Powerglove coming to Amiga
You may or may not have heard of Powerglove, a Commodore 64 homebrew title released back in 2014. Well excitingly for Amigans like myself, developer Lazy Cow (aka Matthias Bock) is currently working on an Amiga-enhanced version and has released a non-playable teaser that can be downloaded from his webpage.
Or you can watch my video of it in action below – you’ve got to love that music!
The game is set in a polar subterranean power station that supplies the entire world’s energy demands. An explosion has caused the reactors to malfunction and all contact with the engineers has been lost. Without an energy supply the death of billions is imminent! Looks like it’s up to you to don your powersuit, get in there and find the five control diamonds needed to engage the station’s backup systems. No pressure then.
Powerglove is a classic-style run-and-gun 2D platformer with an enjoyable exploration element. It features a huge and open-ended five-level map, with different areas linked together via transport tubes. Not only do you need to scour this cavernous complex for the diamonds, but you also need to find keys to unlock the other zones. But of course there are a variety of rogue maintenance robots to contend with, each posing a different type of threat. Though nothing that your trusty powerglove can’t vaporise. Also helping you out is an assortment of power-ups scattered about the place, including some funky powerboots.
It’s is a fun and challenging little number that skilfully captures magic and nostalgia of classic 8-bit platformers.
Powerglove was originally created as an entry for the 2013 RGCD 16K C64 Game Development Competition (where it finished third out of 15 entries). The “final version” was eventually released on 16Kb physical cartridge as well made available as a digital download for use with emulators such as VICE. Both complete with additional content and features over the original, including a fabulous chiptune soundtrack by Cyborgjeff. The boxed edition also sports a poster, map and vinyl stickers, just like in the good old days!
For those of us without a C64 or just too bone idle to set-up an emulator (i.e. me, though it is on my ever-growing list of things to do!), Lazycow has also produced a version for Windows, Mac and Linux that can be downloaded from itch.io here. However, this edition does feature some minor enhancements such as parallax scrolling, gamepad support and optional pimped sprite work (see screenshot above). It is listed as “name your own price”, so if you do enjoy it you should probably make a small contribution.
Now as I mentioned at the beginning, an Amiga version is on its way. Lazycow is actually an experienced Amiga programmer, having made several accomplished PD titles back in the day, and this looks as though it could be the definite edition thanks to enhanced visuals and sound. The teaser demonstrates significantly more colourful and detailed sprites and backgrounds, nicer parallax scrolling, and richer audio that makes full use of the Amiga’s sample-based four-channel hardware, including some digitised speech. Lazycow tells me that he might be finished by the end of summer with hope of a winter release. Can’t wait. You can read the developer diary here, though it does get quite technical!
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