossolalia: popeye was made a year after donkey kong, but yes, donkey kong was originally supposed to be a popeye game until licensing fell through and miyamoto came up with mario as a subsitute.
  • Rags to Riches
    • ApM: In which you start off as a smelly bum collecting empty bottles off the sidewalk and supposedly can end up a millionaire. Drink cheap booze to stay alive during the cold nights! Scrounge up enough money to get a haircut! Have a completely unavoidable random encounter with an IRS agent who takes all of your goddamned money just as you'd finally collected enough to go to college and have to fucking start all over! Still, though, look at that lovingly rendered hobo! It looks like a game that an early Simpsons episode might have made up.
  • Raid on Bungeling Bay
    • wourme: A great topdown shooter. Technically impressive for its time, and still fun today.
  • Realm of Impossibility
    • wourme: This is a pretty interesting 2-player cooperative game. You drop crosses and cast spells to slow pursuing monsters while exploring many mythological mazes, some of which are optical illusions. I always liked the way the player-controlled guys wave at you before you descend into a new dungeon.
  • Rock 'n' Bolt
    • wourme: One of my all-time favorite puzzle games, and it also includes one of my all-time favorite video game tunes.
  • Samurai Warrior: The Battle of Usagi Yojimbo
    • Loki Laufeyson: The only game based on the long-running indie comic, it's a pretty unique free roaming beat em up with various cool gimmicks, including the fact that acting without honour will eventually end with Usagi taking his own life.
  • Save New York
    • wourme: Fly your plane around shooting down aliens. You can also get out and run around in the subway. Although it may not be entirely intentional, this is an early “be a bad guy if you want” game—it's just as fun to shoot and collapse the buildings as it is to protect them.
    • Loki Laufeyson: save new york is pretty addictive. also, my missed shots do more damage to the city that the aliens. until the ground aliens come along.
  • Seahorses
    • wourme: This is an odd little game that I had on cassette. There isn't a lot to it, but the music really stuck with me and I like how some of the fish look.
  • Seesaw
    • wourme: A pretty simple game, but definitely one of my favorites.
  • Snokie
    • wourme: You might not guess from the cute graphics how incredibly frustrating this game can be.
  • Snooper Troops
  • Spiderbot
    • wourme: I bought this game blindly (for $5) just because it was in the same “series” as Boulder Dash Construction Kit. Spiderbot is actually one of the more interesting video games I've come across, though I didn't get all that far in it. I'm still waiting for someone to post a longplay video. You capture different creatures with the nets you throw, and then you release them in strategic places. You're supposed to collect all the parts you need to convert your robot into the Spiderbot. And then . . . ?
  • Spy vs. Spy: The Island Caper
    • wourme: A lot of fun with one or two players. I liked this game better than the original (which is also available for NES).
    • Take It Sleazy: I spent some long hours on C64 with that one. It's still one of my all time favorites and I always thought it was weird that it wasn't more influential.
  • Spy's Demise
    • Cycle: An addictive little action game where the player must collect items between floors while avoiding the elevators. After you completed a level succesfully, a floor would be removed, so the elevators would have less space to go up and down. This game was cloned several times (Elevator for DOS and Social Climber for Mac), but this version probably has the best gameplay.
  • Street Beat
    • wourme: Collect tapes and make people dance. Some of the music is catchy.
  • Super Mario Bros.
    • wourme: A strange unlicensed version of the game. I just realized that Enigmario kind of reminds me of this.
      • dessgeega: that mario appears to be great giana sisters (a pretty neat mario clone in its own right) hacked so that it actually stars the super mario bros.
  • Survivor
    • wourme: One of my very favorites. I've always liked video games in which you break pieces off something large as you fight it. (See also R-Type stage 3.)
  • Tapper
    • wourme: A great port of the arcade game. I don't think I ever quite beat the part where you serve drinks to space aliens.
  • Tooth Invaders
    • wourme: An old and unique game. Choose your hygiene tool and battle things that harm teeth.
  • Toy Bizarre
    • wourme: A fast-paced platformer that's a little like Mario Bros. Exciting music introduces each level.
  • Transformers
    • wourme: A pretty confusing game, but it has nice sprites and good music. At any rate, I can say more positive things about this game than about the recent movie.
  • Trashman
    • Cycle: Originally a speccy game, the C64 version of this game is probably the more famous one. Well, it's the one I'm familiar with anyway. I've always enjoyed games that make mundane things entertaining, and this is one of the first! Well, there was Hovver Bovver and apparently Minter felt Trashman was inspired by his title, but the creator denied it. Anyway, you have to grab the trashcans from people's houses and put them in the truck before it drove off. You got bonus points for talking to residents and had to avoid stepping on the grass (though it could be a shortcut) and avoiding cars, bikes and the like. I always thought a remake of this game in GTA:SA would be a fun extra job players could do!
  • Ultima IV
    • Felix: I always thought the C64 version of this was the definitive one. Playing it today is veeery borderline – there are wrappers to make the DOS version run properly on modern computers, and if you're accustomed to roguelikes, you'll find it cohesive enough, but combat isn't balanced well and it takes a lot of patience to find many of the quest items. That said, there are very, very few games with a better take on morality.
  • Wavy Navy
    • wourme: A Galaxians-type game that I used to play quite a bit.
  • Whirlynurd
    • wourme: A pretty bizarre and challenging game. When you hit anything dangerous, your balloon head flies one way and your skeletonized-looking legs fly the other way. I never understood what any of the area names meant. What in the world is a “Haymish Pumpkin?”
  • Wizard of Wor
    • wourme: A classic maze game. I recommend Jph Wacheski's remake (and all of his other games, for that matter).
    • dessgeega: The C64 port of Wizard of Wor is pretty much perfect.
  • Wizball (also on: Amstrad CPC, ZX, Amiga, ST, DOS)
    • kthorjensen: Wizball is really excellent and easily emulated, go for it.
    • cake: Wizball is my favourite game of all time.
    • vamos: It's interesting, but I've given it a go several times and never found it to live up to the hype. It has a nice remake.
  • Yie Ar Kung Fu
    • wourme: I'm not really a fan of one-on-one fighting games, but this is an exception.
  • Zorro
    • wourme: Another game by the creators of Bruce Lee (and based on a lot of the same code, as far as I can tell). Slower-paced and more puzzle oriented than Bruce Lee, though. My uncle bought me this game from a clearance rack in a shopping mall.

See also

 
 sb/recommended/c64.txt · Last modified: 2015/08/06 04:09 (external edit)
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