- Tag Archives C64
In the early days of a new hardware platform, 1st part software support is often critical. The Commodore 64 was no different. Of course, the true mark of a successful platform can often me measured in terms of 3rd party support. For a time, it seemed that the Commodore 64 had more third party developers than there are stars in the sky. However, in the early days this wasn’t necessarily the case and for the first few years of the Commodore 64’s life, Commodore published a number of titles, including games and productivity software. One of these was International Soccer.
International Soccer, as you might imagine, is a soccer game. In fact, for its time, it was an excellent soccer game. Game play was pretty straightforward. Each player (or AI) has a team of seven players. You control whichever player currently has control of or is closest to the ball. When you have the ball, you can run in any direction or pass the ball by pressing the fire button. Corner kicks and throw-ins exist but no penalties because there’s no way to commit them. If you are playing against the AI, there are 9 different difficulty levels. A game consists of two halves at a few minutes each.
Sports games often don’t hold up the best over time but simple sports games that were good are an exception. International Soccer is sort of the Tecmo Bowl of Soccer. It’s definitely worth checking out if you are a Commodore 64 fan, a soccer fan, or a fan of 8-bit sports games.
International Soccer is exclusive to the Commodore 64 and has not been rereleased. If you want to give it a try, you’ll have to track down an original or use emulation. The good news is that it is cartridge based so no long load times and it’s probably more robust that a disk in terms of longevity. Check out eBay if you are looking for an original copy.
Back in the 8-bit days there seemed to be a neverending supply of peripheral attachments you could get for your computer. After a disk and/or tape drive, joysticks, a printer, and perhaps a modem, the Koalapad was one of the more popular choices, at least among Commodore 64 owners. It was also available for 8-bit Atari computers, the Apple II and of course the DOS based PCs of the day.
The KoalaPad was a touchpad of sorts that could serve two basic functions. The most popular function was perhaps as an art tool. Along with the pen/stylus that came along with it, you could use it to draw with the included KoalaWare graphics program. However, the more interesting functionality, at least for the time, was as a touchpad interface. Just like a touchpad on a modern laptop, it could be used to move a cursor around, select menu items, drag things around, etc. Sure, that’s nothing special today but at the time it was pretty novel.
There were a number of other programs that ultimately supported the KoalaPad but I think the more popular were art programs, especially KoalaWare itself. There just weren’t too many GUI programs on 8-bit computers until things like GEOS came along a few years later. The KoalaPad was introduced in 1983 and was pretty well supported through 1984. However, by that time, the Macintosh had come along and popularized the mouse which would become the dominant interface device. But maybe if the Commodore 64 had stuck around a few more years we would all be using a KoalaPad 2.0 supporting gestures…
The ad above is from the May 1984 issue of Family Computing.