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Modern Homebrew Games on Retro Machines

gone fishin

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Is there an easy place to get modern Homebrew releases for retro machines?

I keep on seeing them being reviewed in Retro Gamer, but it's a bastard to try and find them easily.

Often you have to know the name of the game to search for. I'm just looking to play some modernish games on old hardware!

World Of Spectrum is fairly straightforward, just go to advanced search and change the year to greater than 2005 or so.

What about C64, Atari 500, Atari 2600? Are there web sites that cater just for homebrew releases for those machines?

What about 16 bit machines? Are there any decent homebrew or modern releases for them? I remember the Megadrive got a couple of RPGs.

And what's everyone's picks for modern games on old hardware?

I just downloaded Land of Mire Mare for the Spectrum, it's pretty good! It's also amazing to see what modern developers get out of the Spectrum...

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The Amstrad has seen nice new versions of R-Type and a Bubble Bobble over the past couple of years. I don't think that there is one place that covers all of these modern releases though, you have to sift through all the different communities.

One game I have been playing a lot is Metal Man Reloaded on the Speccy. It plays a lot like the original Robocop.

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RGCD is a great source of games for retro systems. They're more of a publisher and have a mix of free downloads and commercial stuff.

For C64 stuff you can't beat Commodore Scene Database.

I know lots of his stuff turns up on WoS but it's worth keeping an eye on Jonathan Cauldwell's website as he releases free and commercial games.

It'll be good to see some games people have found posted here. Today I saw this vid for a Spectrum game called Splattr from 2008:

Incidentally this is a great Youtube channel, all his stuff is recorded from original hardware.

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  • 1 month later...

Okay, this is essentially retro games on retro machines but with a modern twist: Commando Arcade for Commodore 64.

After a long time in development, Nostalgia presents our improved version of Commando. This version has so many improvements that we decided not to call it a crack. Much of the code is newly written, a lot of old code was bug fixed, and a lot was added to the game to make it the ultimate home computer version.

List of major improvements:

* 5 new levels added. Game now has a total of 8 levels, just like the arcade original. Therefore the game is now a multiload.
* Level 3 is a completely new level with barracks.
* Levels 2 and 8 have new hangar and new turret graphics.
* Level 4 is what Level 3 was in the original C64 version.
* Level 5 has a new feature - swamps,which replace ponds from the arcade original. Also there are soldiers that shoot at you from behind a log.
* Level 6 is similar to level 2 as in the original game.
* Level 7 has new style barracks with soldiers coming out of them.
* Level 8 has a fully visible watchtower with hangars and a few other features.
* Completely new demo-grade sprite multiplexer allows almost completely flicker-free sprites on screen.
* Completely new scroller code enables more raster time for other parts and enables a full 60 fps game at all times.
* Added the arcade's helicopter that drops Super Joe onto the battlefield and picks him up after the mission is over.
* Level transaction screens now have new animations converted from the arcade version.
* Scores have 2 more digits to prevent them from overflowing and wrap around at 999999 points.
* Long Fire button press will fire a grenade (if option is enabled).
* 8th place on the high score table can be entered now.
* Lives are properly printed now - if you manage to have more than 10.
* Grenade counter stops at 99 now - it used to wrap around to 0 before.
* Turrets on levels 2 and 6 used to crash the c64 before. Now you can grenade them at will.
* Attract mode now shows 4 screens from the last played level. It also shows the highscores and N0S credits.
* Game over sequence added with enemies running around shooting.
* Soldiers now throw bombs at you regardless of your position. Makes the game a bit more challenging.
* Enemies go behind the black status bar now - used to disappear sporadically there.
* Added a left-to-right driving motorcycle to some of the levels.
* Scoring works more like the arcade, so similar scores can be achieved.
* New Sound Modes are added with many new tunes (some levels have different tunes) and even more sound effects.
* Loading screen and loading tune was added to the game.
* You can pause the game by pressing the RUN/STOP key. While in pause you can quit the game by pressing Q.
* High Scores are saved to disk and cartridge now.
* IFFL version of the game supports REU memory (256kb required).
* File Loader version of the game can be loaded using any device.
* Easy Flash version of game supports Backup/Restore of High Scores to disk. Those high scores are compatible with File Loader version.
* Game is compatible with both PAL and NTSC systems.
* Game supports 2 options which can be selected at the start.
* Game has 5 trainers for practice play.

Sound Modes are:

* C64 Music + SFX
This is the original game sound mode. You'll hear Rob Hubbard's music and sound effects.

* New SFX
This will enable the New Sound Effects Engine. You'll hear main sfx and enemy sfx in this mode. No music will be played in the background.

* New Music + SFX
In this mode you'll hear new music created by 6R6 and main sound effects.

* C64 Music
This will play original C64 music only. No sfx will be heard during the game.

Press RUN/STOP to pause the game and Q to quit the game while paused.

press SPACE to select new Sound modes. You can long press FIRE to fire grenades.

This is amazing. There have been crackers improving games and fixing bugs in the past, but I really hope this marks a trend in sceners looking at old games and trying to make improvements.

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The 1541Ultimate 2 supports the CBM REU up to 16mb. I know there are lots of people out there who own this. It would be so cool if crackers get games working on this. Easyflash has been a huge success, lots of games have been altered to work with that. It's great to see people trying to get the best of old games.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Been trying out a bit of homebrew on the C64, and there's some real corkers

Knight N Grail

A really good Metroidvania type game, great music too.

Guns N Ghosts

At first glance, it just looks like a typical single screen shooter. Except it's a lot more tactical, almost making it a puzzle game. You have to stand still to reload, so you have to really time how you shoot the enemies.

Definitely worth a try.


I've never played the original, so no idea how it compares. This is really impressive, good fun.


Again, never played the original, but another impressive one.

Still a few more I need to try, but it's great coming across these. Like getting new games again!

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...
  • 2 years later...

There's been some fantastic looking games released on the C64 over the past year or so. Plus they're getting commercial releases too, meaning you can buy new tape games (or disk, or cartridge). What a time to be alive!


My Life is a sort of pseudo sequel to Mikie. Except he's now middle aged, bald and has a boring life to get through...



It also comes in a clamshell case, just like the original Imagine games when Ocean took over.


Barnsley Badger is a fun platformer similar to Monty Mole



And Jam-It is a brilliant 2 on 2 basketball game, similar to Dr J v Larry Bird: One on One. You can even have four simultaneous players..




The games are all available from here http://binaryzone.org/retrostore/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=2 and are about £6 each for the basic tape version.


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Want My Life. Tiger Claw, Jam It, Soulless and a couple others for £1.65? 


There's a humble bundle type thing where you can get them as digital downloads here: 




Only lasts for the next 10 days or so and the money goes to charity (you can donate more if you want). They come either as C64 files (d64 prg etc) or bundled with emulators.



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  • 3 years later...

Bit of a 'rise from your gwave' one this but I was wondering if there's a nice, simple, easy way of downloading homebrew games for old systems in one central place?


I'm not after anything commercial - only those games that are freely downloadable as homebrew.


Having just got my Spectrum Next set up with Spectral Interlude on it along with Old Tower I'm keen to download a pack of all the recent Spectrum games to try out.  I'm sure if I went to WOS I could dig around and find them all each with their own download link, one by one.  Even better would be if I could look at and download C64, Amiga, Amstrad, NES, Megadrive etc. games too.


I'm thinking that if there isn't a central place to read about and download modern homebrew then maybe I should make it: choose your platform, see a list, click a game, get the blurb, see a screenshot and then... download.  Nice and simple like that.  Maybe even have an 'add to basket' option to download multiple games at once in a big ZIP file.


Does that sort of thing exist?  If not, do any of you kind folk have a ZIP file you can send me while I think about building a site for everyone?

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  • 1 year later...

I’ve noticed that homebrew games get very little attention on here so what’s the general opinion on them?


As a fan of a console I’d always be psyched for a new release and most of them are very impressive considering the small teams and budget behind which is primarily a passion project. Also a new game in retail quality packaging ticks the fanboy in me. 

As a Dreamcast fan been adoring Xenocider, a full 3D, 60fps on rails shooter that’s a love letter to SEGA games of past, the best compliment I can give it is that it feels like a SEGA era Dreamcast game, coming from a small team who made it over the past seven years in their own time that’s quite an achievement. 

Other homebrew games I’ve been loving on the Dreamcast is Flea! Sturmwind, and Xeno Crisis and looking forward to Senile Team’s Intrepid Izzy out next month. 



There has been some disappointing Homebrew games, the Texorcist was looking like a banger but has been released in an awful state and just seemed to have been rush ported to Dreamcast with little play testing. Especially disappointing coming from Gamefairy. Joshprod’s NeoGeo conversions of Visco games  have been hit and miss, although I’m looking forward to Andros Dunos 1 & 2.  

Still loving playing new software on the Dreamcast in 2021.  All new Dreamcast games should have the same boot up screen as Ghost Blade.


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The ugly side of homebrew games. Has taught me not to be so enthusiastic about pre ordering these games.




Was psyched for this, the game looked awesome, Steam reviews were excellent and finally another Dreamcast game that can use the keyboard. What we got was one of the most broken games I’ve ever witnessed. 


The vibe of the game is pretty cool, the dialogue is great, the game play of typing out incantations whilst avoiding bullet hell projectiles is very unique and the soundtrack is banging. What we got is a have that crashes out if you read the dialogue on some of the early bosses and just completely crashes out if you get to the sixth (out of ten) boss. 

Completely borked and a mindfuck how they managed to release it in this state. Either they didn’t play test the thing or they deliberately released a broken game and took the money and ran. The developers Headsup games after offering some support initially on how to avoid the bugs, have removed all their tweets and gone awol, after probably realising the game is unfixable in its current state.  Those of us who bought the game haven’t been offered a refund but just a paltry free stream download and even more inexplicable Gamefairy are still selling the game on their site despite knowing its completely broken. 

Avoid this game! And probably anything else Gamefairy/Headsup games put out in the future.

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1 hour ago, phillv85 said:

Surely the publisher in this has to take on some of the responsibility? That’s a shame you can’t even finish the game.

Just recently an update by the publisher;



Hopefully this means sorting the game and sending out replacement discs. It’s a great game and really would be awesome to have this in the DCs library. As others have pointed out there’s a vibrant DC homebrew community out there who would have playtested this to death for free if they were finding it difficult, strange that they released a product which hadn’t been tested properly. 

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Ah that’s good. They need to fix it really, something like this can sour the entire homebrew scene for a console. I’m sure there were Mega Drive homebrews that suffered with the whole Paprium saga. I know I stopped backing homebrews when it became clear something was seriously up with Paprium.

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