This arcade conversion of Data East‘s 1987 coin-op was highly controversial at the time of release, because it was viewed as a “lazy, direct port” of the ZX Spectrum version, which was not what Commodore 64 owners wanted to see.
And it’s hard to argue otherwise. The game is slow, with terrible, jerky scrolling and it doesn’t take advantage of the C64‘s capabilities at all.
C64 Karnov probably deserved the absolute panning it got, and was a missed opportunity to convert the arcade game to a machine that should’ve been well-suited to it. Maybe a better, C64-specific port might do the trick? Maybe Nostalgia should have a look at it…
Karnov on the Commodore 64 was developed by Mr. Micro and published by Activision in 1988.
More: Karnov on Wikipedia