I have only just got a Commodore 64 working with a fastload and SD2IEC so I was eager to try something on it. Gorf was a game I had heard of but never played before, so that was the chosen game to test the machine for a while. First impressions after the loading and intro screens were not favourable, this is a poor mans Space Invaders I thought. I was wrong, and how.
Yes the first round of Gorf is very like Space Invaders, but it is a fair version with a few tweaks, the barrier blinks off when you fire and the invaders move slower. Then round two starts and you have a Galaxians feel to it, but there are two groups of aliens with only one ship firing in each but with a lasting laser beam where they sit so you have to wait till you can get in to shoot but then they all move, take that one shooter out and the others dive bomb you until they all die.
Level 3 is a vortex which shoots out a spiralling ship which in turn fires energy bombs which can’t be shot, once these ships are depleted the 4th level has a ship moving back and forth which can only be killed by hitting the red heart of it which is shielded, and it is also on the offensive as it goes across back and forth. After this you return to level one, but it’s faster and more bullets come your way, ditto with the other levels as before, and each time you make it through all four the level us cranked up another notch.
Coming from a Spectrum background the C64 graphics and sound really are quite good, multiple colours, no clash, multiple channel sounds too. As good as the comparison goes though, the sound is not as great as some C64 games but is in keeping with the arcade style games of the time, as are the graphics.
The all important gameplay is pitched just right to ease you into Gorf to get you started, and ramp it up to keep the challenge going. You never feel a death was anything other than your own fault for not being quick enough or taking too many chances. Controls give you four direction movement and fire using a keyboard or joystick.
So Gorf is a great game to play on the Commodore 64 with good levels and perfect difficulty grading, it also has that “one more go” thing going on as you try to beat your own high scores.