The C64 Mini: Some More Retro For Your Early Gamer Gifting (Or Yourself)

C64 mini boxed

Remember kids, when you retro-trip, wear proper headgear. Falling too hard can be a hazard to your gaming skills. Or something like that.

 

Remember that C64 Mini post from a few months back? Well, the system is now available and it’s got a fair enough price point ($79.99 US) to recommend if your tastes roll towards the old school and you don’t mind a few quirks from the old days of gaming.  There are a bunch of these mini-consoles out already or coming out this year and next thanks to Nintendo’s success with its shrunk-down NES and SNES systems, so we’ll see how well each does among gamers, collectors and anyone just looking for a simple to get into gift for that special someone.

 

 

Yeah, yeah, the emulation only crowd is chuckling away at these to some extent as they cut themselves a nice slice of Raspberry Pi. But if people who just want a fuss-free gift or just aren’t tech savvy enough to grab some sort of emulation device and swipe ROMs off the internet with relish, I say let them spend their money as they please especially if it makes them happy.

EDIT: Ah, I see one issue I’d read about elsewhere has been addressed. This is a good thimg:

 

 

-GW

 

 

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The C64 Mini: That Retro System (The Kids Perhaps Don’t Have A Clue About) Is Back

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(Thanks, The C64!)

 

Yeah, yeah, I know some of you are ogling these images and video in this post with a raised eyebrow, but hear me out.  Sure, ethical issues aside, you can emulate away or go fiddle with a Raspberry Pi or some other device to run Commodore 64 games these days. But for those folks who aren’t tech savvy or just want a simpler means of playing those classics, the C64 Mini (set for a North American launch on October 9) will be right up their alley provided the price point is perfect and the console plays well enough for anyone interested to snap it up.

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Now you can play a bunch of C64 classics and have your kids looking truly perplexed because they only recall Nintendo as “inventing video games” as I overheard recently. Yeesh.

Anyway, for an off the shelf console, the C64 Mini is pretty loaded, I’d say (but you’ll have to read below the jump to find out what’s in the box):

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Hyper Sentinel: A True Modern Retro Game Needs Your Help to Fly High

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I’ll admit to having a like/hate relationship with crowdfunding, but when I see a game like Hyper Sentinel lagging behind its target simply because gamers here in the west don’t know or appreciate the history behind it, I have to pipe up a bit. Just check out that Kickstarter page to see the sheer enthusiasm for this labor of love and the rich history and pedigree of Andrew Hewson, Rob Hewson, who along with Johnathan Port and John Ogden, are making a game that looks like an incredible amount of fun to play for retro and modern gamers alike.


 

Yep. This looks like a ton of fun, right? But there it sits, needing more people like YOU or your vintage gaming friends who claim they’re into these types of games, yet hold zero knowledge of gaming outside the US and Japanese consoles to toss pledges its way. Those in the know have supported this already (and I hope more can spread the word), but if you need a little kick-start of your own, here’s a little slice of game history to check out as an assist:

(Thanks, DerSchmu!)
 

Cool, huh? Yeah, I thought so. How go help the Hewsons and company get their game out of that hangar and onto anything that can play it. If you have an iPhone, give that demo a shot and go yell at a few friends about your experience. Dismissed!

Lumo: Brilliant Iso Platformer’s One of The Year’s Best Surprises

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Lumo is out now on Steam, gog.com, the Humble Store (PC/Mac/Linux), and PlayStation 4 now and that $20 price tag may actually be too little for such a gorgeous and brain-twisting platform/adventure game hybrid. Created by Triple Eh! (Gareth Noyce) and published by Rising Star Games, there’s so much packed into this isometric wonder that most gamers under a certain age with no sense of game history outside their own short memories will spin themselves silly trying to keep up with the seemingly endless references to games they’ve never seen or played. North American gamers with some experience will note the Solstice and Equinox homages along with nods to Donkey Kong, Marble Madness, and a few other classic arcade and console games while they jump through around and in many cases, OVER levels to locate some very-well hidden secrets.

This isn’t a proper “review” (yet) as I’m basing my wordy noise here on the preview code I received and finally got around to this past weekend. Think of this as a fine and dandy heads-up if you’re on the hunt for a lengthy, challenging blend of old and new schools that’s cute enough to be a kid’s game, but tricky enough to get the most seasoned player checking out every nook and cranny for hidden stuff. As you play, you’ll discover Noyce is indeed a very, very talented guy with an elephantine memory and deep knowledge about his favorite games and a willingness to share that with anyone who picks up a controller. 400 rooms in a beautifully rendered Easter Egg farm where fast movement is necessary, yet paying attention to visual cues makes for truly rewarding play sessions. The sense of discovery in Lumo is fairly remarkable because you’ll be doing things both inside and outside the box. See some crates stacked by a wall or what looks like a curious means of reaching the top of a wall? With a bit of effort poking around in nearby room or a bit of backtracking to other curious spots, you’ll be up and over those walls and into new territory. Continue reading

Now, There’s a Film I’d LOVE to See…

Photo Credit: Annie Leibovitz

Photo Credit: Annie Leibovitz

Yep. You’d pay good money to see Helen Mirren and Judi Dench in a period piece with those outfits, too. They could be a 40’s er Holmes and Watson, an older Thelma and Louise (having not stomped on the gas in that flick), two ladies out shopping or anything else a writer’s room could bust out in a few weeks that still manages to read like drunken fan fiction. My ticket would be bought and so would yours. Don’t lie, either. Hell, you’d be pushing me out of the line just to get in first, grrrr. Anyway, my brain is still fuzzy after today’s… er, YESTERDAY’S busyness. Go write up your own plot for that photo above. See you later today at some point.

PAC-MAN Comes to Android Wear – Your Watch Now Has Retro Classiness!

Android Wear PAC-MAN Watch Face 

Got an Android Wear Watch? Good. Like Pac-Man? Even better! Bandai Namco Games has just released a cool PAC-MAN Watch Face now available to download to Android Wear smartwatches for $0.99 via the Google Play store. Yes, you should buy it, as it’s an instant attention getter and even better, the safest way to enjoy the classic character on a device while walking down the street.

As it’s not a game, but a fun watch face that has Pac munching away the minutes as he makes his way ’round the dial, you don’t need to worry about anything but looking stylish as you strut your stuff. Of course, if you get stopped by someone wanting to check out that buck you’ve spent, just let them know that it’s not an interactive addition to your wrist. That and poor Pac would probably go kooky if he was doing nothing but looping in a tiny circle or rectangle all day eating dots without a single ghost to munch. Hey, everyone needs a hobby, right?

Fund This! GRAAL SEEKER: The Final Push is On!

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Okay, folks – Lugludum’s cool-looking retro strategy RPG GRALL SEEKER needs our assistance! Go help fund the project over at Indiegogo and if you’ve got a Steam account, absolutely give it an up vote on its Steam Greenlight page. This is one of those games that needs a bigger audience willing to try something outside their usual comfort zone, so go check out those links and make Lugludum a very happy bunch of game makers!

Hey, Guillaume! Play us out with a little game music, won’t you, sir?

Graal Seeker Update: Extended Campaign + Some Music Lessons For You Potential Backers…

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Meanwhile, back in crowd-funding land…

With only 16 days left in its Indiegogo campaign, Lugludum Game Studios’ work in progress tactical/RPG Graal Seeker is jockeying for a Steam Greenlight spot, so help them out with a vote and a pledge if you haven’t yet. This latest devlog is a total educational hoot, as it shows how the music and some of the sound effects were done (go, Guillaume!). You may want to fund the game just so he doesn’t come after you with some of those weapons he has! Then again, that might make for a heck of a stretch goal – get the sound guy to chase you around a room so he can record screams for the Graal Seeker sequel!

Finally, PR guy Thibaut Trampont wants you to bug the dev team on Reddit tomorrow:

Ask Us Anything (AMA) on Sunday 19th October:
We will be on Reddit to answer all questions the 19th October at 3pm UTC with the guys from Battle Brothers, That Which Sleeps and Dungeon Kingdom. This can be a great opportunity to satisfy your curiosity about how indie developers like us make RPGs. The link will be shared on twitter the day of the AMA.

Follow Thibaut Trampont on Twitter here: @ttrampont – and go get this game funded! It looks like it will be quite a bit of fun and certainly a unique experience for SRPG fans who want something more than anime-based fantasy games in their libraries.

FUND THIS! Graal Seeker: The Battle of Britain For A Shiny Cup o’ Miracles, Indie Style!


 

GraalSeeker_Lugludum_72_t_RVBAnd who doesn’t want a retro-inspired turn-based strategy RPG with procedurally generated maps set in medieval Britain and thereabouts or as it’s noted by the developer, “a 2D narrative RPG with roguelike elements & tactical battles”? Welcome to Graal Seeker, a work in progress and Indiegogo campaign from Lugludum Game Studio. 26 days to go, about 1200 of 10,000 Euros raised and it’s also on Steam Greenlight for those who want to vote it in.

I’m liking the mix of stylized 2D art and 3D animated characters in those battles, the modding possible (you can create and share your own adventures!) and the fact that the dev team is showing this off in quite well in an early but polished enough state to get noticed by little guys like me who love promoting games they see and like (like being the imperative word here – I don’t write much if at all about stuff that doesn’t float my boat). That permadeath means the game should also appeal to fans of Nintendo’s Fire Emblem series or other games were dead characters don’t pop back up after they expire on the battlefield.

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Of course, whether or not this one makes its target is all up to YOU, so I guess now that you’re feeling guilty, you HAVE to go check this out and maybe make a pledge. Hey, the rewards are sure worth it. Spend as little as five euros to get your name in the credit or go all out and spend 1000 Euro and become a Knight of the Round Table (round table not included, but you’ll be a quite the hero to Lugludum Game Studios!). Now, I wonder who’s the first modder to do a Monty Python and the Holy Grail expansion or total conversion. You just KNOW one is coming and yep, that killer rabbit better be pretty much unbeatable.

Back in a bit with an update once the campaign is a few more weeks in…

Capcom Arcade Cabinet 1985 Game Pack #1: Three More Classics To Keep You Twitching The Night Away…

 

Let’s see now… Ghosts ‘n Goblins, GunSmoke, and Section Z, all true classics and all now popping up on PSN and Xbox Live Arcade for you Capcom Arcade Cabinet users in North America (European PlayStation Store users get theirs tomorrow) for a very reasonable $9.99€/9.99/£7.99/800MSP. For those of you PSN users who missed last week’s intro 1987 pack or just want the two classics Avenger and/or 1943: The Battle of Midway by themselves, they’re both for sale individually on PSN for $3.99/€3.99/£3.19 each. Capcom hasn’t said a thing about 360 users in regards to these two titles getting single purchase deals, but I’m guessing 360 owners will need to take that up with Microsoft and not Capcom if it’s an issue about individual games being sold or whatever. Anyway, enough reading – go drop some virtual quarters already!