Haunted Hill

With all the hubub about DRM and digital distribution of games, it’s real easy to forget that some platforms have been using the concept for DECADES. One such platform was the Commodore 64, a system very near and dear to my heart. And as such, I’d like to present a game that is similarly dear to me, as it’s one of the first games I ever played, Haunted Hill for the Commodore 64! Written by George Richardson for Merlin’s Associates, its a simple Centipede style game released as a shareware title in 1983. But, as you’ll find out, it’s more than just that.

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Crystal Castles

A 1983 Atari product, Crystal Castles is a game that stands out. From its crazy-detailed cabinet art to its glow-in-the-dark trackball, you wouldn’t be able to miss this in any arcade. But, how does it play? The “Crystal Castles” are 40 isometric levels given a 3D look. You play as a goofy-looking bear wearing Dorothy’s ruby slippers. Throughout the pathways of the castles are scores of gems and jewels. Your mission is to collect them (for points) as quickly as possible. The trackball moves you around and there is a jump button, as well. To reach the different levels of the screen, you’ll use ramps, stairs, elevators, and secret passageways.

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Thunder Force

During the course of my long struggle to finally see and play the original Thunder Force game for the PC-88, I saw some screenshots of the PC-98 version, which appeared to have fancier graphics, so I decided it might be a good idea to include that version in this feature too. I soon regretted it, of course. This turned out to be even harder to get to play than the the PC-88 version! However, after a long and arduous struggle, fraught with many problems, and once again with the help of some splendid fellows from the Retro Gamer forum, I managed to get it running.

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Spy Hunter

Spy Hunter showed up in arcades in 1983, developed by Bally Midway you played the role of a spy driving a high-tech sports car. Your mission was to race down the mother of all freeways taking out enemy vehicles which later really seemed un-spy like to me.

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