What was your favourite ZX Spectrum game?

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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 (6 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 (6 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 (6 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 (6 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 (6 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 (6 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 (6 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 (6 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 (6 years ago) Permalink

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

ledge, Friday, 28 September 2007 09:40 (6 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 (6 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 (6 years ago) Permalink

Don't wobble the RAM pack!

Raw Patrick, Friday, 28 September 2007 10:22 (6 years ago) Permalink

Horace Goes Skiing!

Madchen, Friday, 28 September 2007 10:25 (6 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 (6 years ago) Permalink

No money no ski! Words to live by.

ledge, Friday, 28 September 2007 10:37 (6 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 (6 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 (6 years ago) Permalink

A feat:

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

Alba, Friday, 28 September 2007 11:15 (6 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 (6 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 (6 years ago) Permalink

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

PhilK, Friday, 28 September 2007 11:30 (6 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 (6 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 (6 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 (6 years ago) Permalink

Humorous.

Alba, Friday, 28 September 2007 11:49 (6 years ago) Permalink

See also Torremolinos, the adventure game of package holidays.

Alba, Friday, 28 September 2007 11:50 (6 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 (6 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 (6 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 (6 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 (6 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 (6 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 (6 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 (6 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 (6 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 (6 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 (6 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 (6 years ago) Permalink

Heh:

Pashmina, Friday, 28 September 2007 14:20 (6 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 (6 years ago) Permalink

Alba, Friday, 28 September 2007 14:44 (6 years ago) Permalink

I s'pose JSW2 would be a huge disappointment if you'd already got fairly far through JSW1, as you'd have to get halfway across the map just to find some new bits, and if you want to complete it you'd have to do the whole of JSW1 again and then the new bits (it may even have to be in that order, too). But I hadn't really played JSW1 that exhaustively; I played it a bunch at friends' houses, and I'd got a dodgy tape of it that almost never loaded, so when I got 2 being able to explore and spend hours hunched over it drawing tatty little maps at my own leisure was mostly new to me.

Pretty rare for me to want to be any older now, but this thread makes me wish I had been for the Spectrum thing, as there are lots of games here which sound interesting and a lot more cerebral/unusual than my picks, but at the time I was too impatient for that kind of game. (Now I'm even more impatient, any familiar 80s game in an emulator just makes me save the game every screen because I'm way too lazy to start from more than 30 seconds ago every time, and any unfamiliar one gets given up on after about ten minutes because I can't be bothered to learn what to do or squint at the little monochrome graphics)

a passing spacecadet, Friday, 28 September 2007 15:08 (6 years ago) Permalink

xpost

i loved JSW2. there's a shitload of arcana about it out there on the web -- derek rowson explaining how it grew out of the amstrad version, and how they came up with some of the rooms (the whole sewer/holt road thing was a big joke about the flat a load of software projects programmers had in liverpool). in fact, here it is:

http://www.jdawiseman.com/papers/games/jsw2/jsw2-programmer-comments.html

http://www.jdawiseman.com/papers/games/jsw2/jsw2-index.html

writetyper

depending on the version of MM (and JSW) you had, you could stand in a certain place in a certain room and type this (or something like it) and then use the number keys to teleport about ... at least, that's how it worked in JSW. except i could never get it to, so used a poke instead ... crash or YS once carried a COMPLETE JSW POKE LIST which brought me so much joy i thought i'd explode.

basic syntax

of course; you could use a colon to separate commands! although surely it's bad practice to have 10 GOTO 10 :)

grimly fiendish, Friday, 28 September 2007 15:09 (6 years ago) Permalink

Pretty rare for me to want to be any older now, but this thread makes me wish I had been for the Spectrum thing

how old are you, out of interest? i'm 32, and i think i caught the whole spectrum thing at just about exactly the right time -- although i was lucky/privileged enough to be able to get into it at a very early age (ie seven or eight).

grimly fiendish, Friday, 28 September 2007 15:10 (6 years ago) Permalink

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

type in writetyper (or, in manic miner, matthew smith's telephone number. 6031765? something like that) and then hold down number keys denoting the required screen in binary. this almost always ended up with you jumping into a screen full of spikes or falling to your death from the crows nest. (xpost)

(curses, got the last digit wrong, is a nine. and is driving licence rather than telephone number)

i still remember the day underwurlde was delivered. played it 12 hours straight. nice looping arc for the weapons and a dodgy automatic jump if you got too close to the edge of anything.

koogs, Friday, 28 September 2007 15:10 (6 years ago) Permalink

(correction: it's not derrick rowson interviewed above, actually: it's some other dude. but still.)

grimly fiendish, Friday, 28 September 2007 15:11 (6 years ago) Permalink

underwurlde: i HATED that. i borrowed it off a friend and gave it back the next day. so, so frustrating.

grimly fiendish, Friday, 28 September 2007 15:12 (6 years ago) Permalink

although surely it's bad practice to have 10 GOTO 10 :)

Back in 1983 it was a bad thing, but on a modern emulator you can execute an infinite loop in under five seconds. Honest. ;-)

(geek jokes r us)

Forest Pines Mk2, Friday, 28 September 2007 15:18 (6 years ago) Permalink

Underwurlde was totally infuriating, though the concept was pretty great, and I got pretty heavily into it for a while. I once spent a whole day playing it, NEARLY got to the end, but got knocked off by some kind of flying thing BASTARD.

Pashmina, Friday, 28 September 2007 15:21 (6 years ago) Permalink

BASTARD. God.

Pashmina, Friday, 28 September 2007 15:21 (6 years ago) Permalink


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