The 10 Best C64 Protovision Games According To Old Style Gaming

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OSG is back with another video, and this time, he’s counting down the top 10 Protovision games in order of greatness.

Protovision was founded in 1996 and has quickly become one of the most respected publishers of new Commodore 64 games, rivaled only by Psytronik (which we’ll cover in a future video). In the years since the C64’s discontinuation, Protovision has released over 30 games, and today, OSG takes a look at the 10 best in their opinion.

10. Galencia

Galencia is a Commodore 64 game inspired by the arcade classic Galaga. It was developed by Jason Aldred and released in 2018.

The game features 50 levels of action-packed gameplay, with asteroid fields, challenging stages, boss battles, and an ebb and flow difficulty curve. The game’s graphics and sound are impressive for the Commodore 64, and it is even compatible with joysticks.

One of the unique features of Galencia is the Siren enemy, which has a tractor beam that can capture your ship. If this happens, you will have a chance to rescue your ship, and if you are successful, you will be rewarded with a twin shooting ability.

Key Features:

  • 50 Levels of Action-Packed Gameplay: Galencia features 50 levels of challenging and addictive gameplay, with varying difficulty levels to keep players engaged.

  • Diverse Enemies and Challenges: Players will encounter a variety of enemies, each with its own unique attack patterns and behaviors. The game also features boss battles and other special stages to add variety to the gameplay.

  • Power-Ups and Upgrades: Players can collect power-ups to enhance their ship’s firepower and abilities, making it more powerful and effective against enemies.

  • High-Quality Graphics and Sound: Galencia features impressive graphics and sound for the Commodore 64, with smooth animation, detailed backgrounds, and a catchy soundtrack.

  • Two-Player Cooperative Mode: Players can team up with a friend to play Galencia in cooperative mode, adding an extra layer of challenge and fun to the game.

Gameplay:

The goal of Galencia is to defeat all of the enemies on each level while avoiding their attacks. Players control a spaceship that can move up, down, left, and right, and they can fire shots to destroy enemies. The spaceship can also be upgraded with power-ups that make it more powerful and give it special abilities.

Overall:

Galencia is a must-play for fans of shoot-’em-ups and Commodore 64 games. The game’s fast-paced action, diverse enemies, challenging levels, and impressive graphics make it a truly enjoyable and addictive experience.

9. Neutron

Neutron is a fast-paced vertical shoot-’em-up game for the Commodore 64, developed by Sarah Jane Avory and released in 2019. The game was created for RGCD’s C64 16KB Cartridge GameDev Compo 2019.

Features:

  • 9 challenging stages of increasing difficulty
  • Player weapon upgrades
  • 3 different background styles
  • Over 18 types of enemies
  • Mid-stage mini-bosses

Gameplay:

Players control a lone spaceship that must battle waves of enemies while avoiding their attacks. The spaceship can be upgraded with power-ups that make it more powerful. The game also features three different background styles and a variety of enemies, including mid-stage mini-bosses.

Overall:

Neutron is a fun and challenging shoot-’em-up game that is sure to appeal to fans of the genre. The game’s fast-paced action and variety of enemies will keep players coming back for more.

Additional notes:

  • Neutron is a PAL-only game.
  • The game is available for download from Itch.io.

8. Ice Guys

Ice Guys is a cute and addictive platformer game developed by Knights of Bytes and published by Protovision in 1997 for the Commodore 64. It’s a one or two-player game where you, as Ice Guys, must navigate through four challenging levels, each based on a real-world city: London, Paris, Athens, and the Antarctic.

Features:

  • Collect ice blocks to earn bonus lives and access bonus stages.
  • Defeat enemies by turning them into giant snowballs.
  • Kick giant snowballs around the level to defeat other enemies.
  • Collect power-ups and bonus weapons for a temporary advantage.
  • Enjoy the game’s catchy soundtrack and colorful graphics.

Gameplay:

The goal of each level is to defeat all the enemies on each stage. Enemies are defeated by hitting them three times with a snowball, which turns them into a giant snowball. The player can then kick the giant snowballs around the level, and these will kill other enemies on contact. However, caution must be taken, as giant snowballs can also kill the player.

In addition to the main game, there are also bonus stages that can be accessed by collecting ten stars. Bonus stages are timed and require the player to collect as many fruit as possible while avoiding bad guys and jumping over holes in the ice.

Overall:

Ice Guys is a fun and challenging game that is sure to appeal to fans of platformers. The game’s colorful graphics, catchy soundtrack, and addictive gameplay make it a great choice for a quick and enjoyable gaming session.

7. Bomb Mania

Bomb Mania is an action-packed arcade game for the Commodore 64, released in 1997. It’s a Bomberman-style game where players navigate through a maze of blocks and try to eliminate their opponents by planting bombs.

Features:

  • Up to four players can compete simultaneously.
  • Choose from four different graphic sets and overlay sprites for the players.
  • Enjoy the game’s catchy in-game music.
  • Play through 50 levels of increasing difficulty.

Gameplay:

Players control a character who can move around the maze, place bombs, and kick bombs. Bombs will explode after a short delay, destroying any blocks or players in their blast radius. Players can also collect power-ups that give them temporary advantages, such as increased bomb range or the ability to kick bombs farther.

The goal of each level is to eliminate all of the other players. If a player is eliminated, they will respawn in the center of the maze. The first player to eliminate all of the other players wins the level.

Overall:

Bomb Mania is a fun and addictive game that is sure to appeal to fans of arcade games and Bomberman-style games. The game’s simple yet addictive gameplay, catchy music, and multiplayer support make it a great choice for a quick and enjoyable gaming session.

6. It’s Magic 2

It’s Magic 2 is a platform game developed by SD Productions and published by Protovision in 2001 for the Commodore 64. It’s the sequel to the popular game It’s Magic, and it features improved graphics, sound, and gameplay.

Features:

  • Highly detailed and colorful graphics
  • Upbeat and catchy soundtrack
  • Diverse and challenging levels
  • Variety of enemies and power-ups
  • Unique gameplay mechanic where Tom can vaporize enemies by jumping on them

Gameplay:

The player controls Tom, a magician who must travel through six different worlds, each with its own unique enemies and challenges. Tom can walk, jump, and fire magic spells. He can also use various power-ups to gain temporary advantages, such as increased speed or invincibility.

The goal of each level is to collect all of the magic items and defeat the boss. Once the boss is defeated, Tom will move on to the next world.

Overall:

It’s Magic 2 is a fun and challenging platform game that is sure to appeal to fans of the genre. The game’s highly detailed graphics, upbeat soundtrack, and diverse levels make it a great choice for a long and enjoyable gaming session.

5. MW ULTRA

MW Ultra is a reboot of the original Metal Warrior game released in 1999. The game retells the original story in an expanded setting with new features, including a completely overhauled game engine, immersive storytelling, and a wide range of weapons and utilities.

Features:

  • Immersive Storyline: Unravel a conspiracy as you navigate through various environments, encountering street gangs, highly trained soldiers, wild animals, robot drones, and more.

  • Fast-Paced Combat: Engage in intense battles against enemies using a diverse arsenal of weapons, including batons, knives, guns, and even a grapple gun.

  • Skill Enhancements: Enhance your character’s abilities to gain an edge in combat and exploration.

  • Smooth Animation and Graphics: Experience smooth animation and detailed graphics that bring the game world to life.

  • Adaptive Soundtrack: Enjoy an atmospheric soundtrack that adapts to the game’s intensity.

  • Save Game Feature: Save your progress and resume your adventure anytime.

  • Difficulty Settings: Choose from multiple difficulty levels to suit your gaming preferences.

  • Compatibility: MW Ultra is compatible with PAL and NTSC displays, as well as various drive types, REU and SuperCPU accelerators, and multibutton controllers.

MW Ultra is a must-play for Commodore 64 enthusiasts who enjoy action-packed adventures with a captivating storyline and challenging gameplay.

4. Metal Dust

Metal Dust is a fast-paced, action-packed run-and-gun game developed by CMD SuperCPU and released in 2018 for the Commodore 64. The game takes inspiration from classic shoot-’em-ups like Turrican and Metroid, combining intense action with exploration and puzzle-solving.

Key Features:

  • Seven Unique Weapon Systems: Choose from a variety of weapons, each with its own strengths and weaknesses, to adapt to different enemies and situations.

  • Single or Dual Player Mode: Enjoy the game solo or team up with a friend for cooperative gameplay.

  • Four Challenging Levels: Explore four sprawling levels filled with diverse environments, enemies, and challenges.

  • Epic Boss Battles: Face off against imposing bosses that require strategy and skill to defeat.

  • Immersive Visuals and Sound: Experience the game’s stunning graphics, enhanced by the atmospheric music composed by Welle:Erdball.

Gameplay:

Players control a heavily armed warrior tasked with venturing into a hostile alien world to extract a valuable mineral known as Metal Dust. The game features a mix of intense run-and-gun action, platforming challenges, and puzzle-solving elements. Players must navigate through treacherous environments, defeat hordes of enemies, and overcome obstacles to reach their objectives.

Overall:

Metal Dust is a must-play for Commodore 64 enthusiasts and fans of classic shoot-’em-ups. The game’s fast-paced action, diverse gameplay mechanics, and immersive presentation make it an exhilarating and engaging experience.

3. Soul Force

Soul Force is a side-scrolling shoot-’em-up game developed by Sarah Jane Avory and released in 2019 for the Commodore 64. The game is set in a futuristic universe where a mysterious bio-mechanical fleet has invaded the peaceful Soultron star system. The player takes on the role of a pilot tasked with defending the star system using the Soul Force fighter ship.

Key Features:

  • 20 Action-Packed Levels: Battle your way through 20 adrenaline-fueled levels, each with its own unique challenges and enemies.

  • Diverse Weapon Systems: Upgrade your ship with four individually upgradable weapon systems to unleash a variety of attacks.

  • Engaging Boss Battles: Conquer challenging boss battles that require strategic maneuvering and powerful firepower.

  • Immersive Graphics and Sound: Experience the game’s vibrant graphics and captivating soundtrack that enhance the gameplay.

  • Flexible Save System: Save your progress and resume your journey anytime with a password or flexible save game system.

Gameplay:

The player controls the Soul Force fighter ship, navigating through various environments and engaging in intense battles against waves of enemies. The game features a variety of power-ups and upgrades to enhance the ship’s capabilities. As the player progresses, they encounter increasingly challenging enemies and demanding boss battles.

Overall:

Soul Force is a thrilling and engaging shoot-’em-up game that pays homage to classic arcade shooters while delivering a fresh and modern experience for the Commodore 64. The game’s fast-paced action, diverse gameplay mechanics, and immersive presentation make it a must-play for fans of the genre and Commodore 64 enthusiasts alike.

2. A Pig Quest

A Pig Quest is an action-packed platformer game developed and published by Protovision Design in 2019 for the Commodore 64. The game takes inspiration from classic platformers like Super Mario Bros. and Wonder Boy, combining a charming pixelated art style with challenging gameplay and a lighthearted storyline.

Key Features:

  • Charming Pixelated Graphics: Immerse yourself in the game’s vibrant and detailed pixelated world, reminiscent of classic 8-bit platformers.

  • Captivating Storyline: Embark on an epic quest as Percival, a courageous pig, tasked with saving the kingdom from an evil sorcerer.

  • Diverse Levels and Environments: Explore a variety of challenging levels, each with its own unique design, enemies, and obstacles.

  • Boss Battles: Face off against formidable bosses that require strategy and skill to overcome.

  • Catchy and Upbeat Soundtrack: Enjoy the game’s original soundtrack composed by the renowned SID musician Chris Abbott.

Gameplay:

Players control Percival, the pig protagonist, guiding him through various environments, overcoming obstacles, and defeating enemies. The game features a mix of platforming challenges, puzzle-solving elements, and combat encounters. Players must collect coins, power-ups, and keys to progress through the levels and reach the ultimate goal of saving the kingdom.

Overall:

A Pig Quest is a delightful and engaging platformer game that captures the essence of classic 8-bit platformers while offering a fresh and charming experience for the Commodore 64. The game’s vibrant graphics, captivating storyline, challenging gameplay, and catchy soundtrack make it a must-play for retro gaming enthusiasts and fans of platformers.

1. Sam’s Journey

Sam’s Journey is a captivating platform adventure game developed by Taito and released in 1993 for the Commodore 64. The game follows Sam, a young boy who finds himself transported to a magical world after being pulled into a wardrobe by a mysterious claw.

Key Features:

  • Enchanting Storyline: Unravel the mysteries of a fantastical world filled with quirky characters and captivating challenges.

  • Vibrant and Detailed Graphics: Experience the game’s stunning pixelated graphics, bringing the magical world to life.

  • Smooth Animation and Scrolling: Immerse yourself in the smooth animation and parallax scrolling that enhance the gameplay experience.

  • Original Soundtrack: Enjoy the game’s original and atmospheric soundtrack that complements the magical atmosphere.

  • Diverse Levels and Challenges: Navigate through a variety of challenging levels, each with its own unique design, enemies, and puzzles.

  • Boss Battles: Face off against formidable bosses that require strategy and skill to defeat.

Gameplay:

Players control Sam as he navigates through the magical world, solving puzzles, overcoming obstacles, and battling enemies. The game features a variety of platforming challenges, puzzle-solving elements, and combat encounters. Players must collect items, activate switches, and defeat enemies to progress through the levels and reach the ultimate goal of finding a way back home.

Overall:

Sam’s Journey is a beloved Commodore 64 game that has captivated players for years with its charming storyline, immersive atmosphere, and challenging gameplay. The game’s vibrant graphics, catchy soundtrack, and diverse levels make it a must-play for retro gaming enthusiasts and fans of adventure games.

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