The best Speccy game by Melbourne House: discussion

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PeteProdge
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The best Speccy game by Melbourne House: discussion

Post by PeteProdge » Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:59 am

Let's go down under to look at the original output from the Melbourne House brand for the ZX Spectrum. I make it 63 titles...

3-D Mazeman
Aaargh!
Adventure
Alien Blitz
Asterix And The Magic Cauldron
Asteroids In Space
Barbarian (yes, not to be confused with the other one by Palace)
Bazooka Bill
Blackjack
Castle Of Terror
Chess
Computer Bridge
Doc The Destroyer
Dodgy Geezers
Double Dragon
Draughts
Eliminator
Enterprise
Fighting Warrior
Fist II: The Legend Continues
Freeway Frog
Fruit Machine
Gyroscope
Hampstead
Hellfire
Hobbit, The
Inspector Gadget And The Circus Of Fear
Judge Dredd
Kings And Queens
Knuckle Busters
Kwah!
Leapfrog
Lord Of The Rings
Lunar Lander
Marble Madness
Marble Madness Deluxe Edition
Meteor Storm
Mordon's Quest
Mugsy
Mugsy's Revenge
Mystery Of Arkham Manor, The
Obliterator
Penetrator
Redhawk
Roadwars
Rock 'N Wrestle
Shadows Of Mordor, The
Sherlock
Sir Lancelot
Space Escape
Spectrum Invaders
Sports Hero
Starion
Street Hassle
Terror-Daktil 4D
Terrormolinos
Terrorpods
Throne Of Fire
Vespozian Affair, The
War In Middle Earth
Way Of The Exploding Fist, The
Wiz
Xenon

...however, I'm a bit torn over including Kings And Queens. It's educational software, and while there is a lot of stuff in that genre which isn't a game, I guess Kings And Queens is a game of sorts. Definitely a quiz. I know it's not really going to exactly dominate the poll, I'll be surprised if it picks up any votes, but can we consider it a game?
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DouglasReynholm
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Re: The best Speccy game by Melbourne House: discussion

Post by DouglasReynholm » Sun Sep 15, 2019 11:34 am

Gyroscope was a pretty good Marble Madness clone before they got the license. Never played either of their official versions as I'd got an Amiga by that point and the first game I bought for it was EA's version. Sir Lancelot was a fun little 16k game, and though it's not listed (probably for the reason it wasnt a game) I put a lot of hours into H.U.R.G., a crappy forerunner to AGD. Still, what I expect to see the most votes for would be Hobbit/WOTEF/Mugsy..
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Re: The best Speccy game by Melbourne House: discussion

Post by Fahnn » Sun Sep 15, 2019 1:38 pm

I must admit that I didn't realise that a lot of these were Melbourne House releases. It's not a bad roster, all told.

Of the adventures, I much preferred Hampstead and Sherlock to The Hobbit/Lord Of The Rings, but that's really just down to my preference for the settings/subject matter. When Sherlock was released, I was working my way through all the original Conan Doyle stories and even though the game was riddled with bugs, I still really enjoyed it and spent a lot of time playing it. Hampstead prompted me to (much later) buy a copy of J. P. Donleavy's "The Unexpurgated Code", which is a very funny (if highly politically-incorrect) book.

As to their arcade stuff, I would agree with Mr. Reynholm that Gyroscope was a very good Marble Madness clone. I used to love Marble Madness in the arcades at the time (although I spent more time watching other people play it than playing it myself) so it was cool to have a version to play on my Spectrum (I liked Spindizzy and Bobby Bearing too, but I think they might have been a bit later, release-wise).

Way Of The Exploding Fist was also a great game, it's the first Spectrum beat-'em-up that I can remember that was actually decent. Although (please don't kill me) the C64 version was better, especially sonically, with its brutal bone-crunching noises that the Spectrum could never come close to replicating.

All that said, I might just throw a curveball and go for Starion, I spent hours and hours on that game. Nobody else seemed to like it much, but for me it was a perfect combination of shooting and nerdy anagram stuff. Some lovely wireframe graphics in there too.

So in conclusion: I don't know :lol:
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Juan F. Ramirez
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Re: The best Speccy game by Melbourne House: discussion

Post by Juan F. Ramirez » Sun Sep 15, 2019 2:00 pm

Apart from the obvious hits (Exploding Fist, Hobbit, Sherlock or Gyroscope) there are two interesting games from the early years: Sir Lancelot and Penetrator, probably the best Spectrum Scramble clone.
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Re: The best Speccy game by Melbourne House: discussion

Post by Vampyre » Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:58 pm

Fahnn wrote:
Sun Sep 15, 2019 1:38 pm
I must admit that I didn't realise that a lot of these were Melbourne House releases. It's not a bad roster, all told.

Of the adventures, I much preferred Hampstead and Sherlock to The Hobbit/Lord Of The Rings, but that's really just down to my preference for the settings/subject matter. When Sherlock was released, I was working my way through all the original Conan Doyle stories and even though the game was riddled with bugs, I still really enjoyed it and spent a lot of time playing it. Hampstead prompted me to (much later) buy a copy of J. P. Donleavy's "The Unexpurgated Code", which is a very funny (if highly politically-incorrect) book.

As to their arcade stuff, I would agree with Mr. Reynholm that Gyroscope was a very good Marble Madness clone. I used to love Marble Madness in the arcades at the time (although I spent more time watching other people play it than playing it myself) so it was cool to have a version to play on my Spectrum (I liked Spindizzy and Bobby Bearing too, but I think they might have been a bit later, release-wise).

Way Of The Exploding Fist was also a great game, it's the first Spectrum beat-'em-up that I can remember that was actually decent. Although (please don't kill me) the C64 version was better, especially sonically, with its brutal bone-crunching noises that the Spectrum could never come close to replicating.

All that said, I might just throw a curveball and go for Starion, I spent hours and hours on that game. Nobody else seemed to like it much, but for me it was a perfect combination of shooting and nerdy anagram stuff. Some lovely wireframe graphics in there too.

So in conclusion: I don't know :lol:
I'm not sure what to go for yet either - but I loved Starion too. I remember reading about him years ago but the programmer, David Webb, did alright for himself after he graduated and gave up game development: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Web ... _activist)
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Re: The best Speccy game by Melbourne House: discussion

Post by Turtle_Quality » Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:05 pm

They had a few classics, not easy to pick 3

Penetrator was great, The Hobbit is a classic, Exploding Fist was great fun (and I didn't want to play any other fighting games a 2nd time), Sir Lancelot was addictive. Must admit I thought the Horace games would also be here
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Re: The best Speccy game by Melbourne House: discussion

Post by hitm4n » Sun Sep 15, 2019 9:45 pm

Starion for me by a long shot. Never into the 1 on 1 fighting games much so although WayOTEF has my respect, i preferred other stuff. Like Gyroscope. That was slick, but the difficulty curve ramped up too quick so i never got beyond the 3rd level i think. Never stopped me trying though :)

Starion with its vector gfx probably got the most play from me. Looking down the list theres some well known games, but not a lot of greats for me. Mugsy was ok, Mugsys Revenge a bit better with some nicer animations, but gameplay often made you hit a brick wall and it was game over all too quickly.

Penetrator was one of the earliest games i got, loved the gfx in that, and the way you could learn the stages. Got very far in that one at times.

The Hobbit of course, always loved mapping adventures, but when the puzzles are completely obscure, like wait twice in each location so as not to die.... no thanks.

Starion it is.
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Re: The best Speccy game by Melbourne House: discussion

Post by stupidget » Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:28 pm

Blimey theres some cracking titles on that list.

The Hobbit was the first graphical adventure that i ever played. Before that it had been simple text adventures on my Dragon32. WOTEF was superb and Penetrator was one of the first games i ever played on the speccy. Mugsy was great and i used to play it round my mates house. His dad turned up one day with Mugsy, the hobbit and Deus Ex Machina. I can still remember sitting cross legged in front of their tv playing Deus and listening to the accompanying audio tape, and having a clue what was going on.
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