RGCD and Psytronik Software are pleased to announce the release of Yoomp! 64 for the Commodore 64.
Developed by Zbigniew Ross and featuring sound by Michal Brzeski, Yoomp! 64 is a Commodore 64 port of the Atari XE/XL indie arcade game Yoomp! where you bounce a ball through 23 three-dimensional textured tubes and collect as many points as you can without falling off the edge. If you think that this sounds like Trailblazer in a tube…well you’re right!
When discussing the motivation to port across the Atari XE/XL version of Yoomp! to the Commodore 64, Ross explains that:
After playing it on an emulator I enjoyed the concept of Yoomp! so much that I decided to write a similar game for Android. Of course I wrote to the author to secure permission, but Eru (author of the game) wrote back explaining that although he cannot stop me from creating an Android version, he’d prefer it if I didn’t as he had already started to develop a version for mobile platforms himself.
Not to be perturbed, Ross turned his thoughts to the C64 and wondered why a port didn’t already existing on the great 8-bit machine. After doing a little bit of research into the matter, Ross realised that the coding methods used on the Atari method would not work very well on the C64. Ross noted:
On the Atari version the image of the tunnel is scaled 2x (horizontally and vertically) via hardware. Scaling the image (graphic) on C64 in a similar way was a real problem. For example, Hewson’s Eliminator achieves a similar effect by only drawing every 2nd line but the overall result would not work for Yoomp! as the image would be too dark and fragmented.
Keen to see Yoomp! represented on the old ‘bread bin’, Ross persisted with finding alternative programming methods that would produce a level of performance that could do Yoomp! justice on the C64. With some tips from Eru, Ross was able to refine the code to get the game moving at the speed and size that he was satisfied with.
As we loaded up Yoomp! 64, we immediately notice that the game features innovative smooth texture mapping ensuring that the game moves along at a good speed and the SID soundtrack is a high quality effort that fits the game play perfectly with its pumping psychedelic tones.
But what surprises the most is that only a minute into playing the game, we realise that Yoomp! 64 is far more than an impressive technical demonstration. The game play is highly addictive as you try to safely navigate your bouncing ball around the tube game field and across chasms, progressing from through the levels as far as you can with the four lives you have been supplied with.
To help you with your quest, you are provided three long jumps (invoked by pressing the FIRE button before you bounce) to help overcome some last second tricky situations you might find yourself in.
Throughout the tube you will find over a dozen bonus and hazard file types to hit and avoid including speed up tiles, force left or right movement tiles, earthquake tiles and booze tiles (which make you lose control over you ball temporarily).
The key to progressing through Yoomp! 64 will be your ability to memorise the tile layouts of each tube. Due to the interesting graphics on offer and the somewhat hypnotic nature of the backing soundtrack, replaying levels until you had become familiar with the playing field never felt like a chore. Fortunately, Yoomp! 64 contains a password system, avoiding the need to constantly replay the early levels over and over again just to progress to new levels, a god send for time-poor vintage gamers.
The digital download version of Yoomp! 64 is available from RGCD Itch.Io page on ‘Name Your Own Price’ basis and we hope the C64 community supports the developer by voluntarily donating at least a couple of dollars as a thank you for producing a quality product for us to enjoy. Unfortunately for our North American readers, Yoomp! 64 is only PAL compatible but can be played on real hardware using 1541 Ultimate II, Turbo Chameleon or SD2IEC devices. RGCD has also confirmed that Yoomp! 64 is compatible with THEC64 Mini.
For those of us who like to collect psychical editions, RGCD is selling the cartridge edition (bundled with a vinyl sticker, an A3 poster, full-colour manual and a postcard) for 28 Euros from their web shop. While Psytronik Software is selling the disk edition for £6.99 (budget version) and £13.99 (premium version) over at their Binary Zone store.
Yoomp! 64 is a thoroughly enjoyable and addictive game that goes a long way to exceed Trailblazer, the game that is an obvious inspiration to it. Yoomp! 64 overloads your senses visually and sonically, and along with its addictive qualities goes along to produce what might be the surprise hit of 2018.