An Imperfect Time Machine: A C64 Mini Review

C64 Mini

Hello Retro Gamers!

In this C64 Mini review, I will discuss why this console has issues, but C64 fans will love it anyway.

As a child, I first experienced a gaming system when spending the night with my friend Luke who had an Amiga 500. I was in love, and in the intervening months, I pestered my parents begging for that small white hunk of plastic.

When Christmas morning rolled around that year, I rushed to the tree with visions of Bubby and Bobby from Rainbow Islands dancing in my head. The large box could only be my Amiga. My heart dropped upon opening, however: the box contained a Commodore 64, instead!

While disappointed at the time, I became eternally grateful to my parents for choosing the Commodore 64 over the Amiga (that I purchased years later and love to bits) that Christmas. While Bubby and Bobby were missing, there was a whole world of games to explore, with literally thousands of titles published for the platform in its lifetime. These games ran the gamut from terrible to amazing to just plain bizarre.

Over the years, I have run into many people with a gaming experience similar to mine. After overcoming their initial disappointment, all developed a deep and abiding love for the Commodore 64 that is almost unrivaled when it comes to home computers/gaming consoles.  As a devoted fan of the Commodore 64, I was overjoyed when Retro Gaming Ltd announced the release of this mini marvel. It is well worth its price tag.

(Affiliate Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. This means that – at no additional cost to you – if you click through and make a purchase, I may earn a commission)

The positives: 

1. Beautiful remake of the original home computer.

2. ROMs to load faster and play reliably. Kid you not, no more naps while waiting for a game to load.  😀

3. There are supports for adding and loading your own ROMs.

4. The Mini C64 is just so small and lovely. 😀

The negatives: 

1. The joystick is atrocious

2. The Mini C64 ships without an AC adaptor (I do not really get why).

What Makes It Different – Guess what? Yeah, that atrocious joystick  

Creatures for Commodore 64

Creatures is simply beyond fun…

Actually, the C64 Mini is not all that different from the majority of the other retro systems that have been released recently. It runs Linux with an ARM processor and has a custom front end. It is true to the original Commodore 64, which was a beige box with a brown keyboard. In comparison, this is tiny. Oh, and the games look exactly the same (please see above image).

What is different is the joystick. Instead of two buttons, there are eight that enable you to access the various functions exclusive to the Mini. When all is plugged in, you can satisfy your desire for nostalgia with its selection of games. You get 64 retro games for the price of admission.

A Blast From the Past – Nostalgia is here to stay

The unit appears to be exactly like the one I had as a child, only considerably smaller. Just seeing it sitting in my living room makes me smile. An impressive amount of attention to detail went into this pint-sized replica.  Seriously, apart from the size, I cannot see any differences with the original, and this gives me goosebumps. It is as if my brain is unable to correlate the size with my memories.

While anyone familiar with the original C64 will be pleased with the replica, the same cannot be said for the joystick. I did not love the joystick redesign, but I did not dislike it either. It just does not have the same wow factor that the console does.

Hitting You Right in the Feels – Kind of a bad taste in my mouth

Although creating a functional keyboard would have been silly, I was still disappointed that none of the keys worked. Plus, they are so tiny the only a baby could to do the typing.
The good news is that you can always connect a real keyboard through the USB ports on the side if you genuinely need one. The Mini is well-built and sturdy, and it is meant to last for years.

The feel you get from the joystick is anything but pleasurable, however. While its buttons offer a decent response, there is a limited amount of play in it, and it feels awfully squishy and generally unsatisfying. There is just no comfy way to use it. Even with the inclusion of no-slip pads on the bottom, playing with this kind of joystick on a flat surface is my biggest gripe. The ratio of height to width is not enough to prevent it from tipping over when in use on a table and it does not feel good in your hand either.

Competition Pro

They look similar, but a Competition Pro is in a total different league compared to the C64 joystick.

Even if you have large hands (like me), it feels unwieldy and made my hands cramp during extensive gaming sessions. While I understand that they were attempting to remake the classic controller to stay with the theme, they could have done a much better job. The saving grace is that you can use other USB controllers with this mini-system.
I am not a fan of the above mentioned controllers when it comes to retro gaming, but I have to admit that the  * iNNEXT is cheap and works great.

A Word About the Interface – pretty but not functional

C64 Mini Interface

C64 Mini Interface

All of the games are presented in a row at the bottom of your screen and are easily selectable with the push of a button. The light blue pallet is attractive and the interface looks great when displayed on my HD TV, even though Retro Gaming Ltd created their own front end for the C64 Mini. It captures the feel of the original system and looks beautifully nostalgic.

I wish that there had been some more options within the menu. Sometimes it can feel like you are never going to find any given title out of the collection of 64. A different layout of the games would come in handy. For example, displaying all the games in a grid would make it a lot easier to find a title rather than scrolling through a list. A search option or a filter would be handy too.

Games Galore – an 8-bit symphony

C64 Mini Game List

Retro gamers familiar with other Commodore emulators have long ago come to grips with sluggish loading times and faulty ROMs. All of that is a thing of the past, however, as this console loads all the games smoothly and they run excellently.  The development team at Commodore did an excellent job of optimizing the software that retains the retro experience while eliminating the vintage waiting game.

All the included titles have been lovingly and painstakingly recreated. Unfortunately, many of the original titles that were left out as well. The game catalog for the original C64 was so extensive that no two gamers would probably give you the same list of titles that they would have liked to see included with this console. Despite all the games that I have tried in my life, it is not even uncommon for me to meet a C64 gamer who ranks titles I have never heard of as their favorites. There was a whole host of publishers for the original game, and I suspect that licensing was a nightmare when it came time to re-release some of these games. It is clear that Retro Gaming Ltd developed a good working relationship with Epyx, since basically all of their best releases are featured.

That said, I had a lot of fun reliving games like Winter Games, Summer Games 2, World Games and Creatures. The introductory music alone gave me goosebumps. I admit that there were many titles that I would have loved to see on this system (MicroProse Soccer and Turrican anyone?), but the abundant selection offered is going to keep any gamer busy. In addition to that, C64 Mini supports loading your own ROMs, so that means you can play almost any Commodore game you wish.

Microprose Soccer

Microprose Soccer is AWOL… What a high-profile exclusion!

Final Impressions – You never forget your first gaming love

Regardless of a few weaknesses, this declaration of love to the 80s was a joy to play. Even just viewing this mini-console is a reminder of the thrill of sitting in front of the TV playing these games of my youth. I loved those classic games then, and I love them even more now.

Till next retro review!

*

About Andrew A.

Andrew is the founder and owner of RetroGamingLoft. He considers himself a natural-born gamer and is on a mission to keep our younger gaming years alive through the medium of Retro Stories. His event recount includes hopes, dreams, broken joysticks, magic, nostalgia and another final boss defeated.

82 thoughts on “An Imperfect Time Machine: A C64 Mini Review

  1. Tarun

    talk about a walk down memory lane Andrew! my childhood was split between the C64 and Atari!

    the hours of non-stop playing, the cramped fingers – you are right! this joystick is utter crap! i dont know how many joysticks i broke but I remember my parents refusing to get me a new ones and my brother and i then had to frankestien our old ones to get 1 to play with!

    sigh! the good old days!

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Tarun, glad you appreciated my post!
      Yeah, I can relate to anything you say and more… Stored somewhere I should still have a “Competition Zipstick” lol, that is an experiment my friend Luke and me made when neither his Competition Pro nor my Zipstick were working properly.
      And if you ask me, I could tell that our makeshift joystick worked better than the C64 Mini joystick.
      It is a shame, but fortunately – as I mentioned in my review – there is a solution to it.
      Thanks again for your comment, and please stay tuned for more retro reviews!

      Reply
  2. Yormith96

    Hi Andrew, really great review u have done about commodore C4, u have really reminded me of those kid days when gaming was my best friend. I hardly made friends, after school, was always stuck to my games and had fun. Reading your review about the Commodore 64 remake and seeing the pro u listed made me want to get one. I still remember it as the best way I had to have fun and was unaware that a remake had been released. Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Yormith, and thanks for stopping by.
      Glad to be of service! You know, Commodore 64 has marked an era, and luckily for us nostalgic, this remake will allow us to relive the flavour of those days. Let the fun begin….
      Thanks again for your comment ,stay tuned for more retro reviews!

      Reply
  3. alexandra

    This just takes me back. I love old games and every time I find one I buy it. I recently came home with an old pacman console that had 25 games on it, still working and an Nintendo 64… childhood memories here I come! I totally get what you are saying about just viewing the console. That is exactly how I felt when I found these two. I feel like Rose from Titanic but with the games ” I will never let go Pacman, I will never let go”

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hehehe good comparison Alexandra, I can perfectly understand that feeling.
      Playing is obviously the real deal, but sometimes by just touching or looking at such machines we are instantly catapulted into the past and our fondest memories.
      Thanks for stopping by, please stay tuned for more retro reviews!

      Reply
  4. Dapoach

    This C64 Mini review is one of the best reviews I have read online. To be candid i do not really like the interface, I would also like to have a grid. but the joystick looks cool. Is it really so hard to use? I am a fan of any type of game though as far as its easy to learn and play. Thanks again for the review. Hope to read more on other console remakes soon.

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Dapoach and thanks for your very nice words.
      I agree with you on the interface: while it is visually cool, it could have been way more functional than it really is… Shame.
      Regarding the joystick, you said it right: “looks cool” but it is a real pain when it comes to using it.
      When you struggle to even hold a joystick in your hands, you will end up being hyper-frustrated. Fortunately, there are better options out there, like the one that I suggested in my post.
      Thanks again for stopping by, please stay tuned for more retro reviews!

      Reply
  5. Twack Romero

    Great topic, fantastic read and I’m not even a gamer. I couldn’t help but have a gander around your site to see if the memories came flooding back if not for the same reasons. I have, until recently owned a Commodore 64. There were many things I wanted as a child but never managed to get hold of, so as an adult I have made up for it. Might be why there is a loft full of Scalextric stuff. I only used the 64 a handful of times, once upon the request of one of my children who is into computers. After the huge loading time and realising that for ‘fun’ you had to code in Basic…well the novelty soon wore off.

    With so many emulators around today I wonder what the thinking was behind re-releasing the 64 but changing the design or ‘shrinking’ it. Why not just bring out an revamped copy of the original ? I would have had to nail the joystick to the table, very annoying at the best of times.

    Maybe they thought that bringing something out that just reminded you of the past and left your memories intact was a better option and that in fact now, the playing of the games is what would be enjoyed the most.

    I like your ‘warts n’ all’ review and I’m sure regardless of the bad points many will go out and buy it. Thanks. 

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Twack and thanks for your comment,

      The second explanation is probably the right one. The nostalgia factor still has an impact on many people (including myself). In addition to that, you have to consider that emulators are far from working perfectly and many people are far from being tech-savvy.
      Last but not least, a big tv and a comfortable sofa are a lot better than a pc monitor and a swivel chair.
      Glad you appreciated my review, there would be no point in not giving my honest take. 🙂
      Stay tuned for more retro reviews!

      Reply
  6. Kehinde Segun

    Thank you for this post. You actually did a wonderful job in there because this post made feel nostalgic while reading. I had a good childhood that was divided in between C4 and the Atari. My fingers are always cramp anytime I’m not playing. Such a weird stuffs but lovely and fun

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Kehinde,

      Glad you appreciated my review and that it made you feel positively nostalgic.
      Stay tuned for more retro reviews, they are coming!

      Reply
  7. jaykaynigltd

    You just rewinded my childhood with games. I have always been a great fan of games and my dad surprised me with a birthday box back in the days. Those days every kid would give you their favourite toy for a chance to play my C64 . Growing up in a third world country made me a king among my mates then(winks)…. Simply because I had a C64 . I will try this one out again for the feel . But it’s a bit costlier @$49.9 ! Ah!

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Jay and thanks for your comment, I am glad I was to bring back good memories. 🙂
      As for the price, actually you can find it for $ 39,9 on eBay now.
      Thanks again for dropping by, stay tuned for more retro reviews.

      Reply
  8. Stratos K

    Although I was mostly an Amiga 500 fan myself I had many friends that went the C64 route. It was a great machine in its prime and I am happy to see they released it again in a retro version. So many games meant that some known ones would be left out of course, but for those that miss a bit of retro entertainment the featured games are a great addition. As usual, your article really brought back memories.

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Stratos and thanks for your comment.
      I agree, Commodore 64 was a total milestone and I believe it was a good idea to release a retro version. On one hand, retro gamers have a chance to relive some old games, on the other one, new generations can have a taste of what the 8-bit era looked like.
      Glad that you liked my post, stay tuned for more retro reviews.

      Reply
  9. Jay

     You are really right about the keyboard not functioning properly, in fact, it does not even function and it seems it is just there for show and there was also a lot of complaints pertaining to this and you would have to plug in a separate keyboard or use the systems virtual keyboard in order to work proficiently in BASIC.

    The C64 Mini’s joystick feels cheap and unresponsive. Many of the games that were included haven’t aged that much but the fact is that the controller just hampers the gameplay experience further. I hope something is done about these issues because I am a huge fan.

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Jay and thanks for dropping by.
      Right as you said, the keyboard is there just “for decoration”. Games are loaded from a dedicated menu, so there was no need to create a real, working keyboard.
      As I mentioned in the article, I would forget about the default joystick and get a usb controller. The iNnext is a very good choice.
      Thanks again for your comment, stay tuned for more retro reviews.

      Reply
  10. Craig

    Hi there. I loved the content, very informative and reminded me of days gone by when I would spend hours playing retro games myself. Your site is well built and I enjoyed being there, your content well presented and easy to read. When I initially tried to submit a comment on the post I kept getting a javascript warning about trying to post too fast? I tried minutes later and it went through fortunately.

    Kindest regards,

    Craig

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Craig and thanks for your nice words. I am glad to be able to bring back good memories.
      Thanks for reporting the issue, it happened to me as well in the past. WordPress is aware anyway, and they are working on it.
      Thanks for dropping by, please stay tuned for more retro reviews.

      Reply
  11. Richard

    All of us have fond memories of toys or TV shows that we thought were just the greatest when we were kids, but technology has advanced to such levels that when I have tried to recapture those memories, I have always been disappointed. The most recent being watching MIB, and while it is still a great film, the graphics are sorely lacking as compared modern films.

    In the case of gaming consoles, I tried this with the original Nintendo 64 console which was rather disappointing. Sometimes in my opinion, good memories should stay just that, memories as comparing them to what we have today will ruin them for me,

    Rich

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Rich and thanks for your comment.
      There is nothing wrong in what you say, it is your opinion and I absolutely respect.
      All I can say is retro gaming is not for everyone, but for those who love it, it is more than just playing old video games.
      Thanks for dropping by and taking time to read my post.

      Reply
  12. Oneal22

    A very amazing write up I must say, because the description given here about the commodore 64 is so clear and crystalline that I had to hold on to the seat belts of my imagination despite the fact I haven’t ever played or seen the C64. Being an avid gamer myself, I grew up playing Nintendo and Sega. In fact I got my first console; a Sega console at age 8, so I can imagine the nostalgia that a remake of the first games I played generates. This remake could also be an opportunity to fill this gaming gap, I might actually fancy buying it. You said some good titles were not included a mention a couple… Could you please all the games that you would have added if you had been given a chance to handpick them?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Oneal and thanks for your nice words.
      Regarding your question, in my opinion they are “guilty” of leaving out at least 10 must-have games.
      Personally, I would have included the following:
      MicroProse Soccer
      Emlyn Hughes International Soccer
      Turrican
      Turrican 2
      The Last Ninja
      Time Machine
      Rockstar ate my hamster
      The Barbarian
      Jet Bike Simulator

      Like I said, there is a wide choice of good games, but with such titles, the C64 mini would have been a must-buy no matter what.

      Thanks again for dropping by, stay tuned for more retro reviews.

      Reply
  13. Gracen

    Hi Andrew! Thanks for your review on C64. Your article made me feel nostalgia during my early childhood. kids always have a way of getting what they want, I can remember giving my parents hard time when I was young until I get exactly what I want.  I can relate to how you felt upon seeing Commodore 64 instead of Amiga but it all turned out for good. I love the positive side of Commodore 64. I guess the negative side of the Commodore is not all that bad when compared to the joy one derives from the game, especially if you can use other joysticks by buying an adaptor.

    Thanks for your painstaking review on C64.

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Gracen and thanks for your nice words. I am glad I made you feel what I call “sweet nostalgia”.
      Yeah, the joystick thing is annoying at first, but fortunately there is a way around it. I am not totally sure adaptor compatibility (I need to run some tests with what I have and gather some info on the net), but fortunately usb joysticks work flawlessly.
      Thanks again for dropping by, stay tuned for more retro reviews!

      Reply
  14. Jack

    I think it’s great that companies are remaking the classic gaming consoles, everybody likes to feel a little nostalgia every once in a while! I have very fond memories playing GoldenEye on the 64, great times! 

    Very enjoyable and easy to read article by a writer who clearly is very well researched!

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Jack and thanks for your nice words.
      I agree, such initiatives help keep memories alive. In addition to that new generations become interested. 🙂
      I am fully supportive, as long as they release quality products.
      Thanks again for dropping by, stay tuned for more retro reviews.

      Reply
  15. Paschal

    you did a good job. I actually like to feel young and nostalgic when playing games. C64 gives me that feeling.  Many of my school mates enjoyed the game in those days and we still talk about the old games. We even have a whatsapp group where sharing our memories and occasionally arranging some small offline event and be sure I will share your post there. Keep the good job up.  

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Pascal and thanks for your comment, I am glad I was able to bring back good memories.
      This is exactly what I do in my personal life: Whatsapp RetroGroups, nostalgic chats and offline tournaments.
      It is a way of life that I fully enjoy. 🙂
      Keep coming for more retro reviews!

      Reply
  16. Denis

    Well, that is something else!  I remember as it if was yesterday when my parents bought that “big chunk of plastic”.  The funny story about this is that the year before (If I remember correctly), they had bought the Commodore Vic20!  It had 5k of Ram and did not do much when it came to games.  I remember copying some code from the Vic20’s user manual to try and get a “game” going only to end up with an “out of memory” message at the end.  

    It was a blessing for me when we “upgraded” to the C64, and those first days with a “computer” is what got me hooked for the rest of my life. Not only gaming but the whole aspect of hardware and software.  I never looked back. 

    I didn’t even know that these even existed and now that I have found it I will certainly ask Santa to have one for next Christmas.  And who knows maybe Chrismas will come very early this year.

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Denis and thanks for your nice comment.
      I believe the Commodore 64 got many people hooked (including myself lol).
      It is not unusual that I talk to programmers or tech-savvy guys in general and they tell me it all started with an 8-bit home computer named C64. It was a real technical revolution.
      I wish you a happy early Christmas! 😉

      Reply
  17. Hi Tony

    Thanks for sharing this interesting article on gaming with emphasis on C6, which back then was one of my favourite consoles. This article just made me recall my childhood days when we would play C64 after school, and I never wanted to stop… Lol I was addicted to games in general, I would say. It was a part of my life. I didn’t know a remake has been implemented. This article is really informative . Thanks once more for sharing. Cheers

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Tony and thanks for stopping by.
      Endless gaming afternoons, I can perfectly relate to that. The C64 was a milestone for many gamers.
      I am glad you found my article informative, please stay tuned for more retro reviews.

      Reply
  18. Anita

    I am loving all these retro games coming back too!! There were a few different kinds that came out at Christmas time that we picked up and I quickly remember too how cramped your hands and fingers get, I can’t play for hours like I used to. My kids get a kick out of how square the graphics on the old games are, we picked up Nintendo and Atari. My daughter was telling everyone we were playing antique Mario Karts. Thanks for the memories!!

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Anita and thanks for your nice comment.
      Looks like a very friendly atmosphere, this is what gaming is all about. 🙂
      When someone tells me I play antique games I reply that antique has helped me stay young. 😉
      I hope you keep coming for more retro posts!

      Reply
  19. Dave Sweney

    This post and review was most certainly a blast from the past for me! As a young parent, I purchased and used the C64 to play games with the family when it was released so many years ago, As I read through the post, the games you mention and yes even the joystick are all things I remember dealing with.

    I had no idea that you could get retro machines like this and I am so glad to have come across the website you have put together. Now that I know, you can bet I will be back to look at some of your other posts. As a fan of such old machines and games, this is a place I need to stop by at often.

    Getting back to the Commodore 64 review, I will definitely be getting one of these. I know that it most certainly will never match the machines that are out there today, but I think my grandchildren will have some fun playing with it when they stop over for a weekend or two. 

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Dave and thanks for leaving a nice comment.
      I am glad you found my post informative and even gladder that it made you want to buy a C64 Mini.
      Obviously it is no match for today’s machines, but it can still teach a thing or two in terms of pure fun.
      Thanks again for dropping by, stay tuned for more retro reviews.

      Reply
  20. ajibola40

    This article really take me down the Memory Lane when I was little.then my friend and I use to argue about which one is the best between C64 and atari

    The Commodore 64 (C64)  faced many competitors then but it went on to become the best selling of all time.i can still remember how easy to use it was back then because you just had to load the software from cassettes or floppies.Game loading times were definitely a drawback )we had little patience lol), so it is good to hear that they are basically inexisting on this remake. Thanks for sharing. 

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Ajibola and thanks for stopping by.
      Back then, slow loading times were a chance to quickly do my homework lol. You should have seen how motivated I was.
      Not going to take anything away from other personal computers of the time but the Commodore 64 was, is and will always be my favourite 8-bit machine.
      Thanks again for your comment, I hope you keep coming for more retro articles.

      Reply
  21. Dave

    Wow, this takes me back. Atari, C64, Coleco, Vic 20. :)Guys like you and me will love this Mini, and your review draws on that nostalgia. You may even be able to draw some of the other original consoles out of the closets and basements too.What I particularly like is that you don’t compare it to modern games (obviously because you really couldn’t anyway).Cheers and good luck.

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Dave, thanks for your comment.
      I could never compare the Commodore 64 to modern games, it would be disrespectful to the former. 😉
      Seriously, retro gaming involves memories and nostalgia… It is more than merely playing. Yes, old games are super fun, but it is reliving our younger years what makes them special.
      Thanks again for dropping by, stay tuned for more retro reviews!

      Reply
  22. Michel

    Hey Andrew,

    What a lovely look at this blast from the past. I remember that we had a C 64 as kids and we loved it. If you remember, my brothers were very into programming and games then and they went on from that to the old spectrums.

    I remember fondly the fun times we had playing sometimes together and then fighting over turns to play as there was only one machine. It’s great to see that they have brought this back in a mini version with all the old favorites. I must show this post to my brothers – they will have a good laugh at the memories.

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Michel, thanks for stopping by again.
      I too have many fond gaming memories thanks to the C64 and when I heard they were bringing it back I could not help getting it.
      Thanks for showing my post to your brothers, I would love to hear from them too.

      Reply
  23. faftop

    Lovely. Gone are the days, I broke so many rules laid down by my parents just to get myself playing c64 in the neighborhood. I love the simplicity you write with,  precise and straight to the point. It is great one  won’t have to wait like forever for a game loading the game, back then, it was one of the things that bothered me the most.

    Oh and I was fond of Karate international, it was funny because we had fights both on and offscreen lol… 

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hahaha Faftop you nailed it! I can perfectly relate to those offline fights lol.
      Karate International is a game that should have been included in this remake. It is absolutely unique… Back then we did praise the choice to create a fighting game featuring 3 karateka fighting each other. Highly innovative.
      I am glad you appreciated my review and I hope you stay tuned for more. 🙂

      Reply
  24. LeNard Simmons

    Thank you for the flashbacks. I enjoyed reading about the Commodore 64. This was my first game system. I would get in trouble sneaking out of bed to try playing on it. I believe I used to pong and centipede, or that may have been on another gaming system. My children say that the graphics card is broken. I told them that in the old days that was considered hot graphic. I bet some of us older people who still play video games would have fun trying to beat their high score. The C64 was my gateway to coding. ` LeNard

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Lenard and thanks for your comment.
      The C64 was a gateway for many, so this remake can also be seen as a way to celebrate it.
      And yeah I know that “it’s broken” feeling, I have heard the new generation say that many times lol… Obviously then graphics is no match for today’s standard but the charm it exerts on me has stayed the same.
      Thanks again fro dropping by, stay tuned for more retro reviews.

      Ps. The games you mentioned were released for the Atari.

      Reply
  25. cpanharun

    Hi Andrew,

    Thank you for this great post. After reading this article, I recalled my childhood. I was addicted to the C64 when I went to school. C64 was a part of my life, then. After school, I would play C64 with friends and we really had a good time. It was my uncle who gave me a Commodore as a gift for my birthday and I just could not stop playing it. Microprose soccer was one of my favorites but I also enjoyed Barbarian and Aspar  (motorcycle) a lot. ‘m going to share this article with my friends.

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Cpanharun and thanks for stopping by.
      MicroProse Soccer was (is) probably my favourite Commodore 64 game ever, together with Jet bike Simulator.
      I am surprised that you mentioned Aspar, not many people know that. To be fair, this game’s graphics were absolutely below average even then, but the gameplay was fun. The day I won the Moto GP World Championship I was over the moon.
      Thanks again for your comment and for sharing my post with your friends, much appreciated.

      Reply
  26. sheilandc

    My daughter who’s also an avid gamer would love to try one of these. She always wondered what we had or what we used for gaming back in the day lol. I’ll browse more on your website and check out our retro gaming gadgets. I’ll have my daughter check them out and see which ones to try. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Thank you Sheila glad to be of service. 🙂 I will always do my best to keep the memories alive.
      I hope you both will appreciate my other posts.

      Reply
  27. Funmi

    I am not a gamer but I can tell you I have had my fair share of being ignored by boyfriends and colleagues while playing a game. LOL. Reading through your article I think I will be able to add some comments when they start talking about their “latest game”. I am just curious to know how you work around not getting too addicted to these games. I am really concerned about that for my kids hence why I haven’t bought one for them yet. What do you suggest?

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Funmi and thanks for your comment, I am glad you enjoyed my post.
      Regarding your question, well my eldest kid James said it best in response to a comment made on one of his articles on this very website: “Thank you very much for your comment Paul, you are very kind.
      I have similar memories, apart from the amount of hours. My father would never allow me to play for 15+ hours., not even 10 or 5.
      He has always told me ‘the magic formula for having fun is: play some, play often.’
      I am allowed to play 1,30 hours a day on a school day and 3 hours a day on holidays. It is not that bad anyway…. For instance when I play an rpg it takes me months to beat it and I enjoy it more.”

      Hope that answers your question. 🙂

      Reply
  28. Shui Hyen

    Hi Andrew,

    Thank you for the C64 Mini Review.

    I love this product, got it on last Christmas, l managed to get the C64 mini up and running, great interface, very simple to use and operate as well to upgrade. The games is easy play that you know and love and have your kids jaw be on the floor looking at the old games going why does it look like that and having to say “This was state of the art for home entertainment in 1984!

    Never Forget:)

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Shui and thanks for your nice comment.
      I perfectly know what you mean, this is what happens when James’s friends come to our house to play and he shows them the old games we are fond of. Funny, unforgettable moments, but the best part is that they actually end up loving them too.
      The Commodore 64 is a true milestone.
      Thanks again for stopping by, please stay tuned for more retro reviews!

      Reply
  29. Aweda Olakunle

    I remember the good old days. Playing games was the only thing I knew best. I never owned a commodore 64 during my childhood but the way you described it makes me feel I missed a lot. So I would love to get this new release. Thanks for the memories and the great review. Your site is a good place to find old games remakes.

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Aweda and thanks for your comment and the compliment.
      Yeah, like I said, the Commodore 64 was a milestone and this new release with its numerous titles will certainly give you a taste of what you missed.
      I hope you keep coming for more retro posts.

      Reply
  30. Barbara

    I really love this kind of retro games platforms. I always tell my son, in my times’ things were better and he always looks at me while playing on the PS$ like I don’t know what I am talking about, so this is gonna be my gift to him for his birthday. Love the games, love the retro aspect and if he is not happy, I am going to be a very happy mum and feel like I ma going back in time. Thank you for your review.

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Barbara, yours is a nice, fun comment, thank you very much.
      I hope your son appreciates your gift, so you will have a great time together. 🙂
      Stay tuned for more retro reviews!

      Reply
  31. John Mullen

    Wow does this ever take me back to a time when Pong was still getting played and the new consoles started coming out everywhere. I had an Atari back then and we would play those games for hours on end. My friend had a C64 but his was a computer style and I never really played that very much. It’s crazy to think these sold for hundreds of dollars in their prime time and now you can get a remake for $49., now that’s a great deal.

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello John and thanks for stopping by.
      Back then such machines were the state of the art for home entertainment, as another commenter rightly said. I have to say they made us pay every “bit” of innovation.
      Fortunately we can now get one for even less than 49$ today (I saw it on sale for 39$ on Ebay), so you finally have a chance to see the gaming side of the Commodore 64. 🙂 Still worth, after all these years.
      Thanks again for your comment, stay tuned for more retro reviews!

      Reply
  32. Olalekan

    Man you really took to memory lane when I was growing up. I really loved video games, Nintendo, Sega was my favorite. Couldn’t  just leave tv. It was a memorable experience to have growing up as a child. Never played the C4 but with this review I will get one and enjoy it on my leisure. Looks like I missed a lot.

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Olalekan and thanks for leaving a comment.
      Well, I am glad you enjoyed my review and even gladder it made you want to get a C64 yourself.
      Please let me know how it goes, I am sure you are going to like it!

      Reply
  33. charles39

    I am not a gamer myself but having said I feel you have a very deep love for C64, I have a young son who has loves games and he told me about this C64 console. I don’t know what kind of game it was but know I do have a good and great picture. I had not even figured out it was a remake of an old home computer. So next time I am giving his beloved C64.

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Charles and thanks for your comment,
      Correct I truly love the Commodore 64 and it will always have a special place in my gamer’s heart.
      Glad to hear your son is interested in it and that you are going to buy him one. Please let me know how it goes! 🙂

      Reply
  34. Nuttanee

    This brought back so many good memories. I love Donkey Kong and Bubble Bobble! My other guilty pleasure game was a paperboy lol I kept hitting the homeowners with the paper just for fun. The console looks compact, how many games does it come with? This console will be so perfect if I host a house party, they will keep fighting for it. Thanks for the review. 

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Nuttanee and thanks for stopping by again.
      I have never been that good at Donkey Kong, but Bubble Bobble is one of my favourite games ever, both the C64 and the Arcade version. Regarding Paperboy, my kid James shares the same passion as you lol.
      Seriously, the C64 Mini comes with 64 games. You can find an infographic featuring the whole list in the post. 🙂
      Glad to have you as a regular, until next post!

      Reply
  35. Vapz

    Perfect!  My 9year old had been on and on about the C64 and I decided to look for reviews to see if it was OK and this imperfect time machine, a mini C64 review popped up. Well, after reading your enthusiastic review about it, I must say, I am encouraged to go for it instead of a new bicycle. I was wondering though, do you think kids really need to play all these video games? If yes, what are your reasons? 

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Vapz and thanks for leaving a comment.
      Glad my review encouraged you to buy a C64 Mini.
      Regarding your question, no I do not think kids really need to play all these video games, but they can be a complementary pastime to sport, music, getting out in the open air and other hobbies and activities. If they play the video games they like without spending an excessive amount much time on them, they can have a lot of fun and live an absolutely healthy lifestyle.
      Thanks again for dropping by, I hope you keep coming for other retro posts.

      Reply
  36. Alblue

    It looks like “nostalgia” as the new trend in gaming is being used very good by most of gaming companies. My first retro gaming console is Nintendo 64 system. I remember playing Contra and Super Mario almost every time I reboot the console. Which is older between Nintendo 64 and Commodore 64? Thanks for your answer

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Allblue and thanks for leaving a comment.
      Yes, they are riding the tide, no doubt about that, but as an avid retro gamer I am glad, because more and more people get to know the old classics. My mission is keeping the memories alive and remakes certainly do not do any harm. 😉
      Regarding your question, the Commodore 64 is a lot older than the Nintendo 64… It is 14 years its senior.
      The former was released in 1982, the latter in 1996.
      Thanks again for dropping by, please stay tuned for more retro reviews.

      Reply
  37. Jean

    Hi Andrew, Wow, talk about a “Blast from the Past”. I’m embarrassed to tell you that I had one of the original “Pong” games. I was an adult already but my brother bought it for me as a joke because I was going to college to learn about computers. I passed it down to my son and he has become the gamer in the family. Your writing of this product clearly shows your love for it. You have put together a very heart warming story and written it in a very easy to read and entertaining manner. You said that you didn’t like the joystick. Did you write a review on their site telling them why you didn’t like it and what you think would make it more user friendly? Maybe if they get enough complaints, they will eventually make one that is more functional. Anyways, it’s a great site and I will keep coming back for more.

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Jean and thanks for your nice comment and the compliment. 🙂
      Yeah I love the Commodore 64 and I am over the moon that a remake has been released.
      Actually you gave me a brilliant suggestion, I had not thought about it, but contacting them directly could help.
      It could be said though, that they made a clear boner in this regard… For one thing, how could they make such a short cable?
      In any case, I am going to politely voice my opinion and if they reply, I will let you and everyone else know.
      Thanks again for stopping by, glad you are going to be a regular!

      Reply
  38. Eden

    A great review on the remake of the C64. I am not familiar with this console, before my time, although I played when I was younger on some older consoles like the Gameboy and the Gamecube. It seems to me even around the time of C64, gaming was quite advanced and so many people had hours of fun on them. It is good that they released the remake, where memories can be relived and also newer gamers can see more of the gaming past. 

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Eden and thanks for stopping by again.
      Correct, the Commodore 64 remake helps keeping the memories alive… Let us say my mission is a tad easier now. 😉
      The Commodore 64 was a real milestone, it is amazing how many kids from 80s vividly fondly remember it.
      Glad to have you as a regular!

      Reply
  39. Shellykh

    Fun article. I was a gamer and the first game was the Nintendo NES and some other 8bit consoles that I dont remember the name of. But I know that I’ve never heard of the c64 or the Amiga. But reading this article bring memory lane back to the 1990’s. Joysticks does make a difference in gaming experience and I can understand your frustration but it is good to know that a usb joystick can get you out of trouble. We own an arcade with a tank game by Atari. Super fun at the time

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Shelly and thanks for your comment.
      Differently from you I learned about the existence of gaming consoles only when I was a late teenager. Until that time I was only arcade and a home computer gamer
      Yeah, the joystick thing is frustrating, but it is important to highlight and let people know that a usb joystick can save the day.
      For instance, one of my friends put the C64 Mini for sale two days after buying it, because he had enough of the default joystick.
      I got to know that when he had already sold it and now he is not going to buy it again. What a pity… He really loved the Commodore 64 back then but he is also the kind of guy who wants no hassle. So again, by spreading the word, real fans can easily find a way around before they make drastic decisions.
      Thanks again for stopping by, I hope you keep coming for more retro reviews.

      Reply
  40. Michael

    This is an interesting post because it really brought back the back memories.

    When I was younger, i spent the lion part of my time playing video games. I grew up playing Sega and nitendo games. C64 had always been an interesting gaming console even in the years back. It is cool seeing a retro version of it. I think i have to dig out back those days and give this new remake a trial. 

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello Michael and thanks for your comment.
      I am glad my review made you want to give the C64 Mini a trial, please let me know how it goes. Memories never die… 😉
      Stay tuned for more retro reviews!

      Reply
  41. David Chambers

    Having to buy a USB stick, a half way decent controller most likely a USB extension cable for said controller is initially quite irritating, but when you finally have the C64 Mini set up the way you want it with easy access to the entire library of software, it works like a dream. I have only recently bought mine so I am well and truly still in the “honeymoon” period of ownership, but even after the novelty has worn off I can see myself regularly using this, at least until the full sized version is made available. My play time is divided up by into rediscovering the games I grew up playing, discovering gems that I missed back in the day, or buying brand new releases online that benefit from over 20 years of game design evolution, resulting in titles that are generally less challenging and frustrating than their 80’s counterparts. Some C64 purists may well stick their nose up at this little machine, but for casual fans I really couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

    Reply
    1. Andrew A. Post author

      Hello David and thanks for your nice comment.
      I agree with you, the extra accessories that you mentioned are definitely worth the purchase. You know, I am a purist too, but I am also a realist, so I know for a fact that the second (if we are lucky), third, fourth-hand (and more) Commodore 64 still for sale are far from working flawless. And sadly the same goes for many retro machines.
      On such grounds, how could we get new generations into retro gaming? So personally, I am all for gaming console remakes, bring on more and more of them!
      Thanks again for dropping by, I hope you stay tuned for more retro stuff!

      Reply

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