commodore

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Matt Barton's picture

Early Commodore 64 Platformers: Jumpman, Spelunker, Ultimate Wizard, and Pharaoh’s Curse

Author and Screenshots: Matthew D. Barton
Editing: Bill Loguidice
Online Layout: Buck Feris
Notes: All screenshots were taken directly from a Commodore 64 emulator

Platform games are those in which gameplay consists of jumping, climbing, (and, too often) falling from platforms that hover mysteriously between the player’s avatar and the goal. Probably the most popular platform games are either Donkey Kong (Nintendo, 1981) or one of Nintendo's near-ubiquitous Mario Bros. games. These are, of course, legendary games and worthy of considerable study, but I would like to focus my attention on four lesser-known platform games that were widely available for the Commodore 64 (C-64) computer: Epyx’s Jumpman (1983), Synapse Software’s Pharaoh’s Curse (1983), Broderbund’s Spelunker (1984), and Electronic Arts’ Ultimate Wizard (1986)1. All of these games offer unique features that dramatically affect the gameplay. In the last issue of Armchair Arcade, I discussed Nintendo's Metroid and Rainbow Arts' Turrican and how these games differed in terms of complexity. In this article, I will be revisiting that theme, but this time showing how increased complexity does not always allow for a more involving and replayable game.

Bill Loguidice's picture

Exclusive History of Commodore Computers Poster Now Available

History of Commodore Computers PosterHistory of Commodore Computers PosterOver at The Vintage Computer Forums, user "billdeg" posted about the current availability of his new poster, which was three years in the works, "History of Commodore Computers". While it's not really all-inclusive, it's apparently of a very high production quality, hits the important points and would be a nice addition to any enthusiast's collection. Of course, it also gives me an idea to put something similar together for my 200+ system collection, but since that would probably take me years to get to, I suggest you plunk down the money ($19.99 plus shipping and handling, which is not bad for a "homebrew" full-size poster) for this Commodore-specific one now... ;-)

Bill Loguidice's picture

Individual Computers Newsletter - New C-64 Cartridge Cases and Clockport-hardware for the Amiga (Commodore)

New cartridge cases for the Commodore 64/128: It's always great to see initiatives to mold new cartridge houses so old cartridges - no matter how common - don't need to be cannibalized for new homebrew releasesNew cartridge cases for the Commodore 64/128: It's always great to see initiatives to mold new cartridge houses so old cartridges - no matter how common - don't need to be cannibalized for new homebrew releasesThese guys make and distribute some of the most exciting new products for the classic Commodore computer lines. I'm a particular fan of the MMC64, which is an invaluable flash memory card adapter for the C-64/128. Here is their latest news, direct from the source:

30.05.2006: New C64 cartridge cases, special prices for clockport-hardware

www.ami.ga/jumpnews_e.htm

New C64 cartridge cases
Our cartridge cases for Retro Replay, MMC64 and other standard C64 cartridges enjoy great popularity, therefore we have made a new production run with a few improvements. The cases that we delivered previously were made out of the fairly soft plastic polystyrene.

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