Since the game now runs on some 20 different platforms, I’m often asked “which version is the best?” Well, the simple answer I usually give is, “the best version is the one that runs on your favorite platform!” So if you’re an Apple guy, the Apple version is best, if you’re a Commodore guy, then the Commodore version is best, and so on. And that generally holds true. In fact, the C128 version is my personal favorite.
But, what if you weren’t familiar with any vintage platforms and you were just interested in trying out the game? Or maybe you have multiple vintage systems and you’re not sure which one of those is the best experience for this particular game? That being the case, I have ranked them all here for you from best to worst, based on my own experience and opinions. Only mostly-finished or finished ports are listed.
Here’s a comparison video showing all 18 versions.
That being said, I think the game is enjoyable on all platforms, and sometimes you have to take some context in mind. For example, the PET is rated towards the bottom. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a great game for the PET. In fact, I think it’s one of the best. It’s just hard for a PET to compete with an Amiga, for example.
- Sega Genesis
- Super Nintendo / Super Famicom
- MS-DOS (VGA+AdLib)
- Commodore Amiga
- Sony PlayStation Portable
- Commodore 128
- Commodore 64 REU
- Commander X16
- Atari 7800
- Commodore Plus/4
- Commodore 64
- Apple II
- MS-DOS (CGA+PC Speaker)
- Oric 1 / Oric Atmos
- Atari 800
- Commodore PET
- Commodore VIC-20
- Sinclair ZX-Spectrum
Some of those were tough to decide. Some people may even disagree. For example, the Plus/4 vs. the C64 version. The C64 has better music, and some of the graphics look better. But the Plus/4 has a better intro screen and better map. So, it’s kind of a tie. Same with the C128 and C64-REU version. They’re virtually identical. The C128 wins because it has faster disk access and dual-monitor support. The VIC-20 and PET version just about tie as well. The VIC-20 has color, which is huge. But the PET has a larger player area, more maps, more easter eggs, and of course a live-map.
So anyway, there you have it. Even though the game was originally designed on the PET, there are 9 other platforms which now play the game better than the original.
In time I’ll be adding these to the rankings when they are completed. It’s not fair to compare complete games against incomplete ones.
- Nintendo NES
- Nintendo SNES
- Tandy Color Computer 3
I love the Sega genesis version
Can we expect Amstrad version?
Spectrum version would be relatively easy to port to another z80 system like an Amstrad or MSX
I am very interested in the Genesis version of the game. Problem… I’m based in the UK. So I’m toying with the different options.
1) Is the game playable on the Sega Mega Drive Mini using Hackchi?
2) Is the game playable on a PAL Sega Mega Drive and seeing as a UK Mega Drive runs slower will it ruin my experience?
3) Can you ship to the UK and how much does it cost?
Look forward to hearing from you. Keep up the fantastic work. It looks a great game and I hope I can play it either on the standard Mega Drive or the Mini (which runs the same across all regions).
I’m not familiar with Hackchi. It should work on a PAL Megadrive according to the developer, but I haven’t personally tested that as I don’t have a PAL machine. Yes, I ship to the UK. Shipping will be $15.
I think petscii robots version 2 is the best. The one with more robots, more weapons, new maps etc, you know, the one you have yet to make 🙂
Just wondering if there is a possibility for a few more ports, like the PC-98, X68000, MSX, Famicom Disk System, Osborne, PS2 3DO, SNK Neo-Geo, Turbografix-16, Mega CD32 (or just Sega 32X), Master System, Game Boy (or GBA), BBC Micro, Amstrad, ZX81, Atari ST, Jaguar or Lynx and/or the
68k Macintosh computers (later ones, or perhaps early PowerPC ones)?
If somebody wants to make them, sure.. but I’m not going to be involved. Also some of the computers you mentioned have been looked at and determined that it is simply not possible to port, such as the BBC Micro and ZX81. There just isn’t enough RAM.
Thanks for posting this video, I’ve wanted to check out this game, and was excited to see that this was available for PSP! That means this can also be played on a PS Vita or PS Vita TV if properly modded. I was able to boot up the game just fine after downloading it from your site and moving it over to my vita. I also own a PSP but haven’t pulled that out in a long time since the Vita can do double duty.
Put me down for the snes vision please and a vinyl record…uk pal vitriol
LOVE this project – it’s become huge! Idea: as I’m using several old machines I’d be highly interested in buying more than one version. So I thought it would be fantastic to buy several different versions for a special price – or if that’s a problem for your store – to get ALL versions for a special price. Cheers from Germany and keep up your brilliant work!
I’m sure if you send me a private email we can work something out.
The PET-version is the most impressive on a technical/programming standpoint. I enjoy playing it very much as there is much beauty and elegance in it’s most basic form. Without any doubt it’s the best version that ever graced the PET. My favourite version is either the Amiga- or the C128- version. I really love the very helpful map and the colourful depiction of the action.
I’ll definitively buy the Sega Genesis-version next. And the DOS-version too.
Im really excited for the Genesis version as it’s the only one I can technically play on real hardware. (I do own a VIC-20 and Datasette, but no disk drive or RAM expander.)
I think I am using version 1.2 these.
C128 Pro: Map screen and all 14 levels. Con: Some of the ground/grass graphics are to busy. (Not a fault of the game but VICE is unable to restore correctly from snapshot.)
Amiga Pro: Excellent graphics sound and map screen, all 14 maps. Con: Music track seems not changeable. Prevents Amiga-Forever from saving a snapshot.
C64 REU: Pro: Like the larger map view and contains all levels. Con: Some of the ground/grass graphics are to busy.
C64: Pro: Like the graphics and play speed. VICE can reload from a snapshot. Con: Short one level. Map view a little small but better than having nothing.
Would like to see C64 v1.3 that has all 14 levels, larger map screen like the REU version and supports the REU but keeps using text mode. Use *.d81 file only.
Thank you for creating this game and for all the others who have worked on ports. Looking forward to the MS-DOS version.
One thing we originally wanted to do on the C128 and C64REU versions was to have user-selectable tiles like on the Apple II version. We wanted to have a hi-res mode and multi-color mode. But we never got around to creating the hi-res graphics. They would have had a similar look to the text mode due to color limitations, but with maybe a bit more detail in some areas.
I have the Apple II (with Mockingboard) and VIC-20 (with SNES controller) versions and I enjoy them both very much. Planning on getting the DOS version as I have a Tandy TX with a VGA card but wondering if Tandy sound will be supported?
I haven’t decided on Tandy sound yet. But Tandy Graphics is almost a no-brainer since it doesn’t require much work to support it.
Genesis > Amiga in my opinion, swapping items is better with the menu and you can move objects more easily, but I don’t like the control to use bomb, because I keep pushing the button to use the item (as I’m use to press a button to confirm my choice) so instead of placing the item, it laid a second bomb and I blow myself up! Happens every time, I can’t wrap my head around this for some reason.
Otherwise I like the Genesis music, mechanics and 2 players mode better.
Hello 8-Bit Guy. Great Content as always. Have you ever thought of porting it to Android Phones or for a challenge port it to a TI-84 calculator.
I really liked your videos where you go through the development of the game and how you optimize it. It would be cool to see another devlog discussing the difficulties each port had.
Which is the best (C64 or REU) version of PETCSII for the retrogames TheC64 orMini or maxi? I would like to play the game from an SDCARD. I already have both Planet X2 and X3.
Those devices do have REU support. But you probably have to make a configuration file for the game to run that way. I don’t have that handy. So, the REU version would look best. But the standard version would be easiest to get running.
Hello 8-Bit Guy!
I’ve been running Petscii Robots both on my C64 and my C64C, and although it looked milder on the C64C, I noticed some serious color fringing issues. I’ve asked around online and I’ve been told that since the game was created for NTSC computers, running it on a PAL machine might make it misbehave like this. That’s something I didn’t consider this at all when I purchased it, and I am, indeed, running it on PAL machines. Can you confirm this hypothesis and you have any idea whether this problem is fixable at all?
Thank you in advance
The game uses a lot of single-pixel or alternating pixel graphics…. on a lot of composite monitors it can create weird artifacts. If you use a Commodore monitor with LCA mode, it should look fine.
Am I crazy, where can we get the dos version? You have it listed but nowhere to buy. Is it still in development? Otherwise will need to settle for psp I think.
DOS version isn’t finished yet.
If no one has tackled it by then, I’d like to take a crack at porting it to the Mac 68k (specifically, SE/30). I got one fairly recently and I want to learn to do some programming on it.
Once I get enough experience up, if you don’t mind, I’ll get in touch with you and if nobody’s done it yet, give it a try.
Any chance one of these might be included on an upcoming Evercade cartridge?
Any chance the DOS version can be updated with General MDI, Roland Sound Canvas and MT32 support?
Hello David, would you consider bringing it over to say something like the Nintendo Switch Eshop as a retro style indie game. I know a ton of people that would be interested including myself. I realize I have no real understanding of how much work that would potentially be, just curious if thats something that would even be possible?