Skip to content

New Commodore PCs call to my inner geek

March 7, 2007

I’ve been feeling a warm inner-geekness since I heard the news that the Commodore brand name will be returning to the computer market.

commodore64setup.jpegJust taking an informal poll in the New Era newsroom, many still remember the fashionably beige Commodore 64 computer, that plugged into the nearest TV set for a taste of late-80s tech goodness, along with your old Atari 2600‘s castoff joysticks. I wore the rubber sheathing off those things and played “Winter Games” only with the plastic stick nubs left behind.

If you were REALLY in the fan club, you remember the C=64’s cassette-tape drive and the Koala Paint pad. And let’s not even go back to the Vic-20…

While I sat in my office last night reminiscing about the C=64 days of yore, I flipped through a bunch of emulation sites that still host the Commodore’s old games available for download.

So, as we wait for the March 15 unveiling of the new C … ummm … 2048? … here’s my choices for my Top Commodore 64 games in no particular order.


Note: These are just from my teenage experiences and memories from way back then. Please don’t hold it against me. If there are titles I missed that you remember fondly, post them with a link to a screenshot in the comments below.

And thank you in advance to the guys at C64.com for links to their great archive of classic C=64 screenshots and game descriptions! Go pay them a visit and check out the site, and help jog your own memories. Keep the faith!

  • BeachHead 2 (C64.com)
    Beachhead I & II — Having competitive brothers, this good vs. evil game was one of the best two-player duels on the C=64. Though, I found the sequel to have more entertaining matchups. The knife-throwing duel (seen above) where you fell into the black water was classic…
  • Blood and Guts (C64.com)
    Blood and Guts — The early precursor to my fraternity days. Beer-drinking competitions and other medieval competitions of strength and weapons skills between barbarians. (Of course, it also featured the PETA favorite competition, the Cat Throw!)
  • Boulder Dash (C64.com)
    Boulder Dash — Push the rocks while digging, smash them into each other to make diamonds, and don’t get crushed by falling diamonds/rocks (as seen above). Sounds simple … why was it so maddeningly difficult?
  • Breakdance (C64.com)
    Breakdance — Yeah, while my cousin was showing off his new headspin move in real life, I was playing this Epyx classic. This was probably the ancient ancestor of today’s popular music games Parappa the Rapper and Dance Dance Revolution.
  • Bruce Lee (C64.com)
    Bruce Lee — Bring it, Green Yamo! One of the best karate/martial-arts themed games for C=64.
  • California Games (C64.com)
    Summer
    , Winter, World and California Games — The whole “Olympics” series of games from Epyx had great feel to them. You could play with any number of players in the multi-sport competitions and earn medals, then declare an overall champion. I just remember all the aggravation I had trying to perfect the foot bag routine in Cali. And the figure skating in Winter Games was just a throwaway event … I could NEVER get it right. But in World Games, I really had a blast tossing the caber, cliff diving and barrel jumping.
  • Championship Wrestling (C64.com)
    Epyx Championship WrestlingThus began the legend of Zantoklaw! Great early wrestling title, with knockoffs of popular WWF wrestlers of the time.
  • Friday the 13th (C64.com)
    Friday the 13th — Kill the person who turns into Jason before he emerges and kills everyone. Of course, don’t kill innocents along the way. Hmmm, this could make a good movie… (but really, was there ever a good “13th?”)
  • G.I. Joe (C64.com)
    G.I. Joe — A very fun game that allowed the player to match one character’s abilities for the specific situation and/or computer-selected COBRA villain. It had the mix of one-on-one combat, as well as vehicle battles. Though, the slow-motion vehicle pullout from G.I. Joe base (ie. load screen) was aggravating!
  • Ghostbusters (C64.com)
    Ghostbusters — OK, if Zuul is in the center, and we KNOW where Zuul is, why can we go GET Zuul now? Oh, we need to go raise money first … I get it … Of course, the final boss matchup is the run-through the Stay-Puft Marshmellow Man’s legs. Probably the easiest final boss in history!
  • Gremlins (C64.com)
    Gremlins — A blast to play. Kill the gremlins while collecting Mogwais and caging them. Don’t let the Mogwais eat foot or they become gremlins, and don’t let either get wet, or they multiply. My favorite feature was the TV, which, when turned on, attracted the Mogwais to it for easy collection.
  • Hardball (C64.com)
    Hardball — My first favorite baseball game! Accolade’s superior baseball game for the C=64 featured the Champs’ feared No. 2 and 3 hitters DeSoto and Contos — simply hit machines! It also taught me the rules of pitching … throw strikes, change speeds, and work fast. Fun to play against another human or the computer. Also, Accolade’s gridder 4th and Inches was fun as well (Gamespot mentions it here).
  • Impossible Mission (C64.com)
    Impossible Mission — A great platformer for C=64. Why have we not developed the feared black ball of death (seen above) as our preferred home and office security method?
  • International Karate (C64.com)
    World Karate ChampionshipWatch this one, sensei! Fighting the red warrior in scenic locales around the world was a blast in my teen years. Also, check out the ice-breaking game mode, which I broke two joysticks while playing it.
  • One on One (C64.com)
    One on One: Larry Bird vs. Dr. J — Only trumped by the “Jordan vs. Bird” version released later. I think this was first to feature the “smashed” glass backboard, which looked like confetti, and brought out the janitor (seen above) to clean up the mess.
  • Speedball (C64.com)
    Speedball
    — Fun futuristic soccer/hockey/rugby hybrid. I never found the future versions of the game any fun on Sega Genesis.
  • The Three Stooges (C64.com)
    The Three Stooges — Cinemaware had some great games for C=64, which included Defender of the Crown and Rocket Ranger. This one was my favorite, mostly due to my watching of Stooges’ shorts on Saturday afternoon TV. It has several different mini-games (pie fight, boxing match, slap fight) to play as the trio tried to collect money to save an orphanage.
  • TV Sports Football (mobygames.com)
    TV Sports Football
    — This game was the precursor to John Madden Football. While the graphics and presentation was fun, throwing a pass was difficult. Good thing I had a strong running back.
  • Heart of Africa (HouseofGames.net)

    Seven Cities of Gold
    / Heart of Africa — Electronic Arts had these great exploration titles early in the C=64 floppy disk era. “Seven Cities” put you in the role of a Columbus-like explorer plodding through the New World for gold and treasure. “Africa” took you through the Dark Continent in search of Pharaoh Ahnk Ahnk’s tomb. Both featured the same from-above interface, and were big time-eaters. Never beat either of them, actually… but had fun.

So that’s the list. Yes, I know that Jumpman and Pharoah’s Curse are not on here, but I never really got into those. Again, remember to add your choices for the best I missed to the Comments section.

Advertisements

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: