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Monday, 9 March 2009

Top 5 Spectrum Games of All Time...

OK, this is the way it works. I'm getting some WTF questions on my decision to write a Spectrum 48K game of my current novel BIOHELL. Well, this is how it goes...

Got a Spectrum when I was 13. October 1984 to be precise. I was (and am) a Spectrum-junkie game-head. Even though I was "a kid" I wrote some admittedly not-very-good-by-industry-standards games, but hell it was just fun to be a little fish in the big pond of the Speccy games industry at the time. I revelled in it. I started writing in BASIC when I was 13, and ended coding in Z80a assembly (well, at least most of my routines; sometimes they were still cobbled together by compiled code). Occasionally I would use GAC to put down ideas for an adventure game - I think this was the budding storyteller in me which eventually transmogrified into an SF/fantasy novelist. Anyway!!...

A few months back I was playing STARQUAKE by Steven Crow, my all-time fave Spec game. And I thought, shit, wouldn't it be retro-cool to write another game? I pitched the idea to my Solaris editor Dunny, who said "Go for it!" and here we are. Anyway, for the purposes of this blog I thought it might be fun for people to list their top five Spectrum games. Mine are:


1] Starquake by Steve Crow.

2] Heavy on the Magick by Carter Follis/ Gargoyle

3] Sabre Wulf by Ultimate/ ACG.

4] Manic Miner by Matt Smith.

5] Exolon by Raf Cecco.


(although I could go on, and on, and on/// I always said if I was to go on Mastermind against Iain Banks, then my specialist subject would by the ZX Spectrum, haha, and I'd kick his ass).

Anyway, here's an invitation to post your top 5 games here....... I'd love to hear from all you retro-Speccyphiles out there ;-)



Anonymous said...

Match Point
Full Throttle
Stop the Express

good luck with the new game

The Venerable Stack

Arjun said...

Manic Miner
The Hobbit
Jet Pac

Arjun from WoS!

Matt_B said...

Lords Of Midnight
Tau Ceti
Atic Atac

Andy Rem said...

Argh! How could I miss out Quazatron! It ruled my life for a long time (damn you Steve Turner!!). And Atic Atac ate a few months as well. I could get nearly 100% every time before my chicken was depleted. Happy days.

Fuffy said...

the great escape
emlyn hughes international soccer
rick dangerous

Anonymous said...

Football Manager
Gauntlet (oh the fun we had)
Into the Eagles Nest

Of course, the top 5 couldn't include any of your classics, that would be biased. But who could forget the mighty Dwarves of Lewsh? or Manic Badger?

Keep on rocking the ZX

Paul the S.A.

Andy Rem said...

Heh, yeah, Dwarfs of Lewsh sold nearly as many as Football Manager by Addictive, if memory serves me right. It was pionerring in its, err, unfair deaths.

Anonymous said...

Match Day II
Turbo Esprit
Chuckie Egg
Alien 8

azward, fellow WoSer

The_Yeti said...

- Head over Heels
- Gauntlet
- Sabre Wolf
- Atic Atack

And by far the best one of all time, bar none ..

- Elite

The Yeti.

Anonymous said...

jet set willy
football manager
brian bloodaxe
horace goes skiing

Christian said...

The Hobbit
Atic Atac
Jack The Nipper
Tir Na Nog

Do I get killed if I say my favourite 8-bit system was the C-64?

yr pal,


Vanamonde said...

Dan Dare
Highway Encounter
3D Tanx

Jonathan said...

Thought I'd be different with my selections:

Halls of the Things
Skool Daze
Stop the Express
Escape from Krakatoa
Rocket Raider

Dave Bradley said...

The Spectrum - fond memories. So many games to choose from!

Lords Of Midnight
Back To Skool
(okay, I know this last one was just an Arkanoid clone, but I played it to death with mates)

Dave B

Anonymous said...

Dynamite Dan 2
Trap Door
I Ball II
Rockstar Ate My Hamster

Anonymous said...

Heh, I was playing one of your games from Crash magazine the other day (Assassin?) and I noticed it had a sound effect routine nicked from Michael Batty's Earth Shaker. Naughty ;)

Paul J said...

Bomb Jack
Manic Miner
Chuckie Egg
Knight Lore

Andy Rem said...

Hi all,
Wow, thanks for all the posts, this is really cool!! It's reminded me of a few games I'd forgotten.. and don't worry Dunny (you C64 traitor, you) haha. The chainsaw is broken.

And Yeti! Elite! You always were a brainbox :-)

As to my accusation of digital plagiarism; I got a routine from a magazine, originally written by David Jones (who did the Magic Knight games)- you added variables and it produced soundFX. That's where my sounds came from. Looks like Michael Batty used the same routine, cos I never played Earth Shaker. Sorry. I did nick (and adapt) grafix from Raf Cecco though. He was so good at it!!

Fraser said...

In no order:

Jet Set Willy
Three Weeks In Paradise
Atic Atac

Dean Moncaster said...

I cannot believe you have decided to write a sinclair spectrum title. I have one of the biggest collections of sinclair spectrum computers in the UK (probably world!!) and would love to write a game myself. I have never bothered to get beyond the basic. I have many books on machine code and ASM for the ZX81 i just haven't got around to reading them. I will one day.

I am definitely going to be downloading your game to play on either EMUs or just fire up my old trusty 128K and watch the game take a week to load! lol.

You want us to name our top 5 games.

That is definitely a hard one.

Advanced Soccer Simulator (ASS)
Tir Na Nog
colin the cleaner

Though there are many more i loved, i have about 3000 games sat next to me right now. Most of which will only load on certain machines due to the M-RAM requirement and other nuances of the many different types of spectrum even in the same range!

Hope the release goes well and you get a lot of downloads. I am definitely going to download it myself :D