In the early 80s, video games were starting to get a little more advanced than the Pong and Pac-Man of the 70s. To play these new games, you needed a computer that could handle them. That computer was the Commodore 64.
The C64 was a computer first released in 1982 that could play video games and do word processing at the same time. It was released by Commodore International, and there are over 10 million of them still in existence today.
The Commodore 64 is so great because it has a lot of great games on it. Also, unlike other consoles that stopped getting updates years after its release, the C64 had new games being released until 1994! That’s 15 years of support for a console! That is just crazy.
It’s an 8-bit machine, but with graphics comparable to 16-bit machines at the time. It has great sound capabilities and supports MIDI. Its hardware design was so innovative that it’s still being used in a lot of modern computer systems today.
Video games on the C64 had a lot of audio and visual flair for the time. Many games had full color, while a lot of other 8-bit machines were still using black and white.
Here are some video games that were popular in the 1980s:
Pitfall 2: Lost Caverns
This is the sequel to the Activision classic Pitfall, where you play as Harry, a treasure hunter who must jump over snakes, scorpions, and other dangers while collecting treasures in dangerous jungle environments. It was released in 1984.
An arcade classic by Williams Electronics that was ported to many home systems. You’re a lunar buggy that drives back and forth across the moon, shooting everything in sight with your laser gun. Released in 1982.
Ghosts ‘N Goblins (AKA Ghouls ‘n Ghosts)
A top-down action game from Capcom where you play as Sir Arthur, who must defeat Satan’s army of undead creatures on his quest to save Princess Prin-Prin from the Devil’s castle. Released in 1985. This game inspired an entire series of games that have been released on many different platforms since then, including the Super Nintendo Entertainment System .
California Games II (AKA International Karate) or California Games+
A sports game compilation developed by Epyx and published by Mindscape for multiple systems including the Commodore 64.
It is the sequel to Epyx’ original California Games released in 1987. It contains five events: skateboarding, surfing, roller-blading, BMX biking and rock climbing. It was released in 1990. The Commodore 64 version was the best selling Commodore game of 1990.
Zany Golf is a golf video game produced by Brøderbund for the Commodore 64 and Apple II computers in 1985. It was ported to various other systems over the years, including the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), Sega Master System, Amiga, MS-DOS and PlayStation 4.
Turrican is a video game series originally developed and published by the German company Rainbow Arts. The series consists of six games: Turrican, Turrican II: The Final Fight, Turrican III: The Final Fight, Turrican IV: The New Menace, Turrican Revolution and the most recent title in the series released in 2007 titled Turrican Forever.
Lode Runner is a puzzle video game where the player takes control of a stick figure who must collect all the gold and escape from each level through one of the vertical shafts.
As one of the first games made for home computers, it was ported to most home computer systems at that time, as well as arcade machines and consoles such as the NES and Sega Master System , among others. It was released in 1983 by Brøderbund for MS-DOS . Then ported to other systems like Commodore 64 , Amiga , MSX , Apple II, Atari 8-bit family, ColecoVision , ZX Spectrum , BBC Micro , Commodore 16/Plus 4 and VIC-20 .
A sequel called Lode Runner 2 was released in 1984 for MS-DOS . In 1989, a remake for the Nintendo Entertainment System was released by elevesoft. An enhanced remake was released in 2006 for the PlayStation 2 titled Lode Runner: The Legend Returns, which includes levels from both the original game and its sequel.
Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar
Ultima IV is a fantasy role-playing video game published in 1985 by Origin Systems. It is part of the Ultima series and focuses on a man named “The Stranger,” who must learn about his past while traveling through Britannia to become “virtuous” in order to become the Avatar, the protector of Britannia. It was one of the first RPGs to feature an interactive soundtrack, where music changes based on what is happening in-game.
It was ported to many different systems like Amiga , Atari ST , ZX Spectrum . The Commodore 64 version was ported by Software Creations and published by Ultima Ratio Regum . There were two different versions from different publishers: one with a gold cover and one with a silver cover.
Boulder Dash is an action game originally written for the Atari 8-bit family that has since been ported to many other platforms including MSX , Apple II, Commodore 64 , ZX Spectrum and Amiga . It was released in 1984 by First Star Software.
The player must maneuver a character named “Rockford” through a series of caves collecting gems and diamonds while avoiding obstacles such as falling boulders, rising/falling water, and enemies such as snakes, scorpions and spiders.
Lode Runner: The Legend Returns
Lode Runner is an action-adventure game that was first released for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1989. The game’s levels are based on levels from its original version released for the 8-bit computers such as the Commodore 64 , MSX , Apple II, Atari 8-bit family . It was ported to Sega Mega Drive/Genesis and MS-DOS computers in 1990.
It became available as a download for the Nintendo Wii ‘s Virtual Console service on January 26, 2007 in Japan; June 12, 2007 in Europe; and June 27, 2007 in North America. In 2008 it was also made available for the PlayStation 3 via the PlayStation Network store. A sequel called Lode Runner 2: The Bungeling Strikes Back was released in 1984.