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Commodore PET Games

Click on the DOWNLOAD TAB and scroll to the top  of the Commodore section if you want to download these(and hundreds of other)  Commodore PET games or the VICE Commodore on PC emulator.

Reproduced March 26 2002 with permission from Larry Anderson of

*** BEWARE *** Some games in this archive do contain the 'killer POKE' (see the PET FAQ) if  you have a 4000 series large-screen PET, you should scan the listings for any  pokes to 59458 and REMOVE THEM before running the game, if you run a game and  the screen messes up (like the vertical hold just died) turn off the machine  immediately! Prolonged use in this mode will damage video circuitry. You have been warned!

One program in this archive I know that has this POKE is JOUST

The screen shots of  selections from the PET Game  Archive were made possible with VICE the Commodore 8-Bit  Emulator, which currently is available for Microsoft DOS/Windows systems and  UNIX, there is a Mac version of VICE but it only supports the 64 mode.

Many  people would lead you to believe that without a 'programmable' character set the  PET was not suited for nice game graphics, these shots are from many of the  games I have enjoyed on the PET since I was introduced to them in 1980.

commodore-pet-game-dog-star-adventureDOG STAR  ADVENTURE

Not much in the way  of graphics, but I am always impressed by this Darth Vader shot at the intro.  D.S.A. is probably one of my most favorite text adventures, good for beginners &  intermediate adventurers and a nice diversion for pros. MISER (Cursor) is the  best introductory adventure on the PET.

commodore-pet-game-tunnel_visionTUNNEL  VISION

The 'Tunnel Vision'  portion of Tunnel Vision is to go through a maze (in machine language fast 3-D!)  and locate the exit, I had 'automatic display of maze location' activated to  show I was not having much luck exiting during this game.

The other half of  Tunnel Vision is Kat & Mouse, which shows a top view of the maze and you try to  reach the exit while avoiding the relentless Cat that's zipping through the maze  looking for you. Both are fast and fun!

commodore-pet-game-space_invaders-1PET  SPACE INVADERS

This was my  introduction to true PET arcade excitement, ML fast the this version re-created  the arcade game in as much as having the demo mode, etc. Some of our schools  computers had problems with the A, 4 and 6 keys as a result of too much playing  of this game.

We also had a  competition with Space Invaders for our School's computer club, the winner,  Alvin Adams, won an equally cool Creative Computing's 'I'd rather be playing  Spacewar' Tee Shirt.

commodore-pet-game-space_invaders-2A Commodore 64  translation of this game is available in the Public Domain, which seems to have  solved some of the alien speed problems of the PET version and has added the use  of joystick control.

Many early 64 games  were orignally PET game in that the character set and screen size were for the  most part the same, usually they added color and sound on the 64 ones to make  them more sellable.

commodore-pet-game-betsBETS  (Cursor)

Even the non-arcade  games had some good graphics designs, like this one from the popular Cursor tape  magazine. Cursor was a bi-monthly publication which included about 6 to 8  programs on tape and a small newwsletter, if you want a taste of Cursor games  for use on the 64, look for the book Commodore 64 Fun & Games published by  Osborne/McGraw Hill, which includes a selection of popular Cursor favorites  colorized and many with sound.

I have noticed some  of the early PET games were translated to IBM BASIC in the first years of the  PC, as the charcter display properties are very similar between the two  machines.

commodore-pet-game-lunar_landerLUNAR  LANDER (Creative Computing)

Lunar Lander  emplyed bits of animation such as the thrust under the LEM and altitude  indicator to make it stand apart from all the other text based landing  simulations, other adaptations had options where you could try to land on any  planet on the Solar System, I doubt you could make it safely on Jupiter.

commodore-pet-game-artilleryARTILLERY  (Creative Computing)

Another classic,  artillery, besides being a great 2-player game helped you understand such  concepts as angles, velocity, gravity, and contributing factors to those (in  this case, wind direction). Many games wern't as sophisticated to calculate (or  graphically display) the angles, etc and it made it all that much more  challenging for the players to do it themselves.

The player on the  left is about to barely survive a near miss from the player on the right.

commodore-pet-game-bonzoBONZO!  (Cursor)

I always have a  soft spot for this Chutes and Ladders adaptation, up to three can play (two  humans and the PET). It looks like Jane (the diamond) has gotten a lead with the  help of a ladder, PET is still on the first level and isn't getting too far.

There were many  educational programs produced for the PET as it was primarily bought by schools  during it's production, from pre-school games all the way up to college subjects  could be found for the PET.

OURANOS!  (Cursor) aka Weather War

This game is one  many people remember as unique to the PET, Two players able to influence the  weather try to obilterate each other in a duel of disasters.commodore-pet-game-weather-war-2

Note the inverted  screen, and changed case letters, these were two popular methods for cheap  effects, a simple set switching POKE did the letters and a 30 or so byte ML  routine inverted the screen instantly. If you are epileptic, some old games  flash quite a bit so be wary of this fact if you play alone.

commodore-pet-game-weather-war-1But  don’t think in Ouranos that the players are left to their own devices; besides  the ever changing wind, Mother Nature randomly takes her turn (usually missing),  this time she happens to do some work on the Hatfield residence with hail. The  weapons on Ouranos are Rain, Hail, Tornado and Lightning.

commodore-pet-game-jailbreakCOSMIC  JAILBREAK

The PET was well  suited for 'left-right' invader games like this and Space invaders, as with  character graphics there was not too much fine movement and only 25 lines on the  screen, it never seemed a limitation to the owner as the programmers were able  to adapt to the computer's limitations and advantages.

commodore-pet-game-dungeonDUNGEON  (Cursor)

Besides text  adventures There were a few graphic adventures following more the rules of the  role-playing quest Dungeon & Dragons. I died pretty quick on this excursion by a  Grue, good thing too, as the map revealed another grue, two nubius', a wyvern, a  snake and four mighty dragons!

A later more  exciting 64 adaptation of this game is 'Sword of Fargoal' by Automated  Simulations (later called Epyx).

commodore-pet-game-pokerCBM  DRAW POKER (Commodore)

Some of the first  games released for the PET (such as this one) were better than later ones to  follow, Commodore's 'Black Jack' and 'Draw Poker' are two of the best in their  category for the PET.

commodore-pet-game-afoAFO  (Japan)

Or intrepid ballon  carrying dude has knocked down another AFO 'Ship of Mystery' in this 'Wonderful  Game' (translations of the Japanese title screen) and has bonked the alien to  show who's the boss. Great animation all in BASIC, good for PET programmers.

Don't think that  all the PET (and other Commodore 8-bit) games came from the U.S. Many came from  Europe and also from Japan as Commodore got the jump on the competition and  started international sales years before many of the other microcomputer  companies.

commodore-pet-game-millipedeMILLIPEDE  (Nybbles and Bits) (was On-Line Software)

A good variation of  the Centipede game.

Not all PET games  were all that good, some threw together bad code and/or gameplay and charged  alot for it (ome company comes to mind) stated the author of Millipede, which  prompted him to 'show everyone I can do better than that' and did so with  several great games for the PET, VIC and Commodore 64.

Back then, anyone  had a good chance of making it in the computer game business with just a good  understanding of just BASIC and/or ML and a little money, now you need to  understand a couple high performance languages, be a graphics expert, as well as  have a few great game ideas to even be noticed.

commodore-pet-game-star_forceSTAR  FORCE (Astar)

Some Games were  extraordinary in their adaptation, such as this one which duplicated Exidy's  Star Fire so much as having the 'heads-up tracking indicators' pop up when a  ship was in your sights. Probably the only drawback to this game was no sound.

Many PET games  didn't have sound as it was not designed into the original hardware, some crafty  owners soon devised a sound 'port' by adjusting the serial handshake port's data  signal with varying speed and patterns which gave the PET decent sound  capabilities (as good as an early IBMs).

commodore-pet-game-asteriodsMISSION  2001 (asteriods)

I was suprized to  see an Asteroids game on the PET, which for the longest time I could only find  available variations on the Atari 400/800 and Apple ][ computers. But it proves  the determination of the PET programmer. Screen graphics limitations make this  game a little more clunkier to play then most, but still a good pastime.

commodore-pet-game-horse-raceHORCERACE  (Creative Computing)

Even such  non-participatory sports, like Horcerace here, had quality animation sequences  to spice up the gameplay and excitement (BTW, Jimmy won as horse #2 pulled ahead  at the last second)

By about 1981 color  became an important factor in influencing computer buying decisions and the PET  was not capable of it (at least never for sale, there were reports of a 'Color  PET' prototype). Commodore's answer was the VIC-20, which had the BASIC of the  PET with color and sound but sacrificing the large screen and large memory of  the PET. It wasn't until 1982 when the Commodore 64 and P500 were  introduced was the environment of the PET duplicated and enhanced in Color and  had gorgeous sound.

commodore-pet-game-time-trekTIME  TREK (Programma)

Lastly, but no way  least, is another milestone for the PET; a real-time semi-arcade Star Trek Game  (when I snapped this screen my ship was constantly getting pummeled by the four  klingons' weapons). Fast paced action that does not pause.

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