Linus vs. Simon
A little retro game for the next generation.

The story of this Game

In 2013 my son enjoyed playing the paper game called "Squares" (also called "Käsekästchen" in german) very much, but he disliked counting the points when a game was over. So I decided to program a Commodore 64 conversion of this game for his sixth birthday. Therefore you can also understand this little game as a try to get the next generation of players enjoying retro platforms... :)

After starting the game, the introduction screen will appear. It consists of the horizontally scrolling game name and the vertically scrolling instructions (in both english and german languages) with some nice SID music.

This is a game for two players and you need two joysticks to play. The two symbols in the middle show the possible game modes: push both joysticks left to start the game with a running countdown timer of 9 seconds per turn. Push both joysticks right to play the game without the clock.

Both players move the cursor alternating around the playfield and set a horizontal or vertical line somewhere. If a player manages to complete a box (surrounded by four lines) then the box is awarded to his colour, a point is added to his score and the player can move around and set another line. The leading player is always marked by the star symbol next to his score. The opponent needs more points to fetch the star from him. After a few turns the playfield may look like this:

If you play with the countdown timer (indicated by the counting digit between both scores), you are not allowed to let the time run out, because you will then lose the star and the whole game (no matter how many points you got before). So decide wisely and still be fast enough!

Even if the gameplay is pretty simple, it allows for some planning and calculation and sometimes you may succeed in making "wrong" moves first in order to fetch more points later on.

Technical Information

The original cartridge game is written for a PAL Commodore 64. The game was released in the "RGCD Cartridge Competition 2013" allowing up to 16 kb of ROM size, which means that the total game size must not exceed 16.384 bytes in total (including all sounds and graphics). This size limit allowed to use uncompressed data on the cartridge ROM, sparing some depacking seconds at cartridge start. Everything is joystick controlled, so you can also run this cartridge on a C64GS (Commodore 64 Game System).

The introduction screen contains a great music called "Balance" which was exclusively created by famous SID-artist Thomas Mogensen. The game itself contains several sound effects...

Production of an original Cartridge

The mentioned competition ended in december of 2013 and "Linus vs. Simon" finished on the 12th place. Afterwards cartridges of each competing game were made so that the game can be directly plugged in an original Commodore 64 computer. The picture shows the blue cartridge with its box and an additional sticker from the organizing company RGCD.

You can download the disk image file here and play it using a C64 emulator or copy it onto a disk for play on a real C64. The disk image contains the packed program file which can be run in PAL or NTSC modes.

Please notice that you use the emulator and my game at your own risk, I don't take any responsibilty for problems occuring to your computer when using an emulator.

This game for the Commodore 64 was written in 2013 and is (C) by Simon Quernhorst.
The URL is owned by my brother, who is not to be connected
with the development of this C64 game, so don't bother him with mails.
Commodore, Commodore 64, Atari and VCS are acknowledged trademarks of their individual owners.

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