The Commodore 64 was a gaming computer from the 80’s that just wouldn’t quit. Initially not intended to be a gaming computer, the fans simply made it one through the openness it offered. Commodore was not one to shy away from this series of events, though they did continue on their original plan for it to be a business computer as best they could- the fans and developers just wouldn’t be denied. What came of this situation was nearly the defacto platform to play games if you were doing it on a computer, at least for many years before the IBM platform pulled ahead (partly thanks to the successes of Microsoft and their DOS and Windows programs- neither of which were available for Commodore 64). The Commodore 64 saw ports of great arcade games like Ghosts n Goblins, many Sega classics and more. Original titles were plentiful as anyone that owned a Commodore 64 owned everything they needed to create games for it and this brought a plethora of titles, and is the main reason this article is being written. I have pulled five Commodore 64 games that are in development right now by homebrew developers.
#1- Knight’n’Grail 3
First up is Knight’n’Grail 3. What we have here is a 2D side scrolling, single screen, action adventure title. As the name suggests, this is a sequel and there are two other titles in this series. The story over all three games is connected, though you are not required to know/have played the first two to enjoy this one. The shading and detail work is some of the best that I have seen on the Commodore 64 so far- on par with what the Spectral Interlude team achieved on the ZX Spectrum. Great work with “less” pixels. If you like a little bit of thinking with your 2D action adventuring then keep an eye on this Commodore 64 game.
Thanks to VintageistheNewOld.com for the heads on up on this one. Knight’n’Grail 3 is currently in development, release date unknown.
#2- Heroes & Cowards
There are not many genres of game that are as retro as the good old, venerable, text adventure. Zork is still one of the leading, most well known, examples of this genre. There have been countless releases that fall in the text adventure category, a slightly newer variation adds minimal graphics, such as what you will see in Heroes & Cowards. The reason this title was in the news recently was due to the fact that the original developers have returned to it after over 20 years of doing other things. They are planning on finishing and releasing Heroes & Cowards, a graphical text adventure that is to be heavy on story telling (spoiler- they all are).
Source: Protovision’s website via IndieRetroNews. Development continues on Heroes & Cowards with a release looming.
Soulless is another 2D side scrolling action game that could easily be described as Shadow of the Beast meets Impossible Mission. There are many screens worth of stealthy action with objects that can be searched littering the backgrounds. Just like IM though, there are platforms to jump to, enemies to avoid and an overall story to unlock.
#4- Guns N Ghosts
Ah, ghosts, goblins, the undead, etc are a staple of gaming. That is to say that it is hard to find retro games that don’t feature at least one of those caricatures destined for destruction. Guns N Ghosts is a 2D side scrolling, single screen, affair that was released in 2013 but is worth visiting (for the first time here at RGM) and worth your time. Check out the gameplay video below:
#5- Sam’s Journey
New action platform titles for the Commodore 64 are rare as most developers prefer to fall back on engines such as SUECK, or hack commercial games adding trainers and the like (C64 games were known for being unfair tough). Sam’s Journey is an original action platform title that is almost impossible to be capable of running on actual hardware. It is just too smooth and detailed, it is beautiful, surpassing nearly every commercial release we have seen so far. Watch the video and see for yourself.
Sam’s Journey was covered here on RGM a while back. A release date is unknown at the moment.
It was not hard to avoid titles that use SUECK for their engine since the Commodore 64 homebrew scene is nearly as strong as the commercial scene was when it was new. There are a ton of great C64 games in development and also available right now. Got a great game we missed? Let us know. We are always open to covering more awesome titles for platforms such as the C64.