C64 Roundup is back - The Mini is here, all the new games and new projects

Hello folks, and welcome to Indie Retro News' C64 Roundup Weekly.  I've been on holiday in Japan, so I'll try to cover everything you might have missed while I've been away over the last couple of weeks.  Firstly, Japan was amazing. I mixed a sight seeing tour de force of all the Tokyo shrines, temples, landmarks etc, with visits to the Taito, Sega and Namco Arcades.  Also the amazing (but overpriced) retro game shops of Akihabara, Tokyo and Den-Den Town, Osaka.  The Cherry Blossoms were in full bloom and I got some high scores on Gradius and RType... at least for a full 10 minutes before some old dude decided to complete Gradius after I got off it!  Photos on my Instagram, link below.

Unless you've been living on the Moon, you'll know the big news is the arrival of Retro Games LTD TheC64 Mini. There have also been a ton of new games in development announcements and a couple of corking new releases.

TheC64 Mini is here

People finally got their hands on TheC64 Mini from Retro Games LTD.  Facebook has been flooded with pictures of people holding up the boxes, reviewing the hardware, slagging off or defending the games, and generally venting their support or disapproval for the project.  It may or may not be your cup of tea, but one thing is certain; it's got everybody talking about the Commodore 64 again, and that can only be a good thing.  I've live streamed a couple of hours of game play over at my Twitch page until unfortunately the joystick snapped off the base during a tricky Creatures jump.  I found the joystick pretty awful in general, even before it broke, it's unresponsive particularly on diagonals.

Firmware Updates: v1.06 firmware just landed, it fixes some minor niggles, but doesn't include the infamous game launcher code necessary to side load multiple disk games from USB storage, or play .d64 files without having to give them a weird name.  That fix is coming in the v1.07 firmware update but there are no estimates on timescale or confirmation that the firmware can fix my joystick.  So stay tuned and in the mean time, check out the list of reviews I've put in the links below to get you started.

Breaking: Andrew Braybrook is making a game!

It's very early days, and we've got no details on what platform or type of game yet, but Andrew Braybrook is reporting for active game development duty.  As you're all familiar with his work (Gribbly's Day Out, Uridium, Paradroid, Rainbow Islands to name just a few) this is exciting news indeed! The only information we have is a cryptic tweet. But be sure to follow his blog to get the latest news as the game develops.

@UridiumAuthor: "I'm starting to pull all the pieces together to make a game. My blog page will be the place for info when it's time. http://www.uridiumauthor.blogspot.co.uk"

New game release: Counterweight Kate by Alex Martinel 

As C64 owners I don't think we can ever have enough charming cutesy platformers, and we can now add one more to the collection thanks to Alex Martinel of Cogitare Computing.  Counterweight Kate must use the platforms, and see saws to get to the top of each level, to rescue the captured toys.  On the way you'll face traps, a variety enemies, puzzles and boss levels to complete. And it will take all your skill to pass the 12 stages and respective boss levels.  I discovered a few nasty bugs in the first level, and through twitter was able to get a demonstration video the developer, who should be now working on a fix.  As the game is currently available as digital download via itch.io, it's fairly simple to upload patches and customers just need to download any fixes as they become available.  The excellent itch.io desktop app makes the process even easier.  Otherwise the game is tough, but a fantastic original piece of coding for the C64 and it has cool music too.  We look forward to more from Alex Martinel!

New Game release: Crank Crank Revolution by Lft and Redcrab

Well now, this is one really interesting game.  Not many games grip me in the first few seconds of gameplay and make me so eager to continue and get the highest score possible. LuftrauserZ was the last game that I felt that addiction too, and this is quite quite different.

The idea is to "crank" your music machine by cicling your joystick clockwise quickly or slowly.  Too fast or too slow and the music plays at the wrong speed, find the sweet spot and people will stand and listen.  They thow money which you can collect by commanding your monkey at the press of the fire button.  The trick, is that playing perfectly all the time means people stand to enjoy the music, but never leave and throw their coins.   So you need to alternate good and bad playing to optimise money collection.  It looks and sounds fabulous!

The game's background and more information can be found on the Lemon64 blog, and the game itself downloadable for free from CSDB.

New games from Trevor Storey, Georg Rottensteiner, Achim Volkers and Stuart Collier - Huge Update

31st March saw a post on the Hyperionc64 Facebook group updating us on the status of all their incredible looking soon to be released games.  We previously announced all of these games on previous IRN posts, however we can now confirm that both Organism and Legend of Atlantis are now finished and will be released within the next couple of weeks. Blackstar, Sizzler and Soulless 2 are still in active development with details to follow.  If you want to get the latest updates on all of these games, then please follow the Hyperionc64 group, keep checking at the Psytronik store page or just keep following Indie Retro News.

Rotteroy new game announcement

Rotteroy's Twitter has been leaking details of his next game in the pipeline, and this one's called "Mancave - Wifi Free Zone". Rotteroy has been making demos and games under the Megastyle label since 1997. His recent games include the whacky "Captain Cloudberry" and "Tombstones - Retirement Day".

The update from Rotteroy explains:
And if you add all those together, that works out at way over 100% so I'm not sure how good their maths skillz are! :P  The short clips and screenshots of the work in progress look very promising indeed.

If you check Rotteroy's Twitter out, today he's also announced two work in progress C64 games which have been abandoned unfinished have been released as Preview versions on CSDB for everyone to enjoy the state they reached.  The game releases are Fly Boy, a remake of Atari Arcade game "Fast Freddie" and "Lumberjack Deluxe" a sequel to their 4KB Reset Magazine coding competition entry:"Lumberjack".  All links below.

Honourable Mentions:
  1. @MarcosHealy developer and founder of MediaMolecule
    (LittleBigPlannet) has been quietly working on a C64 port of the infamous PlayStation platformer.  It's too early to say if it will get an official release, but the work in progress clips are absolutely stunning:
  2. Hokuto Force got a sneaky release out this week: The classic Commodore/Baly Midway release: Solar Fox.  The game is tough, and twitchy and has been covered by our favourite 8 bit Youtuber: Hellfire64 aka Rob Caporetto, so be sure to check it out! CSDB link: http://csdb.dk/release/?id=163534 

The C64 Mini Review Links
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