Tag Archives: jumping

Impossible Mission, Commodore 64

Dennis Caswell‘s brilliant 1984 platform game, Impossible Mission, has lost little of its appeal over the decades. There is something so gloriously timeless about it, and the challenge it presents is difficult, but do-able.

From the moment you first hear the sampled speech (“Another visitor! Stay awhile. Stay… forever!“), and see your agent somersaulting across the screen, you will be drawn into this spy-theme action game.

The idea is simple enough: you must avoid all the dangers, while searching the offices of mad scientist Professor Elvin Atombender, for pieces of a missing code. And when you have the pieces you must fit them together in a kind of jigsaw puzzle type fashion in order to get the access password to defeat the mad doctor. There are 36 pieces of the puzzle, and you have four hours in which to complete your mission.

Is it really an impossible situation you’re facing? I guess that depends on how good at games you are…

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impossible_Mission

Ancipital, Commodore 64

Jeff Minter‘s seminal shooter Ancipital features psychedelic sprite-based visuals and fast blasting/running/jumping action.

It’s like a weird run-and-gun game with strange gravity. And you controlling a goat running around, shooting stylised sprites, and wondering what the hell is going on.

Llamasoft released Ancipital for the Commodore 64 in 1984.

More: Ancipital at retrogames.co.uk

International Karate Plus, Commodore 64

Archer Maclean’s IK+ (International Karate Plus) ushered in a new wave of fighting game on the Commodore 64, back in 1987.

Gone were the days of sluggish beat ’em ups, and in came an altogether faster and cleverer fighting game. This one being somewhat dignified with the martial art of karate.

It is still – to this day – very satisfying to deliver a perfect punch to the gut, or land a flying kick to the face. The skill interludes in-between bouts are pretty maddening fun too.

But it is the core of the game that makes International Karate Plus so good. The rules and moves are simple. You’ve got to be good to pull them off.

Rob Hubbard wrote the memorable music too.

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Karate+

Summer Games II, Commodore 64

Sequel to the award-winning Epyx multi-event sports game, Summer Games II is arguably even better than its predecessor.

This one features: triple jump, rowing, javelin, equestrian (show jumping), high jump, fencing, cycling, and kayaking.

Each event is a fantastic game in its own right, and graphically: Summer Games II is still very impressive. At the time of release (1985), it really wowed the critics. And games-players alike. Like all the Epyx sports games: still great to pick up and play now.

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Summer_Games_II

Winter Games, Commodore 64

One of many classic Epyx-published multi-event sports games from the Eighties, Winter Games is a collection of playable snow and ice-based Olympic events, but without the official license.

In this you’ve got: biathlon, figure skating, bobsled, ski jump, Hot Dog (a kind of fancy ski-jumping), speed skating, and driveway clearing. Actually, there is no driveway clearing. I just made that up.

At the time of initial release Winter Games was hailed as a masterpiece of gaming, and it still plays very well even today. Many people consider it the best of the Epyx sports games. What do you think? Is it better than World Games, or not? Get commenting below.

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winter_Games


HES Games, Commodore 64

In my mind THE best Olympic sports type game on the Commodore 64.

HES Games – by 321 Software and HESWare – beats Epyx’s great sports titles by virtue of its simplicity, and of it’s refined control system. And there’s an interesting mix of events too.

You’ve got track and field, archery, springboard diving, weightlifting, hurdles, and world records to beat. And thankfully it’s not too much of a joystick waggler – you have to control and time your movements well, rather than bash buttons. The animation is top notch throughout too. Very exuberant and characterful and really brings the game to life.

Considering that this title came out in 1984, and still has life now, that is something of an achievement…

In fact: HES Games is so good that it has been re-released a number of times under various different titles, such as: Go For The Gold and Gold Medal Games.

If you look hard enough you will still find people playing and enjoying it now.

Note: I would love to see someone home-brew a sequel to this with pole vaulting, high jump, and other various events. It could be done and would be great!

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hes_Games

Nebulus, Commodore 64

John Phillips‘ fabulous Nebulus attracted rave reviews when it was first released in 1987, and – to be honest – it still gathers rave reviews now. The Commodore 64 original in particular.

Continue reading Nebulus, Commodore 64

Parasol Stars, Amiga

Parasol Stars is a wonderful sequel to Taito‘s classic Rainbow Islands, although it was never released in arcades.

The game was initially developed exclusively for the NEC PC Engine in 1991, and later released on other formats by Ocean Software. The brilliant Amiga version was released in 1992 and remains a firm favourite among Bubble Bobble series fans.

It’s a fine version of a classic game, featuring a neat water-throwing mechanic. One or two players can bounce around to the jolly soundtrack, using their umbrella to float, throw or defend against the cartoon baddies.

Graphically this Amiga version is excellent, although it isn’t quite as a colourful as the PC Engine original. This Amiga version also features a wider screen, but still scrolls when the level is larger than the display area.

What is interesting is that the original PC Engine version is subtitled “The Story of Bubble Bobble III” whereas this Amiga version is subtitled “The Story of Rainbow Islands II“. I guess both are right…

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parasol_Stars

Underwurlde, ZX Spectrum

Ultimate Play The Game‘s Underwurlde was first released on the ZX Spectrum in 1984 and was the company’s eighth release (actually a simultaneous release with Knight Lore), and the third game featuring the lead character ‘Sabreman’ (Sabre Wulf and Knight Lore being the other two).

Although somewhat difficult and frustrating to play, Underwurlde is fondly-remembered (and still played now), due to its Ultimate pedigree, and also the fact that it is beautifully-programmed and designed.

More: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Underwurlde