Spike and Minestorm Cartridge Review by Tomse

Oh the waiting

9:57 was the clock showing when I appeared in front of the locked door to the post office, 3 minutes till opening time and I was first in line. I got my package notification slip out of my wallet, the postman who delivered it in the mailbox, as the package couldn’t fit, didn’t write who/what the sender was. So it could be anything, though I had little doubt that it would be a certain package from UK. The curtains covering door to the postoffice opened, it was the regular elderly service lady. The door was unlocked and as casual as I could get a number from the ticket machine. It showed “001”. I went directly to the desk and waited patiently for the lady to walk around to her side of the office. I gave her the slip and asked if she needed som picture ID, which isn’t neccessary with her as she always says “not neccessary, I know you”. I got my package which was labeled with their sticker stamps Royal Mail. And I knew excactly what I was going to do this day.

Christmas already?

I must say that the RGCD do a good job with their packaging. The deluxe versions of their products have a plastic box rather than cardboard. Boxes, contents and manuals are part of my gaming experience, so this is very important to me. In this box you get a cartridge, manual and a sticker. Everything is so professionally made, that RGCD could have blended in with the other big software houses if these products were produced back then. The cartridge case is a real sturdy Commodore cartridge case, the 4 corners are held tight by what could be the original Commodore design. It’s not as flimsy as the DIY cartridge casings you can buy in places like eBay.

Unpacking Spike & MineStormWaitings over

So the cartridge is installed into the expansion port, my prefered 8bit Commodore machine is turned on, and who has time to wait for Windows 8 booting in 8 seconds on a SSD drive when you can get instant on? I’m greeted with the sound and pictures of my youth, a hum of sound that seems so familiar and a nice selection screen with graphics and a mix of colours that makes the mind drift back to when the demo scene was spewing out one demo after the other.

On this game selection screen where you can select either Spike or MineStorm, there is a feature I haven’t seen before on a cartridge. You can actually save your high-scores to a diskette, and not only to drive 8, you have the oppertunity to select one of the 4 diskette devices available to the Commodore 64/128

Game Selection screen


As with so many games played before, reading the manual first and playing after isn’t something I’d do. Starting the game and wriggle around the joystick to learn how the game should be played took me little time. Well it did need to replace the joystick to my Zip stick as the first one had problems going to the left.

The intro has a catchy theme to it, it’s classic and just makes you feel at home in a safe environment.

Spike Intro

Oh no!

Your girlfriend and heroine Molly is kidnapped by Spud!, and you’ll have to rescue her. This isn’t the first time this happens, and probably not the last.

The game surprised me as the original is from 1983 and I don’t know if the porters added some extras, but it as some nice synthetic voices to it before each level.

You play as Spike, and start each level on the lowest catwalk. To save Molly you’ll have to bust her out of her prison after picking up the key. Level one is quite easy once you’ve mastered the controls. The catwalks are moving and if you touch the border you’ll die, so you’ll almost need to keep Spike in motion. You can control the ladder between it’s fixed positions, which you’ll need to get to the other catwalks. Once you’ve gotten hold of the key you can go to the top catwalk and open the prison doors to get molly out.

With each stage it’ll be more difficult to get Molly out, this is introduced by monsters, faster catwalks and less catwalk tiles to walk on. I managed using my Zip stick and autofire to get to stage 8 in my first go, after getting to learn the controls and on easy of course.

Spike Gameplay


Ahh the intro screen, it takes me back to some of the early arcade machines I’ve played on, Asteroids and Star Wars come in mind here. Do I feel nostalgic? Oh yes. no doubt about it. It’s been quite a while before I played games on the C64 (or C128 if you will), I feel like I’m 7-9 again, spending hours and hours playing Atari and C64 in their early days.

MineStorm Intro

What, a clone?

No way. is this just another Asteroids? It sure looks like it, well time to play it anyway. Remember I don’t read manuals before playing the game first, as the manuals usually gives an AHA experience rather than, what did the writer mean by this?. I get in my spaceship and start firing away at everything that moves. In Asteroids the asteroids used to break up into minor pieces after being hit by a shot. This is clearly not the case in MineStorm, here the smaller pieces appears after a second or two in random places which makes the possibility of a collision much higher. Warp and fly, as taken out of Asteroids, and gives you an edge if you’ve trained these reactions to a closing object. Flying isn’t as frictionless as in Asteroids which gives you more control of your spaceship, I can tell you that you’ll need it later.

Stage 2 is where all the fun comes in, you’ll see the same kinds of mines as in stage 1, but you’ll also be introduced to a new type of mines, these one are acctracted by your spaceship and they’ll move in a direct collision course toward you. Not even with my skills and training on Asteroids could I get further than this level, and with 13 stages I doubt I’ll ever be able to finish this game though I’ll have alot of fun trying to do so.

MineStorm Gameplay

The games on this cartridge are awesome, and the people that ported these really did a good job doing so.

Shop: Buy the cartridge
More info: on RGCD

Enjoy Life, be kind to others.

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