Commodore 64 DTV (Direct to TV) Game review

3 out of 5
£25

For

30 games to play, easy to connect to television

Against

Needs four AA batteries to work, graphics really were rubbish in the good old days

Remember the Commodore 64? Those classic gaming moments playing Speedball, or knackering your hands running the 1500 metres in Summer Games? Following Commodore's sale last month the new owners have released a console that plugs directly into your television so you can relive all those moments again.

Sounds great doesn't it, and with a list of over 30 games to choose from including Speedball, Winter Games, Summer Games, Impossible Mission, World Karate Championship A, Zynaps and Sumo-wrestling to name but a few, there is bound to a be at least one game that excites you. The trouble is, like every other retro gaming console that has been released in the last year, it's likely to amount to a five-minute wonder and then a life of eternity in the cupboard under the stairs.

The formula is a bit staid now. The unit is designed around an old C64 Competition Pro 5000 joystick and after loading it with four AA batteries (not included) you can plug it directly into the television and away you go.

The games themselves are the original versions rather than emulations, with graphics that look like they've come from the dark ages. And it's here that you see the C64 Direct-to-Television's strengths and weaknesses in one foul swoop.

On the one side the memories and nostalgia come flooding back, on the other you realise, as I am sure we will in twenty years' time with today's latest games, that the quality of graphics back then was appalling.

Verdict

So what is a gadgeteer gamer to do? Our advice is to quell your urges to relive your childhood gaming and go and buy the latest game for your current console and enjoy it. Yes the games on this device are classic and yes for the most part the game play is original and good, but at least you'll be able to trade in the latest game once you've finished it.

This device is only for the retro gamer assured that it won't be a five-minute wonder but who doesn't want to drag the old kit out of the loft and find a spare TV. For the rest of us, expect to see a flood of these at boot sales in 6 months time.