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Games

This section of my site is devoted to games for the Commodore 128.  Unfortunately there was not a large amount of software released for the C128, and it seems to me that a large majority of what was released was applications.  There are some games that run in C64 mode with slightly improved performanced by using 2MHz CPU speed during the VIC border (note a real C64 is limited to 1MHz without added hardware).  Although there must be others, here are a few of my favorites:
  • Gunship (a helicopter simulator)
  • Project Stealth Fighter (a jet simulator)
Infocom released several games that run in C128 mode, but they are only text-based games.  Some of them are:
  • Beyond Zork
  • Bureaucracy
  • Trinity
I can't tell you much about them, because I always got frustrated with them.  Although the Infocom games are the best text adventures I've played on the Commodore series of computers, the games can still be very anal about using an EXACT word or phrase.  Some people may enjoy that in a game, but not me!
 
There are a few video games (as opposed to text games) that actually run in C128 mode.  Two that I am familiar with are:
  • Flight Simulator 2
  • The Last V8
Like the first set of games mentioned, they offer slightly better performance than a C64 game by using 2MHz in the VIC border.  They also make use of the expanded system memory of the C128.  I am not sure if either makes use of the second bank of Color memory of the C128 (although I believe FS2 does not).  Use your favorite search engine if you would like to find and download any of those games.
 
 
  Original Games  
Although programming for the C128 is a pain compared to modern computers, it is much easier than programming the C64, in BASIC anyway -- and BASIC is a good language to try out programming ideas.  You may discover that plain BASIC is good enough for some games, but often you will want to switch to assembly language to get acceptle game speed.  Anyway, below are a few of the games I've made over the years that run in C128 mode.
 
 
  3D Tic Tac Toe  
Here is a game that is written in BASIC.  One or two players can play (in one player mode, your opponent is the computer).  The players take turns marking spots on a 4 x 4 x 4 grid.  Player one makes X marks and player two makes O marks.  The first to get 4 marks in a row (horizontally, vertically, or diagonally) wins the game!
 
Screen shot of 3D Tic Tac Toe
Note this game runs only on the 40-column VIC screen.  Download 3D Tic Tac Toe
 
 
  Battle Blox  
The game was written in assembly language and was winner of the 2007 4K game competition.  The game is for one or two players and is a fast-paced block filling/elimination game, similar to Tetris.  But instead of matching shapes, you match colors.  And more important, your opponent can dump extra blocks on you!  Of course you can do the same to them!  (In one-player mode, the computer is your opponent.)  Although you can play a single player game, it is much more fun with a second player.
 
Photo of Battle Blox on the 80-Column display
The game runs on the 40-column VIC screen, or the 80-column VDC screen, or both!  Download Battle Blox
 
This game is most enjoyable with 2 players and both 40-column and 80-column screens active (one for you and one for your oppponent).  If you have two monitors available for use with your C128, then you REALLY should give this game a try.  One of our favorite games!  ("our" = "me" + "friend/enemy").  I can't stress this enough: titanic fun for 2 players!  For you hackers, I created a blog about this software.
 
 
  moob  

Here is a game that kind of emulates Quake or Doom... but it was designed to fit in only 4K of RAM and run on either 40-colum VIC screen or 80-column VDC screen.  Well in retrospect, that was WAY to ambitious for a 4K game :)  In fact, I think you call me the #1 looser in the 4K competition because I never could squeeze the final program down that small!  Anyway, you can download a ZIP file here that contains D64 disk image plus the actual source code!

 

VIC (40-column) image from 'moob'


80-column (VDC) image of 'moob'

I think it runs remarkably fast for 80-column (VDC) mode.  In fact, I had to add a delay routine to slow it down; in other words 80-column version ran too fast, which is quite unusual (if you are familiar with C128 programming).  The main reason is because it uses text mode (with custom font) for graphics.  Well many commercial games also use text mode to emulate a graphical display, but they almost always use pre-rendered fonts.  Due to the 4K restriction of the competition, pre-rendered graphics were not feasible... so I think it is remarkable that it runs so fast (needs delay) when using a dynamic font (not pre-rendered).
 
  Rubik's Cubes  

Here is a simulation of various Rubik's Cubes. If you grew up in the 1980's, then you know what I mean!  If not, see this link.  The "classic" cube has 3x3 squares on each side. The "advanced" cube (also called "Rubik's Revenge") has 4x4 squares per side. The "super" cube (also called "Professor's Cube") has 5x5 squares per side. This program lets you select any size from 1x1 (silly) to 5x5 (VERY hard). Well only the 80-column (VDC) mode allows 5x5 (that is, the 40-column VIC mode has a maximum of 4x4 per side).  Download the D64 here... the first file is the compiled program; runs fast but impossible to modify.  The disk image also contains un-compiled source code; runs slow but easy to modify.

Image of 3x3 Rubic's Cube (40-column VIC)

Image of 5x5 Rubic's Cube (80-column VDC)

 


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