We recently announced the impending arrival of the C64 Mini: a mini reproduction of the classic 8-bit computer from Commodore. However, there are still many questions about the full sized version (with working keyboard), the length of the C64 Mini’s joystick cable, and most importantly, the ability for gamers to load their own games on the mini C64…
First things first, Retro Games (the company behind the project) have stated that the full C64 version is still in the works, and will be produced once the C64 mini has been released. In the meantime, backers who went for the full version will receive a free mini while they wait, which is absolutely fantastic customer service (something missing from another certain 8-bit reproduction project – ed).
We have seen a working version of the C64 mini at a gaming event in Italy, and we can confirm that as well as playing smoothly, the C64 mini also come with a suitable joystick cable, which plugs into one of the two on-board USB ports, and is several feet long. Certainly long enough for a good distance away from the machine (Again, something another certain retro console reproduction company could learn from – ed).
While the pre-loaded games count of the C64 mini initially seems low considering the amount of quality games released on the computer, it has been confirmed that gamers will be able to load their own games without the need to hack the system (something another two certain retro console reproduction company could learn from – a running theme here). So with that piece of news made available, here are the top five games you should load up on the C64 mini first when it arrives within the next few months.
Emlyn Hughes International Soccer (1988, Audiogenic)
Emlyn Hughes International Soccer is different from the other popular soccer games of its time: it features both action and management aspects of the sport. With innovative gameplay, including five-direction passing, sidestepping, barging, heading, back heels, lobs, diving headers, sliding tackles, EHIS is easily one of the greatest soccer games of all time. It was also one of the first — if not, the first — football game where the player could take part in a full season with league and cup competitions. A “Killer App” for the C64 – I bought a C64 just for this game.
IK+ (1987, System 3)
Taking on the basic premise of The Way of the Exploding Fist, IK+ improved and added to it in every way. Rather than stick to the boring old one-on-one fighting game formula, IK+ introduced a three-way fight-off. Fluid controls, quick gameplay, slick visuals, and more contributed to an underrated classic.
Project Firestart (1989, Electronic Arts)
A truly unique attempt at cinematic survival horror adventure game with multiple gameplay outcomes and endings. Featuring a classic sci-fi plot of search and investigate, the game soon turns into a gamer’s worst nightmare. Suitably creepy and unnerving visuals just add to the tense atmosphere of the game. A game that has flown under the radar of many gamers, so if you haven’t experienced Project Firestart, do so now.
Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders (1988, Lucasfilm Games)
The second game to use Lucasfilm Game’s fabled SCUMM engine, following their equally fine Maniac Mansion. Developed for the Commodore 64, Zak McKracken features a great plot involving world-wide set-pieces, outrageous humor, and big, bold visuals. One of the finest, most wackiest graphic adventure games ever written.
Turrican II: The Final Fight (1991, Rainbow Arts)
Turrican II: The Final Fight is one of the finest run and gun games available for any system. Developed for the Commodore 64 and released in 1991, the game features some fantastic visuals, sprawling multi-directional level designs, superb gameplay, varied weaponry, multiple power ups, a thumping soundtrack, and monstrous end-of-level guardians.