Anyone who hasn’t heard of Manic Miner was obviously not of computer-
Ultimate had invented this 3D look for a new wave of Spectrum games, but Jon Ritman perfected it for Head Over Heels. Easily one of the best Spectrum games of all, and still stands up to repeat playing today.
Exolon was as good to look at as it was to play. A walking, jumping shoot-
Lunar Jetman was Ultimate’s follow-
It had an awful rubber keyboard, the worst sound chip of any
computer at the time and you could only have two colours per character square -
In the late seventies/early eighties my drawing took more of a back seat with the advent of home computers. The first I ever owned was a Dragon 32 which my mum had brought home from work. We had to wait a few weeks for the actual computer, but I had the manual to be getting on with which I read from cover to cover. In the first few weeks of having the actual computer I’d written a game resembling Nintendo’s Donkey Kong.
In 1982 this home computer lark took off completely with the launch of the Sinclair ZX Spectrum. I spent any spare time I had playing games and programming and drawing on the Spectrum. Unfortunately I no longer have any of my efforts to share on this site, but I have kept a magazine featuring a simple music-
In the late eighties, Commodore launched the Amiga A500, with graphics and sound that were leaps and bounds ahead of that of the Spectrum. This was to be my next foray into the home computer world and three games written by me are still around -
Later models of the Spectrum included the Spectrum+, which introduced a much improved keyboard, the Spectrum 128 (left) which added a much more acceptable 3-
LEFT Parasol Stars. Bubble Bobble and Rainbow Islands were great games themselves, and this was the home computer only sequel that appeared only on the Amiga and PC Engine. Despite being the cutest game around, later levels were very tough.
RIGHT Speedball. A futuristic sports game. I was crap at it and don’t think I won a single game.
LEFT The famous Lemmings. Infuriating as it could be there was nothing not to love about trying to guide the little creatures home using their special skills to avoid fiery pits, dangerous machinery or just plummeting to their doom.
Below: Some of the best games I remember from the Spectrum days
The Amiga A500 was the first “low-
The original Amiga A500 proved to be Commodore’s best-
The games I made on the Amiga were programmed using the AMOS programming language (pictured right), and back then I had no scanner so all graphics were drawn manually using the Amiga’s mouse!