Video Primer

Hardware

Cab Hustle is a game for the Commodore 64. You can play it on actual hardware or using a Commodore 64 emulator. The game runs best on PAL machines with the 8580 version of the SID sound chip. However, both NTSC machines and machines with 6581 SID chips are supported as well. For emulators, choose a “C64C PAL” model to emulate.

Objective

The goal of the game is to make as much money as possible by transporting with your ship between platforms before time runs out.

Controls

The game is controlled by the joystick connected to Port 2. Left and right rotate the ship. Up applies thrust. When landing on a platform with a passenger, the fire button collects the passenger.

Status Display

The status display at the bottom of the screen shows passenger information to the left. When transporting a passenger, it shows the destination platform the passenger needs to be dropped at and the remaining fare.

To the right of the passenger information is the score, the remaining fuel, and the remaining time. When the time is up, the game is over.

The status display with passenger information (destination platform and remaining fare), score, fuel, and time

Landing

To land on a platform, let the ship slowly descend on it while pointing upwards. If the ship is not straightly facing up, then it will crash upon making contact with the platform. You can only land on platforms, denoted by horizontally striped ground.

The ship landed on a platform

Transporting Passengers

To transport a passenger waiting on a platform, land on that platform and press fire. The status display in the bottom left will now show the destination platform and the remaining fare, which will decrease. Bring the passenger to the desired destination platform – just landing on the right platform will complete the job.

A passenger waiting on Platform 2

Any remaining fare will be added to the score. If there’s more than $0 left in fare, then you will also get a time bonus. The longer the distance between platforms was, the bigger the time bonus will be.

Red passengers want short-haul flights. Yellow ones are slightly longer. Green ones are yet longer, and blue passengers look for long-haul flights. To make it to the destination platform, you can follow signage throughout the rooms, but for some platforms you will also need to remember the general direction or search.

Signage throughout the map: fly downwards for platforms 14 to 18 and to the right for platforms 6 to 13

If you already transport a passenger, you cannot pick up a new one. You need to first complete the job and drop-off the passenger. If you crash, however, you start off again without a passenger.

Fuel

Any time you thrust, you burn fuel. The fuel gauge in the status display shows how much fuel is left. There are fuel platforms throughout the map. You can land on those at any time to refuel.

Without fuel, you can no longer thrust but you can turn your ship. If you manage to land on a platform by coasting to it without fuel, you get some emergency fuel (200 units) but also incur a 10 second time penalty.

Crashing

If you collide with obstacles, the ship is destroyed. You will respawn (without any passenger) in the starting room of the map (with platforms 1 and 2). In addition, there is a 5 second time penalty.

You will start with the same amount of fuel you had before the crash. If your fuel was very low, however, you get emergency fuel (200 units) and a 20 second time penalty. There’s a fuel platform going down from the starting room where you can refuel.

Purple Passenger

There’s a purple passenger on Platform 27, which is hidden away in a remote corner of the map. Some special rules apply to this passenger. First, the purple passenger only appears once in a game. Once picked up, there won’t be any second purple passenger anywhere.

In addition, since the platform is remote, there’s a 30 second time bonus for picking up that passenger on top of the time bonus on successful drop-off.

Helpful Tips

  • Don’t continuously thrust but apply thrust in bursts. That is more fuel efficient and gives better control.
  • If you’re new to the game, keep the ship oriented upwards and lean it slightly left or right to move. To go down, use gravity and control the speed of descent using thrust.
  • Don’t go too fast—it takes a good distance to decelerate.
  • Brown diagonal stripes indicate obstacles in the neighboring rooms.
Stripes indicate obstacles, often beyond view