A downloadable game

NewsStand is a new game for Commodore 64 (made by AGPX and Phobos), in which our hero Joseph has to collect the money in order to buy cassette tapes with the legendary games for the C64, but many enemies will try to stop him! In Italy, in the 80s, these cassettes were sold on newsstands and it was a thrill every time to return home and try them all. In memory of those magical moments, we made this video game.

Currently the "PAL - Italian" and "PAL - English" versions are available (the NTSC version has slowdown problems in some areas of the game, due to the fact that in the NTSC system we have less CPU time available to race with the rasterbeam and will not be released).

The graphics and animations are entirely made by Phobos with the C64 Graphics Maker:

Sound effects are made by Phobos with Sid Sfx Editor:

The game consists of 2 floppy disks for 1541 (A and B).

Teaser trailer (english): 

Teaser trailer (italian): 


Release notes:

v1.1.0: Added the ability to retry the current level. Increased the total time of some levels.
v1.0.3: Minor improvement in level 3.
v1.0.2: Improved Frida and final boss collision detection.
v1.0.1: Small fix in the level 2.


Extra info:

I like to add some technical details (also to answer the recurring question about the lack of realization of the NTSC version):

1) Almost every moving object on the screen is multicolor and hires (320 x 200) and this requires you to use multiple sprites, overlapped. Only the player consists (see the C64 Graphics Maker screenshot above) of 3 overlapping sprites. This layering makes the sprite multiplexer more complicated (we have up to 15 sprites in some screens). For example, the 3 player sprites must be chosen so as to respect the layer order (by design, hardware sprite 0 is on top of all, sprite 1 on top of all others except 0, and so on, so you can't pick them in any order as in the standard algorithm). In level 3, to complicate matters, we have the rain which is nothing more than a sprite that moves rapidly across the screen (reducing the hardware sprites available to the multiplexer to 7).

2) Phobos made a lot of sprites. Level 3 contains 183 (for a total of 11.4Kb). Adding the color memory (1Kb) and the bitmap with its attributes (9Kb), we need almost 21.5Kb. As everyone knows, the VIC-II is not able to see more than 16Kb at a time and therefore I had to implement a sprite caching system (with LRU strategy), where the required sprites are copied in to the remaining 6Kb of the 16Kb (considering the bitmap). To reduce consumption, sprites were drawn in only one direction and then the sprite engine flips them on-the-fly, eventually storing them in the cache in order to avoid the recomputation in near frames.

3) The various screens have been made using 2x2 tiles which increases memory consumption a little, but leaves more freedom in drawing.

4) The game has many variations, not only from level to level, but also from screen to screen the game logic requires some customization. This increases the consumption of RAM and for this reason it's necessary that the game is broken into various parts to be loaded (from disk). The .prg files are big, as I filled almost all 64Kb of RAM in each level. The turbo disk would have been useful, but I haven't had the time to study it or figure out how to add it.

5) In level 4, the degree of customization is maximum. Apart from the player that drives a drone, I had to implement the "Frida" engine that allows her to chase you in the environment, jumping over holes or stopping at the border, decide on which corridor to chase the drone, jump on various objects, dodge bombs of the drone, stop waiting for the right moment and jump up to grab her prey. It wasn't easy at all, probably the hardest part of the whole game (but the game designer was intransigent :-).

6) In other screens you can see bombs or objects thrown with a parabolic motion, which requires fixed point multiplications.

7) I chose not to use GoatTracker 2 for the sound effects, instead relying on my Sid Sfx Editor, because it was easier to implement a sound engine capable of dynamically allocating the 3 voices, offering a priority playback system (less important sounds are stopped or not played at all if there's no free voice in that moment) and offers much more control as it allows you to easily understand which sounds are being played, on which voices and others.

8) Victory screen, with scrolling text, consists of a 320 x 200 16 color screen using Algotech's MUCSU HIRES CONVERTER.

9) In the main screen, in the credits part, the text is hires and use 3 different colors per row.

Rated 4.4 out of 5 stars
(5 total ratings)
Tagscassette, Commodore 64, game, tapes
Average sessionA few minutes
LanguagesEnglish, Italian


NewsStand_EN_PAL v1.1.zip 319 kB
NewsStand_IT_PAL v1.1.zip 314 kB

Development log


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NewsStand is a technically impressive, very colorful game. The humor is great if you were a  kid in 80-90es, but it has a few touches to make it more understandable to the modern audience.
Graphics are extremely colorful. Sprites are rich of details and colors, there is background animation, and the background itself is very detailed.
The title screen music is quite catchy. The levels mostly have sound effect only, but I think that's appropriate since some menaces can be detected by sound way easier.
The game is difficult, sometimes downright annoying and counter-intuitive, but it feels to me that was by design, as a lot of the games of that time period were exactly like that. This one has good controls though, so you can't blame anyone but yourself if you die :)

All in all, well done, guys!



very good

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Excellent thank you! ;-)


we talked about this game in our homebrew podcast New Game Old Flame. Go have a listen: https://www.newgameoldflame.com/episode/2023/30/sauna_beans/

this is one hard as hell game. time limit and few lives means you'll have to restart a lot. i would not mind an easy mode without time limit and with more lives :) that said, i think the game is very good.


Hello, a great game. Could you please create a .d81 version?  I tried creating one by putting all the files in a .d81 file, but I have no way to test it. Thanks!

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It should work out of the box (not tested), because the loader doesn't check which side of the disk is inserted by looking at disk name or anything else, it just looks for the .prg file it needs and if it doesn't find it, it assumes we are on the other disk. So, if you have all the files in the same disk, it should works.

Great! Thanks for the info.


there;s a CRT version now which mitigates the loading times. Check CSDB

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Very nice and funny designed, but hard game with many allusions to various life situations. Our German-language review can be found in our recorded livestream starting at 00:38:35. Automatic subtitles should be available soon (switch on, if necessary). Subscription to our YouTube or Twitch channel is welcome. 🙂

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Just had a quick go on a real C64. It's lovely!! Love the concept and am looking forward to playing more. Congratulations!



Awesome game !


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long loading times on this one. graphics seem nice though.


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On real C64, yes, no turbo disk. On most emulators, you can reduce loading times close to zero.

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Really enjoying News Stand, it's tough, but still great fun to learn to solve the puzzles.  Graphics are great, and controls are perfect. Great work.



Sto cercando di giocarlo su The C64 maxi ma il caricamento non riesce.

Consigli oppure non è compatibile con questa macchina? 

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Salve, si funziona perfettamente, appena provato.


Ok ho risolto, fatto partire su The C64, commettevo io un errore! Gioco molto suggestivo e pieno di riferimenti al mondo della passione videoludica 80/90. Complimenti anche se molto difficile e punitivo, cercherò di fare il più possibile senza accedere ai save state.

Shame about not being able to release the NTSC version of this C-64 game.  But thanks to WinVICE I'll probably get to play NewsStand soon enough (thanks for releasing this).


I've a NTSC version but in some parts we've a slowdown that I consider unacceptable. It's a common problem for the NTSC (read here for a discussion about it: https://www.lemon64.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=70355)

For us non-PAL people, between WinVICE and THE C64 models, we can do just fine with PAL.

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I had a lot of fun with this game! So many funny moments. Here is a full playthrough without losing any lives.

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Thanks to your video I realized that there are 2 bugs in the game: it's not possible to run over Frida in the corridor, as well as it's not possible to avoid the blade so easily in the final level by always crouching near the mega robot. These 2 bugs are fixed in version 1.0.2 that I've published just now. However, compliments for your ability!


Thank you! That wasn't the first time a developer fixed bugs after watching one of my longplays ;)


Compliments ! A beautiful game with attention to detail.  😉👍
(Complimenti ! Un bel gioco curatissimo nei dettagli.)


very good game,please spanish version


Nice game!



Hello 🙂 Is this the full version of the game ? It looks promising 🙂

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Yes, it's but I've published some fixes just now.