3 New Platform Games – Sam’s Journey, Pets Rescue, and Cheese & Onion


The first platform game I ever played was
Pitfall on the Atari 2600 back in 1982. Of course, at the time I never thought of
it as a platform game. But that’s what it was, in fact it essentially
set the standard for platform games. Later on I played Donkey Kong on both Atari
and Commodore platforms. This is, of course, before Nintendo started
keeping their best stuff proprietary to their own console. And by 1984 I was playing Pitfall II on my
Commodore 64. As cool as these games were, they were quickly
forgotten with the introduction of Super Mario Brothers for the Nintendo Entertainment system
in 1985. Super Mario Brothers added a few extra concepts
to the platform game, most notably the smooth scrolling feature. While it was not the first video game to have
this feature, as there were a few arcade-only releases that also had this feature a few
years earlier, it was certainly the first game to popularize this concept on home consoles. Of course, at the time I owned a Commodore
64, and while I was very proud of it compared to my friends who owned Nintendo systems,
they did have one bragging right, or criticism of the Commodore 64, in that there was no
Super Mario Brothers available. Of course, there’s no technical limitation
that prevented that, rather Nintendo knew they had a hit on their hands that was driving
sales of their own console and had no intention of porting this game to other home gaming
platforms. The closest thing we ever got was Giana Sisters,
which came out in 1987. The trouble is, this game was pulled from
the shelves of stores due to legal pressure from Nintendo due to its similarity to Super
Mario Brothers. However, most enthusiastic Commodore users
ended up with pirated copies of the game, but the general public remained relatively
unaware of it’s existence due to its lack of visibility on store shelves. Of course, as more time went on, the Commodore
64 eventually got its fair share of side-scrolling platform games, with games like Terry’s
Big Adventure, then Rainbow Islands, and in 1993 we got Mayhem in Monsterland. Of course, by this time the Commodore 64 was
more or less considered obsolete and most people had moved onto other platforms. Still, I think this game had sort of set the
bar for Commodore 64 side-scroller games. And I know there are a few others out there
too, so I apologize for not mentioning them all. But what I’m here to do today is take a
look at 3 brand new platform games. The first one is Cheese and Onion which is
a cartridge for the Commodore VIC-20. Next, I’ll be looking at Pet Rescue for
the Plus/4, and then last I’ll playing Sam’s Journey for the Commodore 64. Let’s see if any of these games set the
bar again for their respective platforms. The first game I want to try out is Cheese
and Onion for the Commodore VIC-20. This is a really neatly designed cartridge
and sleeve. The designs on the cardboard really match
the design layout that was used for actual VIC-20 games back in the day. However, I don’t think I’ve ever seen
a yellow cartridge though. The good part about this game is that it IS
a cartridge so there is no need for any memory expansion, no need for a cassette drive or
disk drive. Just plug it in like a game console. You will need a joystick, of course, but that’s
it. OK, let’s power it on! So the first thing we are presented with is
the main game menu. I was curious what background was for. Ok, it seems to turn off the animated background
in case that is something that annoys you, I guess. I’m going to start with adventure. Jetset Land, Dr. Tynehul needs his onions. OK. So this is it. There is a lot I need to say about this game. I’ll start off by saying I was not able
to find any instructions to this game, or any explanation as to what the game is about,
for example, why is it called cheese and onion. Is there any back story? I have no idea. I googled and looked at many websites including
the ones that sell this game. I still came up empty. On the bright side, it doesn’t take long
to figure out how to play the game. There are certain things to avoid, and certain
things you want to collect. One thing I did notice about the controls
that’s kind of interesting. You only control your character with left,
right and the button for jump. If you move the joystick up or down it actually
scrolls your view up or down to match, giving you bit of a preview of what is above or below. Eventually you cross into different rooms,
or worlds, and the color changes. And that’s an example of something you want
to avoid. So, let’s try that again. OK, that’s better. And these are like decaying platforms that
you can’t stand on very long or the disappear, which is typical of this sort of game. Skipping ahead a bit, this is apparently how
you win levels, by collecting onions. As you progress through the game you’ll
find other interesting things to interact with. For example, you can push this little box
just where you need it to help you climb up. And then there’s this weird little wall
that you can sort of climb if you keep jumping on it. And then there’s this little platform that
makes you move really fast. Also these walls are for more than just climbing,
because you can sort of slide down them slowly so you don’t die. Anyway, the game itself is a masterpiece for
the VIC-20. I’m not aware of any other game like it
on the VIC-20. And it manages to overcome the VIC-20’s
two major weaknesses which is lack of hardware sprites and lack of hardware smooth scrolling. I notice that they are using the VIC-20 multi-color
mode and seem to be limiting the screen to 4 colors at a time, which I suspect helps
a lot not having to mess with the color RAM while moving stuff around on screen. Overall I found this game fun to play. And while this game probably won’t impress
your average gamer from a perspective of gameplay, graphics, or sound effects. It will definitely impress those who are familiar
with the VIC-20 architecture because this really does set the bar for VIC-20 side-scrolling
platform games. So a big thumbs up for Cheese and Onion. OK, the next game we’re going to take a
look at it is Pets Rescue for the Commodore Plus/4. I understand this will also work on the Commodore
16 if you upgrade the memory to 64K. I’ll go ahead and start the load process. It’s amazing how fast the disk access is
on the Plus/4 with a 1551 disk drive. And we get to see the 121 colors put to good
use. Well, I was going to play this on the real
hardware but I found out that the button on the joystick isn’t working for whatever
reason. I would just use another joystick but the
Plus/4 has a proprietary connector and this is the only one I have. I can get an adapter but it would take a while
and I’m determined to finish this video, so I’ll just play this game in the emulator. The game starts off with a little backstory. So to summarize a bit for you, apparently
this takes place at a veterinary center. There seems to be a good vet and an evil vet,
and the evil vet is messing with DNA and causes the pets to turn into monsters and they escape. And so it’s your job to catch them. This game is extremely well polished. I mean, just looking at the intro here, I’m
very impressed! So let’s start the game. This game has a strong resemblance to super
Mario brothers, and that’s not a bad thing. The thing that is absolutely most amazing
to me is that this is running on a Plus/4. This machine has no hardware sprites, but
it does at least support smooth scrolling. The sound is also amazing because this machine
has only 2 voices, and yet they’ve managed to fit several really catchy tunes on here,
and mix in sound effects on the fly. It’s really amazing. I want to see what happens to this pet after
I jump on it. Ok, apparently it just disappears after a
while. I guess somehow jumping on it cures it. I’d say kills it, but this is supposed to
be pet rescue, so I’d assume it cures it. So, it looks like the next level is a gray
looking underworld. Big surprise. That seems to be a standard set by Super Mario
Brothers that every other platform game has followed. It even has similar sounding music in this
level. I’m also really impressed by the background
that moves at a different rate than the foreground here, which gives it a 3D sort of appearance. It’s really quite stunning! And check out this canon shooting big black
bullets. Gee, does that look familiar? Skipping ahead a bit, it wasn’t until the
next level that I finally found any sort of power up hidden in one these boxes, but I
never quite figured out what it did. I guess that’s where a user’s manual would
come in handy. Eventually I found a pipe to go into, which
took me to some other world. And it appears to be an underwater world. Well guys, I can without any doubt say that
this game absolutely raises the bar for Plus/4 games. This may very well be the best game ever made
for the machine, and may never again be matched! So a huge thumbs up for Pet Rescue! And the last game we’re going to look at
today is Sam’s Journey. It comes in a really nice box from Protovision,
with a nice printed manual, and it even comes with a little treasure chest full of precious
gems. Now, of course, my copy comes on floppy disks. This is something I really need to explain
about this game. The game comes on different media depending
on whether you live in a PAL region like most of Europe and Australia. Or if you happen to live in an NTSC region
like North America. The game was originally designed on PAL systems
and it comes on a cartridge. And that cartridge just plugs into a stock
system and that’s all you need to play the game, besides a joystick. Here’s the problem. PAL runs at 25 frames per second. And, there’s a lot of stuff in that frame
that the CPU has to do you know, for each frame. And NTSC runs at 30 frames a second, and the
CPU is just not fast enough to do all of the things that they needed to do inside of each
frame for this game. So a compromise was made and the NTSC version
will make use of a RAM expander such as this one. And since the stock power supply usually won’t
handle this, I’m going to be using my Nubrick, which is a modern power supply replacement
for the C64. Ironically, it isn’t using the extra RAM
in this box at all. What it is using is the DMA hardware that
allows faster copying of RAM from one location to another to help speed up some of the processes. It’s just enough to give the edge needed
to make this work. If you don’t have an original REU, you can
also use some modern aftermarket products like the 1541 ultimate which will emulate
an REU. Anyway, since the cartridge port will be occupied
by a RAM expander, it was necessary to put the game on floppy disk for the North American
release. Well, without further delay, let’s stick
the disk in and try it out. The intro alone is worthy of praise! This is the kind of polish you’d expect
from the demo scene. All right, well lets start this game! At this point I have to flip the disk over,
this is where the cartridge version would be a lot nicer! There’s a bit of a backstory, showing Sam
waking up in the middle of the night and walking to his closet, to be attacked by a giant claw. And I guess that’s where the journey begins. There’s a little map showing the different
levels that you’ll need to complete. The first one is called Happy Grassland. Sam can apparently pick up some objects, such
as this rock. There are different costumes laying around
the place that give Sam different powers, such as this pirate costume. For example, this costume gives him the sword
he can use to slash things. Once you pass one of these flags, thats a
checkpoint so if you die you go back to that spot. I would mention that there doesn’t appear
to be any set number of lives. So you never have to start back at the very
beginning. And here’s the ninja costume, which will
allow Sam to climb walls. So, moving on to the Deep Woods, let’s see
what we have. First thing I want to show you is this treasure
chest. These are scattered around the levels and
usually contain some sort of power up. But you have to open them and you can cut
them with your sword along with a few other ways. Of course this didn’t help because it was
the same costume I already had. But yeah, if you don’t have a sword you
can always open the chest by throwing a rock at it. Now this little thing is interesting. It’s a trampoline. Not only can you use it to reach high places,
but you can pick it up and move it in case you need to use it somewhere else. There are also little cannons you can jump
into a fire yourself out of. Overall, this game is indeed a masterpiece. It wins in every category, including graphics,
musical scores, sound effects, and gameplay itself. It raises the bar once again for games on
the Commodore 64. In fact, to be honest this game actually looks
like something from the 16-bit era of consoles. For example, it looks like a game I might
have expected to see on the Amiga or the Genesis or something. The gameplay itself is actually not really
a clone of super Mario brothers, in fact, I think if this game had existed around the
same time I doubt Nintendo would have had that much room to complain, and this game
would have certainly given Super Mario Brothers a run for its money. So, a big thumbs up for Sam’s Journey. And, so that about wraps it up. I did want say I was really impressed with
all 3 of the games that I showed on each of their respective platforms. And I think each one raised the bar on those
platforms again. And I know first hand how exciting it is to
start programming a new game. And you have all of these ideas and everything
and you know you work on it so long and then you know you kind of lose interest and then
it never gets finished. And that happens all of the time. And so, to see a game like this actually brought
to completion and polished like a professional product would have been back in the 80s, you
know that’s really a testament to the designers and their enthusiasm for what they are doing,
because they’re not going to get rich producing something like this for an old platform. But, it’s certainly nice to leave your mark
on that platform. And so, anyway, I definitely want to encourage
more games for older platforms. I’ve obviously got another one in the works
myself but you probably won’t be seeing that for a while. So, that’s about it for the moment, so thanks
for watching!

100 thoughts on “3 New Platform Games – Sam’s Journey, Pets Rescue, and Cheese & Onion

  1. Nintendo would definitely have had something to say about Sam's Journey, considering it seems to have borrowed sprites from Super Mario Land 2 : 6 golden coins for the Game Boy. Probably a bit of a time paradox here but eh…
    Gameplay wise it's a mix of different Mario Lands and Donkey Kong Country, it seems.

  2. Perfect choice of three new bar-raising platform games to review for three major C= platforms. Never owned a Vic20 but even I knew I was witnessing something special there. I own C64's Sam's Journey on cartridge and completed it in 18 days, the replay value is indeed in the speed runs. I have still yet to play Pet Rescue though on my C16 with internal 64k expansion, as one of the ram chips is corrupt. I do have an exteral 64k expansion cartridge for it but it seems that I need to remove that bad ram chip first ftom my C16 to use the cartridge successfully. Anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed your insightful reviews.

  3. I came here for the video game content but I have to ask: What model of Casio keyboard is that up there at the top of your wall? The big one with the drum pads?

  4. lol the first one looks generic, second is mario clone with a twist
    the third borrows many features from super mario 3
    really neat

  5. I like it best that there are still new games for our machines, after more than 35 years! And they're working on the standard hardware – except the NTSC version of Sam's Journey 😉 Pet's Rescue is a great for a plus/4 game, they really pushed the machine. Protovision also created Metal Dust, the only noteable software for the SuperCPU except GEOS. An april's fools joke in the German C64 magazine GO64! told that the game would have used too many disks, so it will only released on a C-90 tape 😉

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4FN4RiDTbw

  6. 6:30 Speaking of the +4, one of my very first computers I had was the C-3+4 and what really bugs me I can't find any information on it anywhere.
    It did look like the early C 64 (breadbox design), but only had 16kB of ram.
    At that time I did understand it as a C16 with a weaker processor, but I could be wrong. My mom bought me it on a sale (Aldi special offer) where it was considerably cheaper than the C64 (less than half the price … if I remember correctly) and due lack of peripherals I could do much with it for the first half year till I got a tape drive.
    Tape drives broke down in kinda regular intervals (might be due to the fact that I use 90min in them, though) which I could "fix" by unscrewing the bottom and putting them upside down.
    Fun fact: if I did screw the bottom back on or did put it right side up it stopped working … can't figure till this day why

    Anyhow: The last tape drive I got for my -3+4, I did use on my next computer which was a C64 (so there has to be some compatibility) which did eat up a few tape drives till I was finally was able to afford a disk drive … (which I remember was lighting fast in comparison)

    Side note: While using the tape drive I got used to tape a sip water every minute of load time, and I am sure I ran into water posing issues along a few times.

  7. Since these awesome games are out for Commodore line, is there anything like this for the AppleII or Atari 8-bit lines?

  8. I don't know why exactly, but there was something about this thumbnail that made me completely miss this game in my sub feed, as in I glanced over it. I only saw it looking through your page. I went back and checked I then remembered skipping past it thinking it was something else

  9. Cheese & Onion is undoubtedly named after its colour palette 😉 All snacks in stores with this flavour usually come in green & yellow bags as well 😉

  10. The level at 8:21 uses the same graphics as the castle in the Super Nintendo version of Mario 1 (realeased as part of the Mario All Stars Collection.)

  11. Brilliant idea to name your game Cheese & Onion. This assures that it will be found quickly when googled for.

  12. Everybody I knew knew, had and played Giana Sisters, because everybody copied games and nobody even knew what games are on the store shelfs. You went to the store to buy a new joystick, blank disks and tapes, not games.

  13. The bitter irony was that there was a sequel to The Great Giana Sisters that was made for the Nintendo DS about twenty or so years later and it was actually, gasp, BETTER than The Great Giana Sisters for the Commodore 64 in every single way. I also think that there was one that was made for either the Nintendo Wii or Wii U, alongside the PS3, PS4/Pro, Xbox 360, Xbox One/S/X, and PC a few years later after that game as well, The 8-Bit Guy.

  14. I got to correct you on some bullshit, The 8-Bit Guy. PAL games are only applicable to Australia, New Zealand, and maybe other former British colonies, like Hong Kong, and maybe most Middle Eastern and African countries that were once colonies of the British Empire, well, at least from the First Generation to the middle of the Seventh Generation of Video Games, anyway. The systems that Japan, and maybe Japanese compatible regions of the world, like China, South Korea, and possibly Southeast Asian countries, Brazil, India, and the Middle Eastern and other African countries, have either run on PAL or a variant of NTSC standards called NTSC-J, which is related to the NTSC-M standard, with NTSC-U/C being utilized in the Americas. However, it is only from 2011 to modern times in which Japan went from NTSC-J or PAL to PAL outright, but then again, video games are pretty much region free, so such labels are honestly not really necessary for modern console, handheld, or computer video game systems, let alone for their retro predecessors. Furthermore, there is also a fourth electrical standard that no one ever talks about and it is called SECAM.

    Here is proof of what I mean.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NTSC-J
    https://www.google.com/search?q=ntsc-j+(japan)&newwindow=1&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiZmeXG0s7aAhXn34MKHXuACnAQsAQIkgE
    https://www.pond5.com/stock-footage/53464929/ntsc-j-japan-color-bars-1khz-tone-pal-black-levels.html

    Here is the list of countries that us different standards. https://support.chinavasion.com/index.php?/Knowledgebase/Article/View/272

  15. CHEESE AND ONION – It's a reference to a song by the "fake" Beatles band "The Rutles" created by Eric Idle of Monty Python fame!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ePaHG6g7uFw

  16. des pact des er des fr gh de lui des fal des drap plonder foldold play lecture image des list des entre placer voie une voie deux pass des complay inconplay entre eshap é

  17. ereure icompler desvs plasse &&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&&a&

  18. deead feactic des speect des per terre mer msse entre des logo des entre &(ààà( entre plact des fact des ernerville des fr gam post eschap

  19. Your map is wrong on at least one country. Brazil didn't/doesn't use PAL. It uses PAL-M which may sound like a technicality, but it's a completely different system, and it is 60 hz, not 50 hz. 10:00

  20. That last game (Sam's Journey) reminds me of kirby's adventer on the nes because it's not quite 16bit bit it looks amazing covered to other games on the hardware

  21. SNOKIE is a 1983 Side scrolling platform game for the Commodore 64, Also Atari. So its not just arcades that beat Nintendo to the punch.

    I dislike the use of "popularized" when "plagiarized" is also true. Normals hear Invented and the real credit isnt given.
    Atari popularized PONG games when they plagiarized the Magnavox Odysee's tennis
    Nintendo popularized SSP games when they plagiarized PACLAND
    Gauntlet popularized arcade dungeon crawlers when the plagiarized Dandy on the Atari 8bits

  22. In your other vids you said cartridge games are heavily restricted on how good they could be due to the architecture. How is Sam's Journey able to run from them? In this case its preferable over the disk version?

  23. Man, Pets Rescue would totally have gotten the Giana Sisters treatment from Nintendo back then. It's sooo similar to SMB.

    The scrolling in all three games is pretty damn impressive, as is the use of the limited color palette, I gotta say.

  24. It's amazing how knowledge and better coding practices and techniques lead to these amazing works on old hardware. It helps that these systems were so well documented. I wish we had as much mastery of the Nintendo 64, still to this day has emulation issues due to how under wraps the internals of the system was.

  25. Im blown away with the graphics of sams journey, Im hoping we get to see more homebrew games like this on C64.

  26. Maybe Cheese & Onion is called that because of the initial colour scheme being yellow and green, which in the UK is usually the colour of the packets for cheese and onion crisps (chips) except for Walkers (Lays in other countries)?

  27. I love "Chesse & Onion" already. The colors yellow and green are very fitting and it's got one heck of an appetizing name. 😛

  28. My favorite platformer on the C64 will always be Impossible Mission. However, Mayhem and Monsterland certainly pushed the C64 to the limit

  29. The VIC is starting to get a few new titles now though. One of these games is an impressive game called Down, and the other is called Mayhem.

    This is Mayhem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0j8616HuYE

    This is Down: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdIZkfe44qg

    While they say 2012 and 2014 on the games, they were not released for sale until this year

  30. The music in Pets Rescue around 7:45 reminds me of Super Frog's music from the first level (https://youtu.be/WKeNuZLH_Yg?t=155). I wonder if the composer was inspired by that tune. Love it! 🙂

  31. For NTSC Sam's Journey could they have put the REU's DMA hardware in the cartridge, or would that have been too expensive?

  32. Makes me want to start coding for old systems again. I cut my teeth on the old 8 bit systems, wrote some games on the Amiga and finally turned it into a real job in 95 on the PC. But the last few years I have switched between mobile game work and non games work (that pays better). Thanks for sharing and running this channel. Great work 🙂

  33. So i saw your video and tougt why you don´t buy PAL machines what you need to do is use a vpn like Tunnlebear
    there are 6 steps
    1 Make Tunnlebear account
    2 Install Tunnlebear
    3 Tunnle to Germany
    4 create an European gmail account for email adress use for example [email protected]
    5 create an ebay account with this European email adress
    6 search for your computer some German Keywords:
    1 Kaputt – Broaken
    2 Orginal Verpackung OVP – Original Pakiging
    3 Guter Zustand – Good state
    4 Schlechter Zustand – Bad State
    5 Verhandlungssache – negotiation thing
    6 Funktioniert – Working
    7 Festplatte – Hard Drive
    8 Kratzer – Schratces
    7 !!!!EUROPE VOLTIGE IS 220V US VOLAGE IS LOWER!!!!!!
    8 Alsow ask if it is Sinkronised to German because they like io sinkronise german quation if it is on Gerrman (Ist Das Betriebsystem auf Deutsch?)
    9 Whenn you end your session Logg Off and End Tunneling

    Alsow 8-BIT GUY if you want you can make a video about this

  34. My friend just got 5 new games that came out for commodore 64 this year I found out they are make a new Commodore 64 every month so if one good game comes out this month my friend will buy a better game next month

  35. http://www.psytronik.net/newsite/index.php/plus4/101-petsrescue
    Pets Rescue: budget, premium+, collector's edition. Preorders will start very soon.

  36. Sam's Journey can be releases using a cartridge in NTSC region too, but that will require them to either include a passthrough port for the RAM expander, or include the DMA hardware internally.

    (Or they can develop it to run on an internal "replacement" processor in the cartridge, and use the console as a I/O device instead, as a few Nintendo cartridges do. This will allow them to build a game with the 8-bit look and feel, while the game has the complexity of a 32-bit game and runs on an internal ARM Cortex-M 32-bit microcontroller chip at a few hundred megahertz.)

  37. Stunning… For me the polish shown in all three titles exceeds what was being commercially produced during these systems hey days.. Although, to be fair, the knowledge pool and has moved way beyond what most coders we're able to conceptualize back in the 80's

  38. Oh my. I've been spending a couple of days now really diving into Sam's Journey. When it first arrived my daughter and I spent some hours into it and had a really great time with it. Now, much later, I decided to beat it. I hooked up my C64 to an old school gamimg chair. You know, the ones with speakers and a sub woofer. Not those fancy looking office chairs kids use now a days. I blame Pewdiepie. Oh, there was a point to all of this… oh, yes. I still have some stages to go in the game, I am at an overall score of 54%. But, man, the speed of the ntsc version… That is fast. I could beat the pal version and think of my self as a mediocre gamer, but I would really, really be mediocre if I were to play the ntsc version.

  39. Sam’s journey seems like a rip off of pajama Sam lol one of the pajama Sam games I had as a kid literally starts with Sam going to his closet and he falls into this weird universe.

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