Play Speccy Games Online

Ah no, not another retro post? Oh yes! ZX will give you a reason to run Java again if you were a fan of the rubber keyed micro. Thanks Paolo for the link!


Happy birthday my rubber keyed friend!

Well, 2012 has turned out to be quite a year for retro computing. The Commodore 64 turned 30 this year, Jack Tramiel died, and the ZX Spectrum is 30 years old too!

I have fond memories of the original 48K ZX Spectrum. Even though it had a tiny rubber keyboard it suited my much younger and smaller hands. I do recall the “Symbol Shift” key got stuck a few times making it hard to type in BASIC code but I guess I opened up the machine and cleaned the keyboard membrane when that happened.

On the off chance you haven’t read it yet there’s a great article on the Sir Clive Sinclair’s machine in the first issue of Retro Gamer that came free with the 100th.

At the time many 8 bit machines used tapes to load their software. Disks were a rare luxury. The loading sounds became so engrained in our minds that even now they’re recognisable and someone created an iOS app that recreates them. (Thanks Conor!)

Or the real thing. It takes a while …

Edit: Conor noticed that has a new Google Doodle for the day that’s in it:


Amazing C64 and Speccy Pixel Art

Computers have always been home to amazing artwork. The C64 has so many graphics modes that artists were spoiled for choice near the end of the machine’s life. Luckily, artists are still working on the machine and releasing stuff even now!

You can find some amazing Commodore 64 artwork on and it’s even sorted by graphics format like hires, FLI and others.

There’s also a comprehensive and detailed collection at CSDB of course but it does have a gallery. You’ll have to click through to each image to view it.

Here’s a wonderful ZX Spectrum gallery. The Speccy was known for attribute clash but despite this you can create really amazing work if you know what you’re doing. Check out this Binary Zone tribute to Speccy artist David Thorpe. You will recognise the loading screens!


Jetpac, as you've never seen it before

This is one for the Speccy fans out there, especially Walter and Conor. Jetpac is a simple shoot em up released by Ultimate Play The Game in 1983 on the ZX Spectrum. Apparently there’s a C64 conversion too but it was never as popular on that platform. In 1988, Ultimate: The Collected Works was released. Pictured on that page is a review from Your Sinclair that looks very familiar. I remember reading that issue. Can’t believe it’s 20 years ago! The first time I played this game was probably at a friend’s house when he bought that compilation.

Here’s the original 1983 game in all it’s glory. Revel in the single colour sprites, and simple but addictive gameplay!

And here’s the Xbox version, called Jetpac Refuelled. Totally mad stuff! Updated graphics but same great gameplay.

If that isn’t enough to wet your appetite, you can now play Jetpac in your browser! Head over to this freeonlinegames page and start refueling that ship! Oh the excitement!

(Yes, yes, it doesn’t seem as good these days. Our expectations of what games do have risen so high that retro gaming really is a niche that appeals to those that grew up with the games. Oh well!)

Edit Yay. Jetpac+3 on Must give it a go later!