A few years ago I have met the developers of a puzzle game for the C64 on local retro meetings and afterwards played it on my SX-64 while restoring it. That game is C-2048 by P1X3L.net (hi to ALeX and Retrofan !). I did not know the original by G.Cirulli and to this day have never played it.
However, I also had at the back of my mind back then that it would be a nice challenge to program a game for the memory constraints of the original time – 4096 bytes – and at one point I just knew that ‘2048’ would work perfectly. 2048 bytes luckily was never used on the Vectrex, that would have been a stretch.. 4K was already tight (but comfortable), it has an attract mode, keeps the current high score, nice sounds and (in my eye, of course) looks gorgeous.
Nicely curved vectors, can’t go wrong there.. and most importantly: it is fun to play.
Obviously you can play this on a multicart where you can add games but since it is so small you can also quite easily build your own cartridge by converting an old one using a 2732 eprom and an original Vectrex 4K pcb. I myself used a dead Berzerk cart. whose pcb/shell was lying around here for a few years. In case you’ve never considered this: the Vectrex masked roms have /OE and A11 switched compared to a 2732 so you have to reroute those lines. It’s quite easy since all you have to do is cut the two lines wiggling underneath the eprom on the component side and reconnect.
So I’ve just cut at the red lines (didn’t have to for /OE since that trace was already missing), rubbed off the paint from the two traces (green) and soldered the leg directly to it from the component side.
Afterwards I have increased the memory footprint massively to the normal homebrew size of today – 64K – for a deluxe version: music, longer attract with a nice title page, two rulesets to choose from, hiscore tables etc. This smaller version is all you need, though, and the game still excellent. And the gameplay identical (for the original ruleset, which is fine) – just no optional music.
I have updated my graphics code for almost everything I’ve ever programmed recently to try to help rare, ‘slow’ Vectrex capacitors out there and as a result there is also now a ‘new’ 2048 version (1.2). Just played one game – after over a year – and got to the 2048 tile right away which made me smile: it did not feel easy to do but precarious at times – so felt like an achievement which is perfect. As usual, really, and I have yet to get to 4096 one day – frequently I get to 2048+1024 before it unravels, today only 2048+512.