Your hotkey to alternative software development

Mandatory Movies

I love movies, especially if they have a dystopian theme to it. Some of the best:


Escape to your presidential retirement or die trying - a dark action game for the VIC-20!


Perhaps you've clung to power for too long. With protests in the street and the army on the hand of the opposition it is time to grab the money and go! Escape on foot, by car and plane to your tropical island to retire peacefully, if you can get there alive! Expect fierce resistance in this VIC-20 action game where you play the bad guy!

This game is a work of fiction; any similarity to autocrats living or dead is purely coincidental

Overthrown is a 8K Cartridge Game for the Commodore VIC-20 where you play the soon to be ex-president of a corrupt oil state. Your goal is simple, escape to your private island without getting killed! Unfortunately everybody seems intent on stopping you from reaching retirement so expect heavy resistance in the form of road barriers, mines, insurgents, helicopters, airplanes and the navy. Points are scored for remaining cash and distance traveled.

There are three sections in the game:

  • First: grab the money at the palace,
  • Second: escape by armored car (and on foot if the car breaks down) to the airport.
  • Third: escape by air to your island

If that sounds easy, it isn't: you will face fierce opposition (ha!) and must bring ample cash for necessities underway. The game is controlled by joystick.


Or get the physical cartridge or the prg (VIC-20 +8K) version. Overthrown is also on the Penultimate+2 Cartridge no download needed!

Title Screen Grab the Money

How to start the game

Using VIC-20 VICE , select File -> Attach Cartridge Image -> Attach Generic Image and select the overthrown-cart.bin file.

If you have the physical cartridge, Turn off your VIC 20, insert the cartridge then Turn on your VIC 20 and play!

Escape by Car Escape on Foot


This game started as a New Years resolution: make a cartridge game for the VIC-20. Why? Because :) Originally I wanted to do a Falcon Patrol type of game but after reading the 'Dictators Handbook' a wholly different game emerged.

At the Airport Escape by Air


The game starts at the presidential palace where you have to collect cash for the journey and retirement. Good that it is flying out of the windows. Meanwhile, armed vigilantes try to kill you while the roads to the airport are being blocked. It is good that you brought a hand gun in case things get tense, or maybe it already is. This section ends when you enter the armored car and drive away or when the palace is set on fire.

The next section is a race to the airport. Crash through barricades, avoid land-mines and air strikes until your armored car breaks down or runs out of fuel. If you have the cash ($1000) you can get a replacement on the spot otherwise you'll need to walk. At the airport your fighter jet is ready for take off.

In the air you'll cross the sea in search for the tropical island with your retirement villa. However the air force and navy are trying to stop you. Avoid helicopters, fighter jets and surface to air missiles. Don't forget to refuel in time at the towers! Aircraft fuel isn't cheap too ($100 a unit). With luck and skill you will reach your retirement villa with plenty of cash to enjoy! Or not...

Refuel Game Over


Cartridge Parts from TFW8B Programming the EPROM Assembled Cartridge, ready to play

Get the Cartridge

I've made a few of them, but, alas, they are all gone. However, for a fun project, try and make your own!

At the Home Computer Museum

Overthrown can be played at the Home Computer Museum in Heerlen on the prettiest VIC-20 I have ever seen. It shares its time with the Penultimate Cartridge, so if it is not in, why not ask for it :)

Overthrown, as seen at the Home Computer Museum

On the Penultimate+2 Cartridge

Overthrown is one of the roms on the TFW8b Penultimate+2 Cartridge . You can find it in the 'Games A-Z' category when running on a PAL system. Thanks Rod!

Overthrown on TFW8b Penultimate+2 Cartridge


  • Arek Kosiarski for play testing the game.
  • Francisco Anzola for a photo used in the game artwork (cc-by).


  • How do I start the game?
    The game is controlled by joystick. Press fire to start the game.
  • What is the purpose of the money?
    To buy a new armored car ($1000) and jet fuel ($100) during the game and of course retirement.
  • Is a car change mandatory?
    Strictly speaking no, because you could walk to the plane, but practically: yes ;)
  • Is it possible to shoot from the car?
    No you can't; it's an armored vehicle, opening the window to shoot would defy its purpose!
  • You can run people over, that is terrible!
    Yes, you are playing a terrible overthrown dictator on the run! However this game element is completely optional and there are no rewards for doing it. So let your conscience speak.
  • How do I land the plane?
    Reduce speed until the landing wheel comes out. Safe places to land are at the towers (to refuel) and your villa (to finish the game).
  • Is this game inspired by actual events?
    Plenty of them are going round nowadays but, no, this game is a work of fiction.
  • Does the game support PAL and NTSC VICs?
    The game is made for PAL VICs with limited support for NTSC. Screen position and rasters are adjusted automatically depending on the kernal. The game itself is not adjusted as it runs in sync with the screen. This results in flickering.
  • Is there a PRG or D64 version?
    I also made a PRG version of the game. It requires an 8K memory expansion.
K&ampA+ Magazine, page 23