What was your favourite ZX Spectrum game?

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The other John Peel, of Valhalla and TGSR fame.

Why are he and his wife green?

Alba, Thursday, 27 September 2007 18:49 (7 years ago) Permalink

christ, i remember reading that first time round.

hah! "dave ashe and his mouse".

grimly fiendish, Thursday, 27 September 2007 18:52 (7 years ago) Permalink

I remember the background graphics of Valhalla being quite good. And I also seem to remember the stick men moving quite well. It had quite a lot of atmosphere iirc.

There was a whole host of Spectrum games that I seem to recall as being unfathomable: Gift From The Gods, Braxx Bluff, Dark Star....they seemed to be graphics experiments with a scoreboard plonked somewhere on the screen.

And did anyone know how to get past the first screen on "The Pyramid"?

PhilK, Thursday, 27 September 2007 19:18 (7 years ago) Permalink

I think we could do a few screens on "The Pyramid" but they were all the same boring shit. Spent a lot of time trying to get to the top/bottom tho.

Noodle Vague, Thursday, 27 September 2007 19:21 (7 years ago) Permalink

(Clue: just keep the fire button held down)

Noodle Vague, Thursday, 27 September 2007 19:22 (7 years ago) Permalink

Sodov the Sorcerer: not a bad, if odd, game for £2.95.

DavidM, Thursday, 27 September 2007 19:50 (7 years ago) Permalink

I forgot Avalon and Dragontorc. Man those games were good.

Noodle Vague, Thursday, 27 September 2007 19:51 (7 years ago) Permalink

How many precious hours of my teenage life did I sit playing Rambo? Better than the film, anyway. Good music too!

('Good')

DavidM, Thursday, 27 September 2007 19:57 (7 years ago) Permalink

Okay, now THIS fucking rocked! More playable then the C64 version (as usual: better graphics, clunky gameplay), and the slow-motion replay option was useful for viewing your opponant's Spec-tacular crash and burn.

DavidM, Thursday, 27 September 2007 20:09 (7 years ago) Permalink

ah, god, "the pyramid"! i really loved that, for some reason.

"sodov the sorcerer" ... hoo hoo, almost sounds like swearing, etc.

grimly fiendish, Thursday, 27 September 2007 21:26 (7 years ago) Permalink

What was that one with the wizard floating around & travelling along ley lines? That one was pretty great, and quite creepy in places.

Dragontorc of Avalon! Thx NV!

I remember one bit where you got the mage to open a chest and a pair of super-scary disembodied eyes came out! I got the chills the 1st time I saw it.

Pashmina, Thursday, 27 September 2007 22:01 (7 years ago) Permalink

Yeah. In Avalon these ghost things used to appear and throw stuff at you if you hung around too long in one room. And the creaky noise that bad guys made as they walked round a room was very atmospheric.

Noodle Vague, Thursday, 27 September 2007 22:06 (7 years ago) Permalink

a 1930's detective thing that was absolutely BEAUTIFUL

"Mugsy" or something?

I actually finished "Valhalla". SUMMON ODIN!

anatol_merklich, Friday, 28 September 2007 06:37 (7 years ago) Permalink

nah, mugsy was a much older melbourne house thing. this was contact sam cruise. there's a screenshot above and everything ;)

grimly fiendish, Friday, 28 September 2007 07:16 (7 years ago) Permalink

I think my favourite spectrum games are Ranarama and Quazatron (among the many fine games published by Hewson).
I loved the exploration 'combat' mini-games that allowed you to upgrade your skills if you won the right runes/parts.
Ooh, apparently there was a sequel to Quazatron! Must check that out.

treefell, Friday, 28 September 2007 08:26 (7 years ago) Permalink

I had an Amstrad CPC rather than a Speccy - but Ranarama was and is a great game. One thing I remember about it: the tape version was cleverly coded so that there was a little tune embedded in the "loading noise" just before the game finished loading.

Is it wrong that I had an ineffable urge to correct Grimly's BASIC syntax up above?

Forest Pines Mk2, Friday, 28 September 2007 08:42 (7 years ago) Permalink

Anyone remember The Alchemist? It was an early 16K game, that was dead easy to complete, but was thoroughly engrossing before you did.

And talking of 16K, let's not forget Chuckie Egg, the crack-cocaine of the Spectrum world........

PhilK, Friday, 28 September 2007 09:30 (7 years ago) Permalink

I still play Chuckie Egg occasionally. My girlfriend was a BBC kid (children of teachers always got BBCs)(except me) so we're gonna have a challenge sometime.

Best ZX81 gane = 3D Monster Maze. Lo-fi t-rex!

Best ZX80 game = ?????

Raw Patrick, Friday, 28 September 2007 09:36 (7 years ago) Permalink

My Brother got insanely good at Chuckie Egg. We were neck and neck at one time (we could both go round about five or six times), but after a while he could spend hours on it.

He was a sort of a black belt 3rd Dan at Chuckie Egg.

PhilK, Friday, 28 September 2007 09:38 (7 years ago) Permalink

5 or 6! I think I only ever got to the third round.

ledge, Friday, 28 September 2007 09:40 (7 years ago) Permalink

Does gaming have a golden age? I think the Spectrum era would be it, if so.

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa, Friday, 28 September 2007 10:05 (7 years ago) Permalink

I had a ZX81 too, with the 16K expansion, but I was only about 6 when its video generator broke, so I can't remember any of the games.

Forest Pines Mk2, Friday, 28 September 2007 10:06 (7 years ago) Permalink

Don't wobble the RAM pack!

Raw Patrick, Friday, 28 September 2007 10:22 (7 years ago) Permalink

Horace Goes Skiing!

Madchen, Friday, 28 September 2007 10:25 (7 years ago) Permalink

Yes! The Horace series were a good introduction. They came free with the computer iirc.

PhilK, Friday, 28 September 2007 10:36 (7 years ago) Permalink

No money no ski! Words to live by.

ledge, Friday, 28 September 2007 10:37 (7 years ago) Permalink

I love this blurb. "...mischevous moving eyes and a rolling gait"! They don't promote modern computer games like that!

Raw Patrick, Friday, 28 September 2007 10:51 (7 years ago) Permalink

Best unexpanded ZX81 games = Breakout and an adventure game I've forgotten the name of, also written by Crystal Computing. An adventure game in 1K! And I never managed to finish it.

Alba, Friday, 28 September 2007 11:14 (7 years ago) Permalink

A feat:

http://www.zx81stuff.org.uk/zx81/generated/tapethumbnailindex.html

Alba, Friday, 28 September 2007 11:15 (7 years ago) Permalink

I didn't get any Horace games free with mine. I think you could pay extra to get them bundled though.

I got a weird free cassette with mine, called Horizons or something. The only game on it I remember was one about foxes and rabbits that was meant to demonstrate the dynamics of ecosystems.

Alba, Friday, 28 September 2007 11:23 (7 years ago) Permalink

Wriggler. About a little worm. That was very good in a totally surreal kind of way. No-one else I knew seemed to play it, however.

I've also just seen on Crash that there apparently was a Spectrum game called "Hampstead"

!!!!!

Track down the Cafe Latte's and organic Prosciutto!

PhilK, Friday, 28 September 2007 11:28 (7 years ago) Permalink

Don't get caught by the sun-dried tomatoes!

PhilK, Friday, 28 September 2007 11:30 (7 years ago) Permalink

I got a weird free cassette with mine, called Horizons or something.

Yes! It had Breakout as well.

ledge, Friday, 28 September 2007 11:38 (7 years ago) Permalink

Are you sure? I don't think I ever played Breakout on the Spectrum, only the ZX81.

Alba, Friday, 28 September 2007 11:43 (7 years ago) Permalink

I've also just seen on Crash that there apparently was a Spectrum game called "Hampstead"

!!!!!

Track down the Cafe Latte's and organic Prosciutto!

This is not so far from the reality. It was a humourous take on the adventure game format. Instead of reaching a wizard's castle or whatever, you had to social climb to the lofty heights of Hampstead.

Alba, Friday, 28 September 2007 11:45 (7 years ago) Permalink

Humorous.

Alba, Friday, 28 September 2007 11:49 (7 years ago) Permalink

See also Torremolinos, the adventure game of package holidays.

Alba, Friday, 28 September 2007 11:50 (7 years ago) Permalink

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horizons:_Software_Starter_Pack

Bubblesort is an implementation of the bubble sort sorting algorithm.

Thrilling stuff... actually I only remember breakout and evolution. The Game of Life is awesome but maybe it went over my 9 year old head.

ledge, Friday, 28 September 2007 11:56 (7 years ago) Permalink

Ah, so you're quite right about Breakout. I must have just had enough of it by the time I got a Spectrum.

I remember thinking Bubblesort ought to be a lot more fun, what with having "bubble" in its name.

Alba, Friday, 28 September 2007 12:01 (7 years ago) Permalink

I remember one of the launch cassetes for the Spectrum was for working out yr biorhythms! Whatever happened to biorhythms?--they were the big thing for a period. Surely due a revival.

Raw Patrick, Friday, 28 September 2007 12:23 (7 years ago) Permalink

I don't know if it's been mentioned in this thread, but you can play emulated Speccy games online at World of Spectrum.

Noodle Vague, Friday, 28 September 2007 12:32 (7 years ago) Permalink

Blimey -- some people are still trying to flog biorhythm programs:

http://www.diplodock.com/Products/Software/DBS2.htm

Alba, Friday, 28 September 2007 12:34 (7 years ago) Permalink

Bomb Jack, Jet Set Willy, Monty Mole , Daley Thompsons Decathlon, Paperboy, Ghosts N Goblins were all great. Horace & The Spiders is the game I wanna play most though. Need to get an emulator.

The memories of buying Crash Magazine every month. :)

pfunkboy, Friday, 28 September 2007 12:44 (7 years ago) Permalink

Is it wrong that I had an ineffable urge to correct Grimly's BASIC syntax up above?

oy! what was wrong with it? apart from it being on one line. oh, and missing the space before the closing quote, i s'pose.

"horizons" is still my core spectrum moment. it was like a portal to another world. i was mesmerised by "foxes and rabbits".

grimly fiendish, Friday, 28 September 2007 13:01 (7 years ago) Permalink

My friend was really stuck on a bit've Monty Mole and I lied and told him I had a poke for infinite lives. He phoned me up, I made up some number Poke 16789726 or whatever and then when it didn't work he got so mad he smashed the casette into pieces. I only told him a few years ago.

Raw Patrick, Friday, 28 September 2007 13:09 (7 years ago) Permalink

i think manic miner (has no-one mentioned this yet? my (acting) boss looked over my shoulder when i had this window open and said MM should win, hands-down) was 35136,0.

There was also something about WRITETYPER, wasn't it?

anatol_merklich, Friday, 28 September 2007 13:31 (7 years ago) Permalink

oy! what was wrong with it? apart from it being on one line. oh, and missing the space before the closing quote, i s'pose.

Given that it was on one line you should have done

10 PRINT "SIMON IS ACE ";:GOTO 10

:-)

Forest Pines Mk2, Friday, 28 September 2007 13:40 (7 years ago) Permalink

I am glad that all these Speccy mags are online now because... well, I have a confession. For ages I read Sinclair User. Even though it's the one of the three I have pretty much no fond memories of, it's the one I spent money on every month. And I only started buying it because I forgot what date Crash was due out, went to the newsagent too early and bought SU instead. Eventually I saw the light they put the price up and I went over to YS though.

Some good free games, mind, but all the mags had their moments in that last-years-of-Spectrum scramble to grab readers by filling them with as many old games as possible every month. Oh, and thank you Crash for awesome reader homebrews (?) Shuriken and Egghead!

Oh yes, much love to all the Horaces, the Dizzy games (even though every single one I couldn't complete even with a walkthrough/map because there was always one last coin that wasn't where the map said it was), Manic Miner and JSW (though I spent longer playing JSW 2 - same game, added space levels, quite a cheap knockoff sequel I suppose with Matthew Smith not involved, but I liked the new areas), er... what else did I spend ages on? Rainbow Islands, Artic's 16k Galaxians, Bruce Lee, but I guess there were better formats for all those.

I gave up on the Speccy in 1991 when within a few months a) I bought Monkey Island for the PC and b) there was an advert in YS for PC Format and I decided the PC was THE FUTURE. A life of already-ancient Sierra games and roguelikes, pissing about in Fractint and POVray, and having to fight with autoexec.bat trying to free enough memory without losing Soundblaster drivers awaited. Woo.

a passing spacecadet, Friday, 28 September 2007 14:17 (7 years ago) Permalink

Heh:

Pashmina, Friday, 28 September 2007 14:20 (7 years ago) Permalink

Jet Set Willy 2 was one of my biggest disappointments. Maybe I'll play it on an emulator tonight.

At school we decided Matthew Smith was gay bcz there was a picture of him not wearing socks in some mag.

Raw Patrick, Friday, 28 September 2007 14:32 (7 years ago) Permalink


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