Reviews by Juan F. Ramirez (245)

El Barman, 02 Apr 2009 (Rating: 3)

First game I typed in, only some days after getting my Spectrum.
It's a frogger-like game, where you're a waiter and have to cross a crowed
street full of cars to serve drinks to customers at the other side of the

Gadget, 02 Apr 2009 (Rating: 3)

You are Inspector Gadget and have to save the world through some screens.
Enjoyable and difficult, in spite of being a BASIC program. Funny Inspector Gadget UDG.

El Idolo de Oro, 02 Apr 2009 (Rating: 4)

It's a very, very long BASIC list, it took me many days to type it in, but it was worth doing it. You are Indiana Jones and have to get a treasure after
crossing three or four difficult screens. Difficult, even in a BASIC program. Original too. Nice music.
The second challenge reminds me of the liana screen of Hunchback.

Sgrizam, 11 Sep 2009 (Rating: 2)

Poor game from Dinamic (fortunately it was not common in the Dinamic early years - this game is from 1986) and very simple. A warrior must progress in an horizontal scroll through a castle infested of giant spiders, big rats, zombie ducks (YES, ZOMBIE DUCKS) and other terrific animals in order to rescue the beautiful princess Doxaphin with the only aid of the splendid sword SGRIZAM.

Good graphics, great loading screen but a bit boring. Every enemy must be killed in a different way with the sword, what means pressing the fire key in a specific moment every time.

The inlay was made by the great artist Alfonso Azpiri.

Raid over Moscow, 29 Sep 2010 (Rating: 4)

We're in the midst of the cold war. The Soviet Union has launched nuclear missiles to some cities in the USA. You must infiltrate the USSR to reach the missile silos, destroy them and reach the central computer in Moscow to eliminate it. Then you achieved the mission!

Raid Over Moscow has the same structure as Beach Head. In fact, both games were made by the same guys.

The first screen is in your air base in the outer space. You must control your plane and take it out of this base. Then you are in another screen where you see the earth. You must reach the corresponding soviet city (it's very easy) and then you start a phase where you fly over an enemy territory full of tanks, planes and other nasties you must destroy, and trees, buildings and other facilities you must avoid (this stage is very similar to the game Zaxxon, but in horizontal scrolling). Then you reach the missiles silos, where you must position yourself on target at the correct height and shoot. Then you have destroy the silo and must repeat the whole process from the base to another soviet city.

When all the missiles silos has been destroyed you must go to Moscow. First, we fly over enemy territory as well, but in a longer time than before and then, we are in the Red Square, and we must shoot and demolish the towers of the main building and avoid the enemy fire (it reminds me of the game 3D Tanx). Once all the towers have been destroyed, you enter the central computer room and must use a disc to destroy three robots that keep the computer working correctly. Then you finish the mission and save the world from the nuclear destruction!

The air base stage has a medium difficulty, it takes a lot to learn how to control the plane. Flying over enemy territory is very, very easy and repetitive, as you must repeat this in other four cities and the beginning of the Moscow stage, but the two final game phases are shockingly difficult, though, specially the computer room, where you have to destroy each robot throwing a disc that must first bounce at the bottom wall.

This game bring me back great memories as it was the first game I bought, together with my Spectrum.

Kong Strikes Back, 20 Jan 2014 (Rating: 3)

The sequel to Kong is a Mr. Do! Spectrum conversion by Nigel Alderton and Joffa Smith. A very addictive plattform game with a nice movement. The loading screen is another cool F. David Thorpe's work.

Sky Ranger, 22 Jan 2014 (Rating: 3)

Sky Ranger by Microsphere. Not a very known (at least for me) game from the publishers of classics Skool Daze and Back to Skool. It is how Combat Lynx should have been: a chopper easy to control, sensible number of key controls, ... more an arcade than a simulator, an interesting game to play.

N.O.M.A.D., 13 Jan 2015 (Rating: 4)

This game and Light Force (FTL, 1986) have something in common: both are very cool games where you have to pilot a spaceship with a crappy design. This is the only bad feature N.O.M.A.D. has.

No matter what is the game plot about, here you have a game where you must advance in a (mostly) linear map (linear games are not very popular but this one & Exolon are great!!!) avoiding shoots from different enemies. Sometimes the control of the spaceship is difficult. A great (and underrated) Ocean game.

Rocky, 13 Jan 2015 (Rating: 4)

One of the first boxing games for the Spectrum, similar to the classic arcade Punch-Out by Nintendo. Good graphics but it should have had a better gameplay. I remember being addictive to it when I got it. Great cover art by Alfonso Azpiri.

Beach-Head II, 13 Jan 2015 (Rating: 3)

The same concept in the first Beach Head and Raid Over Moscow (progressing through different mini-games) are used in this cool sequel. Great gameplay, decent graphics and sound. If you love the prequel and Raid, you'll love BH II.

Nick Faldo Plays the Open, 15 Jan 2015 (Rating: 3)

Speaking of Golf, Leaderboard is the king, definitely. But Nick Faldo Plays the Open is a decent golf game that I played a lot back in the day.

Graphics are not the best feature of this game, though. It is easy to play. Choose hit power level, direction and the appropiate club. If you choose the wrong club, your caddie will say 'are you sure?' to help you choose the best option. A funny and enjoyable golf game.

One on One, 15 Jan 2015 (Rating: 1)

A failed conversion for the Spectrum of a great game (the C64 version is brilliant). Julius Erving vs Larry Bird, two NBA stars at that time, play against each other. Boring game, bad graphics, ... a great dissapointment.

I, of the Mask, 20 Jan 2015 (Rating: 2)

Eleven years before Core Design coded the classic Tomb Raider for PC, Sandy White (the man behind the awesome 3D game Ant Attack and its sequel Zombie Zombie) had used a similar concept: a character fixed in the centre of the screen, perceiving as he's moving along a 3D map, featuring vector graphics. I have no idea what does it mean, but it made the game look technically impressive. But that's all about this game. A character moves along a monotonous group of mazes, looking for pieces of a robot. As I said before, technically outstanding for a 48K game, but with a poor gameplay.

911 TS, 22 Jan 2015 (Rating: 3)

This race game starts with a bit of strategy, having an amount of money to spend in buying the kind of tires, petrol and others features of a car (aero dynamics, power brakes, etc). Then start the race (eight stages), with a smooth, vertical scrolling avoiding obstacles such as bushes, branches, tires and other stuff. Because of their position it makes it difficult to reach next level. And that difficulty makes this game very addictive. Good graphics & poor sound. I played it a lot back in the day.

World Series Baseball, 23 Jan 2015 (Rating: 4)

Part of the 'World Series' that Imagine was going to release about several sports but they eventually published only this and WS Basketball.

Baseball is not a popular sport in Europe. Therefore, there are not many games for the Spectrum about it. Maybe the best is Imagine's World Series Baseball. The game screen includes a general view of the ground to see the team position and a view from the usual giant video screen used to see how you throw or hit the ball. Also shows adverts between game breaks. At first, you can choose the team's colours and the players' position on the ground. It has an easy gameplay. In fact, I had no idea about this game before getting WS Baseball, and with only some games I easily learnt the rules. A funny and enjoyable game with which you will have a good time playing it.

Abu Simbel Profanation, 26 Jan 2015 (Rating: 4)

Dinamic's first incursion in plattform games was a great success. And one of its best works. It's the third in a series of games starring adventurer Johnny Jones (the previous were Saimazoom and Babaliba) who this time has a really hard challenge, a linear plattform game that consists of 44 bloody difficult screens. Back in the day, I got a copy of this game with infinite lives. Even so, it was really hard to reach the end. At the middle of the game, the random colour of a gem is the key to choose the correct colour in a later screen to go on the game. In those days I played with a B/W telly so it was almost impossible to continue!

Graphically good, and as I said before, in spite of its difficulty, a great game.

Grand National, 29 Jan 2015 (Rating: 3)

This is a very interesting game from Elite, containing a double genre in it. First, a gambling/strategy game and second, a sport game.

You have an amount of money to spend, betting on your fave horse. Then, you choose a horse to play the race itself in a vertical scroll controlling the levels of the speed & energy bars. The upper-right part of the screen includes a side view of your horse, useful when you have to jump over the hedges. A general view of the track complete a very good appearance of the screen. Good graphics.

This double feature of the game makes it interesting and unexpectedly addictive.

Critical Mass, 02 Feb 2015 (Rating: 4)

Another nice game from Durell (publisher of a bunch of good games) where you have to pilot a ship/overcraft/whatever in a desert inspired by Frank Herbert's Dune, with giant worms included. Just move forward to progress in the game, shooting and avoiding rocks (what is difficult to do). If you lose all the energy because of the hits, your ship explodes in a visually cool way and using only a safety jet-pac, you must find a base to get a new ship, avoiding those dangerous worms.

Quite a cool game.

Herbert's Dummy Run, 04 Feb 2015 (Rating: 4)

That's just more of the same. In my opinion the worst (or less good) game in the Wally Week series, mainly because of its lack of originality, just the same game concept as in Pyjamarama but with different character and places.

This time, the younger in the family, Herbert, is lost in a department stores. He must find his parents using and combining objects he finds everywhere.

If you love Pyjamarama (I do) you'll love Herbert's Dummy Run.

Spy Hunter, 05 Feb 2015 (Rating: 4)

A very good conversion from the original arcade game. Better than the original, I dare to say. Descend from a running lorry, Knight Driver style, and move forward on a road infested with different kind of cars that you must avoid and/or destroy. Even a chopper throwing missiles can kill you. As a top-agent, your car can turn into a boat if you choose the way to the river. Then your enemies drive boats and you must avoid rocks and the river bank.

In short, a good endless game with a smooth scroll, nice graphics but poor sound. Another cool loading screen by F. David Thorpe.

West Bank, 07 Feb 2015 (Rating: 4)

Superb conversion of the original arcade 'Bank Panic'. A shooter that tests your reflexes. You're a bank teller and there are twelve doors, behind them different people, shoot them or let them get in, all in microseconds. Once you know all the people, it's an addictive thing. Brilliant graphics, sounds and gameplay. One of the best Dinamic games.

Gremlins, 07 Feb 2015 (Rating: 4)

Brilliant text adventure, both film and Spectrum version are great (and that's not usual!). An atmospheric game with a good plot and good puzzles to solve (killing a gremlin with the mixer it's cool!, mwahahahah!). Good graphics complement quite a good adventure.

Cauldron, 10 Feb 2015 (Rating: 4)

'Tis Halloween, when only one shall be Witch Queen, Six ingredients thou must take, and in the cauldron boil and bake, Juice of toad, eye of newt, wing of bat and hemlock root, Mouldy piece of splintered bone, found from deep in musty tomb, Molten lava, cooled awhile, taken from the smoking isle, Then the spell shall be at hand, to rid the pumpkin from the land.'

So take the broomstick and face the challenge. Fly avoiding bats, pumpkins and others creatures in search of the keys to open the different doors of the underworld where you'll find all the above ingredients.

A brilliant game with a high level of difficulty. Good graphics and a cool atmosphere. A classic.

Daley Thompson's Supertest, 11 Feb 2015 (Rating: 4)

The sequel to the great D.T. Decathlon. This time includes some non-athletics events: Pistol shooting, cycling, spring board diving, giant slalom, rowing, ski jump, tug o'war and even penalties!

Not as good as Decathlon or Hypersports, but still highly playable and addictive.

Everyone's a Wally, 13 Feb 2015 (Rating: 4)

The third game in the Wally Week series gets complicated, as you must control all the Wally family: Wally himself, Wilma, Tom, Dick and Harry, picking up, combining & using objects as in the prequel Pyjamarama to get the different parts of a split combination to open a safe, all along a cute town: the bank, the butcher's, the gas station, ...

Bloody difficult game, but keeps the essence of the Wally games (good & detailed graphics, nice intro tune, ...). Cool to wander around the town.

Tapper, 16 Feb 2015 (Rating: 4)

A decent conversion of the Bally/Midway arcade game. As a bartender you must serve beers to people before they reach you and pick up the empty mugs.

In spite of the repetitive tune and the limited graphics, the game is funny and very addictive. As time passes, the game gets a frenetic rhythm, as in the best Nintendo Game & Watch games.

Another great loading screen made by F. David Thorpe.

Nightshade, 07 Mar 2015 (Rating: 3)

After some consecutive successful games, this time Ultimate failed. The usual quality in graphics and sounds, creating, as always, a great atmosphere isn't enough. We face a game with poor gameplay and a monotone map. Collect magic items to kill different ghouls in a doomed village. The result, a game that didn't meet the expectations. The beginning of the end for Ultimate.

Gyroscope, 19 May 2015 (Rating: 4)

Melbourne House, as Ocean did in Donkey Kong, released this unofficial version of the arcade Marble Madness before getting the rights to code the official version. I prefer the first game. Control a gyroscope along 5 levels, reaching the end of each one at the bottom, avoiding slopes, magnets or aliens. The control is smooth and sensitive (too sensitive, I'd say!) and the game becomes bloody addictive. A classic.

Thunderbirds, 18 Jul 2015 (Rating: 3)

Never liked those ridiculous puppets, but the conversion game for the Spectrum is really cool. It's a maze/puzzle game in wich you control a rocket and a spaceship to progress through an ancient temple by pushing stones to free two egyptologists. In each screen you must use a stategy as each ship can push a kind of stone (depending on the colour).

A very original game with a lot of fun.

Moon Cresta, 27 Jul 2015 (Rating: 3)

The prequel to the awesome 'Terra Cresta' is a very decent conversion of the great classic arcade by Incentive Software.

The fonts, the graphics and the sounds make a good arcade atmosphere (unlike the crappy tune). The movement of the spaceship is good. The game becomes easily addictive as many space shooters. A nice game.

Commando, 02 Sep 2015 (Rating: 5)

A great conversion of the arcade game. A vertical shoot'em up where you must advance through the enemy lines, in a jungle full of baddies, crossing trenchs, roads, bridges or camps. A gun and a bunch of grenades are the only arms against all of them.

The graphics are not the best point but the sound, the smooth scroll and the level of difficulty produce a very addictive game with a great playability. A Spectrum classic.

World Series Basketball, 03 Sep 2015 (Rating: 4)

The good point about this game is that it was one of the first basketball games for the Spectrum (or at least the first one I played).

It uses the same view as Match Day. As in Ritman & Clarke's game, you can change the court's colour. Then, a 4-vs-4 game with six levels of difficulty.

In spite of its bugs, poor sounds and graphics, in spite of there are some technically better basketball games, its great playability and (why not) the nostalgia make it a very decent game. Great memories playing it!

Granja, 05 Sep 2015 (Rating: 3)

We can define this game as 'Pengo meets Orwell'. You're a farmer and get into the pigsty to feed your pigs, but suddenly you are trapped inside. No problem, just put the keys in the locks to get out, but today you're unlucky as pigs have rebelled and dropped all the tomatoes you had collected, so the only thing you can do is throw tomatoes to the pigs to scare them away and push the keys into the locks.

A really funny game, an example of how much fun we can get with a simple BASIC program.

The Rocky Horror Show, 01 Oct 2015 (Rating: 4)

One of the funniest horror games for the Spectrum. Take the role of either Brad or Janet, in a crazy plot: Dr. Frank'n'Furter has kidnapped your partner and turned him/her into stone, so you must collect the pieces of the machine that will reverse the petrification process, scattered in Dr. Frank'n'Furter's castle, which is a 'disguised spaceship', by the way.

So the question is simple: find a piece, take it to the screen where you put up all the pieces and then return to find more pieces, in a limited time, with only one life, avoiding many bizarre & freak characters along the castle/spaceship. And all this makes a great, addictive game. The detailed graphics are not the best point of this game, but you know, nobody's perfect!

The Dam Busters, 05 Oct 2015 (Rating: 4)

Let's face it, flight sims are boring: playing a lot of time with a game whose screen is full of clocks and dozens of indicators are not the best way to spend a funny gaming evening. Psion's Flight Simulation was shocking at first, how a little black machine could simulate a real commercial flight! But when it came to gameplay or addictive gaming, these games couldn't compete with arcades, sports or adventure games.

So this kind of games went further in gameplay with programs like Digital Integration's Fighter Pilot, where you control a F15 jet fighter and you must defend some airfields and combat enemy planes.

So it came The Dam Busters, a superb flight sim based on real events, in which you take control of a RAF Lancaster bomber of the 617 squadron from Scampton Airfield, during World War II. Your mission is to destroy a dam in Germany that will change the course of war. You take the role of every member of the flight crew: Pilot, front & tail gunners, bomb aimer, navigator and engineer, each one with his own screen and controls. There are three levels of difficulty: Dam approach, flying starting over the English channel after taking off, and the complete mission.

A really good simulator with touches of strategy and arcade (as a gunner, you must shoot approaching enemy planes). Good graphics and a great loading screen by F. David Thorpe (maybe one of his best works).

Mapgame, 05 Oct 2015 (Rating: 3)

If you're a fan of the amazing world of spanish geography, this is your game. A simple concept: fifteen questions about many geography features, like rivers, tributaries, mountains, ranges, plus provinces and autonomous regions. Any question has four answers and you must choose the correct one. Your score increases when guessing and decrease when failing. A game for up to 4 players. Apart from the game, the program includes an option to look up all the features in every map. Very good graphics.

3D-Interceptor, 09 Oct 2015 (Rating: 2)

A spanish 3D shooter, similar to Gargoyle's Ad Astra.

Take the energy pyramids and shoot asteroids and enemy ships. I suppose it was visually cool when it was released, in 1984, but it hasn't aged very well. Anyway, good for quick gaming.

War Game, 09 Oct 2015 (Rating: 3)

A very good strategy game made in BASIC. You play over a map of Europe. You take the role of Spain and must conquer as many countries as you can in a limited number of turns, with five levels of difficulty.

First, you must buy planes, tanks and troops to reinforce your army. Then, you are asked if you want to attack (you only can attack adjacent countries), if so, you are asked again if you need info from your spies: how many planes, tanks and troops the selected country has. And you attack. If you are successful, the adjacent country will turn into your country's colour (red). The other countries can attack as well and this info will be provided in the screen. The defeated countries will turn their colour into the winner's, and a next turn starts, buying new reinforcements for Spain and for the countries you've conquered.

I've never enjoyed a BASIC game as much as this one. A nice surprise!

Highway Encounter, 13 Oct 2015 (Rating: 5)

The aliens have invaded earth and you must take the Lasertron, the world's most advanced weapon system, to the end of a highway where the aliens have their stronghold -the zone zero-, in order to destroy it and save the earth.

This game is an isometric, lineal adventure with a touch of strategy. The game concept is very original: you start with four Vortrons that push the Lasertron while one of them (the main Vortron, controlled by you) clear the way ahead. The road to the stronghold consists of 30 screens full of aliens and several obstacles that can destroy any Vortron.

A game with smooth, brilliant graphics and quality sounds. In my opinion, the best work of Costa Panayi.

Rambo, 15 Oct 2015 (Rating: 4)

The official game of the iconic film of the 80s is inevitably compared to Elite’s Commando. The differences are that you move Rambo both in a horizontal and vertical way, with a touch of strategy and less thrilling and exciting than the Elite game. You’re in Vietnam to do a reconnaisance mission in the jungle to find evidences of american war prisoners but when you find one of your comrades alive you decide to disobey and save all the prisoners. A knife, explosive arrow, grenades or rocket launcher are some of the weapons you can use. Once you enter the camp rescue the prisoners and escape in a helicopter while an enemy’s helicopter gunship chases you.

In spite of its limited graphics, it doesn’t disappoint. The vertical scroll is good but I miss a similar horizontal one, though. A more than a decent game with a cool tune (in spite of the Spectrum sound limitations) and another great F. David Thorpe loading screen.

That's the Spirit, 17 Nov 2015 (Rating: 4)

A very interesting graphic adventure, located in the apocalyptic 1996, when you're a sort of a 'ghostbuster' in a New York invaded by spirits. Lots of objects to pick up & use to progress in the game and lots of keys you'll need in this adventure: examine, read, sleep, buy, eat, drink, read...

The simple and GDU-like graphics are the worst point of this game (the main character even looks like a clumsy runner), but even so, the game gets a cool atmosphere to play it.

1942, 23 Nov 2015 (Rating: 3)

A very cool vertical shooter, quite a decent conversion of the classic arcade. In fact, Elite made many other good conversions these years: Bomb Jack, Commando, Ghosts ‘n Goblins, …

The game is based on the battle of Midway during WWII. Take off from your carrier and face a daring solo mission, flying over the ocean and enemy territory, shooting enemy planes or avoiding them by doing skillful aerobatics. Also collect power capsules that will give you extra capabilities. In spite of the lack of tune and poor sounds, it's a good game as a whole, maybe one of the best of its genre for the Spectrum.

Camelot Warriors, 23 Nov 2015 (Rating: 3)

In spite of the usual Dinamic quality graphics and the very good artwork of Alfonso Azpiri, we find a dissapointing game. Even though it has an adventurous atmosphere, movement is clumsy and low and the sound is poor. The difficulty level is high and once you finish it (if you can), you won’t fancy playing it again.

As a curious note, Dinamic displayed stunning advertisings for this game on magazines, one of them were an amazing double-page ad, maybe the best one for a Spectrum game I've ever seen.

Bounder, 24 Nov 2015 (Rating: 4)

Bounder is defined as a ‘compulsive game’ in its inlay. A good definition for a very addictive arcade whose mission is simple, and simple games usually are the funniest and the most addictive ones. In this case, you move a tennis ball bouncing through 10 levels in a vertical scroll.

The ball must bounce on certain hexagonal slabs only, avoiding mountains, birds, coins and other moving objects. Certain slabs will help you: teleport, arrows (help you make longer jumps) or mystery bonus. After each level there’s a cool bonus stage. The graphics are correct (the play area is monochrome, though), the scroll is smooth, the sounds are good and the tune is very nice.

So Bounder is an enjoyable, original game that won’t dissapoint you.

Fall Guy, 25 Nov 2015 (Rating: 2)

Based on the classic 80s TV show, Elite made this time a bloody hard game. You're a stuntman and have to progress through 6 film sets, jumping onto a train running along carriage roofs, runaway trucks, tanks, ... It's so difficult to progress through the game that it bores. It has detailed backgrounds, in the usual Elite style (but it doesn't mean they're graphically masterpieces!), ... too much effort on them and too little on gameplay, though.

Cyclone, 25 Nov 2015 (Rating: 5)

One of the Spectrum classics, a masterpiece by the master of 3D, Costa Panayi. Fly the helicopter into a danger zone in an archipelago to recover medical supplies, seeking and collecting five crates. Rescue inhabitants as well, avoiding planes and what's most important: beware of the cyclone that's devastating the islands. Use a compass and a map to plan the mission. You can use alternate views to find people and crates.

The movement in the four directions is smooth and excellent, and the little graphics are good, accompanied by appropiate sounds. When you get into the cyclone zone, the effect of the helicopter staggering is just brilliant.

A top ten game, definitely!

Hyper Sports, 26 Nov 2015 (Rating: 5)

One of the classics sporting games for the Spectrum. A superb conversion by Joffa Smith of the original arcade. Compete in six exciting events: swimming, skeet shooting, long horse, archery, triple jump and weight lifting.

The game is as good as the arcade, with the same brilliant graphics and great sounds and music. It’s very addictive and it becomes a knightmare for the keyboard membrane!

A sure top ten for the Spectrum.

Rocman, 02 Dec 2015 (Rating: 3)

A very acceptable adventure in which you must find a cathar treasure hidden in the south of France. You will progress through a cute map of caves and castles, full of traps and other threats, avoiding dangerous bats. Your weapons will be only keys and papyrus to be used in the correct place.

The graphics are good and detailed, the sounds are acceptable and the intro tune is nice, including an spectacular intro voice that welcomes you to the adventure. The clumsy movement of the character and the abrupt scroll don't avoid enjoying this unknown but interesting spanish game.

Lightforce, 25 Dec 2015 (Rating: 3)

Cool shooter for the Spectrum. Surprisingly colourful, this game is graphically very good, but hard to play. The scroll is smooth, the movement and sounds are correct. Overall it's an addictive game with, curiously, the most bizarre and tackiest space ship you'll ever control in a game.

Cauldron II: The Pumpkin Strikes Back, 11 Jan 2016 (Rating: 4)

In Cauldron (1985), you were a witch and had to kill all the pumpkins to finish the game. The sequel to this game reverse the plot: you are the surviving pumpkin from part one who strikes back, trying to kill the witch by collecting certain objects through a lot of screens that shape the visually marvellous witch's castle. And you finish your mission (and that's the problem in Cauldron II) by bouncing: bouncing downstairs, upstairs, to get and object, to avoid enemies... only bouncing, what makes this game one of the most difficult for the Spectrum. Graphically is good but with poor sounds that don't avoid a proper atmosphere.

In a nutshell, a deserving second part but with a terrible, bloody difficult.

Nuclear Bowls, 30 Jan 2016 (Rating: 4)

A spanish game that takes place in a nuclear power plant. Bowls, the main engineer, wearing a special suit, must repair the nuclear reactor that has crashed using several objects located in a map of 46 screens. It's a quite difficult plattform in Abu Simbel Profanation style, not so lineal as the Dinamic classic, though. The screens are beautifully designed and very detailed, correct sounds and not a bad starting tune, but the difficulty makes the game inevitably frustrating.

Ramon Rodriguez, 07 Feb 2016 (Rating: 2)

Ramón is a punk that, we don't know how, appeared in a dark cavern where lances fall from the roof and strange creatures prowled, like snakes with an organ keyboard as a mouth and giant horns with big jaws. Evidently, Ramón had drank too much... and you must help him escape of that bizarre nightmare.

A terribly hard plattform with cute graphics and poor movement. The nice music that quickly becomes repetitive and annoying makes you get on your nerves. In short, a frustrating game starring an original character.

Phantomas 2, 30 Mar 2016 (Rating: 5)

The sequel to Phantomas, released as 'Vampyre' in the UK, takes place in the year 2987 in the castle of a futuristic Dracula, a superb map of 95 colourful and well-detailed screens, a terrific plattform in the way of Abu Simbel Profanation, but this time less linear and much more an adventure. Your mission is to kill Dracula by opening 6 windows and finding 5 keys, collecting a hammer, a stake and a cross to reach the final fight with your evil enemy.

A really-hard-but-good game. Graphics, tune and sounds make it quite atmospheric. Definitely one of the best Dinamic's works.

Cyberun, 15 Aug 2016 (Rating: 3)

Cyberun is the first shooter Ultimate released since Lunar Jetman, three years before. And this time is an enjoyable and original game in which you must pilot a ship that needs to be assembled with parts scattered along a planet's surface and its undersoil caverns in the Zebarema system. Add-ons are also available like boosters, solar sails or fuel. Fight against aliens and try to escape from the planet.

The game has the usual good Ultimate graphics and sounds. Smooth movement in an horizontal & vertical scroll. We can find some similarities to Lunar Jetman while playing, like its high difficulty.

Maybe the best Ultimate game under the US Gold label.

Fred, 10 Sep 2016 (Rating: 5)

A great game from the spanish Indescomp. An intrepid explorer, Fred, must go through a dangerous labyrinth infested of ghosts, rats, chameleons, acid drops, vampyres, mummies and skeletons to reach the exit and start again in a new and more difficult level. Some items will help you, like pieces of a map of the catacomb, bullets to kill enemies or power drops.

Nice cartoonish graphics and sounds but a clumsy scroll. An excellent adventure that has aged very well with a simple but addictive concept.

A classic piece of the spanish software.

Asterix and the Magic Cauldron, 29 Sep 2016 (Rating: 2)

Poor game that mixes adventure and fights. You are Asterix, the brave gaul warrior and must search some cauldron pieces along a colourful map (maybe the only cool thing this game has) fighting enemies with the help of your inseparable friend Obelix. Beautiful backgrounds that are extremely slow to be drawn, as in many text adventures, spoiling the gameplay.

Another game based on a great story (Asterix's been one of my fave comics ever) that could have given many posibilities to release a succesful game but this time failed. Not the best game from Melbourne House, definitely. Dissapointing.

Batman, 29 Sep 2016 (Rating: 4)

A great isometric game by Jon Ritman and Bernie Drummond. An adventure in which you must find several parts of your batcraft to rescue Robin from the cluches of Joker & the Riddler and escape from the deadly catacombs beneath Gotham City, about 150 screens. First, you must find some equipment that will help you in the adventure (boots, bag, belt and a thruster). Then, to accomplish the mission, as in similar adventures, The Caped Crusader must search certain objects and solve several puzzles. Features like graphics, sounds, a catchy tune or the character movement are at the height of the game.

An enjoyable game that compete in greatness with other isometric classics like Knith Lore, Fairlight or The Great Escape.

Moonlight Madness, 29 Sep 2016 (Rating: 3)

Funny plattform game by John F. Cain in which you're the assistant of a scientist and must find the sixteen keys spread along a mansion to find out the combination of his safe to open it and retrieve the pills that will save his life.

The game concept is not very original, as it's very similar to Booty, released two years ago by the same author. Even the character is the same and both games use a repetitive (and odious) tune. Avoid enemies, push buttons to activate plattforms and enter doors to reach other screens in order to collect all the keys and go back to the starting screen where the safe is located.

If you love Booty, you'll love Moonlight Madness.

Ole, Toro, 30 Sep 2016 (Rating: 2)

The first videogame addressing the nowadays controversial world of bullfighting was dissapointing. Behind a beauty artwork, a friendly starting tune and very atmospheric graphics of the Seville ring there's a very poor game. You must face six bulls to gain the glory. But the game only consists of pressing a key in the appropiate moment in every stage.

While this game was published in Spain building interest and curiosity (it was never be seen something similar before) it was released in the UK with a great polemic. Too much controversy for a too much poor game.

Ping Pong, 17 Nov 2016 (Rating: 4)

Excellent ping-pong game with an awesome tune and sound effects in only 48k. The easy controls and the fast game pace make this game bloody addictive.

Tommy, 19 Nov 2016 (Rating: 2)

Poor clone of Pyjamarama made by Future Stars, a Dinamic label used to promote novice programmers.

Tommy is a student who has to collect some qualifications and save them in a certain place of his high school. As in the Mikro-Gen classic, you must collect and use objects in certain places. The game features poor graphics and it's not bad for fans of the Wally Week series.

Whopper Chase, 12 Jan 2017 (Rating: 3)

This game was distributed by Burger King Spain with every menu (IIRC). It's a simple arcade with no other claim that being a decent and enjoyable game.

The year is 2025 and the burger industry has reached such technological level that customers don't need to go to the burger shops to eat their fave food but the burger themselves go to the customers' homes. But for every hamburger it's a terrible mission, as the road is full of hungry people and rival-companies employees trying to adulterate their ingredients. But every BK hamburger is trained in the hardest martial arts to accomplish its mission. You also need to give a complete BK logo to the customer, every part of it will be get by reaching certain amount of points.

As I said before, it's a decent arcade with nice graphics but with a very short background, about 10-12 screens, just to have a while playing it.

Rex Hard, 21 Feb 2017 (Rating: 2)

This game from the spanish Mister Chip contains all the ingredients for a good adventure: An intrepid explorer, Indiana Jones style, is searching the Golden Sun, an ancient treasure hidden in a far south american jungle. The are some objects to use in certain places and a remaining time to accomplish each phase: the jungle, the indian village and the pyramid (including a vulcan, secret passages and subterranean temples).

But all this expectation falls down when you start the game. The character moves in an isometric screen, in a similar Filmation 2 way. But it's a bad, clumsy movement that complicates the gameplay. Once some natives brought closer to you it's nearly impossible to avoid them and run for the exit. You are supposed to reach a bridge to cross it and advance to next place, but I've never done it after many attempts.

Modest graphics and the absence of sounds or music finish this poor game off.

Spirits, 21 Feb 2017 (Rating: 3)

A nice adventure I've always loved to play. A wizard must find certain objects (a crystal ball, a spellbook,...) to disenchant a princess and destroy a giant eagle. All this inside two linked castles full of ghosts, hunched butlers and bears that can kill you.

The game have a original feature: the screen is split into two halves, the upper one is where you move the character and the lower one is where the objects/character you're looking for are located. The objects are displayed at random so every game is a new adventure in this labyrinthine castle.

Very nice graphics and cool music are featured in one of the first games released by the prolific Topo company.

El Cid, 02 Mar 2017 (Rating: 2)

El Cid is a poor isometric adventure featuring the epic spanish knight of the 11th century.

You must snatch a parchment from evil forces that try to use it to free Satan and take over the world. Besides you must free your lovely Jimena from them. You'll find some useful objects to accomplish the mission: a lamp, a key, money, ... The main problem is the movement which is tough, hard to move the character and combat. The weird combination of keys (K, Ent, O, S and L) don't help much, the sound is poor and the game map is a boring group of road intersections. Graphics are acceptable.

To put in a nutshell, this historical character should have deserved a better game.

Desperado, 02 Mar 2017 (Rating: 3)

Appropriate Spectrum version of the classic arcade by spanish software house Topo.

A vertical shoot-em-up in which you must go through five levels infested of enemies (a western town, a river, a railroad, a prairie, ...) and a final boss at the end of every stage.

It's a very addictive game (its best point) with acceptable graphics and good movement and scroll. Definitely Topo made a very decent conversion of the Capcom classic.

The Colditz Story, 04 Mar 2017 (Rating: 3)

Nice game from Atlantis, in which you are a prisoner that tries to escape from the famous Colditz castle, during the WWII.

It consists of going through rooms till the entrance of the castle and escape. In each room you can find objects to use later or face mini-games. You must overcome them or lose a life.

The good point of this game is that is not lineal so you can choose several paths to reach the end, coming across different challenges. The graphics are poor, as poor as the sound, but it can be addictive thanks to the simple concept of every mini-game.

Not a classic, but perfect for a short gaming.

Exolon, 04 Mar 2017 (Rating: 4)

One of the classics form Hewson.

A shooter with a lineal concept and no scroll is not supposed to be good, but this is the appeal of this game, facing a new challenge screen by screen, with very good graphics, colours and a great animation. The 128K version has well-made sounds and it's one of those Spectrum games that stands the test of time.

Fernando Martin Basket Master, 22 Mar 2017 (Rating: 4)

One of the best basketball games for the Spectrum featuring basket legend Fernando Martín, the first spanish player to join the NBA, playing at Portland Trail Blazers.

This game is what One on One should have been.

You can play vs computer or in 2-players mode (this latter one is a funny option). The game has a great gameplay and amazing graphics. An spectacular feature is when you make a dunk, showing a cool TV replay of it.

A true addictive sports game.

Mag Max, 22 Mar 2017 (Rating: 3)

Enjoyable shoot-em-up, a good conversion from its original arcade.

With an horizontal scroll and an original 3D perspective, you control a robot along different levels above and below ground, shooting enemies and collecting parts and guns that power up the robot, increasing its strength and firepower levels. Includes the usual final boss and the end of each stage.

Mag Max has the graphics and gameplay that a good shooter must have, also a cool music, make it a very playable game. However, it was not one of Imagine's most remembered titles.

Nonamed, 23 Mar 2017 (Rating: 3)

Passable adventure by Dinamic in which you're a knight apprentice with the hard challenge of escaping from the castle of an evil wizard.

The graphics are good -the usual Dinamic standards, colourful and detailed- but the main character seems small and the movement is crude and clumsy which make the game bloody difficult. Besides, there's no sounds. A weird feature is the karate-style movement to hit enemies.

You must use some objects along a too small map. With more screens and a better movement, Dinamic might have done a classic. Another great artwork by Alfonso Azpiri.

Don Quijote, 06 Apr 2017 (Rating: 3)

The immortal work of Miguel de Cervantes, a masterpiece of the universal literature, was rightly converted into text adventure by Dinamic.

You're Alonso Quijano, a nobleman who lives in the spanish region of La Mancha that gets mad because of reading so many knights stories, so you decide to become Don Quijote de la Mancha and do justice for poor and weak people, fight against terrible giants,... with the help of your squire Sancho, a humble man whose common sense and view of life is the counterbalance to Don Quijote's madness.

The aim of the game is court the beautiful maiden Dulcinea and win her heart, but first, you must be knighted to start your adventures along the country.

The game is divided into two parts, the second one starts asking you the password you've got at the end of the part one, as in many other Dinamic games. The detailed graphics help you immerse in the adventure. As you progress in the game, you must not forget to find food, it's essential to finish the game.

The game doesn't follow the original story's structure, but it's good to read some chapters of the book to solve certain puzzles you'll come across along the adventure.

Don Quijote is definitely one of the best text adventures in spanish for the Spectrum.

Game Over, 18 Apr 2017 (Rating: 4)

Great shooter by Dinamic, maybe one of its best works (and one of my faves!)

It takes place in a futuristic planet, a hard mission divided into the usual Dinamic's two loading parts. As in Army Moves, the first part is a lineal game, unlike the second one, that is more of an adventure.

The game is hard, but embellished with cool and coloured graphics and nice sounds.

Pheenix, 27 Apr 2017 (Rating: 4)

A very good conversion of the arcade classic Phoenix. 5 levels of pure shooter facing bloody waves of robot scout birds, war birds, asteroid belts and finally the heavily guarded flagship, where you must destroy the defensive system and kill the alien queen to save the earth.

It was difficult to find a decent game among the large amount of unofficial conversion of arcades back in the early years of the Spectrum, but this time Martin Ward and Megadodo made a great game (with a crap tune too!), a true addictive shooter with the right level of difficulty.

Arkanoid, 04 May 2017 (Rating: 4)

'The era and time of this story is unknown'...

Great conversion of the Taito arcade classic. One of those Spectrum versions as good as the original game. A plot about spaceships and aliens give way to an addictive game with 33 levels, in which you control a craft that hits a ball in order to break down a wall, destroying bricks, some of them can give you capsules with extra powers.

An appropriate level of difficulty, good graphics and movement and a catchy tune complete a very good game.

Livingstone Supongo, 09 May 2017 (Rating: 3)

One of the first releases of the spanish company Topo and one of the most iconic games of Spain's software industry in the 80s.

A nice adventure in which you take the role of Henry Morton Stanley in his historic mission of searching lost adventurer David Livingstone through Zambeze river in Africa.

You must go upriver till the town of the very dangerous Ujijis, a cannibal tribe whose sacred temple is the place in which you must deposit five sacred stones you must previously find. To accomplish this difficult mission you have a machete, some grenades, a boomerang and a pole to reach inaccessible places.

You progress through an almost linear jungle, screen by screen -no scroll-, full of cannibals, monkeys, piranhas, carnivorous plants and soldiers. The detailed graphics and use of colour are acceptable, so are the game sounds, but improvable, I must say.

The movement of the character is not good, what it makes difficult to control at first. You must do some attempts till you can jump with the pole. This and the use of the boomerang are two original features of this game.

In summary, an acceptable and original adventure game.

High Noon, 10 May 2017 (Rating: 3)

This little jewel from Workforce is a nice conversion from the very old Midway's Boot Hill arcade classic.

A western duel in which you have limited bullets and a moving stagecoach and two cactus as shields. Simple but addictive.

One of the first Spectrum games I've ever played. Great for a 1983 one. Even the crappy Chopin's Funeral March played when a player loses a life is a fond recall.

Saboteur II, 12 May 2017 (Rating: 4)

Worthy sequel of a great classic.

The infiltration style continues, this time starring a female ninja in the Dictator's new command centre on top of a mountain infested of giant android guards and fierce pumas. Collect several pieces of a tape and try to escape on a motorbike through the subterranean caverns under the centre. Similar action in an amazing bigger map.

The game has an original feature: it starts when the ninja drops from a hang glider, somehow choosing which part of the command centre you want to land when starting the mission. The rest of the game is basically similar to part 1: graphics, several levels with increasingly difficult tasks, the way to collect objects, the life bar,... the starting tune is not as cool as part 1's, though!

To make it short, if you love Saboteur, you'll love this game.

Mission Jupiter, 16 May 2017 (Rating: 3)

Budget game in which an astronaut equipped with a jet pac must descent into the depths of planet Jupiter through ten levels avoiding obstacles and shooting every inhabitant he come across, picking up fuel units and laser boosters and control their levels.

It's an horizontal shooter with a good scroll but the graphic part might have been better: the character and the background often misleads the player.

In summary, not a bad game. Even it can become addictive. Value for money.

Gauntlet, 16 Jun 2017 (Rating: 4)

Great conversion of the classic Atari arcade. Simple graphics are sacrificed for superb playability and adictiveness.

At first you must select a character to play: warrior, valkyrie, wizard or elf, each one with different strengths and weaknesses.

Advance through tens of mazes infested of ghosts, grunts, demons, sorcerers,... in the search of the exit to the next maze. Collect food, potions or treasures. Find keys to open doors. And kill everything that moves.

The two player game is a cool choice. In a nutshell, one of the funniest conversions for the Spectrum and a classic of the dungeons and dragons genre.

Impossaball, 18 Jun 2017 (Rating: 4)

Original game in which you must guide a bouncing ball through the corridor of doom, avoiding spikes, plasma fields and fire bolts. To complete the game, push all the cylinders you come across.

The good point of this game published by Hewson and coded by Nebulus author, John Phillips, lies in its original topic, not very utilised in those years (now I can only think of the great Gremlin's Bounder) and its successful (perfect, I would say) horizontal scroll. The high difficulty will get on your nerves, though.

Into the Eagle's Nest, 25 Oct 2017 (Rating: 4)

A very interesting Gauntlet clone based on World War II, as good as the original in my opinion.

You must infiltrate a german fortress, rescue three prisoners, steal back as many treasures as you can and destroy the castle.

A very good Pandora production with great graphics and a cool adventure component that made it definitely the best of the Gauntlet clones released after the Atari classic.

Harrier Attack!, 16 Dec 2017 (Rating: 3)

A nice game (I presume generally accepted). Maybe because this game from 1983, in spite of its UDG graphics, includes taking off, bombing and avoiding explosions and others planes while controlling your fuel and ammo levels. Not a bad game for that year!

Scuba Dive, 24 Dec 2017 (Rating: 4)

A cute game with an original plot. Avoid the dangers under the sea trying to find pearls and returning to your boat. Take care of your level of oxygen and beware of the terrible caves. The movement and graphics of sharks are one of the best points of this game.

A simple and funny game that's as playable today as back then.

Yeti, 05 Jan 2018 (Rating: 3)

If you liked Exolon, you'll love this game. Inspired by Raffaelle Cecco's hit, it has not as good graphics and sounds but it keeps the same cool gameplay and linear structure.

Catching the Yeti is worth the effort!

Emilio Butragueno Futbol, 16 Jan 2018 (Rating: 4)

A football game inspired by the legendary Tehkan World Cup arcade hit.

Back in the day this top selling game was very addictive, with an original view and its great 2 player option but a bad scroll and poor sounds have made it hasn't aged very well, I played it a lot and have good regards of it, though.

Capitan Sevilla, 17 Jan 2018 (Rating: 3)

A not very popular Dinamic game starring a curious superhero in his fight against the typical evil baddie who wants to take over the world. It has the usual Dinamic two-parts system. At the end of part 1 you'll be given a code to start part 2.

You're in Seville and have to go through the streets to reach a rocket to travel in part 2 to the planet where the baddie is located and deactivate a dangerous weapon.

The game has a (almost) linear structure. You start as Mariano, a humble lunchmeat driver that can become Capitán Sevilla by eating some of the blood sausages you find that will give you certain superpowers (fly, high jumps, shoots, powerful blast, ...) in a limited time and help you reach your goal in the game. When you're not a super hero you can only give a punch so you'll lose a life with a simple contact with enemies.

It has very good comic-style graphics and backgrounds (monochrome though), with acceptable sounds and a nice starting tune. A bit difficult plattform game in which you have to use strategy to choose to become a super hero in certain moments.

A nice game, in my opinion. Cool artwork game by artist Max.

Phantom Club, 18 Jan 2018 (Rating: 3)

This is another isometric adventure set on a selected club of super heroes. One of them, Zarg, has convinced most of the other members to pass over to the 'dark side', sort of.

But Plutus, the most incorruptible member of the club will fight against evil Zarg and his henchmen by completing some tasks through over 500 screens. You start with the lowest rank, Zelator. As you complete tasks, you will increase your rank. Only when you get the highest, Ipsisimus, you'll be able to fight and defeat the evil Zarg.

This is an interesting adventure produced by Ocean with very good graphics, an excellent movement of the character and a interesting variety of enemies. But it's set on a monotone map (something very common in many isometric games)and it was released when the market was swamped with this kind of adventures. If Ocean had released it before, say, 1986, it would probably have been a classic.

Anyway, a very good choice for the fans of the genre that Ultimate started with Knight Lore.

Eric & the Floaters, 19 Jan 2018 (Rating: 3)

A funny maze game. Use bombs to kill enemies and reach next level. Activate bombs wisely or you'll kill yourself!

Renegade III, 26 Jan 2018 (Rating: 1)

Renegade III is the remain of what they were two great games. Only decent graphics and movement of the character. But overall is a surrealist and boring product, an example of abuse of using sequels.

Subway Vigilante, 26 Jan 2018 (Rating: 2)

Neither graphics nor the bad control of the character nor the 'variety' of backgrounds made it a good game, but it's just what you need if you're a huge fan of the genre.

Inside Outing, 30 Jan 2018 (Rating: 2)

An isometric adventure that takes place in a mansion of a dead rich man whose widow asks you to find some hidden gems along the house.

To achieve your mission, you must face some weird pets that are the result of bizarre experiments by the dead man.

This game turned up when all the classic isometric games were already released. Anyway, the idea was very good and the result was an interesting adventure but with slow, clumsy and rough movements of characters that made it sometimes exasperating.

Graphically is good (hence the slowness of movements, maybe), with very detailed objects in every room. All in a very short map, though. Nice and original transitions between screens.

A good idea in a dissapointing game, unfortunately.

Saimazoom, 08 Feb 2018 (Rating: 4)

One of the first Dinamic works starring Johny Jones, an intrepid explorer who must find four sacks hidden in the african jungle and bring them back to the starting point.

It's got all the ingredients of a cool adventure: a huge map, objects that help you cross the river or open locks, guns... and a counter of water level so you must find canteens to avoid it reachs zero.

It was the first game in the 'Johny Jones' trilogy, continuing with Babaliba and Abu Simbel.

Mad Mix Game, 16 Feb 2018 (Rating: 4)

A very original version of arcade classic Pac Man by spanish company Topo Soft.

Fifteen exciting levels in a enhanced game with more bonus and ghosts than in the classic game. The usual Topo cool sounds & tunes and funny graphics complete one of the best Pac-Man games for the Spectrum.

Cavelon, 20 Feb 2018 (Rating: 4)

Nice maze game, one of the first Ocean works.

Collect door pieces spread through the labyrinth to reach next level. In total five mazes infested with knights and archers, plus a sixth screen with a final battle against the wizard to earn a place in the round table.

An addictive game that features pleasant graphics and a cool tune. Really difficult to get next level, but you have a secret weapon: the mighty Excalibur.

Android One, 23 Feb 2018 (Rating: 4)

Game inspired by the classic arcade Berzerk. The result is an enjoyable work by Costa Panayi.

Infiltrate your android into a complex, destroy the reactor and go back to the starting point facing many aliens.

UDG graphics, a low level of difficulty and a short map don't stop being an interesting game.

Panic, 19 Mar 2018 (Rating: 4)

There are many Panic games for the Spectrum (the original arcade is great), but this is one of the best, in my opinion.

Dig holes to trap the aliens. Not the best graphics but it's quite addictive. Pure arcade!

Z-Man, 23 Mar 2018 (Rating: 3)

A very cool pac-man game for the ZX Spectrum. Good graphics and sounds make it one of the best clones of the classic Namco arcade game.

Froggy, 23 Mar 2018 (Rating: 3)

A very good Frogger clone by DJL, maybe the best for the Spectrum. Funny to play in spite of its poor graphics.

Psycho City, 18 Apr 2018 (Rating: 4)

It takes place in an apocaliptic 1991. The streets of our city are no longer safe. And you must find infamous Mr Big's hide out and blow it away. You also can collect money bags and stolen goods to be dropped into the bank vault and get a reward. And shot anything that moves, of course.

A quite atmospheric adventure, surprisingly interesting, that was released in a year (1989) when isometric games had declined.

Pool, 20 Apr 2018 (Rating: 4)

There are tons of pool games for the Spectrum, but this is my fave one because it's simple to use and graphically correct. It can be surprisingly addictive.

Penetrator, 10 Jul 2018 (Rating: 4)

Great game with a mix of good sounds, simple but effective graphics and a great gameplay. An excellent conversion of the classic arcade game.

Mapsnatch, 19 Jul 2018 (Rating: 4)

Based on a classic board game called Risk by Hasbro, the aim of the game is conquer Europe. It's divided into 12 countries, each one armed with 4 armies. you play in turns with dice conquering countries and facing enemy armies.

This enjoyable game was one of Dinamic's early releases.

Light Cycle, 19 Jul 2018 (Rating: 3)

Based on the Tron classic arcade, this early Spectrum game by PSS has a high playability and frenetic sounds, no need of anything more to be a very addictive game. Even its too simple graphics doesn't influence in the final result.

Musculos, 16 Nov 2018 (Rating: 2)

This is an educational program to study the human muscles.

First of all, it asks you to load a previous file. Just press N. Then a new screen asks you if you want to study (1) or make a test (2) of: head muscles (C), trunk muscles (T) or limbs muscles (E). Make a combination of both groups in the INPUT answer. Then the program will ask you to correct the selection. Press N.

It's curious to see how the Spectrum BASIC can draw parts of the human body well, in spite of its limitations.

One of the games that justified that...

We bought it to help with your homework
We bought it to help with your homework
And the household accounts
etc etc

Obstaculos, 16 Nov 2018 (Rating: 3)

One of the first games I've typed up in BASIC from Microhobby magazine.

Drive a glamurous sports car in an horizontal-scroll racing game on a road, trying to avoid obstacles. Well, actually trying to pass through where the gap is, because every obstacle occupy the whole road (Walls on the road? WTF?)

The flickering movement of the car and the rest of graphics don't avoid to find it surprisingly addictive in the first games, moving the car through the gaps becomes an obsession but once you get the hang of it it becomes boring.

Astro, 16 Nov 2018 (Rating: 2)

Weird game in which you control an astronaut along some screens. First one, a labyrinth. If you touch the walls, you're dead, what is highly likely due to the difficult control of character. Frustrating.

Then, a new screen in which you must avoid and shoot stars. Strange level, as you're supposed to lose a life if collide with any stars, but sometimes you collide and nothing happens. I think I'm missing something.

Then, two new screens similar to the latter ones. If, after those four screens, you don't get a minimum of 27.500 points, you can't go to the next screens (it seems there are six in total). The problem is there's no points counter on the screen.

If you get that amount of points you go to the next screen, in which you must avoid and shoot a sort of space objects. This time with points and oxygen counter (whenever you collide with an object, your oxygen counter decreases). Probably the best level.

La Nave, 16 Nov 2018 (Rating: 3)

Called as 'Nave Estelar' in the starting screen. Cool game in which you must cross the screen from left to right in a space ship avoiding the flashing guys and catching the other graphics that give you points. Also a gunner that fires you from different positions. Whenever you cross the screen you get extra bonus and start again.

Azatoth, 16 Nov 2018 (Rating: 2)

Maze game in which you must find the cup shown in the instructions screen. Then, select the level of difficulty and then you appear in a maze when you can get points by catching objects.

The view seems inspired by Atic Atac. Even there are some holes in the ground that let you fall to a lower level of rooms, with similar visual effects, as in the Ultimate hit.

You start with five lifes, you lose any if all the doors in a room are closed. The map is made randomly, so random that if you enter a room and leave the room back to the previous, is different again!

La Bodega, 24 Nov 2018 (Rating: 2)

There's an old legend that says that somewhere there's an underground wine cellar where someone produced a prodigious wine, source of health and energy.

So you're the guy who faces the amazing challenge of entering the cellar and getting that winery.

This is an original program in which you control the guy going downstairs, avoiding the broken steps and getting some bottles that restore your energy level. O and P are the only keys you need to accomplish your mission.

Not bad, in spite of BASIC limitations.

Senet, 24 Nov 2018 (Rating: 2)

This game is based on Senet, the board game from ancient Egypt.

You can play vs Spectrum or vs another player. Basically the aim is to get the five tokens out the board, made of a 3x10 grid. Every token moves in an inverted 'S' movement.

Opcion 1 in the menu goes to the instructions. Option 2 is Spectrum vs human mode. Option 3, human vs human, option 4 load a previously saved game (using letter G) and 5 reset.

The game starts rolling the dice. Select square by typing A,B or C and 0 to 9.

At the end of the instructions, the program warns you: 'DON'T TRY TO CHEAT, YOU WON'T BE ABLE TO!'

Ransom, 24 Nov 2018 (Rating: 3)

You're a hero who pilots a chopper and must rescue people and take them back to the aircraft carrier. Beware of the enemy chopper and the explosions from a tank in the castle. Also keep an eye on the fuel level.

Interesting game written in BASIC.

Tron, 24 Nov 2018 (Rating: 2)

Another Tron game. In spite of the BASIC limitations, it can be a nice 2-players game to play.

Los Cuatreros del Espacio, 24 Nov 2018 (Rating: 2)

In this game you travel to planet Orion to steal horses. OPQA are the keys. You control a ship that must catch the horse avoiding the static and moving dots and go back to the ship.

It's really hard to control the ship and catching the horses, but a nice BASIC game in general.

Pic-nic, 24 Nov 2018 (Rating: 2)

You're in the country enjoing a delicious afternoon snack when hordes of ants are trying to steal your fruit. So you control a foot that must step on any ant before it reaches the piece of fruit. When a number of ants reaches the piece, they grab it and leave, you lose a life and then another piece is shown, starting again. A cool feature is that a different piece of fruit is shown every time.

Stepping on an ant is really hard, you must calculate the exact moment you must press the key so that the foot reaches the ant, what makes the game surprisingly addictive

Plasma, 26 Nov 2018 (Rating: 1)

Your spaceship is crossing a dangerous cosmic plasma zone, where the frightening plasmas live. They're approaching the spaceship so you must get out and trying to repel them to avoid they reach and fire the ship's energy aerial (the green circle to the right).

You are armed with a special repellent ray and must repel the plasmas completely to the left of the screen till they dissapear. Then a new enemy appears and you must do the same again.

It's hard to control the astronaut and the background is too confused, full of coloured planets, and all this make the game difficult and boring.

La Corrida, 27 Nov 2018 (Rating: 2)

It's 5 o'clock in the evening in a crowded bullring. The big doors open and a majestic bull appears. In front of him, the matador.

But this time the roles exchange and with the keys 5,6,7 and 8 you control the bull and must reach the matador that appears and dissapears randomly. There's a step counter ('pasos') and the number of times you hit the bullfighter ('cogidas'). Whenever you reach the matador, the program tells you the time you needed to reach the man and back to the fight again.

Nice traditional bullfighting music intro, but really hard to play.

Las Llaves, 27 Nov 2018 (Rating: 3)

You're closed in a 49-cells grid and must escape. You start in one of them. You can exit a cell by two ways:

- Black batting doors: They're opened only in the direction they show
- Coloured keys: They open the doors with the same colour.

You must reach the black door to complete the game, taking into account that the maximum time you are allowed to stay in each cell is 500 time units. And you have 3 lives.

The maze is not random, though, but it is a really addictive BASIC game.

El Bombero, 28 Nov 2018 (Rating: 1)

As a firefighter, you must take all the water drums, avoiding fire. If you step on the blue ground fire will appear behind you.

It's very difficult to control the character, what makes it exasperating.

Sabre Wulf, 30 Nov 2018 (Rating: 5)

One of the Spectrum classics, a true masterpiece by Ultimate.

The first adventure of one of the most iconic Spectrum characters, Sabreman, an intrepid explorer in a giant maze, a jungle infested with wild animals (tarantulas, gorillas, scorpions, …) and dangerous natives where he must search the four pieces of a medallion.

You'll come across some orchids, depending of their colour they will help you... or not. Some animals can be killed but others not, just try to avoid them, specially the wolf that prowls the southern jungle.

Superb (and hard) game with frenetic action, colourful graphics and cool sound effects that made you immerse in an unique arcade atmosphere. Unforgettable intro music.

Knight Lore, 30 Nov 2018 (Rating: 5)

An iconic 8-bit game, a masterpiece by Ultimate that popularised the isometric view in a game (it was not the first, but the first great one) that they called it 'Filmation', used again in Alien 8 and improved later in Nightshade and Gunfright, technically good games but with much less popularity, starting the decline of the company in the Spectrum market.

Knight Lore is the third adventure of Sabreman, the intrepid explorer that survived the infested jungle in Sabre Wulf and the underground hell in Underwurlde. Now, in the Knight Lore castle, he's victim of the curse of lycanthropy and the only way to rid yourself of it is find 6 objects that the cauldron of Melkhior, the old dying wizard, will show you, one by one. You'll have to find each object and place in the cauldron. Once all the object has been in it, the remedy will be made and Sabreman recover from the curse of the werewolf.

The castle consists of tens of rooms and dungeons, and crossing each one is a challenge itself: traps, gargoyles, stairways, doorways, portcullis, monsters, ball chains, impalers, ...

An original feature of the game is that in a cyclical way, Sabreman will became wolf and human. In many rooms, when becaming wolf, he'll have to avoid a myst that will push him over a trap or expel from the room.

Brilliant game with, as usual in the Sabreman saga, nice intro music. Good graphics and excellent movement in a true atmospheric game, one of the great, unforgettable Spectrum classics.

Pyjamarama, 30 Nov 2018 (Rating: 5)

This game by Mikro-Gen is one of the Spectrum classics, the second in the Wally Week series, one of the most popular Speccy characters who made the company expand and became one of the most popular in the Spectrum market after a modest beginning with mediocre titles.

The plot and the game concept is extremely original: after a hard day at work, at night, Wally is at home, asleep. But he's having a nightmare, he's inside it and must wake up to go to work at time. To do that, you must solve a string of puzzles using certain objects in the correct place along his house, carrying only two of them. This concept were later used and enhanced in the other games of the successful saga: Everyone's a Wally, Herbert's Dummy Run and Three Weeks in Paradise. Even other companies copied the same concept with varied results.

This is one of those games that are enjoyed just by exploring the detailed rooms, one of the many good features of this game (you can even fly to the moon!). Graphically good with wise (and sometimes funny) puzzles and an unforgettable intro music make this game an iconic classic.

En Busca del Tesoro, 04 Dec 2018 (Rating: 2)

Simple game in which you must find a treasure, hidden in an unknown island, by typing the (column,line) coordinates in the map.

Certain messages are displayed depending on the distance of your input from the treasure.

You can also came across cannibals and you are asked for fighting or run. There's also a dangeous volcan in eruption or quicksands so in these cases you'll be asked whether go east.

Depending on all these answers you could finish the game or continue.

You have 8 attemps to find the treasure.

In general, not a bad game based on a simple concept.

Domino, 05 Dec 2018 (Rating: 2)

A simple dominoes game vs the Spectrum.

At first, you'll be asked how many games to play (recommended 5). Then, all your dominoes are displayed and you must select the number of the domino you want to use (0=pass).

Bigger dominoes displayed on screen would have been great, but in the absence of good commercial games (now I don't remember any interesting one) this is what BASIC games are for.

Aeromash, 06 Dec 2018 (Rating: 2)

This is a modest try to make a Missile Command clone. You control a sight to shoot planes and destroy their bombs before they reach the land. The keys are I, P, Q, Z and O fire. The program warns you that the cursor must be in L mode. In C mode the controls won't work. Also, control your energy and time levels.

It's hard (and strongly slow) to move the sight. The on-screen instructions says if you press the controls + caps shift, they'll go faster.

A hard game that probably will get on your nerves.

Air Attack, 06 Dec 2018 (Rating: 2)

You must destroy an enemy plane that flies from left to right at random heights by controlling a sight with the cursor keys and 0 fire. They're hard keys (5-6-7-8) to be used in this game (at least if you're using a PC keyboard) what makes the game hard and exasperating.

Skool Daze, 06 Dec 2018 (Rating: 5)

A Spectrum classic.

This is a very original game that takes place in a school and you're Eric, who must remove your awful school report from the staffroom safe by introducing the combination consisting of four letters.

How to get these four letters is an amazing adventure inside the school, avoiding the bully, the swot (also a snitch, who will cause you a lot of problems) and other school mates, the teachers, even a mumps epidemic!... while attending (or not, it's up to you!) every classroom.

Play truants, hit anyone with your catapult, write in the blackboard and many other pranks that you didn't dare to do in a real school... or did you?

Olimpiadas, 07 Dec 2018 (Rating: 2)

In this game you play in 100m race. You are asked for the key for right, then for left. They are the only two keys you need. You must press them alternatively with the enough speed and constant rate to win the race. You run on lane 2, by the way.

You can choose three levels:

1. For wounded
2. For athletes
3. Beware! Carl Lewis is running!

But the game is so hard and frustrating, difficult to control the keys, that even in level one you stop playing at mid point or you'll break your keyboard! ;)

Saboteur!, 10 Dec 2018 (Rating: 5)

One of the Spectrum greats by Clive Townsend for Durell, considered the first 'infiltration' game in videogame history.

The main character is a trendy one back in the 80s, a ninja, often used in films and videogames, that must steal a disk with secret information from a security building disguised as a warehouse avoiding guards and fierce dogs and escape in a helicopter on the roof.

There are ten difficulty levels you can choose, varying amount of enemies and ways to escape, what is like facing ten different ways to complete the mission.

The game starts when you entering the building from the sea in a rubber dinghy, a true cinematic touch. As I said before, you must avoid dogs, guards, and ceiling-mounted anti-personnel weapons in your way to the disk, using computer terminals to unlock some doors, all in a limited time. Saboteur has also a very cool feature, two underground trains to get around the building.

Another original feature is the 'blood counter', it decreases whenever any enemy hurts you and you die when it reaches zero, ending the game, but you can have 'a rest' and in some seconds' time the level restores.

All is good in this game, except the inlay, that is not at the level of this Spectrum classic.

Green Beret, 11 Dec 2018 (Rating: 5)

One of the best conversions for the ZX Spectrum by the great Joffa Smith, as good and playable as the Konami arcade classic.

You're a green beret and must infiltrate four enemy installations: Missile Base, Harbour, Bridge and Prison Camp, where you finally reach your mission: rescue the captives.

It's a frenetic horizontal shooter in which the character can use different weapons - flame throwers, grenades, rocket launchers- and faces several enemies (even parachutes!). At the end of each stage, the enemy make a big offensive using all the troops at their disposal.

A superb game with great graphics, sound effects and movement, plus a perfect scroll that make it one of the best shooters for the Spectrum with another great loading screen by F. David Thorpe and iconic artwork by Bob Wakelin.

Daley Thompson's Decathlon, 13 Dec 2018 (Rating: 5)

Excellent sports game, released by Ocean in 1984 (the year of Los Angeles Olympic Games) after the success of arcade games like Track and Field and Hypersports. The program, by Paul Owens and Christian F. Urquhart, uses the image of the legendary british athlete Daley Thompson.

The game is a true 'keyboard killer' featuring ten athletic events, five in each side of the tape as if they were two separate games:

1st Day: 100 meters, Long jump, Shot-put, High jump and 400 meters.

2nd Day: 100 meters Hurdles, Discus, Pole-vault, Javelin and 1,500 meters.

The graphics (just decent) quality is given up in exchange for a great gameplay, every event is different making the game addictive as the player tries to reach the corresponding current record and overtake it for every event.

Unforgettable cover artwork by Bob Wakelin and loading screen by F. David Thorpe.

It was the game that made Ocean a leading company of Spectrum software market. An 8-bit classic.

Match Point, 13 Dec 2018 (Rating: 5)

The best tennis game for the Spectrum and -probably- for any 8-bit system.

Programmed by Steve Kelly of Psion for Sinclair Research Ltd in 1984, it's a game for one or two players, selecting number of sets (one, three or five) and level of difficulty (quarter finals, semi finals and finals, being the latter really hard).

The simplicity of its graphics, the correct perspective and the realistic & smooth movement make this game a masterpiece of sports videogaming.

You can even select the exhibition (demo) mode in which you can relax and enjoy the watching of an exciting tennis game with a good bowl of straberries and cream, in the best Wimbledon style!

The Great Escape, 14 Dec 2018 (Rating: 5)

A superb game by John Heap of Denton Designs for Ocean, inspired by the classic film starring Steve McQueen.

This isometric game were a true challenge as it was coded in 1986, when videogames market started to be swamped of these kind of games.

It's 1942, in World War II. You're a prisoner in a high security german POW camp and your duty is to escape. Your task is collect tools and other objects that will help you in your mission while attending the daily routine of a prisoner: wake up, roll call, exercise time, ... if you're caught doing something forbidden you'll be arrested and go to the cell and the morale counter will decrease. On the contrary, if you find something useful or a new part of the camp, it will increase. The game ends when the morale level reaches zero.

A great feature of this game is that there are different ways to finish the game, being able to escape by different places. A cool effect is the spotlight that prowls the camp during the night and can discovered you if you're outside the barracks. And the nice starting tune, a Spectrum version of the unforgettable soundtrack of the 1963 film.

One of the best adventures ever made for the Spectrum.

Underwurlde, 19 Dec 2018 (Rating: 5)

Another Spectrum classic by Ultimate, the second adventure of Sabreman, the intrepid explorer in Sabre Wulf, a Stamper brothers' peculiar 8-bit vision of Dante's 'Inferno'.

After surviving the terrible jungle in the previous adventure, now our hero descends into 'the Well of Evil', the depths of the Black Void. He must kill the three demons that impede the exit of this hell, each one with a different weapon, and finally reach one of the three alternative exits that takes him to Knight Lore, Pentagram and Mire Mare, the next game in the series, being the third one never released, as you all know.

It's a really hard 2D adventure in which you come across all kind of demons, resurrected gargoyles and poisonous plants, with a very original feature for a videogame: enemies directly don't kill you, you'll only lose a life if you fall off from certain height because of their shoves. Hopping on volcanic bubbles or rope swings are other great features of this game.

It consists of a very huge map of hundreds of screens (one of the biggest by the time it was released, 1984) with the usual Ultimate touch: great and coloured graphics, good movement and frenetic sounds.

Fairlight, 21 Dec 2018 (Rating: 5)

One of the classic games for the Spectrum. A marvellous adventure coded in 1985 by Bo Jangeborg for The Edge, the first adventure ('A Prelude: The Light Revealed') of a trilogy but only a sequel was released.

The action takes place in Castle Avars, in the land of Fairlight, the once-prosperous land led by mighty and worthy leaders that now is a dying land, where the dark reigns. Isvar is our hero that must find the Book of Light in the castle so that the land of Faiflight be free again.

The game is one of the best isometric adventures, on a par with games like Knight Lore, Batman, Head Over Heels or Alien 8. The castle consists of rooms and caverns that are designed with high detail, it's got one of the best maps for the Spectrum and the main character can carry a number of objects depending of their weight: books, potions, plants, barrels, ... he even can stack objects into piles.

You can come across guards and trolls everywhere. Depending of the number of enemies or objects, sometines the movement can be slow and even though there's no sound it's got an unforgettable intro music.

To put it in a nutshell, an essential adventure for the ZX Spectrum.

Randax, 14 Feb 2019 (Rating: 3)

This cool maze game takes place in Randax's mansion, a millionaire whose money is guarded in seven sacs at the attic of the mansion. You must drive your lorry (inside a mansion??? WTF???) avoiding the fierce mastiffs (that follow a regular movement) and Randax itself, who moves randomly through the mansion.

Once you reach a sack, you must go down to one of the two places at the bottom to unload the gold and back to the attic for a new sack again.

You can also 'jump' to another random place of the mansion when in danger, but take into account that you have a limited number of jumps for each life.

The game has five levels of difficulty (number of mastiffs, basically) and it's a nice discovery, very enjoyable.

U-33, 14 Feb 2019 (Rating: 3)

A submarine game written in BASIC. You start at the left of the screen and must navigate till the dock to the right. The submarine is just a pixel controlled by the keyboard. In the upper half of the screen some magnitudes are shown, like longitude, latitude, depth and navigation speed.

During the travel you'll randomly come across some enemy ship, so the screen changes to alert mode, you'll see then your periscope, and use it to move and shoot torpedoes. You must shoot quickly as if the submarine is closer than 300 m the ship will throw depth charges and you must avoid them.

After avoiding all these dangerous boats, at reaching the naval base it's the final challenge, controlling the submarine to enter the base fighting against the strong sea current.

A nice game consisting of different, original 'mini-games' that make you spent a nice gaming time.

Hiperynto, 14 Feb 2019 (Rating: 2)

This is a weird maze game. It's an improved version of 'El Laberinto', also published by Microhobby.

You're in the engine room of a huge spaceship, 18 rooms of a tangled mess of pipes. Each room contains 8 tunnels (the round spaces) and you must find the exit that is next to the tunnel at the mid left of the starting room (see the pic above). You start at the right side, again as you can see in the pic above. You move with O,P,Q,A being U go back and T move forward. I can't understand the proper meaning of go back/move forward here.

You press T and go to another screen with another 8 tunnels and so on. Move forward, go back to another screen, ... till you reach the exit. you have a limited amount of time to reach your objetive, depending of the level you chose.

As I said before it's a weird maze in which it's difficult to orient oneself.

Fridge Frenzy, 14 Feb 2019 (Rating: 3)

A bit irritating Manic Miner-like game by Bug-Byte. You have to move quickly to pass the screen due to the limited time .

Cute graphics but hard to play.

The Way of the Exploding Fist, 14 Feb 2019 (Rating: 5)

One of the Spectrum classics. A great karate game by Melbourne House with sixteen different movements: kicks, jumps, punches, somersaults, sweeps, ...

It includes the proper sounds and good and detailed backgrounds. The movements and actions of the characters are very well done. The scoring system with the use of the yin-yan symbols are very original.

In spite of finding it easy to play and progress after some games, it's one of the best fighting games for the Spectrum. Unforgettable combat-intro music.

Maziacs, 14 Feb 2019 (Rating: 4)

Great maze game by the great Don Priestley (3D Tanx, Dictator, Popeye, The Trap door, ...).

You must find the treasure and return to the starting point through a randomly generated maze infested with the terrible Maziacs, the guardians of the treasure. You'll need a sword when you come across one of these creatures and food to recover after the fight. The prisoners will show you the route to the treasure.

A graphically simple game but quite addictive. One of the best Spectrum games of the earliest years (1982-83).

Atic Atac, 15 Feb 2019 (Rating: 5)

One of the most iconic Spectrum games by the great Ultimate. The game that preceded the Sabreman saga (Sabre Wulf, Underwurlde, Knight Lore, ...) which it's at the same height.

You must first choose the character you want to play: Knight, Surf and Wizard, each one with their own weapons, movement type and secret passages.

You're trapped in the evil haunted castle, and your only hope to escape through the main door is to find the pieces of the Golden Key of A.C.G.

The game is a frenetic search through the five floors of the castle, including the atic and the caverns, where you will come across the Mummy, Dracula, the Devil, a Witch and other terrible creatures: Monks, Ghosts, Pumpkins, Spiders, ...

Get food and drink to avoid being run out of energy level (the original and unforgettable roast chicken) and collect objects to kill certain enemies and progress in the adventure.

A game with the usual Ultimate quality graphics and sounds that every Spectrum enthusiast should own.

Cobra, 26 Mar 2019 (Rating: 5)

Superb plattform game by Joffa Smith, Martin Galway & Steve Cain.

You're Marion Cobretti, a member of LAPD's elite division, 'Zombie Squad'. You're mission is to rescue top fashion model Ingrid Knutsen from an army of psychotic

Frenetic action through three sections: The city, a rural area and a factory, where you must finally face The Night Slasher.

You'll find burgers that contain weapons inside and a very useful invincibility pill, being the laser machine gun the coolest and most effective gun.

Once you find Ingrid, she'll follow you till the end of the level unless you fire at her, in that case she'll flee. The level ends when you get all the burgers, rescue Ingrid and clear the section of killers.

A Spectrum classic with an unforgettable tune, excellent graphics with funny characters (including annoying buggies!) and a perfect scroll, with the accurate level of difficulty.

Sir Fred, 27 Mar 2019 (Rating: 4)

The sequel to Fred takes place in the middle age. A valiant knight, Sir Fred, must rescue a princess imprisoned in the castle. It's a beautiful map that consists of dozens of detailed and colourful rooms: the moat, stable, bedchambers, throne room, ...

To reach his objetive, Sir Fred should use multiple objects and weapons and has the ability of swimming, fighting, running, climbing, ... being his movements one of the hardest points, with that inertia thing that made it difficult to control, being sometimes exasperating to reach certain places.

The excellent point of this game is that depending on the position of the objects (not always at the same place) there are different ways to rescue the princess and therefore end the game (58 game patterns) so we can say each game is a different adventure.

There's an absence of music and very few and poor sounds that don't avoid having a nice gaming experience. Definitely one of the classics of the spanish software of the 80s.

Deathchase, 01 Apr 2019 (Rating: 4)

A splendid masterpiece for the Spectrum 16K made in 1983 by Mervyn Estcourt.

An addictive first-person arcade in which we control a rider who patrols a forest day & night chasing enemies and shooting at them. Also helicopters and tanks can be shot as bonus.

The higher the level, the denser the forest is, being almost impossible to avoid trunks at high levels (obligatory recall of the Endor forest scene in 'The Return of the Jedi'). Acceptable graphics but a great gameplay with a sound that involves you in a exciting atmosphere.

Fantastic Voyage, 08 May 2019 (Rating: 4)

One of those games we all have fond memories of.

This Quicksilva game by John R. Edmonds has the name of the classic sci-fi film in which you are a scientist that have been miniaturised to enter an human body to save his life by searching and collecting several parts of a submarine and escape, all in a limited time (60 minutes). From time to time a infection appear at certain part of the body and you have to stop the search and go to it to cure it by using your laser before the temperature reaches a mortal level.

Growths will block your path and should be destroyed with white cells you have previously collected whereas red blood cells increase your waning energy.

A very original plot recommended to those who love exploring, this time lungs, heart, liver, throat,... all in a very entertaining adventure.

Nosferatu the Vampyre, 09 May 2019 (Rating: 4)

An atmospheric horror adventure based on the classic film (based in turn on the excellent Bram Stoker Novel).

In a moment in which isometric games started to saturate the market (many of them didn't stand out) this game came out with a surprisingly good horror atmosphere.

The game has three parts: Dracula's castle, the town of Wismar and Lucy's house. You are Jonathan Harker and must escape from the castle and go to Wismar to fight against the vampyre and finally kill him with the help of Van Helsing and your girlfriend Lucy (you can control the three characters in Wismar). Vampyre beasts, rats, bats and other terrific creatures will try to stop you in your mission.

A very interesting game by Piranha with correct graphics with just a little 'objection': a repetitive tune that after some minutes makes you get mad.

Fortunately you can turn it off.

Jet Set Willy, 09 May 2019 (Rating: 4)

The sequel to Manic Miner, both by Matthew Smith, is definitely one of the iconic games for the Spectrum.

Miner Willy is now a millionaire that lives in a huge mansion. After a party he wants to go to bed but Maria, his italian housekeeper won't let get him in the bedroom till he collect all the bottles used in the party that are spread all over the mansion.

A catchy tune, limited UDG graphics and a very long map sum up this classic plattformer along with a high difficulty.

Alchemist, 13 May 2019 (Rating: 4)

One of the earliest arcade adventures for the Spectrum, in which you're an alchemist that enters the castle of the Evil Warlock to destroy him by finding the four pieces of the "Spell of Destruction".

As I said before, the great merit of this game is that is one of the first adventures where you can use objects and spells to achieve your mission, and the original feature of converting yourself into an eagle whenever is needed to finish the mission.

In 1983, a game like this, with big characters, decent graphics, a 30-screens map and a level of stamina to control, all in a well done atmosphere was a hit. Nowadays is just a nice game to remember, one of the best games of Imagine before they broke out.

Death Pit, 24 May 2019 (Rating: 4)

Never-released game by Saboteur & Saboteur II programmer Clive Townsend.

Advertised in 1985 by Durell but finally never released. It was completed but (inexplicably for me) considered not good enough to be marketed.

The game reminds of Fred and Scuba Dive. Fred because of the random maze that is the mine where the game takes place. And Scuba Dive because your mission in the mine is collect gold bars and a gem and take them back to the tent at the exit of the mine to get points.

Some tunnels are flooded and you will need the enough amount of oxygen from your tank to pass through them. When reaches zero you'll need a spare cylinder. The same to your pit lamp, its battery will also reach zero and it'll fade, so you will urgently need a spare one.

There are a limited amount of these objects to carry. Each one has weight units.

Along with these original features there are also terribles creatures to avoid: bats, ghosts, dragons and even giant spiders. To kill them, you'll need a spade. Beware of the green slime too.

An atmospheric adventure in a very long maze with decent graphics that, as I said before, it was inexplicably unreleased. The author used some routines of this game in the programming of his masterpiece Saboteur.

Fortunately it was recovered in 2007.

Movie, 24 May 2019 (Rating: 4)

An isometric game at the level of the greatest: Knight Lore, Alien 8, Batman, Head Over Heels,... but this is not 'another isometric adventure'. It's an original ganster thriller by Imagine that uses an icon system that lets you shoot, punch, drop/pick up, walk, ... even speak to other characters with a cool 'speech bubble'.

It's New York in the 30s. Private Detective Jack Marlow faces the hardest mission he's ever got: infiltrate the headquarters of ganster Bugs Malloy to locate a tape recording and return to his office to play a hidden message.

You can interact with other characters to get useful information and use different objects in your mission. Tanya is a key character that will help you reach your objective. But beware of her evil twin sister Vanya.

The only problem is the icon system that hinders you in a fast reaction if you want to repel a punch or need to shoot quickly, for example.

Anyway, a Spectrum classic with plenty of detailed rooms in a very long map. Excellent loading screen by F. David Thorpe and unforgettable artwork by Bob Wakelin.

Bomb Jack, 25 May 2019 (Rating: 4)

There are great arcade conversions for the Spectrum, as good as their original game: Hypersports, Green Beret,... and Bomb Jack is one of them.

But it's not the only good conversion Elite did, as Ghosts n' Goblins, Commando, 1942 or Paper Boy are also great, playable works. But this is definitely its best production.

Released in 1986 from the Tehkan/Tecmo classic, features amazing playability, graphics, nice backgrounds, sounds, movement,... everything is good in this addictive game. Only the cool original tune is missing.

Pure arcade experience.

Nodes of Yesod, 27 May 2019 (Rating: 4)

An adventure by Odin Computer Graphics that somehow resembles Ultimate's Underwurlde.

After a nice loading screen, a well done and very clear human voice and a nice music intro, we start playing the role of Charlie, an astronaut that's on Moon's surface and must enter its intrincated underground tunnels to find a monolith located in a cavern. you'll need eight keys in the form of gems to accomplish your mission.

First of all, your aim will be get a cute mole that can eat walls so that you can move through caverns easily. Then, back to the underground moon where your enemies are several life forms that inhabit there and the falls you can have from certain heights (hence the resemblance from Underwurlde).

Graphically is a very nice game. The first time we are on the surface of the moon with planet Earth on the horizon is great. The life level is very original (it shows the heart beats) and the first games made it addictive as it encourages you to explore the underground map. But after some time, the difficulty and the monotone (and very long, by the way) map make it worse than expected.

Anyway, we face a nice game, well finished, good in every aspect (graphics, movement, sounds and tune, ...) but it fails as a whole.

Navy SEALs, 29 May 2019 (Rating: 4)

A very good Ocean production from the late years (1991), a official game of the film starring Charlie Sheen which proves that not all film-licences games are bad.

You are in command of a SEAL team with two dangerous missions:

- Rescue an helicopter crew in Oman
- Destroy a group of Stinger missiles in Beirut.

First mission is plattform style with a cool infiltration component. Avoid and kill guards, find hidden weapons and detonate bombs through five levels: harbour, communications tower, barracks, the prison and finally escape from port.

Second mission is a simple shooter in an entangled Beirut facing dozens of guards, tanks,... and you'll come across Ali, an spy that will help you give some useful info.

A great game with good graphics and excellent 128k sounds and music.

Travel with Trashman, 30 May 2019 (Rating: 4)

The sequel to the classic Trashman is as good as the first game. Even better in my opinion.

This time, Trashman has to pick any kind of litter up (frogs, empty beer jars, coins, coconuts, ...) while avoiding people through thirteen places: Paris, Madrid, Munich, Moscow, Jerusalem, Benares, Hong Kong, Alice Springs, Kanyu, New Orleans, Sao Paulo, Samoa and Chichen Itza.

The good thing about this game is it's based on a very simple idea (grab litter) and it can become quite addictive.

You start with an amount of cash you need to travel to certain places where you will get more cash if you finish your mission and get more cash to travel further and so on. At first, the limited amount of cash only lets you travel to the closest destinations but once you progress in the game you'll motivate to travel to more exotic places.

A really nice game in spite of its poor graphics but with an unmistakable tune.

Alien 8, 31 May 2019 (Rating: 4)

The second Ultimate's filmation game is as good as the first one, Knight Lore.

With the usual quality graphics, movement and sounds in an appropiate atmosphere. This time we control a robot inside a space ship that carries a cryogenically preserved race on a long journey. The robot are in charge of maintaining all cryogenic systems on board. An alien penetration makes the robot act quickly and its mission is to find thermolec valves spread along the ship, each one must be put into the correct socket, all in a limited time.

The same search of objects as in Knight Lore, but this time not to be thrown to only one place (Melkior's Cauldron) but in different sockets along the ship.

A new cool feature is the remote-control robots that help you reach some valves otherwise it's impossible to reach them.

Basically is Knight Lore with different graphics but the same playability. If you loved the first, you'll love Alien 8.

Jetpac, 01 Jun 2019 (Rating: 4)

The Stamper brothers, before founding Ultimate, made a living of programming arcade machine games. So their first game for the Spectrum couldn't be other than an arcade game, the most common genre in the early Spectrum years (1982, 1983) but unlike many companies those days (say, Artic or Blaby) they didn't make an 'unofficial' conversion of a famous classic game but an original one with 'arcade quality graphics': you're an astronaut equipped with an Hydrovac Jet Pac who have to assemble a rocket and refuel it before passing to the next screen, avoiding aliens and trying to collect gems or gold to increase the score.

Good quality graphics -Ultimate style-, an enough difficulty level and a smooth control of the character make a true addictive game in only 16k, a product that stood out by the time it came out, 1983. The first succesful game from a company that released many more unforgettable Spectrum classics for the next two years.

Renegade, 03 Jun 2019 (Rating: 4)

Excellent conversion of the Taito arcade hit, as good as the original.

Programmed by Mike Lamb with great graphics by Ronnie Fowles and cool music by Fred Gray, the game is one of the first 'gang beat-em-up' games which became very popular in the second half of the 80s and the 90s.

A date with your girlfriend Lucy can be a nightmare as you must collect her by crossing the most dangerous parts of the city: a tube station, a pier area, the sleezy back streets, ... where you come across the most dangerous people in the city: motorcycle gangs, muggers or female gangs.

The fights are very well done and you can use a wide variety of punches, kicks, kneeing... the funny graphics add a cool & funny component to the game. The background scenes are also great.

To sum up, an excellent conversion by Imagine.

Robin of the Wood, 03 Jun 2019 (Rating: 4)

Great adventure by Odin that takes place in a labyrinthine forest of Sherwood. It's a magic place where you come across witches, a magic tree and Ent, the ancient hermit that will help you to get a sword, your trusty bow and three charmed arrows in exchange for bags of gold you'll have to steal from the evil Bishop of Peterborough, heavily guarded.

With all these objects you will be able to join the archery contest organized by the Sheriff of Nottingham, whose award is the legendary Silver Arrow.

Very good graphics with a smooth and realistic movement. Great effect when Robin fights the guards. Very nice music intro (and an epic intro voice!) but the forest (and the castle) is so big that becomes monotone, a very long map where you can easily get lost.

El Misterio del Nilo, 04 Jun 2019 (Rating: 4)

Made in Spain, the company behind Sir Fred, made in 1987 this entertainig game with some original touches.

'Strongly' based on the film 'The Jewel of the Nile' starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny De Vito, tells the adventures of two american tourists, Christine and Michael (Janet and Navada in the Firebird re-release), who find themselves involved in problems when come across al-Hasan and tried to help him. This young arab is searching evidences to accuse the evil Abu-Sahl who wants to take over the country.

You start in the city of Luxor. Then the Mut desert, the town of Farsut, the train, the Jarga military complex where you'll find the evidences and finally the border outpost where you can escape from the country.

You can control Christine, Michael or al-Hasan separately. And take advantage of their characteristics. Chistine throw bombs, Michael has a gun and al-Hasan has his own umbrella as a weapon. When you control one of them, the others will follow you, they have 'their own intelligence' as the instructions says.

Using every character at the precise moment is the key to progress in the game. In every screen, you'll pass if you get rid of all the enemies, some of them sheltered behind mortars or machine guns.

Some screens are really difficult to pass, but in general it's a nice game with cute and detailed graphics. The characters are cartoonish style but their movement it's a bit slow, what complicates the action of the game

Kokotoni Wilf, 05 Jun 2019 (Rating: 4)

The usual game by Elite with poor graphics but great gameplay instead.

Ullrich the Magician gave Kokotoni Wilf a set of wings to accomplish a hard mission: recover all the fragments of the legendary Dragon Amulet, scattered throughout time: 1,000,000 BC, AD 1066, AD 1467, AD 1784, AD 1984 and finally AD 2001.

Every age is a set of screens whose path is almost linear. Once you collect all the fragments you must find the flashing time gate that lets you travel to next age.

You must remain flying while collecting fragments and avoiding various enemies and beasts.

A nice game with poor sounds and graphics but with a enough level of difficulty and the incentive of exploring through time.

Booty, 06 Jun 2019 (Rating: 4)

A very nice budget game by John F. Cain for Firebird.

A plattform adventure that takes place in a pirate ship with 20 screens where you, Jim the cabin boy, must collect all the treasures by picking up keys in the correct order to open their corresponding locked door. The screens are interconnected by a common door. Once all the treasures are collected, you have only 45 seconds to find the golden key.

Beware the pirates, rats and parrots that prowl the ship. Some treasures are a trap, they're bombs that explode after only a few seconds.

Cute graphics with some interesting effects, like the portholes that show the waves outside. The intro music is one of the most catchy and remembered tunes by the Spectrum users.

Value for money back in the day, nowadays it's a game that has aged very well.

Zorro, 07 Jun 2019 (Rating: 4)

A plattform adventure by US Gold. You're the famous Zorro and must rescue a beautiful maiden from evil Colonel Garcia.

To accomplish your mission you must solve a series of puzzles in order using certain objects you'll come across, in the style of games like Pyjamarama, but only one object at a time. Pick an an object to solve a puzzle that lets you pick up an object to solve another puzzle and so on.

The question is some puzzles are either funny (the bottle to the drunk guy), clever (the flower pot) or surrealistic, almost impossible to imagine their solution (the trumpet).

The graphics are simple but acceptable and the sounds are poor just like the loading screen or the menu; only a starting tune at the beginning of the game.

In general, Zorro is a funny, original game that can become frustrating.

Firelord, 07 Jun 2019 (Rating: 4)

A stunning game by Stephen Crow. It was her first work for Hewson after coding succesful hits like Starquake or Wizard's Lair.

Torot, a cursed kingdom by the Evil Queen, waits the arrival of Sir Galaheart to be released by recovering the sacred Firestone.

A giant labyrinthine map (too giant, maybe) made of hundreds of screens forms the game. The excellent graphics, sounds and frenetic action reminds us of Ultimate works like Atic Atac or Sabre Wulf.

Torot has a lot of inhabitants to meet and trade with, to get various services like spells, food, weapons, ... what makes the game more than a shooter, a true classic Spectrum adventure.

Dustin, 09 Jun 2019 (Rating: 4)

A Dinamic game from 1987 in which you're Kid Saguf, 'Dustin', the most famous thief, imprisoned in the high-security prison of Wad-Ras.

The aim is to escape from the prison and reach a small boat after crossing the jungle. To do this, you must collect objects from other prisoners (traded for tobacco, whisky or money) or stolen from guards, after fighting with them.

The usual good Dinamic-style graphics and the interaction with different characters make it a great and original adventure.

Another stunning artwork by Alfonso Azpiri.

Dynamite Dan, 09 Jun 2019 (Rating: 4)

Dynamite Dan by Rod Bowkett for Mirrorsoft is an excellent plattform game that can be considered as an 'enhanced' Jet Set Willy. Detailed and colourful graphics, sounds, different tunes and a high difficulty level define this game.

Dynamite Dan, top agent, must enter evil Dr. Blitzen's mansion and steal his plans of a new and terrific weapon. To do this, Dan must find the 8 dynamite sticks (randomly located in every game) to blow the safe where the plans are hidden.

The mansion consists of 48 very detailed screens, also full of enemies. Dan arrives at the top of the building in a zepellin. He can use weapons, food, and even an oxygen bottle to survive in the river at the bottom of the mansion. A raft is an option to cross it. There are other features that make this game a cool adventure: teleports, tightropes, trampolines, ...

In short, a great plattform game with lots of nice features, hard to play though, and a sequel with the same quality.

Batman: The Caped Crusader, 10 Jun 2019 (Rating: 4)

Another great Batman adventure from 1988 as good as the previous 1986 game by Jon Ritman and Bernie Drummond.

Both released by Ocean, this time the game coded by Special FX (the great Joffa Smith, Charles Davies, Karen Davies and Keith Tinman) uses an original visual interface made of comic strips and caption boxes. Even the bat logo appears when the scene changes, as in the 60s TV series.

The game consists of two separate missions, both starring the two most evil Cape Crusader's enemies: 'A Bird in the Hand' where you must avoid the Penguin making an army of robots to take over the world. In 'A Fete Worse Than Death' Robin has been kidnapped by the Joker and you must rescue him and defeat your worse enemy.

You must progress through the game by solving puzzles and interacting with different objects using an icon system, and also fighting different enemies that hang around.

Very good graphics and sounds, a cool intro tune and touches of action and adventure make it an original game nobody should miss it. Excellent artwork by Bob Wakelin.

Head over Heels, 11 Jun 2019 (Rating: 4)

When We thought that in 1987 all the good isometric adventures had already come out and no new other will reach their quality, Jon Ritman and Bernie Drummond pulled this game out of their hat.

Knight Lore, Alien 8, Fairlight, Movie, Batman, ... and now this funny game with an original touch: You can control either Head or Heels separately or Both. Each one has his own abilities: Head can fly high and Heels can jump his own height.

Both are symbiotic partners, two spies with a dangerous mission: escape from the Blacktooh prison where they are imprisoned and help the planets taken over by the evil Blacktooth empire reach freedom.

As usual, there are some objects that will help you in your adventure.

A good game with excellent graphics, movements, sounds & tune and all the ingredients that makes Head Over Heels one of the Spectrum classics.

And if that's not enough, a great loading screen by F. David Thorpe and an amazing artwork by Bob Wakelin.

Back to Skool, 11 Jun 2019 (Rating: 4)

Eric is back again in this funny sequel to the excellent Skool Daze.

This time with a school for girls down the road and new characters like Hayley or miss Take. And the classics Boy Wander, Angelface, Einstein, Mr. Creak...

Once you stole your school report in Skool Daze, you've been forging a 'new' report during the holidays so your mission in this new school year is get it back to the Headmaster's safe.

Stink bombs, water pistols, riding a bike, even kissing your girlfriend are the new cool features in this game, what make up for the obvious lack of originality.

To sum up, if you loved Skool Daze, you'll love Back to Skool as well.

Match Day, 12 Jun 2019 (Rating: 4)

It's hard to believe nowadays that in 1984 you could play a football videogame with more-than-decent graphics, a nice intro tune, choose the length of each half, the difficulty level, the team names and colours, a single match or cup mode and have a nice gaming time vs computer or with mates with the cool 2-players option in only 48K of memory. Corners, shoots, dribbles, long or short passes, ... all this was possible.

And it was made by Jon Ritman and Chris Clarke for Ocean. Before it, only Football Manager by Kevin Toms was the only footy game for the Spectrum that stood out, but it was an strategy game. You could play a real game in Match Day. And it was a great success since it came out.

It hasn't aged very well, but it has a place in Spectrum history as the first great football game. In 1985, International Match Day was released as an adapted version for the 128K model and including countries. But its true sequel, Match Day II, came out three years later and was quite an enhanced version.

Dan Dare: Pilot of the Future, 13 Jun 2019 (Rating: 4)

A very cool game by the Gang of Five for Virgin Games, based on the famous comic character by Frank Hampson published in Eagle magazine.

The Mekon threatens the Earth with an artificial asteroid that dangerously approaches it. Dan Dare and his mate Digby must fly to the asteroid, where our hero must, in a limited time, find five scattered pieces of a self-destruct mechanism and assemble them -one at a time- in the control room while Digby awaits in the spaceship.

The asteroids consists of 120-130 coloured and detailed screens. Re-chargers for the laser gun and energy booters pills are spread along the asteroid. The lifts to reach upper/lower floors are a good and original feature.

The game has a frenetic rhythm; dozens of enemies, robots and cannon turrets will try to fire you and send to prison, where you'll lose vital minutes.

Dan Dare is an enjoyable adventure that follows a cool 50's comics aesthetic both in graphics and texts.

Beach-Head, 13 Jun 2019 (Rating: 4)

The Spectrum version of the successful Commodore 64 game was coded in 1984 by David J. Anderson and Ian Morrison for US Gold.

It consists of five different stages, each one considered a true mini-game, a formula that was later used in Raid Over Moscow and its own sequel, Beach Head II, both improving the original idea. Acceptable graphics and an interesting 2-players mode to compete for the highest score.

The aim is landing from sea and defeating the enemy in a final battle where we must destroy a big gun with our turret. But previously we must control our ships in a hidden passage, avoid and shoot planes that launch bombs at us, fire and sink enemy ships controlling the degree of elevation of a cannon and landing tanks avoiding obstacles and enemy fire.

It's a game that hasn't aged well, the levels are too easy once you've played several times but it was impressive in the year it was released, becoming a best-seller.

Avalon, 14 Jun 2019 (Rating: 4)

Probably the first Hewson's smash hit, coded by Steve Turner in 1984.

Advertised as 'the first in a new world of computer games, the Adventure Movie', it makes the player immerse in a world of over 200 screens with wizards, spells, underground caverns, skeletons, goblins, ...

It featured a not very convincing 3D effect, but the movement of the main character, Maroc -or rather his astral projection that levitates in a very smooth way- is one of the strenghts of this game.

As you progress through the game, you get ranks that show your skills as a magician. These 16 ranks are subdivided into eight stage, from apprentice to supreme.

Collect useful objects and spells, avoid dangerous creatures and face the main challenge: destroy the evil Lord of Chaos.

Graphics are not the best point of the game, not as good as some similar contemporary hits like Ultimate's, but the levitation of Maroc is very well done. There are very few sounds (but a immersive starting tune in a good introduction) and the way the doors are opened sometimes is a bit confused, as you open one, and when you cross it you appear next door sideways, so drawing a map is recommended.

Avalon is definitely a Spectrum classic, innovative when it was released.

Ghosts 'n Goblins, 14 Jun 2019 (Rating: 4)

A good conversion of the Capcom classic arcade by Keith Burkhill and Nigel Alderton for Elite.

An heroic knight to the rescue of a beautiful maiden from the claws of the evil Overlord.

As in other Elite conversions (i.e. Commando) graphics are not the best point, but they're made up for a great playability, a right movement/scroll and a proper level of difficulty, what makes it quite an addictive game.

Ant Attack, 14 Jun 2019 (Rating: 4)

Released in 1983 by Sandy White for Quicksilva, it featured 'Softsolid 3D', a very innovative isometric perspective back in the day.

The game takes place in the Walled City of Antescher, surrounded by desert dunes and inhabited by dangerous ants.

You must select being either boy or girl (another original feature of the game) and rescue your mate that waits you somewhere in the ancient city and escape from the city. Your weapons are only a bunch of grenades. There's a scan that indicates the direction to reach your mate. You can also change the perspective of screen.

The black and white graphics are simple so are the sounds, but the playability is excellent. It's really exciting walking around an empty city with the possibility of terrific ants appearing at any moment.

Considered a gothic horror game back in the day, it's also generally considered the first survival horror game in videogame history.

Turbo Esprit, 15 Jun 2019 (Rating: 4)

A very original game by Mike A. Richardson for Durell that set a precedent of a true videogame genre in future years.

You are an elite policeman that drives a cool Lotus Esprit and must find and chase a band of drug smugglers, choosing from a list of cities.

It mixes the concept of driving simulation (the screen shows the driver's point of view) with arcade and adventure. You are helped by a map to find the band.

The joy of exploring through the streets and avenues searching for the baddies avoiding pedestrians and other cars is a very nice experience.

Definitely an innovative game from 1986.

Tir Na Nog, 17 Jun 2019 (Rating: 4)

A enjoyable adventure by Greg Follis and Roy Carter for Gargoyle Games that takes place in the mythical land of Tir Na Nog, 'The Land of Youth' where the monkey-like Shide live.

Cuchulainn, our hero, must collect the four pieces of the Seal of Calum and thus defeat the Great Enemy to free the land.

Tir Na Nog is a true open world to explore, pick up objects (weapons, keys, ...) and interact with certain characters.

Graphically excellent with infrequent big characters, well designed. Their movement is almost perfect, one of the best ever seen on a Spectrum. And the appealing backgrounds and the use of parallax scroll are another great feature.

Definitely one of the best adventures to play on the Spectrum.

Jack the Nipper, 18 Jun 2019 (Rating: 4)

A funny game by Gremlin Graphics featuring one of the most iconic characters of Spectrum videogames.

The program reminds us of previous games like Everyone's a Wally or Skool Daze. The aim is make pranks and increase the 'naughtyometer' shown on screen. Pick up and use certain objects (glue, bomb, horn, ...) to reach your goals. Your victims will be dogs, old ladies or policemen, among others.

Graphically is very good, with funny cartoonish characters but monochrome screens to avoid the colour clash, though. Anyway, the rooms and streets are well designed. A cool starting tune and good sounds add a nice gaming experience.

GBA Championship Basketball, 19 Jun 2019 (Rating: 4)

A very entertaining basketball game released in 1987 by Gamestar.

It's got poor graphics but a great playability instead, with the chance of playing player vs computer, two players vs computer or player vs player, along with a nice practice mode to warm up.

Hook shots, jump shots, slam dunk, tip-ins, rebounds, 3-points shots, stealing or blocking are the features you can make in the game.

It shows only one half of the court at a time and you can choose offensive and defensive alignments during the match, maybe the most original and cool feature of the game.

Definitely one of the best and more comprehensive basketball games for the Spectrum.

Ranarama, 20 Jun 2019 (Rating: 4)

A very original adventure by Steve Turner (Avalon, Dragontorc, Astroclone, Quazatron, ...) for Hewson.

Mervyn the sorcerer's apprentice accidentally turned into a frog and is trapped in a dungeon. His mission is defeat every warlock while avoiding the evil guardian hordes: Ghouls, Dwarf warriors, fire gollums,...

Your need runes, spells and clyphs of power in your way to end the game.

The dungeon is an original colourful labyrinth that shows the rooms as you progress. Well-made movement of Mervyn the frog.

Enjoyable game with an iconic artwork by Steve Weston.

Terra Cresta, 21 Jun 2019 (Rating: 4)

Great conversion of the Nichibutsu arcade classic; probably the best space shooter for the Spectrum, coded by Joffa Smith in 1986 for Imagine.

You control the Terra Cresta, a space fighter that can be enlarged by picking up pieces when shooting silos. Avoid aliens, rockets, missiles and shooting structures.

A perfect vertical scroll, with excellent tunes and sound effects that immerse you in a cool arcade gameplay.

Manic Miner, 25 Jun 2019 (Rating: 4)

Manic Miner is the Plattform Game for the Spectrum. It came in the precise moment -1983- and quickly stood out.

An excellent playability made up of their 20 ingenious -and difficult- screens, its unforgettable music and (in spite of) its simple UDG graphics.

Matthew Smith definitely made a true iconic Spectrum game starring Miner Willy, a true iconic Spectrum character.

Lunar Jetman, 02 Jul 2019 (Rating: 3)

The first time you play Lunar Jetman is really shocking: another Ultimate excellent work with superb graphics, sounds and the beginning of what it seems a cool adventure on the surface of the moon.

But once you start the game, first you need to know the keys to control the astronaut (there were many like me who got the game but not the instructions *cough*cough*) otherwise you face an impossible mission to accomplish.

After some attempts you get what the game is about and then you discover a different one. Try to destroy alien facilities with a bomb you must collect and put in a rover you must drive to your objective while avoiding annoying flying aliens.

What it seems easy is just a frustrating and exasperating mission.

Robber, 05 Jun 2020 (Rating: 4)

Cute, simple and funny game.

The objetive is the safe in a castle dungeon.

It consists of three original screens to try. UDG graphics don't avoid a good game made in 1983 but still enjoyable.

Escape, 06 Apr 2021 (Rating: 3)

An interesting 16k game from 1982, with a game concept as simple as escape from a maze full of dinosaurs and other prehistorik monsters with the help of an axe that you must find first.

It features a very successful false-3D perspective, very original in the year it came out.

An old, true hidden-gem for the Spectrum.

Who Dares Wins II, 06 Apr 2021 (Rating: 3)

A very decent competitor of war shooters like Commando or Ikari Warriors, published by Alligata.

Like Commando, the game sacrifices the quality of graphics for a great playability. No scroll, just screen by screen progression through a map that makes it quite an interesting game.

Roller Coaster, 13 Apr 2021 (Rating: 3)

Colonel G. Bogey's Theme Park has been sabotaged by a disgruntled employee so that all the rides can't be switched off. He also has stolen the earnings and left them scattered all over the
fairground, so the Colonel must recollect the money in a true odyssey through traditional rides located in every amusement park: the ghost train, a flume, mini dodgems, a dolphin pool, the fun house and, of course, a 10-screens-long roller coaster!

Strongly influenced by Spectrum classic Jet Set Willy and Elite's Kokotoni Wilf, the game is colourful but graphically average with a strong difficulty.

Its starting tune is one of the most remembered tunes produce by the lovely 48K beeper.

Android Two, 13 Apr 2021 (Rating: 4)

Another great work by Costa Panayi (and he coded a many!) released in 1983. The 2D concept of Android One taken to 3D.

This sequel takes place in three zones, the first two are deadly labyrinths and the last one in the open air. They all were designed with a sort of 3D perspective.

You must kill the five millitoids, a sort of worms that randomly move around the labyrinth. There are also other enemies to avoid and dangerous mines that will make you lose a life. Once you reach your objetive, you'll be teleported to the next level.

A very hard game with very simple graphics that won't avoid you enjoying this technical marvel of the early years of the Spectrum.

Panama Joe, 13 Apr 2021 (Rating: 3)

Cute game with the charm of the Indiana Jones films.

An intrepid explorer, Panama Joe, is inside Montezuma's pyramid to find his legendary treasure.

In his way to success he'll come across snakes, skulls, torches, ropes, swords, hammers, fires and jewells.

In spite of its crappy UDG graphics and simple & boring sounds, the game has, at least, the joy of exploring, collecting keys to open rooms, ... not bad.

Bruce Lee, 14 Apr 2021 (Rating: 4)

This classic game is one of the first succesfull games of US Gold.

A Bruce Lee's epic journey to gain inmortality while fighting the evil Wizard and his minions, the unforgettables Green Yamo and the Ninja, probably the most funny pair of Spectrum baddies.

The game, a mix of plattform and, of course, beat-em-up, is really easy to complete, but that's no problem with those funny enemies, graphics and even its catchy starting tune.

Jungle Fever, 15 Apr 2021 (Rating: 2)

This game coded by Mike Webb for A'n'F Software in 1983 is a sort of 'Hunchback meets the gungle'.

A trip through thirteen screens, not very varied, many of them remind us much of the Ocean classic like the ones with pixel-perfect pits with ropes and flying arrows, as well as rivers (sort of) to jump, more pits, more rivers and finally three infested caverns.

Add poor sounds and tunes, and simple graphics and you'll have a mediocre game.

T.L.L., 15 Apr 2021 (Rating: 4)

Another marvel coded by Costa Panayi in 1984.

Take off a plane, refuel, sweep back wings for faster speed and land in a cute map full of rivers, bridges, roads, high-voltage power lines, houses, trees, ... an author's personal imprint later left in his classic work Cyclone.

You must fire certain enemy targets at a very low altitude, what makes it really hard to succeed. Besides, the insane plane speed makes it hard to control, being a very difficult game that needs time to take over it.

Jungle Trouble, 15 Apr 2021 (Rating: 2)

One of the earliest (and poorest) works of Mike A. Richardson, author of classics like Harrier Attack, Scuba Dive, Turbo Esprit or Thanatos.

The action takes place in only one screen. An explorer in a jungle must return home facing some dangerous steps: crossing the river using the stepping stones to avoid a crocodile, chopping down trees while monkeys steal your axe and a firing pit that must be crossed with a rope in the best Hunckback style.

The game is frustrating from the start. With no instructions on how to control the character, you'd better reset and play other (probably more satisfying) game.

Zynaps, 15 Apr 2021 (Rating: 4)

Excellent space shooter by Dominic Robinson for Hewson, at the same level of superb classics like Uridium or R-Type.

It's got everything a top shooter must have: smooth movement, good graphics and sounds and a cool music by legend Steve Turner. Also, parallax scroll and an excellent use of colours.

Finally, different weapons, a fuel scoop and a variety of enemies is all you need to have an excellent gaming experience.

Kung-Fu Master, 16 Apr 2021 (Rating: 1)

One of the classics arcades ever deserved a great conversion for the Spectrum.

US Gold took the responsibility and the result was a disappointing game. Poor graphics, slow movement (unlike the frenetic original game) and an annoying tune.

A better game could have been done. We had to wait 32 years till Mister Kung-Fu (Uprising Soft, 2018) was released.

3D-Tanx, 16 Apr 2021 (Rating: 3)

One of the first works of Don Priestley for the Spectrum, published in 1982 for DK'Tronics.

A simple concept based on physics: adjust the gun angle before shooting moving tanks over a bridge. The score depends on where you hit: turret, hull, ...

It was a hit when it came out, a classic among the early games but it hasn't aged very well. Anyway, because of the originality, it can give you some fun.

Fighting Warrior, 18 Apr 2021 (Rating: 3)

Fighting game with the original feature of taking place in ancient egypt. A warrior must rescue a kidnapped princess by fighting against all sorts of mythological demons and demigods.

Published by Melbourne House in 1985, it's inevitable its comparison with another fighting game by the same company in the same year: The Way of the Exploding Fist.

While Exploding Fist is the usual beat-em-up with a screen-by-screen progression, Fighting Warrior has a scrolling sequence with objects to pick up and arrows to avoid between fights. Besides, it has hardly half the movements, punches and kicks. The fights aren't so flowed and realistic and it lacks the epic sounds and tune of the Melbourne House classic.

Finally, good graphics and a great inlay by Steinar Lund.

Pinball, 18 Apr 2021 (Rating: 3)

A very good pinball game for the Spectrum, coded in 1983 in only 16k of memory.

It features four flipper bats which gives it an original and cool touch.

With no sophisticated graphics, the classic pinball sounds and an accurate physics of the ball when moving are enough features to make it an addictive game to spend hours with, one of the best pinballs for the Spectrum.

Babaliba, 18 Apr 2021 (Rating: 3)

The second adventure of Johny Jones, after Saimazoom, doesn't get the fun of the prequel game.

Our hero is now at the Hosmimumarack's palace and must find a treasure, a princess and a captured mate.

He can now use keys and bombs, that destroy everything (included JJ) in the screen.

The map is larger and complicated, not as simple as the original game and the result is, following in the footsteps of it, a slightly worse game.

Maze Chase, 18 Apr 2021 (Rating: 3)

Game included in the ZX Spectrum + User Guide Companion cassette, so for many people like me was the first game to be loaded in the speccy.

Coded by Pete Cooke (Academy, Earthlight, Juggernaut, ...) in 1984, it's a maze program made in BASIC, clearly inspired by the arcade classic Amidar, in which you must go across a labyrinth chased by a terrible UDG monster, trying to complete the different squares.

Other program included in the Companion cassette was a UDG utility which you could use it to easily change the characters graphics of the game, with no need of BASIC skills, so it was an unexpected cool feature of the game.

It hasn't aged well, but back in the day, when you've just unboxed and turn on your brand-new Spectrum +, anything was amazing at the TV screen.

River Raid, 20 Apr 2021 (Rating: 4)

Good conversion of the classic Atari game by Activision.

Pilot a plane and fly down (up, to be precise) a river valley in order to destroy all the enemy bridges (there are 48). The game has a lot of classic arcade features: different enemies like ships, helicopters, tanks next to the river shore or even ballons; collect fuel or you'll run out and crash; extra points if a bridge is destroyed while a tank is crossing, two-players option, ... besides, the game lets you start at certain bridges.

In spite of its poor graphics, the game is really addictive.

Pole Position, 20 Apr 2021 (Rating: 3)

Very acceptable conversion of the great classic Atari arcade, considering the limitations of 48k Spectrum.

The position of the car in the screen is sometimes confusing, it turns in a weird way. Anyway, nice intro tune and sequence.

Super Soccer, 21 Apr 2021 (Rating: 2)

A very dissapointing football game by Imagine.

After the classic Match Day, its very sequel, Match Day II, Emilio Butragueño Fútbol or Emlyn Huges demonstrated that the game by Jon Ritman & Chris Clarke could be improved.

But Super Soccer, except for a superb artwork by Bob Wakelin, is a step back. Slow and unpayable. It features a slightly different version of the original Match Day tune, which seems a bad joke, as well as including the infamous word 'soccer'.

Handicap Golf, 27 Apr 2021 (Rating: 2)

Poor golf game. By the year it was coded (1984) it should have deserved a better result. Slow and too simple graphics.

Styx, 27 Apr 2021 (Rating: 3)

Enjoyable game by Matthew Smith, coded before his classic works.

Kill the Grim Reaper by entering a maze full of spiders and a pool of dangerous fishes ('aliens' according to the instructions), everything in the same screen: it's a simple and endless concept: Once you reach your objective, you start again in the same screen so it's a bit boring after some tries.

Dr. Franky and the Monster, 27 Apr 2021 (Rating: 3)

Nice plattform game by Martin Wheeler (Sorcery, Dan Dare) in which Dr
Franky must turn his terrific monster into a human being by collecting a flask in every screen, 9 in total, full of ghouls.

Poor graphics and a clumsy movement, but really addictive.

Caveman, 27 Apr 2021 (Rating: 2)

Mediocre conversion of the classic arcade Frogger for the Spectrum that takes place in prehistory, where a caveman must cross a 'motorway' full of prehistoric creatures, get in a ptedoractyl's lair (a maze also full of monsters), steal one of its eggs and get back home. There are six eggs, he must carry one egg at a time and a level is completed when all the eggs are stolen.

The poor graphics doesn't help this dull game much.

Mined-Out, 27 Apr 2021 (Rating: 3)

Before Windows' Minesweeper there was this simple and addictive game by Quicksilva, very enjoyable for a game made in 1983, but its difficulty makes it sometimes frustrating.

Reversi, 27 Apr 2021 (Rating: 4)

Interesting game based on board game Reversi, published by Sinclair Research in 1982.

No need to have sophisticated graphics and sounds to spend a nice time playing this exciting game, as one turn you're losing, next one, because of a wise move, you'd be winning by a big margin.

Xeno, 30 Apr 2021 (Rating: 4)

Very entertaining game published by A'n'F in 1986 about a futuristic sport that takes place in a cool crowded stadium.

Each player controls a disc that must push a puck through the opponent's goal. Who scores most goals wins. The disc is moved by selecting a target where the disc will move. Both players move in turns.

A really addictive and exciting game with a funny two-players option.

Number Painter, 30 Apr 2021 (Rating: 3)

A very interesting educational program by Psion Software, published by Sinclair Research in 1984.

It's a simple idea: mix arithmetics and plattforms and the result is this cute game. We're in a plattform & ladders screen where there are many pink boxes with numbers (+ -, and in higher levels, * and / ) spread along the screen. In a limited time, we start with a certain score and we must reach the target number by picking up the pink boxes. If we have a score of, say, 25, and pick up a +5 box, now we have a score of 30. If we get a -1 box, we have now a score of 29. We must reach the target number in a limited time.

A very original game, useful even knowadays for kids in order to learn arithmetics in a funny way.

Biorhythms, 30 Apr 2021 (Rating: 2)

This program published by Sinclair Research in 1982 show your biorhythms, a concept from a pseudoscientific idea that explains that our daily lives are supposedly affected by rhythmic physical, emotional and intellectual cycles.

Depending on today's date and your birthdate, the program will print these cycles on screen.

A curious and weird program.

Cliff Hanger, 03 May 2021 (Rating: 3)

This 'cartoon-style action game' as it's defined itself, consists of 15 levels, between 3-5 random screens on each, in which you, standing on a cliff, must stop a bandit using one different object in every screen: stones, bombs, cannons, boomerangs, ... you must guess how to use them and hit the button in the very moment.

And that's the only problem of this cute game: you restrict yourself to press a key in a certain moment and watch the action. On the other side, the variety of objects to use gives it a funny touch.

Anyway, an original idea for a game that should have had better graphics.

Stop the Express, 05 May 2021 (Rating: 4)

You travel in a train out of control. To stop it, you must climb onto the roof of your carriage (the 20th) and walk along until the engine car, avoiding saboteurs that try to eliminate you. There are also birds to dodge, but if you can catch them, they can be used to made the enemies fall.

The program, coded by Hudson Soft for Sinclair Research, looks like a very good arcade conversion, but that's the great thing of it: it's an original game with a very nice arcade-ish look. Both graphics and sounds are very good and the smooth and constant movement of the train is very accomplished, features that are not very common in a game made in 1983.

A very addictive game with an epic final engrish message: "Congraturation, you sucsess".

Hunchback, 07 May 2021 (Rating: 3)

An official conversion of the classic Century arcade based, in turn, on the famous Victor Hugo's novel, coded by Paul Owens & Christian F. Urquhart in 1984, when it was not very common that Ocean releases official licenses, quite the opposite: Kong, Pogo or Digger Dan are just a few examples.

The game is a succession of screens (15) avoiding arrows, pits, fireballs and even a chasing knight. And the end, your beloved Esmerelda awaits you to be rescued. Some obstacles, like the pit, are just frustrating as it must be pixel-perfect. Others are much easier, so the game in all is a bit boring after some tries. The tune, repetitive and depressing.

Anyway, it's a Spectrum classic from the early years, a very accurate conversion of the original arcade game that also includes the works of two great Spectrum artists: F. David Thorpe for the loading screen and Bob Wakelin for the inlay artwork.

Shao-Lin's Road, 11 May 2021 (Rating: 3)

Funny conversion of the Konami classic arcade.

It's just about kicks, jumps, punches and even magic powers in a plattform style, through ten screens full of buddies. Avoid flying kicks, breathing flames and punches, clean out the screen and then go to the next one, all in a game with crappy sounds and a slow scroll, but a catchy tune.

Automania, 11 May 2021 (Rating: 4)

The first Wally Week game coded in 1984 by Chris Hinsley has a different style from its sequels, a enjoyable arcade that takes place at workplace, a garage with two screens, the store and the assembly area.

You must build a car (10 in total) with six parts each. Collect every part from one screen and put it in the correct place in the other while avoiding moving wheels and other objects. A simple idea in a funny game with the usual good Wally graphics and a memorable tune.

Cookie, 14 May 2021 (Rating: 4)

The last 16K arcade game by Ultimate is very similar to Pssst.

A frenetic game in which you are Charlie the Chef and must push ingredients (Mixed Peel, Colonel Mustard, Chunky Chocolate, ...) into a mixing bowl while avoiding the nasties (Tin Tin Can, Mike the Pike, Wally Washer, ...).

There's an ingredients-needed counter that must reach zero to pass level (5 in total). This counter will grow if you accidentally put a nasty in the bowl and not in the trash bin.

Pure arcade that lives up to the player expectations, the usual Ultimate quality product with top graphics and sounds and funny characters, ideal for a short, casual gaming.

Mikie, 17 May 2021 (Rating: 4)

Great conversion from the Konami arcade classic by Joffa Smith and Martin Galway.

Collect hearts through different school rooms while avoiding the teacher, the maniac janitor or the chef.

Frenetic (literally) action with a high difficulty level.

Tranz Am, 17 May 2021 (Rating: 3)

One of the earliest Ultimate works, a 16K arcade game inspired by Namco's Rally X, but this time in an open map of the USA where you must collect 8 cups before running out of fuel, avoiding cars, stones, trees, etc. Even though you can accelerate/brake, the car is hard to control. The graphics and speed sounds are acceptable, in the usual Ultimate standards.

Probably the least popular Ultimate game from those years.

Chip's Valley, 02 Jun 2021 (Rating: 2)

Your computer doesn't work because some evil 'bits' are damaging it. So you enter the computer to repair the damages (the flashing points) while avoid the bits. The keys are O,P,Q,A and SPACE for eerrm... hyperspace. You know, the usual situation in which you are inside your computer to repair it and evil 1s and 0s chase you and you use hyperspace to run away...

Just a BASIC maze game where the enemies use the same pattern when moving in these kind of programs. Some ability to avoid them and when you can't... hyperspace!

A very decent game with a crappy issue: sometimes both bits are in the same place on the screen so it's seems there's only one. Besides, a cute techy background and joystick option

Keop's Revenge, 02 Jun 2021 (Rating: 3)

You're in Keop's tomb and must avoid the usual traps. The game is clearly inspired by Dinamic's Abu Simbel. The limitations of BASIC are not a excuse to have some fun with this game.

Regatas, 02 Jun 2021 (Rating: 2)

A curious sailing game for up to 4 players written in BASIC.

After drawing map, the task is sail your boat to every partial finish line (A, B, C, D, E, F and G) and then to the final line. In every turn, select the direction you want to take and throw a dice, according to its number, the direction you took and the wind direction, you'll move. There are some obstacles like sand banks, buoys, the coast, ... they will penalize you when reaching every line.

An original idea but a bit slow and often becomes boring.

Sherezade, 02 Jun 2021 (Rating: 2)

This game written in BASIC is just a pac-man clone without ghosts, just eat dots in a limited time, with a exotic mission: you're in a one-thousand-and-one-nights palace and your mission is to free princess Sherezade. To reach her you must previously go through some screens full of jewels (the dots).

The main character is clearly inspired by Jonny Jones, the hero in Saimazoom, Babaliba and Abu Simbel Profanation. In fact, some screens have objects and sceneries very similar to the ones found in the second game in the series.

Eat dots and pass the screen, nothing more to expect.

Alien Bank, 02 Jun 2021 (Rating: 3)

A game with a crazy plot. Aliens have invaded Earth, they control everything... even the National Bank. You, as a member of the resistance, have been transferred to there to recover the stolen money.

The other crazy thing of this game is that you start with 30 lives.

A surprisingly funny game with the unpleasant feature of the 'blink' movement of the characters, so often in BASIC programs.

Dona Pepa, 03 Jun 2021 (Rating: 3)

An original BASIC program with a simple idea: defy this lady, doña Pepa, to see who puts the last piece of dinnerware set in the shelving. Who does it, wins. There are 21 shelves and, in turns (you choose who starts), the players put 1, 2 or 3 pieces.

It's a simple idea that makes it very addictive, it bothers you so much that you'll wish to play many games.

Pentagram, 03 Jun 2021 (Rating: 4)

The last game in the epic Sabreman series was launched by Ultimate in 1986, when the market was flooded by so many isometric games that is the less popular of the classic Ultimate adventures, and when the company had been taken over by US Gold. In fact, the Stamper brothers reckoned in a Crash interview in 1988 that their last work as a team was Gunfright, so this game wasn't even coded by them.

This adventure offers more of the same: in a isometric haunted forest, after escaping the Knight Lore castle, Sabreman, disguised as a wizard, must find the pieces of the long-lost Pentagram.

The same good graphics, the same puzzles, the same magic atmosphere, but this time with the novelty of shooting magic fireballs when some enemies appears, and with this other new feature: when the character enters a new screen, after only a few seconds those enemies appear, so you must react quicky, no time for thinking.

A great game that doesn't dissapoint this genre's lovers.

Guerrilla War, 17 Aug 2021 (Rating: 2)

A mediocre conversion of a cool arcade game in the Commando/Ikari Warriors style.

Anyway, even though it doesn't reach the level of the mentioned arcade games, it's not a bad game to play on the Spectrum.

Risky Risk, 04 Dec 2022 (Rating: 3)

This game is an adventure, a mix of Panama Joe & Abu Simbel, all in a BASIC program. You enter a lost african temple full of traps and must advance.

A very enjoyable game from Microhobby Cassette.

El Solitario de la Cruz, 04 Dec 2022 (Rating: 2)

This is a card game (solitaire) in BASIC with some C/M routines. The cards used here are from the spanish variant.

In a limited time (there's a cool analogic clock on the screen) you must either move cards from the pack ('mazo') to other pile (with its corresponding number) or returned to the discard pile ('pozo'), or move cards between them.

A boring version of solitaire, but well coded for the Spectrum.

Gnomos, 04 Dec 2022 (Rating: 3)

This is the story of a gnome that must collect food through a beautiful labyrinthine forest before the time counter (spring, summer, autumn) ends. In spite there's no enemies (we'll forgive it as it's a BASIC game) this game has the charm of exploring. The graphics are very well done, including the main character, a gnome/smurf creature. There are 36 screens.

Pocky, 04 Dec 2022 (Rating: 3)

A simple but enjoyable plattform game. You're Pocky, a cute yellow dot that must collect all the magenta objects and reach the exit to pass to next screen, avoiding some enemies.

These baddies seem to follow certain movement pattern, they don't chase you, but the game is somehow addictive, anyway.

Bolera, 04 Dec 2022 (Rating: 2)

A decent attempt to make a bowling game in BASIC. At first, you choose level of difficulty (beginner or amateur) and also two game options:

- 'Lanzador Danzarín' (Dancing Player): the player is always moving from left to right before throwing.
- 'Bola Borracha' (Drunk ball): you must press ENTER to fix the ball direction

The strength of throw is random so you control very few parameters. Not bad, but after some games you're bored.

Q.B.O., 04 Dec 2022 (Rating: 3)

A puzzle game. The board is a figure with nine internal squares and six external ones. At the start, the program jumbles those numbers and your aim is to put them all in the correct, initial order. To do this, you must use the external squares. By using 5 and 6 keys you move a number along the external squares and when you want to enter it in any internal square just press 7.

A nice & original game in BASIC.

Space Lab, 04 Dec 2022 (Rating: 3)

Interesting maze game made in BASIC starring a ship that must travel through a huge labyrinth collecting containers while avoiding the terrible Laniks.

You have three ships, each one has a limited protection system against Laniks; after some hits it dissapear and next hit make you lose a ship. You can also choose game speed, from 0 to 10, and 5 difficulty levels. Better play on lower speeds, otherwise the game is a bit crazy.

A nice feature is a scanner that shows you where the containers and the Laniks are.

Odissey, 04 Dec 2022 (Rating: 3)

"In a distant galaxy..." here starts an intergallactic adventure in which you take the role of a pilot that must remove all the arsenal in every screen in the lost planet 'Tyre'.

To do this, you must pilot a ship and land in every plattform next to an arsenal. Due to the bloody inertia, the ship is hard to control, and you'll end up missing more lives (there are 'only' 10!!!).

Beware the fuel level and the panel control.

A really hard (I'd say frustrating) game but with a good concept.

Frank N Stein, 06 Dec 2022 (Rating: 4)

"Have you got what it takes to build your very own monster?". It's 1884 and you must help Dr. Frank N. Stein in this original plattform game coded 100 years later by Colin Stewart for PSS.

The game consists of 50 screens with very cute graphics. In every one, you must collect all the pieces of a monster in the correct order and activate it to progress to the next screen, avoiding snails, bats, slimes and other monsters.

This is not a common plattform game, as Dr. Frank can't jump or go up/down ladders, he only can use springs to ascend. So it's all about strategy and wise thinking, what makes it quite difficult but also very enjoyable.

Zombie Zombie, 07 Dec 2022 (Rating: 3)

The sequel to Spectrum classic Ant Attack, which use the same 3D engine -Softsolid- was coded with some interesting improvements: more colours, a cute helicopter to fly and add bricks, and the most relevant: zombies instead of ants (zombie apocalypse rocks!).

However, the boy/girl and the helicopter are really hard to control and the way to kill zombies become repetitive and dull.

So the aforementioned improvements aren't enough to reach the playability and fun of its antecessor.

Airwolf, 08 Dec 2022 (Rating: 3)

A classic game by Elite in which you control the billion-dollar helicopter to rescue five scientists from a subterranean base in the Arizona desert.

The game map is short, about 40 screens, with the usual Elite pretty graphics where you must rescue the scientists one by one, always following the same path, which becomes repetitive.

A game that has a charm the first times that is played, but the difficulty level is so hard that becomes frustrating.

Gunfright, 10 Dec 2022 (Rating: 3)

As Chris Stamper admitted in a Crash magazine interview, Gunfright was the last game the Stamper brothers 'developed as a team', in other words, the last true Ultimate game, as the later releases, Cyberun, Bubbler and Martianoids lacked the 'magic' the company used to include in previous games.

Gunfright is the second Filmation 2 game after Nightshade. Maybe a technical advance, but they never reached the gameplay and fun of the original Filmation games.

This game, being similar to Nightshade -a far west town instead of a medieval village, outlaws instead of ghouls-, is a bit more playable, as it features useful characters like the guy pointing at where the outlaw is, the horse to ride faster or the final duel to shoot every outlaw, a true minigame.

But as the player progresses through the game, the game becomes dull and repetitive.

Galakzions, 10 Dec 2022 (Rating: 3)

A very decent 16Kb Galaxians clone by Mikro-Gen from the early years.

Such a simple game just need playability, and Galakzions has it, in spite of that crappy intro tune and rude sounds.

The movement is correct and the galaxians graphics are very well done.

Galaxians, 10 Dec 2022 (Rating: 3)

Good conversion of the Namco arcade classic by Artic.

Graphically is very close to the arcade, and the sounds are very well done. The problem, as in Namco's original, is that the ship can be shoot a bullet at a time, unlike other conversions for the Spectrum.

Other good features are 9 levels of difficulty and 1 or 2 players option.

Galaxian, 14 Dec 2022 (Rating: 3)

The official tie-in licence of Namco's classic arcade is also the best conversion for the Spectrum.

Both graphics and sounds are very close to the original game (with the obvious limitations of the Spectrum) and the gameplay is excellent.

Hungry Horace, 15 Dec 2022 (Rating: 3)

This is the first game in the Horace series, one of the most iconic Spectrum characters.

Coded in 1982 by William Tang, is a decent pac-man clone in 16k that consists of four screens with guards as enemies. Simple and with a fine level of difficulty, good for a quick gaming.

One of the few games that were released both in cassette and Interface II cartdridge.

Aquaplane, 20 Dec 2022 (Rating: 3)

Original water skiing game by John Hollis, author of Game Designer and unofficial arcade conversions like Space Intruders or Meteor Storm for Quicksilva.

The idea is simple: pilot the boat avoiding rocks, driftwoods, yachts or even sharks. The problem is although you control both boat and skier, the latter follows a different path from the boath due to inertia, so the level of difficulty is high enough to make it an enjoyable and addictive game. The weak spots are its simple graphics and poor sounds.

But an interesting feature is the border effect that extends (or gives the impression of) the game screen.