Pets Rescue

I’d like to show you a new game for the 264 series of computers (Plus/4, C16, C116). Commercially released games for this system almost universally targeted 16KB even though the system could be upgraded to 64KB. As a result, they didn’t take much advantage of the 264 series computers’ expanded color palette, nor did they have very complex music.

This game, however, targets the Plus/4, or a C16 or C116 that have a memory expansion installed up to 64KB. I’m not sure if it leverages the entire 121-color palette, but with its smooth and colorful animation and substantially complex music, this is easily a contender for most amazing game available on this system.

The game is called Pets Rescue. It went on sale in 2019. The version pictured below was a limited collector’s edition which is already sold out (sorry!). It comes with tons of bonus items, but more than anything I just can’t get over this box. The manual is also quite nice.

My 264 series machines aren’t always hooked up, so first I had to set up the hardware.

All ready to go! Time to load the game and give it a whirl.

The game has some different environments, each set to their own music. The gameplay was hard at first, but after getting used to it a bit, things were going better. By world 1-3, though, I was tapping out and switched from the Plus/4 joystick sold by Commodore to the Epyx 500XJ, which I did a lot better with.

I’ve attached some additional screenshots to the bottom of the page.

If you’re interested in this game, there are three versions available for purchase. The digital download is not expensive at all, and lets the authors know you want to see more like this!

Digital Download – $2.99 USD – Purchase Link
(Digital download gives you access to the disk image. You can use it in an emulator that supports Plus/4 or C16/C116 (such as WinVICE), or you can copy it to a real disk with any disk copier capable of writing 40 tracks.)

Budget Expanded – £6.99 UKP – Purchase Link
(Includes the floppy disk and special sleeve plus instruction manual, all pictured above.)

Premium+ Expanded – £13.99 UKP – Purchase Link
(Same as Budget Expanded edition above, but in a clear clamshell case with full-color artwork insert.)

Tenebra Macabre

Here’s a quick look at a relatively new game – Tenebra Macabre.

In this dark world, you have to contend with not only the standard enemies, but even spiky floors! At the beginning you can only see your immediate surroundings, but every once in a while, lightning flashes and you can get a glimpse of your surroundings. Make your plan and proceed with caution!

There’s also a candle in each room. Make your way and light it, and then you’ll be able to see in that room.

As the name implies, the environment and accompanying music is a little on the creepy side. Makes for a fun, eerie time!

So not only is this game free, but it’s available for the gamut of Commodore 8-bit machines (except MAX Machine, never gets any love!). Pick your flavor – C64, Plus/4, C16, C116, or VIC-20.
C64 –
Plus/4・ C16・C116 –
VIC-20 –

Software Collection

I am much more of a hardware collector than software. But I do have a fondness for certain software brands, machines, or particular titles. So I’ve assembled a mish-mash of stuff.

For example, the Commodore branded cartridge manuals. This was initially the only thing I was going to collect. This collection has grown recently. I’m only interested in the ones with the fun artwork, so Gorf, Dragonsden, etc. aren’t really of interest to me. I know I still need Avenger,which I think my friend is holding on to for me, and maybe a couple more.

I also have some of the boxes, which I never actually intended to collect, but lucked into a couple of batches of them in good shape, so I guess I’ve started collecting them, anyway! When it comes to the boxes, as opposed to the manuals, I definitely want Dragonsden and Gorf and… well, you know, all of them. My friend has about ten of these for me, too, but some are duplicates. I also added my MAX Machine boxes because it brought more balance to the arrangement.

Next are my arcade classics (and Bop ‘n Wrestle, because it didn’t really fit anywhere else). Not likely to expand on these too much because boxes for Atari’s C64 releases were kinda boring, and that’s where many of the classics are.

My ratty Plus/4 carts. Nice artwork, though!

And finally, my RPG/fantasy stuff. Taking this picture, I feel like a sucker for settling for the small Shogun clamshell. I expect to add Knight Games to this collection, and if I can ever track down a nice Alternate Reality: The City or The Dungeon box, those too.

Comparing speed

Just a personal experiment out of curiosity. I wrote this little program on my Commodore 128 and then again on my Commodore 16.

I was curious about the speed:
3rd place: Commodore 128 executed the code in 1 minute, 55 seconds before adding lines 5 and 135.
2nd place: Commodore 16 executed the code in 1 minute, 34 seconds.
1st place: Commodore 128 executed the code in 55 seconds after adding lines 5 and 135.

So clearly lines 5 and 135 are key. The FAST command blanks the screen and doubles the CPU speed. Output is revealed after the SLOW command is issued. This is only useful in 40-column mode. In 80-column mode, the CPU is always double speed!

I was also surprised by the color palette selected on the 16. I’m pretty new to the 264 series of computers. I know it has a bigger selection of colors than the 128. It seems like you can access more vibrant colors by issuing a second third argument to the COLOR command. The default 16 colors in the graphic mode seem so… Easter-ish.