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Amiga Gamer : Pixelated Platformer "Boxx" Released [[source]]


If you're a visitor to the English Amiga Board you'll have no doubt stumbled upon Cammy's excellent tutorial for the games creation system "Backbone". While the games created using the utility regularly receive stick for being resource hungry (running most Backbone authored titles on anything less than an 030 machine is pretty painful) it gives those with little or no programming ability a chance to create their own Amiga games.

Using Cammy's tutorial as a guide YouTube user Lemming880 has had a fantastic go at putting his own game together, and it looks rather stylish. Rather than go for flash graphics and effects, he's instead gone for pixelated and brightly coloured sprites and platforms.

Titled "Boxx", you can see the game in action below.



The game can be downloaded from the Aminet by going to http://aminet.net/package/game/jump/Boxx, and of you want to learn how to design and create your own games with Backbone you really need to read Cammy's tutorial over on the English Amiga Board.

My thanks go to the hardworking team over at Lemon Amiga for the heads-up on this one.

Commodore is awesome : CiA now on Reddit! [[source]]


8_bit_redditWe are starting a shared subreddit for Commodore is Awesome and Vintage is The New Old. We found that having an open forum like Reddit for both sites would be more attractive for all our visitors than a traditional forum.

On VITNO and CIA Reddit you can post pictures of your retro setup, share videos and links about whatever you find interesting, as long as it is related to Retro Computing and Retro Gaming, of course!

If you are not on Reddit yet, come and visit our subreddit. It is very addictive!

Link: VitnoAndCia’s Subreddit

Australian Retro Gamer : Retro Supercuts: Arcades In Movies [[source]]


When watching a movie, do you get excited when you see a scene with a video gaming reference? I know I definitely do! I get even more excited when I see arcade machines in movies. Speaking of which, Ben Craw, a video editor at The Huffington Post, has created a four-minute retro supercut video of arcades in […]

Oldschool Gaming : Speccy Jam 2 releases [[source]]


The second week-long Speccy Jam ended on the 5th of September and, along with a collection of entries for current generation platforms that simulated the Spectrum, there were a few titles actually written to run on the real hardware. We've already mentioned First World Problems previously, but the other releases include Jonathan Cauldwell's top down Retro Racer, multi-screen exploration game Find The Greenroom and some blasting action for shoot 'em up fans in the form of Mini Danmaku.

Retro Racer for the Spectrum

  • External link:   Speccy Jam website forums
  • News source:  Indie Retro News

Oldschool Gaming : Wap-niak 2014 releases [[source]]


Last weekend in Warsaw, Poland the 2014 iteration of the Wap-niak party was held and five 8-bit games were released, one on the Spectrum and four for the Atari 8-bit. The Spectrum game is Archeomania, an action puzzle game based on the coin-op Tetris Plus with a storyline about archaeologists.

Archeomania for the Spectrum

On the Atari the games are Biedny Pies Antoni 2 which is a two player game where one person is a dog leaving... erm, a brown trail across the carpet whilst the other cleans it up, Russian Roulette which does what it says on the tin, a one button, fast-paced maze game called SpeedMaza and SubChase, a simple but cute little shoot 'em up.

The games can be grabbed from the World Of Spectrum and Atari Age forum threads.

Red Parsley : The Quest To Like a Football Game #1 [[source]]


Match Day (1984)
By: Jon Ritman & Chris Clarke / Ocean  Genre: Sport  Players: 1-2  Difficulty: Medium
Featured Version: ZX Spectrum  First Day Score: Lost 0-2 :(
Also Available For: Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, BBC Micro

As many who know me would most likely agree, I can be quite an odd fellow, for better or worse. One example which is relevant in this case is my lifelong appreciation of football (the version most of the world likes - you know, the one where the players actually kick the 'ball' with their 'foot'). Being a fan of such a popular sport doesn't make me particularly odd but what is slightly odd is that I've also liked video games for most of my life as well and yet I've never managed to combine the two interests as so many other gamers have. That's right, for unknown reasons, I've never really enjoyed any football games that I've played. Due to this realisation, I haven't actually played too many examples so I thought I'd once again put this staggeringly awesome blog to good use by attempting to find one I do like.

Red Rovers are fighting back from a goal down...
The first footy game I played was Match Day II on the Speccy, and as I recall it remains the one I've enjoyed the most, so I figured its prequel might be a good place to start (mainly due to my OCD-ish need to cover game series' in chronological order!). Impressions are pretty good at first thanks to the numerous well presented options screens which allow you to change team names, the length of the game, the difficulty, the colour of the team's kits (and even the pitch), modify the controls, and select the number of players (up to eight in cup games), before embarking on a one-off match for one or two player or a three-stage multi-player cup competition. Upon starting a match you're treated to a beepy rendition of the Match of the Day theme, but from that point onwards impressions quickly take a nose-dive.

One of the delightful alternative colour schemes...
Okay, I suppose that's a bit harsh considering its age and the fact that it was one of the first ever such games, but it is immediately apparent that poor old Match Day hasn't aged as well as some other Speccy games. Aside from the aforementioned tune, the audio consists only of a few beeps and bops here and there and, while the graphics aren't bad for their time, the animation isn't convincing at all, with the players striding around as though walking through a sticky bog rather than running across a well-kept sports field. The gameplay itself is equally basic. The ball sticks to the feet of whichever player it touches first who can then run with it or pass it. Two types of passes are available - along the ground, which requires the played to be stationary, or through the air, performed whilst running (or striding), but the latter in particular is not very accurate as you have to be perfectly positioned to trap the ball.

Wow, I'm actually not losing... yet...
If you're not it will bounce off you, almost certainly into the path of an opposing player. Tackling is tricky too. There's no button for it - you instead need to walk into the player who has the ball, but it only seems to work if you're face-to-face. Luckily, the computer will automatically put you in control of whichever of your players is closest to the ball, or closest to where it will land if it's in mid-kick. That includes the goalkeeper if your opponent is nearing goal, and he can be made to dive in either direction or jump straight up (and, unlike the other players, the 'keepers are quite well animated). Ultimately though, the game is slow and frustrating to play. It's really difficult to actually do what you want to - I spent most of my time chasing back trying to regain possession of the ball, and I didn't really enjoy doing it either. It may still raise a nostalgic smile with two players, but to be avoided otherwise.

RKS Score: 4/10
 

Commodore is awesome : Bloodline – Amiga proto recovered and released [[source]]


bloodline5Games that weren’t website has released the prototype of Bloodline, an alpha stage game that was supposed to be a cross between Halls of Things, Alien Breed and Paradroid.

The title was not intended for any publisher in particular, and would have been touted to anyone who would be willing to buy it. This was a game being produced between contracts. Development was around 1993 time overall.

Source: GTW
Download: GTW

nIGHTFALL : The donation of spare parts is always a good thing [[source]]


I must thank my friends which have contributed to the growth of my Repair Laboratory with donations of spare parts. Donated items: 2 x Sega Dreamcast 1 x Sinclair 128+ 2 x Amiga 500 Memory Expansion 1 x Amiga Powersupply 1 x Philips Multi Voltage Power supply 1 x Commodore CBM/PET Power supply (complete and [...]

RGCD/Retro Gamer CD : Powerglove Available! (PC/Linux/Mac/Commodore 64) [[source]]



Initially released as an entry in the RGCD 2013 RGCD 16K C64 Game Development Competition (where it placed 3rd out of 15 entries), Lazycow's acclaimed 8-bit run 'n' gunner Powerglove is finally available to buy on Commodore 64 cartridge! This specially enhanced post-compo version features a revised five level map complete with Powerboots and Energy Doors, faster room-change transitions, slicker player controls, a map overview display, bug fixes, game balance tweaks and a (much-requested) shot sound effect!

But that's not all... In addition to all this awesomeness, over the past few months Matthias has also ported the game over to Windows, Linux and Mac OSX, making Powerglove the first game to be simultaneously launched on the C64 and modern-day systems since, well, ever! Exclusive to itch.io, this port of the game is completely faithful to the Commodore 64 original (despite featuring some minor enhancements such as parallax scrolling and optional pimped spritework). And the best part is that it's completely free!


If you enjoy playing Powerglove on your modern-day PC and have a Commodore 64, or maybe you're already familiar with the already-excellent competition build, you'd be a fool not to grab a physical copy of this all-new-and improved C64 version. Similar to last year's Super Bread Box, Powerglove is offered in multiple formats, coming either as a downloadable .CRT image for emulators or hardware such as the Ultimate 1541-II, on a real, physical cartridge complete with a 12-page printed manual and a bunch of ultra-cute vinyl stickers (available with standard cardboard packaging or a deluxe plastic case, the latter also including a double-sided A3 poster/map print). There's even an A2/A3 poster set bundled together with the .CRT download.

For prices and further information, head on over to our online store and order your copy today!

RGCD/Retro Gamer CD : The Dungeoning (PC/Linux/Mac) [[source]]



Roguelikes are the hot thing these days, so much so now that as even a die-hard, long term fan for the genre, I'm beginning to roll my eyes when I see the term being thrown around. Especially when it's used loosely - "contains roguelike elements" (as in, not a roguelike) or some such. Don't think I'm a purist, but there's no doubt that these days it's being slapped on decidedly non-roguelike games in an effort to cash in on the genre's newfound popularity. Thankfully, The Dungeoning is not one of those titles.

While not a pure roguelike by any means, Nick Donnelly's The Dungeoning is hardcore enough to make my list of personal favorites. It immediately breaks 'the rules' by presenting itself as a low-resolution pixel-art platformer, with the player controlling their hardy little knight via gamepad (the best method) or keyboard. There's not much in the way of surprises here, save for a few unique elements such as the aiming feature for projectile weapons (which allows players to aim in all directions somewhat easily to tag hard-to-reach baddies) and the 'pogo' attack (think Legend of Zelda II).

As such, our little knight trudges forth into a foreboding looking dungeon in search of... well, we don't really know, except for to find some magical object or something. Does it matter? No, it's a roguelike-like. No, it doesn't. Just kill stuff, level up and head forever downwards into the catacombs!


The gameplay itself is rather enjoyable. The knight moves about the play area swiftly and with a dash of physics, meaning that a sword strike propels him/her slightly forward, and falls can lead to high damage or death. Navigation, sword-slashing and shield defending all feel natural and fun. Using projectile weapons can be a bit more frustrating, especially in the spur of the moment, as one has to cycle through weapons with a 'forward' and 'back' type system. Jumping around is a hoot, mainly due to the fact that the knight has a handy wall-jump à la Ninja Gaiden. Coins and small healing berries can be collected with the occasional chest revealing some higher quality loot such as new weapons or armour - just don't expect the constant slot-machine, dopamine-releasing feedback of something like Diablo III. Items are scarce and precious in this world.

This means that when your metal-clad avatar discovers something cool, it feels truly special and useful. The wands are particularly slick, leaving sharp-looking sparkly trails in the wake of their projectiles (aided in appearance, no doubt, by the nicely done dynamic lighting system, adding a lot to the look and feel of the game). The graphics are polished and the visual design is well-executed, especially the aforementioned lighting effects.


Where The Dungeoning reveals its true character is after the first level or two, where the brutal difficulty - and inevitable perma-death - makes itself known. The levels are random, of course, as are the loot and monsters. However, it's sort of Spelunky-esque in that each situation demands attention, and could be tackled in a variety of ways. Does the player wall-jump and pogo attack the monster on the far ledge? This could lead to a quick death if not performed with finesse, but the alternative - sniping them with precious arrows - could leave the player low on ammo, resulting in a sticky situation later on. It's this type of gameplay that makes games like this truly addictive and entertaining; this is no simple hack and slash affair. Stop paying attention for a second, you just might bite the dust. And bite the dust I did, time and time again. I haven't yet made it past level 5, where the dungeon appearance changes and the monsters seem to quadruple in deadliness, but I can't wait to improve my skills and delve even deeper.

Aside from a few niggling issues with the controls and menus, The Dungeoning is a lovingly made game with tons of gameplay possibilities, delicious difficulty, entertaining platforming, excellent visuals and audio, and secrets to discover. I'd encourage anyone looking for some frustrating-yet-ultimately-rewarding dungeon hacking to give this one a try, especially given the reasonable price. Those seeking a more casual, lighthearted game (and lesser challenge) might be less impressed.


Buy the game here (direct from the developer's website).
4 out of 5

RGCD/Retro Gamer CD : Ninjajar! (ZX Spectrum) [[source]]



Once again it's time to give the old Speccy a dusting off and inject a fresh infusion of life into the tape deck courtesy of the ever-prolific Mojon Twins! Stalwarts of the ZX Spectrum scene, the Mojon's output over the years has varied in quality from great to not-so-great, but their latest release Ninjajar! has undoubtedly set a new benchmark for the much-loved 8-bit home computer.

Graphically the game is a powerhouse by ZX standards, stretching the limited hardware to its breaking point. The visuals are top notch with graphical qualities that would not look out of place on an NES, or dare I say it a Master System. Sprites are perfectly rendered and the levels are varied and (at least for the Spectrum) full of detail and memorable. Throughout the game you will encounter many different environments, from the rainy early stages through to the trap filled castles towards the end, each brimming with originality and challenge.


Controls are incredibly tight for a Mojon Twin's game; they have fined tuned their infamous 'floaty' gravity to give greater challenge but allowing you enough mid-air control to land some insanely precise platform segments. Never do you feel like the controls are to blame for any miscalculations or errors - they are easily the best controls of any ZX game in my personal experience. You have movement to the left and right, a punch, a jump and also a down button that selects objects, never are the controls overwhelming or cluttered. Perfect.

Gameplay is a joy from start to finish, combining a mix of platforming, puzzles and the occasionally intense escape segment. The background story is as generic as they come, Ninjajar!'s girlfriend has been captured by a perverted monkey and you have to save her. However, as the game plays out you meet all sorts of weird, wonderful, famous (and also perverted) characters - there are so many references to popular culture that the majority of the gags could have been nabbed from the Family Guy script department. The humour is crude, unexpected and most certainly my cup of tea.


Ninjajar! features the best soundtrack to a ZX Spectrum game I have ever heard; both varied and in perfect fitting with each level theme. The Spectrum is not known for its ability to produce decent music (in general) but the the stuff that's here would put an awful lot of games on other 8-bit platforms to shame. Sonically the game never grates or becomes overly repetitive, and it's worth mentioning that pretty much every cameo character has a theme if you talk to them - so there is a good reason to hunt them out!

I could write about this game for days - it has been an absolute pleasure to play. The Sega nerd in me loves the 'Alex Kid' gameplay, and I completed Ninjajar! in two sittings, totalling at about four hours. The game is tough; anyone who doesn't want to turn their hair grey should play with an emulator and make full use of 'save states' as at times the game, like all great classic platformers, punishes you mercilessly. This is a landmark modern-day title for the ZX Spectrum, proving that the old codger can keep up with the cool kids. While the NES and Master System dwell on successes long past, this title proves that with a lot of passion it is possible to bend 30+ year old architecture to deliver something truly inspiring.

Mojon Twins, you really have outdone yourselves this time. Incredible from start to finish.

Download the ZX Spectrum version here (from the Mojon Twins site).
Run it using Spectaculator (shareware) or FUSE (freeware).
5 out of 5

RGCD/Retro Gamer CD : Continue?9876543210 (PC/Linux/Mac) [[source]]



Indie gaming has a reputation of being deliberately opposing the the ideals of current mainstream gaming, and to some measure this is true. Some choose to subvert the 'norm' deliberately, choosing to single themselves out believing it to increase their weight in their own shallow end of the fish bowl. However, some have no agenda other than the simple need to express themselves in what amounts to a fleeting burst of human experience that we all share, perhaps an attempt to truly connect - if even just for a second - with another soul.

I postulated on how to tackle this game review, as the sole reason you'll be reading it is most likely to figure out whether or not to purchase it. After all, it is a product and we read reviews to gauge our interest whilst being entertained. This site deals with reviews in part but it also represents a voice within the independent gaming scene, and sometimes voices are just there to be heard - even if you disagree with them.

Continue?9876543210 is a game that starts at the beginning of a characters death. It's a strange concept to get your head around at first but as time passes it makes sense. In a digital sense nothing dies, it is simply moved to a recycle bin, then deleted and in this game you follow your sprite on its journey to permanent deletion. As the player you are faced with the finality of oblivion, but you are given the opportunity to fight on in order to delay the inevitable. The world you find yourself in is made of junk and fragments of deleted files. The townsfolk are abstract in their communication with you, not because they choose to be but because they too are broken and destined for obsolescence.


This is where the game first struck a chord with me. I too have been bested in life, I have had to peel myself off the floor and fight on for no other reason than because I simply was not ready for death. As someone currently fighting clinical suicidal depression there have been times where simply letting go would have 'solved' my problems... but it's the fear of the unknown and the blackness of oblivion that lets me know I am simply not ready. I fight on, knowing one day death will find me. But why fight on? You fight, possibly, just for the experience connecting with other individuals or loved ones sharing in their experiences and journey.

In the game you journey between fragmenting worlds whilst talking to damaged characters. The things they say sometimes don't make any sense but eventually you'll piece together the message that they (collectively) are sending. Like the human experience it's not always clear what you're doing or why you're doing it but somehow you muddle through. The game, like life isn't always plain sailing. You will encounter enemies and they will try to delete you.


With its unique blend of future-retro visuals and haunting soundtrack, Continue?9876543210 looks like an Atari 2600 game that broke through to the 3rd dimension. The style is blocky and at times difficult to look at - and yet it suits the experience perfectly. Jason has depicted the digital wasteland with such grit and beauty that it is a wonderful mirror to our own horrific yet beautiful world. At times the game genuinely looks broken, and I can safely say at times I thought it had killed my netbook. Somewhat appropriately, my first play through was on my MSI Wind U130 netbook using Mint Linux - another obsolete inching ever closer to recycle bin. It played perfectly and I cant wait to unleash my main gaming rig on it, because if it looks beautiful on this clunker, it's going to be stunning on modern hardware!

So what's the verdict? If your looking for a bona fide, balls to the walls, hardcore indie game that challenges your reflexes and elite skills - avoid. I honestly can't stress that enough. The game is a deliberate mess and has to be experienced in a manner that doesn't normally apply to games in general. Instead think of this as a poem, you may never truly comprehend the writers true meaning, but really it's more about the experience you gain from it and the reflections of self it makes you face.


Buy the game here (from the Steam page).
5 out of 5

RGCD/Retro Gamer CD : Janosik (ZX Spectrum) [[source]]



Host to many legendary puzzlers, adventure games and cracking arcade remakes both new and old, the humble ZX Spectrum continues to surprise its loyal followers even today. However with a software library of over 25,000 titles and growing, the old 8-bit has its fair share of lame ducks. Janosik, seemingly an unofficial Spectrum port of an early 90's game for the Atari XL, sadly falls into this latter category.

I normally outline story in these first sections, but as far as I've been able to ascertain this game features no plot whatsoever. In Janosik you play as some chap with a tiny axe, who can kill bears and people with a single blow, yet whom immediately dies upon touching fish or pigeons. I am a relatively creative individual but I struggle to see any narrative based on these observations.


I hate negative reviews as they often negate the fact hard work has been applied - especially so on a retro platform. Having said that though, I'm not the first person to give Janosik a grilling. I'm not sure how well Mirage's Atari version fared on release, but the Commodore Amiga version certainly didn't do too well. I guess that with that in mind, the source material wasn't the easiest to work with. I mean, the engine moves well, the enemies and obstacles are clearly defined but ultimately Janosik just lacks 'soul'. Or much in the way of fun. It's just all very bland.

The game-play is incredibly simplistic. You move from left to right through the screens avoiding or killing enemies. The controls are workable but the jumping and the fighting are not Janosik's strong points. I didn't initially realize I was attacking - the chap looked more like he was pleasuring himself than swinging an axe. Sorry for being crude but seriously there is no other way of describing it. As for jumping, if you press up, you rocket forwards diagonally like Superman who has forgotten how to fly. It can gets quite difficult to leap gaps as some require pixel perfect landing.


Graphics are alright. The trees look like trees, the people look like people and the bears look like Moomins. There are various colours to enjoy... Ok, I admit that I'm really struggling here. The screenshots speak for themselves really. On the other hand, the music is surprisingly decent. In fact of all the less attractive qualities the game has, the music alone is a very valid reason for playing it. The Spectrum isn't well recognised as a great platform for music but the developers really achieved something here.

To conclude, in the grand scheme of the Speccy's immense library, Janosik is not a terrible game. The best I could describe it would be as 'passable'. Most of the elements hold together pretty well and the music is decent enough, but whilst playing there'll always be that nagging feeling that you could be spending your time better elsewhere.

Download the game here (from www.speccy.pl).
Run it using Spectaculator (shareware) or FUSE (freeware).
2 out of 5

Red Parsley : Early Driving Games #10 [[source]]


Crazy Cars 2 (1989)
By: Titus Genre: Driving Players: 1 Difficulty: Hard
Featured Version: Commodore Amiga First Day Score: 1,532
Also Available For: Atari ST, PC, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum

Alright, let's tell it like it is - after the substandard (to put it politely) Crazy Cars there was only one reason any gamers were interested in its sequel - it had a Ferrari F40 on the cover. The fact that it was, at the time, the fastest production car in the world was awesome but it didn't matter as much as how cool it looks (I still think it's one of the best looking cars ever)... but was the game any better than the ghastly prequel? Well, owing to the aesthetic splendour of the F40 I decided to find out by trying what should be the flashiest version, as hosted by the Amiga. It certainly has an appropriately attractive loading/title screen and there's a fairly reasonable backstory this time which sees you cast as an unnamed FBI agent attempting to smash a stolen car racket. The only trouble is, the guys behind it are corrupt cops.

To take them down you need to go 'tearing through four states of America'. Supposedly, the in-game highways represent actual roads too, so you'll need to use a map to track your quarry. Unfortunately, while you're fumbling around with this the 'honest road cops who don't appreciate the sight of a Ferrari F40 crossing their state at 200 miles per hour' will be doing their best to stop you. To achieve this, the surprisingly numerous police cars (i.e. infinite) will occasionally set up road-blocks but are more often found simply driving along the same roads as you trying to block your path. Making contact with one of their cars, road-blocks, or indeed any roadside object (lamp posts, telegraph poles, even small posts), however, will cause your precious Ferrari to instantly explode, even at low speed!

Something else that does the same is if you stray off-road for more than a few seconds. Fortunately it seems you have an infinite supply of cars so the only thing you'll lose when you crash is time, and you do have a finite supply of that. If you run out, your car will... you guessed it - explode! As well as a time limit to reach each finish point (which presumably results in the apprehension of a corrupt cop; not that you actually see it though), it'll also be game over if you stray beyond the four states on the map - Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico - so you'll need to keep checking your route regularly. You're probably thinking, then, that this sounds like a pretty tough game and you'd probably be right, but sadly I didn't even get to find out thanks to a rather sizeable problem with the game's controls.

I would imagine a several-hundred-thousand-pound Ferrari, especially one that's essentially a road-legal race car, would be quite tricky to master, but I'd at least expect it to have ultra-responsive steering. This one, however, does not. It feels more like trying to heave a three-tonne Cadillac around, even with the gentle-curves that the simple courses here occasionally throw your way. Not only that but once you've started steering it's really difficult to get the car moving in a straight line again which often means you're just swerving from side to side frantically trying not to crash which you will do often, especially when you're trying to avoid a police car at the same time or take one of the very narrow branching side-roads that appear every now and then. The only way you can maintain any degree of control over your car is to drive it slowly but that kind of defeats the object, surely?

To be honest though, there really isn't much about Crazy Cars 2 that doesn't warrant some sort of criticism. The presentation is poor (you go straight from the loading screen above to the car on the tarmac with the clock ticking), there's no music, and the graphics, whilst reasonable enough to begin with, feature practically no variety (the colours change with the time of day and the grass occasionally gives way to brown dust, but that's it) and there are no other cars around either, just your F40 and the odd rozzer. The game itself has a fairly solid premise but it's executed very poorly. There's no sense of progress or any indication that you're doing well, and I imagine the whole thing would get soon get pretty boring were it not for the ridiculous controls but they strike a crippling blow and make the game practically unplayable. A real mess, unfortunately, and devoid of enjoyment.

RKS Score: 2/10