A very interesting new GTW entry, and a game which was part of a competition held by 64’er magazine back in 1993. Rockus was one of the entries for the competition, but sadly didn’t win, and hence was never released for reasons unknown. It sounds a bit of a shame that this is the only reason for its release, but there you go.
Rockus is a flick screen platforming game which is nothing too spectacular, but what makes it very interesting is the fact that the game was around 90% coded in BASIC, and only 10% in Machine code. It’s certainly quite impressive for mainly a BASIC game. You have a main character with a hi-res overlay, and pretty much a simple platforming game.
In the game you can punch certain blocks by pressing fire, which will let you get access to extra bonuses. Each level you have to collect a set number of disks and keys and then get to the far right of the landscape.
Extras to pick up include diamonds and coins for extra points, umbrellas for a limited spell of invulnerability and the small star-like object for an extra life (don’t confuse it with the star-shaped enemy!) You can also pick up fireballs to throw, although it’s not certain which object gives you that power, and boots to make you run faster.
Things are a bit glitchy in places, but overall this is not a bad little game and worth at least 5-10 minutes of your time.
Thanks to contributor Adam Huemer, it has been confirmed that Rockus was a cartoon series that regularly featured in the 64’er special issues, and it seems this must have been a tribute by a fan based on the comic strip.
If you know anything more about the game, then please do get in touch.
Contributions: Adam Huemer, Enrico Kuss, Baracuda
Enrico Kuss talks about his time developing the game:
“Oh, how funny I found this here. Because I am the guy (Enrico Kuss) who made this game in 1993. Back in then, I’ve never thought of people getting some interest in that little thing decades later.
If you’re interested in other stuff I do (today I develop stuff under/for MS-DOS), you may visit my website http://imperial-games.de (Maybe you’d be interested in my – unready – game “Xpyderz” in the “preview” section. Despite the website being totally German, the game itself is bilingual – English and German.)
Please apologize my probably weird English – for I’m being German (as you may have figured out by the game’s language). And yes – it’s a (somewhat silly) little homage to that comic strips parrot “Rockus” – published in that German Commodore 64 magazine “64’er”.
Back then, I’d just started to learn a little by of 6502 assembly language – from several books and some other computer nerd – and this game shows. If I would make a C64 game like this today, I would use scrolling and probably sprite multiplexing and stuff.
Well, enough babbling for now. See you.”
- 06/07/23 – Addition of music demo thanks to Baracuda
- 03/07/23 – Addition of packaged up version of game.
- 29/04/23 – Addition of Creator Speaks segment.
- 02/06/22 – Addition about comic strip links.