Thursday, 22 September 2011

C64anabalt (Preview) (C64)

When Paulko64 originally signed up for our cartridge development competition, he was very secretive about his project, stating only that similar to his conversion of VVVVVV, the new game would be a demake of a popular indie title coded with full permission from the original developer. Well, I did a double-take when this early preview arrived in my inbox yesterday, and when I loaded it up I was quite frankly stunned; C64anabalt, despite being unfinished and running on modest 8-Bit hardware, is already amazingly close to the 2009 indie-classic in aesthetics, gameplay and addictiveness. It's a really impressive achievement.

I can't really believe that anyone could have missed out on the original flash/iOS version of Canabalt (the game practically started a sub-genre of its own), but if you are one of the unlucky few not to have played it, please pop over to the game's site ( and come back a few hours later after you've properly experienced this example of perfectly executed and seriously addictive single-button game design. (In fact, I think I'll join you - I've always been a sucker for this game).

With only two months left until the deadline, C64anabalt still requires a fair bit of work. Paul is planning to add the collisions (furniture and boxes to slow you down), shattering windows, birds, jets, falling buildings and crushing debris from the original, but with a total of 16KB to play with he (understandably) might not shoehorn it all in. However, progress is going well with some pretty hefty features already installed, such as super-fast 800 pixel per second smooth scrolling (all in one frame), procedurally generated level layout (dependent on player speed, based on the original algorithms) and a whopping 38 frames of overlaid high-resolution player sprite animation!

The game will of course be freely downloadable when released, and the big news in hot off the press is that Adam is 100% on board for a limited cartridge run after the competition. Sadly the preview isn't available for public release yet, but you can see the game in action on real hardware in my short youtube recording below. Prepare to make your daring escape (soon after the end of November competition deadline!)