I keep seeing new Commodore PET games appearing and thinking I must get around to trying some of them out.
Since I am now producing Mini PET kits again, this seems an excellent opportunity to try out some new games whilst testing out the kits.
I have had a look through itch.io and found a surprising number of new games to try. They don't seem to have an obvious way to filter by "Commodore PET" as a system, so you have to deal with a number of games for other systems about pets of the furry, four legged, lower case type*, to find the gems for PETs of the green screen, upper case variety**.
* Not all pets are furry or have four legs
** Not all PETs are green screen
I should apologise upfront because:
- I am not very good at playing games
- I am not very good at taking pictures of screens, particularly when trying to get a shot of game play.
So, as you can see, I am ideally placed to write a piece about playing games accompanied by lots of screenshots.
I could have used screenshots from Vice, but that somehow feels like cheating.
Most of the game pages have videos on, I would encourage you to watch those as my photos do not do most of these games justice.
The one that had most recently caught my eye was from prolific PET game creator Jim Orlando.
PETSCII Side-Scrolling Platformer
This is a multi-level side-scrolling platform game inspired by Mario and Sonic and is one I will be trying more. The controls take a while to get used to, I was using the 4, 5 and 6 keys, but I think I might do better switching to the alternate A, S and D.
A nice version of Donkey Kong, with clever use of the PETSCII bar characters to create the sloping levels for the barrels to roll down.
A game similar to the original Mario Brothers (not Super Mario Brothers). Haven't quite got the hang of this one yet.
A nice little Panic / Lode Runner style platformer. Another one of those games where it is difficult to setup enough traps so I can take a picture before game over.
PET Space Invaders 2
An improved Space Invaders with more aliens. The ones on the left hand row always seem to fire as soon as you start, so you have to move quickly to avoid being killed at the start of each life.
Choplifter for the PET with a helicopter that looks surprisingly good in PETSCII.
Fly through space, exploring strange new worlds, and seeking out new life and new civilizations, and then shooting at them.
Portal for the PET? You got it.
Oooh I like this. One of those addictive problem solving games. I need to spend more time learning all the mechanics, but the hints guiding you around are very handy.
PETSCII Zombie Lemmings for Commodore PET
Surely you can't do Lemmings on a PET? Well, it appears you can.
Lemmings was a favourite on the Amiga 500 and this version is very playable with familiar puzzles.
The keys being ESDF rather than WASD keeps throwing me though, although it is still impressive to have a workable keyboard mechanic for what was a very much mouse based game.
Desktop Tower Defense for Commodore PET
I think I get the idea with this, but would need to spend more time placing the blocks to defend against the "creep's".
Defender Clone for Commodore PET
A fast moving defender clone, again making good use of PETSCII to create the landscape and UFOs that look a bit like the UFOs from UFO.
Lode Runner Clone for Commodore PET
Classic Lode Runner, good fast version, a bit fast for me.
Nice circular fade when you lose a life.
Another recent game I wanted to test out again is from FuzzyBad
PET Light Cycles
A nice Tron style light cycle game, or a snake game where someone else is trying to play snake at the same time as you are.
Other notable mentions with more games, conversions and fixes.
Well, I suppose I should mention my own contributions
3D Monster Maze
Well, I had to include one screenshot on a greenscreen monitor, provided by a Mini PET B I was also testing some of these games on.
You can also play some of these games online using Norbert Landsteiner's excellent Commodore PET emulator:
Tut-Tut and most Jim Orlando's games are included in the Prg Library, the rest can be played from the prg files or disk images.
Most of the games on itch.io can be downloaded for free, but I would encourage you to support the developers where you can, whether that be by paying a few dollars, or leaving comments, following them, sharing the links etc.
Note: a lot of these games support the Texelec SNES adapter. If you do use one of those with a PET or Mini PET, I would strongly recommend you follow the instructions to add external power rather than using pin 2 which is video output on all PETs, not 5V power. I went into a lot more detail on this in the original Patreon post, but I will just leave the recommendation.
Mini PET A
The Mini PET is a Commodore PET compatible 6502 based computer with 32K of RAM and a choice of PET BASIC 1,2 or 4, or Mini PET BASIC 4.0.
This is the stand alone version that can be used with one of my keyboards or another aftermarket PET keyboard (normal / graphics layout recommended for better compatibility than the business keyboard).
Mini PET A on SellMyRetro
- Built and Tested with Deluxe Keyboard - https://www.sellmyretro.com/offer/details/63877
- Full kit with deluxe keyboard - https://www.sellmyretro.com/offer/details/63951
- Full kit with no keyboard - https://www.sellmyretro.com/offer/details/63950
Mini PET B
The B variant is designed as a drop in replacement for a PET motherboard. No keyboard options are provided, as you are expected to use the PETs original keyboard.
In addition to the DC power and composite video output of the A, the Mini PET B can use the PET power supply (5 pin or 9 pin) and drive a PET 9" or 12" monitor.
Mini PET B at SellMyRetro:
- Built and tested - https://www.sellmyretro.com/offer/details/63875
- Full Kit - https://www.sellmyretro.com/offer/details/63876
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