‘C64’ v2.0 with BASIC Now Available, What’s Next Details

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Last week we reported that, thanks to Apple recently relaxing its iOS SDK agreement, Manomio submitted a major 2.0 update of Commodore 64, their C64 emulator / game system, to the App Store with BASIC reenabled (and fingers crossed). We’re happy to report that the app has been approved and is now available for download [link].

I had a chat with developer Stuart Carnie yesterday, shortly after he received word from Apple that Commodore 64 v2.0 was approved, during which he shared further details concerning this notable update.

With BASIC back, so too is the full C64 keyboard. Carnie is excited about the prospect of users having full and complete access to every game presented, which, in some games, can only happen when a full keyboard is available. And, while it’s here in v2.0, the keyboard hasn’t gotten any attention since it was removed back in November and, as such, a near-term update will address the absence of a few missing keys (semi-colon, colon) as well as a lock mode for the RUNSTOP, C=, and SHIFT keys, to use in conjunction with others.

A bit further out will come cycle-exact emulation on newer hardware (ARMv7), to resolve digital sound issues with Space Taxi and enable a few free games from Beam Software, such as Exploding Fist.

We’ve seen a lot of anticipation from readers for an iPad version of C64, and Carnie tells us that it’s big on the roadmap. Thanks to Apple allowing BASIC, he really wants to create a great experience for iPad users wanting to experiment with the language, including a finely tuned keyboard and even Bluetooth support. “Think ‘full’ C64 experience," says Carnie. Due to Manomio’s work on the upcoming Amiga classic titles, these more significant upgrades are slated for release next year — and we can’t wait.

As for additional games on the horizon, Carnie was able to reveal that they’re in the progress of bringing several more Thalamus titles on-board: Creatures I and II and Retrograde. Also on the way is MYTH: History in the Making from System 3, which requires emulated 1541 floppy drive support and a disk-swapping user interface (which is already in the system).

Thanks to Apple for their relaxed stance on the SDK agreement and thanks to the folks at Manomio for giving retro fans like myself so much sweet candy to enjoy.

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