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About

Small-box Cassette Games

Presumably due to the relatively high cost of a disk drives in 1980's Europe (a 1541 unit was more expensive than a C64 for a while) the cassette tape was the medium of choice for the distribution of software in this part of the world. Games made in the UK quite often initially came on cassette, while titles from the US were converted from disk originals when published in Europe. This would work well for single-load games (i.e. games that in their entirity could fit in the computer's memory), but some titles made use of multiple loads for different areas of the game or would save high scores to disk. In that case, a conversion to the cassette medium may result in an abridged version.

As opposed to the sometimes lavishly produced "big box" games, packaging consisted often of the standard cassette case or a small "clamshell" box, along with an inlay with the instructions printed on it. Below follow scans of the cover artwork and the instructions of the games (complete except where noted) in my own collection for your perusal.

A stack of tapes

Contents

Commodore 64
1942
Airwolf
Ant Attack
Attack of the Mutant Camels
Barbarian - the ultimate warrior
Blue Max
Boulder Dash
Bruce Lee
Choplifter!
Classic Adventure
Drelbs
Driller
Eindeloos
Fighter Pilot
Fort Apocalypse
Ghosts 'n Goblins
Hacker
H.E.R.O.
The Hobbit
Kikstart 2
The Last Ninja
Leader Board
Little Computer People
Mercenary - Escape from Targ
Mercenary - The Second City
Paradroid
Parallax
Pitstop II
Raid on Bungeling Bay
Sheep in Space
Solo Flight 2nd edition
Spindizzy
Spy vs spy
Stix
Thrust
Twin Tornado
Uridium
The Very Big Cave Adventure
Wizball
Sinclair ZX81
Monster Maze
Sinclair ZX Spectrum
Ant Attack
Mercenary - Escape from Targ
Miscellaneous

Links



Commodore 64


1942

Published by
Year
Package description
Elite/Capcom
1986
Cassette in double side-by-side case with inlay (U-card); separate instructions sheet
Game materials
Package
Inlay front
Instructions side 1
Instructions side 2
Notes
Conversion from an arcade game.
1942 C64 front


Airwolf

Published by
Year
Package description
Elite
1985
Cassette in standard case; instructions on inlay (J-card with extra panel)
Game materials
Package
Inlay front
Notes
Cassette inlay has reflective anti-piracy hologram on the front.
Airwolf C64 front


Ant Attack

Published by
Year
Package description
Quicksilva
1984
Cassette in standard case; instructions on inlay (J-card with extra panel)
Game materials
Package
Inlay front
Inlay back
Notes
The inlay mentions that "The program will provide full instructions once loaded." This does not seem to occur. Get an addendum containing player's instructions here.
Ant Attack C64 front


Attack of the Mutant Camels

Published by
Year
Package description
Llamasoft
1983
Cassette in clamshell box; single double-sided instructions sheet
Game materials
Package
Cover
Instructions front
Instructions back
Notes
(none)
Attack of the Mutant Camels C64 front


Barbarian - the ultimate warrior

Published by
Year
Package description
Palace Software
1987
Cassette in larger clamshell box; instructions on back of cover
Game materials
Package
Cover front
Cover back
Notes
Missing poster
Barbarian C64 front


Blue Max

Published by
Year
Package description
U.S. Gold/Synsoft/Synapse
1983
Cassette in clamshell box; four-page instruction manual
Game materials
Package
Cover
Instructions front
Instructions back
Notes
(none)
Blue Max C64 front


Boulder Dash

Published by
Year
Package description
Statesoft/First Star Software
1984
Cassette in clamshell box; 8-page instructions booklet
Game materials
Package
Cover
Instructions page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Notes
(none)
Boulder Dash C64 front


Bruce Lee

Published by
Year
Package description
U.S. Gold/Datasoft
1984
Cassette in standard case; instructions on inlay (J-card with extra panel)
Game materials
Package
Inlay front
Inlay back
Notes
Bruce Lee II, a fan-made variant of this game, appeared in 2013.
Bruce Lee C64 front


Choplifter!

Published by
Year
Package description
Ariolasoft/Brøderbund
1982
Cassette in standard case; instructions on inlay (U-card with two extra panels)
Game materials
Package
Inlay front
Inlay back
Notes
(none)
Choplifter! C64 front


Classic Adventure

Published by
Year
Package description
Melbourne House/Abersoft
1983
Cassette in standard case; instructions on inlay (J-card with three extra panels)
Game materials
Package
Inlay front
Inlay back
Notes
An abridged adaptation of the Colossal Cave Adventure by Crowther and Woods.
Classic Adventure C64 front


Drelbs

Published by
Year
Package description
U.S. Gold/Synsoft/Synapse
1984
Cassette in clamshell box; four-page instruction manual
Game materials
Package
Cover
Instructions side 1
Instructions side 2
Notes
(none)
Drelbs C64 front


Driller

Published by
Year
Package description
The Hit Squad/Incentive Software
1987
Cassette in standard case; instructions on inlay (U-card with two extra panels)
Game materials
Package
Inlay front
Inlay back
Notes
Budget re-release by the Hit Squad
Driller C64 front


Eindeloos

Published by
Year
Package description
RadarSoft
1985
Cassette in oversized clamshell case; one single-sided instructions sheet
Game materials
Package
Cover
Instructions
Notes
Dutch language game
Eindeloos C64 front


Fighter Pilot

Published by
Year
Package description
Digital Integration
1984
Cassette in standard case; instructions on inlay (J-card with three extra panels)
Game materials
Package
Inlay front
Inlay back
Notes
(none)
Fighter Pilot C64 front


Fort Apocalypse

Published by
Year
Package description
U.S. Gold/Synsoft/Synapse
1982
Cassette in clamshell box; four-page instruction manual
Game materials
Package
Cover
Instructions side 1
Instructions side 2
Notes
(none)
Fort Apocalypse C64 front


Ghosts 'n Goblins

Published by
Year
Package description
Elite
1985
Cassette in clamshell box; separate multilingual instructions sheet
Game materials
Package
Cover
Instructions side 1
Instructions side 2
Notes
Conversion of the arcade game. The package has some misprints here and there: "Ghost 'n Goblins", and "Ghosts 'n' Goblins". A fan-made remastered version that is more faithful to the arcade version appeared in 2015.
Ghosts 'n Goblins C64 front


Hacker

Published by
Year
Package description
Activision
1985
Cassette in clamshell box; separate multilingual loading instructions sheet
Game materials
Package
Cover
Loading instructions side 1
Loading instructions side 2
Notes
(none)
Hacker C64 front


H.E.R.O.

Published by
Year
Package description
Firebird/Activision
1984
Cassette in standard case; instructions on inlay (U-card with extra panel)
Game materials
Package
Inlay front
Inlay back
Notes
Budget rerelease of the popular game.
H.E.R.O. C64 front


The Hobbit

Published by
Year
Package description
Melbourne House
1983
Cassette in double side-by-side case with inlay (J-card); separate instructions sheet
Game materials
Package
Inlay
Instructions side 1
Instructions side 2
Notes
Rare packaging variant.
The Hobbit C64 front


Kikstart 2

Published by
Year
Package description
Mastertronic
1987
Cassette in standard case; instructions on inlay (U-card with extra panel)
Game materials
Package
Inlay front
Inlay back
Notes
Includes Course Designer.
Kikstart 2 C64 front


The Last Ninja

Published by
Year
Package description
System 3/Activision
1987
Two cassettes in double side-by-side case with inlay (U-card with extra panel); separate 16-page instructions booklet
Game materials
Package
Inlay
Instructions page 1, page 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16
Notes
(none)
The Last Ninja C64 front


Leader Board

Published by
Year
Package description
U.S. Gold/Access
1986
Cassette in double side-by-side case with inlay (U-card); poster with instructions
Game materials
Package
inlay
Poster side 1
Poster side 2
Notes
(none)
Leader Board C64 front


Little Computer People

Published by
Year
Package description
Activision
1985
Cassette in clamshell box; double-sided poster with instructions
Game materials
Package
Cover
Poster front
Poster back
Notes
The cassette version has somewhat limited features compared to the disk version.
Little Computer People C64 front


Mercenary - Escape from Targ

Published by
Year
Package description
Novagen
1985
Cassette in clamshell box; multi-page fold-out instruction manual; order form for cassette-disk exchange and/or survival kit and/or hint sheet
Game materials
Package
Cover
Instructions side 1
Instructions side 2
Order form side 1
Order form side 2
Notes
(none)
Mercenary - Escape from Targ C64 front


Mercenary - The Second City

Published by
Year
Package description
Novagen
1986
Cassette in clamshell box; double-sided instructions sheet
Game materials
Package
Cover
Instructions side 1
Instructions side 2
Notes
Expansion for Mercenary - Escape from Targ. The original is required to play.
Mercenary - The Second City C64 front


Paradroid

Published by
Year
Package description
Hewson Consultants
1985
Cassette in standard case; instructions on inlay (J-card with two extra panels)
Game materials
Package
Inlay front
Inlay back
Notes
(none)
Paradroid C64 front


Parallax

Published by
Year
Package description
Sensible Software/Ocean
1986
Cassette in double side-by-side case with inlay (J-card with two extra panels)
Game materials
Package
Inlay front
Inlay back
Notes
Missing separate German and French instructions
Parallax C64 front


Pitstop II

Published by
Year
Package description
Epyx
1984
Cassette in double side-by-side case with inlay (J-card); separate 8-page instructions booklet
Game materials
Package
Inlay front
Inlay back
Instructions page 1 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Dummy cassette
Notes
(none)
Pitstop II C64 front


Raid on Bungeling Bay

Published by
Year
Package description
Ariolasoft/Brøderbund
1984
Cassette in standard case; instructions on inlay (U-card with two extra panels); separate map
Game materials
Package
Inlay front
Inlay back
Map
Notes
A map drawing tool for the development of this game eventually evolved into the famous Simcity games.
Raid on Bungeling Bay C64 front


Sheep in Space

Published by
Year
Package description
Llamasoft
1984
Cassette in clamshell box; double-sided instruction manual
Game materials
Package
Cover
Instructions side 1
Instructions side 2
Notes
(none)
Sheep in Space C64 front


Solo Flight 2nd edition

Published by
Year
Package description
U.S. Gold/Microprose
1985
Cassette in double side-by-side case with inlay (U-card with one and a half extra panel); two double-sided posters with instructions
Game materials
Package
Inlay front
Poster 1 side 1
Poster 1 side 2
Poster 2 side 1
Poster 2 side 2
Notes
An early Sid Meier game.
Solo Flight 2nd edition C64 front


Spindizzy

Published by
Year
Package description
Electric Dreams
1986
Cassette in double side-by-side case; English instructions on inlay (U-card with extra panel); separate sheet containing instructions in other languages
Game materials
Package
Inlay front
Inlay back
Instructions (D, F, NL) side 1
Instructions (D, F, NL) side 2
Notes
(none)
Spindizzy C64 front


Spy vs spy

Published by
Year
Package description
HiTEC Software/First Star Software
1984
Cassette in standard case; instructions on inlay (U-card with three extra panels)
Game materials
Package
Inlay front
Inlay back
Notes
(none)
Spy vs spy C64 front


Stix

Published by
Year
Package description
Supersoft
1983
Cassette in standard case; instructions on inlay (J-card with extra panel)
Game materials
Package
Inlay front
Notes
A Qix clone.
Stix C64 front


Thrust

Published by
Year
Package description
Firebird
1986
Cassette in standard case; instructions on inlay (U-card with extra panel)
Game materials
Package
Inlay front
Inlay back
Notes
(none)
Thrust C64 front


Twin Tornado

Published by
Year
Package description
Doctor Soft Simulations
1987
Cassette in double side-by-side case with inlay (U-card); separate instructions sheet
Game materials
Package
Inlay
Instructions side 1
Instructions side 2
Serial play instructions
Notes
Allows network play between two Commodore 64 computers through a special serial cable. The order form for this cable has been cut off the instructions sheet.
Twin Tornado C64 front


Uridium

Published by
Year
Package description
Hewson
1986
Cassette in standard case; instructions on inlay (J-card with two extra panels)
Game materials
Package
Inlay front
Inlay back
Notes
(none)
Uridium C64 front


The Very Big Cave Adventure

Published by
Year
Package description
CRL
1986
Cassette in clamshell box; instructions on back of cover
Game materials
Package
Cover front
Cover back
Notes
Spoof of the classic Colossal Cave Adventure
Very Big Cave Adventure C64 front


Wizball

Published by
Year
Package description
The Hit Squad/Ocean Software
1987
Cassette in standard case; instructions on inlay (U-card with extra panel)
Game materials
Package
Inlay front
Inlay back
Notes
Reissue by the Hit Squad
Wizball C64 front



Sinclair ZX81


Monster Maze

Published by
Year
Package description
J.K. Greye Software
1981
Cassette in standard case; instructions on inlay (J-card with extra panel)
Game materials
Package
Inlay
Notes
(none)
Monster Maze ZX81 front



Sinclair ZX Spectrum


Ant Attack

Published by
Year
Package description
Quicksilva
1983
Cassette in standard case; instructions on inlay (J-card with extra panel)
Game materials
Package
Inlay front
Inlay back
Notes
(none)
Ant Attack ZX Spectrum front


Mercenary - Escape from Targ

Published by
Year
Package description
Novagen
1987
Cassette in clamshell box; multi-page fold-out instruction manual; order form for Targ survival kit
Game materials
Package
Cover
Instructions side 1
Instructions side 2
Order form
Notes
(none)
Mercenary - Escape from Targ ZX Spectrum front


Links

  • The C64 wiki offers detailed information about some popular games.
  • Much information about Commodore 64 games and a forum can be found on the Lemon64 website.
  • The World of Spectrum website has an extensive list of ZX Spectrum games.

(First version written 2016/06/27, occasionally updated)

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