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Desert Island Disks… Well Tapes…


 


Top ten Commodore 16/Plus 4 games

This is a bit like desert island disks for the Commodore 16/Plus 4, trying to provide you a guide of the best games available for the system.  I’ve asked quite a lot of people for their favourite games and have compiled this list for you.  Hope you enjoy them.

Icicle Works
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This is a very festive game; you have to collect presents for Santa.  But be careful you have to be fast.  A great game for the Plus 4, it has a nice sound track and really addictive.  The game itself is very similar to the Boulderdash games, where you have to drop snowballs onto monsters or avoid them.  Quite a few programmers have tried to duplicate the game play of Boulderdash and most of them don’t really live up to the original.  But Iclicle works really does a brilliant conversion that’s worth a play.  You can find this on most Commodore 16/Plus 4 websites.

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Tom Thumb
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This was a one of the most beautiful games written for the Commodore 16, it was outstanding that it could be written to run on just 16k of memory.  You play Tom a hardy adventurer overcoming a vast maze to find the hidden treasure.  So many obstacles lie before you, monsters, disappearing platforms and spikes that appear out of the ground.  The graphics were so colourful, sprites well drawn and the game play was ever so addictive.  This game is renowned to be one of the greatest games ever released on this platform.

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Monty on the Run
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Most of you will know this cheeky little chappy.  It’s Monty Mole, in his first adventure.  As with most of the Monty series of games, the format is a platform run and jump game.  The concept of the title is for Monty to collect as much money as possible without being caught by the strange and unusual creatures that lurk around.   Graphically its very cute and nicely drawn sprites, the sound lets things down a little bit with just simple effects.
As an overall package it certainly delivers a very entertaining game that will inspire the majority of gamers.

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Treasure Island
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Produced by Commodore themselves, Treasure Island was among the games that were distributed with the Plus 4.  As we all know most games bundled with a computer are medium to low quality, but this was one of the exceptions.  Treasure Island used the Plus 4’s 64k of ram, so unavailable to Commodore 16 users.  The game is bright and colorful, interesting and achievable.  You play Jack from the story Treasure Island, the aim of the game is to avoid the pirates, find the treasure and escape the island.  After a few hours of game play, lots of learning from your mistakes, completion is possible.

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Tutti Fruity
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As soon as you load the game and you start to play, the colours and wonderful little graphics jump out and grab you.  Tutti Frutti is another Boulderdash, conversion, but you get chance to shoot your enemies.  What other game can you play a super strawberry trying to defeat the evil acid apples?  A beautiful addictive game that was released in many formats, the C16/Plus 4 version gets my thumbs up.

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Head over Heels
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Originally released on the Commodore 64 and later converted to the Plus 4.  This has to be one of the most amazing games on the platform; its sheer beauty is outstanding.  The game play is perfect as you take control of Head or Heels, trying to reunite them.  Head over Heels is one of those games you can play for hours and never get bored.  The puzzles were very challenging, when the player had to choose who would be the best character to over come them.  The graphics were very amusing, but not very colorful. However, that didn’t distract from the game play at all.  It is a must for anyone who enjoys the Plus 4.  The sort of game that always manages to make you smile.

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Kikstart
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Who would have thought a game controlling a little motorcycle would have been so breath taking.  As soon as the game loads it breathes quality with a great sound track from the TV show of the same name.  The game was difficult but you always came back for more.  Different, more challenging obstacles lay ahead of you and you had to find the best way to jump clear of them.  If the ground obstacle were not enough in the later levels the sky filled with storm clouds and you had to avoid lightening bolts from the heavens.  Even now I still play this game on the original machine; it’s up there with some of the greatest games ever released.

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Trailblazer
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Gremlin Graphics were renowned for producing quality games for any system.  This was a surprising title as the theme was quite original and to the credit of Gremlin, it works wonderfully.  The game is a stroke of genius. Controlling a football traveling through the galaxy on a colorful platform, that was made up of squares.  The player had to negotiate gaps in the platform by jumping over them, using special ability tiles that speeded you up, slowed you down or made you jump.  As the game was quite difficult the programmers included a password system.  On completion of each level, a password was displayed enabling you to start at that level again without starting from scratch.

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Exorcist
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Exorcist was another game that was bundled by Commodore with the Plus 4.  In essence it was another maze game, but strikes a cord with the heart.  You play Sparky who has been trapped deep within a series of catacombs, having to escape and gain your freedom.  The soundtrack to this game was outstanding; I have never come across another Plus 4 game that can measure up to the quality.  The game is exciting as you avoid the ghosts to light up each room, which then opens the exit to the next room.  There was also the option to pick up lightening rods to fire at the ghosts.  Exorcist reminds me of Pac Man in many ways but beats it in addictiveness.

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Skramble
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This early release for the Commodore 16 was a conversion of the brilliant Scramble arcade game.  The programmers managed to pack in wonderful sprites, excellent game play and great backgrounds into 16k.  The aim of the game is to guide a single space ship through an enemy infested land, destroying everything in your path.  You have to avoid the land, enemy ships and missiles that are heading your way. There are several different stages to the game, changing the play slightly every time and keeping the interest of the gamer.  I never personally managed to complete the game, but still go back for more twenty years later.

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Categorized as: History



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