Lets start my trip down memory lane with;


A highly playable clone of the arcade game Centipede complete with similar features – spiders, fleas, scorpions, mushrooms and the centipede. The idea of the game was to destroy the centipede that makes it way down the mushroom riddled screen while you avoid or shoot the other nasties.

Now I wasn’t that good at this game but my dad was great and it was his favourite game to play. He was great at it and could rack up a decent high score and whizz through the screens with them getting progressively harder as the game sent on. The graphics and sound were simplistic but the game was originally released in 1983 for the 16k ZX Spectrum so it did arrive towards the beginning of the Spectrums life.

Don’t let the simple looks put you off though as the game is very addictive – especially when your trying to beat your dad’s highscore!

Manic Miner

Quite possibly one of the greatest games ever released. A simple looking platform game that sees you take the role of Miner Willy as you guide him through 20 screens collecting keys or other objects in order to escape. It sounds simple and it was a simple design but it was one of the most difficult and addictive games ever created. Forget the sequel – Jet Set Willy – Manic Miner is much better.

One thing that I always liked about Manic Miner was the imaginative names given to each of the rooms as they bring to mind some fantastic images. You start in the Central Cavern and along the way through the game you’ll enter the Abandoned Uranium Workings and Eugene’s Lair, take a trip through the Endorian Forest and Miner Willy Meets the Kong  Beast!

Along the way you’ll encounter mutant penguins, kangaroos, telephones and toilets!

It’s a fantastic journey that has you pulling your hair out at times as many of the jumps require pixel perfect timing and precision. Even in todays world of 3D gaming this simple game is well worth taking the time to play.

Turbo Esprit

Lets actually forget what you are actually supposed to do and lets look at what many people, including myself actually did.

Just drive around the city and have fun. Seriously you behind the wheel of a Lotus Turbo Esprit driving around a sizeable city that features pedestrians walking around, other cars on the road, working traffic lights, roadworks and petrol stations. You car also has working indicator lights!! It was amazing to play!!

The actual point of the game was to bring down an international drug dealing ring. Stop the smugglers cars by shooting them or ramming them off the road before taking on the armoured vehicle that has been making the drops. (Ram them off the road? Chase H.Q anyone…)

You had four cities to choose from that varied in size and complexity, graphically they all looked the same but that didn’t matter as it was a great option to have – of course bigger and more complex cities made the game a lot harder! Even though this game has aged and the scrolling isn’t as smooth as it once was (rose-tinted memories) it still makes for an interesting game to play.

You need to stick with it though – don’t give up after five minutes – give yourself an hour and you’ll love it!

More great games coming along tomorrow!


About Phendrena

Father, Retro Gamer, PC Gamer.

3 responses »

  1. Never was a big fan of the ZX Spectrum as I was rocking a Commodore 64 owner but as I have grown older I can see the draw of the ZX Spectrum.

    • Phendrena says:

      A friend of mine had a C64 and I was always impressed by the quality of the music as I owned a 48k Speccy at the time so the sound wasn’t the best. I did comment on numerous occasions though that the graphics were bloody awful and very blocky – unless the game went monochrome then it had high-res graphics that actually looked good!

      Still both machines had good and bad points. Good days though back in the 80’s!!

  2. […] Music celebrates the 30th anniversary of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum with a 7-part blog post tribute- Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, and Part 7.  A must read for fans of this great computer, […]

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