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Commodore is awesome : Commodore 64 Book: A Visual Commpendium: Review [[source]]

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As you may remember ‘A Visual Commpendium’ was a Kickstarter project started by Sam Dyer that was successfully funded back in May last year.

We thought it was about time we did a review about this awesome Commodore 64 book which features some of the very best times in Commodore gaming. There’s a lot of excellent Commodore 64 books out there about programming and such but this particular book celebrates the nostalgic game visuals we all remember as a child growing up. What was once ‘just a game’ back in the day has now turned into art.

One of the things I miss the most about playing Commodore 64 games these days is actually loading the game, this may sound crazy to some of you, but I really miss waiting five minutes for a game to load, and the best part during that loading time was games back then had their little quirks during loading like awesome colourful title screens, excellent loading music and sometimes even a minigame to play while the main game loads.

This is one of the things this book immediately reminded me of .. a time when gaming was fresh and fun. A Visual Commpendium is a time capsule of pure Commodore love. Whether you’re a die hard Commodore fan looking to rekindle your childhood memories or just getting into the retro gaming scene, this book caters for everyone.

I have spent the last few days glued to this book, I can’t put it down! Reminiscing great times in my childhood, Games such as Commando, Wizball and Rambo, memories literally flooding back to me every time I turn a page. If I was to sum up this book in one word, the word would be ‘Fantastic’.

Bound in a protective cover (nice touch) the front of the book shows an array of mini images of game characters, some you will instantly recognise, the cover is glossy and matt and really shows that this book is of the highest quality and print with no expense spared to make this a worthy piece to anyone’s living room table.

The first thing I did when I opened the book was smell it! Am I weird? c’mon you know you do it too right? There’s nothing like the smell of a brand new book!
Looking over the contents pages I see a huge list of classic titles, but some unfamiliar new titles? Would you believe me if I told you that games are ‘Still‘ being created for the Commodore 64?

If you follow our website you will more than likely know about some of the new games that have been released over the past couple of years, games such as Commando Arcade, C64anabalt and Bomberland. I won’t spoil the fun if you haven’t heard of these yet, let’s just say that this book covers some of those titles too and you will be pleasantly surprised how awesome they look and play on the good old 64.

In the book a majority of the games are spread in glossy colour over two pages with a mini review about each game. Mini reviews are not specific to one reviewer either, various contributors such as Jeff Minter and Archer MacLean have a say, it’s so wonderful to see such enthusiasm towards the scene so many years later.

Each mini review contains a short write up about the game, the release date, what type of game it is and who developed and published it. This is also very handy for a bloggers quick reference on each game, for example if they are wanting to write a game review, the basic info needed is right there with a flick of a page.

Another nice touch I noticed, some pages have four games spread over two pages, I haven’t counted how many games in total are in this book yet but I can safely say that pretty much every well known release is featured.

The awesomeness doesn’t stop there either, there’s more!
Earlier I mentioned about game title loading screens, there’s plenty of those included to drool over too as well as game artwork from artists such as Jon Hare, Oliver Frey and other famous names from the Commodore scene.

Let’s take a look at the book ..
20150126_195432Front cover, can you name the games?
20150126_195710Who ya gonna call? ;)
20150126_195948One of my all time favourites, Monty on the Run.
20150126_2000541985 Arcade Smash Hit, Ghosts ‘n Goblins.

20150126_200156Artwork by the great Oliver Frey :)

20150126_200241Ocean’s Rambo First Blood Part II.
20150126_200344Title Screen Goodness!
20150126_200435uh oh .. Caught with ya pants down!20150126_200547Gorgeous quality Artwork as you can see.
20150126_200925.. and lastly, had to add this one in, Lovely ;)

Overall I recommend this book very highly, it will be definitely be taking a place proudly on my gaming shelves with the rest of my collection.
If you would like to purchase this book, you can do so by heading over to website. Not only do they sell this lovely book, they have some other wonderful gaming gadgets over there you may be interested in. I would like to personally thank Joe from Funstock Games for sending over this book for review, it has been a pleasure :)

Related Websites:
Sam Dyer:
Buy the book:

Review by Christina Burroughs (Kitty)

Vintage is the new old : Amiga homebrew developer sued over ‘Smurfs’ game [[source]]

patent-troll Mikael Persson, known as ‘hipoonios’ over Abime Amiga Forums, who released a Smurf game for the Amiga received a ‘cease and desist’ letter from the lawyers representing Studio Peyo, the owners of The Smurfs trademark for trademark infringement.

We cannot contest the fact that making the game using their intellectual property without permission is really a trademark infringement, but it is really surprising that a “fan-made” game for a 30-year-old platform has caught their attention, triggering legal action.

The developer posted the letter in the forum thread linked below, which demands the author to stop distributing the game, as well as to pay legal fees.

It is common for offices to monitor their clients property usage to find possible infringements, and cases like this one will probably make retro-game developers to be more cautious and think twice before using someone else’s intellectual property.

Link: Abime
Source: Amiga Gamer

Vintage is the new old : Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry [[source]]

geek The Independent (UK) features an article discussing the documentary ‘From Bedrooms To Billions’, showing the birth of game development on the early 80’s. The ‘revolution’ was driven by young people that saw on game development their way to money and success.

You can watch ‘From Bedrooms To Billions’ online at

Link: The Independent

Australian Retro Gamer : Australia Day, Ausretrogamer Style [[source]]

Some Australians celebrate Australia Day with a barbie (Ed: that’s barbecue for the uninitiated), others choose to sink a few beers and watch the cricket. For Ms. ausretrogamer and I, we chose to hit the road in search of some arcade and pinball machines. Luckily for us, there were a few stores opened on this public holiday Monday. […]

Vintage is the new old : Using QR-Code to transfer data from a BBC Micro [[source]]

qrcode-bbc That’s an odd choice, but very interesting nonetheless. Thomas ten Cate decided to try to transfer his old programs from his beloved BBC Micro using QR-Code plotted on screen, and he reports his progress, problems and findings in a series of 6 articles on his personal blog.

As he explains, that “most QR codes are fairly small, as they contain just a web address or some such. But they can actually grow to the “Level 40” monster code of 177×177 squares, which can hold 2953 bytes of arbitrary binary data. That’s about 60 QR codes to transfer the contents of one floppy.”

Follow the link below to read the first article. He has already published all 6 parts, so just follow his links to read all the remaining ones.

Link: The Typethinker Blog

Red Parsley : Bat 'n' Ball Games #10 [[source]]

Krakout (1987)
By: Gremlin Graphics  Genre: Bat 'n' Ball Players: 1  Difficulty: Medium
Featured Version: ZX Spectrum  First Day Score: 9,150 (default settings)
Also Available For: Commodore 64, MSX, Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum, BBC Micro

Welcome to the ultimate challenge! Bold words indeed from the inlay of this 80's brick breaker for the home micros which, like many other such games at the time, was inspired by Arkanoid. In a concerted effort to differentiate their game from the Taito classic, Gremlin have rotated the action ninety degrees which means the ball (mainly) travels left and right rather than up and down, but apart from that things are very familiar here - simply clear each of the stages of the bricks contained therein to move on to the next. A big but not immediately noticeable difference here, however, is that unlike Arkanoid with its thirty-three stages, Krakout asks you to clear a whopping one hundred stages! Luckily a vast majority of these contain far fewer actual bricks though, so they shouldn't take as long to clear - in theory.

The first stage eases you in nice and slowly (giggity)...
The handy options screen offers a surprising amount of customisation before play including changing the ball speed, bat type, and even on which side of the screen you want the bat. Frills aside though, the game is played exactly as you'd expect. You can choose where to release the ball which speeds up the longer you keep it in play and some bricks take more than one hit to destroy. Some of them will 'roll over' when hit too, leaving behind a lettered bonus icon. There are several Arkanoid-ish examples like a larger bat, slower ball, and extra lives, and others include missiles, a double bat, a shield, bombs, and a points multiplier. Each stage also has aliens floating about the place and these have varying effects. Some just deflect the ball but one type will add a ball to the playfield and another very unhelpfully freezes your bat.

Yes, this type of alien does look like a baby's head...
Avoid the bloody wasps that cause this though, and Krakout is quite a decent take on its age-old genre. The graphics are neat and tidy and include colourful bricks devoid of colour-clash, the otherwise limited sound includes a great title-screen tune, and the gameplay is fairly balanced and rather enjoyable. I'm not sure how many players would ever see all 100 stages but it's great there are that many. As with most games of this type, there's an element of luck involved in long sessions, but it's not a particularly tough or unfair game either. Even the skewed perspective doesn't take as long to get used to as I thought it would. Krakout may have been dismissed at the time as a second-rate Arkanoid clone, and I suppose it is to some extent, but that doesn't make it crap - it's actually a pretty decent brick breaker that I've enjoyed a lot.

RKS Score: 7/10

Vintage is the new old : Subreddit Retrobattlestations promotes 6502 Week until Jan 31 [[source]]

RetroBattlestations Retrobattlestations is promoting a 6502 week until the end of January, and to participate you have to send a picture of video of a machine that is powered by a 6502. Here are the rules:
To participate in the contest you need to make a new post to RetroBattlestations of a picture or video that you shot of hardware that uses a 6502 for this contest. On the screen please write a short greeting or message to reddit or RetroBattlestations.
If your machine doesn’t work (or doesn’t have a way to display a message) you can write the message on a piece of paper and include it in the photo. Make sure the greeting and the entire machine are visible in the picture. No pictures of just the screen and no emulators. Posts that don’t meet these criteria will be disqualified and removed. You are welcome to submit multiple entries, however each redditor will only be entered into the contest once.
At the end of the week 5 winners will be randomly selected. Each winner will receive their choice of two retro stickers
Link: Retrobattlestations

Commodore is awesome : Amiga homebrew developer sued over ‘Smurfs’ game [[source]]

patent-troll Do you remember Jumper’n Run: Smurf Rescue that we reported here back in Jan 7th? Now, the developer known as ‘hipoonios’ over Abime Amiga Forums received a ‘cease and desist’ letter from the lawyers representing Studio Peyo, the owners of The Smurfs trademark for trademark infringement.

We cannot contest the fact that making the game using their intellectual property without permission is really a trademark infringement, but it is really surprising that a “fan-made” game for a 30-year-old platform has caught their attention, triggering legal action.

The developer posted the letter in the forum thread linked below, which demands the author to stop distributing the game, as well as to pay legal fees.

It is common for offices to monitor their clients property usage to find possible infringements, and cases like this one will probably make retro-game developers to be more cautious and think twice before using someone else’s intellectual property.

Link: Abime
Source: Amiga Gamer

Vintage is the new old : Type-in program – Flappy Bird for ZX Spectrum [[source]]


Kelticweb Gary has published is The Story of the ZX Spectrum Facebook group a type-in Flappy Bird for the ZX Spectrum.

If you are brave enough to revive the rough time of the type-in programs from magazines, here is the listing reproduced here:

My Flappybird version for ZX Basic – Enjoy * Anyone hardcore enough to type-in – R-e-s-p-e-c-t! \a and \b indicate UDG a and UDG b chars \. is the Graphics mode + 4 symbol and \ . is the Graphics mode + shift + 7 symbol (i think)

Source: RetroGaming Magazine

1 REM a Speccy Conversion by G Plowman ( Gazzapper Games) 2 PRINT AT 10,10;"LOADING GRAPHICS" 3 GO SUB 3000 5 BRIGHT 1 6 PAPER 7 7 INK 1: CLS 8 LET hscore=INT (0) 10 PRINT AT 1,0: INK 2: PRINT "\a\a\a\a \a \a\a\a\a \a\a\a\a \a\a\a\a \a \a" 20 INK 3: PRINT "\a \a \a \a \a \a \a \a \a \a" 21 INK 4: PRINT "\a\a\a \a \a\a\a\a \a\a\a\a \a\a\a\a \a\a\a\a" 22 INK 5: PRINT "\a \a \a \a \a \a \a" 24 INK 1: PRINT "\a \a \a \a \a \a \a" 26 INK 3: PRINT "\a \a \a \a \a \a \a" 28 INK 2: PRINT "\a \a\a\a\a\a \a \a \a \a" 30 PRINT "" 32 INK 4: PRINT "\a\a\a\a \a\a \a\a\a\a \a\a\a" 34 INK 2: PRINT "\a \a \a\a \a \a \a \a" 36 INK 1: PRINT "\a\a\a\a \a\a \a\a\a\a \a \a" 38 INK 4: PRINT "\a \a \a\a \a \a \a \a" 40 INK 3: PRINT "\a \a \a\a \a \a \a \a" 42 INK 5: PRINT "\a\a\a\a \a\a \a \a \a\a\a" 43 PRINT "": INK 0 48 PRINT "SINCLAIR SPECTRUM CONVERSION" 49 PRINT "By Gary Plowman- Orig .Gears" 50 PRINT 51 PRINT " PRESS A KEY TO START" 55 PRINT " (CONTROLS : ANY KEY TO FLY" 56 INK 3: PRINT AT 19,0;"\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ ." 60 FOR n=1 TO 30 62 PRINT AT 1,n;" \a" 64 PAUSE 5 66 PRINT AT 1,n;" \b" 68 BEEP .02,1 70 PAUSE 5 75 IF INKEY$<>"" THEN GO TO 200 80 NEXT n 85 PRINT AT 1,n;" ": 86 GO TO 60 200 LET score=INT (0): LET r=1 202 DIM x(10): DIM h(10) 203 LET pipes=INT (1) 204 LET fly=INT (12): LET anim=INT (0) 205 BRIGHT 1: PAPER 7: INK 2 206 CLS 210 PRINT AT 10,10;"G E T R E A D Y!" 220 PRINT "" 222 INK 1: PRINT AT 12,10;" \a" 226 PRINT 227 INK 2: PRINT " Tap To Fly" 230 IF INKEY$="" THEN GO TO 230 300 REM ****** START ********** 302 FOR o=1 TO 10 303 LET h(o)=INT (RND*8)+1 305 NEXT o 306 FOR l=1 TO 10 307 REM LET h(l)=INT (RND*8+1) 308 LET x(l)=25+(l*5) 309 NEXT l 310 GO SUB 1000 600 GO TO 310 999 REM *********************** 1000 REM **** DRAW PIPES 1002 CLS 1010 INK 1: PRINT AT fly,10;" \a": LET fly=fly+1 1011 INK 3: PRINT AT 19,0;"\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .\ .": PRINT AT 20,0;" G.Plowman- Orig. by D.Nguyen" 1012 IF anim=1 THEN INK 1: PRINT AT fly-1,10;" \b" 1013 LET anim=0 1016 LET r=r+1 1017 INK 3: PRINT AT 0,2;"SCORE: ";score: PRINT AT 0,20;"HI-SCORE:";hscore 1018 IF INKEY$<>"" THEN LET fly=fly-2: BEEP .01,2 1030 FOR p=1 TO 10 1033 IF INKEY$<>"" THEN LET anim=INT (1) 1035 INK 4 1039 LET bh=h(p)*8: IF x(p)<30 AND x(p)>1 AND h(p)>0 THEN PLOT x(p)*8,3*8: DRAW 0,bh: DRAW 8,0: DRAW 0,-(bh) 1040 LET nh=INT ((13-(h(p)))*8): IF x(p)<29 AND x(p)>1 AND h(p)>0 THEN PLOT x(p)*8,150: DRAW 0,-nh: DRAW 8,0: DRAW 0,nh 1041 IF x(p)<1 THEN LET h(p)=INT (RND*8)+1 1042 IF x(p)<1 THEN LET x(p)=40 1050 INK 3: IF p=4 THEN PRINT AT 19,0;"\. \. \. \. \. \. \. \. \. \. \. \. \. \. \. \. \. \. \. \. \. \. \. \. \. \. \. \. \. \. \. \. " 1052 LET x(p)=x(p)-1 1059 IF x(p)=9 AND h(p)>0 THEN BEEP .02,3: LET score=score+1 1070 IF x(p)=12 AND fly>19-h(p) THEN GO SUB 1200 1075 IF x(p)=12 AND fly<19-(h(p)+3) THEN GO SUB 1200 1076 IF fly=INT (20) THEN GO SUB 1200 1080 NEXT p 1100 RETURN 1200 REM **** DEAD **** 1210 PRINT AT 10,4;"OUCH!!" 1220 BEEP .3,7: BEEP .3,2: BEEP .5,-3 1240 PRINT AT 12,4;"HIT ENTER TO RESTART!" 1300 IF INKEY$=CHR$ (13) THEN GO TO 200 1310 GO TO 1300 3000 LET daa=0 3002 FOR n=0 TO 167 3005 READ DAA 3010 DATA 12,18,37,193,254,66,60,0,12,18,37,193,254,126,0,0,0,60,66,64,64,66,60,0,0,120,68,66,66,68,120,0,0,126,64,124,64,64,126,0,0,126,64,124,64,64,64,0,0,60,66,64,78,66,60,0,0,66,66,126,66,66,66,0,0,62,8,8,8,8,62,0,0,2,2,2,66,66,60,0,0,68,72,112,72,68,66,0,0,64,64,64,64,64,126,0,0,66,102,90,66,66,66,0,0,66,98,82,74,70,66,0,0,60,66,66,66,66,60,0,0,124,66,66,124,64,64,0,0,60,66,66,82,74,60,0,0,124,66,66,124,68,66,0,0,60,64,60,2,66,60,0,0,254,16,16,16,16,16,0,0,66,66,66,66,66,60,0,0 3030 POKE USR "a"+n,daa 3040 NEXT n 3050 RETURN

Amiga Gamer : Homebrew Amiga Game Brings Out The Lawyers [[source]]

Released on new year's eve 2014, Smurf Rescue was yet another Amiga game produced using Backbone; a games creation system that seems to be gaining some degree of popularity at the moment.

Unfortunately, what started out as a bit of fun and a gift to the Amiga community quickly got nasty as Studio Peyo's solicitors sued the author, hipoonios, for creating an unlicensed videogame of their blue coloured creations.

Here's hipoonios;
"Yes, it is true! Remember my crappy Smurf game I made in Backbone just a few weeks ago? "Studio Peyo" (the owners of The Smurfs trademark) have sued me for have creating an unlicensed video game of The Smurfs. Now I know pretty well that you are not allowed to make unlicensed video games or use others work without permission, but this is just a game made in BACKBONE for a 30 year old computer. LOL... this is insane! I'm sure they don't even know what an Amiga is. And I doubt more than 50 people have downloaded it. How much do you think I must pay for this? ... (see the attached screenshots)"

Initially hipoonios assumed this to be a scam, but that was until a huge pile of legal documentation was delivered to his house.
While the game does infringe on Peyo's copyright, you'd think that a simple email to the author asking him to take the game down from his web site would be enough. This really is a case of using a sledgehammer to crack a walnut.
Hopefully this story will have a happy ending and no money will be required to change hands, as this is quite clearly an over the top reaction to a Public Domain game on a computer platform that's not been commercially available for around 20 years.
You can follow the progress of this sorry tale in this thread over on the English Amiga Board.

Vintage is the new old : The 4am Collection – 150 educational games for the Apple II released on Internet Archive [[source]]

yogi-yogi-bear-26019776-1280-1024-e1373479866618 Now the Apple II fans can claim they are smarter than the average retro computer fan! It was released on Internet Archive a huge set os educational/historical programs.

The 4am Collection is a collection of historical software for Apple II computers from the 1980s and early 1990s. Each item was originally copy protected (i.e. the original floppy disk could not be copied to another floppy disk), but the copy protection has been removed and documented. Most items also include a “work disk” comprising the intermediate files created during the de-protection.

Link: Internet Archive
Source: Retrocomputaria Plus (in Portuguese)

Amiga Gamer : Retro-Style Platformer "Boxx 2" Now Available! [[source]]

If you're fans of oldskool platform games you could do a lot worse than downloading and firing-up Boxx 2 on your trusty Amiga.

Developed by English Amiga Board member Lemming880, Boxx 2 is similar in style to the original platformer released in September of last year, but features many enhancements including a greater variety of platform 'blocks', more sprites, carefully selected chiptunes, bosses, turrets, ropes and more.

While the original game was made from scratch in just two weeks this sequel has had a much longer development time meaning this latest title is far more polished than the previous release. Here's Lemming880;
"Boxx was my first game and I made it in just 2 weeks. I was quite surprised to see it popping up on Amiga fan sites and forums and I never expected it to be mentioned by print magazines like Amiga Future and Retro Gamer! If I had known I would probably have spent more time on the first Boxx. So to make up for that I've spent extra time on Boxx2. It took me about 3 months so it got a little out of hand but I hope it paid off."Both the original Boxx and the follow-up were created using Backbone game creation system, which gives those of us without strong coding abilities the chance to create our very own Amiga games.

Lemming880 explains;
"When I made the first Boxx game I wanted it to run on my real Amiga 500 but I already knew about Backbone games being slow so I used very low settings like a screen resolution of 256x176 and only 8 colours.Well, it runs on an A500 but not as fast as I wanted, it's quite sluggish. But using low settings wasn't for nothing. At least both Boxx's now run smooth(ish) on an A1200 and if I hadn't used 8 colours the game wouldn't have it's "distinctive likeable look" like Graham said in Amiga Future magazine."As the game's been created in Backbone it does mean that system requirements are rather high. For the game to be playable you'll need an Amiga 1200 with an 030 processor. Those of you running your Amiga set-ups though emulation, you'll need a WinUAE configuration of an A1200 with an 030 processor, with it set to Fastest Possible and no Cycle Exact.

Check out the game in action, below...

If you'd like to download and try the game out for yourself you can get it from the following locations:Once you've played the game, please consider giving the author some feedback on his latest title by contributing to this thread over on the English Amiga Board.

Australian Retro Gamer : Classic Video Game Characters Breaking All The Rules! [[source]]

“Whose turn is it?”. “Who cares, let’s rush him!” – imagine if classic video game characters could break all the rules! This video from Dorkly shows us exactly what crazy things might happen if our favourite character just did what they wanted. Let the antics begin! source: Dorkly Via: Laughing Squid ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Ms. ausretrogamer Content Manager […]

Commodore is awesome : Amiga: 30 Years [[source]]

Amiga_30_Year_AmstedamOn June 27th 2015 there will be a meeting in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, to celebrate 30 years of Amiga history. There will be many Amiga computers on display but also the KryoFlux team, Dave Haynie, David Pleasance, Christian Bartsch, István Fábián, Ultimate PPC team, Franck Sauer, Dan Wood and Ravi Abbott.