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7/1/2012 11:27:54 AM

After the fanfare of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum’s 30th anniversary Shaun rounds up some Commodore news

Despite some of my misgivings about Adobe Flash (certainly after developing with it and its curious scripting language), I have to say that there are some good examples of games created with it. One of the good productions is getting the remake treatment on an old 8-bit computer, being the 2008 Japanese game Ginormo Sword.

Genesis Project is handling this conversion to the Commodore 64, called Jagged Sword.

It is played from a birds-eye view in true retro-styled 2D. You control a noble knight of the realm, who has a whole host of mythical monsters, creatures and other such unsavoury things to battle against. For each victory, you are awarded bags of gold bullion, which may be spent on upgrading your weaponry or armour. As you get further into the game, you can pick up deadly magic spells too.

Description: unsavoury characters in Jagged Sword for the Commodore 64

Guide your knight to take on all kinds of unsavoury characters in Jagged Sword for the Commodore 64

There's a library at the start of the game, which will log each creature that you fight, and the game contains 54 in all. You're able to go back to play each level from any point in the game too, so I assume that even after you've unlocked the entire binary world there'll still be reasons to continue, as you can travel to earlier locations and compete against the enemies that you've missed or just not beaten yet. This is also handy for accruing gold to upgrade your suite of armour and other such aids.

I really recommend that you play the available preview, which is available from release/?id=108447, as it should keep you entertained for a few hours at least.

On to another C64 game, this one from Endurion, the developer behind Soulless and Joe Gunn, we have a cute 2D platform game called Catnipped. This bears some similarities to the epic arcade hit Bubble Bobble, and I'm assuming you take control of a heroic feline to rescue some cute kittens from certain danger.

Unfortunately, with Catnipped, there's nothing to download and play yet. As soon as there is, we'll make sure you know about it. From the bold and impressive graphics, and knowing the author's previous work, I'm as eager as anyone to see more of this production. My trigger finger is twitching already, or that could have something to do with the few hours I've just spent playing the aforementioned Jagged Sword preview. Either way, C64 fans have some real high-quality gaming to look forward to over the coming months.

Complete Trilogy

Description: Ghislain


Commodore VIC-20 enthusiast and developer Ghislain has released his entire body of work for the old 8-bit publicly as freeware, which features all the Realms of Quest (ROQ) role-playing games, undoubtedly his finest work on the platform.

Ghislain was actually late to the VIC (in development terms), with his first game dating back to 1988, around three years after commercial support had ended for Commodore's first colour computer. Fle's had over a dozen productions from the 1990s, and as many since the year 2000.

There's certainly a lot to play through here, the highlights of which (excluding the ROQ trilogy) are his spiffy Theater of War games, again in trilogy form, in which you must pitch your strategic nous against warring computer-controlled forces.

Further details are available from, which includes a link to the games archive.

Description: Commodore FREE

Commodore FREE

Coding Corner

Many of you may remember the Commodore 64 assembly programming tutorial that I wrote through these pages last year. Well, if you still haven't got around to writing that C64 game you've always dreamed of, or at least, learning the ancient art of machine code like you have always wanted to, but can no longer locate the Micro Mart issues in question, the articles have been reprinted through the excellent fanzine Commodore FREE, which is available in various digital formats at These are written for beginners and go at a sedate pace. So if it's too slow for your liking, you could also try C64-Games-Programming, written by coding guru Endurion.

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