Finnish Commodore 64 games
Commodore 64 – advertised as the computer of the nation – was a very popular computer in Finland towards the end of the 1980s. The largest group of home computer users was gamers, and the great number of games available on the Commodore played a key part in its popularity. What also affected the popularity of the Commodore was its importer PCI-Data’s marketing tactics that made the brand known to many. The computer was sold more per capita in Finland than anywhere else in the world.
Games developed by Finns were often made by one coder. What sometimes started off as a hobby became a commercial success. The most known Finnish game developers were Stavros Fasoulas and Jukka Tapanimäki who both worked for foreign companies. The games that they developed included, for example, Sanxion and Quedex by Fasoulas, and Netherworld and Zamzara by Tapanimäki. The most well-known domestic game publisher was Amersoft, who published the first commercial Finnish game for the Commodore 64, RahaRuhtinas.
Games were acquired by buying them from the store, getting them directly from the developer himself, or by copying from friends. Games developed by amateur developers were also published as code lists in magazines like MikroBitti and Floppy Magazine. Games and programs were also distributed by the radio, where the program code was recorded on a cassette tape at home.
- Main article: Amersoft
Amersoft was a part of multi-industry Amer concern, and became known as a book publisher as well as a game publisher. The company published a dozen or so games for Commodore computers, out of which the most well known one was Uuno Turhapuro muuttaa maalle which was based on a movie by the same name. Afrikan Tähti (The Star of Africa), published in 1985, was the first domestic licensed game and RahaRuhtinas was the first commercial Commodore 64 game.
- Main article: T&T-SOFT
T&T-SOFT was a small game development company from eastern Finland, founded by Timo Rutanen and Tuomas Salste. Their main products were text adventure games. Antti Rauhala from Savonlinna also developed one game for them. T&T-SOFT operated between the years 1987-1991 during which time the company published 13 text adventure games for the Commodore 64, two agent games that were developed with character graphics, plus an office software package.
- Main article: Triosoft
Triosoft bought the rights for a game called Aikaetsivä by Jukka Tapanimäki, but they never actually published it.
Weilin+Göös published a game for the Commodore 64 in 1984 called Tietomestari, which was a Finnish translation by Juha Veijalainen from the original game by Ivan Berg Software.
Most Famous Game Developers
- Main article: Jukka Tapanimäki
Jukka Tapanimäki was one of the most well-known Commodore 64 game developers. Triosoft bought the rights for Aikaetsivä but it was never published. Tapanimäki’s first commercial success came with Octapolis, which was a blend of shooting and platform jumping. When developing Netherworld, he started to pay attention to the design of the game, and the end product was a unique game of cave flying that borrowed ideas from Boulder Dash. Netherworld will also be remembered by its cover, which was of Tapanimäki’s face that has been photographed and put on the case, all without his knowledge. Tapanimäki’s third game Zamzara was meant to be a game similar to Mission Impossible, but ended up as an action shooting game by the demand from Hewson. The final game that he developed for the C64 was Moonfall, published in 1991.
- Main article: Stavros Fasoulas
Stavros Fasoulas was one of the most well-known game developers for the Commodore 64. He’s remembered by Sanxion, Delta, and Quedex, which were published by the British company Thalamus. They hired him in 1986 after he attended a PCW conference in London. In November the same year, Sanxion was published. It was the first Finnish game that ended up in the international markets.
Other Game Developers
- Main article: Lasse Öörni
Commodore 64 is a more rare platform for game development these days, but it’s a natural choice for Lasse Öörni, who also goes by the name Cadaver. Together with Olli Niemitalo (Yehar) they formed a group named Covert Bitops, which has been known from BOFH:Servers Under Siege, and Metal Warrior game series. Covert Bitops can be seen as a one-man band, as Niemitalo hasn’t been active in the group for a long time.
Developed the game Uuno Turhapuro muuttaa maalle.
Developed the game RahaRuhtinas.
Developed the game Painterboy.
126 Finnish Commodore 64 Games in 9 Minutes.
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