Released Damnation Alley

Tony Brice

I finished my latest game which has been written for the Syntax Bomb coding competition. The theme this time was Retro Wars, where you could pick your favourite retro computer from the 80's and make a game that looks like it could be played on that machine. The only hard rule was the colour palette should be the same. I picked the Commodore 64 and wrote my tribute to Spy Hunter, which I've called Damnation Alley. You can find more info on the Itch.IO page for the game. You can also download either a PC or Mac version of the game to see what you think. Naturally, it's a free game to play.

Competition forum thread:,5206.0.html

As a bonus I added my own take of the old tape loading game called InvadeAload. Many space invaders were blasted playing this back in the day while waiting for the main game to load in. You can exit this mini-game at any time by pressing escape.

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Tony Brice

looks great! it reminds me of 8 bits game.
Glad you think so. It's actually meant to be. The road tiles and the car sprites were drawn by the graphics guy for an actual C64 game and originally used 2 overlaid sprites so that the fine detail was in one single colour sprite and another multi-colour sprite (with the 2 pixel width restriction) used for the coloured areas. Luckily I didn't need to code it that way as it only had to look like the graphics would be creatable on a commodore 64. The sprites I did myself were also the correct size that they would be on a C64 screen but boosted to match the screen resolution. Unfortunately mine don't look anywhere near as good as his did.

The competition theme required that we stuck to the palette of the original machine that we were creating a game to simulate so all the colours are authentic as well. The decision to match the sprite restrictions was something I decided to do myself just for the fun of it.

If you do download and play the game you'll also notice that I implemented a simulated "Invade-a-load" Space invaders game which runs while the main game pretends to load. Older C64 fans may remember that some of the later C64 tape games had a simple Space Invaders game that they could play while the main game loaded in from tape. Even with this I wanted to simulate what a real C64 could actually do so my sprites actually move like user-defined characters in block movement because using sprites on screen with interupts during a tape load wasn't possible.

I didn't win the competition this time around because most of the entries were frankly excellent. If you're into retro looking games then it's well worth a look at the others that were submitted as they covered Spectrum, Amstrad as well as the C64.,5465.0.html