While in today’s gaming world it is nothing to see super detailed, hyper animated characters and fluid gameplay. Um, well most of those anyhow. For the rest of us, the ones that grew up on Commodore and Atari and 8-Bit graphics, we just don’t feel welcome in the gaming world of today. This is not a knock at modern platforms, rather it is a knock at the lack of originality in gaming. For those readers, here are five titles that push a difference piece of retro hardware. Some of these push things WAY past what we saw officially back in the day. Just look at some of these homebrew games and then, please by all means, point out a commercially released game from when these were alive and kicking that can compare.
1) Commodore 64 – Sam’s Journey
I am no stranger to Sam’s Journey on the Commodore 64. I have posted many articles for this one. Sam’s Journey is a 2D side scrolling action platform title that has animations beyond what we saw from any other retro title. It is not enough to be well animated though, Sam’s Journey showcases quite fluid gameplay as well. 8-Bit Mario, eat your heart out. Sam is coming. Release coming soon.
2) Commodore Plus/4 – Majesty of Sprites
Here is another title that makes the hardware do things that originally were thought to be impossible. Parallax scrolling, fluid gameplay and good animation all combine to make Majesty of Sprites stand out against other commercially released titles. Available at Psytronik right now.
3) Sam Coupe- Treasure Island Dizzy
This is a new one for me as Dizzy is not a title that has been covered all that often here on RGM. For many, outside of the United Kingdom, Dizzy is an obscure action game that we saw released by Camerica. On the Sam Coupe computer we get a single screen style action game that features challenges and treasure. Again, super fluid animation and what appears to be fluid controls (only gameplay videos are available at the moment). No word on the release for this one. Source: Indie Retro News
4) ZX Spectrum- Castlevania Spectral Interlude
This is a homebrew that probably should not run this well on the hardware (much like the other titles on this list). Konami never really officially supported the ZX Spectrum, to my knowledge, so Spectral Interlude is even more special. Not canon but is believably so. This feels like an official Konami Castlevania title. RGM review here.
5) TI-99/4A- Alex Kidd
This one is probably not as demanding of the hardware as the other titles on this list. Why? Because the TI-99/4A was quite powerful for the time, it just wasn’t used worth a crap by the developers that took the time to work on it. There is a TON of untapped potential with this computer, this Alex Kidd shows it is capable of more than wire frame 3D, that is for sure.
This is amazing that homebrew developers are capable of getting so much out of retro hardware. Making these platforms do things the commercial programmers couldn’t do back in the day. It is wild.
Know of a homebrew title that pushes the hardware and want to let me know about it (for a future article, maybe?). Just hit the contact button at the top of this page and fill it out. We do read the e-mail and take things seriously.