Thursday, 29 January 2015

Rocket Smash EX Available! (Commodore 64)


It's time to SMASH some ROCKETS! ROCKET SMASH EX has sat on the back burner in the RGCD kitchen for almost two years, but it's finally here at last in full EXtended glory thanks to RGCD members John Christian Lønningdal, Saul Cross and Flemming Dupont (and not forgetting the invaluable help and support from the mighty Tim Harris, Ray Lejuez and Dr. Martin Wendt)!

Initially released as a competition entry back in 2013, the original 16KB version of the game might not have taken the trophy, but it certainly won a lot of fans. Fans who have been nagging us fiercely to complete the post-competition build pretty much non-stop since it was first announced last year. Sadly, none of us get to do this stuff full time (if only!); real life got in the way, and you can well imagine, the longer you leave stuff, the harder it is to pick up the pieces again. But we made it in the end - and in true scene-spirit we've even released the full game in downloadable cartridge ROM format for FREE/pay-what-you-want over on our RGCD itch.io page. C64 scene, we love you!

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Welcome to the Future!


2015 already? Wow. I was watching Back to the Future Part II yesterday, and if Hollywood is to be believed, we're less than one year away from consumer hoverboards, flying cars and cyberpunk costumes being mainstream fashion - so that's something to look forward to at least. I remember watching that movie at the cinema as a kid and thinking 2015 was so far away, and yet here we are. I also remember spending many a weekend in 1989 cycling over to a friends house to play on his C64 and I never would have imagined that now, 26 years later, people would still be messing around with these ancient machines - nor that I'd be involved releasing new games for them.

2014 was a pretty quiet year on the RGCD cartridge release front, with only 3 games published (Darkness, Phase Out and Powerglove), mainly due to real life issues such as moving house/office, redecorating, loads of DIY and other not-so-fun stuff. Of course, 2014 also saw the release of r0x (Extended Play) - our first in-house developed PC game since 2010 - as well as the founding of RGCD.DEV Ltd by myself and Jamie Howard. Sadly, the news/reviews side of RGCD has suffered as a consequence, and I think pretty much all our writers have jumped ship (although I'll try to find time to write a few things myself each month going forward).

Monday, 8 December 2014

RGCD C64 Cartridge Development Competition 2014

Ok, so there was a bit of a delay due to real life issues, but I'm super proud to announce that the fourth RGCD C64 Cartridge Development Competition concluded at midnight on the 7th of December with a whopping 17 new games for the C64!

Featuring the usual mix of conversions, original concepts and genre favourites, the beginning of December saw a frenzy of activity in the C64 scene thanks to the hard work the entrants put into coding their competition games over the past few months. I've put together a brief introduction to each submitted competition entry below, listed alphabetically with links to their original database pages. Fire up your C64 or emulator and enjoy!




Announced and submitted just days prior to the competition deadline, Mark Hindsbo's 16KB, three-stage retro shmup more than makes up for the epic load time and over-familiar game design with pure fun and smooth gameplay. Running at a super-smooth 60FPS and featuring gorgeous artwork from André 'Redcrab' Högbom, Avaiator Arcade's deadly aiming enemies and ambush/boss battles are both challenging and satisfying to beat. There's even an option to turn on autofire and remap the smart-bomb to the fire button (which is automatically selected for GS users!) In all, a fantastic scene debut!

Sunday, 19 October 2014

C64 16KB Cartridge Game Development Competition - Status Update #2

I'm currently at Sunspot (a shadow party for TRSAC-014), watching demo competition entries on the main screen and thought it was about time I typed up a new status update for RGCD's own 16KB C64 compo - so here it is! But before jumping straight into the entry write-ups, here's a quick word from one of our sponsors...


Remember the excellent C64 Visual Commpendium by Sam Dyer? Well, Sam has kindly offered to provide the top three winning entrants with free copies of his book! Oh, and in case you weren't aware, Sam is currently running another Kickstarter for a Commodore Amiga book with some ace rewards, so make sure you check that out!

If you missed out on the C64 volume, you can pick it up over at www.funstock.co.uk for £24.99. Ok, now on to the entries!



Competition Entry #3: P0 Snake
Developer: Antonio Savona
Status: In Progress


Antonio wrote to me today explaining that since we asked for help with the P0 Snake soundtrack he was "overwhelmed with proposals" He went on, stating that "the c64 community is just unbelievable! I got a great SID tune in the end. Too good for my game, but I'll use it anyway!" Good news then :)

Aside from that, Antonio is pretty confident that the game will be completed by the deadline, with 24 levels already complete and only polish and wrestling with compression to get the sampled speech to fit within 16KB! Good luck :)

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Tsunami Cruiser (Android/Ouya/PC)


[This review was originally written by J. Monkman for indiegames.com, and has been reposted here with the editor's permission].

Released for Windows yesterday (and Android and Ouya last week), Boris Van Schooten's wavy-navy, Geometry-Wars-at-sea twin-stick shooter Tsunami Cruiser has come on a long way since the early prototype developed for Ludum Dare 29. With tighter controls, super-clean redesigned vector graphics and a new speaker-buzzing, arcadestep soundtrack from BitBurner, blasting away marauding sea critters and alien saucers whilst bouncing about on an increasingly choppy ocean has never been so much fun!

Friday, 26 September 2014

Iron Fisticle (PC)


With a title like Iron Fisticle, one might suggest this is something they only do in Germany, or perhaps an obscure entry on Urban Dictionary. No, friends, you won't be hitting up the missus (or the mister) for an 'iron fisticle' any time soon. Unless you make it up. Rather, Iron Fisticle is the name of a fantastic new dual-stick shooter that harks back to the old days of quarter-chompers Gauntlet and Smash TV, developed by Confused Pelican Games (Amiga shareware-scene hero) and Tikipod (Rock Boshers DX, Aqua Kitty and of course r0x EP).

Shovel Knight (PC/Mac/Wii U/3DS)


I normally lead into these reviews by setting the theme or laying the foundation for a punchline, but this time this time I'll cut the (now traditional) waffle I'm famous for by simply saying that Yacht Club Games' Kickstarter-hit Shovel Knight is an absolute work of art. It's not the kind of indie game that wants to be famous for its 'message' or 'deepness of expression', it's instead the kind that polishes an established set of formulas and delivers a diamond-solid package.

Boson X (PC/Linux/Mac/Android/iOS)


Being a physicist never looked so exhausting. Or so death defying. Mu and Heyo's Boson X is a runny, jumpy platformer of the breed that has been made world-famous by games like the viral leviathan that is Temple Run, and like all of its brethren a spiritual successor to the modern classic Canabalt.

This particular endless runner takes a graphical style begging to be described as 'Super Hexagon meets Another World' and sees the player in charge of a miniature scientist taking a really hands-on interest in particle-colliders. Simplicity and ramping difficulty are key players in this game, which eschews the bells, whistles and fripperies of bonuses and rewards in an appropriately scientific just the facts sort of way. This is gameplay pared down to a pure and simple form; Occam’s Razor taken to the run and jump genre.

Duck Game (Ouya)


[This review was originally written by J. Monkman for indiegames.com, and has been reposted here with the editor's permission].

Remember back when everyone used to call the Ouya a $99 TowerFall box? Well, it's time to unofficially rebrand the indie-friendly console that everyone loves to hate, because a new challenger for the local-multiplayer throne has entered the arena and powerslammed the competition into the floor. Matt Thorson's magnum opus might match it blow-for-blow in the ring when it comes to fast-paced player vs player combat, but with a wonderfully unbalanced array of ridiculous weaponry, devious level design and twisted humour, Landon "SuperJoeBob" Podbielski's Duck Game ultimately delivers a K.O. every round. So, if you have both (a) friends and (b) a $99 Duck Game box gathering dust in the corner/on a shelf/under the bed, dig it out and get ready to fall in love with local multiplayer all over again.

Dynablaster Revenge (PC/Linux)


[This review was originally written by J. Monkman for indiegames.com, and has been reposted here with the editor's permission].

When it comes to party games, few can top Dynablaster (or Bomberman, depending where in the world you are) - so it's no surprise that Titan and Haujobb took first place in the game development compo at the Revision demoparty with Dynablaster Revenge. What is surprising however, is that hardly anyone outside the scene has yet taken notice of this fantastic tribute to Hudsonsoft's incendiary magnum opus. When I tested the game on Titan's server earlier this evening there were no other players other than myself and a few friends I'd hooked up with, but hopefully that's an issue we can resolve following this write up.

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Powerglove Available! (PC/Linux/Mac/Commodore 64)


Initially released as an entry in the RGCD 2013 RGCD 16K C64 Game Development Competition (where it placed 3rd out of 15 entries), Lazycow's acclaimed 8-bit run 'n' gunner Powerglove is finally available to buy on Commodore 64 cartridge! This specially enhanced post-compo version features a revised five level map complete with Powerboots and Energy Doors, faster room-change transitions, slicker player controls, a map overview display, bug fixes, game balance tweaks and a (much-requested) shot sound effect!

But that's not all... In addition to all this awesomeness, over the past few months Matthias has also ported the game over to Windows, Linux and Mac OSX, making Powerglove the first game to be simultaneously launched on the C64 and modern-day systems since, well, ever! Exclusive to itch.io, this port of the game is completely faithful to the Commodore 64 original (despite featuring some minor enhancements such as parallax scrolling and optional pimped spritework). And the best part is that it's completely free!


If you enjoy playing Powerglove on your modern-day PC and have a Commodore 64, or maybe you're already familiar with the already-excellent competition build, you'd be a fool not to grab a physical copy of this all-new-and improved C64 version. Similar to last year's Super Bread Box, Powerglove is offered in multiple formats, coming either as a downloadable .CRT image for emulators or hardware such as the Ultimate 1541-II, on a real, physical cartridge complete with a 12-page printed manual and a bunch of ultra-cute vinyl stickers (available with standard cardboard packaging or a deluxe plastic case, the latter also including a double-sided A3 poster/map print). There's even an A2/A3 poster set bundled together with the .CRT download.

For prices and further information, head on over to our online store and order your copy today!

The Dungeoning (PC/Linux/Mac)


Roguelikes are the hot thing these days, so much so now that as even a die-hard, long term fan for the genre, I'm beginning to roll my eyes when I see the term being thrown around. Especially when it's used loosely - "contains roguelike elements" (as in, not a roguelike) or some such. Don't think I'm a purist, but there's no doubt that these days it's being slapped on decidedly non-roguelike games in an effort to cash in on the genre's newfound popularity. Thankfully, The Dungeoning is not one of those titles.

Continue?9876543210 (PC/Linux/Mac)


Indie gaming has a reputation of being deliberately opposing the the ideals of current mainstream gaming, and to some measure this is true. Some choose to subvert the 'norm' deliberately, choosing to single themselves out believing it to increase their weight in their own shallow end of the fish bowl. However, some have no agenda other than the simple need to express themselves in what amounts to a fleeting burst of human experience that we all share, perhaps an attempt to truly connect - if even just for a second - with another soul.

Ninjajar! (ZX Spectrum)


Once again it's time to give the old Speccy a dusting off and inject a fresh infusion of life into the tape deck courtesy of the ever-prolific Mojon Twins! Stalwarts of the ZX Spectrum scene, the Mojon's output over the years has varied in quality from great to not-so-great, but their latest release Ninjajar! has undoubtedly set a new benchmark for the much-loved 8-bit home computer.

Janosik (ZX Spectrum)


Host to many legendary puzzlers, adventure games and cracking arcade remakes both new and old, the humble ZX Spectrum continues to surprise its loyal followers even today. However with a software library of over 25,000 titles and growing, the old 8-bit has its fair share of lame ducks. Janosik, seemingly an unofficial Spectrum port of an early 90's game for the Atari XL, sadly falls into this latter category.