Commodore 64 or C64 was the first powerful computer that was sold for the home users in the early 1980’s. Today we are using 64-bit computer systems, but C64 was just an 8-bit computer. Even on those days, people loved to play video games on their C64 systems at their homes.
C64 could accept three types of memory storage devices prevalent at that time – floppy disks, tapes and cartridges. None of these are in use today, but we can emulate a C64 system on a Windows 10/11 PC using a free emulator called Hoxs64. It can be used on Windows running on any system with any graphics card supporting DirectX 9, 10 or 11 .
Here is how we can use Hoxs64 C64 Emulator to play vintage games from 1980’s:
- Download Hoxs64 emulator from https://www.hoxs64.net/ and extract the downloaded ZIP to any folder.
- Download any C64 game ROM from https://archive.org/download/commodore-64-romset-us and extract CRT file from the downloaded ZIP archive to any folder.
- Launch hoxs64.exe (from step 1) and when its window opens up, select Cart → Attach Cart from the menubar, choose the CRT file (from step 2) and it will load the cartridge image into the emulator.
- Based on the cartridge image file (CRT), you will be shown the instructions to play the game.
Hoxs64 is an emulator not for just playing the games on it, but we can even run the applications as usual. For running the applications like document processors and file explorers, we have to have the images for various diskettes, tapes or cartridges. For inserting these, Hoxs64 offers three distinct menus. Out of the three, the easiest to use are cartridges. The tapes are the most difficult as we have to rewind and play them before we can use them.
We posted about another Commodore 64 emulator VICE before this. Comparing the two, Hoxs64 seems to be easier as we do not have to find various commands hidden deep inside the menus.