The Commodore 16 is a somewhat underrated home computer that had a relatively short lifespan and was intended as a low-cost replacement for the Commodore VIC-20.
It had 16K of RAM (thus the name) and a 6502 compatible CPU that ran twice as fast as the CPU in its older and more expensive cousin, the Commodore 64. It had a video and sound chipset called “TED” that offered a colour palette of 121 colours, and more efficient use of video memory than the C64, but it had no hardware sprites (it did however have a built-in software sprite routine with fewer restrictions than on hardware sprites).
A little bonus, on the back of our Sam & Max Hit the Road feature published today: not grabs, but a small selection of high quality Sam & Max comics, as written and drawn by LucasArts veteran and all-round master of the paintbrush, Steve Purcell.
I love Purcell‘s artwork so much – not to mention Hit the Road itself – that I had to share these with you.
This list is subject to change at any time, of course. Why, even the mighty Witcher 3 is sure to be usurped at some point… Maybe with Cyberpunk 2077? Or the next Elder Scrolls game? Who knows? Who cares?! If you do care, please leave a comment below. 🙂
A British programmer/developer who made a name for himself with his very first game, Pud Pud, which was published by Ocean Software for the ZX Spectrum in 1984. Smith was just 17 at the time Pud Pud was released, but was fortuitous in that his pitch to Ocean, and them signing him up as ‘talent’, was all filmed and later broadcast on television in an episode of BBC TV’s Commercial Breaks, which gave him an instant profile to an appreciative audience. Bob Wakelin‘s ace cover art also did Smith‘s early games a lot of good.
Unfortunately Jonathan Smith isn’t with us any longer; he sadly passed away in 2010, but I do know – from having read a few interviews with Smith – that he was very embarrassed about his appearance on Commercial Breaks. Which is a pity because he was great in it. And he really put himself on the map by agreeing to do it. Smith liked to work hard and “keep out of the limelight” as much as possible, and seemed to be a humble man. His work on a series of classic ZX Spectrum games will never be forgotten.
Between 1984 and 1988 Smith programmed 13 games for the Spectrum. At least five of which could be considered ‘all-time classics’.
LISTS: as created by The King of Grabs, in chronological order:
The Infinity Engine by BioWare is synonymous with great RPGs. You think Infinity Engine, you think Planescape: Torment, or Baldur’s Gate. Or Icewind Dale. All great level-grinding adventures and all published by Interplay in the late ’90s and early 2000s.
When Canadian developer Beamdog (founded by ex-BioWare staff) set out to remake the Baldur’s Gate series – and remake the Infinity Engine in the process – they set out to make gaming history for a second time, by revitalising these good old games and hoping they’d be hits again. And to all intents and purposes they succeeded. And are still succeeding.
The new engine is a veritable mouse wheel zoomfest, and having the larger play window makes the game feel so much more epic than before. Yes, there are some people who prefer the original versions – and that’s fine with me – but these newer incarnations feel sleek and modern and grand. You can see so much more of the great buildings and landscapes. It makes a difference.
There is one anomaly, though. Icewind Dale II – the only Infinity Engine game yet to be given an enhanced make-over – is in limbo (at the time of writing), apparently because the original source code is missing. Boo. Whether it will ever get an enhanced remake or not is unknown, which isn’t great because I have a soft spot for Icewind Dale II… Never mind.
Listed here are links to all the individual Infinity Engine games on this blog – plus the enhanced versions, in chronological order.