The Commodore 64 is one of my earliest memories of gaming. This lightning fast 1 MHz computer with 64k of ram and the sexiest blue start up screen you ever saw, is what made me fall in love with computing and games.
Do you, like me, still mourn the passing of the Commodore, lament the loss of that classic SID chip sound, grieve over the 30-minute anticlimactic loads times?
Oh how the game box art used to tease me; “What? That’s not how it looks on the box!” Ah, those were the days. So, again, if like me, you’re into pointless nostalgia, mourn no more! CommodoreUSA have launched a new website with a line of computers based around the Intel Atom Chipset and that smoking hot, classic 1980 Thatcheresque beige keyboard known as the C64.
The system is available in a variety of different hardware configurations and set ups which you can check out at the CommodoreUSA website. The computer also features a handy c64 emulator, so you can play all your classic games as and when you feel like it. Yes, yes, but what about the games I hear you cry. What should I play on the emulator? Well, here are Just Push Start’s top c64 classic games.
Cliff hanger is simple, pure fun. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed or cried with frustration so much in my entire life. The game offers perfect sound effects combined with simple but utterly comical animations that are topped off with a wicked sense of humour. The closest thing I can offer in describing what kind of game Cliff Hanger is would be the ‘Road Runner’ cartoons. You play as “Cliff Hanger” (Wile E Coyote) or if you have any friends you can team up and play together as ‘Coats’ , Cliff’s brother. Together you are tasked with filming stunt scenes for a western movie. The gameplay requires patience, timing and evil cunning. The goal is to perform a stunt or releases a cunning acme style trap just at the right point to take out the evil El Bandito (RoadRunner). It’ll have you giggling and face palming yourself with frustration.
The Last Ninja
An all time classic and my all time personal favourite, the Last Ninja is a blend of exploration, combat and puzzle solving. The aim of the game is to battle over six stages towards the final battle against the evil shogun Kunitoki. The game features an impressive isometric graphics engine and an also perfect movie like sound track created by Anthony Lees and Ben Daglish. The sound track is so good in fact that many people would load the game up just to listen to the music. It’s been known for some savvy C64 users to copy the music onto tape using line in/out jacks while the game is running. The last ninja 1 and 2 are available on the Wii virtual console, they’ve not aged so well and the pixel perfect gameplay will be frustrating to some but if you’re up for a challenge I highly recommend give them a blast.
You really can’t call yourself a gamer unless you played Bubble Bobble. I played this game religiously with my nephew as a child but I don’t think we ever made it past cave eighty-eight. The game is a simple platformer where the action takes place all on the one screen. The aim of the game is to travel from cave to cave, trapping monsters inside bubbles in a bid to recue your girlfriends from the evil Baron of Bubbla. It’s pure old school arcade action all tied up nicely with a great soundtrack and superb level design.
One of the best games ever made on the C64. Play with up to 4 players across a total of 72 courses, featuring all the hazards and clubs your caddy could handle. Graphically the game was stunning and the variety of shots and ways to play was unparalleled. I loved watching each level load teasing you and filling you with anticipation for your next shot. Still very playable to this day Leaderboard is definitely a hole in one (sorry).
If you can’t afford one of the new C64x computers to get your classic gaming itch satisfied fear not you could pick up an original C64 on eBay for a few pounds.
Be sure to share your classic games and memories using the comments section below.