Komoda & Amiga plus
Commodore computers users’ magazine

Sam’s Journey

Saturday, January 20
Dear Diary, it’s been two months since I’ve got you. I remember how angry I was with my mother when she gave you to me. “You’ll be able to write your ideas in it, Sam,” she said. Diary?! It’s a job for old women, and not for a serious man like me, two teeth have already flown out! And I have a pirate disguise with a sharp sword! I’m so sorry, Dear Diary. Now you know that I was wrong. I really like to open you and write down my thoughts and secrets.

Thursday, February 22
Some time ago I wrote about strange sounds coming from my wardrobe… you know, when it was such a dark, terrible night. My parents said that I have a vivid imagination, and a wardrobe is simply a wardrobe. It’s not like that. There is something in there. Yesterday I heard again the knocking, crackling, howling of the wind. And I felt a cold breeze… I have to finish; my mother is calling me for dinner

Saturday, February 24
Something horrible happened tonight. The creaking of the wardrobe woke me up. I turned on the bedside lamp and at the same moment something furry was hiding behind clothes, taking my black ninja warrior outfit. I jumped out of bed and opened the second wing of the door. The hairy thing disappeared! And with it my pirate and astronaut outfit! I ran for my parents, but when I came back with them, everything was in place. Mom hugged me and said it was just a bad dream.

It’s not true! I know what I saw! I’ll find out what’s going on behind this terrible wardrobe and what that hairy hand was!

Knights of Bytes. This name should be long remembered by you. Why? Because this studio has just released the best C64 game. Yes, this is not a printing error. Sam’s Journey is the best game ever released on the C64.

At this point, I could actually finish the review of this production. It does not matter if you played 5 or 50 games. Whether they were platformers, shooters or adventure games. Old, new, quick or slow. Everything is in this one – Sam’s Journey.

The hero can jump, swim, climb, lift objects and throw them. Portable trampolines allow you to get to the higher platforms, and the cannons you encounter can be used as long-range launchers. The costumes found give the hero the ability to achieve unique abilities. A pirate can hack enemies with a sword, a ninja can climb walls, and an astronaut can use a jet pack. Elvis’s outfit is my favorite.

That’s still not everything. There are crystals to find, boxes, keys and, above all, doors to other levels. The game world is gigantic. The Knights of Bytes report that there are 27 multi-screen levels in 14 different scenes and maps of individual lands.

It’s great from the technical side too. Pixelated graphics are not like ordinary C64 games, they raise associations with “serious” titles for current consoles and computers. The background moves smoothly, and Sam is always visible and knows where he will go when jumping, falling or changing the screen. Design of enemies and obstacles also do not stand out from the rest. It is well prepared and thought out. It impresses with its appearance, motion and attack animations, with each opponent being different.

Not forgetting about the music and sound effects. The catchy melody welcomes us in the intro. And gets better. 19 songs throughout the game will make everyone discover their favorite. There is a CD with the soundtrack added to the original Sam’s Journey edition to enjoy music without the need to launch C64.

And at the end of compiling the advantages; 35 years after the premiere of C64, the game breaks with the past and follows the trail of production for modern computers and consoles. The programmers assumed, that playing should be a pleasure, not frustrating. That is why the offered a save state option, checkpoints if you make a mistake, and unlimited lives. In addition, as in the latest games, it is possible to improve your results after completing a given level. Secret passages, alternative ways to complete stages, hidden rewards, all to extend the pleasure of the game.

However, this is not a perfect production. The variety of Sam’s adventures, which is a mix of various game types, for some may not be very original. Not once or twice, when you explore the lands together with Sam you will ask yourself the question “where have I seen this before?”. But can familiarity not be a virtue in this case? We get what is already known and liked. I strongly urge all K&A+ readers to buy Sam’s Journey. It’s really worth it.

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