I don’t think I have ever, in my entire life, written a review of a Commmodore 64 game — which is saying something for someone who more or less rode the entire 8-bit wave from start to finish. I won’t go so far as to call this a review, since it’s extremely biased and probably far too short. But I was skimming through c64.com the other day while looking for information on an older title, and the spotlight game was something I’d never heard of: Sub Hunter.
It’s an excellent piece of work, in every respect — graphics are smooth, beautiful and detailed, and press the architecture to its limit. Sound effects and music are likewise spectacular, if you remember what the SID could do.
Perhaps most of all though, gameplay is fast and fun. The storyline is fairly straightforward — government experiment goes wrong, poisonous stuff dumped in the ocean, giant killer fish are spawned, and your job is to scoop up swimmers before they are devoured. Stages include side-scroller action (with very impressive perspective effects in the background, I might add) and some vertical target levels, a la Depthcharge, if you remember it. (Oh boy, did I ever date myself on that one. )
I’ve run this in VICE 2.1 on two different Linux machines (Crux and Ubuntu, if you must know ) as well as a friend’s Windows machine using the 2.1 Windows binary, and it runs great on all of them. It’s a bit clumsy on my machines because of the keybindings in VICE, which trap them to the keypad and … well, I’ve been through this many times before.
I’d love to see it on an actual C64, but I don’t know if that’s possible. (By that, I mean the geography might make it … difficult for me personally.) I see elsewhere on the ‘net where it’s possible to order an actual boxed version of the game, which would be fantabulous. Either way, if get it running on a real breadbox, by all means post a video of it somewhere so the rest of us chickenheads can enjoy it as well.
Aside from that I won’t say much more. It’s a great piece of work for a machine that (technically) expired 20 years ago. I will be watching for sequels or other titles from that group. Excellent, excellent work. A big gold smilie this time: