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20 great Vic-20 homebrew games

Commodore’s VIC-20 is forty years old this year, but that hasn’t stopped people making awesome games for it. If someone had told me, when I was playing Star Battle on my VIC-20 as a child that you would still be able to buy new game cartridges for the Vic forty years later, I would be gobsmacked.

In no particular order, here is a list of awesome homebrew games for the VIC-20! Some are ports of popular games, some really push the VIC to its limits, and some are just darn fun!

Most of these have come out in the last few years, but there are a few older ones in there too.

After Party

Author Ryan Liston
Genre Rogue-like
Launch 2020
Memory Requirements Unexpanded

It’s the night after a party and you are desperate for the toilet. Stumble around in the dark and look for the loo, but avoid stubbing your toe on objects, as that won’t help your bladder control.

Available as: Download


VIC NIBBLER

Author Andy Hewitson
Publisher tfw8b
Genre Maze
Launch 2019
Memory Requirements 3K Expansion

A pretty awesome conversion of Rock-Ola’s arcade hit, Nibbler. Guide a snake around a maze collecting gems, but don’t hit your tail!

Available as: Download, Cartridge.


Realms Of Quest V

Author Ghislain de Blois
Publisher Double Sided Games
Genre RPG
Launch 2020
Memory Requirements 32K Expansion

Realms of Quest V is the fifth game in the series of RPG games for the VIC-20, influenced by the classics from the 1980s such as Ultima, Wizardry, Bard’s Tale, Phantasie and Telengard.

Available as: Floppy Disk.


Pulse

Author Sven Michael Klose
Genre Shoot-em-up
Launch 2014
Memory Requirements Unexpanded

Pulse is a fast horizontal scrolling shoot-em up inspired by the likes of Konami’s Gradius. It runs on an unexpanded VIC-20, which makes the game even more impressive.

Available as: Download.


Spikes

Author Eric Hillaire
Genre Action
Launch 2018
Memory Requirements 16K Expansion

Make the bird fly (with similar controls to Joust or Flappy Bird) and reach the wall to get to the next screen. Unless you touch the spikes, in which case you die.

Available as: Download.


Zombie Calavera Prologue

Author Digital Monastery
Genre Platform
Launch 2019
Memory Requirements 32K Expansion

Conversion of the ZX Spectrum game by the Mojon Twins. You need to sneak around collecting crucifixes in the graveyard, but watch out for the baddies. Luckily you can hide in the shadows and try and avoid them.

Available as: Download.


The Queen’s Footsteps

Author Davide Bucci
Publisher PolyPlay
Genre Text Adventure
Launch 2020
Memory Requirements 32K Expansion

It’s 1904. and you are archaeologist Emilia Vittorini. After an expedition to Egypt you are back in your homeland of Italy. You need to catch the train to Turin and make sure your archaeological treasures from Egypt have arrived at their destination.

Available as: Download, Floppy Disk.


Robots Rumble

Author Digital Monastery
Genre Puzzle
Launch 2019
Memory Requirements Unexpanded

Your job is to destroy robots! You do this by moving magnets up and down. You have two big magnets, one on the left and one on the right.

Avoid the green stones of kryptonite (the robot will explode causing pollution of the entire planet). If your magnets run out of charge they can be re-charged by picking up the batteries on the map. If you run out of energy, you die.

Available as: Download.


Fire

Author Rainer Kappler
Publisher Double Sided Games
Genre Action
Launch 2019
Memory Requirements 3K Expansion

Fire is a game of three parts. The first part, you need to move your fire-engine through the maze like map to the fire – too slow, and you lose a life.

Next you need to drive your fire-engine on the road, avoiding cars. Hit a car, and you lose a life.

Finally you need to catch people falling from the burning building. Miss one, and lose a life. If you manage to catch enough, you move on to the next day, where things get slightly harder and faster.

Available as: Download.


Manic Miner

Author Steve McCrea
Genre Platformer
Launch 2018
Memory Requirements 16K Expansion

Manic Miner was ported to nearly everything since its launch on the ZX Spectrum in 1983, but it never made it to the VIC-20. Well Steve McCrea decided to change that and made an awesome version for our beige wonder.

Available as: Download.


Rodman

Author Misfit
Publisher tfw8b
Genre Maze
Launch 2018
Memory Requirements Unexpanded

Rodman is what happens when you cross Pac-Man with Bomberman. Go round the maze collecting purple blobs, and blow up enemies when you collect the bombs.

Available as: Download, Cassette.


Rush

Author Revival Studios
Genre Endless Runner
Launch 2020
Memory Requirements Unexpanded

Rush is an ‘Endless runner’ similar to the likes of Canabalt. Features parallax scrolling. Escape the police by running and jumping from rooftop to rooftop, while grabbing leftover cash wherever you can

Available as: Download, Cassette.


Game THEORY

Author Jeffrey Daniels
Genre Mini Games
Launch 2007
Memory Requirements Unexpanded

The object of the game is to survive a variety of mini-games. Each round will only give you a few seconds to figure out what to do.

Only the fire button is needed to complete each task. Some games may test your reflexes with a perfectly timed press. Some games may require you to rapidly press the button. Others may require different strategies for pressing the button.

It’s basically Wario-ware for the VIC

Available as: Download.


Cheese & Onion

Author Misfit
Publisher tfw8b
Genre Platformer
Launch 2017
Memory Requirements 32K

The VIC-20 has a few fine platformers, but Cheese & Onion is something else. Not only is it smooth scrolling, but there’s also a bit of parallax going on too.

Available as: Download, Cartridge.


TRBo: Turtle RescueBot

Author Jason Justian
Genre Platform
Launch 2020
Memory Requirements Unexpanded

You need to rescue the turtles and take them back to the spaceship. Watch out for the robots which will try and hinder you.

Available as: Download, Cassette.


Future Fighter

Author Misfit
Publisher tfw8b
Genre Shooter
Launch 2018
Memory Requirements Unexpanded

Fun vertical scrolling shoot-em-up for the unexpanded VIC-20.

Available as: Download, Cartridge.


VICTORIA

Author Alessandro Ubiali and Michael Kircher
Genre Strategy
Launch 2008
Memory Requirements 16K Expansion

Turn-based strategy based at the dawn of Roman power. your aim is to conquer all the known world, region by region. It won’t be easy – progressively stronger empires, barbarian invasions, and civil war will keep you occupied in the struggle for your own survival.

Available as: Download.


Astro NELL

Author Matt Simmonds
Publisher: Cronosoft
Genre Platformer
Launch 2005
Memory Requirements Unexpanded

Astro Nell is a Jet Set Willy type game (collect items from various rooms), which amazingly runs on the unexpanded VIC-20!

Available as: Download, Cassette.


Tristam Island

Author Hugo Lebrande
Genre Text Adventure
Launch 2020
Memory Requirements 32K Expansion

After crashing your plane at sea, you end up drifting to a small island, with not much to survive. You explore, and find out the island was inhabited, years ago. But why did the people leave? And why is there a fence around the white house at the top of the hill?

Available as: Download, Physical versions TBA.


KIKSTART

Author Victragic
Genre Action
Launch 2018
Memory Requirements 16K Expansion

Shaun Southern’s Kikstart was a hit on the 8-bit systems at the time, but the Commodore 16 version was a different game to the others, and was based on the arcade game, Superbike.

Victragic’s port is based on the C16 version rather than the more popular C64 version, and is great fun, whether you’ve played the original or not.

Available as: Download.


Want to keep up-to-date with the latest home brew and indie releases for the VIC-20? Check out our new page here.

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