Outstanding retro game award - potential games

I think we need a topic for the specific “Retro Game Award” which is a category in the upcoming IFDB Awards. People might not know which games to play or vote for, or how to easily play them with an emulator etc etc. You can contribute with anything related if you like…

Original intention of retro category - click HERE

To help people, I have added the “retro-machines” tag on IFDB for 2022 games that can be played on old 8-bit and 16-bit machines. This fits with the original intention of the category. Remember to check the year of the game if you search for: tag:retro-machines:

Search for 2022 “retro-machines”-games

NB: In general, expect old fashioned parsers with verb sets you may not be used to from e.g. Inform games, similar to Adventuron games. Several games are released for more than one platform, including browser play.

Reviews and ratings:
Except for the three games by Garry Francis (good games by the way), none of the 15 games on IFDB tagged “retro-machines” have ratings in the time of writing. I hope you will give some of these a chance, as PunyInform already has its own category.

Alchemist’s Gold: 5 reviews and 10 ratings on IFDB: Alchemist’s Gold
Carpathian Vampire: 4 reviews and 7 ratings on IFDB: Carpathian Vampire
Colour Beyond Time: 1 unrated IFDB review: Colour beyond time
Construction Cancellation Order: 1 unrated IFDB review: Construction Cancellation Order
Die Polarstation (german). 1 review and 1 rating: Die Polarstation (EDIT: NEWLY ADDED)
Kenny Koala’s Bushfire…: 1 review and 2 ratings: Kenny Koala’s Bushfire…

QuickGuide to emulators
If you need more help, ask in this topic.

Spectrum games:
Use the simple but versatile Fuse emulator for Spectrum games:
Fuse - the Free Unix Spectrum Emulator

Commodore games:
Use the multi-emulator VICE. In most cases you only need the included C64-emulator X64.
VICE emulator for Commdore emulation

Playing PunyInform games on Commodore emulators:
PunyInform is designed so that the games normally run well on 8-bit machines, unlike normal Inform games which are much too slow. You can easily convert all the “retro-machines” PunyInform games from 2022 to Commodore 64 disk images using Ozmoo online. it takes a few minutes: Ozmoo Online
This year they all run smoothly.


As someone who is both (a) highly interested in old school “text adventure” style games, and (b) an total n00b when it comes to IFDB, I really appreciate this. Thank you.


Are commercial games eligible?

Are games for the new breed of turbo-charged 8-bit computers, e.g. Spectrum Next and MEGA65, eligible?


Mathbrush is the organizer but I am pretty sure that commercial games are eligible just as games by Choice of Games etc.

Again, I am not the organizer or policing and if a lot of people vote for a Spectrum Next game or Mega65 game I am not going to complain. But as they can run at 28 and 40 times the speed of the C64, I think the voters should consider if it is fair. It may very well depend on the game. It is my understanding that normal Inform 6 games, i.e. NOT PunyInform games, will run at decent speed on the Spectrum Next as it has a z-code interpreter. So I think it would be wrong to vote for normal Inform 6 game in this category.

However, I trust that most voters will keep the purpose of this category in mind when voting. If somebody misunderstood (could easily happen with all the retro graphics games) they may be a minority so it isn’t ruining the category.


Retro should mean retro… proper 8-bit and 16-bit machines. Those modern systems are too much like PC emulators.


Thanks for your thoughts, @Denk and @8bitAG . I think one would need to define this in the rules.

An Amiga 2000 is a 16-bit machine with 1-9 MB of memory and a 7 MHz CPU, plus co-processors for graphics, plus harddrive etc. This gives a lot of possibilities that say a C64 or Spectrum 48K don’t have. After the 2000, Amiga went 32 bits, with clock speeds up to 50 MHz and more advanced CPUs that can do a lot more work per clock cycle.

I would suggest draw the line at pure 8-bit CPUs and a launch date before year 1990.

Johan Berntsson and I tossed around an idea for an 8-bit adventure jam a while ago. For this, we had the idea of specifying the CPU models allowed, and we came up with this list:

  • Intel 8080
  • MOS 6502, 6510, 7501, 8501, 8502
  • Motorola 6800, 6809
  • Zilog Z80

This would cover 99% of all the 8-bit computers you may have heard of, and even a game for an obscure 8-bit computer can almost certainly enter. By specifying CPU models allowed + a release year range, there are pretty much no cases that are hard to decide, like CPUs that are 16-bit in some sense but 8-bit in other senses etc. Some computers (e.g. Acorn) came with expansion slots where you could add co-processors, and you’d have to set a rule for if that’s allowed or not, but if they’re allowed, those CPUs would also need to be one of the above.


Someone might ask, because I was briefly confused and had to reread that. With that said, forgive me if I end up being the only one thrown and this ends up being irrelevant.

The 1990 or earlier pre-1990 release date obviously refers to machine running the game, not the game itself, as that would rule them all out in a “2022 IFDB Awards.”

ETA: I stand corrected. Thank you.


Correct, the computer must have been available at that time, only it didn’t say 1990 or earlier - it said before 1990. The idea is that it’s for computers from the eighties and earlier.

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In the original proposal which was upvoted I both mentioned 8-bit and 16-bit. I doubt there are a lot of new text adventures for 16-bit but I included them as they are also retro machines. I don’t personally count the brand new machines for retro machines.

Here is the original proposal:

EDIT: I did not mention bits but it is clearly RETRO machines.

I can make a small poll if anyone is interested? But I really don’t think there will be a problem.


My SAM Coupé just sneaks in. :slight_smile:


Long running gag on the RCR podcast is we don’t really think the SAM Coupé really existed. Suuuuure it was a real computer I just happen to never ever hear about until a couple years ago. :wink:


Lol. I can understand that. However, not only do I have one now… but I had one back in the day… and I was the adventure reviewer for the Sam Adventure Club. :wink: I loved it for text adventures… You had access to all the super Spectrum indie-produced games plus you could play CP/M software too… giving access to a lot of the Amstrad CPC/PCW games and stuff like the Infocom titles.


I just checked, and it seems like C128 Basic is a good enough BASIC to use. Any idea on how to install emulator on it for RPi? The download I found specified RPi2/3, and I no longer have those with me. I have RPi4/400.


Not sure I understand what you want to do? (it can be okay to go a little off topic but I wasn’t sure if it was off topic😄 )

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As there are only 16 English games elegible in the “retro game” award, I want to tell you that the Adventuron version of “Colour Beyond Time” is NOT complete whereas the Spectrum version is. The author did not expect anyone to play the Adventuron version. Quote HERE.

Note that several of the eligible games do not require an emulator but can be played online. These are:

Colour Beyond Time - Details (ifdb.org)
Kenny Koala’s Bushfire Survival Plan - Details (ifdb.org)
Carpathian Vampire - Details (ifdb.org)
Alchemist’s Gold - Details (ifdb.org)

NB: All three parts of the Adventuron version of Colour Beyond Time can now be completed.

In addition you can use online emulators if you want to play the games but don’t want to download an emulator. Just ask if you need instructions. However, online emulators have usually limited save-game functionality.

PS: I did not add “Construction Cancellation Order” because the author says it is currently only an intro.

Spectrum games can usually be played online, if they’re currently archived at Spectrum Computing. (Just click the QAOP link).

For example…
The Mystery of Markham Manor

Can be played via…


Great! I was about to say that I can’t load and save my progress when I managed to bring up the help menu after moving my mouse to the left. so CTRL+S to save your state on your computer and CTRL+O to open a saved state from your computer. Excellent! Do you know something similar for Commdore 64 games? The problem always seems to be loading and saving with online emulators.

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Many of the online emulators have a load/save built in, for various machines. I’m not sure of the permanence of this one (with a new browser session) but there is this one…

I would always highly recommend using a proper offline emulator if it’s a game that’s going to take more than one sitting to play. In terms of the C64, VICE (as you mention in the initial post) is really the way to go.