A homebrew developer has successfully ported the iconic Stunt Car Racer to the old-school Commodore Plus/4 console, and now the Apple II, showcasing the timeless allure of retro gaming.

Commodore Plus/4 Gets Stunning Port of Stunt Car Racer

The Commodore Plus/4, an 8-bit home computer system first introduced back in 1984, and the Apple II, dating back to 1977, have both been given a fresh lease of life with an impressive port of the vintage video game, Stunt Car Racer. This feat was achieved by Cobbpg, a homebrew developer noted for his innovative software projects.

Stunt Car Racer is racing title cherished by connoisseurs of vintage games. The game, created by Geoff Crammond, made its debut in 1989 across a host of platforms including the Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, Commodore Amiga, Amstrad CPC, and DOS. Now, thanks to Cobbpg's creative efforts, Stunt Car Racer can be enjoyed by users of the Commodore Plus/4 and Apple II computers.

Cobbpg, fresh off porting the game to the Plus/4, decided to then bring it to Apple II's system. He recounts that the process took some "heroic effort", as he had to shrink down the game into a 48K version. This was accomplished by removing certain non-essential features, such as the ability to save the game season on the disk or partaking in multiplayer championships.

The Commodore Plus/4 version of the game is chiefly built upon the Commodore 64 edition and was unveiled earlier that month alongside a demo on the Plus/4 World forums. Cobbpg describes this special edition as visually sitting halfway between the Amiga and C64 versions of the game. Since it's unveiling, the finished version has been released for the benefit of retro gaming fans.

Recounting the work that went into the port, Cobbpg said that reverse-engineering Stunt Car Racer revealed that the game hadn't been ported to Plus/4 yet. Seeing similarities between the TED (Text Editing Device) chip of the Plus/4 and VIC-II of C64, especially the absence of sprites, he decided to take up the work as an interesting challenge.

The main hurdle was the limitation of RAM space. Keeping in mind that the Plus/4 has less accessible RAM but needs an extra 1K for color data, he resolved this problem initially by removing load/save functionality and the ability to change key bindings. With these changes, he was left with a bit over 2K of memory, just enough to restore some of the missing game features.

Despite the limitations that had to be contended with, such as only having two unique colours available per block for multicolour mode, Cobbpg seems pleased with the port’s visuals, expressing his appreciation for how the game looks enriched by the Plus/4's TED palette.

Keen retro gaming enthusiasts can download the ported versions of the game for the Commodore Plus/4 and Apple II directly from the developer's links, and enjoy the rejuvenated experience of playing 'Stunt Car Racer'. This revival of a classic on vintage hardware not only showcases Cobbpg’s remarkable abilities, but also serves as a beautiful homage to the longevity and ongoing appeal of retro video games.

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Adam Devine

Hey, it's Adam Devine here! When I'm not out and about, you can bet I'm either casting a line, hoping for the biggest catch, or lounging at home, delivering some epic fatalities in Mortal Kombat. Life's all about the thrill of the catch and the perfect combo move. Whether I'm battling fish or virtual foes, it's all in a day's fun for me. Let's get reel and play on!

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