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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 (that is to say, the ones that - to my knowledge - are complete) in my own collection for your perusal.

A stack of tapes

Contents

Commodore 64

1942
Airwolf
Ant Attack
Attack of the Mutant Camels
Blue Max
Boulder Dash
Bruce Lee
Classic Adventure
Drelbs
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
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

Sinclair ZX81

Monster Maze

Sinclair ZX Spectrum

Ant Attack

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

Airwolf C64 front
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.


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

Attack of the Mutant Camels C64 front
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)


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

Boulder Dash C64 front
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)


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


Classic Adventure

Classic Adventure C64 front
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.


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


Fighter Pilot

Fighter Pilot C64 front
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)


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

Ghosts 'n Goblins C64 front
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.


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.

H.E.R.O. C64 front
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; artwork for this version is possibly the ugliest ever made.


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

Kikstart 2 C64 front
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.


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

Leader Board C64 front
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)


Little Computer People

Published by
Year
Package description
Activision
1985
Cassette in clamshell box; double-sided poster with instructions
Game materials
Package
Cover
Poster side 1
Poster side 2
Notes
The cassette version has somewhat limited features compared to the disk version.
Little Computer People C64 front


Mercenary - Escape from Targ

Mercenary - Escape from Targ C64 front
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 - 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
Mercenary - The Second City C64 front


Paradroid

Paradroid C64 front
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)


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

Raid on Bungeling Bay C64 front
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.


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

Solo Flight 2nd edition C64 front
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.


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

Spy vs spy C64 front
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)


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

Thrust C64 front
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)


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 that could be ordered from the publisher.
Twin Tornado C64 front


Uridium

Uridium C64 front
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)


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



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


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.

(First version written 2016/06/27)

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