What was your favourite ZX Spectrum game?

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In the 16K category: The Train Game! I think you either became totally addicted, or loathed it from the very start and continued loathing. Rather original, using all the letter keys on the keyboard to control those rail switch things, whatever they're called in English. Come to think of it, might work well as a mobile phone game even today!

anatol_merklich, Thursday, 27 September 2007 15:22 (7 years ago) Permalink

too awesome

DG, Thursday, 27 September 2007 15:28 (7 years ago) Permalink

The door in whicheverroom it was that said "forbidden!" when you tried to open it was the door to the missing bit! If you mapped the game out (which you had to) there was a big gap in the middle - the missing bit was Dun Darcach's red light district, inhabited by courtesans - they pulled it because of fear of bad publicity. I liked the game so much I wanted more of it, so I was totally bummed out when I found out about the cut bit.

Pashmina, Thursday, 27 September 2007 15:31 (7 years ago) Permalink

Dun Darach probably the forerunner of the GTA 3D games, har.

Pashmina, Thursday, 27 September 2007 15:32 (7 years ago) Permalink

Ah right. Well I never saw a door called "Forbidden", so I suspect that must have been inside "Laydo's" or "Loyd's" or whatever.

A really intriguing game though. Loved the atmosphere. Especially the "Thieves' Guild".

PhilK, Thursday, 27 September 2007 15:35 (7 years ago) Permalink

You know about the annual comp.sys.sinclair Crap Game Competition, right? Every year, the finest Spectrum programmers, or rather the other ones, compete for the title of crappiest game of the year. Some examples of previous years' winners:

Anthea Turner's National Lottery Simulator

Sheepdog

Celebrity Arses

anatol_merklich, Thursday, 27 September 2007 15:38 (7 years ago) Permalink

grimly That's part of the Automania series isn't it?

yeh. IIRC: automania, pyjamarama, everyone's a wally, herbert's dummy run, three weeks in paradise. the last two being way too hard for their own good.

once you figured out how to get the proper coin to open the bog door in pyjamarama, the rest was pretty straightforward.

ANOTHER ACE SERIES OF ACENESS:

http://content.answers.com/main/content/wp/en/6/6d/Spellbound_screen.GIF

finders keepers/spellbound/the one in space/the other one. don't have time to google ... first one to fill in the blanks wins a blank C15 cassette from boots ;)

grimly fiendish, Thursday, 27 September 2007 15:39 (7 years ago) Permalink

hang on, celebrity arses actually looks grate.

grimly fiendish, Thursday, 27 September 2007 15:40 (7 years ago) Permalink

er, ahem:

grimly fiendish, Thursday, 27 September 2007 15:41 (7 years ago) Permalink

Wizball or Jetset Willy

Iain Macdonald, Thursday, 27 September 2007 15:42 (7 years ago) Permalink

Was it Mikro-Gen who did a completely out-of-character fantasy game that came in big box with a RAM pack and map etc.?

It was a bugger because you had to actually BUY it (which I did). I seem to remember that it was lovely to look at, but didn't have much in the way of gameplay.....

PhilK, Thursday, 27 September 2007 15:42 (7 years ago) Permalink

Oh yeah, and those Back-To-Skool people did a 1930's detective thing that was absolutely BEAUTIFUL. Never got more than about half-way through, mores the pity....

PhilK, Thursday, 27 September 2007 15:46 (7 years ago) Permalink

Was it Mikro-Gen who did a completely out-of-character fantasy game that came in big box with a RAM pack and map etc.?

yep: i got it for christmas one year. it was a bit pish -- huge, but a bit pish.

a 1930's detective thing that was absolutely BEAUTIFUL

really? tell me more: i don't remember this at all.

grimly fiendish, Thursday, 27 September 2007 15:55 (7 years ago) Permalink

never got those dun darach things. ys gave this away once which i tried to enjoy

DG, Thursday, 27 September 2007 15:57 (7 years ago) Permalink

oh, i remember that one, too. heavy on the magick. with a k. i think i'd have enjoyed it if i'd been a bit older and had more patience. (ditto marsport, although i have v fond memories of it.)

"you are in the room of misery" ... yeh, my fuckin' office.

grimly fiendish, Thursday, 27 September 2007 16:10 (7 years ago) Permalink

spellbound! wow, that pic just totally gave me the shivers. loved it.

i used to love a ninja game called, possibly, usurper. google's being unhelpful.

i had a speccy plus between 1986 and 1988, at which point i sold it with all its loads of games to my friend al's parents and got an atari st, which i still own (well, it's packed away, but i can still technically play bubble bobble if i want.

CharlieNo4, Thursday, 27 September 2007 16:11 (7 years ago) Permalink

and gauntlet!

CharlieNo4, Thursday, 27 September 2007 16:11 (7 years ago) Permalink

wait, wait- BARBARIAN

darraghmac, Thursday, 27 September 2007 16:14 (7 years ago) Permalink

"Contact Sam Cruise"

grimly - info here: http://www.crashonline.org.uk/36/samcruise.htm

PhilK, Thursday, 27 September 2007 16:21 (7 years ago) Permalink

That Crash online is pure Gold.

"Trashman" - I loved this!

http://www.crashonline.org.uk/04/trashmn.htm

PhilK, Thursday, 27 September 2007 16:25 (7 years ago) Permalink

O yes, that was good. I bought it before it hit the shops properly, at the ZX Microfair.

Alba, Thursday, 27 September 2007 16:28 (7 years ago) Permalink

ah, yeh, i remember that sam cruise thing now ... don't think i ever played it, mind. but, of course, i can rectify that pretty easily ;)

grimly fiendish, Thursday, 27 September 2007 16:33 (7 years ago) Permalink

Tir na Nog, Dun Darach, Marsport, Heavy on the Magick - Gargoyle Games brought the next-level shit.

Also Lords of Midnight.

Noodle Vague, Thursday, 27 September 2007 17:16 (7 years ago) Permalink

Valhalla.

Now that was a strange one. Amazing graphics for an early game. But what the hell where you supposed to do?

PhilK, Thursday, 27 September 2007 17:52 (7 years ago) Permalink

The Valhalla graphics were fucking rubbish! They were little stick men. The game was fun, in some way. It was sort of an adventure game but errr... not really.

Alba, Thursday, 27 September 2007 17:58 (7 years ago) Permalink

the follow-up, "the great space race", got absolutely fucking panned and the company (legend, was it? i'm not looking any of this up, i promise) went under shortly afterwards. sinclair user memorably compared the battle graphics to "two fried eggs fighting in a pan", or something.

it worries me, the effect SU/crash/YS have had on my personality/writing style/life.

grimly fiendish, Thursday, 27 September 2007 18:44 (7 years ago) Permalink

more amazing feats of memory: infinite lives in JSW was poke 23296,0. 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.

grimly fiendish, Thursday, 27 September 2007 18:47 (7 years ago) Permalink

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


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