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      Gaming News — #gaming news

      WEEKLY DOSE OF GAMING NEWS: Chaluul's Curse, Commando, Ayaneo Flip

      WEEKLY DOSE OF GAMING NEWS: Chaluul's Curse, Commando, Ayaneo Flip

      As the month of September comes rolling in, so does a slew of retro gaming news and updates for everyone to enjoy. Now, towards the end of Q3 of 2023, the number of retro titles and retro-ready consoles keeps getting higher, and we know you're all excited for what we're bringing. From old-school story-driven games to action-packed shoot 'em ups, to super-powered pocket PCs, best believe we got a scoop this week, so sit tight and enjoy the ride. Let's go!

      CHALUUL’S CURSE

      To all the Commodore 64 havers who want a great retro PC game from the 90s, you're in luck. This week, BrocantyGames PC remake of Chaluul's Curse is available to download and play on the C64 thanks to Sönke Wolfgramm. While this may not be the most action-packed game you'll come across, the text-driven story mechanics will hook you right in.

      You follow the exploits of Howard Carter, an archaeologist and Hobby Detective, who finds himself tasked by an old friend to uncover the secret of an ancient sword of the Knights Templar. What's so special about it? It comes packed with a good old ancient fatal curse, just like any old relic. Chaluul's Curse was written in Adventure Game Studio as freeware for Windows, Linux, and Mac back in 1995. The game itself featured several puzzles, which have since been remade to be more logical and more challenging to solve.

      Newer versions, like this one, include extra responses and dialogue to player actions, different mouse controls, and new music and sound design for newcomers to enjoy. It's something to pick up in 2023 if mysteries, storytelling, and decision-making are a big part in your gaming experience. So, if taking on archaeological mysteries and ancient curses is up your alley, then maybe Chaluul's Curse will be worth your time.

      COMMANDO

      Now, for a little something that retro action gamers and Atari XL owners can get hyped for. We got news that Shanti77 just announced that the previous Commodore 64 conversion of Commando had received a small fix update for the Atari XL. While this has nothing to do with the old-school Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, you do kind of feel the same way John Matrix does in the movie.

      Commando is a one-man army shoot 'em up where your mission is to kill anything that moves to progress through the game. Sounds easy enough, right? You might think otherwise, as the baddies keep coming, and the difficulty gets cranked up to the maximum. This port has a few differences compared to the arcade conversion from a while back, but this time, you're guaranteed extra sprites, some very smooth scrolling, and brand-new level changes, which is great!

      The music and sound design still need a bit of work, but Shanti77 is on the job to ensure that this commando will be worth playing if you have an Atari XL/XE with VBXE

      AYANEO

      Console time. We've covered our fair share of handhelds, but we're kicking things up with something that packs more power. Our good friends over at Ayaneo just unveiled the first few clear and confirmed images of one highly anticipated handheld device. We're talking about the Ayaneo Flip. Just a few months after announcing the Ayaneo Kun, revealing the new Ayaneo Pocket S, and an upgrade for the Ayaneo Pocket Air, we're getting yet another banger from the popular brand. And from the look of things, we're in for quite the surprise. 

      So far, we only have a sneak peek of the aesthetics and no specs just yet. It's also worth noting that this could be a Windows-powered device, given its design. So, the chipset packing is still up in the air. Ryzen 7 processor? Maybe. Hopefully, the flip features two joysticks, a compact keyboard, a D-pad, ABXY buttons and what looks like a massive OLED screen.

      Given Ayaneo's track record of premium gadgets, we can only expect top-shelf quality. While having a long list of announcements over the year is nice, we feel the INEO flip won't be coming out anytime soon. The best bet would be early to mid-2024. Still knowing it's in the pipeline gives all of us something to be excited about. We personally can't wait. 

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      WEEKLY DOSE OF GAMING NEWS: Trax, Gold Mine Run, Bill & Ted's Excellent Game Boy Adventure

      WEEKLY DOSE OF GAMING NEWS: Trax, Gold Mine Run, Bill & Ted's Excellent Game Boy Adventure

      We're now starting a new month, and while we did slow things down a bit in the past few weeks, we need to kick things up a notch to make up for last time. We never forgot about the fast-paced nature of retro gaming friends, so don't worry. 

      From Atari to MS-DOS to Commodore 64, we're going coast to coast with three different titles that'll pique a variety of interests. It's always great to have options when choosing a game to keep you company over a busy week. It's time to make a choice, so watch on to see what you're working with.

      TRAX

      The year was 1993, and the Bitmap Brothers dropped one of the hottest games of that year. The original Chaos Engine initially made for the Amiga. It pits one or two players against horrible demonic entities in an intense top-down shooter. Fast forward to 2023. We have a very sweet love letter from Shanti77, to the OG Chaos Engine called Trax.

      This time around, It'll come out on the Atari XL/XE. It's still too early to say if it'll be turned into a full game, but we're getting some development notes from the developer. So far, Trax features a variety of enemies, items to pick up, keys to collect, sound effects, three new levels, improved AI and some graphical improvements. So far so good. It looks like Atari XL and XE owners have a great game to look forward to. 

      GOLD MINE RUN

      It's quite a special occasion as we don't get that many MS-DOS releases, especially on GOG. This retro title comes from Juan J. Martinez, an absolute Chad who's released other great games like Hyperdrive for the CPC and Night Knight for the MSX.

      This time we're getting a sweet MS-DOS game called Gold Mine Run, a high-quality platformer inspired by the classics, but with a twist. You have to collect all the gold throughout each of the 30 stages to progress. Now that's intense. So far, we know that Gold Mine Run is a single-screen arcade platformer that totally channels that old-school nostalgic vibe of eighties arcade classics.

      The game's design was strongly influenced by Night Knight for the MSX, and Juan J. Martinez made sure of that. As for the requirements, of course, you’ll need MS-DOS to run it, plus a 386 DX at 33 megahertz, VJ Graphics, a sound blaster, and at least 4 megabytes of RAM. So to anyone on GOG who runs with the MS-DOS crowd, it's high time you checked out or took part in the Gold Mine Run.

      BILL & TED'S EXCELLENT GAME BOY ADVENTURE

      Last but not least, we get a very hip and cool blast from the past on the Commodore 64. If you're a fan of the nineties and, at the very least, own an old school Game Boy, then you'll be psyched to know that this latest release by Roman Werner is a wonderful Port of Bill and Ted's excellent Game Boy adventure for the C64

      This title will definitely rekindle some of those very late eighties and early nineties memories because Keanu Reeves, even if it's just tiny pixels of him. Yes, LJN and Beam Software's legendary game has finally made its way to the Commodore 64 more than 30 years later.

      Currently available on itch.io., this is a very accurate conversion of the legendary Bill and Ted Game Boy game for modern C64 sensibilities. It's remained from scratch, optimized for the C64 and features SID Music by Nordischsound. Did we mention that Pixel Keanu Reeves is in it? Yes, of course. What's more is, it's absolutely free on itch.io. So, if you wanna relive the glory days of the early nineties, best to download Bill and Ted's excellent Game Boy Adventure for the C64. 

       

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      WEEKLY DOSE OF GAMING NEWS: Mega Wizards, Holiday, Anbernic RG405V

      WEEKLY DOSE OF GAMING NEWS: Mega Wizards, Holiday, Anbernic RG405V

      As we go through the month of August, we uncover a few more gems to add to our collection, both with games and consoles. While the action might take a bit of a backseat this week, we always make sure to keep the excitement at a high enough level.

      Don't worry. We won't be staying up anytime soon. This week we have two chill titles for anyone who wants to have fun while taking things easy and a cool new console that can definitely add to that much-needed r and r. We keep our retro news hot and fresh, so stick around if you haven't gotten your weekly dose!

      MEGA WIZARD

      It looks like Commodore 64 owners are eating good this month because Retro Gaming with Jeffery is working on an interesting multi-party game that just might be the star of everyone's show once it comes out. This one's called Mega Wizards. It's currently a work-in-progress build, but it shows a whole lot of promise.

      As of right now, there's little info on the game, but thanks to a short preview online, we have a better idea of what we're getting. We can expect a simple game with easy mechanics, which is something you'd expect from C64 title. Since the colors are nice, the music has a tippy vibe, and that multi-party nature is always something to look forward to.

      If you're a fan of the classic Warlord games, but wanted a bit more fast-paced and competitive, it's best to keep your eyes peeled for Mega Wizards.

      HOLIDAY

      Now the party won't stop. It'll just slow down a bit. You know, just like taking a vacation in a semi-literal sense. If you have a Commodore Amiga and wanna get away from the usual hustle and bustle of everyday life, you can go out of town from the comfort of your seat with Holiday by LifeSchool22.

      If you need a clearer description, this game will have players trying to survive for 11 days in a climate of heat, humidity, and the air smelling sweet like ripe bananas at a Spanish resort. We know it sounds quite challenging, but isn't every vacation?

      It plays like any classic text-based. Choose your own adventure type of game with real photos of different places and a variety of options that'll lead you down a given path. This is definitely a game where you take your time, enjoy the scenery, and make the right choices so your vacation ends on a good note. So if you don't feel like stepping out but wanna enjoy a good, challenging out of towner, then a holiday might be for you. 

      ANBERNIC RG405M

      Anbernic RG405V

      You want handheld. Of course, we want handhelds. Thankfully, our good friends at Anbernic has some really nice handhelds that are tailor-made for the fans. Anbernic has a very active community and they've been clamoring for console of particular sensibilities, that being a vertical version of their popular Android-based handheld, the Anbernic, RG405M.

      So they gave it that vertical Game Boy aesthetic and called it the RG405V, which actually looks pretty good. It comes in different colorways, including the classic RG351V wood finish in terms of their track record in aesthetics. The RG405V is definitely an outlier being a bit rounder and smooth along the edges compared to most. It might be everyone's cup of tea, but it's definitely a cute-looking console while it's already an officially confirmed device, we've only got a quick rundown of specs.

      Like 4’’ IPS touch screen, A Unisoc Tiger T 618 chipset, A Mali G52 GPU, 4GB LPDDR4X RAM, and of course an Android 12 operating system. There will be more to unpack as more details on the RG 405 V to come out, so we'll make sure to be aware of its cuteness in the near future.

      Anbernic RG405V

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      WEEKLY DOSE OF GAMING NEWS: Lunar City, Caravandalf, Odin2

      WEEKLY DOSE OF GAMING NEWS: Lunar City, Caravandalf, Odin2

      We're back at it again at the start of a brand new month, and the games keep releasing those retro-geared consoles while they just keep getting those sweet upgrades. The action will always be in full swing, and best believe will be right there with you in the thick of things. This week we have two titles that deal with a lot of blasting and an updated console that's a blast from the past. We keep our retro news hot and fresh, so stick around if you want a nice, good helping. 

      LUNAR CITY

      Great news for all Commodore 64 enjoyers because it looks like you all are getting something literally out of this world. Our friends over at TND have just released a new game for the good old C64 called Lunar City. And as far as old-school action goes, you'll be over the moon. Lunar City is a fun and challenging space shooting gallery type of game inspired by Atlantis for the Atari but with a twist. Based on what we got, you could expect some game and sound design that just completes that retro feel.

      Aside from a nicely presented loaded bit map and cool loading music with a drum and bass vibe, you also get a high score table, 16 action pack levels with an increasing difficulty level, arcade-style, sound effects, 4 different landscapes and 8 different aliens to discover. If you're a space adventurer kind of gamer, you might wanna consider taking a trip to Lunar City, which is currently available to download or play online via itch.io.

      CARAVANDALF

      Now onto more terrestrial Amiga matters, namely the ongoing AMA Jam competition. So far, we've seen some pretty good titles like King Arthur, the Last Dungeon and Road Craft, which we might take a look at once we get more details. For now, though, we have one Amiga title that we believe you'll either enjoy, but in a weird, slightly intense kind of way, you'll see what I mean.

      We're talking about Caravandalf, an extremely fast-paced scrolling shooter brought to us by Peter and Gordon McKay. Despite some vibrant colours and some sound retro gameplay, we don't have a story or any concrete details for release yet. We just figured, “Hey, this game looks pretty good, so let's talk about it”. We also figured you'd agree!

      Caravandalf's initial video features some lush Amiga graphics, a smooth scrolling frame rate, and a variety of enemy types and bullets for days. As for the extremely fast pace, Pete and Gordon would like to apologize by saying they were just trying to do something you don't often see on Amiga, and I say that's fine. We all need to quicken the pace every now and then, even if it causes motion sickness. 

      ODIN2

      And now, of course, we can't forget our retro gadgets. This time we're looking at a nice new update on Indiegogo for the AYN Odin, which is appropriately named the AYN Odin2. Picking up where the original Odin left off and where the AYN Loki prematurely ended, the Odin2 shares a lot of its older siblings' designs, mainly the aesthetic and exterior shell, but that's pretty much where it ends.

      For the Odin2, we get some better-sized, nicely shaped and more accessible triggers. Aside from that, we get more buttons, and two speaker grills up front, which is pretty nice. While we don't have any official specs for the Odin 2 as of yet, we can assume that it'll be just as good, if not better, than the original Odin, which was arguably one of the best retro handhelds of 2022. As In's Indigo goes campaign moves forward, we'll make sure to keep y'all posted on any objected specs and new features for the Odin2.

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      WEEKLY DOSE OF GAMING NEWS: Mystic Land: Search for Maphaldo, Retroid Pocket 2S, Nintendo Famicom

      WEEKLY DOSE OF GAMING NEWS: Mystic Land: Search for Maphaldo, Retroid Pocket 2S, Nintendo Famicom

      We're flipping the script just a little bit this week as we veer away from the high-octane retro action for now and celebrate some of the technological marvels that make old-school gaming possible. Of course, we won't keep you hanging when it comes to new titles. We still have one surprise up our sleeve, but we think it's only proper to talk about the consoles that make the magic happen. So buckle up as we travel back a few decades. 

      MYSTIC LAND: SEARCH FOR MAPHALDO

      Image

      Surprisingly, Old-school RPGs never get old, and even in 2023, we still yearn for that late 80s and 90s aesthetics, whenever we fire up a brand new role-playing title. If you're a fan of classics like the Wizardry series or Eye of the Beholder, then the peeps over at MegaVision Software have your number.

      Image

      Mystic Land: Search for Maphaldo is an old-school RPG crawler that's currently in development and looks to bring back the retro vibe everyone yearns for. From the aesthetics down to the methodical first-person and slightly slower-paced gameplay, this title just might recapture that feeling everyone had a few decades ago. A feeling that eventually we all miss. 

      There's no news on which consoles this will be available on, but MegaVision Software is hard at work in ensuring this game comes to life soon enough. Their website has info about the game, and they post regular updates on Twitter. So if Mystic Land: Search for Maphaldo piques your interest, it's best to sit tight. For now.

       

      RETROID POCKET S2

      Now, let's talk about modern retro consoles. We've done our share of these old-school handheld gadgets, and while they may not get as mainstream coverage as your Playboxes, X Stations, and Switch decks, you can't deny how a lot more have been popping up as of late. One of which being the Retroid Pocket 2S. It's a new Android handheld from GoRetroid!

      It's finally confirmed for release, and based on what we can gather, it's bringing back the old Retroid Pocket 3 aesthetics but with a lot more power under the hood. In terms of the overall design, we're getting a more stylish, barebones look with almost no labels or logos on its chassis. Very no nonsense, which is actually nice. 

      Retroid Pocket 2S console

      Aside from a few buttons repositioned and maybe a slightly larger screen, there's not much to go around, given we only got a short teaser. Still, since we're talking about GoRetroid, we're definitely going to get a more badass chipset and GPU. I mean, it's only logical. Fingers crossed. 

      No specific release date as of yet, but we'll keep our eyes peeled for any news on the Retroid Pocket 2S, so make sure to stick around. 

      FAMICOM

      Lastly, we celebrate one of the most momentous occasions in the history of retro gaming, or even gaming in general. It's something bigger than you and me, and we'd be remiss if we didn't, at the very least, mention it.

      We're talking about the granddaddy of old school, the NES brother from Japan. The Nintendo Famicom just turned 40 this year. And yes, in a day and age where a few modern triple-A titles are already considered retro, we pay homage to one of the greats who brought home console gaming into the mainstream.

      Famicom 'Donkey Kong' box | To read my pithy review of this … | Flickr

      Famicom 'Popeye' | Bryan Ochalla | FlickrAfter bursting into the scene in 1983 with party arcade games Donkey Kong and Popeye, it took its sweet time in gaining popularity across the globe. It's also the reason why we have such timeless classics like Super Mario Bros., The Legend of ZeldaMetroid, and Final Fantasy. The latter becoming a multi-billion dollar franchise that just released its 16th entry into the series.

      It's amazing just how gaming has come a long way. Even today, the classics are still being enjoyed either via re-releases on modern consoles or in actual Super Famicoms that stood the test of time. There's a reason why they're classics, and they'll continue to be just as fun as they were back in the early 80s.

      So let's tip our hats to the Super Famicom for 40 years of hard work and dedication! You walked so the Nintendo Switch can run. 

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