C64 Winter Olympic Challenge – Barrel Jumping…..attempt #2

One week in and we’re thoroughly enjoying the coverage of the Winter Olympics at Sochi. To  join in the fun at lunchbreak we thought we’d have our own mini retro game Olympic challenge courtesy of a few choice events from the Epyx series of Winter Games and the Games-Winter Edition on the Commodore 64 (Vice).  We also loaded World Games to see if anyone could beat our I.T. teams world record of jumping 18 barrels.

World Games C64


We should petition the International Olympic committee and have Barrel Jumping recognised as an official Olympic sport.



After many attempts and multiple fractures later the record still stands at 18 barrels. Going for silver I thought i’d have a go at besting my personal record of 15 barrels.

Previous attempts can be seen here – https://stiggyblog.wordpress.com/2013/01/15/c64-winter-challenge-barrel-jumping/

No only do you have to get your skaters rhythm correct, jumping at the last instance is key. I find that looking at the speed gauge and jump line rather than the actual skater seems to help.

Contestant StiGGy representing the Kingdom of Epyx (apparently this is where all of the ‘US Gold’ can be found 🙂 flings himself into the air.

Ice barrel jumping 16


A brief pause, and woo hoo, made it (only flippin just though!) and the SID chip goes wild.

16 barrels

The problem is…now i’ll have to tackle 17 barrels next time.

Fancy having a go ? Feel free to post your records in the comments section.






This time around, rather than on the Commodore 64, I’ve dug out my C64 DTV joystick which will be set up on our main TV throughout the Olympic games so that i can dip into a little light gaming between


Classic Commodore Joystick.

I hope everyone is having a nice Christmas so far and enjoying whatever you’re doing.

I was loading the car up with gifts this morning before we head out to visit family and something caught my eye in the foot well behind the driver seat.

It’s a vintage Commodore 1311 joystick that I purchased at Revival Mini earlier in the month and I guess, after putting it on the back seat after the event, it must have slipped off and lodged somewhere under the driver seat.

I didn’t half get a ribbing from my friends when they saw me buying this. They laughed and said it’s one of the worst joysticks around. Sure it’s not at iconic as an Atari stick, as precise  as a Comp Pro 5000, as colourful as a Powerplay Cruiser or indeed as comfortable  as a Zipstick but I think it’s cool with it’s Commodore silver lettering, chunky red fire button and retro Vic-20 paintjob.

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I brought this off my friend Sophie, boxed and looking in very nice condition. For just a few quid I eagerly snapped it up as I’ve been after one of these sticks for a while now to match the white/beige Vic-20 paddles I have.

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Back home, and  as I’ve still got the C64 setup, I thought I’d give it a go using a few of the RGCD competition titles. It works, I’m pleased to say and the joystick movements are incredibly responsive and therefore perfect for twitch gaming. The triangular shaped rubber stick isn’t as bad as you’d think but the fire button isn’t exactly schmup friendly. At some point I’ll undo the fixing screws for a look-see inside to see if I can increase the button sensitivity as I can see myself getting quite a lot of use out of this stick.

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Am I the only one that thinks these sticks are cool?

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My winning three for the RGCD 16k competition.

The entries for this years RGCD 16k cartridge competition have been out for a few weeks now and all have been getting some serious game time here. There are so many quality releases this year and it still amazes me  (trying to do the math here) that after 28 years (whoa) since first unwrapping my Commodore 64 on Christmas Day morn,  I’d still be using the very same machine today and that I’d be playing brand new games on it too.

The official results of the competition are yet to be announced, but here’s the three titles that I’ve picking as my own personal favourites.

3rd Place – BellringerIII


Starting in alphabetical order, BelringerIII was the very first game I played from this years games selection, and right from the off with its toe-tapping catchy menu tune, I knew that this was going to be fun. It reminds me very much of early C64 games like Cavelon and  Hunchback and a whole host of platformers I used to spend hours with on my Commodore Plus/4. Fun times!

As well as being a great little retro style hide n run platformer, the charging guards and bell ringing puzzle at end of each level makes this game ever more enjoyable.

2nd Place – Monsterbuster



I didn’t really get into the whole Puzzle Bobble/Bust-A-Move type games until acquiring my third PSX console (or was it the fourth?…why is it that you seem to end up with so many of these little grey boxes 🙂 )and used to play this into the wee hours with my mother-in-law of all people…who, despite never having picked up a console controller before,  surprised us all and whipped the living snot out of the game. Although lacking in things like power ups and specials in this 16k version (a fat 64k version has been mentioned), its still a charming and highly addictive game. Thumbs up to p1x3l.net for bringing back the monsters again.

…and finally the game that I keep coming back to more and more –

1st Place – Kobo64


I absolutely love this game. Plenty of frantic bullet hell moments coupled with the sanctuary of deep space where you can regroup, rethink and begin your attack again. Hit and run, take the machine down bit by bit before laying a path  to the sweet spot in the middle…take that yer pesky space plumbing beasties. Awesome!

There you go, that’s my top three for this year. Special mention should also go out to the rather excellent Devil Ronin which just got better and better every time I played it,  the technically impressive Micro Hexagon which looks even better after a few beers…but maybe not after a kebab, Rocket Smash, because it’s about time the C64 had a descent Jet Pac game (and what a game!) and finally Vallation and Powerglove which I’m really looking forward to spending even more time exploring.

My thanks to RGCD and the incredibly talented folk out there for making this one hellava great time to be a Commodore user.


Grow your own Commodore?

Earlier in the week parts of the UK were hit by 140mph winds causing all manner of damage and tidal surges swamping many coastal regions. Where we live, we got off very lightly with only minor damage and congestion on the commute home as fallen trees and debris were cleared away.

Back home from work and having a look around in the dark, the garden had taken a bit of a battering including one of the bird tables that now resembled a pile of logs, various broken pots and the garden pond containing more twigs and leaves than water and fish. Typical as well, all of the cheap bird feeders hanging in the trees were seemingly untouched but the rather expensive one containing nyjer seeds had fallen and scattering its contents everywhere.

A small section of our roof must have been hit hard as well as we appeared we’d lost one of the slate roofing tiles and a whole section of a concrete ridge tile too. These things aren’t exactly light either!

Thankfully, the ridge tile had slid down and landed on the kitchen roof without damaging any more tiles along the way so at least I can reuse it.

I’ve got some chaps coming out to us this week to carry out repairs and repoint a few more ridge tiles along the extent of the roof line but as heavy rain had been forecast for today and next week I didn’t want leave it as and exposed to the elements until repairs are completed.

I’ve spent most the of day clearing up the garden and pond and cutting a few of the tree branches that were wind damaged and likely to snap soon, then it’s out with the ladders and up onto the roof to refit the ridge tile. Now I’m not the best with heights to say the least but over the years I’ve come to getting used to them having had to install Cat5e cable at great heights occasionally. Still, disco legs i had as i wobbled my way up the ladder carry a hefty great lump of a concrete :-s

Whilst I was up there I spotted way way back at the bottom of the garden, the missing slate roof tile – that’s some distance it must have flown and luckily had survived it’s flight. When I retrieved it, it was the object found underneath that’s most curious.

MOS 6522 VIA chip, probably from a Commodore 64.

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Hehe, moss is actually growing around the MOS too! In a few years, will I be picking my own Commodore’s as well as plums, pears and apples (eating type, not tablets….although ;-)).

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Stealing a peek at ‘The History of Ocean’.

When I got home from Revival Mini last night buzzing from sensory overload and my copy of The History of Ocean (software) in my hands, I’d promised myself that is was going to go straight onto the bookshelf, unread until the Christmas holidays when I could put my feet up, settle down into my cosy reading chair and indulge in a little Yuletide tipple with a cursory mince pie (or maybe a little blue cheese……..woo stomach is rumbling now!).

Unread yes, but I couldn’t help myself stealing a peek at the first few pages.


I’m still over the moon that I was able to get my copy signed by many of the talented Ocean team that were visiting the event including Ocean boss Gary Bracey and book author Chris Wilkins & Roger M.Kean.


Trying not to look too hard so the following shots might be a bit blurred 🙂





Right, that’s enough of that for me but if you’d like to purchase you’re own copy of the book, you can do so via the following link. I’m not sure if it’s is a limited run so treat yourself now before it’s too late.