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Retaliate DX playable demo Commodore C64 review

Updated 26 February 2022

Retrogame coder Marcelo Lv Cabra from Brazil, has taken it upon himself to reinvent the shoot em up gaming genre with Retaliate for the Commodore C64. This is different style of shoot-em-up where you start with no ammo. Confusingly there are two versions available, the CX and DX version. I reveal the differences and why you should be interested in Retaliate.

Commodore 64 Retaliate shoot-em-up game

Why are we playing Retaliate on the Commodore 64?

There are lots of vertical scrolling shooters for the Commodore C64 that follow the tried and true gameplay of shooting everything that moves. Take a look at our Galencia tribute page if you want to how enjoyable this approach is. Retaliate takes a unique twist on this gameplay by forcing you to collect laser bolts in order to fire back and destroy the enemy spaceships.

Retaliate is based on an original game for Android and then reimagined on the Commodore 64. In many ways, Retaliate is the perfect game concept for the Commodore 64. It isn't often that you see an Android game ported to a retrogaming platform. The development path has also been interesting. The Commodore 64 version of Retaliate started as a project for Marcelo Lv Cabra learn assembly language. This is yet more evidence that learning assembler was one of the Top 5 reasons why the Commodore 64 is so popular.

The development of Retaliate on the Commodore 64 has also grown. Development of Retaliate started as a learning project, then it grew into a beta release. It will be released for retail sale on a Commodore C64 cartridge as Retailiate DX.

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Retaliate gameplay

Retaliate is a shoot'em up with a unique twist. You start with no ammunition in your arsenel. Zero, zip, none. Instead, your space craft has a shield that collects laser bolts from enemy space crafts. Then when the time is right, retaliate by shooting the enemy hordes with their own laser bolts.

Loading the game leads to you the title screen that describes tells you about the game and the credits. Press start and you white spaceship starts flying into the first wave of attack. Your natural response is to thumb the fire button like a pro, only to be met the dissapointment of nothingness. It it takes a little while get grasp the concept, but once you are get into the catch and shoot approach, the gameplays is rather fun.

Is Retaliate worth playing?

The final Community Edition game has been released and is avaible for download from Github. I've played the game many times and it grows on you. At first it is frustrating and then you get into the catch and fire approach. This fresh gameplay is rewarding and change your expectations on how a vertical shoot'em up should be played. If you can spare a few bucks then the Retaliate DX edition is even better.


Retaliate screen 1
Retaliate screen 1
Retaliate screen 2
Retaliate screen 2
Retaliate screen 3
Retaliate screen 3


The Retaliate CE game on the Commodore C64 shows that there are still fresh ideas to bring to the the vertical sheet-em up genre. The gameplay is sharp and the graphics are excellent. Be warned that there is a steep learning curve in playing this game. In this case, the procedural style alien attacks help in getting you through this. I like the concept of a Community Edition (CE) and a deluxe edition (DX). The CE version is free and the DX version is only a few dollars and it contains so much more. I think that Retaliate CE stands on its own.

I award the Retaliate CE game on the Commodore a worthy three Angry Aliens™.

Angry Alien Angry Alien Angry Alien

Retailiate download links

Retaliate CE download page

Retaliate CE

Retaliate DX download page

Retaliate DX

Article tags: Vintage Computers Commodore C64 Retrogaming

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