Reviews by Raphie (527)

Stop Ball, 04 Feb 2009 (Rating: 1)

Easily one of the worst games ever made for the ZX Spectrum. I totally regreted buying this, I was pandering between this and Rick Dangerous and decided to go with Stop Ball. Safe to say I made a bad choice.

Everything about the game is dreadful, just what was with that long annoying 'vrooming' sound at the first screen, sounded like me after a curry! And was there any playability at all? In the first screen it's just you and the ball, THAT'S IT! Just stop the ball from hitting the ground until the time runs out. Next screen, not sure what you are supposed to do here, I believe you are meant to go to all four corners while avoiding the others ball. Touch any of the balls once and it's game over. It's not the difficulty that bothered me, it's how boring the gameplay was. And we all know that monochrome were at large with the Speccy, but having little to no colour at all made the screen very hard to look at.

With zero playability, zero colours and the most god-awful sound-FX in any game, Stop Ball should be left alone. I'm still looking my two quid back!

180, 04 Feb 2009 (Rating: 4)

Now as a darts player and fan myself, I always enjoy playing a darts game...180 was a game I had as a kid and is what probably introduced me to darts in the first place. And I had great fun doing so too.

The throwing mechanism is quite simple...maybe too simple as I (and possibly you too) was able to throw my darts at a rhythm which meant I could practically hit a 180 every time...even with my eyes closed. The music is jolly and stands out well during the game when your computer opponent is throwing his darts...credited to David Whittaker I believe it's actually the work of Jas C. Brooke...oh well.

Apart from the simpleness of the game which can spoil its charm from time to time it's definatly one of the best darts games out there, many in fact claim it to be THE best darts game on the Spectrum...and they have a good case with that.

A Question of Sport, 04 Feb 2009 (Rating: 4)

This is a good sports quiz game. I was never really a fan of the quiz show to begin with and would only watch it on an odd occasion, in fact it was my late mother who bought it for me as a gift. I was a bit unsure about it at first but it caught me by suprise and I really enjoyed playing it. It maintains just about the same gameplay as in the quiz show and can be good fun with a group of people playing. So if you love sports, quizzes and a good game for you to play with all your friends and family, this one is for you.

Enduro, 04 Feb 2009 (Rating: 3)

Enduro is a simple racing game. The object of the game is to pass a certain amount of cars within one lap around the track, do so and and race another lap with the amount of cars to pass increasing. The gameplay is very easy to get into and can be quite fun but it gets boring from time to time and it's rather easy to lose interest in it after some many games or so. But worth a try anyway.

Bullseye, 05 Feb 2009 (Rating: 2)

You can't beat a bit of bully....actually in this game you may as well because this is more like a double 1 than a Bullseye.

This game follows very little from the show, in fact I don't think the programmer ever watched Bullseye! You play as a single player, not couples, the prize board round replaces prizes with points, you throw FOUR darts instead of three at the gamble round, but the biggest crime of all, not a single bendy bully in sight! Also to mispell oche as "ockey" sums it all up.

Hang your head in shame Macsen.

European Soccer Challenge, 05 Feb 2009 (Rating: 2)

Definately not the best footie game for the Speecy. Sure its gameplay is quicker than Match Day, but it's all gets a bit dull after about four minutes when you realise that there are better footie games than this, and Match Day is one of them.

All of the players on either team look the same colourwise which obviously doesn't help and the game is accompanied by one of the worst tunes ever to grace our Spectrum. Would have been a three but the game overall is below average.

Krakout, 05 Feb 2009 (Rating: 5)

My favourite of all the Breakout clones. It's gameplay was very unique and very addictive, I probably spent hours on this game in one sitting. Great graphics, great music, great game overall. Highly recommended.

Barry McGuigan World Championship Boxing, 05 Feb 2009 (Rating: 5)

Without doubt the best boxing game on the Spectrum, in fact Barry McGuigan World Championship Boxing for me, passes as one of the best sports game for the Speccy. The graphics are superb and the gameplay is excellent and very addictive. Okay sound wasn't much to rave about but then again I had the 48K version back in the day and didn't even know a 128K version existed until years later....but nevermind.

I loved this game back in the day and still play it over EA's Fight Night series. Not bad considering it was a gift from Dad and that I had NEVER HEARD of Barry McGuigan beforehand! Oh forgive I was only 9.

A gem of a game.

Battle of the Toothpaste Tubes, 05 Feb 2009 (Rating: 1)

What a horrible game. The idea is that you control a giant toothpase tube to fire at the evil Brush Bridge whilst trying to avoid the fire of the Mini Tubes and Chattering Teeth. If you don't hit the brushes of the Brush Bridge, you shot will rebound back at you.

Terrible concept and awful gameplay. Because the sprite of your tube is large, it's quite difficult to avoid the fire of the mini tubes. It also contains one of the worst names in gaming history let alone for the Spectrum.

Games like this make you not want to brush your teeth again.

Daley Thompson's Decathlon, 05 Feb 2009 (Rating: 4)

A great sport game with great gameplay and probably the first good track n' field game on the Spectrum. The times I spent playing Decathlon were almost endless. However a couple of glitches were present as well. The one that sticks to my mind the most is that you RUN with the shot put. Also an obvious glitch is Daley's colour, I'll say no more.

As time went on, better sports games surfaced for the Spectrum and even Daley himself beared his name into a better sequel, but this remains a pioneer in button-bashing gameplay for the Spectrum. A great time for players, a bad time for keyboards.

Zynaps, 05 Feb 2009 (Rating: 5)

Zynaps is a great shoot-em-up, probably one of the best for the Spectrum. When I first played it I was blown away by the graphics which were superb for its time and hasn't aged a bit. The whole game itself is very well done and I had a lot of fun playing this game. I never really got into the shoot-em-up genre beforehand so this game introduced me to a new genre of games. Another Hewson masterpiece!

Manic Miner, 05 Feb 2009 (Rating: 5)

A timeless classic. A game that paved the way for many of the platform we have seen in new generation consoles. If you haven't played this game yet...where have you been? Go and play it now, you won't be disappointed.

Head over Heels, 05 Feb 2009 (Rating: 5)

I never really liked isometric games back in the day and still don't now, but there was something about Head over Heels that stood out. Neat gameplay, cute graphics, great music and hours of fun. One of the finest games ever made in the 8-bit era that put some of the newer platform games to shame.

Laser Snaker, 06 Feb 2009 (Rating: 4)

Nice snake-varient. Very colourful graphics for its time and very simple gameplay makes this a fun game for everyone to play. The only blemish is that the controls are a bit irresponsive but considering it is a 1983 game it's not really a big deal.

Overall a good fun game for the whole family to enjoy.

Eliminator, 06 Feb 2009 (Rating: 3)

This review is for the Alterative Software version, not the Hewson version.

It's not the worst shooter for the Spectrum but it's not the best either. Sure the gameplay is a bit bland but as long as it's a shooter I can live with it. No sound fx at all kinda spoils the game really for me and the graphics could have been better. For dedicated shooter fans like myself only.

Star Pilot, 06 Feb 2009 (Rating: 3)

Decent enough shmup from Firebird, not the greatest but for £1.99 it would have been quite an enjoyable purchase.

The graphics are monochrome and because of that it's the same usual problem with Spectrum shooters, it's hard to see the bullets. But it's still fairly decent, it moves at a nice speed which you can adjust anyway and the music is really nice.

It's not the greatest shmup but it's still nice enough.

Snooker Management, 06 Feb 2009 (Rating: 1)

Now don't get me wrong here, I enjoy snooker. I can watch it, I can play it and I've attended the Northen Ireland Trophy the past two years, so I can tolerate with snooker's slow pace. But NO WAY should a snooker management game exist. It's just wrong. Everything totally drags and gets boring pretty quickly, especially if you can't get into any of the tournaments and are forced to play 'celebrities' every week. For the extreme die-hard fan only, otherwise don't waste your precious hours on this.

1942, 06 Feb 2009 (Rating: 3)

Nice shoot-em-up conversion, lots of levels and nice details in some of the planes. But I agree totally with psj3809 in that the game could have been much better, especially in the sound department. No disrespect intended, but I feel if someone like Ocean or US Gold had obtained the license rather than Elite the game would have been massive. Still nevermind, a fairy enjoyable shooter by all means.

Advanced Pinball Simulator, 06 Feb 2009 (Rating: 5)

This remains my favourite pinball game on the Spectrum. It's a game I always loved as a kid and still love today. I've gone on to play a number of good and great pinball games on the Spectrum, like Time Scanner and the original Pinball, even Alternative's Microball is charmful...but for me, Advanced Pinball Simulator is still number one.

3D Snooker, 06 Feb 2009 (Rating: 1)

This is just a bad snooker game. The colour clash is awful and even if the ball is touched slightly, it moves forcefully around the table. There are fewer reds on the table and worse than that, if you press fire during a shot the ball comes to a dead stop, easily giving your opponent a foul. The music is so appalling, just hearing it alone makes you realise, yes it's a snooker game and a really bad one. It's also very difficult not to foul on your shot as the balls have a mind of their own. Don't waste your time playing this turkey, it's not worth it, stick to Steve Davis Snooker instead.

1943, 06 Feb 2009 (Rating: 3)

A sequel to 1942, the game plays just about the same as its predecessor. Just control you plane shoot down enemy planes and ship etc, just like in the arcades. The 1943 tune from the arcade version is played in the beginning which is pretty good considering it's played on the beeper rather than AY.

The real downer however is the graphics which end up worse than 1942. The clear blue and white monochrone graphics on the entire game screen is a real disappointing sight considering the planes are once again very well designed. Sure 1942 was completley blue, but at least I can look at the screen and not get a headache. 1943's graphics look like we are fighting a war in the midst of a snowy blizzard!

With 1942 falling short of expectations, I was hoping that US Gold...sorry Go!...would provide a better sequel in 1943, but in the end they didn't. Shame.

Altered Beast, 06 Feb 2009 (Rating: 2)

Not a good arcade conversion at all. While playable the game is ruined by a dreadful colour scheme which make the game flooded with colour clash. Colour clash is commonplace in the Speccy, but to play a game such as Altered Beast, we have to see what we are doing and all I can see is colours scattered all over the place, looks more like an abstract painting than an arcade conversion.

If only for that, Altered Beast may have been a massive hit. If you loved the game in the arcades you may want to give this a go, but I can't promise you happiness.

American Tag Team Wrestling, 06 Feb 2009 (Rating: 3)

American Tag Team Wrestling is an ok-ish wrestling game. The controls are dead simple and the game itself is easy to get into. But this would have had a higher score if the wrestlers didn't look the same in either team. A different unique look for every wrestler would have been essential, then again it may have been a bridge too far for Zeppelin me thinks. Also although the moves are quite easy to learn, the moves are the same for everyone. A special moves for each wrestler may have done the trick, but again perhaps a bridge too far.

Still if you want a basic wrestling game that's fun for two players, give this a go, otherwise either go for WWF Wrestlemania or stick to being a fan because there weren't that many great wrestling games for the Speccy.

Renegade, 07 Feb 2009 (Rating: 5)

My favourite Spectrum game. I spent much of my childhood on this game, I was totally addicted to it...even though I couldn't beat the final boss for the life of me. There was something about it that kept sucking me back in time and time again, perhaps it was the fun of throwing people of the platforms which I used to take great pleasure in doing.

The only thing I missed was the level musics which were missing in the Hit Squad re-release but having got the chance to play the game with music through emulation, the music is superb and suits the game well.

Overall I'll take this for the arcade version anyday. In my opinion this is the best arcade conversion for the Spectrum. I could join the opinion that Target: Renegade is better, but I never owned it so I'm sticking to the original.

Eliminator, 07 Feb 2009 (Rating: 2)

Eliminator by Hewson Consultants could have been a good shoot-em-up, but the graphics spoil it. The choice of colour makes it very difficult to see where you're going and what you suppose to be shooting and avoiding. Blue and yellow colour is bad enough, but they soon change to green and blue which makes it a lot worse. I didn't get very far as a result of it.

The game does contain good music from Nick Jones, but that's all that's good from Eliminator. Pity really, it could have been so much more.

Motos, 07 Feb 2009 (Rating: 4)

Motos always was a strange game in the arcades, so you can imagine the suprise when Mastertronic obtained the license to this rather odd arcade game.

The game is simple, just move your ship around a surface knocking all the enemies of the surface. To aid your progress to can collect a power-up to make your ship stronger and a jump icon to make your ship jump.

The game itself is true to the arcade version, odd but very playable and addictive. The multi-coloured levels stand out and music is excellent. Overall I very much enjoyed playing Motos, even if it is rather odd.

The Adventures of Sid Spider, 10 Feb 2009 (Rating: 4)

I honestly wasn't hoping for much with this initially, but what a nice game it turned out to be. The gameplay is simple and very addictive, the graphics are neat as well with great use of colours and the music is good as well though. Overall a very enjoyable game...just a pity it was never finished.

Barbarian: The Ultimate Warrior, 10 Feb 2009 (Rating: 4)

This was the first fighting game I played for the Spectrum and it was a great purchase. The graphics stood out well despite the monochrome playing area and the music is good but I can't ranked it amongst my favourites. Undoubtably, the best part in the head is when you chop someone's head off! As a kid, that's all I wanted to do.

I very much enjoyed playing Barbarian. Not one of the finest games but yet one of the most enjoyable in my huge collection.

Continental Circus, 11 Feb 2009 (Rating: 3)

Slighty disappointing arcade conversion. I loved this game in the arcades and was very excited about buying it. While the game obviously lacks the 3D effects of the arcades it does maintain the gameplay. The problem for me is that it doesn't have the same feel of a racing game. The graphics could have been better with a bit more colour and detail but are still pretty good. But the game lacks a true feel of a racing game and I prefer the arcade game.

Double Dragon, 11 Feb 2009 (Rating: 1)

Probably the worst arcade conversion ever for the Spectrum. Everything about the game is dire. Poor graphics, bad detail in the characters, awful sound effects, terrible gameplay, I can go on and on but I wouldn't want to waste too much of your time.

I would recommend this game to only the absolute die-hard Double Dragon fan, apart from that don't bother playing this game. What a waste of a big license.

EastEnders, 11 Feb 2009 (Rating: 1)

AAAAH!!! What is the point of this game! Who in the right frame of mind decided to make an Eastenders game! Everything about the game is dreadful, the gameplay is very boring and the graphics are pitiful.

Simply put, it's hard to find a game worse than Eastenders and the game rightfully placed as one of the worst games ever.

Moon Strike, 11 Feb 2009 (Rating: 3)

Moon Strike is quite good, yet quite difficult. The largely white monochrome graphics don't help at all as the bullets are also white making it hard to actually see them. Still a nice shoot-em-up nevertheless.

Octan, 12 Feb 2009 (Rating: 3)

It's definatley not the best shoot-em-up but it's a good one considering its cheap price at the time. The game itself is playable but rather slow at times and it's not-so-good colours spoil it from getting a 4. Still if you're a fan of the shoot-em-up genre you may want to give this a go.

I was certainly pleased to have purchased this game, it was worth its price.

Ano Gaia, 29 Jun 2009 (Rating: 4)

In my first review in yonks, I return with a review on Ano Gaia, a vertically scrolling shoot-em-up which came free in Issue 89 of Your Sinclair magazine.

The game itself is terrific, nicely detailed graphics with lots of colour given the Speccy's limitations. Gameplay's just the same as any ordinary shooter, if it moves, shoot it till its destroyed, but the gameplay is fast and smooth unlike some shoot-em-ups for the Spectrum which can be slow and somewhat unresponsive, oh and monochrome as well, unlike Ano Gaia. The opening music is very well composed, again given Spectrum's limitations and the fact that its a beeper sound rather than the AY sound.

With exceptional gameplay, highly detailed graphics and of course colour, Ano Gaia is a very good game and a lot better than some of the other shooters for the Spectrum which we had to pay for. Definately worth playing.

Barchou, 29 Jun 2009 (Rating: 2)

Barchou is not one game I would recommend to you. Its very fast, okay too fast, the enemies hit you in no time. As you play on you probably will get better at it, but that probably won't stop you losing a few of your lives in such a rapid pace.

Graphics don't stop flickering throughout and the sound is kept to a minimal except for an annoying continuing sound FX when you hold the fire button.

If you do happen to like a game with non-stop flickering and zero chance of actually playing through the game you might want to give this a give, otherwise don't waste your time with this game.

Bob's Full House, 29 Jun 2009 (Rating: 3)

Quite a good quiz show game this actually, in fact one of the better ones for the Spectrum. I don't actually remember seeing the actually game show itself so I won't know for defs wether the game retains all of the game show's features but it plays pretty well. The only thing that prevents it from getting a 4 is that it gets very repetitive, sometimes you can be asked the same question twice in the one game. Another problem back in the day was its £7.95 pricetag, of course nowadays all you need is an emulator to play these games with the roms coming free of charge (aren't you lucky!) but eight quid for a game such as Bob's Full House was not good markerting at all, certainly wasn't worth its price anyway. Still it beats the Krypton Factor and Countdown any day, its a TV licence game actually worth playing.

Exion, 30 Jun 2009 (Rating: 1)

Very slow and almost completly unresponsive shoot-em-up. There's not much graphics to show for but there's some nice use of colour along with a decent tune at the beginning, but the gameplay is a total let down. Everything in this game is dead slow, you move slow, the enemies move slow and the bullets are slow. Worse still, you fire a bullet at the enemy and you can't fire another one until its disappears off screen. Not impressed.

3D Pool, 30 Jun 2009 (Rating: 3)

This was a pool game like no other back in the game. Its graphics were unique and the game played very well. I was hooked on it for quite a while. Its a shame really that it hasn't aged well at all over the years and the game looks really quite awful now. But definately worth a go.

Canyon Warrior, 30 Jun 2009 (Rating: 5)

Very underrated shoot-em-up. Plays the same as just about every other shooter, just shoot certain enemies in front of you, but if you (like me) enjoy that sort of thing then you might want to give this a go because it plays very well. The graphics are superb and still stand out well even today. Also be sure to check out the brilliant 128K music from Tiny Williams.

Definatley one of the better shoot-em-ups on the Spectrum. Definatley recommeded for shump fans.

Double Dragon III: The Rosetta Stone, 30 Jun 2009 (Rating: 4)

One of the more playable versions of the awful Double Dragon III. This game sucks for a number of reasons, one of them being the inclusion of the shop which enables you to insert coins to purchase weapon, power ups and other items. Luckily the spectrum lacked that function and allows you to simply collect the coins for purchasing.

The game doesn't play too badly, though you can beat up the baddies with your hands and feet I would strongly recommend you buy a power up to strengthen your attack so that it knocks them out in far less time. You can also purchase weapons to help you along the way, annoyingly, when I purchased a weapon all I could hit was clear air and my energy quickly vanished and I died as a result.

But overall this is pretty good and a lot than it's dire arcade counterpart and plays way better then the first Double Dragon on the Speccy. Double Dragon enthusiasts proclaim Double Dragon III as the worst of the series, on the ZX Spectrum though it's the best and it's definately worth a look.

Bubble Bobble, 05 Jul 2009 (Rating: 4)

Bubble Bobble is one of my favourite games ever. First played it on the arcade in Ireland and I was blown away with its addictive gameplay, catchy music and most of all its cuteness (well I was only a wee lad) so imagine my excitement when I discovered this game for the Spectrum for only 4 quid. This was a great effort from Firebird which unfortunatley falls just a bit short.

Don't get me wrong, the gameplay is still the same as the arcade version and just as addictive and there's a nice rendition of the main tune during the game, although the game was glitched in that at times (for me most times) it played without the music. And the graphics are nice but could have been more colourful I feel, especially with a game like Bubble Bobble. Unfortunatley, our main protagonists Bub and Bob don't look as cute as they do in the arcade game, I remember thinking "they look kinda creepy don't they". If they could add the colour to everything else in the game, why leave our heroes with no colour.

If you loved the arcade game, you'll want to give this a go. It's just as addictive as its arcade counterpart with its only blemish being the lack of colour on our heroes.

Subway Vigilante, 10 Jul 2009 (Rating: 2)

Very disappointing beat'em up. A game which attempts to clone Renegade but yet removes all the playabilty. It takes ages to knock out someone, I must've spent a full minute trying to knock someone off his feet. The gameplay is very slow and gets boring very quickly. Shame this game turned into quite a turkey because I absolutely love the title music, one of the best on the Speccy, sadly its the only good thing about Subway Vigilante.

This game should only be played by extreme die-hard fans of the beat'em up genre, otherwise it won't take you long to find better beat'em ups on the World of Spectrum archive.

Sabotage, 13 Jul 2009 (Rating: 3)

It's a shmup, then you walk around collecting things, then it's a shmup again. It took me 17 years to finally get the grips of this game! Man I am slow with these games aren't I?

Sabotage was a game which garnered mixed reviews upon release. While some praised the game's playability and graphics, others criticized it for ripping off FTL's classic Light Force as well as it's mediocre next-to-nothing sound FX. Upon playing it again myself, I too have a mixed review on it.

The game has monochrome yet pretty nice graphics where unlike some shoot'em ups for the Spectrum, you can see what you are shooting at and where you are suppose to go. Some criticized Sabotage for the big sprites but I personally found this to be a benefit and I quite like the sprites in the game.

The game itself plays very well, yes it the same ol' stuff with shooters, you know, shoot anything that's in front of you, but I love that stuff and can never get enough of it so personally, it's always gonna appeal to me. The most annoying thing about the game is that when you lose a life, you start at the very beginning of the level, even if you die at the boss you start at the very beginning.

But that's only one element of gameplay, the other is like a maze where you walk around collecting, well bubbles or orbs, I never quite worked out what they were, maybe it says so on the instructions but I can't be bothered to look if WoS even have them so we'll leave it there. Anyways the main thing is you've to collect a piece of blueprint whilst avoiding the falling birds. Honestly this isn't as fun as the shooty part.

Sound FX, well the reviewers were right about this, there's just a few bips in the entire game and that's all she wrote. Disappointing yet not suprising as there are plenty of Spectrum games with little or no Sound FX at all.

Like I said earlier, because I love the genre almost too much, games like this are always going to appeal to me. But on the flipside, the game is good but falls short of greatness.

Time Flies, 13 Jul 2009 (Rating: 1)

It always frustrates as a shump fan when I read a review of a random shooter on the Speccy and the reviewers whining over "yet another shoot'em up", just how many text adventures made there way to the Spectrum precisely? After finding this game and reading the bad review I was eager to give this game a go. Five minutes later I find myself disagreeing with the 3/10 score it received from Your Sinclair magazine, it should have had less than that, hell this game doesn't even deserve the 1/5 mark I'm giving it. If Mr. Kendall decided to initiate a zero score for the absolute atrocious, this game would be a fine candidate.

Simply put, everything about this game is dire. The graphics are pitiful, the text looks like a child's writing. And what am I suppose to be shooting at? What am I aiming for? One moment I'm shooting pieces of the platform, next moment, RIP I'm dead! What hit me? What did I run into?

The Sound FX are pretty much the same as most shooter, next to nothing really. And you would already know from my past reviews (if you read them that is) that I loved my shooters, the bland repetitive gameplay doesn't bother me one single bit, neither did the gameplay in this game....except that it hardly had any gameplay. I lost all of my lives in one minute. How's that for gameplay?

Honestly, this game is total trash, I don't honestly know what Firebird were thinking in releasing this, perhaps they were planning another Don't Buy This complilation and thought this game would be the lead game. I don't know, all I know is that this is one of the worst shooters I have ever played. Do not waste your time on this game.

British Lowland, 20 Jul 2009 (Rating: 3)

I'm not really one for strategy management games unless its a sport game, but British Lowland caught me by surprise.

You run a small ailing car company which is notable for poor industrial relations and production. You must turn the company into a growing business and must obtain a bank balance of £1.5 million, however you must not exceed the overdraft of £300,000.

In the game itself, you are given the option to open new lines for more production, close lines to cut costs, increase or decrease car prices as well as dealing with union requests and industrial accidents. Although I have not managed to do well thus far, I somehow keep coming back for more which is an example of how well programmed this game is. Its good for anyone with a keen interest and knowledge in cars, business and management. I have knowledge in none of these traits and yet still I managed to enjoy the game.

Sadly the fun probably won't last long as you end up dealing with the same problems and scenarios as you continue playing the game and it can get very frustrating. But if you're bored and need a quick fix, try British Lowland, you just might be surprised, I certainly was.

Stainless Steel, 01 Jan 2010 (Rating: 3)

Not bad overall though very difficult. There's a nice opening tune at the title screen and the game has such great graphics, great use of colour, nicely detailed, and still looks well today, but the game is very difficult and as a result I haven't got far in it yet. But that doesn't mean it's a bad game because it looks really well. I will definately play this again.

Telly Tennis, 01 Jan 2010 (Rating: 1)

Its a pong clone, and a really dreadful one. The game looked promising, a basic pong clone, simple to play, easy to get into and a lot of fun, but the game itself is very poorly written.

For starters the game crashes at random with random errors such as Out of Screen, Integer out of Range and Invalid Colour, all at 10:6. Once it crashes you may press C to continue but it becomes impossible to start a one player game at it crashes before it starts, forcing you to play a two player game. After so many crashes the game will eventually refuse to start up at all.

Another problem is the ball. After a player scores a point, the ball will reset to a new position, but is very unpredictable and random and you end up scoring points without having to do anything and your end up scoring the required 15 points by hitting the ball less than six times, if the game allows you to that far without crashing.

For all Pong die-hards, avoid this clone, it's not worth your time.

International Speedway, 01 Jan 2010 (Rating: 2)

The game looked good at first but after a few more runs, reality kicks in and so does boredom.

The graphics are not overly good and the main drawback is there is no variety at all in the game, you race around the exact same track and as a result it gets old, boring and tedious very quickly There is playability in the game, but it dies quickly though.

Not atrocious but not good at all. Speedway fans should avoid this.

The Ninja Warriors, 01 Jan 2010 (Rating: 2)

Disappointing arcade conversion. So much more was expected from this game, especially with a very good title tune composed by Tiny Williams. But the promise ends as soon as you press start where we are treated with bland graphics and slow, sluggish gameplay. Your character moves very slowly across the screen, making it very difficult to avoid the bullets and missiles from the enemies. While the plain white background during the game is not something new, the character detail could have be more.

Ninja Warriors looked good on paper but fell well short of expectations.

Target: Renegade, 03 Jan 2010 (Rating: 5)

Absolutely stunning! One of the best games ever to grace onto the Speccy! Stunning graphics, superb music and sublime gameplay.

Adidas Championship Football, 04 Jan 2010 (Rating: 2)

Adidas Championship Football could have been a great football scrap that it SHOULD have been a great football game...but isn't and instead it joins a long queue of footie games which aren't very good. How so? Well let me explain.

It contains a well presented introduction, with a lovely loading screen, a wonderful musical score from Matthew Cannon and the game does contain nicely detail colourful graphics. But for me the gameplay is such a letdown, it's very difficult to control the ball and very difficult to...well do anything due to its very fast-paced gameplay. In no time I found myself (Spain) 3-0 down to Yugoslavia having barely touched the ball at all. It's a crying shame the gameplay had to be such a bugger...this was shaping up to be a footie classic but instead it finds itself on par with tripes such as Fighting Soccer and European Soccer Challenge.

If only Ocean had done more to the gameplay department this would have been a smash-hit, instead it became a massive letdown.

Adidas Championship Tie-Break, 04 Jan 2010 (Rating: 1)

Having already played Adidas Championship Football and feeling massively disappointed with it, I was eager to play the second game in the series. Adidas Championship Tie-Break itself seems like an odd name, especially since it is a Tennis game, so why not call it Adidas Championship Tennis instead of Tie-Break? Unfortunately this is not the only drawback for the game.

As soon as you start the game up you instantly see the difference between this and Football. Football contained nicely detailed colourful graphics and a great soundtrack but was greatly let down by its fast, uncontrolable gameplay...Tie-Break though has far inferior graphics, almost out-dated for 1990's standard. It also has a very dodgy control system, mainly in the serve where you press up to throw up the ball and down to hit it and it's very difficult to make a perfect serve. You also press up and down to hit the ball as it comes towards you but again it very difficult.

For music it's composed with the beeper rather Football's AY music, but it's composed by Tiny Williams of Sound Images and his beeper tunes were usually good...this, though not his best is still a decent tune.

But overall I was left feeling very disappointed with Adidas Tie-Break, there are much better Tennis games than this for the Spectrum and there aren't many worse off. So the Adidas games were ultimately busts, leaving no wonder why there were only two of them and there wasn't any Adidas Championship Checkers or Championship Keepy-Uppy or Championship Dressage. Stick to the day job Adidas.

Wacky Darts, 19 Jan 2010 (Rating: 5)

I absolutely loved this game, and I totally agree with Digital Prawn in that this is better than 180. 180 for me was a little too easy where as Wacky Darts require a lot of skill to master. Very well produced with a full tournament mode, highly colourful graphics, hilarious characters such as the drunk Jocky Pilsner and the manic Baza the War Machine and a sublime piece of music from Lyndon Sharp. Definately one of Codemasters's better games and the best work to come from Big Red Software.

BeTiled!, 20 Jan 2010 (Rating: 5)

Superb varient of Bejeweled. Great graphics, addictive gameplay and very nice music. If you haven't checked out the game yet I strongly reccomended to you.

Street Fighter II, 20 Jan 2010 (Rating: 2)

Surely the Spectrum could have done without Street Fighter II. Sure its nice to have it in the archive, but in truth the game was nothing short of a crisis.

It wasn't a bad start with the title screen and a nice rendition of Balrog's theme by Dave Lowe. Why Balrog's theme and not the classic theme for the title tune is beyond me, perhaps it was a personal peference. Now on to the character select screen and its then when we hear familiar music from the arcade though it appears to suffer some slowdown as it gets quicker as you select your character, but it a nice effort.

Now the problems begin...multiload! You spend 20 minutes or so loading your game for a five minute fight. A multi-load on a 128K game is telling something. Now to the game itself, okay so the characters are nicely drawn out despite the fact they are the same colour as the background. The game plays slow and sluggish and there are no music during the fights, well okay in fairness we didn't expect any, that was a bridge too far perhaps. But the main part of SFII's gameplay is the special moves, Ryu and Ken's Hadouken, Blanka's electricity, E.Honda's thousand slaps and Guile's Sonic Boom, on the Speccy however they are very hard, if not impossible to perform, leading some to wonder if they were even included.

So Street Fighter II on the ZX Spectrum, c'mon admit it, it was pretty much doomed from the start, perhaps one license the Spectrum could have done without.

Street Gang Football, 20 Jan 2010 (Rating: 3)

Growing up, this was one of my favourite Code Masters and certinley one of my favourite football game for the ZX Spectrum. However having grown up now, the game is still one I enjoy playing, however on an honest assessment, the game gets very annoying and repetitive, goals are disallowed, fights break out and eventually one team has enough and quits mid-game. One vivid memory I have is when a match lasted FOUR SECONDS! Kick-off, hand-ball, the CPU team refuses to play with cheats and quits. Funny at first but it does make your blood boils after two or three times.

Yes good times but I'd rather play a game of football rather than play against a bunch of quitters.

Chase H.Q., 20 Jan 2010 (Rating: 5)

One of the absolute best arcade conversions on the Spectrum. Everything in this game works well, the graphics are great, the gameplay has a proper arcade feel and the music is yet another fine piece of work from Jonathan Dunn. There's even some sampled speech. Overall, definately worth checking out, if you loved the arcade game, give this a go.

Classic Muncher, 20 Jan 2010 (Rating: 4)

Classic Muncher is just one of many Pac-Man clone that made its way onto the ZX Spectrum over the years, but its certainly one of the better ones. The graphics are nice and colourful and the game plays very fast with responsive controls. The main problem is that Pac-Man's sprite is so big, it has a problem going in between paths. Still very enjoyable nonetheless.

BMX Simulator, 21 Jan 2010 (Rating: 2)

One of the earlier releases from Code Masters, and its fair to say its not one of their best either. BMX Simulator lacked the real feel of a racing game for me, right from the off, I never got into it. The control were very awkward and the graphics, though nicely drawn, were a little bit bland for a racing game. Also I don't like the title music and looking at the credits it appears the music was done by my favourtie 8-bit composer David Whittaker. On the bright side, things did get a whole lot better for Mr. Whittaker and for Code Masters.

Smash TV, 22 Jan 2010 (Rating: 2)

I initially bought the Hit-Squad re-release of Smash T.V. and wasn't happy with the game at all. I didn't like the way the game looked and sounded similar to Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles, which I loved. It had the same use of colour, the same sound effects and I was expecting a whole lot more, but what else would you except from Probe Software, the makers of both games. Then I discovered the arcade version and I was blown away by the overall gameplay. It was then that I was encouraged to give this game another chance and give it a second opinion, but it was hopeless. After 10 minutes gameplay the same negatives came back to me and I put the game away, never to be touched again.

Very disappointing conversion.

Plotting, 31 Jan 2010 (Rating: 5)

Very nice arcade conversion. Plays just like the original and can get very addictive real quickly. Graphics are very colourful and stand out well. The game itself looks easy, simply match the same blocks together, example green squares with green square and Taito logo with Taito logo but its actually very difficult to master, its such a challenge that makes you want to come back for more. The music from Sean Conran I think is very different from the original but its stil very well composed.

Overall a very good puzzle game, one of the best for the Spectrum, well worth your attention.

Super Space Invaders, 13 Apr 2010 (Rating: 2)

This was a big disappointment. The game plays well enough but is completely ruined by monochrome graphics. Monochrome graphics hardly bother me to be frank but this bothered me a lot! It plays nice with quite enjoyable music at the start but the game is let down severely with the in-game graphics. Playing Space Invaders with one colour is no fun at all.

Invaders, 15 Apr 2010 (Rating: 5)

The best Space Invaders game on the Spectrum! Its got the colour, its got the playability, its got the appeal and its got the tune to go with it. Highly playable and a lot of fun.

Spitting Image, 15 Apr 2010 (Rating: 4)

Very playable beat'em up. Fans of the show will love this but even if your not a fan or have never heard of Spitting Image, it is definately worth your time playing.

Spectral Invaders, 15 Apr 2010 (Rating: 4)

Good version of Space Invaders, great use of colour and plays a lot better than some of the other clones on the Spectrum. The hit detection though is well off, the invaders take a full second to disappear after being hit. Apart from that this is a really good version and I highly recommend it.

Plasma Ball, 15 Apr 2010 (Rating: 2)

I honestly never felt any sort of appeal from this game at all. The controls are very sensitive even on low response speed. The gameplay gets old quickly and the appeal doesn't last too long at all. I'd avoid this.

Billy the Kid, 15 Apr 2010 (Rating: 4)

Very nice target shooting game. Plays really well, responds well and its very enjoyable. Lack of variety prevents this game getting a 5, but well worth the look.

Licence to Kill, 15 Apr 2010 (Rating: 4)

The best Bond game on the Spectrum. Great graphics and great gameplay along with some fantastic music. Little bit tricky but still very enjoyable.

Megaphoenix, 15 Apr 2010 (Rating: 4)

Very good Phoenix clone. Very playable and enjoyable. Great music as well. Phoenix fans should give this one a go.

Space Raiders, 16 Apr 2010 (Rating: 4)

One of the better Space Invaders clones for the ZX Spectrum. Plays smooth and looks great but awful sound, lack of variety and the fact that its the same level, with the same colours, with the same difficulty prevents this game from getting a 5. Not as good as Invaders by Artic but it's up there. Worth a look.

Sarlmoor, 16 Apr 2010 (Rating: 2)

Sarlmoor looked good at first with mind-blowing graphics at the beginning but the game soon runs dry coupled with some of the worse sound effects ever. Started off good but soon ran out of steam.

Pit-Fighter, 17 Apr 2010 (Rating: 1)

A total mess of an arcade conversion. Poor graphics, awful use of colour and slow, slugish gameplay. Pit-Fighter is a right turkey.

Terra Cresta, 17 Apr 2010 (Rating: 4)

One of the best shoot-em ups for the ZX Spectrum. Very playable with monochrome yet very well detailed graphics. Music's a little bit hyper for my liking but it's still enjoyable nonetheless. Well worth your time.

Alien Destroyer, 19 Apr 2010 (Rating: 2)

For a game I used to love as a kid, this sure hasn't aged well at all. The graphics don't stop flickering and the detection is dreadful, it takes about 4 or 5 hits for the enemies to be shot at. Very poor.

Dick Tracy, 19 Apr 2010 (Rating: 1)

What a fine mess of a licence this was! Badly drawn sprites with no colour, complete with poor gameplay and zero sound effects makes this undoubtably one of the worst licenced games I've ever played. I was a big Dick Tracy fan growing up and if I had paid £10.99 for this stinker back then I probably would have cried for weeks. Plain awful.

Sharkeys Moll, 19 Apr 2010 (Rating: 3)

A blatant Operation Wolf rip-off. Good in parts but nowhere near up to the standards of Ocean's timeless classic.

3D Starfighter, 19 Apr 2010 (Rating: 4)

I didn't honestly give this game much justice when I bought it originally because it deserves a lot more attension than I give it at first. Solid graphics with great use of colour is combined with very challenging gameplay. If you do well enough it'll keep you glued for hours. A well-written shoot 'em up by the Oliver Twins. Give it a go.

All-American Basketball, 19 Apr 2010 (Rating: 1)

Hey look it's a Basketball game from Led Zeppelin it isn't, it's that bloody International 5-a-side Soccer game just recycled to make it look like Basketball instead...yep that's right, it has the same graphics, the same sprites, the same colours, the same sound effects and even the same options. The gameplay is the same too...expect the ball bounces by itself when you run in a dribbling motion and instead of kicking the ball it leaps into the air as it would in Basketball...but because it's essentially a soccer game there is no animation for this...the ball just flies by itself. If this isn't lazy programming then explain to me what is?

Led Zeppelin Games were notorious for recycling game code to make new games, American 3D Pool and Championship 3D Snooker are the same, F1 Tornado, Q10 Tankbuster and Santa's Christmas Capers are the same, and now this and 5-a-Side Soccer are the same. So Basketball this ain't essentially...and now I feel so cheated...again!

Chevy Chase, 19 Apr 2010 (Rating: 4)

Another racing game that puts US Gold's OutRun to great shame.

The game impressively shows every aspect of speed, graphics and gameplay, with most racing games you get two out of three, this had all three! Yes after a while boredom will kick in and one go will be enough but its still a great racing game and definately worth your attention.

Miami Cobra GT, 19 Apr 2010 (Rating: 4)

From the same author of Chevy Chase, I found Miami Cobra GT very fun to play. Yes its the same as Chevy Chase where you're just driving and driving and driving and driv..but actually you're not driving, more like racing around a track and unlike Chevy Chase, this has the appeal. It looks better graphically and it plays a lot smoother. Definately worth a shot!

Dirt Track Racer, 19 Apr 2010 (Rating: 3)

Not bad but not great either. Lacks appeal and it's quite difficult to control you car. Collecting credits throughout the race does add to the gameplay, but it doesn't save the game from being a snorefest. For dedicated-racing fans only.

Mega-Apocalypse, 19 Apr 2010 (Rating: 5)

Superb Mad Planets clone. I love how the background changes colour with each level and game plays very nice. The concept is simple, just shoot anything in front of you, perfect! Oh yeah and the music by Jas C. Brooke is awesome as well. Great game, hours of fun.

White Heat, 20 Apr 2010 (Rating: 2)

I found White Heat to be dull, uninspiring and boring. The graphics are quite colourful but the whole game looks plain and the gameplay is very bland. Even dedicated shump fans will struggle to maintain some lastability with this game. Best to avoid this one.

Darkman, 01 Jun 2010 (Rating: 2)

I found myself extremely disappointed with Darkman. Poor sprites, limited gameplay along with the insane difficulty of the enimies, who use weapons against your fists! I found Darkman almost unplayable, its only saving grace is some fantastic music from Jonathan Dunn. The music alone is the only reason it doesn't get a one.

Bomber Bob in Pentagon Capers, 04 Sep 2010 (Rating: 3)

Bomber Bob in Pentagon Capers is a Bomb-Jack style game where you simply have to walk and fly around collecting bombs and avoiding enemies. Sounds simple but trust me its not, the game is very difficult to control properly which makes its very awkward to avoid the enemies.

The graphics are really nice for 1985 and certainly a great job from young Timothy Closs who was still in school when he made this game! The game also has a nice but pretty repetative tune.

All in all, Bomber Bob is a simple game to pick up but very difficult to master. Still, its a very fine effort to say the least.

Crossfire, 06 Sep 2010 (Rating: 4)

Crossfire is a target shooting game. Your aim is to "clean up Chicago" by shooting the gangsters and protecting the innocents. The game enables you to controls your crosshair to shoot the gangsters while at the same time avoiding to shoot the innocent civilians and must continue to shoot the gangsters until time runs out and then you progress to the next level. You are given bonus points for each gangster hit at the end of the level and also lose points for each civilians hit. If you wait too long to shoot a gangster, he will shoot you and you will lose a life, lose all your lives and its game over.

I personally found the game simple to pick up and quite enjoyable. The crosshair is very responsible and it can be quite fun to play. Its very easy at first but the difficulty soon picks up with the amount of time between shooting the gangster and the gangster shooting you gets less and less with each level.

All in all the lasting appeal isn't probably there but the game is fun, simple to pick up and with a retail price of £1.99, you were laughing with this game and couldn't complain. Well worth playing!

Delfox, 16 Feb 2011 (Rating: 2)

This is a pretty bad shmup. Three things are wrong with this - 1. your ship moves far too fast around the screen which makes it difficult to control. 2. the sounds effects in this game are dreadful. 3. the hit collision detection is a nightmare! Shots go right through the enemies several times before you finally shoot it down.

All in all I am not entirely impressed with this game, worth avoiding me thinks.

WEC Le Mans, 16 Feb 2011 (Rating: 5)

Great game! Always overlooked by OutRun on the arcades, but this is a lot better than OutRun on the Speccy.

Graphics are nice and well detailed, the scrolling and the speed is spot on and it contains excellent music from Jonathan Dunn.

All in all, one of the finest racing games put together on the Speccy.

Destiny Mission, 16 Feb 2011 (Rating: 2)

Very hard to see shmup. Not only are the colours monchrome, it severly clashes with the background which makes it very hard to see what your meant to be shooting at and what you are meant to be avoiding.

Pretty disappointing really, if you can't see anything, what's the point?

Ninja Scooter Simulator, 18 Feb 2011 (Rating: 4)

Its a Metro-Cross clone, and a pretty darn good one too! It looks great, plays great and it scrolls as well. Despite the fact that this has very little to do with ninjas its a good clone of an arcade classic and its really worth playing.

Jetpac, 18 Feb 2011 (Rating: 5)

What a glorious game this is! Beautiful graphics, simple and effective gameplay, hours of fun. Just a wonderful game to play! Brilliant!

Freedom Fighter, 22 Feb 2011 (Rating: 2)

Very mediocre shmup. Graphics are not well designed, the gameplay is really bad and the sampled speech is far from impressive.

I have played worst shmups than this.....but not many.

Jonah Barrington's Squash, 22 Feb 2011 (Rating: 3)

This always looked really impressive but I always found this game really tough. Hitting the ball is a nuisance, I am very lucky to score one point in this game. But the graphics are pretty nice and its really well programmed. There also a nice touch of Jonah Barrington's voice calling out the scores during the game, although it is barely audible.

I am certain the avid squash fan will love this and it might be more fun with two players. Jonah Barrington's Squash looks great but its gameplay for me was a little ineffective.

Street Cred' Boxing, 22 Feb 2011 (Rating: 1)

Oh dear! Not the most resounding game in Players' catalogue. Per usual the game contains really great music but the graphics are pretty dull and the movement of the boxers is terrible, they are more like Rock 'em Sock 'em Robots than street boxers.

Undoubtably one of Players' biggest misfires. Shame really because such a great 128K tune deserves better.

Paperboy, 22 Feb 2011 (Rating: 4)

Nice version of the arcade classic. Retains the same gameplay with nicely detailed but monochrome graphics. All in all I always enjoyed this game and always look forward to playing it.

Cyberball, 22 Feb 2011 (Rating: 1)

My god what a mess! The gameplay is so slow and the sound effects are dreadful, makes more use in the tank shooter than an American Football game!

Cyberball is a sorry excuse of an arcade conversion, probably one of the worst on the Spectrum! Way to go Domark....way to go!

Gemini Wing, 22 Feb 2011 (Rating: 3)

Not bad, just pretty tough. The graphics make this very difficult to see the game properly. Great title tune by Barry Leitch at the beginning. All in all its not bad, certainly one of the more playable shmups on the Speccy......if only I can see the enemies and the bullets come towards me.

RoboCop, 22 Feb 2011 (Rating: 5)

One of the best movie-licensed games, one of the best 128K games and one of Ocean Software's greatest games on the Speccy. Amazing graphics, superb gameplay, brilliant music from Jonathan Dunn, even the most awesome sampled speech I've ever heard come from a Spectrum!! Arguably the closest the Spectrum came to perfection!

Operation Wolf, 22 Feb 2011 (Rating: 4)

Its good but not the best conversion of the arcade classic it has to be said. Monochrome graphics are very commonplace in Spectrum games but here they really spoil the game, not so much the yellow in the first and third levels, but definately the green in the second level. Makes it very hard not to shoot the innocent. But its still very playable, it plays at the right speed with nice sound effects along the way, not forgetting great music from Jonathan Dunn.

Operation Wolf is good, very good, just falls a little short of greatness.

Paperboy 2, 22 Feb 2011 (Rating: 2)

Very disappointing sequel to the classic Paperboy. A good example of how sequels to classic games don't work. Nice graphics but difficult controls. Certainly not as good as the original.

Nigel Mansell's World Championship, 22 Feb 2011 (Rating: 4)

One of the very last commercially released on the Spectrum, this is quite a nice racing game, well detailed graphics with nice music it certainly plays a lot better than other racing games on the Speccy. I was very impressed with this, I can't see myself doing a full season in the game but I'll definately play this again.

Enduro Racer, 22 Feb 2011 (Rating: 4)

Pretty nice conversion of the Sega arcade classic. Well detailed graphics with the gameplay in tact. The only thing going against it is the music which I don't really like. Its simple short simple tracks which don't fit well with the game in my opinion. But this is still a good little game to play on your ZX Spectrum least its yards better than the trashy C64 version...yikes that was a train-wreck of a conversion!

Super Hang-On, 22 Feb 2011 (Rating: 4)

Another arcade classic nicely converted to the Spectrum. The graphics are really nice, the bikes are well modelled, great detail in the background and nice use the colour. It retains the same gameplay as the arcade version so you can't go wrong with this, it has the proper feel of a racing game. The one drawback is that I was never a fan of the music in this game, even when I was younger I would mute the TV when the game was about to load. But still Super Hang-On is a fine example of how to convert arcade games properly.

Dragon Ninja, 22 Feb 2011 (Rating: 5)

Superb conversion of Data East's Bad Dudes vs Dragonninja. It has superb graphics and tremendous playability, sure there's no colour in the playing area but the sprite are really well drawn and the backgrounds are stunning. Plus this game has amazing title music once more from Jonathan Dunn. Dragon Ninja is an awesome game that you should definately try out.

Superkid, 22 Feb 2011 (Rating: 4)

Very playable game from the Shaw Brothers, this for me was one of their best games. Nice colourful graphics, good opening tune and simple yet frustrating gameplay. Superkid is a fun, challenging game worthy of your attention.

Italia '90 - World Cup Soccer, 22 Feb 2011 (Rating: 3)

Let's be honest, the majority of soccer games on the ZX Spectrum plain sucked. This, though not the best looking soccer game, it was certainly one of the more playable ones. Lack of sound is a major drawback though, most games are like a snorefest in all honesty. But on gameplay terms Italia 90 puts a lot of soccer games to shame. Worth a look.

Flying Shark, 22 Feb 2011 (Rating: 5)

One of the best shmups on the Spectrum, a lot of people will tell you THE best shmup on the Spectrum. Stunning graphics and awesome gameplay which plays at the perfect speed. The only problem is the monochrome graphics which makes it difficult to see the bullets but that problem exist in most Speccy shumps.

But if you are a shmup fan, you have to play Flying Shark, its probably the genre's crowing jewel.

Super Bike TransAm, 22 Feb 2011 (Rating: 2)

Motorbike racing NOT at its best. I mean its not bad but not great. The bike itself looks awesome here and the opening tune from Lyndon Sharp is amazing, but its very slow which loses that racing sense and loses appeal, a lot of it.

Superbike Trans-Am could and probably should have been a well packaged racing game, great graphics but sadly the slow speed lets it down badly.

Metro-Cross, 22 Feb 2011 (Rating: 4)

Pretty good version of the Namco arcade classic here. Plays and scrolls pretty well, retaining the same gameplay for a proper arcade feel. The game sadly lacks the in-game tune but I reckon it would have sounded terrific on the beeper anyway. But overall Metro-Cross is a fun game worth checking out.

Star Runner, 22 Feb 2011 (Rating: 2)

Pretty cheap Metro-Cross clone. Its slowly and more awkward and the biggest drawback is it doesn't scroll. Suppose its worth the £1.99 price tag but another clone Ninja Scooter Simulator looks and plays better than this and it scrolls, AND it was also £1.99. So simply put Star Runner is mediocre at best and the fact there's a even better clone out there makes it even harder to like this game so much.

Nifty Lifty, 22 Feb 2011 (Rating: 4)

Incredibly simple and fun game! I instantly got into this game. A charm to play and pretty tough to master, it certainly had me hooked for a good wee bit.

Stryker - In the Crypts of Trogan, 22 Feb 2011 (Rating: 2)

Things looked promising for this game with the amazing intro it possesses, it really blew me away, the wizard animation combined with Andy Wynd's compelling 128K tune really wowed me. Starting the game up though gave me a different feeling altogether and showed a sharp contrast between the intro and the game itself. The graphics are well colourful and the main sprite is small but well drawn, the main problem is the gameplay, the jumping is a nightmare here, sometimes he doesn't jump high enough which leads you to land on the spikes over and over again till your health runs out.

This could have been better, judging from the amazing intro it should have been better.

Alien Swarm, 22 Feb 2011 (Rating: 3)

Pretty basic looking 16K shmup but its still very playable. Its more so one of these quickplay games but an enjoyable one.

Super Monaco GP, 22 Feb 2011 (Rating: 3)

Not bad, just not great. A good effort from US Gold (for once!) but simply put better racing games exist on the Spectrum, WEC Le Mans, Power Drift and Miami Cobra GT are three at least and I can name more if I wanted too.

This is rather good but its not going to bring me back time after time again.

Twin Turbo V8, 22 Feb 2011 (Rating: 2)

Pretty much the same as Superbike Trans-Am (or it is the other way round?) Nice graphics, lovely car, great music, slow gameplay which lacks the racing feel.

I could actually have copied and pasted my Superbike Trans-Am review here and made the neccessary changes if I so wanted to. Two games with similar looks, similiar concepts and the exact same problem. Codemasters loved to recycle over the years didn't they?

Ninja Massacre, 22 Feb 2011 (Rating: 3)

This was one of my favourite games back in the day, I'm afraid I can't give it much love nowadays as I now see it as nothing more than a Gauntlet ripoff rather than the greatest game of my youth.

Sure pretty nice graphics combined with one of the most impressive tunes on the Spectrum, but its pretty much Gauntlet....and I plain suck at Gauntlet anyway.

This game does bring me a lot of nostalgia but not so much love nowadays I am sorry to say.

Grand Prix Simulator, 22 Feb 2011 (Rating: 4)

Pretty good racing game from Codies. Not too much detail on the cars, more like micro machines but this is very playable. Certainly worth playing, one of the better "simulators" Codies released over the years.

International Ninja Rabbits, 22 Feb 2011 (Rating: 3)

What do you get if you cross The Karate Kid, Double Dragon and Bugs Bunny? - International Ninja Rabbits!

Ok so enough of my lame jokes, this is rather a nice beat 'em up with nicely detailed sprites, however the games moves rather slow, your rabbits attacks are quite limited and the game suffers from a ton of colour clash, its okay with the odd one but this is too much unfortunately.

But still this is pretty playable and you might want to take a look at it.....I mean you gotta love the concept don't you?

KGB Superspy, 22 Feb 2011 (Rating: 2)

Pretty difficult game this one. The controls are awkward, its pretty tough controlling your hellicopter and the graphics aren't too bad but suffer from a large degree of colour clash.

The one redeeming feature this game possesses is that it shares the same title music as Ninja Massacre which is one of my favourite Spectrum tunes ever. So of course I'm going to say the music's great....the game itself....not so good at all.

Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge, 22 Feb 2011 (Rating: 4)

Pretty good racing game, nice graphics, decent music and the speed is mental, really frickin fast! However its pretty difficult to see anything up ahead because the screen is so narrow and tilts up when you go uphill. to see anything! But in spite of that I personally found it pretty enjoyable, but man its tough as hell! You will need PLENTY of practice to go far in this game.

Alien Storm, 22 Feb 2011 (Rating: 3)

Not so bad, its pretty enjoyable but simply put better arcade conversions exist on the Spectrum, dare I mention Renegade and Cabal being two of them?

Super Stock Car, 22 Feb 2011 (Rating: 3)

Not a bad racing game.....nicely detailed graphics and very colourful but it's not something I'd stick playing for 15 minutes that's for sure. Still its good for a quick fix.

ATV Simulator, 05 Mar 2011 (Rating: 4)

Very fun but pretty tricky racing game from Codemasters. Its graphics are nicely detailed and the gameplay is simple yet very challenging. It also contains great music from David Whittaker.

Codemasters released a lot of these "simulator" games over the years and this for me is one of their betters ones.....even if the Pyramid level continues to drive me mad!

Fearless Frank, 05 Mar 2011 (Rating: 2)

Guide Fearless Frank the stuntman through his dangerous tasks on land, sea and snow. Simple? Far from it!

The main problem is that Frank's jump is so painfully slow its hard to judge the timing of your jumps properly. Also the graphics are very flickery and a real sight for sore eyes.

All in all Fearless Frank is a real headache of a game, if the flickering doesn't kill it for you, the slow jumping will.

Ruff and Reddy in the Space Adventure, 06 Mar 2011 (Rating: 4)

Cutesy fun platformer. Nice graphics with well-detailed sprites and the gameplay is pretty simple, it can get a bit tricky but its still quite fun.

Hi-Tec Software released a number of Hanna-Barbara licensed games on the ZX Spectrum and this for me was one of the better ones, certainly one of the most playable.

Quick Draw McGraw, 06 Mar 2011 (Rating: 4)

Another one of Hi-Tec Hanna-Barbera games and another good one.

The graphics are monochrome in the playing area but and very well drawn. Its main plus however is the background which is very nice and very impressive. The gameplay is simple enough, just control Quick Draw McGraw on a train and shoot the baddies and collect items. It can get frustrating but its still good fun.

So I really reccomend Quick Draw McGraw, its a pretty playable game worth trying.

Bobsleigh, 06 Mar 2011 (Rating: 4)

Probably one of the finest simulators to grace onto the Speccy. This game is quite a challenge in its own right, it took me a while to figure out the controls but I got there eventually. In all this is most challenging and quite fun once you get the hang of the controls.

Punchy, 06 Mar 2011 (Rating: 3)

THE very first Speccy game I ever played!! This and five others came with my Sinclair ZX Spectrum 128K +2A in Christmas 1989 (see the Soft 888 compilation on WoS) and I put this on my Spectrum first.

I will always keep Punchy close to my heart for the nostalgia it brings to me, its a Hunchback clone and it looks and plays a lot better than the Ocean conversion of the arcade game but in fairness the game probably hasn't aged well but its still a fun game to play.....well at least to me it is anyway =)

Disco Dan, 06 Mar 2011 (Rating: 2)

Play as Disco Dan and dance, prance and swivel your way towards...actually he does none of that here, just jumps and shoots! The first part is boring and uninspiring, the second part contains nice Q*Bert like gameplay and its nice and colourful but it doesn't bring life into this borefest of a game.

Crazy Golf, 06 Mar 2011 (Rating: 3)

Not bad but improvements could have been made as its hard to finish your round due to bugs, like the ball going into the obstacle for instance.

Its quite fun but it can be very annoying and frustrating.

Treasure Island, 06 Mar 2011 (Rating: 2)

Not a favourite of mine growing up and it still isn't today. The game is very frustrating, getting past the first two screen is a challenge in itself, when you manage it simply run around the screen collecting swords and throwing it at the enemies, soon after that boredom kicks in severly.

Not really my type of game and it was the least favourite of the games I recieved with my 128K +2A.

Oh Mummy, 06 Mar 2011 (Rating: 4)

This is a pretty nice Amidar clone, great for 16K, it just has pretty unresponsive controls, but all in all its definately one of the better games I got with my Speccy.

Painter, 06 Mar 2011 (Rating: 4)

Good Amidar clone this one. I certainly found this one a lot better than Oh Mummy, more responsive, playable and enjoyable. Probably the best Amidar clone on the Speccy for me. Really good fun and definately worth playing.

Out Run, 06 Mar 2011 (Rating: 2)

Oh dear! US Gold just had to screw up another license, probably one of the biggest games on the Speccy and.....its crap.

Okay its playable I'll give you that BUT the graphics are monochrome, all green, meaning the red Ferrari doesn't look like a Ferrari it just looks like an ordinary car. The game is pretty slow and gets slower depending on level detail which loses every element of speed a game like Out Run should have. And the multiload is a disaster, with emulation its probably not much so but back in the day, yeah it was a right pain.

So sadly Out Run is a right dud. Ocean's WEC Le Mans, a game massively overlooked in the arcades by Out Run is streets ahead on the Speccy while Chevy Chase and Miami Cobra GT, made by "smaller companies" and released on budget price are also more playable and enjoyable than this. Out Run was supposed to be massive and in the end it isn't. Shame on you US Gold.

Horace Goes Skiing, 06 Mar 2011 (Rating: 4)

Very fun game, gets boring after a long while but doesn't stop this from being a great legendary classic. The frogger part at the beginning can get pretty annoying though but the skiing part is always enjoyable.

Great game with tons of nostagic value.

Tiger Road, 06 Mar 2011 (Rating: 2)

Not one of the best Capcom Speccy games it has to be said. Bad graphics, poor gameplay, mediocre title tune, nice in-game tune but it doesn't improve the game whatsoever.

Terrible conversion, there are loads of slash em up games better than this on the Speccy.

Renegade III, 06 Mar 2011 (Rating: 1)

The game's tagline was The Final Chapter....and it was exactly that! Absolutely dreadful and an insult to the Renegade series.

They changed too much of the game, the moves were rubbish, the levels were ridiculous, I mean why are we fighting Captain Caveman exactly?

I mean the music from Jonathan Dunn is superb but its hardly a redeeming feature for such an appalling game.

Just an awful, awful game. Stick to the first two games and avoid this turkey of a game.

Xevious, 06 Mar 2011 (Rating: 4)

Not a bad shmup here. Looks, feels and plays a little too similar to Elite's 1942 perhaps but its still a fun little shmup nonetheless.

Moon Cresta, 06 Mar 2011 (Rating: 4)

Really good arcade conversion, very colourful graphics, challenging yet addictive gameplay, even the tune sounds good here. I so much prefer this port over the arcade original, conversions like this do the Speccy proud.

Tilt, 06 Mar 2011 (Rating: 5)

Brilliantly original game, there was simply never another game like this. It was very addicting, at times frustrating but its a whole lot of fun.

It's a corker says the inlay for the game, and it is exactly that.

Merlin, 08 Mar 2011 (Rating: 2)

Pretty uninspiring platformer. The graphics are colourful and the Merlin sprite is big, but probably too big, and also the sprite interacts with EVERYTHING! Colourclash I don't normally mind, but sprites clashing with the backgrounds, as severely as this? No thanks.

The gameplay is pretty dull, just walk around each screen and collect items and most likely find yourself getting lost and unable to past enemies at all.

Frankly Merlin is a mess and Mike Westlake ended up cloning it twice for Sinclair User - pretty much the same game with a different theme. This and its SU sisters are better off avoiding.

Pieces of Eight, 08 Mar 2011 (Rating: 2)

Its Merlin with a pirate theme and its pretty much the same code, same gameplay, same size of sprite and same graphical problems.

S.A.S. Combat Assault, 08 Mar 2011 (Rating: 2)

Merlin again, this time with a military theme. The sprite appears to be holding a weapon even though you can't use it. Its pretty much identical to Merlin and Pieces of Eight, best to avoid this one.

Powerama, 27 Mar 2011 (Rating: 4)

Nice budget shmup and probably one of the only Power House games worth playing!

This is inferior as in terms to graphics compared to 1942, 1943 and Xevious but in gameplay terms its actually pretty good and pretty enjoyable. Not bad at all for £1.99 considering 1943 was released the same year at £8.95.

In all its a pretty good budget shmup and really worth trying.

Dragon Spirit, 27 Mar 2011 (Rating: 4)

A port of the Namco arcade shmup, this was something I never could seem to get into in the arcades no matter how much I played it, but I have to say the Spectrum version is pretty good indeed.

The graphics are pretty nicely detailed, okay all blue but the main sprite and the enemies look pretty good and the game has some nice title music at the beginning. Its pretty tricky but with prolonged gameplay you'll soon get the hang of it.

Overall its pretty decent.....considering Domark released it!

Fruit Machine, 03 Jul 2011 (Rating: 3)

Not a bad Fruit Machine game really, not the best but there are far worse ones than this one. The mini games seem to lack any sense of difficulty, for instance in the Skill Chance I was going well up 20p and it stopped for no reason. Apart from that it's good fun to play.

Super Nudge 2000, 21 Jan 2012 (Rating: 4)

Definately one of the better fruit machine games on ZX Spectrum, probably second best behind Fruit Machine Simulator 2. Good fun.

Fruit Machine Simulator, 21 Jan 2012 (Rating: 3)

Not a bad fruit machine game all the same but the sequel is better and there are other better fruit machine games on the ZX Spectrum. Still if it's your thing then give it a go.

Fruit Machine Simulator 2, 21 Jan 2012 (Rating: 4)

Really good and enjoyable fruit machine game. The game has a number of mini-games to play and enjoy such as Nudge Box, Skill Box and Skill Climb. This has a proper fruit machine feel, even by being completely fixed to sting you of your money. A proper simulator.

Summer Games II, 21 Jan 2012 (Rating: 2)

Not the most enjoyable olympic style game it has to be said, the game has som of the most awkward controls for this type of game, the high jump requires you to do like three different things at once. The cycling event has also got an awkward control scheme that makes you go blind when you play it and the triple jump and I believe the javelin as well have maximum distances that cannot go any further which while not a major problem as it's simply part of the code but it's still annoying when you get you and two mates and all of you get 79.30m on the javelin.

I'll take Daley Thompson over this anyday, it's a good attempt of being different from the usual button-mashers but the controls are just too different to my liking.

Xarax, 21 Jan 2012 (Rating: 3)

Not a bad shmup all the same, I've just played better games of this genre on the Spectrum. Nice rendition of Bach at the beginning though.

Star Dragon, 21 Jan 2012 (Rating: 4)

Nice little shmup with good graphics and wonderful title music but very difficult. All in all very much recommended.

Australian Rules Football, 21 Jan 2012 (Rating: 2)

It was very brave of Clockwize to make an Aussie Rules game but it isn't effective at all. Everything happens so quickly it's hard to keep up, it's real hard to determine what the heck is going on, one moment you have the ball and the next its up the other end! Nice idea but let down by its confusing fast speed.

H.E.R.O., 21 Jan 2012 (Rating: 5)

What an absolutely brilliant game this is, simple yet very effective look combined with simple yet challenging gameplay. Highly recommended.

Beamrider, 21 Jan 2012 (Rating: 4)

This reminded me of the old arcade game Moon Alert and that's why I like this game. The old Activision games were really good and this one is up there among the best, nice little game.

Kaboom!, 21 Jan 2012 (Rating: 4)

Nice effort by Frantisek Fuka to bring the 2600 classic to the Spectrum. It's probably not as enjoyable as the original but I personally enjoyed playing this and I feel it's a very worthy conversion. Not a classic admittedly but definately worth playing.

Weetabix Versus the Titchies, 21 Jan 2012 (Rating: 3)

Ultimately the daftest Space Invaders style game to ever exist (unless you really wish to include that Sex Invaders whatever it is which I won't). The graphics are quite nice and I suppose it plays well too but it's just far too easy and not much of a challenge. However I expected this to absolutely suck but it doesn't, it's exactly worth playing for a bit until boredom kicks in.

Pac-Man, 21 Jan 2012 (Rating: 3)

What can I say it's Pac-Man, very slow, somewhat glitchy with magic power pills appearing at random, but it's still Pac-Man all the same. Some of the clones were better than this, Classic Muncher being one in particular.

Ms. Pac-Man, 21 Jan 2012 (Rating: 4)

I always prefered Ms. Pac-Man over Pac-Man and the ZX Spectrum is no different, this plays much better, moves better, controls better and plays better and it still plays really well today. Thumbs up for Ms. Pac-Man.

Blobbo, 21 Jan 2012 (Rating: 2)

Pac-Man type game that I didn't really get into, just way too complicated for my liking, very fast, very confusing and very unforgiving. The one thing I will say about it is that it's very faithful to the Memotech original which deserves credit, just too complicated for me to enjoy.

Muncher!, 21 Jan 2012 (Rating: 3)

Pac-Man style game and not a bad one, featuring large playing areas and tiny sprites including what has to be one of the weirdest looking Pac-Man sprite I've ever seen in a Pac-Man clone. Not bad overall, boredom will kick in at some point but it's passable nonetheless.

CJ's Elephant Antics, 21 Jan 2012 (Rating: 4)

A quite cutesy platformer from Codemasters. This was one of my favourite platformers growing up and it's still quite playable today but the game doesn't have the best scrolling and while the graphics are nicely detailed and colourful, the sprites interact with the background colours at all times, causing a mass amount of colour clash. Still it's a really good game and a nice alternative to Dizzy.

Toobin', 21 Jan 2012 (Rating: 4)

I was never really a big fan of this arcade game to be honest, but I actually like this version, its pretty good in fact. Nice graphics, good gameplay and excellent music from the great Matt Furniss. Definately one of the better games Domark released.

Buggy Boy, 21 Jan 2012 (Rating: 4)

Quite a nice arcade conversion from Elite, not the best arcade conversion nor the best racing game but definately an enjoyable one. Very colourful graphics and great music and sound from Mark Cooksey give this a good arcade feel, but the large sprite and slow speed was a turn off for some and yes the game is slow but it doesn't get boring (at least not for me anyway) and remains playable and enjoyable throughout. Definately worth a shot.

Deathchase, 21 Jan 2012 (Rating: 5)

One of the best looking games on the Speccy! Such brilliant graphics and great gameplay! One of the best games ever released on the computer, just magnificent. The only let down is the sound, okay it was 1983 and it was 16K so we probably shouldn't have been expecting much, but most of us wear earphones in this day in age so the repeated sound effect won't go well at all. But regardless of the sound it is still an excellent game that looks and plays well today.

Chequered Flag, 21 Jan 2012 (Rating: 4)

This was the very first driving game on the ZX Spectrum and one of the very first car simulators to ever exist and they done a really good job with it, it really does put you firmly in the driver's seat. The controls are very awkward which makes it very difficult to manuvere your car around the track in one piece, it is a challenge in itself. Still it's a really good game that still plays well today, just be sure to get to grips with the controls otherwise you'll get nowhere here.

International 3D Tennis, 06 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

An interesting Tennis game to say the least. Containing vector graphics the players look like paper figures which is all the more amusing. Players can play on different courts such as carpet and grass represented by a different colour, an example being grass as, well predictable green, but really bright green that makes things hard to look at. Hitting the ball is determined by a flashing black box that appears as the ball comes towards you, this can be tough but you should manage it with plenty of timing. The game actually plays really good, a little bit slow at times but it's certainly better than some of the other tennis games I've played. Oh and the music by the late great Richard Joseph is excellent, a really good rendition of the Wimbledon theme tune plays at the start (unless you run 48K mode that is) and it follows with a really good tune that remains one of my favourite tunes on the ZX Spectrum.

All in all it's pretty good, I never was good at this game myself but it's definately one to come back to again.

Little Puff, 06 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

A really fun and enjoyable platformer from Codemasters. Nice graphics, good music, very playable all round, I always enjoyed playing this and still today I have fun playing. A great alternate to Dizzy and it's definately worth a go.

Kentucky Racing, 06 Feb 2012 (Rating: 1)

Picture yourself in Blackpool, you play a game for prizes, your goal? To roll the ball into the holes to move your horse, if your horse finishes first, you win. Sounds like a fun game and trust me it is, I've done it and I've won before, great feeling of victory yet great fun of taking part.......but why on earth would Alternative Software release a computer game with that concept! Daft Daft Daft!

Seriously of all the possible ideas for a game this is one of the daftest ideas out there, this is not very fun at all, it all appears to be random and a matter of luck rather than skill and effort, to say this game is Alternative is an understatement, it's also pretty crap as well. Stick to the real thing rather than this garbage.

Tarzan Goes Ape, 06 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

Nice platformer from Codemasters, one I had back in the day and I always enjoyed it. Basically Tarzan has turned into a monkey and must go through numerous levels to find the antidote which would turn him back into human form, how wonderful, you gotta love these plots don't you?

But seriously this is really good and well worth playing.

Manchester United Europe, 06 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

As a Newcastle United fan, why I decided to spent 3 quid on a Man Utd game I'll never know. It's not great at all, joins a long list of crap footie games on the Spectrum, it's something the developers never seemed to get right.

The actual gameplay of playing a soccer game is pretty much the same as the original which I played much much later, although I do think it's worse here, the original seemed to have more control whereas here it was very difficult to control. Also passing was a nightmare, it's pretty much kick the ball without aim and hope for the best. This appears to be a step backwards from the prequel.

It's much more fun running it as a management game and simulating the matches rather than playing it. The best thing I enjoyed was being able to change the team (as I'm not a Man U fan), I was able to include my Newcastle heroes or completely make a new team from scratch altogether, that was the most fun I had...which just about sums up this game frankly. Yeah it's pretty rubbish, even Man Utd die-hards will have a hard time enjoying it.

Emlyn Hughes International Soccer, 06 Feb 2012 (Rating: 5)

To many, Emlyn Hughes International Soccer is the best soccer game on not just the Spectrum but on the 8-bit home computers and possibly on any system known to mankind. It is probably the most complete soccer game for it's time, the scrolling, the control, the options you had, it all made this the champion of soccer games. Simply brilliant.

Hypsys, 06 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

There were a lot of Spanish shmups, a lot of the them were hard and this is no exception. There is a fair bit of gameplay in this and can be quite enjoyable, however it is quite unpredictable. Still it's worth a quick blast and you can get some enjoyment out of this, some being the key word.

But the main thing that sticks to my mind the most is its name. Is it just me or does Hypsys sound like some form of medical disease? If it is, my guess is it's some form of esophageal fungal disease that has you spewing custard coloured liquid from your nostrils, who knows....who cares.....I think I'm going slightly mad as a wise man sung once!

Arcade Trivia Quiz, 06 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

This is really good fun, I really liked this game a lot, definately one of the best trivia games I've played on the Speccy. I say this is probably better with friends as the one player mode is less of an exciting challenge and can be a bit boring, but it's still good fun.

Saint and Greavsie, 06 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

Its a soccer quiz game based on the ITV show of the same name featuring former Liverpool and Scotland forward Ian St. John and former Tottenham Hotspur and England striker Jimmy Greaves. My best advice is that if you know nothing about soccer its best that you didn't play this game. There's really not much to this game other than you answer questions about soccer, oh and there's a bonus thingy where you have to save a penalty but you can wait a fraction of a second to see where to ball moves and just follow it, all a bit pants really.

But yeah if you love soccer and you love quizzes then this is the perfect game for you, other than that don't bother.

Gary Lineker's Superskills, 06 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

Train to be the next big soccer star with huge wages, flash cars, model girlfriends and infidelity scandals, the life of luxery!.

You do different events such as press ups, squat thrusts, monkey bars and weightlighting, fun for a while but soon gets redundant, still a nice game to play if your bored.

Footballer of the Year, 06 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

It's a interesting soccer game this one. You basically control yourself (or rather the ball) to try and score goals and aim to become Footballer of the Year. It gets boring after a while but it's still an enjoyable game to play.

Footballer of the Year 2, 06 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

The sequel to Footballer of the Year, this one I owned back in the day and I absolutely loved it! A lot of people tell me the first game was better, I beg to differ...well only because I owned this one and not the original.

You now control the player and must follow the "goal route" as shown on the blackboard before the game, or for pete's sake, stick some blu-tac on your spot and walk towards it. Simples!

The only gripe is that Irish Rovers is meant to be Shamrock Rovers and Swansea Town is meant to be Swansea City. Also they took out the incident cards which was a lot of fun in the original. They replaced it with a quiz, not as fun to be honest.

This probably is not as good as the first game in hindsight but this gives me so much nostalgia and I have many great memories of this game.

Psycho Hopper, 06 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

Introducing one of the strangest and weirdest games I ever bought for my Spectrum. Very original concept in this one (which I think it's original), our hero shoots bats and dwarfs and collects crystal......whilst riding a space hopper!.

It's actually pretty good, not a great game but it's not bad either. It plays pretty well, it's just something I wouldn't play for too long without the thought of feeling bored and wanting to play something else, like a better and more enjoyable game for a start. But it's definately worth a go for a quick fix.

Tetris, 06 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

Everyone's favourite falling blocks puzzle game from mother Russia lands its way onto the humble Speccy! Shame its not really that brilliant, its not bad but it has its drawbacks, like the ultra sensitive down button, sometimes two or three blocks come down at once! Also the background interacts with the blocks which makes things a confusing mess.

A number of clones exist and a number of them are more playable and enjoyable than this.

Crazy Cars, 06 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

Titus attempt to clone Out well do they do? Well if you're playing this game be sure to grab yourself a pillow and a blanket because this will get rather boring I'm sure....having said that this was nowhere near as bad as the other crap Titus unleashed onto the Speccy....or any system for that matter. But it just drags very quickly with no real sense of gameplay apart from just driving past other cars.

So does this beat Out Run? Well yes and no, yes it's faster than Out Run but Out Run at least had routes whereas this doesn't. At least this is in one load though.

Action Fighter, 06 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

As I'm not really much of a fan of the arcade game I wasn't looking forward to playing this, but you know what? It's actually a good fun game, definately surprised me and I enjoyed this port much much more. Then again if you are a fan of the arcade game you may choose to hate this game!

Batty, 06 Feb 2012 (Rating: 5)

To many this is seen as one of the best Breakout games on the ZX Spectrum. Originally a freebie on Your Sinclair magazine, the game was eventually release on the market for £2.99 by Elite on their budget label Encore due to the overwhelming appeal and popularity the game had. I bought it and loved it, I normally suck at Arkanoid type games and usually sucked at this game, but the colourful graphics and addictive gameplay always had me coming back for more. Fantastic!

F1 Tornado, 06 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

No it's not a Formula One game where you race in the midst of a tornado, instead it's a pretty decent shmup from Led Zeppelin Games.

Q10 Tankbuster, 06 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

This is pretty much similar to F1 Tornado Simulator! Same graphics, same sound effects, same gameplay, so most likely it's the exact same code twice over...except this cost a pound more, spendid!

Professional Go-Kart Simulator, 06 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

It appears Zeppelin were really trying to copy Codemasters over the years as evident to recycling game graphics on F1 Tornado Simulator and Q10 Tankbuster. But before all that, they chose to be over-exuberant with the words "Professional" and "Simulator", and in an effort to "one-up" Codies they decided to "Pro Simulate" the one thing that went untouched.....GO KARTS!! How did they do? Well Sinclair User magazine described this game as "Crap on four wheels" - think that sums up the game really. Jolly good job lads!

Blazing Thunder, 06 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

SHOCK HORROR! A Hi-Tec game that has NOTHING to do with Hanna-Barbera!! Instead Blazing Thunder is actually a pretty basic yet pretty playable tank shmup! Not much I can say about it really other than if this is your sort of game I think you'll enjoy it.

Rainbow Islands, 06 Feb 2012 (Rating: 5)

It's the sequel to Bubble Bobble...and it's brilliant! Very colourful and playable, complete with Over The Rainbow playing in the background. Perfect!

Cybernoid, 06 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

One of the hardest games I've ever played in my life. Its practically an enigma come to life! But its still a gorgeous little game with great colourful graphics and in my opinion one of the best tunes to grace the Spectrum.

IK+, 06 Feb 2012 (Rating: 5)

The best beat-em-up to grace the ZX Spectrum! I bought this game for £3.99 back in the day I adored this game and it remains one of my favourite games ever.

This fighting is superb with a good range of moves and meaty sound effects but make sure you press N at the start to get them otherwise you'll miss out.

And the music is incredible, one of my favourite tunes ever.

All in all this is an absolute classic that you simply must play.

Wonder Boy, 06 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

Sega's classic arcade game is ported to the Spectrum with mixed feelings. Its still the nice platformer we all know and love but its a bit let down by the monochrome graphics and the slow gameplay. I had this back it the day and liked it, but it could have been much better really, not so much with the colours, but with the speed. Not all bad though.

Cabal, 06 Feb 2012 (Rating: 5)

This is in my opinion one of the absolute best arcade conversions on the Spectrum. It's so much better than the arcade original. Fantastic conversion from the Special FX team, good job fellas!

Pro Golf Simulator, 06 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

Pretty feeble attempt of a golf simulator, the course layout is a mess, like there isn't even a fairway on the 4th hole! 16K golf games have better looking courses than this.

St. Dragon, 07 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

Very good but really challenging shmup which is a conversion of the Jaleco arcade game of the same name. The graphics are really good, nice solid colours and the? presentation is very impressive, but it does suffer from a bit of slowdown and it is brutally difficult. However it's still a really impressive looking game and worth a go if you're in need of a challenge. This was? Storm's first game on the market, what a good way to make your entrance I'll say.

Mr. Wimpy, 07 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

Yes even Mr. Wimpy had his own Spectrum game! And why I never got my Bananaman game I will never know! But yeah it's alright really, the first part has you picking up a tray from the left side of the screen and avoid the moving holes and the one nastie called Waldo to move to the right hand side to collect food, you then have to move to the other side again to deliver the food, do this twice more to finish the level, if your hit by Waldo you've to start over again, that can get a bit annoying and tedious.

Once you're finished it's straight out Burger Time which is always a fun game to play. Now I've not played a lot of this but when I fiished the first level I was expecting to return to the first bit again...but no I'm still in Burger Time. So it makes me wonder why this wasn't a straight out Burger Time clone rather than have to include the first bit just once.

Still a nice little game, if you love Burger Time then give this a go although it's looked better on the Spectrum and you have to go through a rather pointless first part before you can enjoy your Burger Time, unless you insert a poke to start you on level 2 that is.

Galaxian, 07 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

The classic Namco shooter on the ZX Spectrum....and it's really good. Those who remember Atarisoft's Pac-Man will know that the game whilst still Pac-Man was slow, tedious and ridiculed with magic power pills (yes, really!), but here everything is so much better, the colours, the speed, the gameplay, it's a successful conversion.

Galaxians, 07 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

Two years before Atarisoft gave us Galaxian came Galaxians by Artic Computing and this may be the better of the two, given the this was writen in 16K and appears to be more detailed and have more sound, albeit it's a bit annoying but hey it's 16K.....oooh you see what I did there?.....yeah me neither.

But all in all this is really good and definately recommended for Galaxian fans.

The Flying Formula, 07 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

Quite an interesting shmup that came free with ZX Computing magazine. Everything small and pretty basic looking but it's pretty playable, I would have been chuffed to pick this up for free that's for sure!

Brutal Worms, 07 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

Snake-like game from the Czech Republic and it's really good. Very playable, responsive controls compared to Laser Snaker (another snake-type game I "reviewed" a while ago) and good fun. Yeah I highly recommend this.

Laser Lord, 07 Feb 2012 (Rating: 1)

World of Spectrum lists this as one of the worst games on the ZX Spectrum, I think I got the message as to why.

Simply put this is rubbish, it's hardly got any graphics nor gameplay. It does have a meteor attack which I suppose is something to charm but I thought it would benefit the gameplay and add something to it but the only thing it adds to is the chances of losing a life!

Absolutely dire.

R.B.I. 2 Baseball, 07 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

The best Baseball game on the Speccy. I am not a baseball fan, but I love this game! Even though I think it doesn't really follow the rules well, I mean they got the foul ball rule incorrectly here which will give people reason to bash the game, but still it's a very playable and enjoyable game.

Little Demons: The Angel Hunt, 07 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

For the record, I am not a fan of XFAWorld's content but this is one of their better games....or rather his better games....I actually think XFAWorld is one person.

This has a simple yet mildly amusing but slightly offensive concept (to Christian evangelists anyway), little demons take turns to shoot angels, how wonderful. CALM DOWN THEY ARE ONLY WINGLESS MOTHS I SWEAR TO YOU!!!! I mean if you saw one of those in your bedroom wouldn't you try to kill it?

This is definately the most playable and enjoyable game from Mr. XFAWorld but the game does become a bit of a drag after a bit.

Falldown Forever, 07 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

Written in.......1K!

How far can you fall? Just fall and keep falling....while avoiding the platforms that push you to the top of the screen, once you reach the top it's game over. Simple concept, simple look, good fun and good use of 1K memory. It would make a really good Flash game so it's great to have this sort of game on the ZX Spectrum. It's a bit limited I guess, once you reach a certain score you're pretty much doomed, like I have never gotten past 200 points and I've only ever seen it been done once (maybe it's a world record!) but hey it's 1K! I did it again didn't I? Bah!

Scramble Spirits, 07 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

It's an conversion of an arcade shmup and it's not really too bad, I mean I love a good shmup and this where it probably wouldn't interest some people sure as heck interested me, but the hit sound is so irritating! It's the same constant sound throughout and it really does get irritating, it becomes a headache. Not bad all the same but I know I've played better games of this genre on the ZX Spectrum.

Block-Dizzy, 07 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

It's a Columns clone from the Netherlands that came free with Issue 81 of Your Sinclair magazine, and it's really good, plays exactly the same like Columns and has great use of colour. Very good indeed, if you love Columns you must give this a go.

Stack Up, 07 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

Very nice Columns type game. For 48K this is very well presented. It's the type of game you'd find yourself playing for hours!

20 Tons, 07 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

Interesting Boulder Dash style game that came free on Issue 16 on Spectrum Computing magazine. The game was written in BASIC and I must honestly say that I didn't expect this to be much but it's actually pretty good. Of course it's not as good as Boulder Dash and some of the other clones but it's still a nice game to try out.

Italy 1990, 07 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

A lot of soccer games on the ZX Spectrum were disappointing, this isn't as bad as others but it's still not great, the sprites aren't well drawn and the scrolling is a bit messy. Not bad but not great either.

Match Day, 07 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

One of the first mega sports games on the Speccy and no doubt one of the more enjoyable soccer games on the's just aged so badly! Still it's easily one of my favourite soccer games on the Spectrum.......guess it's a just a nostalgic thing.

International Match Day, 07 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

This is pretty much the same as Match Day only with international teams and 128K sound. Not a bad upgrade but it's still the same game.

Match Day II, 07 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

Every big game needs a sequel and Match Day was no exception as a couple of years after the 128K upgrade of the original Match Day, Match Day II was released, and my god was it impressive. New graphics, new gameplay, new sound and new teams. This really was a proper sequel in its own right though I'm really not sure which is better as I love the both of them equally but the both of them haven't aged well.

I'll leave it like this, if you want to play soccer on the ZX Spectrum then the Match Days and Emlyn Hughes are your games to play.

Peter Beardsley's International Football, 07 Feb 2012 (Rating: 1)

One of the worst soccer games to exist on the ZX Spectrum. This doesn't have a single redeeming feature! The sprites appear ANYWHERE on the screen, it's like there's 50 players on the pitch at once! You can practically score from halfway line because the goalies hardly even move! This is just a disaster of a soccer game.

Peter Shilton's Handball Maradona, 07 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

If you a not a soccer fan you'll have no idea about the origin of the name of this game but in short some "Hand of God" from 1986 is responsible for it.

Pretty unique soccer game in which you play the goalie trying to save goals.....well Shilton was a goalkeeper so what else would you expect!

Very different from the rest and very enjoyable, definately worth a shot.

Fighting Soccer, 07 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT! Actually despite it's name there is NO fighting in this game at all and it's just a mediocre top-view arcade soccer game by SNK ported to the 8-bit home computers by Activision to look and play even more crap! Yep you guessed it it's another dire football game, dear dear they hardly ever got this right did they?

European 5-a-Side, 07 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

This isn't a great soccer game at all (surprise!) but for the budget cheepie price I suppose we weren't to expect much in the first place. It's too slow and the player movement is very awkward, sometimes they would sit on one spot and jitter like he's having a seizure of sorts. Not terrible but far away from being good.

International 5-a-Side, 07 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

Yes you probably know the score already and are probably sick of reading it so I won't type it here for the sake of sanity.............okay I'm lying - it's a soccer game and it's crap, how predictable! BUT this does play at a really nice speed....yeah that's about it for the redeeming features I think. Nope this is not very good....again I might add.

Ahhh!!, 07 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

Never has a name been more appropriate, Ahhh!! is exactly what this game makes me do! You can see why this is called what it is because it'll drive you mental, it'll drive you insane, it'll drive you up the wall! I like my shmups but this doesn't do it for me.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day, 07 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

In 1991, Ocean Software, one of the leading software houses in the 8-bit home computer era were attempting to hit the market with yet another movie licensed game, but one that would set the boundaries in computer programming, one that was to break new ground, one that was to set new heights, a game that would change the face of computer gaming forever.

They failed.

Yep while Terminator 2 succeeded in breaking new ground in the film world, in gaming terms it turned out to be a complete misfire from Ocean Software and a total dud of a license. Ocean released a number of high quality movie licensed games, Robocop and Batman the Movie to name two, then came this debacle that I paid £11 for. Boring fight scenes, tedious driving levels, only the puzzle games stand out but it still doesn't save this from being a disappointment.

£11 quid down the drain. Sob.

2088, 08 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

This game wasn't well recieved by Crash and Your Sinclair nor is it particually popular with World of Spectrum visitors, but I actually think it's a nice little game. Suppose they are right when they said that boredom kicks in quickly and I suppose it does look outdated but I actually liked this game, it's quite fast and can get really frantic in later laters, it just felt like my kind of game.

No doubt it's not going to set the world on fire but I just think of this as under-rated.

WWF WrestleMania, 08 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

Welcome to WrestleMania!

Guide one of either Hulk Hogan, the Ultimate Warrior and the British Bulldog up the ladder towards a championship match with World Wrestling Federation champion Sgt. Slaughter. You must defeat Mr. Perfect, The Warlord, "The Million Dollar Man" Ted Dibiase and The Mountie before facing Sgt. Slaughter.

This was a pretty big licence for Ocean to obtain since around this time WWF was growing into a big thing which caught the eyes of many, me included and when I saw this I just had to buy it.

And I wasn't disappointed, now I can have my own WWF matches on my Spectrum with my worst Gorilla Monsoon impression included. Nowadays I like to look at this as a successful game for Ocean, the presentation is excellent, from the intro alone you knew you were in for something really big. The pre-match taunts were also an amusing feature, your opponent give you smack and you return the favour with up to 3 taunts to choose from, and cue another bad impression.

And now to the meat, the gameplay! First thing you'd notice is the ring, and it's impressive, okay it's all white but there's a nice rendition of the old WWF logo slapped on the middle which looks really nice. The gameplay itself is nice but as well as that it is the big letdown as it's very limited, you have a punch, a kick, a dropkick and one special moves, example would be a piledriver for Hulk Hogan which is done via the button mashing meter during a tie-up, reach the top to perform your move. Oh and you can stomp your opponent when down on the mat as well. It's still nice but it is very limited and can get old after a few games...and sore on your fingers.

Oh and the title music is terrific and it remains one of my favourite tunes on the ZX Spectrum.

So in conclusion it's easily the best wrestling game on the Spectrum (though those who loved Rock 'n Wrestle would beg to differ) and it was a highly successful game for Ocean Software.

Bear Bovver, 08 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

From the same guy who brought you Match Day comes a cutesy little game where you help Ted the Bear climb up and down ladders to collect batteries for his vehicle whilst avoiding the nasties. The gameplay is quite fun and the music is pretty good but gets tedious after a while, the sprites are typical Ritman with the movement being the same as Match Day, but the sprite clash is really bad and it really shows its age with it...funny enough just like Match Day does too.

Still all in all, pretty enjoyable game.

Mindtrap, 08 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

And here's another game that I took my time figuring out.....20 years I think!

Mindtrap is a very challenging puzzle game from Yugoslavia (now Serbia) and is not for the weak and timid. With exactly 999,999 levels in the game finishing it was a task of it's own!

This was my most hated game in my collection, I absolutely hated this game, 20 years on I decided to try this game again and performed one of life's greatest lessons known to mankind - READ THE (BEEP)ING MANUAL!!! If I had just taken that advice back in the day I would have really enjoyed this game, and probably would have played through all 999,999 levels when I had my patience in tact!

Good fun challenging game, I wish I had've gotten into this game much sooner. Good luck attempting a walkthrough!

Gremlins, 08 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

Nothing to do with the movie, I might be wrong but I think this came out before the film, but Gremlins is a shooter from Thor and my its frantic!

Basically you shoot enemies on the screen, simple right, well it would be if the enemies don't clash with the backgrounds colours and become like seven different colours at once, but also on through the level colour bars appear on the screen and then it flashes, I suppose the intention was to increase the difficulty this way but my god it hurt my eyes and gave me quite a headache.

Thankfully though I will never play this game again and I firmly suggest you do the same, unless you enjoy being blinded by flashing colours that is.

Transmuter, 08 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

Codemasters rip off yet another classic game, now they clone Gradius. I didn't really enjoy this game much, it's a little painfully slow but I suppose it wasn't so bad for the £1.99 price tag. Nothing else more to say about it really, it's Gradius and it's cheap.

1999, 08 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

Another Gradius-type shmup and honestly it's a bit better than Transmuter. It's fast, it's tough and it has great use of effects, especially the explosion at the end. Yeah fairly enjoyable, I think some would be put off by the difficulty in this game, at times it seems unfair.

F.I.R.E., 08 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

And one more Gradius clone for your amusement........this time from Czechoslovakia, and it's easily the best hands down. This is just a really enjoyable game, it plays smoothly and it sounds great, I absolutely love the music in this game, some of Frantisek Fuka's music is right up there among the best and the title music for this game is among the very best he done.

This is Gradius at it's best on the Speccy.

Run the Gauntlet, 08 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

Based on the ITV game show, Run the Gauntlet has you compete in one of many disciplines, including, Off-Road Racing such as Buggys and Speedcats, Aqua-Racing such as Speedboats and Hovers as well as the dreaded Hill. Always was a good game to play back in the day, it probably won't appeal to some but the variety in this game makes this stand out although it can get a bit samey in parts. And I for the life of me can NEVER get up that blooming hill!

If you're lucky enough to remember the show you'd want to give this a go.

Accelerator, 08 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

This is not a bad wee shmup which allows you to shoot in both directions, but there's hardly any progress in the game and you find yourself doing the same thing over and over again. Definately not the most exciting game out there.

Carmania, 08 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

Pretty basic game really, just drive up the road whilst avoiding the other cars and score as many points as you can within the time limit....and that's all there is to it really.

This game is currently ranked among the top 100 worst games on the World of Spectrum website. We can probably see why, or hear for that matter although I personally find it a little harsh that it's on such list as I have played many worse games that this and I do find this a bit playable........albeit a tiny bit.

Cras-Crash, 08 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

It's another car driving game, but this time instead of avoiding the cars you bash into them against the wall or the oil drums to make them crash.....and that's all there is to it really...unless you they crash themselves without touch that is. Fun at first, after 3 minutes boredom kicks in, after 6 minutes you're half asleep!

Starclash, 08 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

Inspired by Sega's Astro Fighter, this is not too bad of a game, quite a challenge and quite enjoyable but it slows down badly during the course of the game. Its however not the worse I've touched...hey it's six..oh forget it I've already dragged that line out one too many times!

Lifeline, 08 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

This game I never knew about until now and I quite like it, it's pretty much two games in one, the first part has you shooting left and right at different coloured......objects or things I guess, and the second part is a simple side scrolling shoot em up where you shoot at more random different coloured thingymajigs. Pretty tricky but I found it quite fun.......well I like my shmups so that'll explain it........or probably not.

Terra Cognita, 08 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

It's a pretty good shmup from Codies, plays neatly but it can be annoying at times, you go fast when you don't want to, you time warp to the very beginning, you run face to face with a dead end with nowhere to go, it has the lot!

Hyper Sports, 08 Feb 2012 (Rating: 5)

Another classic from the late great Joffa Smith! It's a arcade conversion of the sequel to Track and Field by Konami and it's fantastic! I absolutely love this game! Thanks Joff!

SQIJ!, 08 Feb 2012 (Rating: 1)

Wow! What a fine mess of a game this is! It's the worst game for a reason folks....because you can't blinking move in it unless you BREAK into the program to insert a poke, leaving us wishing we could PHYSICALLY break the program. How the heck this got a commercially release without seemingly being tested I'll never know. Even if you broke into the game to make it work you'd wind up regretting it anyway because it's just poor, absolutely abysmal.

The ZX Spectrum has it's high points and it's low points - they don't get much lower than SQIJ!

Arkanoid, 08 Feb 2012 (Rating: 5)

Great conversion of the most famous of the breakout clones, plays just like the arcade game and shares every goodness on offer. I'll go on record and I say that Batty is my favourite Breakout game on the Speccy (well largely because I owned it) but this is still Breakout at its very best on the Spectrum.

Arkanoid - Revenge of Doh, 08 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

Although this is still a very good Breakout clone and a neat arcade conversation, I personally find that this lacked the charm from the original. Maybe it was the transparent background that made the enemies and power ups a bit hard to see. Still it's a great game but I just find myself enjoyable Arkanoid more.

Edd the Duck, 08 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

Yes even Edd the Duck had his own game..........who's Edd the Duck? Well to cut a long story short there was a children's TV show that I loved called the Broom Cupboard and it had a puppet called Gordon the Gopher who I loved to bits, well he moved on to another programme called Going Live and was replaced by Edd the Duck, and I hated Edd the Duck! HATED HIM!!

Anyways enough spitting out my dummy and onto this game which I have mixed feelings on. I quite like the graphics and the concept, but the scrolling is the major let down here. Not the worst but it could and probably should have been so much more.

Soccer Pinball, 08 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

Oh wow what a great concept! Soccer mixed with pinball! This is too cool......actually it isn't.

The main problem is that it totally lacks the true feeling of a pinball game! It has the look and the sound but the gameplay is very weak, the flippers don't function properly. This could have been great but there are simply better pinball games than this, even one from Codies themselves.

Bronx Street Cop, 08 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

Police trainer before Police training existed! The goverment learned from this game.....or so I'm told.

Anyways it's pretty good, it's just your standard target shooting game really, nothing else I can say about it really other than if it's the sort of game you enjoy then go for it.

Microball, 08 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

Very nice Pinball game this, it's fast and it plays pretty nicely, despite that it lacks the glitzy graphics and sounds from Soccer Pinball it plays a lot better, like probably ten times better.

Time Scanner, 08 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

Very impressive pinball game. Nice graphics, great music, has a good feel on a pinball machine, very hard though. Still when it comes to pinball games on the ZX Spectrum this is among the best of them.

3D Pinball, 08 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

Not bad, not great, I'm not very good at this game admittedly, I probably should play it more but it doesn't excite me enough to do so.

Bomb Jack, 08 Feb 2012 (Rating: 5)

Great version of the arcade classic, it retains the same gameplay from the arcade and has the wonderful backgrounds in tact, yes the sounds get iritating after a while but that's what volume control is for after all! All in all this is brilliant, very playable and utterly addicting!

Chuckie Egg, 08 Feb 2012 (Rating: 5)

One of the most addicting games I've ever played in my life, games like this never get old for me. This is just a fantastic game!

Ping Pong, 08 Feb 2012 (Rating: 5)

Another fantastic arcade conversion on the Spectrum and another gem from the late great sorely missed Joffa Smifff. The controls are a little fiddlely and as a result I sucked at this game as a kid but I later grew up to learn the controls and eventually embrace this beauty, this is just brilliant!

MiG Busters, 08 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

A very typical Players game, great music, mediocre gameplay, you see where this is going?

Yes as with most Players games the presentation's good and the music is excellent but the gameplay is the big letdown, hitting the enemies is a matter of luck rather than skill and it seemingly plays too similar to Codemasters' Mig 29 Fighter....oh and in advance get some earplugs....and some treatment because the buzzing sound during the game would bust your eardrums so I strongly advise you seek help before you play this game.

Uwol, Quest for Money, 08 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

One of the more recent ZX Spectum titles and it's really good fun. Great arcade style game that'll keep you going for hours.

Ragnablock, 08 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

Another fairly-recent Spectrum game from 2006. It's a breakout clone that I found a bit disappointing. It's nice looking and has great music but it can be pretty slow and tedious sometimes. It also has some boss elements to it that seem to take forever to finish. Shame because Computer Emuzone if you remember brought us the brilliant Be-Tiled, although this was a year earlier so it was obvious the best was still to come from them.

Cannon Bubble, 08 Feb 2012 (Rating: 5)

Another arcade classic gets revamped on the Spectrum as in 2007 Computer Emuzone presented Cannon Bubble - which clones Puzzle Bobble/Bust A Move, and it's awesome, great colours, fantastic music and retains the same classic gameplay from the arcade game we know and love. This is a real treat for Puzzle Bobble fans.

I Need Speed, 08 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

For every good company there's a poor game and Computer Emuzone, makers of the brilliant BeTiled and the dazzling Cannon Bubble, are no exception, and this appears to be the last game they will ever release.

I was really disappointed with this game, I saw the low ratings for this game on World of Spectrum and thought they were being a bit meany, but now I understand why because this is a big disappointment. The game gets tedious really quickly and it's very easy to oversteer your car. Also the dual screen makes it very tough to anticipate your turns, the second track is nearly impossible to do without taking a wrong turn and getting lost.

BeTiled and Cannon Bubble are great titles from Computer Emuzone, this was a big miss. And after this there have been no updates from Computer Emuzone and the programmers have gone on to make games for other companies such as RetroWorks, Digital Brains, Ubhres Productions and RELEVO Videogames, but this appears to be Computer Emuzone's swansong, and it's not a good one for sure.

Guerrilla War, 08 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

Conversion of an arcade game I was not really much of a fan of to begin with. Wonderful title music from the brilliant Jonathan Dunn (Robocop, Renegade III) but that's really where the joy lies I'm afraid. It's not dire but it's far from brilliant to say the least. May appeal to fans of this game. Some Imagine games were released under the budget Hit-Squad banner.....this one though was left in the siberian cold to freeze...doesn't take much to figure out why.

Toyota Celica GT Rally, 08 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

A somewhat spiritial sequel to Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge, Toyota Celica GT Rally is not for the casual gamer! It's a rally simulator that gives you the full experience and it's very hard and it'll take a lot of patience to master this game. The steering is awkward and over-sensitive, it's almost impossible not to go off the track.

It's not bad but it's very tough.

Space Harrier, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

The classic Sega arcade game Space Harrier finds life on the Spectrum. It's fast and it's colourful but the patterns makes it somewhat hard on the eyes which makes the gameplay very awkward. It's a great effort nonetheless.

Space Harrier II, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

This is pretty much the same as the original Space Harrier, but with 128K music and sampled speech included. Does it beat the original game? There's reasons to say yes but there's reasons to say no but rather than state which is better I'll just state that both Space Harrier games are really good games and worthy of your time.

Bear a Grudge, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 1)

A supposed Space Harrier type game that came free with Sinclair User magazine......Space Harrier this aint.

While the game features such amazing music from J. Dave Rogers (Cybernoid 1 & 2, Netherworld) the gameplay is absolute dire. It's near impossible to hit the enemies on the screen and when you shoot quickly the previous missile disappears before it reaches the target. So guess what?........When you're autofiring it means you're shooting entirely blanks! Rubbish! Thank goodness it was free because if we paid money for such a terrible game with such naft gameplay we would have demanded a refund!

One for the ages.....nah more like one for the bin!

Red Heat, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

Based on the film of the same name where Arnie goes all Russian on us, as if his English wasn't bad enough, I bought this back in the day right after seeing the film and hoping it would be action packed full of excitement, however it's nothing more than a snorefest. It's absolutely tedious, apperently it gets better in the later levels but I've never reached that far, level one seems to have no end to it! Indeed there are mini games but they only provided a quick fix of interest rather than make the game stand out.

So yes in conclusion it's a Schwarzenegger game and it's rubbish...poor Arnie didn't have much luck with his games did he?

Madballs, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

MADBAAALLS! MADBALLS WILL DRIVE YOU MAAAAAD! No that's not the tagline for anything to do with Madballs that's actually what this game does.

This is just weird, you simply bounce on a platform and knock the other Madballs off apparently claiming them and being able to change into them. And that's all there is to say about this I think....oh yeah except the fact that this is weird......oh and it's crap.

This simply doesn't have much in it to consider it as 1. a decent game and 2. a good use of a licence.

Marauder, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

For a small company Hewson really put a lot of effort into their games, Marauder is no exception.

It's pretty tough to say the least and it's difficulty definately reminds me of the Cybernoid games. It's good though, I really liked the presentation of it, the music from J. Dave Rogers is once more mighty impressive and the overall gameplay, but it is a hard game and one that will require, patience, skill and sometimes even luck to go very far.

But it's definately a game worth trying.

Line of Fire, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

A conversion of Sega's answer to Operation Wolf. It's not bad but it's a little too easy, I played the game for the first time and breezed through the first seven levels. The graphics here also leave a little bit to be desired, definately not the most impressive looking sprites on the ZX Spectrum.

It's not a bad ol game but it's one that would bore you rather than excite you.

Draughts Genius, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

What else can be said about this game? It's draughts, if you enjoy the game you'll enjoy this, if you prefer chess then you won't, but with a really cool intro sequence and the fact that you play against Einstein makes this a really good game to play and definately worth trying out.

For the record though I've never beaten Einstein so if you don't want to lose all the time it might be worth playing this on 2 player against a friend, or yourself if you haven't got any.

The Shoe People, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 5)

Yes you read it right - The Shoe People!

Now it looks a bit on the easy side doesn't it, like kiddish easy, that's because this was an educational game for your five-year old kid, or if you were a bit senile you'd let your guinea pig play it!

But in all seriousness it's actually really good, the graphics are terrific, the music and sounds standout and it's great fun. I would most definately recommended this to any parent for their young one.

Super Racer, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 1)

It's a racer! It's super! Not it isn't!

With the average game lasting under a minute, slow moving cars and not a lot of gameplay, to call this super is almost an insult.

Baloon-Man, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 1)

From the same author of Super Racer this is another game he made two years earlier, presenting the world's slowest breakout game, so slow in fact that it takes seven years to get past level one.....actually I'm lying because THERE IS NO END TO LEVEL ONE! AT ALL! When you pop all the balloons on the screen after about seven years....that's it, literally nothing else happends unless you die! Good grief!

I've seen a lot of bad breakout games in my lifetime and this is arguably the very worse I've ever seen and played. It's far too slow, the detection is way off and it's practically unfinished. Absolute garbage.

Motor Force, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 1)

Yes it's yet another one of the those drivng games, you know the one where you drive the ever-blinking car straight up the never-ending road to nowhere and avoid obstacles, yes that'll be it, except this is from Romania! Well it's not going to win any awards that is for sure....oh wait maybe it is....the bad ones.

Basically it flickers, it leaks and it's rather unfair in that you don't get very far in it no matter what you do. Like 1200 points is the best I've managed in like 16 attempts.

Perhaps somewhere out there will like it but I found this completely unenjoybale, I've played many of these type games, and many of them are better than this.

Time Flight, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 1)

This is inspired on the Centuri/Konami arcade game Time Pilot which I love, but sadly for me this was released by The Power House who were responsible for.....really crap SQIJ! for instance.....and to no surprise, this is rubbish as well.

Oversensitive controls, it's difficult to see the bullets, difficult to hit the enemies without using autofire which in turn stretches your head, it's just not an enjoyable game at all, so typical of them to make a complete mess of this game.

Zolyx, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

This oddly named game clones Taito's arcade game Qix and I suppose it does it's job cloning Qix, it retains the gameplay only minus the Qix itself, but more importantly it emulates it's difficulty being absolutely brick hard.

Still it was a nice game for budget, suppose you can't complain really, give a go if you're a Qix fan, just don't expect to last too long at it.

Xen, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

Xen (Sen? Zen? I don't know, frankly I don't care) is a pretty mediocre shmup, nice enough graphics but it's no fun being a shooter where you have to steer away from the enemies to survive most of the time, I mean the absolute majority of the time, it may as well be another one of those driving games rather than a shoot-em-up! It is generally a battle of survival and aviodance rather than shooting anything on the screen. Safe to say I've played better shmups on the Spectrum than this.

Slap Fight, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

This is really really hard, one of the hardest shmups I've ever played, it's dreadfully difficult to see the bullets fired at you because while the colours are monochrome black and white there is a lot of detail on the screen like buildings and such and the bullets interact with the background, making them hard to see and making this game brick difficult.

It's a nice well programmed game but I wish it wasn't so difficult, I've never gotten far in this game ever.

The Bounty Hunter, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

Pretty nice Gun.Smoke style game from Codemasters the graphics are pretty good although the first level doesn't really have much detail in it apart from some cactus. The gameplay is really good, it plays at a nice enough speed, it scrolls well and the controls are pretty good although it can be quite tough to hit the enemies. The music from Lyndon Sharp is fantastic, it's right up there among the best he done.

So in conclusion this is pretty good though I've never managed to get Jack Nicholson...oh sorry Jack Nickalot! One day I will day.

Rampage, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 5)

One of my absolute favourite games on the ZX Spectrum. I can totally see the criticism this game gets but for me it's simply awesome, I never fail to enjoy this game and it'll always remain a cult favourite for me. Just wonderful.

Splat!, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

Always seemed to like this game, perhaps it was the simple nature of it where you simply move Zippy (whatever he's meant to be...I'm rhyming again aren't I?) around a screen collecting grass (no not THAT, you know stuff that grows and your dog poops on it), plums (one of your five a day by the way.....I think....and I did it again didn't I?) as well as avoiding water (cause you can't swim), spikes (cause it smarts) and of the course the edge of the screen.

But it is a very fun simple game, I always did enjoy this. Just one of those where you pick it up, play it and get into it instantly. It gets harder in later levels so it provides a challenge whilst retaining it's simple gameplay.

Worth a shot.

Super Cars, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

Quite a nice racing game from Gremlin, it's one of those that'll probably keep you keep you going for a while if you have patience, but the main drawback is the screeching tyre sound that will get on your nerves, especially as it interupts the music making it quite difficult to enjoy.

Still if you're a racing then give it a try, but I recommend you play this on 48K mode because the 128K screeching sound will stretch you.

Super Trux, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

It's another racing game and another one with Super in the title. Simply put it's Out Run but with a truck instead of a notable thing comparing this to Out Run is that it's faster meaning this game is made of win, because Out Run if you'll remember was very slow on the Spectrum and as a result it was really disappointing whereas this is actually quite fun and enjoyable, well saying that the fun and enjoyment will probably last a short time but I still think this is a really good racing game that's worth checking out.

Turbo the Tortoise, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

The very last game released by Hi-Tec Software, masters of cartoon-based licensed games. The company went bust just a couple of months after this was released and was eventually picked up and re-released by Code Masters, and it's a good thing that it did because this is really good, quite a fun little platformer and a good way for Hi-Tec to sadly bow out.

Golden Axe, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

One of the best known arcade games and one of most favourite Mega Drive games gets the Spectrum facelift. It contains one of my absolute favourite tunes ever (a rendition of Wilderness) and while the gameplay is obviously inferior to it's arcade and 16-bit counterparts it's still good enough to provide the joys of the game. It's not the greatest but it does it's job.

Pac-Mania, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

A really good arcade conversion, it's a little slow but the gameplay is the same and it's very playable and very enjoyable. The 128K music from Ben Daglish is excellent and really adds to the enjoyment of the game.

Definately worth playing.

Tetris 2, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 5)

For those who've played the official Tetris on the ZX Spectrum you'll remember that the original was a disappointment, the background got in the way and the drop button was very sensitive.....well there was a sequel from Czechoslovakia and it crushes that version! This is just a fantastic version of Tetris, it has it's flaws like to move your blocks you have to press the button every time and it doesn't move as you hold in the button but it's much more enjoyable than Mirrorsoft's version. The graphics are simpler which works and the music from Frantisek Fuka is superb. This is Tetris as it should be, fun, enjoyable and utterly brilliant.

So to sum it up - England 0 Czechoslovakia 1.

Bumpy, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

Interesting game written by two Spanish blokes and released by French company Loriciels. Simply guide a ball to collect and use items and reach the goal, quite good actually, simple yet playable.

Guido, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

Help Guido the wabbit jump on platforms and dig for carrots while avoiding enemies. It's not bad, timing is essential is this, you need to time your jumps correctly while giving yourself time to dig and it can be incredibly frustrating. Still it's worth a quick go nonetheless.

The Birds, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

Shoot various birds on the screen whilst avoiding the dropping bird poo. It's quite fast, frantic and it's a good challenge, it's plain looking but it's quite a nice game to play. I do like 16K shooters and this game provided me the goods. If this is your sort of thing then give it a try.

Phantasia, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

As much as I really like these sort of games this one is a bit of a miss.

The graphics are nice but the main drawback is that you cannot move and fire at the same time, you have to stop moving in order to shoot which makes things very difficult and makes you an easy target.

It's not bad but there are much better early shooters out there on the WoS archive.

The New Zealand Story, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

Taito's cutesy platformer was ported to the Speccy by Ocean Software, and a fine good job they did too.

The graphics while monochrome yellow are really nice and the characters pretty much resemble their arcade counterparts, I mean Tiki is Tiki! And it plays just like the arcade game as well which is obviously a good thing. The main let down believe it or not is the music, while it's nice and it plays well during the game and it was composed by Jonathan Dunn which usually means win, it's actually not the complete tune from the arcade game and it's just a continuous loop of the first part with the bridge completely non-existant and that's a great shame.

Still The New Zealand Story is one of the better arcade conversions, not the greatest but certainly one that's worthy of being called a proper port.

Pang, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 5)

This is just wonderful! Absolutely magnificent! One of the finest arcade conversions I've ever played! The gameplay is superb, the music from Tiny Williams is awesome, the whole game is just a fantastic work of art. How the heck did it take me so long to discover such a gem! I would have been so addicted to this back in the day.

A truly glorious game.

Galaxy Force, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

This is a really disappointing arcade conversion, bad colours, bad controls, jerky gameplay, this no way tops Afterburner, or most arcade conversions for that matter.

Shinobi, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

This one I had as a wee'un and I always enjoyed it, it's got nice enough graphics with good looking sprites, great music from Tiny Williams and the level detail is pretty much the same as the arcade version, it's pretty tough but it's still a fun game to play and very enjoyable nonetheless.

Operation Thunderbolt, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

I always thought this was a bit crap compared to Operation Wolf, not sure why but I just never managed to be drawn into it in the arcades, but this port is pretty nice, just not easy. But out of the two Operation Wolf wins hands down for me.

S.T.U.N. Runner, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 1)

The highly acclaimed arcade game from Atari hits the ZX Domark.....and guess what.....yep hole in one it's absolute crap!

The gameplay is just awful, tedious and boring, the graphics are a mess, especially in the tunnel when you reach full speed, the background just flashes at you and really hurts your eyes...well my eyes anyway. It just lacks a proper feel on an arcade game, it really was a tall order converting this on the Spectrum but at least they could have made it more playable than it hardly is.

Well done Domark you cocked up yet another licence! At least it has nice music though.

Total Recall, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

It's a game based on a Schwarzenegger film which doesn't usually mean success, Red Heat sucked, Terminator 2 was a disappointment, Predator was a mess and The Running Man was just poor in every aspect. So if it's a Schwarzenegger game it's rubbish - this is an exception though. It's really well presented, nice colourful graphics, good music and looks like a real proper game...the drawback? It's tough as hell, especially with one life. The sheer difficulty of this game would definately put players off and if I had this back in the day I would never have enjoyed this, but it is worth a look nonetheless, everything else is good.
Invisible. Silent. Stolen. Well that was the movie (or book I guess, or perhaps just the loading screen for that matter) but if this game was to be described in three words here's how it'll go - Annoying. Unfair. Brick Hard. Well okay that's four words but I'm numerically thick! Yeah this is murder, of all the times I've played this 4 times I've died at level 1 and 3 times I've died at the very beginning because if you don't land on the conning tower perfectly at the start then guess what? It's game over instantly! Not that is unfair!

Looks nice, sounds nice, plays like a nightmare.

Hudson Hawk, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

Oooh boy this brings back memories....this was the very last ZX Spectrum game I ever bought in 1994, a month later the store selling them said they were discontinuing Spectrum stuff and focusing on 16-bit games I cried....uncontrollably....*ahem* anyways this is a really good game which has the lot - including stunning in-game music, my how impressive!

RoboCop 2, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

The sequel to the classic RoboCop and one I had as a kid, not the original but this one, yeah my dad didn't like me too much, anyway this game is one of the hardest I've ever played in my life, I never got past level one. It still looks great, I was really disappointed there was no in-game music compared to the first RoboCop game, or indeed compared to Batman The Movie which Matthew Cannon also done the music for. Also the title music is just a much shorter compared to the title tune of the other versions, it's just a short continuous loop rather than a proper tune. how disappointing.

I think I easily prefer the first RoboCop game...okay maybe I prefer it a little too much.

Fast Food, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

The first of the Dizzy arcade games. It's a Pac-Man style game, eat food and avoid the baddies. It's good and it's nostalgic, but I honestly don't enjoy this as much as I used to as a kid.

Kwik Snax, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

To many this is the best Dizzy arcade game, and they are right because this is really good, a nice Pengo style game with good gameplay and great music. The only thing is I've completed it so many times because it is a bit too easy of a game, you finish it once and you'll finish it all the time.

Still it is the best Dizzy arcade game and well worth playing. Oh and it also has the best opening ever in any Spectrum game.

Panic Dizzy, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

A nice arcade game from our Egg-cellent friend but at this point we wanted another adventure so this was never taken seriously. I always liked it though, it plays well, it gets challenging, it's good fun.

Championship Darts, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

One of the more simple, basic darts games on the ZX Spectrum....and that's about all you can say about it really, it's darts, you have to stop the line into the segment you want and then stop the counter to hit the right target. Good for one game but no more than that.

Kenny Dalglish Soccer Match, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 1)

There were a lot of dodgy soccer games on the ZX Spectrum and I believe I may have found the very worst. Every aspect of this game is horrendous, it's absolutely no fun whatsoever. The whole screen's a mess, the AI is ridiculously stupid and the game plays incredibly bad.

Even if you are the most die-hard of die-hard Liverpool fans don't even waste your breath on this turkey.

Blood Valley, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

Totally dull and uninspiring game from Gremlin Graphics. I hardly got any enjoyment from this at all. Gremlin games usually look pretty and play fairly nice, not here however, it's just a really disappointing game all round.

Delta Charge!, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

I really struggled to get into this one, I get that you move slow at first and gain power-ups to speed up but I've a feeling they made you too slow at the start, very difficult to gain momentum. I simply wasn't impressed, played better.

Road Race, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

Billed as "An Easter Gift from Ocean" this plays similar to Enduro in that you're just driving and passing cars. You must reach the required position or better to qualify for the next stage. It's more enjoyable given you have goals to reach rather than just continuously drive but it still can get boring over time and the continuous engine sound would really stretch your head.

Still it's "An Easter Gift from Ocean" and it's a rather nice one.

Smash Out!, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

A poor man's Breakout game, Pirate Software released a lot of tripe and this is no exception! There are certainly a lot of better Breakout games on the ZX Spectrum than this.

180, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

It's another darts game and to tell you the truth this is pretty dire. The throw of the dart is determined by first stopping the line at the bottom going from left to right and then stopping the line on the left going from down to up, but when the darts lands on the board there is no way of knowing what you've scored unless it's obvious, like example if you need a treble 14 for double 16 and your dart lands in between treble 14 and treble 11 how do you know exactly what you've doesn't tell have to guess.

Poorly executed for me, there are much better darts games on the ZX Spectrum than this.

Manchester United, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

When I was a lad I bought Manchester United Europe on the ZX Spectrum, and it was pretty crap, so now I look at the prequel and to be honest, while it's still a right turd of a soccer game I think it's a lot better than the sequel.

I personally think it controls a lot better here in that I seemed to have the ball a lot more than I did in Man U Europe and the presentation's better with the scoreboard on the right. I can't seem to score a goal for the life of me though, the CPU goalies are machines!

But in the end it looks like Man United and plays like Blackburn Rovers, work that one out.

Energy Warrior, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

Not a resounding shmup at all, far too much of the same the whole way through and it just bores out fairly quickly. Not recommended.

Kikstart 2, 09 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

Based on the BBC show Kick Start and the sequel to the Commodore 64 only original, Kikstart 2 is a pretty nice bike racing game. It's one I loved years ago when I bought it and the fact that you could make your own courses (and make them as ridiculous as possible) added to the fun of this game. The only gripe was that the computer rider was such a jammy git and was able to get through obstacles you couldn't and it was unfair, also there's not a single bit of sound in this game at all.

Still Kikstart 2 is a nice little game worth playing, be sure to try out the course designer too and get creative.

Thundercats, 10 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

The much-loved cartoon gets a game on the ZX Spectrum......and you'll never guess what???'s actually really good! It's graphically great, plays really well and the music by the brilliant Rob Hubbard is outstanding! I wasn't honestly expecting much from this game so it's quality left me felling rather surprised. Thumbs up.

P-47 Thunderbolt, 10 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

A port of the Jaleco arcade shmup and what can you say about it? Oh I know! It's a shmup! Looks like a shmup, plays like a shmup, sounds like a shmup, feels like a shmup, it's a shmup, you're either into these or your not.

But I actually enjoyed this game, the power-ups add to this game tremenduosly, the graphics aren't the best as it's all monochrome but has some good detail on the planes, sound isn't the greatest as it's just the typical blip blop sounds we're used too but I suppose they fit this game but the gameplay is really good.

I've played better shmups on the ZX Spectrum but I've certainly played a lot worse, but then again I've pretty much played every shmup on the ZX Spectrum to ever knowingly exist (not counting the MIA's of course) and I never get tired of the dull, redundant, samey gameplay, if you are bored of it or if it's not your type of game then you won't enjoy it. But for shmup fans it's worth a look, you might have a different opinion than mine's worth a look.

Psycho Pigs U.X.B., 10 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

Another Jaleco arcade game gets ported to the ZX Spectrum, this time it's Butasan which was renamed Psycho Pig U.X.B. for the 8-bit ports.

The idea is that you control a pig to throw bombs at other pigs, simple, sinister and good fun though it can be difficult moving your pig and actually hitting anyone with the bombs, things just let a little bit too frantic. Still it's good fun once you get into it.

Billy Bong, 10 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

Not sure what to say about this game really....apart from it's not very good.

It's simple in the sense that all you do is throw your boomerang at the enemies, but sometimes the boomerang goes through the enemies leaving them with the easy kill and Billy Bong takes too long to retrive his boomerang, again leaving the enemies with the easy kill. It's a simple concept ruined by poor gameplay.

If you like quickie gameplays then this is your game otherwise leave this in the cupboard.

Chronos, 10 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

Very nice shooter game, really playable and enjoyable and I had a lot of fun playing it......but of course not a lot of people actully played this game! No they were stuck on the title screen in awe of the fantastic title music from Tim Follin! The beeper only had one frickin sound channel, so how Tim managed to create such a sound with it as evident here I'll never know, pure class from a true genius!

Two-Gun Turtle, 10 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

This was introduced to me by a chap on YouTube who uploaded a video for this a bit ago and I tried it out for myself. My it's a right challenge, the turtle moves so fast it's hard to get a good shot at the enemies before they steal your....well whatever they are meant to be....apples, cherries, I don't know. Not a bad game but frustrating.

Base Invaders, 10 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

Just another Space Invaders game with silly aliens and delayed killings, oh and it's quite possibly one of the easiest Space Invaders game on the Spectrum, like a child can play this quite easily. The reason being is you can shoot the enemy bullets with absolute ease, I mean the game gives you a shield but there's no need to use it because you can shoot the enemy bullets anyway which saves your life.

Certainly not a bad Space Invaders clone, just a bit on the easy side, like too easy, like it's not even a challenge. Oh well.

Space Intruders, 10 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

Another highly enjoyable Space Invaders clone, okay the aliens are tiny and all green but the game plays really well and it has probably the best weapon on another Space Invaders game, check that laser out!

Invaders, 10 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

Well this isn't a rubbish Space Invaders clone but here's the problem, this plays similar, very similar to Space Intruders, complete with virtually the same weapon - so this my friends is a clone of a clone!

Pulsoids, 10 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

Nice Breakout clone, rather generous with extra balls and extra lives but still it's very playable and plays at a good speed as well as containing nice music. Definately worth a shot playing.

The Pyramid, 10 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

This is one of the more challenging games I've played for sure, you're required to shoot nasties and collect diamonds to place down one of the gates in order to go down the Pyramid and it really is easy said then done. I really enjoy this game purely for the it's gameplay and the challenge it presents. This is definately one of those games that'll keep you going for hours.

Turbomania, 10 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

Rally-X style game and a rather good one. It has a simple concept, drive around and paint the grid whilst collecting trophies and flags and avoiding the other cars on the screen, easy peasy, just be sure not to run out of fuel and also be careful that one of the "bonus powerups" resets the grid meaning you have to start all over again. There's also bonus mini-games after each level. Good fun this one.

Star Wars, 10 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

Really impressive and highly playable conversion of the Atari arcade classic. It's looks just like the arcade game which is just win! There is also a good rendition of the Star Wars theme from David Whittaker. The main gripe is that there is no sound at all and that's a great pity.

Still a really enjoyable game definately worth checking out.

The Empire Strikes Back, 10 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

Sequel to Star Wars which contains the same title music, the same graphics, near enough the same gameplay but with in-game music and SOUND!...which was obviously missing from Star Wars.

Back in the day I probably would have advised you that if you had Star Wars there was no point in getting this because it's near enough the same game twice over and so wait till it's re-released on budget or something like that, but now just get the both of them since it costs nothing for the download. WIN!

Turbo Out Run, 10 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

Sequel to the rubbish that was Out Run and even though I've given this a higer score I can't really tell if there is much improvement or not, ok there's a turbo button that makes you go faster, ok the music from Dave "Uncle Art" Lowe is very nice (especially the second tune which I like a lot) but technically it's still Out Run and there are still better racing games out there on the ZX Spectrum.

Tridex, 10 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

It's another Space Invaders clone!!......oh wait the game was lying, naughty! (in reference to the game's intro)

No it is in fact another shooter that draws comparisons to Hewson's Eliminator only with an even worse colour scheme that will frankly give even a normal man an epilectic fit, shocking use of colour! Oh and because of it it's hard to hit any of the baddies on the screen, you may as well be on survival mode from start to finish.

Nope not recommended at all.

Stupid Sports, 10 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

This is....well exactly as it says on the tin really, a stupid little game. I am not a fan XFAWorld and this game shows why....well I guess you can appreciate the novelty and the humour of the game but it doesn't stop this from being exactly as advertised...stupid.

Super Champs, 10 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

Hang-On style game with little fun at all, in otherwords it's rubbish, no surprise there then given that this game was officially endorsed by.......Smith's Crisps! Yes frickin crisps! Makes me really wonder why Pedigree Chum never had it's own game.

But anyways it's a poor man's Hang-On, slow, difficult to turn, lacks any real excitement. Best to leave this alone.

Atom Ant, 10 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

I bought this as a kid.....and it never frickin worked! But still I've managed to play this after about 20 odd years and it's a pretty nice game, simple concept yet not so simple gameplay. Quite enjoyable but definately not the most enjoyable Hanna-Barbera game on the Spectrum, nor the best looking it has to be said.

Pro Tennis Simulator, 10 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

I had this back in the day as part of the Mega-Hot compilation and it never was a favourite of mine but I was looking forward to playing this again....and well it's frankly a mess. The way the game is written you can almost predict what will happen, like when the computer player will hit the net, also you can sneakly score an ace even if the opponent hits the ball! What can I say it's Tennis and poorly executed.

Aquaplane, 10 Feb 2012 (Rating: 5)

What a great game I discovered here! Such simple gameplay yet brilliantly executed and well made! Simply water ski past rocks, sharks and other obstacles, sounds like it's made for a crap game but this is actually really good fun. I highly recommend this.

Match Point, 10 Feb 2012 (Rating: 5)

One of the best sports games on the ZX Spectrum, this really was quite an achievement back in the day. Tennis on the Speccy as it should be, absolutely brilliant game.

Play Your Cards Right, 10 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)


Yes one of Britain's most popular game shows came out on the ZX Spectrum and if you know the game then you'll enjoy this game, however the questions get very repetitive and there's no sound here so boredom will come very quickly but it's still good fun nonetheless.

The Bobby Yazz Show, 10 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

Very amusing and enjoyable quiz show puzzle game that came free in Issue 92 of Crash Magazine in September of 1991. The game was set for release in 1988/89 by Destiny Software and recieved good reviews, but sadly they liquidated and hence the game was never released, but thankfully the game's author Christian Urquhart resurrected the game and donated it to Crash Magazine for release, ain't he a nice little boy!

Really fun game you should definately try out, certainly one of the best freebies we ever recieved.

Wacky Races, 10 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

One of my favourite cartoons on the ZX Spectrum, well actually it left me with a bad taste in my mouth frankly, okay it's not too bad but I don't know I'm perhaps expecting better?

It doesn't feel like Wacky Races, it just feels like a standard racer to me, and why does Mutley rip of Mario in this game. If I seen this I would definately bought it, and then I would have been bitterly disappointed in it, what a great shame.

Black Arrow, 10 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

Remember Hyper Sports? Well one of the events in it was archery and Slovenian Uros Justin decided to take the archery event and make a game entirely out of it! And it's pretty good in fact, complete with Wham at the start blatantly stolen from Mark Alexander's Music Box - now that's just naughty.

Shadow Dancer, 10 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

Remember Shinobi? Well this is its sequel - Shadow Dancer was a game I always struggled to get into for some reason, didn't get into it in the arcade, didn't get into it on the Mega Drive and couldn't be bothered to play the Spectrum version until now, but it's actually pretty good except that sometimes the controls get screwed up when you jump on a platform and you're fixed to one direction regardless unless you move the other way first, so you have to shuffle like an idiot before you move correctly again and then you die, brilliant! Besides the mentioned fault it's pretty nice and worth a go or two, don't forget to shuffle though.

Moonwalker, 10 Feb 2012 (Rating: 1)

I'm bad! I'm bad! Really really bad! I'm bad, I'm bad, you know it!

Never has a song been more accurate! Yes this is Michael Jackson's Moonwalker and it's exactly as the song says, it's bad, it's bad, really really bad, IT'S AWFUL!!!

The whole game is just a boring drag with no enthusiasm, no excitement, no enjoyable features whatsoever and the enemies will frankly annoy you, the routes are fixed EVERY time, meaning they'll get you all the time unless you change direction, like the other way for a start. The game gives you 20 bleeding lives for a reason you know!

By the time you FINALLY get round the playing area and collect everything you need and FINALLY reach the motocycle to finish the level, like if you could be bothered that is, your head will be so far stretched you feel so fed up with it that you can't be bothered continuing anyway. The one time I did finish level one though was on a real Spectrum years ago, guess what? Level 2 NEVER loaded! Thanks a lot multi-load!

So yes in conclusion, sheesh what an absolute mess of a game, the arcade game I really do like but this? Man this was a waste of money back in the day.

Tomcat, 11 Feb 2012 (Rating: 1)

Absolutely terrible shmup! As a massive shmup fan I usually find crappy shmups playable and enjoyable, this is impossible to enjoy, slow, jerky, graphical mess, no sound, absolutely everything in this game is attrocious.

There's more fun jumping into a freezer at 55 degrees minus in just your underpants than playing this game. Seriously don't waste your breath on this.

Bedlam, 11 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

Definately one of the nicer looker shmups on the Speccy complete with a pretty nice pinball minigame in between, it's just really really REALLY tough, like hair-pulling tough! And me hasn't got much hair left! And I'm not even 30 yet!!!

I mean it looks nice, good graphics and all and the pinball minigame adds something to it but it's a right challenge in it's own right. If this sounds like your kind of game then give it a go and you might well like it.

Traz, 11 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

It's breakout, in a horizontal style similar to Krakout, and honestly it's not one of the better ones, not even close in fact. It's just not very exciting and it can be very unfair at times, your ball has a mind of its own and tends to play tricks with you as you play. Sure there's a construction set there which adds to the fun but it probably won't take long to discover this isn't much fun either.

It's not a wonder why after being initially advertised as a full priced title by Cascase it was eventually released on budget by Gamebusters instead. Simply put there are way more better breakout clones than this, stick to Krakout, stick with Arkanoid, heck even making your own breakout game with lego pieces and a marble is more fun than this.

Havoc, 11 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

This is pretty much the usual from Players, fabulous music followed by dodgy gameplay, half the times you can't hit anything forcing you to change weapons and by the time you're dead. Sounds like fun? I didn't think so.
Rubbish sequel to the classic Chase H.Q. Nowhere near as enjoyable as the first game and not even close to Ocean Software's usual quality of arcade conversion.

I get that Chase H.Q. was just a game that was never going to be toppled, but at least give us a sequel worth playing and enjoying and this doesn't provides the goods at all.

The graphics aren't very nice, the music is dreadful and most of the time you can't beat the bad guy unless you continue, besides why would you continue in this anyway, in fact why would you even play this anyway! It's rubbish! Not the worse arcade conversion of the Speccy but perhaps one of the worse sequels in Speccy history.

Chuckie Egg 2, 11 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

The sequel to the classic Chuckie Egg and one I had as a kid, not the original but this one, yeah my dad didn't like me too much....I've typed this before haven't I? Anyways I didn't really enjoy this game too much, I didn't loathe it but I just had far better games in my collection than this, and having played the original now I don't think there's any contest really. Nice idea putting Henhouse Harry in a more platform adventure type enviroment but it doesn't work for me, sorry 'arry.

Ultima Ratio, 11 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

In the 33rd year of entrenched galactic warfare, a new forbidding threat looms out of the blackness of deep space. ULTIMA RATIO, a nine stage battle platform was the most powerful weapon yet created with multiple Pulse Guns, deadly defence fighters and extensive battle shields. With mother Earth itself under threat, volunteers are called to make desperate attacks against the ULTIMA RATIO. You have just volunteered!.....Turned out to be the worst decision you ever made because this is dreadful!

A battle platform must be totally neutralised before attacking the next one. Mission time over each of the battle platforms is limited. Treat all other flying objects as hostile. Shields and fuel may be replenished at certain areas on the platforms. Finally, beware of direction reversing devices......did you get all that? No me neither.

Yeah simply put this isn't very good really, far too confusing of a game for me, so many times you think you've destroyed everything and it still won't let you finish the level because there's always one bit you didn't touch but it takes 10 minutes to find what it is. Also your ship gets stuck from time to time when you hit something that kills you, meaning you die, die, and die again in quick sucession, can you say unfair?

So Ultima Ratio is, well Ultima Rubbish is the best way to describe this I think.

Days of Thunder, 12 Feb 2012 (Rating: 1)

Can't sleep at night? Then play this game because it'll help you sleep before you know it!

It's based on the Tom Cruise movie and some will say it's as rubbish as the movie though I've never actually seen the movie myself so I can't say that for sure, what I will say is....this is rubbish.

It's just really dull and uneventful, it gets old very quickly, like within a minute of playing this you'll feel very bored of this game. And the best bit? They ask you to do 12 laps around the track...12 FLIPPIN LAPS??!?? SERIOUSLY???!!???

Days of Thunder is a game that pretty much provides no excitement and no enjoyment whatsoever, and it appears it was rubbish on every system it came out on. I wouldn't play this unless you are struggling to sleep as this could be a rather nice cure.

Crazy Cars II, 12 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

Rememer Crazy Cars? You know the one where you just drive and drive and drive and things get boring really quickly, well guess what there was a sequel to it and it's nearly the same EXCEPT that you have to follow routes to reach certain destinations and avoid the police, plus you can crash, thus being a proper sequel and a better game than the original in the process. It can still get a bit boring because at times there seems to be no end to it, but this is much more enjoyable than the first game, mainly because you actually have something to do in it other than drive.

4x4 Off-Road Racing, 12 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

This one I had back in the day and let's just say it's not really good, it's not bad but it just gets boring very quickly, there's very little excitement in this plus you...well I...suffer from faults pretty much all the time, now that's not fun at all.

Far better and more enjoyable racing games on the Speccy than this.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, 12 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

Not a resounding port of the Atari arcade game it has to be said. It's not really bad, it's just not really good, like REALLY not good. The game was written by Paragon who later became Tiertex, responsible for some of the worst games on the ZX Spectrum, this isn't amongst that category but it's just a very uneventful port that lacks any excitement from the arcade game.

I had this game back in the day and never liked it....and I still don't. It's a shame this is a real disappointment.

Break Point, 13 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

A novel idea of a quiz game and nothing more, doesn't really have a lot to do with snooker really, it's just a general knowledge quiz with the theme of potting balls in the same pocket, you only have 3 colours to choose from anyway, yellow, blue and black, dare I say again this doesn't really have a lot to do with snooker? Too late I just did.

If you love quiz games you might want to have a stab at this but snooker fans should look away to avoid being cheated. Incidently this was re-released by Crash Magazine as Break Point....hang on isn't that Tennis?

Axons, 14 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

Apart from a music programme and a word processor, this is the only game Lubomir Salanci has brought out on the ZX Spectrum and after one play of this game I can vividly see why.

The game has a rather interesting intro complete with digitized music, which is then followed by a tune entirely made in random notes.

As for the gameplay, well it's downhill from here I'm afraid, slow, jerky, difficult to hit anything, in fact the graphics make it difficult to actually tell if you've hit anything or not! There is just far too much detail in the graphics which I personally think causes the slowdown, and because it's slow and it's tough as nails.

Definately not a resounding shmup to say the least, looking at the average score (6.45 after 11 votes at the time of this review....if you can call this a review that is) I was looking forward to playing this, but now I wish I hadn't. I was incredibly disappointed in this.

To sum up Axons in three words, slow, jerky and over-rated.

Quackers, 16 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

A pretty nice Carnival clone, plays quite well and it's pretty smooth and enjoyable. It does get tedious pretty fast but it's still an enjoyable game nonetheless.

Rifle Range, 16 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

I didn't enjoy this one as much as Quackers in all honesty. It just seems more tedious and lacks the charm and excitement the Quackers had. Perhaps I'm just being fussy though.

It's still a nice Carnival clone all the same and well worth your time, but I just prefer Quackers which was probably Carnival at it's best on the ZX Spectrum.

Grand Prix Simulator 2, 16 Feb 2012 (Rating: 4)

Pretty impressive sequel to Grand Prix Simulator with improved graphics, improved sound and faster speed. The main fault though is that all the cars are exactly the same and it gets confusing as to which one you actually are. Other than that this is mighty good and a worthy sequel.

Eagle, 16 Feb 2012 (Rating: 1)

Hooray for Juliet Software the Spanish equivilant to Tiertex, because pretty much all of their games are rubbish. Stop Ball, which I paid £2 for and still regret it, was the worst game I ever bought and this is just as bad, better because there's a bit of gameplay in this unlike Stop Ball which had none, although I use that term loosely..."a bit".

It's meant to be a shooter which you shoot objects like a snooker triangle, a pyramid and a diamond shaped chocolate sweet, well at least that's what they look like, oh and you can move backwards or forwards. No ememies at all though, just these objects. Very tedious, very boring, there's hardly any gameplay here.

Anyways you must survive the time limit without dying (I think) before it moves to the second part which is reminiscent of Stop Ball, because there's hardly any graphics and there's hardly any gameplay...oh wait I just said that already.

What a mess of a game this is, very little in this at all, it's still better than Stop Ball because of the tiny bit of gameplay it has at the first bit but other than that it's still an awful game.

Here's some advice, if it's Juliet Software it's for the bin.

Astro Blaster, 16 Feb 2012 (Rating: 2)

No not a port of the Sega arcade game but rather a very annoying Galaxians style game.

The part with the falling boulders is a fricking nightmare! It took me forever to get past it and it's very infuriating dying at that same part nearly every time. And if you do get past it you're "rewarded" with a boss-type emeny who fires a million bullets and there's no way to get by him until he disappears.

Man what a frustrating and very unfair game, if you want to keep your precious hair on your head I suggest you look elsewhere.

Star Warrior, 16 Feb 2012 (Rating: 3)

From the same bloke who brought you the frustratingly annoying Astro Blaster comes this easier-to-tolerate-yet-equally-frustrating offering. There's not much to this game in fact, it get tedious pretty much from the moment you start playing when you spend at least 5 minutes not being able to fire at anyone because they are on one side and you're on the other side.

And what is it with this guy and BOULDERS!! I already nearly had a fit with them in Astro Blaster, thankfully they are a lot more tolerable.

But this is what makes this game stand out, the third bit is like a maze-type-thingy where you collect an item and have to return it to the ship, quite basic but definately different for this type of game and add variety to it.

Definately better than Astro Blaster, only a bit but definately better.

Track and Field, 01 Mar 2012 (Rating: 1)

Words cannot describe how awful this game is. Terrible graphics, awful gameplay, hardly any sound at all, it's no wonder it was only released as part of a compilation and never released as a standalone game.

Absolutely pathetic!

Cage Match, 08 Mar 2012 (Rating: 1)

Also known as Intergalactic Cage Match, as well as one of the worst games to ever exist...which do you prefer to call it?

This is easily one of the absolute worst games I've ever come across on the ZX Spectrum! Every single feature in this game is bad with the worst being the appalling gameplay it possess. The worst thing of all was after so many attempts of trying to win and failing and being put back to the title screen as a result I finally won a match, and when I did.....did I get another opponent? No, I'm back at the title screen again!

Absolute rubbish! At the time of this "review" this currently sits in the top 5 worst games on World of Spectrum, and it well and truly earns it's place on that list.

Brian Jacks Superstar Challenge, 15 Mar 2012 (Rating: 1)

Martech decided to compete with Ocean and Daley Thompson's Decathlon with Brian Jacks' Superstar Challenge...and wow they failed miserably.

It's slow, boring, tedious and nowhere near as enjoyable as Decathlon. The Archery event is absolutely pathetic and shambolic and a far cry away from Hyper Sports. The running and cycling events are painfully slow in which you never even get close to the cycling record as you move ever so slowly even with "gears". And I just gave up after the football event.

I'm just in total awe over how shockingly appalling this is, then again Brian Jacks didn't have much luck really as he also lent his name toward Uchi Mata, currently among the top 100 worst games on World of Spectrum...poor chap.

El Equipo A, 15 Mar 2012 (Rating: 3)

Known officially as El Equipo A and released only in Spain, we will read this by its English name The A Team - just because! Anyways it's Operation Wolf.....don't think I need to say anything else really's Operation Wolf. Oh and don't shoot Mr. T otherwise you lose a life. Oh and it's Operation Wolf, just in case you missed it the first time round. And I think that's it, end of review, stop reading and give this game a whirl and perhaps make your own review.

Oh one last thing, IT'S OPERATION WOLF!!!

Crystal Castles, 20 Mar 2012 (Rating: 3)

What a bitter disappointment this is! I was really looking forward to playing this game when it came up on random infoseek on World of Spectrum and well let's just say it tasted sour, very sour.

The gameplay isn't so bad, the graphics aren't so bad but what kills it is that there's not a squeak throughout the game, just a jolly tune when you collect the last gem. It's also a bit of a mess controls-wise, I found it difficult to get through certain paths to avoid the baddies, you want it to go one way and he goes the other, utterly annoying.

Man this should have been better than what it is.

D.N.A. Warrior, 20 Mar 2012 (Rating: 2)

Ever seen something you really liked the look of and then be left with a bad taste in your mouth when you try it? D.N.A. Warrior does that for me.

As a shmup fan I always look forward to coming across one on the World of Spectrum archive and then reading the poor reviews it got from the likes of Crash and Your Sinclair because of "boring, unoriginal gameplay". How many isometric games were there? How many soccer games were there? How many text adventures were there? So when "another shmup" comes up it INSTANTLY gets a 2/5 rating for being "the same" and usually I play them and I end up disagreeing with the "reviews".....however D.N.A. Warrior is a different kettle in the fish.

Early doors it's presented nicely, pretty nice intro sequence showing off the bonus pickups and all accompanied with excellent music from Nigel Pritchard, it makes you look forward to playing this game and it tickled my tastebuds and left me licking my lips in sheer I pressed start...sigh it was downhill from there.

Everything moves so slowly and it's difficult to shoot anything that comes towards you, when I went to move back it turn my ship around, not really a gripe as it's part of the game, but when there's a swarm of enemies coming towards me it's not ideal! It's really hard to get to grips with this game, the controls are so dodgy and the gameplay is slow and uninspiring, there's just a lot more better shmups on the ZX Spectrum than this.

So is it "the same"? No, because if it was it would be enjoyable, mildly pleasant and tolerable, this is far from it, frankly it's a nuisance. It's a great shame, it could have been so much better than it is. I really really really really REALLY want to like this...but I haven't got a reason too, and so that's it for D.N.A. Warrior, locked away into the cupboard on the highest possible shelf never to be touched again. Sob.

California Games, 21 Mar 2012 (Rating: 2)

I used to absolutely love this game as a kid.....and I really look back and ask myself why? WHY? This is rubbish!!

The events are tedious, the graphics are awful, there's very little sound and there's hardly any enjoyment from this at all! When it comes to rubbish ports on the Speccy few come worse than California Games.

If it's paradise you're looking for....stick with Cambridge rather than California because you'll get none from this game.

Wrestling Superstars, 29 Mar 2012 (Rating: 3)

One of the last Codemasters releases on the ZX Spectrum, Wrestling Superstars has you guiding the Darling Dude (wonder who he's named after eh?) to the world title by defeating a series of opponents.

It's a wrestling game as it states in the title...well I say that even though it's more punching and kicking, but you do have two moves, you pick him up and either throw him down, or you can do a "helicopter spin" where you got round and round and round and get dizzy...and then toss him off. And so how do you win? In most wrestling matches the most common way to win is by pinning your opponent's shoulders to the mat for a 3 count, but here you pin your opponent until his energy runs out. Lucky they didn't class this as a "Pro Wrestling Simulator".

The game is presented well enough, with nice graphics, great music and of course a red, pixelated Hulk Hogan on the loading screen.

It's pretty good for the short run but lacks the charm and thrills in the long run. If you're a wrestling fan I say give it a look...then again it's essentially not wrestling and more punching, kick, throwing and spinning......then again it's essentially not wrestling anymore and more "entertainment". Still it's worth a look.

NATO Assault Course, 24 Apr 2012 (Rating: 1)

Probably the worst of the Combat School games by far! Horrible graphics, no sound, terrible gameplay, even looking at the loading screen told me how bad this could potentially be, and it would be a kind thing calling this bad because it's a lot worse than that! Absolutely attrocious attempt of cloning Combat School!

Zythum, 13 Oct 2012 (Rating: 3)

This isn't a bad old game, the graphics are quite nice and the gameplay is pretty simple to get into, the main problem is his jumping as you have to hold the jump button to determine the height of the jump and you can either forget yourself and press the button to merely hop to inevitible death, or you can jump too high and too far and land directly in a hole, to meet inevitible death as well.

It's a great challenge though, requires a good sense of anticipation throughout.

Teenage Mutant Hero Turtles, 13 Oct 2012 (Rating: 5)

Fabulous game, lovely graphics and superb gameplay, looks and plays great even today. Just glorious! TURTLE POWER!!

The Fury, 13 Oct 2012 (Rating: 4)

Quite a nice racing game that I got in the 4 Most Thrillers compilation from Alternative Software. This used to freak me out as a kid because of the chance that "your life was lost", there was always something about this game I enjoyed despite the fact that you're just driving on a straight line without any routes, maybe it was because you can kill the other drivers, especially later on when you get to use weapons. Good fun and worth trying out if you haven't already.

Top Cat in Beverly Hills Cats, 13 Oct 2012 (Rating: 3)

Top Cat! The most effectual Top Cat! Who's intellectual close friends get to..oh forget it just sing along to yourself if you know the words. This isn't too bad of a game, I just felt it feels a bit bland especially companed to other Hi-Tec Hanna-Barbera games, like Ruff and Reddy and Quick Draw McGraw. Still it's a nice game to pass the time by.

Barmy Burgers, 13 Oct 2012 (Rating: 3)

It's Burger Time again, well I say again except there were only three Burger Time games on the ZX Spectrum, this one, Mr. Wimpy which I reviewed earlier (hence it's Burger Time "again") and none of you will have read it per usual and a third in 2003 which I've not covered yet....and that's it, only three Burger Time games and none of them were official.

Enough tut, while Barmy Burgers looks and plays like Burger Time I found it quite annoying in that the controls are not very good, the salt thingy doesn't do what you want it to do sometimes which is a pain. But still if you love Burger Time, or indeed love burgers, then you might want to give this a shot. Mmm hungry now!

Gimme Bright, 13 Oct 2012 (Rating: 4)

Nice fun game this, it plays like a combination of City Connection and Miner 2049er. Nice graphics and the gameplay is challenging enough to make you come back for a bit more. The jumping is a bit awkward which adds to the difficulty of it all. Still it's a really nice game.

Blobby, 14 Oct 2012 (Rating: 2)

The gameplay is quite simple, simply move from one end of the screen to the catch though, the deaths are very random and very unfair, like one time I fell down a loose bit of the platform and I WASN'T EVEN MOVING!! Now that is unfair.

It's simple by looks and meant to be simple by gameplay but it's rather unfair.

River Raid, 14 Oct 2012 (Rating: 4)

Early shmup from Activision and not a bad one too. Pretty simple really, I breezed through the level like nothing but I'm sure the later levels will provide a challenge. Maybe if I start on Level 20 then I'll get a challenge. Still it's rather nice.

Championship Jet Ski Simulator, 14 Oct 2012 (Rating: 4)

Yet ANOTHER Codemasters racing simulator, this is like Grand Prix Simulator and BMX Simulator......except on Jet Bikes! So it's pretty much Championship Jet Ski Super Sprint Simulator, but I think it works well, I enjoyed this a lot more than BMX Simulator anyway. It looks nice and plays pretty good too, rather tough but it provides a welcome challenge.

Yeah good fun.

The Boxer, 14 Oct 2012 (Rating: 2)

Manage and train you boxer to championship glory. Sounds fun? Okay let me describe this in one word - boring.

All you do is select your opponent, the training routines and place a bet on your own boxer to win (or maybe bribe for him to lose, who knows) but you do absolutely nothing during the fight, just sit back, grab a chilled one and watch your boxer get the crap knocked out of him! Classic!

If this sounds like your type of game though do give it a shot.

Jocky Wilson's Compendium of Darts, 14 Oct 2012 (Rating: 4)

One of the more challenging darts games on the ZX Spectrum. Compared to 180 and Wacky Darts this is pretty much as close to a simulator as you can get, complete with the odd bounce-out meaning your dart is worth nought. It can be very tricky to get a maximum 180 here as the dart more very quickly which adds to the difficulty.

But there's a number of different games like Shanghai and Bowls that really adds to this game and will keep you going for a little longer.

So in all this is good and it's worth a go if you enjoy darts.

Hot Rod, 14 Oct 2012 (Rating: 3)

Quite a nice top view racing game, the main problem though is when the screen escapes from you and puts you back in the race in sometimes the worst situation possibly, clearly a problem that exists in the original arcade game but it's rather offputting to say the least.

But everything else is quite nice. Worth a look.

Overkill, 14 Oct 2012 (Rating: 2)

This was an overkill boredom! Had this one back in the day, never liked it and I still don't 17 years later.

Gameplay's pretty bland really, you just walk around collecting bubbles to go up levels and collecting little squared icons to build up time for reach a bonus minigame where you collect orbs. Apart from that that's about it really, yeah it's quite bland.


Angle Ball, 14 Oct 2012 (Rating: 3)

Not a bad Side Pocket style game, it's quite original enough on the Speccy at the time when I played it, lots of levels to tackle and complete with a frame designer to keep you amused. Nice attempt of making an interesting pool game.

Gunstar, 14 Oct 2012 (Rating: 3)

Very tricky shmup, it has nice colourful graphics but quite unforgiving gameplay, espically the asteroid field which is murder.

It's quite nice but I wish I can manage to get a lot further than I normally do. It's difficulty may put you off in the long run.

Combat School, 14 Oct 2012 (Rating: 4)

Highly impressive arcade conversion with intense Hyper Sports style gameplay, to call it a challenge that'll leave your fingers feeling knackered is a right understatement.

Another Ocean great.

Force Fighter, 14 Oct 2012 (Rating: 3)

16K shmup from Perfection Software......the game is far from perfect though, not bad but annoying would be the best way to describe this. Oh well.

Storm-Fighters, 14 Oct 2012 (Rating: 3)

The game looks pretty nice for 82 and it's really not a bad old game though I do sense some really dodgy hit detection in this one. Ah well it's 1982 after all.

Crazy Crane, 14 Oct 2012 (Rating: 3)

A nice simple game, simply grab five of each item with your crane and place it beside you, pretty simple enough though it does get trickier in later levels. I suppose it won't have such a lasting appeal but it's quite simple to get into.

Professional Soccer, 14 Oct 2012 (Rating: 4)

Manage a lowly third division team and watch them get hammered every week. Ain't it the life?

Well saying that it's definately one of the most advanced soccer management games on the Spectrum, complete with in-game highlights normally missing from most management games. If you're into management games on your Spectrum you'd want to give this a shot.

Multi-Player Soccer Manager, 14 Oct 2012 (Rating: 4)

I have played a lot of soccer management games on the ZX Spectrum and this one is my favourite. I was addicted to this back in the day.

The charm of signing highly skilled players on your team to improve your squad's ratings, the transfer market worked like an auction which at the time really appealed to me, this is probably the only game in history where Gary Lineker can agree a transfer to Peterborough United in Division 4.

It was also great fun in that results really benefitted your progress as a manager, you start at Division 4 and after seven straight victories you may be offered a job with a Division 3 team with more money and (hopefully) a better squad, do you continue your fine progress with your current team or do you sacrifice that to take a Division 3 job to find they are bottom with only 2 defenders...decisions decisions.

And that's what I loved about this game. For me it's the best management game on the Spectrum, of course there's Football Manager which is superb as well but this for me is boss.

BMX Freestyle, 14 Oct 2012 (Rating: 4)

Ride you BMX towards a number of disciplines including Wheelie, Half Pipe and Slow Race....the latter I always hated and could never do right which was usually the end of my game...bah.

Still it's a worthy BMX game for once, unlike BMX Simulator which was merely Super Sprint on bikes and BMX Ninja which is....well it's crap to be honest.

Pub Trivia, 15 Oct 2012 (Rating: 4)

A pretty quiz game from Codemasters, and that's really all you can say about it, except it has different catagories with a large number of questions and a money maze slapped in the middle, so it's rather good fun and it quiz games are your thing you'd want to have a look at this.

Rad Ramp Racer, 15 Oct 2012 (Rating: 4)

It's the colossal confrontation between a BMX rider and a skateboader! Who will prevail!!

This game I had in my collection as a kid and I didn't enjoy it, well to be frank I didn't give it a chance, I didn't understand the mechanisms of the game and it was too difficult for my liking. But now older yet still not wise I decided to give this a shot again, and it's really good fun provided you get up and down the half-pipe properly which is pretty difficult and a matter of good timing....or in some cases sheer luck.

Still it's good fun and two can play at once which is always a good feature and you can create your own tracks to race on which is a great added bonus and adds to the fun.

Pinball, 15 Oct 2012 (Rating: 4)

This to my knowledge was one of the first pinball games on the ZX Spectrum and it's widely regarded as one of the best. It's fast, colourful, realistic to a certain degree, the ball physics are a little bit off and seems to have a mind of it's own at times but still it's a fine example of a proper(ish) pinball game and it's all in 16K!

Definately worth a look.

Genesis: Dawn of a New Day, 15 Oct 2012 (Rating: 5)

A fantastic shmup from Spanish company RetroWorks formed from the ashes of Computer Emuzone famed for BeTiled and Cannon Bubble. This has everything needed for a great shmup including stunning in-game music. This is truely wonderful! Definately up there with Zynaps.

Heart Stealer, 15 Oct 2012 (Rating: 4)

This is a fairly simple arcade style game, simply collect all the hearts on the screen and then reach the exit to advance. It's a good fun game which nice graphics and good solid arcade style gameplay, but a bit pants in all honesty, it only took me around 12 minutes to finish it. Nevertheless it's a worthy game to download and enjoy. Thumbs up for Timmy!

Forest Raider Cherry, 15 Oct 2012 (Rating: 4)

This was written by the author of Heart Stealer, a Dutchman named Timmy. In Heart Stealer you collected hearts, now can you guess what you have to collect in this game?.....yes that's right - cherries! And you do so whilst avoiding the enemies on the screen and before the timer runs out to get a diamond as a reward, and it's quite a challenge in itself, much trickier than Heart Stealer, which provides replay value unlike Heart Stealer which you can finish in about 15 minutes.

Definately worth a go if this is your sort of thing.

Para Academy, 15 Oct 2012 (Rating: 3)

Led Zeppelin Games' answer to Combat School. Well saying that it actually takes elements from Combat School, Decathlon, Hyper Sports and Supertest. It's not bad but it just lacks some charm, suppose it was cheap so you can't expect too much from it. At least an effort was made, well look at NATO Assault Course and you'll see what I mean.

Tornado ECR, 15 Oct 2012 (Rating: 3)

Highly colourful and very fast shmup from Codemasters. The aim is to shoot down the target number of enemy planes to advance, it's very tricky however, the enemies fire as much bullets as you do and it's hard to shoot and avoid their bullets as they fire pretty much the same time as you do.

Still this is highly colourful and very fast....wait I just said that! It wasn't bad for the cheap really.

Micro Olympics, 15 Oct 2012 (Rating: 2)

What else can be said about it other than it's rather bizarre looking, especially since it was released the same year as Decathlon....can you possibly compare the two? I'll leave that with you.

Zip-Zap, 15 Oct 2012 (Rating: 3)

Quite a nice early game from Imagine Software written by the late Ian Weatherburn. But the best bit is the title you recognise it?? Yes I thought so, the things you were able to get away with eh?

Cred Breaks Out, 15 Oct 2012 (Rating: 3)

Just when you think it couldn't get any stranger it just did! Right we've had games endorsed by Smith's Crisps, Skips, Weetabix, Mr. Wimpy, and now we have Cred Breaks Out, a game which was released by.....Lloyd's TSB, a Scottish bank!! Whatever next!

Yep apparently from what I've read this game was made to encourage youngsters to sign up for accounts, yet the game has nothing to do with banks and instead plays a bit like Flicky in that you've to travel all your friends to your starting location, in this case shuttle....I think it just got stranger what do you think? Bank accounts and space shuttles, as much of a winning team as ice cream and horse manure.

But saying that it could have been a lot worse, it's actually playable to a degree and might turn out to be a bit more fun than you could have anticipated. So it's rather a surprise this one, smells like poop but actually tastes like stawberries, how strange.

Mike Read's Pop Quiz, 15 Oct 2012 (Rating: 3)

Remember A Question of Sport? Well this is pretty much the same game except for it being a music quiz rather than sport. It shares pretty much the same code as QoS and as a result probably has nothing to do with Mike Read's Pop Quiz whatsoever. Well done Elite, a fine good way to recycle game codes to make two different games so similar...still it's a bit of jolly good fun if it's your sort of thing.

Rothmans Football Quick Quiz Volume 1, 15 Oct 2012 (Rating: 2)

Put your soccer knowledge to the ultimate test. Apart from the obvious drawback of having questions decades out of date, it's boring, repetitive and it really drags on and on at least two occasions I pressed the correct answer and yet it gives me the wrong answer, say I pressed the correct answer C it brings back that I pressed B and was therefore incorrect...that's just mean!.

All I'll say is thank goodness there was no volume 2.....and as a matter of fact this was the ONLY game Cassell ever released on the Spectrum....that says something! Oh yeah and this was £9! It was a lot of money back in 1985! 9 quid for a football quiz?

Bully's Sporting Darts, 15 Oct 2012 (Rating: 4)

A somewhat spiritual sequel to Bullseye, well mainly because it stars the show's mascot Bully that is....even though he does practically nothing but grin at you.

This I bought in Blackpool in 1993 and I couldn't wait to get home to play it, everyone I was with were saying "I don't want to go home" whereas I flippin' did so that I can play my brand new game on my Spectrum, and well what can I say I wasn't disappointed, I always liked this game because as well as your traditional 501 you can play 6 other games including Soccer, Golf and Tennis on a dartboard....even though in hindsight they don't really work.

But at the time it was fun and that's what matters, it wasn't money wasted for me. Good fun even if the rules are silly.

Z, 16 Oct 2012 (Rating: 2)

Yes that's right, this game is simply known as Z, and no there isn't any A's, B's, etc, it's just called Z! And for a game called Z you would get intrigued and interested in it....don't waste your time, it's nothing more than a mediocre shmup where you spend nine hours circling around shooting things to no progression at all. And the colour is bad, it's hard to see anything in it, the speed is perhaps to fast, it's just not very fun really. Oh well.

By Fair Means...or Foul, 16 Oct 2012 (Rating: 2)

What a strange name for a game...what the heck is this you ask? Well it's boxing.....boxing where you can cheat that is! Yes here you can kick or headbutt your opponent so as long as the ref isn't looking otherwise he'll call a foul....hence the name of the game. In all honesty though this isn't good, the boxers look prancy and constipated, the controls are very awkward, it looks outdated for 1989 and it's just not very fun at all.

But the absolute crime of it all was when Codemasters a year later in 1990, somehow re-released this very game as their "new" release Pro Boxing Simulator, even though this isn't pro boxing whatsoever!!

So it's a "Professional Boxing Simulator" when you can kick and headbutt your opponent is it? Plus you have lives and if you're counted out you simply lose one life rather than lose the fight.

How is this simulation? How can this be called Pro Boxing??

They successfully managed to rip-off a lot of people with this stunt and eventually offered re-funds to anyone who bought it thinking it was a "new game" where it obviously wasn't! FOOLS!

Ice Breaker, 16 Oct 2012 (Rating: 4)

Interesting little game from Spain. It looks like a bobsleigh game but it's actually a shooter! Very amusing I must admit.

American Football, 17 Oct 2012 (Rating: 2)

All the thrills and spills, rough and tough, bonecrunching action-packed excitement from America's toughest game.......actually there's none of that here it's just another management game!

Yes you simply guide one of the top NFL teams to Superbowl glory by just buying and selling players and just watching them do all the hard work....and that's're the coach basically.

But here's the main problem......they can't tell the difference between Football and Soccer, like there are more than 11 players on the team for a start, and sadly programmers made this mistake on virtually ALL non-soccer management games....dear dear lads must try harder.

Still not a bad game if you're into this sort of thing but if you'd rather be playing then it's best to avoid this. The best part easily is when you're running to the goal and the defense just can't be bothered to go near him and just let him walk through......hmmm are they taking bribes?

Overlander, 17 Oct 2012 (Rating: 3)

Road Blasters type game that I bought back in the day, never got far in this but it always was a nice game to try and play nonetheless....even if I was hopeless almost all of the time.

It's not too bad overall but the difficulty was a bit mental for one's liking. Still a nice effort regardless.

Potty Painter, 17 Oct 2012 (Rating: 3)

Amidar clone and honestly it's not too bad really, in fact this game is as close to Amidar as you can get on the Spectrum, I mean if you love Amidar this is worth a go.

Jackson City, 17 Oct 2012 (Rating: 3)

It's a Spanish shmup with the strange concept that the supposed a these Spanish games get weirder and weirder! Still it's a rather nice game, fast, maybe too fast, it has the same colour problem as in most shmups, I suppose it's the same as you'd expect really. Give it a go if you want, just remember though bananas are good for you, one of your recommended five-a-day in fact.

Professional Ski Simulator, 17 Oct 2012 (Rating: 3)

Another game from my collection many years ago which I got in the Quattro Sports compilation. I always sucked at this game, back in the day I never managed to even complete the first two courses, barely even the first one, only recently I have managed to get to the third level...or piste I think to be precise.

Nice little game all the same with some really nice detail in the graphics, just dreadfully tough....either that or I'm just rubbish, whichever you choose is fine with me.

North Star, 17 Oct 2012 (Rating: 4)

Another game from my large collection of Speccy games once upon a time. I always liked this game, it has nice colourful graphics and the gameplay's nice too except the controls are a bit awkward and sometimes the jumping is awkward, not exactly what you wish for sometimes.

It's not perfect but it's still a nice game to try out if you haven't already.

Daley Thompson's Supertest, 17 Oct 2012 (Rating: 4)

The sequel to the classic Daley Thompson's Decathlon.

Unlike Decathlon where you compete in various track and field events (ala in the Decathlon) this game has you compete in a wide variety of events in a similar fashion to Hyper Sports, such as rowing, tug o war, ski jump and penalty kicks......yes that's right penalty kicks. And of course there's the normal athletics events too such as the 100 metre sprint and the triple jump.

All in all, a wide variety of events means good ol fun from Daley once more...not for your fingers though.

Daley Thompson's Olympic Challenge, 17 Oct 2012 (Rating: 4)

The third and final game from Decathlon legend Daley Thompson retains the same button-mashing gameplay from the previous games Decathlon and Supertest, and it's bigger than ever with training mode as well as the track and field element itself!

Now this one I had back in the day and I always really enjoyed this game, but now having played the other two games I have to agree with some of those who stated this was a step in the wrong direction, in particular the shoe selection bit of the game was deemed a bit unnecessary and they'd be right. I mean I always liked this game and like it today, but the other ones are better, no question. But yeah it's still good ol'button-mashing fun as usual.

Actually now that I mention it why isn't button-mashing in the Olympics?? Come on IOC, get your fingers out!

Soccer Cup Quizmaster, 17 Oct 2012 (Rating: 3)

It's another quiz game with a soccer theme, sigh...well actually it's not all soccer, there's also a wide range of music, media and other trivia questions as well...aptly named Trivia, how nice.

Anyways this was written by the Shaw Brothers (Superkid, Cavemania) and released free by Crash Magazine. The idea here is to answer a series of questions whilst in possession (i.e. with the ball!) to score a goal, get a question wrong and you lose possession, pick a subject already taken and they get a free kick.

It's supposed to be played in a F.A. Cup enviroment but too be honest one match is enough for me. It's not bad but doesn't excite me too much really.

Double Dare, 17 Oct 2012 (Rating: 3)

Based on what was billed as the messiest gameshow in the world (even though Fun House was more messy and more there), this isn't too bad really though I think it's better to play this with two players as the computer player is a jammy git who never gets a question wrong unless he passes it to you, otherwise he...or rather they..will always be right.

It also has a mini-game enviroment, where if you were to "dare" and the opponent decides to "double dare", you can set up a challenge and a mini game appears, such as re-arranging a jumbled picture of a celebrity face and pressing lights in the correct order.

And if you managed to win (best with two players...preferably yourself) you get to play the assualt course! In here you have to collect all the flags within the time limit...oh yeah there are also gungey obstacles to overcome.

So there you have it, Double Dare is quite fun with the mini-games and the assault course but it's practically no fun playing again the computer unless you're completely clever because they are never wrong. Might as well spend 5 hours looking up Google for the answer..naughty!

Tiro de Pichon, 30 Dec 2012 (Rating: 3)

A bit like Duck Hunt but with pigeons. Quite good if target shooting is your kind of game but it's not for everyone I wish to stress. I got through the game because I accepted that it's not real life and plus it reminded me a little bit of Duck Hunt but without the Laughing Dog sniggering at you if you missed. But others are sensitive about it and indeed if that is you I highly suggest you avoid this game.

So again quite good for target shooting fans but it's not for everyone.

The Krypton Factor, 30 Dec 2012 (Rating: 2)

Welcome to The Krypton Factor, television's toughest quiz.....actually no it isn't. Instead it's a nonscentical version of television's toughest quiz....done by our friends at Domark under their TV Games label. Let's just say in good grace that this doesn't work.

Much like the classic show it's split into different rounds.

Mental Agility - You must visualize the numbers on the screen and then re-enter them in numerical order, for example if the numbers 4145227 appeared you would then need to type 1224457. This is probably the best of the rounds which says one thing....yes it's going downhill from here....hoorah!

Observation - Here you're given a story to read with a picture on it, then the story and the picture return for a second time and you have to work out the changes in the picture and the text. But the text moves so fast you're lost by the first sentence because you're too busy staring at the screen looking for the changes. And you're fed up reading it the first time you'll end up not feeling bothered to read it a second time! So in short, yes it doesn't work.

Response - This is two parts. The first features the stupidly named "Ergobuggy" that you move from one side of the screen to the other within the time limit by pressing up and down with your left hand and left and right with your right hand, does that make sense to you? No me neither. The second is the "Vidiwall" where you have a split second to guess the colour that fills the most TV's, for example if there are three greens, two reds, three yellows and five blues...the answer is blue. But this appears to be glitchy because I made a video of this and played it back and on two occasions I was flagged incorrect for not guessing blue even though I was actually correct, so well done Domark.

Physical Ability - By far the dullest round of the game, gone is the excitement of the assault course and in its place is a slow-paced borefest. Bascially you go through the course while pressing a button to determine the amount of each of the four attributes, Legs, Arms, Speed and Stamina, and this apparently makes you go across the course in the "fastest" possible time but unless I'm missing something he only goes at one speed ALL the time, making everything you are doing a waste of time. Shall I say it again? If you answered no, tough, it doesn't work.

Intellegence - More straightforward this one, simply re-arrange the shapes of the puzzle as it was within the time limit by rotating the pieces and placing them back on the grid. Don't think I need to say more really.

General Knowledge - The last round is a quiz much like the show only it's one of those where it gives you the question then gives you the answer and then asks if you were right or not, no that's your bleeding job computer! What fun is it that I can just cheat by saying yes, yes, yes, oh I was right again, oh I'm smashing and thus you've double your Krypton Factor easy! All together now...this doesn't work.

So in conclusion, yeah it doesn't work very well, simple as that AND the best of all is that it's pretty much the same in every game, well the Mental Agility round is the exact same which basically means in essence that you'd actually improve with practice. Domark released a lot of tripe over the years and sadly this is pretty much up there amongst to top.

Glug Glug, 30 Dec 2012 (Rating: 4)

If you're expecting some kind of "drowning simulator", well thankfully you'll be disappointed, plus you are psycho, because instead we have ourselves quite a nice little underwater shooty-type game. You simply go underwater to shoot various enemies and collect items to your boat, collect all the items to advance, and it's quite fun, worth a look.

Thrusta, 30 Dec 2012 (Rating: 3)

Another early shooter game, but this time with Boulder Dash elements in which you push rocks to squash enemies in order to advance. It's not the best shooter I've played but it's quite nice and the graphics are really good. Oh the repetitive sound will stretch your head!

Mission Jupiter, 30 Dec 2012 (Rating: 3)

It's Mission Jupiter...or Jupiter Mission as Your Sinclair called this...which one you prefer I couldn't give a toss. This is one of the earlier Codemasters games and was written by Derek Brewster who is arguably most famous for Codename MAT and The Curse of Sherwood.

Anyway it's a runny and shooty type game and this isn't bad at all, especially for the budget price it was released for it would actually have made quite a nice purchase, two quid for this and I personally would have been well pleased.

Truthfully it doesn't take long for this to get old and repetitive but it's good for a quick blast nonetheless.

Spooky Castle, 30 Dec 2012 (Rating: 1)

What a purely rubbish game this is, totally unfair gameplay in which you can die by either running out of energy which is fair or by touching the ghost once, yes one touch you're dead despite an energy bar! It's confusing and complicated, I had this back in the day and regretted wasting money on this turd.

Uchi Mata, 30 Dec 2012 (Rating: 2)

There are some things on the humble Speccy that should have been left alone, Judo is one such thing.

Judo is among my favourite sports and I love watching it on the Olympics, Uchi Mata though does the sport no justice whatsoever.

I had this in the 4 Most World Sport compilation years ago and from then and up to now performing any throw in this game is next to impossible even playing against yourself in a two-player game. This undoubtably spoils the fun in the game for me, why for goodness sake even attempt to convert Judo onto the Spectrum if it's just going to be so awkward to control and actually perform a Waza-Ari (pronounced WA-ZAA-RI by the way and not WA-ZA-ARI, see I'm not bluffing I do know my Judo) and even a Yuko, it's such a pain in the ass that he's able to score points on you and you can't do a thing except for smashing your keyboard! Alessandro Grussu correctly points out though that once you figure it out you realise that brain power is needed to perform the throws...but I've not managed this yet, perhaps he has more patience than I do...good for him.

The graphics aren't so bad and the referee is quite nicely illustrated as he appears when a throw is performed but my goodness what have they done to the judokas?? They look horrific! They are a flickery mess and the Judogi tradionally worn in Judo look more like pyjamas..literally pyjamas!

Oooh what can be said about Uchi Mata, frankly it's a mess. Judo is always going to be a challenge to convert and evidently Uchi Mata trys to convert Judo to the Spectrum and it fails, quite miserably I like to add. Judo is quite simply brilliant but for the Spectrum it should have been left untouched.

I.C.U.P.S., 30 Dec 2012 (Rating: 4)

It's shmup that turns into a platform shooter. First you shoot anything in front of you and then you look for parts of the bomb, so essentially it's two games in one cassette. It's quite a nice game, I like the colourful graphics and the mixture in the gameplay personally stands out for me. I rather liked this one, good stuff.

World Championship Soccer, 01 Jan 2013 (Rating: 2)

The first review of 2013!....okay okay...MY first review on 2013..and can you guess what this is? Yes that's right it's yet another uninspiring soccer game! Bloody hell here we flipping go again!

Based on the Mega Drive original (not an arcade co-op mentioned on WoS..someone have a word about that...please?) this suffers from the same lack of charm as most soccer games do. The presentation is quite nice, similar to that of the original in fact, one of 24 international teams can be selected and you choose who gets selected for the team in usually a 4-4-2 formation...and of course one goalie...that would be suicidal!

However that's the last good point the game possesses because as with most of these soccer games the gameplays counts for everything, and this is where the trouble begins...per usual! It is almost impossible to a) gain control of the ball, b) keep control of the ball, c) win back the ball you just lost, d) defend and e) do almost anything.

Yep that's right World Championship Soccer is a total mess! Within 7 minutes (according to the clock in the right, more like 90 seconds), I Spain were 3-0 to South Korea! As soon as I kicked off the ball is lost and...well that's it they score...oh f) save the ball, because your goalie is useless! At random periods he suddenly becomes an outfield player and chases the ball...thus leaving your goal wide open for them to score, brilliant!

For the presentation alone this isn't the worst soccer game of the Spectrum, but for the gameplay it's pretty darn close. So in conclusion, stick to the Mega Drive version or stick with Match Day instead...or better yet, make your own football with some toilet tissue and kick that around the house, there that's something more fun than this game!

This, by my account so don't hold your breath, was the last Elite Systems game released on the ZX Spectrum, and I cannot think of a more abysmal way for such a company to go out.

Antteroo, 01 Jan 2013 (Rating: 2)

One of the many Manic Miner inspired games on the ZX Spectrum and games like this made you so much thankful that you got yourself the original.

This is a classic example of "inferior" and "budget" Miner. The movement is far from smooth compared to Manic Miner and the jumping is very awkward, so it's funny when the first screen reads "This one is easy"...yes it would be if the jumping was better thank you very much!

By in hindsight I suppose you got what you paid for at 99 pence and I suppose this was worth every penny you spent. But I'm sure there are better Manic Miner clones on the Spectrum than this one, this doesn't really do it for me I'm afraid.

Firebirds, 02 Jan 2013 (Rating: 3)

It reminds me of Galaxian, it reminds others the Phoenix, either way it's really hard. It's difficult to get a good at the baddies on the screen and perhaps there is a hint of bad detection along the way.

The degree of difficulty sort of makes this what it. Good for a short fix, no more than that though, otherwise you'll be left scrambled.

Devil Birds, 02 Jan 2013 (Rating: 2)

Not a very resounding shooter at all. With boring and repetitive gameplay and almost no graphics it can in some ways be comparable to Laser Lord, one of the worst games in Spectrum history, which says something.

A.T.A.C., 03 Jan 2013 (Rating: 3)

Not a bad little game from the Shaw Brothers. Simply shoot the number of enemies needed to progress through the levels. It also has a Carnival-style mini-game after each completed level though it doesn't seem to give you enough time to actually finish it. The gameplay is quite repetitive which doesn't help its lastability but it is quite fun for what it is.

Alien Insects, 03 Jan 2013 (Rating: 2)

The aim of this game is fairly simple, move your spaceman-thingy around the screen to shoot the baddies...fairly simple it ain't as it can be quite a pain to actually shoot them as there is dodgy detection in this and you have to move close to them to hit them, you move close and they end up hitting you instead! Bah!

Definately not one I'll be playing very often. Interesting title music though.

Sky High Stuntman, 03 Jan 2013 (Rating: 4)

One I had from back in the day and one of the very few Spectrum games I actually finished back then. This was a bit unique in that you were flying on something different in each of the four levels.

Level 1 is a helicopter, level 2 is a hot air balloon, level 3 is a jet plane and level 4 is a bi-plane. The game is played like a standard shmup except for the second level where you move the crosshair to the enemy to fire at them, pretty difficult because the balloon moves by itself (I think unless I'm missing something) and it makes it easy for you to be hit by enemy fire.

If only the second level wasn't as mindbogling and confusing compared to the rest of the game this would have been much better than it is. It's good and I've always had a soft spot for this game given I actually completed it as an 9-year old, but in hindsight 4 levels and that's it, it's a fairly short game but level 2 alone provides a challenge as it is a right pain of a level.

All in all a nice budget shooter.

Alien Rupture, 03 Jan 2013 (Rating: 1)

Oh dear there's nothing much that can be said about Alien Rupture other than it's not very good at all.

Basically it's a shooter where despite being having "alien" in the title, you're shooting a pirate's skull and crossbones that moves across the screen. Once you do they turn into an RIP tombstone, shoot these too for as long as the bullets don't actually go past them and make them disappear rather than actually hit them.

You must survive throughout the level's timer to progress...just so as long boredom doesn't kick in, and believe me it doesn't take it very long at all to kick in.

And before all that you are greeted with title music made entirely of random just know you're in for a good time while you hear it.

And the best part? The fact that when you're commanded to press a button to start the game the text ends with "if you dare". So "if you dare" to play this game and put up with its appalling quality then be my guest!

So yes let's put it this way, Alien Rupture is pretty bad without a single redeeming feature in it.

Creepy Dungeons, 03 Jan 2013 (Rating: 2)

You are a brave knight who has decided to try to rescue Lady Sinclive (yes this is the damsel in distress you have to save) from the dungeons of creepy castle. You must collect all 14 keys before dawn to complete your task.

Simple eh? WRONG! It would be if only the jumping wasn't so awkward, plus the enemies at times hit you as soon as you enter the screen! There's quite a bit of exploring to go through but I cannot personally see myself getting so excited to save Lady Sinclive and I doubt you will too.

Dartz, 03 Jan 2013 (Rating: 2)

It's another darts game, actually darts this ain't, more like Professional Drunk Simulator, or better yet a complete mockery.

Back in these days darts was ridiculed by the press for its manner that players were allowed to drink on stage and were usually overweight as a result. So Guy Brown stepped in to take the mickey, and my did he achieve it.

Basically the main aim is not to win a darts match but SURVIVE a darts match, for with every dart thrown you consume alcohol which goes up as the game progresses, either through natural gameplay, someone buying you another drink forcing you to drink up your current one "to keep the crowd happy" which increases your alcohol level, or someone would spike your drink which increases the alcohol per throw.

Other shenanigans that proceed during the game include bounceouts (usually when hitting targets like treble 20), missing the board altogether (again usually while hitting big targets like treble 20), dropping the darts (ditto), falling through the stage because of his massive weight and going to the toilet during your turn, the last two meaning you miss a turn and thus score nothing.

Normal darts rules do apply, playing a game of 301 or 501 darts and scoring down to 0 finishing on a double, but forget all that as clearly the aim of the game is to drink yourself to death. Because if your alcohol level reaches 999, you die of alcohol poisoning...did I call this a mockery already?

I suppose the humour will please people but it becomes too annoying and repetitive when your dart keeps bouncing out and it becomes too apparent that the game doesn't matter and you are facing imminent and unavoidable death. It is impossible to complete a match without succumbing, make of that whatever way you will.

So Dartz is simply a mock of darts but if the game isn't enough to prove that theory then this from the manual sums up the game perfectly -

"Skill, luck and overweight drunken slobs, all play their vital part."

Need I say more?

Top Gun, 04 Jan 2013 (Rating: 2)

Had this as a kid, never liked it. 22 years on, still don't like it, in fact I probably dislike it more.

From the moment you start playing you are pretty much bored instantly and nothing improves your feelings for the game, it's just the same, a boring drag with little to get you hooked. Once bored, always bored. It's attempt to be a flight simulator and dogfight shooter...and it fails on both a considerable margain it has to be said.

So this is a very dull movie licence game. Luckily this wasn't the only time Tom Cruise graced onto the Spectrum...oh wait the other time was Days of Thunder, and that my friends is even worse. His luck's as bad as Arnie Schwarzenegger. Ho hum.

Hot Tyre, 04 Jan 2013 (Rating: 3)

While it's a rather nice game it loses marks because much of the code is directly ripped from Titus' Crazy Cars. Naughty naughty.

Fallen Angel, 04 Jan 2013 (Rating: 2)

A mediocre beat 'em up that tries to play like Renegade and doesn't even come close. The gameplay is slow and more than usually the main character doesn't do what you want him to do because the controls are somewhat unresponsive. Overall the whole game is lackluster and very uneventful. There are tons of better beat 'em ups on the Spectrum and it won't take you very long to discover that.

Final Fight, 04 Jan 2013 (Rating: 2)

It's the classic Capcom arcade beat 'em up on the ZX Spectrum...and my gosh what a total mess! The gameplay is terribly slow and is thus largely unenjoyable, there is no way you can compared this to Target: Renegade.

The graphics I suppose aren't terrible and the sprites are what they are and are actually decently modelled onto the Spectrum (which saves this from getting a 1 rating) but the gameplay is the major letdown here, it's near impossible to like this version and before long you'll realise that there are a lot of better beat 'em ups than Final Fight...which is criminal.

Final Fight is an all-time classic, on the Speccy though the only thing memorable is how poorly ported it was. Shame on you US Gold!

Rollaround, 05 Jan 2013 (Rating: 3)

Quite a challenging maze/puzzle game that I had in my collection as a kid. Here you control a ball in order to collect different types of squares as seen on the top of the screen.

The first level is fairly simple as you just need to move around the grid and collect what's there, but from level two onwards much thinking is needed to progress as there's some baddies to avoid and some jumping that needs to be done in order to reach certain platforms, and the jumping at times is a bit iffy which is frustrating as you may fall off the platform whilst trying to jump and thus you lose a life and all the squares you collected up to that point.

On top of that there is a time limit to go by and you must complete the level within the time limit but there are power-up squares including a clock square that freezes time and help you along the way. There's also mystery squares lurking around, these either give you extra points, an extra life, or they can kill you, so take caution hitting one of these.

It's no doubt a challenging game that'll provides lots of thinking to progress through all 20 levels. The inaccurate jumping though will prove frustrating which spoils the game a bit, but it's worth a look if you haven't done so.

Starburst, 05 Jan 2013 (Rating: 3)

Starburst originally featured on Your Sinclair's Crap Game Corner in October 1990 and scored an overall rating of 76% and a "crap factor" of 12%, almost too good to be in Crap Game Corner. And so in August of 1991 the game appeared again, this time on a covertape from Crash Magazine, and so we can all rejoice from the joys of Starburst.

And...well it's not too bad really, it's playable, it's not too over the top, has a rather simple look, there's powerups to help you along the way and it generally works well. Not the most exciting shmup on the ZX Spectrum but then again there are a lot of worst shmups than this one.

Triblox, 05 Jan 2013 (Rating: 4)

A plesantly enjoyable Columns-type game. Starts out slow but gets faster as you level up. Shapes must be alligned horizontally, vertically or diagonally of 3 shapes or more and 20 lines must be made to level up. In later levels there are squares that must only be cleared with bigger squares or creating a diamond shape with them which must not fall down otherwise you get an extra row as punishment, this alone adds a great deal of logical thinking to the game.

With nice graphics, classic Columns gameplay mixed with a test of skill and patience, Triblox is a good addition to the puzzle genre on the Spectrum.

R-Type, 05 Jan 2013 (Rating: 4)

This conversation of Irem's arcade classic is very faithful to the original, and just as difficult!

The graphics are among the best on the Spectrum, they are very colourful and highly detailed and is easily the most distinguished feature in the game, and rightly so. And the gameplay is superb too, it's all you need in a highly intense shmup.

But as I say it's as difficult as the original which makes this a very accurate conversion. It was too tough for me to really get into it compared to other people and other horizontal shmups on the Spectrum such as Zynaps which I really enjoy, but R-Type is still without question one of the finest arcade conversions to ever exist on the ZX Spectrum.

Gazza's Super Soccer, 05 Jan 2013 (Rating: 1)

Dear god! It's yet another abysmal soccer game on the ZX Spectrum, and this one is undoubtably among the worst of the bunch. The gameplay is a complete and total mess, the passing is nonexistant and the goalies are utterly useless, they run off their goal line for no reason allowing the computer for an easy score! Rubbish!

For this to have Gazza's name imprinted to it is one thing, but for this to be branded as "super" is entirely another, because "super" this is so very far from. Another five letter word beginning with S comes to mind but I'll be a good chappie and keep this review..or "review" clean.

For the wholesome price of £9.99 plus a free colour sticker, this game was undoubtably a complete waste of money and a waste of my time playing. Don't bother. I bet Gazza cried lots of tears realising he endorsed his name on such tosh.

Gazza II, 05 Jan 2013 (Rating: 4)

Dear god! It's the sequel to the absolutely awful Gazza's Super Soccer...and what do you know? It's actually really good!!!

This is so much better than the predecessor in every aspect! The graphics are better, the gameplay is better, the controls are better, everything is so much better! And there's music from David Whittaker as well! It's a dramatic transformation!!!

And in actual fact Gazza II is one of the more playable and enjoyable soccer games on the ZX Spectrum! Nowhere near the likes of the Match Days and Emlyn Hughes but it's ahead of so many of the rubbish soccer games I have had to endure, in particular Gazza I!

Everything that was so much wrong in the first Gazza game Empire have put right in this sequel. My I'm chuffed!

Space Evaders, 06 Jan 2013 (Rating: 2)

Dear dear this is just a stolen version of Sinclair Research's Space Raiders. Very naughty indeed.

Out Run Europa, 09 Jan 2013 (Rating: 1)

The third in the Out Run series...and it's even worse that the first two combined! How do you screw up Out Run three times on the trot??

The first two lacked the real feel of a proper racing game especially compared to the likes of WEC Le Mans and even Chevy Chase, Out Run Europa lacks absolutely everything! There's no proper feel, no proper look and no proper enjoyment, the entire game from start to finish is a complete and total snorefest.

Had this been a normal game with an alternate title then it wouldn't be such a terrible thing but because it bears the Out Run name following up two disappointing arcade ports and turning out to be even worse makes this more upsetting than it is.

Out Run's legacy in gaming history is cememted with grace, its history on the Spectrum though is largely forgetable, especially with games like Out Run Europa.

Once, twice, three times a turd.

Retroinvaders, 09 Jan 2013 (Rating: 4)

If Space Invaders and Gyruss ever had a child this would be the resulting baby. This is a very good game combining the gameplays of both Space Invaders and Gyruss and maintaining the combined excitement of both games.

Very clever idea and it really pays off, this is most impressive indeed.

Grid Iron 2, 11 Jan 2013 (Rating: 2)

My gosh Softstone's American Football had a sequel! And it's pretty much the same as the original despite looking all so different, it's the same concept, the same gameplay (none!) and the same rules, YOU DON'T SCORE TWO POINTS FOR A WIN!!! THIS IS NOT SOCCER YOU FOOLS!!!

Saying that there is some enjoyment here but as with the original NFL fans should dodge this as it makes the same mistakes second time round. Dear dear.

Soldier One, 11 Jan 2013 (Rating: 4)

One of Your Sinclair's last freebie games and it's a very amusing game, sort of like a cheepo Gryzor thingy type game set in the futuristic, and it works nicely. It has quite a simple look and all but it's playable and I personally found it enjoyable.

Not spectacular but it does the job.

International Kickboxing, 11 Jan 2013 (Rating: 4)

Another one of Your Sinclair's last Spectrum freebies. It' Kickboxing and you know what this is a good adaptation of the sport and does it justice. It's the closest to what Best of the Best would have looked like on the Spectrum.

Fans of Kickboxing will enjoy this, well at least that's what I think, I might well be wrong, but I certainly took an almost instant liking to this.

Solaris, 11 Jan 2013 (Rating: 3)

Certainly not a bad freebie that appeared in both Crash and Sinclair User magazine, it's a nice shmup with decent gameplay. The game loops after eight stages and having completed the cycle a second time and thus reaching level one for a third time I just died only to be greeted with a screen stating "As legend has it Solaris has never been defeated by humans"...well we can see why don't we? And I can guess Solaris has still never been beaten. *Sigh*

Still it's a nice game for a freebie, just don't expect a happy ending.

Cosmic Chaos, 11 Jan 2013 (Rating: 3)

This came free with issue 78 of Crash Magazine in July 1990.......and to call it Chaos is an understatement!

It sort of resembles a 16K shooter, you have to shoot all the enemies on the screen to clear a wave and the less enemies on screen the faster it gets and it can be really frantic at the end, a lot of enemy bullets come down at once and the best thing to describe it is chaos!

It's got the look of a 16K shooter and I suppose the sound as well. It's quite outdated for a 1990 release but it was free after all so it's quite nice for a freebie.

Cashcade, 11 Jan 2013 (Rating: 3)

It's a quiz game and I guess that's all you can say about it really, it does the job basically. The only thing I can say about it is it can be really short because you only have two credits, two incorrect answers and it's game over and to my knowledge there's no way you can gain more throughout the game. As well as answering questions there's also a cash mini-game where you must work your way up to "Smash the Pig" in order to win the jackpot.

It's sort of like the quiz games you see in pub games. If this sounds like your sort of games then give it a shot, if not then I say leave it alone.

Bomb Jack II, 11 Jan 2013 (Rating: 2)

While not an overly terrible game it's far inferior compared to the brilliant original, it's rather like a bad haircut.

I get changing the gameplay, the graphics, the feel and the whole aspect of the game, but it just doesn't work very well. Unlike the original which I found very enjoyable and addictive I found Bomb Jack II to be incredibly tedious and largely annoying. It just lacks the addictiveness compared to the original. Gone is the free-flowing flying around the screen to collect bombs and in its place is the tedious nature of jumping from platform to platform...with awkward jumping it has to be said.

There's something about sequels in that they don't often work, Paperboy 2, Chase HQ II and here is Bomb Jack 2, all sequels of classic games and all of them are so far inferior to their original counterparts that they are largely best forgotten about.

Telly Wise, 11 Jan 2013 (Rating: 4)

Ah yes fine game this, allows you to run your own TV channel and showing a wide range of programmes to create as much of an audience as possible. It's simply put a quite brilliant idea and well implemented in a computer game as such. It can get tedious during games but the sheer novelty of the title is what wins it for me and always has me coming back for more.

A different take of management games and it's a fine good one too. Good stuff indeed.

BMX Ninja, 11 Jan 2013 (Rating: 1)

The only way I can best describe BMX Ninja is that it is abstract, nonscentical and highly inept, for a start it has little to do with BMX and nothing to do with Ninja.

And the gameplay is really dire, you are supposed to ride your bike and hit the other player with your rear wheel but most of the time you either miss him or the game fails to register a hit even after you've clearly hit him and he ends up hitting you without a fuss, what makes this even more attrocious is that you have to repeat the process so many times to progress where as they hit you once you lose a life AND you lose your progression and have to start the incredibly tedious and repetitive process all over again! This makes progression in this game next to impossible.

Plus skateboarders appear from behind you and hit you at random to further annoy you...since when did skateboarders have anything to do with Ninjas? Oh wait the term "ninja" doesn't even exist here that's how!

BMX Ninja is currently occupied in the list of the top 100 worst games on the ZX Spectrum and frankly it isn't hard to see why. It's rubbish in every aspect. Only play it to see for yourself how awful this is, other than that don't bother.

Gary Lineker's Hot-Shot!, 09 Jul 2013 (Rating: 4)

Oooh it's that man from the crisps ad! And he's got his own soccer game! Gee I wonder if this is as rubbish as the other soccer games...actually no, it's better than the others which makes this near enough the cream of the crop. Good graphics, and actual sense of soccer for once, though how many times do you really need to hit the crossbar in one match.

Still this is really good and it stands out as one of the finest soccer games on the ZX Spectrum....well really that's only because most of them are rubbish mind you.

MicroProse Soccer, 09 Jul 2013 (Rating: 3)

This time MicroProse have a go at making soccer legend with....MicroProse Soccer...generic or what? So how does it fare compared to the others? Well it's not rubbish but again it's not that great, most of the time the ball goes in all sorts of directions when you kick it, which is annoying. And usually you can just walk through the net to score because the goalies, per usual, are rubbish...that's fun.

So not utter tripe by any means, in fact this is pretty good for a change, but in terms of greatness it just skims over the crossbar I think. Oh well they gave it a good go.

Kick Off, 09 Jul 2013 (Rating: 2)

This is in my opinion one of the most over-rated soccer games of all time, why is this? Because it was frickin everywhere at the time! It was plastered all over magazines and shops, posters everywhere I looked, Kick Off this and Kick Off that, it was apparently the greatest thing on earth....but no it isn't, because it's a soccer game...and guess what? It's a soccer game that's rubbish!...Well I'm very harsh, this isn't that crap, it's certainly well above the standards of other proclaimed soccer games like Gazza 1 for instance but it's not the greatest thing to ever exist! Feels like a waste of hype...which is actually what most companies do nowadays, so I guess they learned from Anco.

Kick Off 2, 09 Jul 2013 (Rating: 2)

Ho hum with most "big" games comes a sequel, and know and behold Kick Off was no exception.

Now you'd think Anco would do a US Gold or a Zeppelin and take the lazy route by just ripping most of the code from Kick Off 1 and just claim it's a "new" game....well actually they haven't done that. For it's a new team of developers (Enigma Variations) which means that it's a different game compared to the original....well almost different because the obvious remains in that it's a soccer game and the same control issues seen on Kick Off 1 remain and thus I always tend to throw in a shoddy performance everytime I play this, but this gets points for not being entirely nor nearly the same game as Kick Off....just almost, I mean it's still soccer ain't it? And it's still not very good...but we're all used to that now aren't we?

Super Cup Football, 09 Jul 2013 (Rating: 1)

Now we are heading in the right direction with these soccer games....WRONG! They are getting worse! This might well go down as maybe THE worst soccer game on the ZX Spectrum...because it crashes nearly all the time! I played this nine times and eight of those crashed before finishing the match, usually after the first half and it crashes before the second half...the one game I finished (a 2-2 draw) I started a new game which had the computer score DIRECTLY from a throw-in, which is actually illegal in real-life...oh and then 15 seconds later it crashed...can you say justice for the win?

Absolute rubbish! Maybe more rubbish than Gazza's Super Soccer which really is saying something! This shows why this was never released as a standalone game and only in the 4th Dimension compilation as well as in a Your Sinclair covertape....mind you with that compilation you still technically paid for this...imagine the agony!

Indoor Soccer, 09 Jul 2013 (Rating: 1)

Oh dear it's an all to familiar sight this one, do we really have to go through this "review"? If your answer was no...tough.

Basically it's one of the worst looking soccer games on the Spectrum with one of the worst cases of attribute clash ever. Plus I doubt this falls within the rules of indoor soccer, for during the game I was fouled and the game read "penalty", you are then expecting a penalty or at least a free kick...nope it brought me back to the centre of the pitch for a kick off! Oh I give up with this game.

Xenon, 09 Jul 2013 (Rating: 4)

This is a really good shmup but it would have been so much better if the sound doesn't interrupt with the music all the time. Bummer! Well I guess you're better off playing the Amiga version instead then aren't you...oh well can't win them all.

Combat Zone, 09 Jul 2013 (Rating: 2)

It's a shmup from Alternative with one of the most confusing and unbalanced gameplays to ever exist. To complete a level you must bomb at least 10 of the glowing platforms, anything else from shooting the enemies to collecting the powerups to aid you and to help survive is COMPLETELY irrelevant! If you do not bomb at least 10 glowing platforms it's back to the beginning you go and everything was a waste of time, like playing this game for a start....sheesh what a waste. Less like a shmup and more like a mind boggling puzzler with about 20 things to do at once...even when you just have to bomb.

Championship Baseball, 09 Jul 2013 (Rating: 2)

Take me out to the ball game, take me out to the crowd. Yes it's a baseball game and honestly it's not very good, the graphics are a bit of a mess, hitting the ball is a pain and it took me 16 years to throw the ball! It's far too complex and far too complicated. Oh well...I never really liked baseball anyway.

Scooby-Doo, 09 Jul 2013 (Rating: 3)

One of the most infamous games on the ZX Spectrum....because it took ages to be released!

Originally billed as the "first ever computer cartoon" similar to Dragon's Lair the project was eventually scrapped when it was realised the Spectrum simply wasn't able to achieve such ambitions. Eventually it was released over a year after the first previews came out and was turned into a much more simpler and convenient game where Scooby has to climb ladders and rescue his friends while attacking the baddies with his Egyptian dance.

Wasn't that bad a game really, just too much of the same and not enough variety. Oh well...I never really liked Scooby Doo anyway...yes I know I'm horrible, but so what.

Cat 'n Mouse, 11 Jul 2013 (Rating: 1)

Yes like The Dean of Games stated before it resembles a handheld game similar to one of those Game & Watch games or those on a keyring that you bought for 25p...and it's very random...and thus it's not very good. This incidently came as a free game with Run Rabbit Run...which is currently MIA on the WoS me heartless but playing this makes me dread the day Run Rabbit Run becomes available.

Operation Gunship, 11 Jul 2013 (Rating: 3)

First there was Operation Wolf, then Operation Thunderbolt, now comes Operation Gunship!...okay that's a little bit of a lie as this game is unrelated to that series whatsoever, but still it's Operation Gunship nonetheless. This one I'm completely in the middle when it comes to opinion. I do like the gameplay but it can get tediously slow at times and it suffers from repetition quite a lot, as well as that I was never a fan of its green monochrome graphics, it made things hard to see at times, especially if there's bullets coming from all angles and you haven't a clue where they are coming from...and by the time you do your life becomes drained which obviously doesn't help.

It's not a bad game at all, I just wish I had more reasons to like it rather than loathe it.

Galactians, 15 Jul 2013 (Rating: 3)

It's Galaxians time again...I say again though I can't actually remember when I last "reviewed" a Galaxians game. Enough waffle here's a clone from dk'tronics and it's alright really, it's a bit too slow at times when so much happens at once but ah well at least it's still Galaxians innit? So it gets the pass mark and shall be embraced as a proper Galaxians clone.

World Cup Football, 15 Jul 2013 (Rating: 2)

To my knowledge (which isn't good but we'll run with it) this was one of the very first soccer games to be released...what I definately know is this was a game I had as a kid...not that it was really that relevant but tough I mentioned it anyway.

To be kind while it was still nice to play soccer on your Spectrum it just wasn't that great. It was just far too easy to score a goal if you used the infamous zig zag pattern versus the world's most clumsiest goalkeeper in all existence. Also the player sprites are badly drawn and suffer from some of the worse cases of attribute clash ever. Finally the music (a series of football chants such as "When The Saints Go Marching In" and "You'll Never Walk Alone") will drive you batty and leave you screaming for mercy in no time at all. Luckily you can turn the music off...this is the closest thing to Heaven.

It really hasn't aged well at all and it won't take you long to realise you are far better off playing Match Day instead...but still it was the first, or one of, so I guess it has its place in history...and you thank US Gold for that.

World Cup Carnival, 15 Jul 2013 (Rating: 1)

To my knowledge (which isn't good but we'll run with it) this was one of the very first soccer games to be released...what I definately know is this was a game I had as a it bloody isn't!! That was World Cup Football by Artic you fool, and why have you copied the first line from that review...oh wait silly me this IS World Cup Football by Artic!

Yes in 1986 US Gold unleashed World Cup Carnival, the official game for the Mexico 86 World Cup recycling Artic's World Cup Football for twice the price as well as adding posters and a badge to the packaging...the rotters! Sure it includes teams from the 86 World Cup, sure it added a training mode where you save penalties and other stuff, sure they took out the music but it still doesn't hide that it's the VERY same game! The players are the same, the gameplay is the same, the attribute clash is the same, it's still easy to score a goal with the zig zag technique, it's the EXACT same as World Cup Football.

Their excuse was that they had a World Cup game in the works but it was so terrible they couldn't dare release it, what's more, time was fastly running out and there was no way they could have made a new one from scratch and release it in time for the World Cup, therefore leaving them to recycle World Cup Football instead....which means there are actually TWO versions of World Cup Carnival....although don't get your hopes up over it because I doubt we'll ever see this "second" version....I mean it doesn't exist does it, it's just lies, lies and more lies. And come to think of it this "terrible" game would have been better off releasing instead of recycling code from a soccer game released two bloody years earlier.

Not surprisingly as a result of their scheme, World Cup Carnival was universally panned and is widely considered one of the worst games ever released on the ZX Spectrum, one of the worst soccer games known to mankind and one of the biggest scams in gaming history.

Lightforce, 15 Jul 2013 (Rating: 4)

Without doubt one of the finest shmups to grace the ZX Spectrum, in fact to many this is regarded as the very best....I'm disagreeing only because I've been fortunate to play pretty much every shmup on the Spectrum and I've found one or maybe too I like better, but still it's among the best. The one thing that bothered me most was that this is really difficult, like R-Type difficult if that says something...or else I'm just terribly crap at this game, yes that'll be it...(he sobbed uncontrollably).

750cc Grand Prix, 15 Jul 2013 (Rating: 4)

Really good motorbike racing game from Codies. This has you racing in some of the top British racing tracks and you must reach the podium to qualify...the tracks are probably unlicensed but there we are, they're there anyway.

The one thing that may decide whether you will like or despise this game the most is its tilting screen effect when you make your turns, personally I found nothing wrong with it but I know others who were put off by it. Still it makes this one stand out as it's different.

Also because the game is denied by Codemasters and you are therefore forced to find a rom elsewhere to play (which I'm not stating here because that would be naughty) most likely the speech will be corrupt, which is a darn shame.

Still this is rather good and worth a look nonetheless.

Paris to Dakar, 15 Jul 2013 (Rating: 4)

Based on the Paris-Dakar Rally, you may notice some similarities between this and 7500cc Grand Prix, it has the same graphics, it has the same sound, it has the same corrupt speech....yes it's pretty much the same recycled code to make a new-ish game...BUT it's not entirely the same game.

The main difference from 750cc is there are trees and rocks to avoid, time and health bonuses to collect and a damage meter to keep an eye on instead of your you can choose from either a truck, a motorbike (like 750cc) and a sports car. So this can be considered an unofficial sequel so to speak....actually to come to think of it, rally, different vehicles to choose from, degree of difficulty, "licensed" race, this could essentially be the ZX Spectrum of Dirt. Result!

Jocky Wilson's Darts Challenge, 15 Jul 2013 (Rating: 3)

As the name states it's a darts game from Led Zeppelin Games and features the late, great darting wee'un Jocky Wilson. This is the prequel to Jocky Wilson's Compendium of Darts which I bought many years ago and reviewed many more years ago.

It's a standard darts games with the usual rules of 501 down to zero and finishing on a double, 40 = double 20, 18 = double 9, you know the drill...well you probably don't but there it is anyway. The one bugging thing is the computer player is an absolute beast! I have just practically finished a match before this review and my opponent ripped me 3-0 and in one leg he left himself with 53 points after nine darts! A machine or what.

So basically it's not as enjoyable as other darts games because you practically have zero chance of winning but it's worth a look if you fancy a game with your mate...or yourself for that matter.

Paratroopers, 15 Jul 2013 (Rating: 2)

Defend yourself against the invading paratroopers! Basically shoot helicopters and falling men, only shooting LOSES points regardless of whether you hit or not! Surely losing points after you miss and letting the men land would have been more fair! Anyways if enough men land on one side to drive a tank or if one of the men land directly on you then it's game over. Alright for one game or maybe two but no more than that.

Zybex, 15 Jul 2013 (Rating: 4)

Really nice shmup from Led Zeppelin Games, still doing business as Eutechnyx these days. It's a standard horizontal shmup except that it fires the weapon for you and you have control of what weapon you fire, interesting variant and it pays off well. This impressed me a lot, in fact this was highly rated in magazines and I can definately see why.

Rallybug, 15 Jul 2013 (Rating: 4)

A very interesting game with a very amusing concept, like a cross between Moon Buggy and Hangman. Drive across the level to collect letters you then use to try and guess the mystery word. Quite spendid and very enjoyable.

Cobra Force, 16 Jul 2013 (Rating: 3)

This one reminded me of Mr. Heli and is actually quite good, which is a surprise in a sense as this is by Players who are notorious for mediocre gameplay in their games. However, this one is much more decent though it seems you firing weapon is a little too weak to be equipped to a helicopter though I might be missing something in that front. It also tries to play like the Cybernoid games in that you are required to strategically maneuver your movement throughtout the game.

Not perfectly executed but still enough to be considered playable.

Tanium, 16 Jul 2013 (Rating: 3)

It's another shooter from Players and you know what? This game is right up my street. I am such a sucker for these shooter types games and this instantly got my appeal. It looks proper and it plays proper...well almost.

It just lacks a certain punch to be considered a great shmup, like it feels empty, too tedious, too bland. What's more the game credits music by Mike Brown but playing through the game there isn't any music at all...maybe I'm missing something...maybe I need to finish the game to hear some music...if this has an end that is.

I really wanted to adore Tanium as if it was my own son...instead I just consider it a quick cure for boredom...until about 20 minutes until inevitably further boredom takes over. Oh what a pity.

Task Force, 16 Jul 2013 (Rating: 3)

It's a shooter by Players.....again! This is like Cybernoid and it also has a little minigame it's not all the same. Rather good, rather misses the mark, nevermind it's still more decent than most of Players' catalogue which says something.

Shark, 16 Jul 2013 (Rating: 2)

It's a shooter by Players.....again! This is like Cybernoid.....again! Actually come to think of it it's like Task Force which sort of makes this either an unofficial sequel or direct copying of the code....I personally will guess the second one answer.

Anyway the game itself...well despite the good intro tune...again...this is almost no fun whatsoever, the gameplay is dull and repetitive, it takes forever to kill the baddies and within two minutes you'll be crying in boredom. So basically it's a typical Players game with the same ol' traits....again.

The Light Corridor, 16 Jul 2013 (Rating: 5)

A highly impressive game from Infogrames developed by Spanish company New Frontier, with quite innovative gameplay and on top of that, one of the best tunes in ZX Spectrum history from the brilliant Alberto Gonzalez aka Joe McAlby. So glorious!

Colour Clash, 16 Jul 2013 (Rating: 3)

It's Amidar again, well I say again but I can't quite remember when I last reviewed an Amidar game....but nonetheless, it's Amidar again. This is one of the more basic Amidar clones in that it focuses solely on gameplay without having to look all too fancy. The problem is its speed, it starts off painfully slow and then gradually builds up as it progresses but you'll probably end up bored by then. So this isn't as good as some of the other Amidar games I've reviewed but you's Amidar...again....just in case you missed that.

Kamakazi, 18 Jul 2013 (Rating: 2)

Well lookie's another Galaxians game...well almost, it's not exactly an "official clone" if there's such a thing but so what run with it. This is also in 16K like the last one and is actually a port of the BBC Micro game Planes. It's not bad really, the speed is fine but the repetitive sound will stretch you, the graphics aren't that great, the controls are a bit jerky and I detect some bad hit collision with this or else it's just me....anyhow I'm some of the other clones...Galactians which I recently reviewed being one of them.

Letter Bingo, 18 Jul 2013 (Rating: 1)

WOW! Bingo with letters instead of numbers! HOW EXCITING!! Actually no it's a waste of time because bingo this ain't.

Usually in normal bingo a number gets called out in a novelty sort of manner like 44 Droopy Drawers (and you thank Bob Monkhouse for my knowledge of that), and you then mark it on your card and the first one to fill the cards entirely shouts BINGO from the top of their lungs wins a prize and contracts laryngitis in the process.

So do we get the same game with Letter we have six cards filled with random letters and instead of a letter being called out you have to...wait for it...go through the alphabet in desending order starting from Z and then attempt to correctly guess the number of the card filled this is not bingo at all and thus it doesn't work, and thus it is quite inane.

Essentially it's more like Sudoku with letters, except it isn't, because everything's filled for you, and thus it doesn't work, and thus it is quite inane, and thus I'm getting a headache now because I'm repeating myself!

I suppose a name like "Letter Cards" or "Alphabet Squares" would be more appropriate but not bloody bingo because this is not bingo, this is bait, bait to lure Spectrum enthusiasts like me to play a quite rubbish game such as this.

Oh and when you eventually guess correctly you are treated to a beep rendition of Cliff Richard's Congratulations...oh crikey my headache!

Crazy Race, 18 Jul 2013 (Rating: 1)

Remember the PC game Carmageddon? Where the main gameplay involved running people over? Well this is where this is where the inspiration came from (presumably). Because though released some 15 years earlier its main gameplay involves running people and dogs over.

Not only is this offensive in concept it's also offensive in gameplay as well, because it's offensively attrocious. You have to avoid the other cars as you are running over the people and dogs (god that sounds so wrong!) but there will come a point where these cars are unavoidable and you are meeting inevitable death. What's more the keys are numbered which usually means disaster, and this is no exception.

So yes in conclusion Crazy Race is offensive on all counts.

Race Fun, 18 Jul 2013 (Rating: 1)

Test your driving ability in this hectic race. Avoid hitting other cars, this looses valuable fuel. You must travel at speed to gain any points!

Right well that's the in-game instructions dealt with then so now you'll know what type of game we are dealing with here, just drive up the road and avoid everything in sight. So how does it fare then? Well there's one thing this ain'

The game says to avoid other cars, the controls do not help with this whatsoever. Now I've never driven a car in my life so I'm no except but I'm pretty certain you can accelerate or brake and be able to steer...this game DOESN'T allow that. To steer you must stop accelerating, which makes it very difficult to avoid cars as they are somewhat attached to you and if you can't accelerate to zoom past them they will most likely just stick with you no matter what, thus losing fuel.

It's similar to another of John Cain's games Fantasia where you couldn't move and shoot at the same time, to shoot you had to stop moving, in this case you cannot press slow down and right at the same time, it only allows one button to be pressed at a time, rendering this completely useless. Even some of the basic driving games don't have this issue!

Simply put Race Fun isn't fun at all and is just a load of tosh.

Shadow Warriors, 18 Jul 2013 (Rating: 3)

One of the most difficult games on the planet gets the rough Speccy treatment….and they managed to keep the insane difficulty in fact! It's insane! I've never gotten far with this game at all.

Shadow Warriors looks great, sounds great, but my it'll frustrate you...or at least it frustrated me...ah well.

Double Dragon II: The Revenge, 18 Jul 2013 (Rating: 2)

After the sheer disappointment of Double Dragon we were left fearing the inevitable, and yes that day came to pass, the day when a bloody sequel came out. So yes this is Double Dragon II: The Revenge...the revenge of what exactly? Those who hated the game or those who made the first game one of the worst arcade conversions known to mankind.

Anyways on to the game and the very first thing you'll notice is title music, missing from Double Dragon 1. Then you'll notice the game is faster than Double Dragon 1, perhaps too fast for my liking but still it's a significant improvement. Then you'll notice the gameplay...while a little better than Double Dragon 1 is still a bit awkward in that it's quite tricky to hit the enemies while they can hit you almost spot on and thus your energy depletes quite quickly. As for graphically, again it's better than Double Dragon 1 they still aren't going to win much awards.

So yes much better than the original but still falls short of greatness. Not pitiful by any means though.

Postman Pat, 18 Jul 2013 (Rating: 2)

Yes you really are seeing something quite extraordinary…Postman Pat of all people had his own game! And after this he had two sequels as well! I had the second and third ones growing up but the first one alluded me throughout my childhood and maybe that's why I can't seem to enjoy it.

The game basically gives you one hour to drive around delivering parcels and latter letters, the fun part of the game being you drive around for 20 bleeding minutes lost in the middle of nowhere looking for the residence of a Miss Hubbard. Plus it's pretty slow and the van moves at the same speed even whilst driving backwards.

The game gives you one hour but frankly you'll be lucky to last more than 15 minutes. Not a game I'd relish playing again.

Postman Pat 2, 18 Jul 2013 (Rating: 3)

This one I had as a kid and it’s a million times better than the first game...this time you simply guide Pat himself to deliver letters to homes as well as doing other activities like finding a bell for someone’s bike and occassionally they are broken and thus you need to get them fixed first. Plus chickens lurk aroud to steal letters from you and thus you need to go and find it again. Quite fun but gets redundant after a while...but still it’s a lot less tedious that the first game.

Postman Pat 3: To the Rescue, 18 Jul 2013 (Rating: 2)

After the charm of Postman Pat 2 I was really excited when I spent my saved up pocket money on Postman Pat 3....and man I was disappointed! Gone was the fun gameplay of walking around posting letters and in was a boring concept of driving your van to throw packages at numbers whilst avoiding other vehicles and spikes...and failing. Alternative really went backwards with this game….less like Postman Pat and more like Professional Parcel Throwing Simulator. Dear me.

Championship Run, 18 Jul 2013 (Rating: 2)

Simply put this is a poor man's Continental Circus, in fact it tries to be Continental Circus and doesn't get anywhere near it. The controls are quite dismal and the other cars are just quite happy to bash into you thus ruining your chances of qualifying to the next stage...which I have never done by the way which says something...yes I may be crap but this game's there!

Ahem, I was a little disappointed with Continental Circus on the Spectrum but I will take it a thousand times over this. Some Pac-Man clones are better than Pac-Man itself, most Tetris clones are better than Tetris itself, but this Continental Circus clone isn't even close to its original and is better off left in the pits in permanent retirement.

Sly Spy: Secret Agent, 18 Jul 2013 (Rating: 4)

I never really played this in the arcades to be honest so I was a bit skeptical playing this one not knowing what to expect, but it's really good, very nice graphics and great music from Geoff Follin (yes that’ll be Tim’s brother). I liked this one very much.

Eric & the Floaters, 18 Jul 2013 (Rating: 4)

Now we all should know Bomberman should we? But did you know that Bomberman's roots lie with the humble Speccy? Yes it does, because Hudson Soft themselves ported the original MSX version to the ZX Spectrum and then in 1984 Sinclair Research re-issued the game for proper commercial release as Eric and the Floaters. And it's exactly what you'd expect from Bomberman, ok the controls are a little fiddly and unresponsive but it's 1984 after all and perfection was a near impossible thing to achieve in those days, it's still Bomberman nonetheless and still great fun and any fan of Bomberman should look at this game.

So for now on when you play Bomberman on your SNES, your Game Boy, your DS, your 360, or even in your sleep, please be sure to give thanks to Eric.

Vegetable Crash, 18 Jul 2013 (Rating: 3)

Like Eric and the Floaters, or essentially Bomberman…poor Eric…this too is by Hudson Soft…and it’s Galaxians mixed with vegetables! I’m telling you Jamie Oliver is going to go berserk if he sees this!

There's not a lot that can be said about this expect it's Galaxians mixed with vegetables, plays alright, looks alright, there's better clones there's worse clones...yeah it's not too bad really. Pity there wasn't a sequel with fresh fruit though.

Elevator Action, 18 Jul 2013 (Rating: 4)

Elevator Action is an arcade game I never got into, I played it so many times after discovering it on the Taito Legends compilation on the PS2 (funny me mentioning the PS2 on a Speccy review but there you go) and no matter how many times I tried it I never got into it. But one day bored I decided to cave in and try out the Speccy version...and it's really good! The overall game is the same but much more enjoyable and pleasant, it seems less tedious, probably down to David Whittaker's brilliant tune, so much better than the arcade tune.

So yes Elevator Action on the Spectrum....I really like it, there's a surprise even to me.

Cisco Heat, 18 Jul 2013 (Rating: 2)

Naft conversion of what I feel was a pretty naft arcade racing game to begin with. Well the main reason it's so bad is that this was written by the same people who unleashed the awful Chase HQ II and this isn't much better, rubbish controls, poor gameplay and terrible music makes Cisco Heat a right mug of a game. In the trash you go.

Street Fighter, 18 Jul 2013 (Rating: 2)

Yes Street Fighter on the ZX Spectrum and let’s face it it’s not great really, well it is by Tiertex after all so this was ultimately doomed from the start. The graphics aren't great though the sprites are decent enough so that scores points, but the gameplay is rather crooked and there seems to be no way you can do the special moves...hang on I don't think this has the special moves...but if they do they are next to impossible to pull off...oh and Sagat hit me with his Tiger that's not fair!

I really like the original Street Fighter and it's become a bit of a cult classic for me but this port does it little justice whatsoever, I really wanted to like this but I can't which is a great shame. Well done Tiertex!

Human Killing Machine, 18 Jul 2013 (Rating: 2)

Remember Street Fighter? Well before the sequel of all sequels that changed the face of fighting games forever there was a sister game to Street Fighter, in otherwords it was recycled by Tiertex into a new game called Human Killing Machine, which is pretty much the same as Street Fighter only more rubbish! There's the same moves, no scrolling and a weird selection of enemies including a dog and I believe you fight a bull as well! How bizarre indeed!

So in simplistic terms it’s the rubbish Street Fighter port made even more rubbish! Well done Tiertex! Again!

Thunder Blade, 18 Jul 2013 (Rating: 2)

A game I had as a kid, a game I never liked. Thunder Blade was a game I never got into at all, any time I saw it in the arcade I steered well away from it...and this game was the very reason why! Years later I've learned that the arcade game is actually pretty good and the brilliant Mega Drive game Super Thunder Blade helped with that theory, this was just a shocking port with horrible graphics and poor controls....well of course it was it was written by Tiertex...well done Tiertex! Wow this has become a running gag hasn't it?...well done Tiertex.

NARC, 18 Jul 2013 (Rating: 4)

One of the most visually impressive and blatantly violent arcade games gets the rugged ZX Spectrum treatment. This one I had back in the game...and it never worked...drat! So I missed out big time, but now I've been able to finally get the chance to play this, and while it lacks the obvious it's actually good fun. It's pretty faithful to the original, they've been able to replicate some of its features which is nice.

So NARC, while not the best conversion on the Spectrum, is a faithful conversion in its own right.

Klax, 18 Jul 2013 (Rating: 4)

It’s an arcade conversion of a classic……by Domark…..and you’ll never guess what? It’s really good! It’s just as fun as the arcade original, complete with sampled speech and sound straight from it! Very impressive!

Super Soccer, 18 Jul 2013 (Rating: 1)

MY GOD! Here's a soccer game I completely forgot about! And how could I have forgotten it? For it's unbelievably one of the most attrocious games of any genre let alone soccer!

The player movement is so slow, you can't move them the other direction until they "slow down", kicking the ball is a matter of luck, when anyone scores it takes them around a full minute to return to their positions, gosh it's just the absolute pits. If it's a bad soccer game you want this is truly it...for me personally a forgotten gem!

Why is it that most games with "super" turn out now clean your reviews clean young man...but yes you get my point don't you?

Blob the Cop, 21 Jul 2013 (Rating: 3)

Before Mr. Blobby terrorized our television screens there was Blob the Cop, or Blobocop if you prefer to call him. This came out on Issue 83 of Sinclair User in February 1989 and was written by our old friends at Players Software. It involves you controlling a blob to various areas in “ye olde map of dork” shooting baddies and collecting items by solving the puzzle at the end of each area. It’s not a bad game overall but an awful lot of repetition comes into play very quickly and it become a boring chore. Still not bad for nought I suppose.

Trivial Pursuit, 21 Jul 2013 (Rating: 4)

Yes the classic board game on the ZX Spectrum...and it's rather good fun. The rules are the same, the format is the same, so essentially it’s Trivial Pursuit on your ZX Spectrum...which is rather nice. The only thing is you have to tell the computer whether you were right or wrong rather than it tell you you were right or wrong, so essentially you can just cheat your way to the wedges and to victory. But still it's good fun nonetheless.

And all this is guided by our mascot "TP"...whatever he is supposed to be? Probably related to Horace I gather.

The Pathetic Pablo Bros, 21 Jul 2013 (Rating: 1)

Undoutably one of the absolute worst games to ever exist let alone feature on a magazine why Your Sinclair actually allowed this to feature on a covertape in the first place?

This game is Cassette 50 material. You control Pablo whose looking for his lost brother Sergio and you move him painfully slow around the level to collect coins and reach the exit...and because he is so slow finishing the levels take forever...leaving you bored within an instance of playing this game...and because he is so slow timing your jumps is a complete nightmare, either he'll land too short and land on the spikes or for a truly frustrating experience your character will simply not jump at all, leaving you to think why you even bothered with this game. Not even playing at double the speed does this any justice!

This game (at the time of this "review") currently sits in the top 5 of the worst Spectrum games on WoS, and with good reason too. It's a darn good thing this was free as it is simply not worth any price whatsoever. If any game inspired the Crap Games Compilation this must certainly have been the one.

Afterburner, 22 Jul 2013 (Rating: 3)

Afterburner is a game I'm always on the fence about. It's great fun where you fly around on your plane blasting enemies in sight and being able to barrel roll, that's great fun...what isn't fun is I'm usually rubbish at this game and can't seem to hit as much as I want to. I'm blasting away having so much fun just shooting at the enemies and at level's end I've tallied...three hits...all that for three hits? You gotta be kidding me?

Also the graphics, while nice, make it awkward to see what is actually happening and eventually your fun is ended by enemy fire...wherever they came from...WHAT HIT ME?? Man I don't feel like playing anymore.

I always felt Afterburner was a tad over-rated, only seemingly being popular for its flying and scrolling and cabinet setup rather than the actual gameplay. Still a fun game for one go, after that you may end up with that boredom feeling.

Batman, 22 Jul 2013 (Rating: 4)

I usually don't enjoy isometric games, however Batman is an isometric game I always enjoyed, probably because it was Batman and I wanted to be like Batman as a kid, maybe it was its fun nature, I'm not sure what it was, but I think this is on par with Head Over Heels and is jolly good fun...saying that these seem to be the only isometric games I like.

Batman: The Caped Crusader, 22 Jul 2013 (Rating: 4)

It's Batman again, and he's the Caped Crusader somehow...oh wait you mean he was always the Caped Crusader? Like from the very start? Well that's this intro buggered then!

Ahem anyways this is vastly different from the original Batman. Instead of an isometric enviroment Batman finds himself in an arcade type game that's played like a comic strip. It's very cleverly done but does get a little annoying when you travel back from screen to screen and not knowing where to go next.

The most interesting part was it was essentially two games in one tape. A Bird in the Hand on side A and A Fete Worse than Death on side B. Very clever that.

Unlike the Superman games which were a load of tosh the Batman games really were something. This for me was the best of them.

Cavemania, 22 Jul 2013 (Rating: 3)

One I had when I was a lad and I think I can safely say this wasn't one of the Shaw Brothers' best offerings.

It's a quite a nice looking game with typical Shaw Bros graphics and colours, but the gameplay is let down by poor jumping which see your character float whilst doing which adds all kinds of frustration when he doesn't go where you want him too. Also it's just far too easy to break an egg once you've collected it. Frustrating and I dare say a bit unfair.

Simply put there are a lot of better games from the Shaw Bros other than this one.

Championship 3D Snooker, 22 Jul 2013 (Rating: 3)

Quite a nice colourful snooker game that plays similar to Players Software's 3D Snooker, in that there are once more fewer reds on the table than on normal snooker...and now I'm starting the think that the general law of 3D Snooker games has you play with fewer reds on the table...ho hum.

But in all seriousness this plays a lot better than 3D Snooker and it's actually quite fun complete with tournament mode. The colours do clash a lot so it's a bit painful on the eyes but still it's quite a nice game to play...that is if you're a snooker fan that is, otherwise it'll be a bit too boring for your wits. Oh well.

American 3D Pool, 22 Jul 2013 (Rating: 3)

Yet again Led Zeppelin Games find themselves recycling codes! This is straight from Championship 3D Snooker and turned into a pool game.....actually I'm a bit cruel because I think it's the other way round and the Pool game was transformed into Snooker....but then I bought the Snooker one and never saw this until much later in life and that is what I presumed....oh well you learn.

So this is Pool and having played the Snooker one years ago this is most similar to it, but has more modes to play. Here you can play either Pool, Billiards or a trickshot mode. Pool and Billards have a tournament mode much like Snooker did. The Pool though only had three yellow balls, three red balls and the black ball, so your game will be over rather quickly unless you increase the number of frames to win, that way it can be a rather fun experience. So this can be seen as either a blessing or a curse.

Still it's good fun.

CJ in the USA, 22 Jul 2013 (Rating: 3)

The sequel to CJ's Elephant Antics, and to be honest I was disappointed. This simply isn't as enjoyable as the first CJ game, not only is the game too much of the same but in level one I found the colour scheme even worse. Elephant Antics was good fun but this felt flat.

Dragon's Lair, 22 Jul 2013 (Rating: 2)

One of the most disappointing games in my collection. I really didn't like this game though missing the obvious that it was a conversion of a laserdisc arcade game...and know and behold I witnessed this laserdisc arcade game and was completely blown away with it was then I decided to give Dragon's Lair a second chance...five minutes later than empty feeling came back to me.

It just misses to point completely. They weren't going to recreate the wonders of the original (because Scooby Doo tried and failed miserably) but at least give use a playable alternative, give us something to enjoy, and they haven't delivered.

Die Alien Slime, 23 Jul 2013 (Rating: 2)

DIE ALIEN SLIME!!! Now this has to be one of the best names for any game and that was probably why I spent my dad's money on is there a good game behind a good

Basically this tries to play like Alien Syndrome but is a tediously boring chore that has you wondering around a maze for about 6 minutes doing nothing but shoot enemies and collect an odd power-up along the way. Surely there could have been more to this?

The main gripe is the controls, your character moves a little too fast especially on narrow paths, meaning he'll get stuck on the edge and looses energy as a result, it's like he's had one too many at the bar.

Not terribly rubbish, I suppose blasting at the enemies are enough to avoid giving this a 1 rating, but it's just too tedious for me, all this wondering about for nothing.

Cagara, 23 Jul 2013 (Rating: 1)

At the dawn of time, as the world cries tears, so man doth undergoe, the ordeal of spheres. Crystalline bright, purest white, the globe it doth decree, that all the demons, the watchers of night, the Beast hath set them free.......Welcome to the world of CaGara...Man have you ever read such a nonsensical intro in all your life...well this sets the tone for Cagara...or CaGara I think that should be.

Now for the record I’ve always kept my "reviews" clean unlike my "other" residence where I’m rather prone to using rude words which is inane but so what you only live once don’t you, but two people have gone and done it so I’m following suit…not for an ego boost but because this game makes it necessary...for Cagara means "to shit" or "he will shit"...basically setting the tone that this will be "shit"...and your in luck because it is.

Basically you are a ball, or sphere presumably, and you wonder around in a maze like environment in search of the magic problem though, in that you only have one life...I mean you are a ball and there are presumably monsters out there, there’s practically no contest! I mean when I reached a particular maze something flew towards me and killed do you avoid that? You’re a ball with no defence, it’s not like you can fight back or anything? Well I presume there’s weapon items you pick up later in the game but what??

This is just practically an unplayable mess with nothing going for it. There’s only one thing to say about Cagara...translate it and you’ll get that answer.

Live and Let Die, 23 Jul 2013 (Rating: 3)

It's another Bond game and this one I actually had as a lad.

Apperantly Live and Let Die began life as Aquablast before Elite obtained a licence for this game...and in a way you can tell of this because Bond this almost isn't but instead is more of an aqua version of Overlander which in itself is a Road Blasters clone, so this can be seen as Road Blasters on water rather than the next big Bond adventure.

It's not all bad though, it just gets a bit slow and fussy especially doing jumps, it gets a bit disobedient with you, but at least it's not the worst Bond game on the Spectrum, it's hardly the best but there is worse.

Jackle & Wide, 24 Jul 2013 (Rating: 1)

This one I had as a lad and never got into it at all. It's got the lot, bad graphics, poor gameplay, no replay value, zero enjoyment, gosh why I spent money on this turd I'll never know.

Bionic Ninja, 24 Jul 2013 (Rating: 3)

What can be said about Bionic Ninja? Well for starters it at least has something to do with ninjas...not entirely sure if it's a "bionic" one or not but at least we have a ninja. And it is quite a simple game to get into but it's pretty slow scrolling wise. Plus they are generous with lives for a reason, because there are certain points to the game where no matter what you are going to be hit, crouch down you get hit, jump you get hit, you are struck with unavoidable that is unfair.

Bionic Ninja isn't a bad game really, it's just bland.

DJ Puff, 24 Jul 2013 (Rating: 2)

Hooray Little Puff's got a sequel and apperently he's become a DJ and is hence called DJ Puff...oh why am I building the excitement this is a most disappointing sequel. This is essentially like the CJ games but with worse graphics, worse scrolling and worse gameplay. The music's nice but even that gets repetitive and annoying. Definately one of Codies' poorest games.

Winter Games, 25 Jul 2013 (Rating: 4)

This was the only winter sports game from my collection so it remains dear to me. I got the Kixx re-release which was actually the 48K version so I missed out on the 128K version...bah!

From my experiences with this game side A, which had Ski Jump, Hot Dog and Speed Skating was fantastic, especially the Hot Dog. Side B, which had Figure Skating, Biathlon, Bobsleigh and Free Skating (pretty much the same as Figure) was not so good, the skating events were awkward and the Biathlon was never a friend of mine, I usually got so bored with it I wanted to quit, which is a shame because in actual fact they have done a fine job replicating these events, especially the gruelling nature of biathlon.

I always found that the Epyx sports games were overrated but Winter Games is by far and away the best of the series.

Monty Python's Flying Circus, 25 Jul 2013 (Rating: 4)

Yep one of the most influential and iconic comedy groups of all time (and my personal favourite) had their own computer game! And it's just as silly as you would expect really, Spam, Gumby, Cheese, Spam, Sheep, Spam, 16 ton weights, Spam...I've spammed enough really haven't I? Well you get the drift, it's silly and that's how it should be.

Review over now, I'm off to have an arguement.

Operation Hanoi, 25 Jul 2013 (Rating: 1)

Oh look another Operation Wolf game super super...this time we head to Vietnam for Operation Hanoi...and predictably this is essentially Operation Wolf, and a poor one at that.

The main point is unlike Op Wolf this gives you three lives which is splendid...expect for one thing, you know when you are running out of ammo and you lose a life that usually your ammo is replenished...NOT THIS ONE! Nope when you run out of bullets your game is effectively over, for when you are out of ammo and you lose a're STILL out of ammo, leaving you to watch as enemies silently (because there's no sound) shoot you constantly and your lives disappear and you wait for the inevitable game over screen.

And it's so difficult to conserve your ammunition for three lives, the cursor is incredibly sensitive and there's too many people to shoot at one time, for when you take it steady or even fire one bullet at a time you usually miss, meaning your health takes a pounding.

I think of all the Op Wolf clones that exist anywhere on the planet, this is among the poorest of them.

Explorer XXXI, 26 Jul 2013 (Rating: 1)

Here's a new one for me...and possibly you...Explorer XXXI...which I suppose means Explorer 31....the 31st Explorer known to mankind?? ENOUGH!

Having just discovered this today I became intrigued to give this a go, because despite looking so pretty it's rated rather lowly by WoS users...this I would end up regretting terribly.

Now you are an astronault set in a real world enviroment despite the loading screen making you think it was a space game...but there's obviously a plot to this and I don't speak Spanish so I'm not knocking that. Indeed it does so pretty with some nice graphics. However the meat in any game is the gameplay...and simply put the gameplay is attrocious!

You are constantly shot at that even when the screen starts you are liable to die instantly. You could end up losing all five lives in under a minute! It's nearly impossible to have a decent run in this game without dying in rapid succession.

It's a shame this has to be so bad, it looks like a promising title with its pretty graphics but its potential is battered, bruised, bloodied and butchered by its brutally inept gameplay.

Dzeta, 26 Jul 2013 (Rating: 2)

Definately not a bad shmup, it's a little bit slow in scrolling but at least it has proper gameplay unlike Axons which was a jerky horrible mess. But when you run out of ammo you are essentially playing a different game called Avoid Enemy Fire at All Costs, so pretty much it's two games in one but I much prefer the shmup game to this other one.

But not all that bad really, okay for one go at least.

Albatrossity, 26 Jul 2013 (Rating: 4)

This was initially brought to my attention by a chap on YouTube. It's a great little arcade game that would be a perfect mobile app game. Another great game from Mr. Egghead.

Stela, 29 Jul 2013 (Rating: 4)

On first impressions you wouldn't think Stela is much of a game, especially if I tell you that the game's concept was you simply move from the start of the screen to the goal of the screen...yeah that's not much. However this is quite a gem and is a simple idea worked superbly. Graphics aren't the bad and the sound isn't great but the gameplay is very charmful. Definately worth a look.

Street Cred' Football, 29 Jul 2013 (Rating: 2)

It's another soccer game! This time from our friends at Players! And what do you know it's another crap soccer game! Dear dear they hardly got this right at all did they?

Well here's the fundamentals of the game, first it's in the street, like Street Gang Football and Street Soccer for instance. Second the gameplay is not as bad as some of the other soccer games but is a rather confusing one, sometimes not giving a goal when it clearly is. And third there is no sound at all....yes that's right it's a soccer game with zero sound, they couldn't even be bothered to make a sound for kicking a ball...and a whistle!

Not pitiful by any means but nevermind Street Soccer this is Silent Soccer.

10th Frame, 06 Aug 2013 (Rating: 3)

It’s ten-pin bowling! And you know what? This isn’t all that bad. In fact it’s pretty accurate in replicating the true feel of ten-pin bowling, but then again I’m struggling to think of an actual bowling simulator on the Spectrum, actually now come to mention it there weren’t that many bowling games on the Spectrum this is probably as good as it gets...which frankly is a bit of a pity. But still it’s good fun, it’s rated quite highly by WoS users and I can see why.

Alpine Games, 02 Sep 2013 (Rating: 1)

With the 2014 Winter Olympics a mere months away, well I say months since we're in September now, which will look good if you're reading this in November, I decided to look at a more obscure Winter Olympic in nobody's reviewed it "playthrough" of this game and you'll see why that was the case.

In this game you compete in five winter events and you have to reach the qualification criteria of the current event to advance to the next event, as failing to do so will...well you still advance but at the cost of one life and should you lose all three then bye bye it's game over. So what are the five events and how do they play? Let's have a look if you're not bored...oh you are bored already...well tough!

Speed Skating - Use keys 1 & 2 alternately to slowly and rhythmically build up your speed. You must skate as fast as possible to reach the qualifying time of 22 seconds. Except skating fast is nearly impossible as you can never seem to get into a proper rhythm, for if you start slowly your speed doesn't go up...and should you start too fast, your speed doesn't go you need to do it at the right speed to move at a steady pace, which I can never seem to do, the best I’ve done is about 34 seconds, I can get the bar up slightly and even full jip, but I can never consistently maintain it, for if I try to go a little bit faster the speed plummets! So essentially our skater only know one speed...and they’re looking 22 seconds?

Ski Jump - Hit the Q key when the moving power meter is at maximum. As the skier lands on the bottom of the ramp, hit the A key to jump. Early or late jumps will result in a fall. Qualifying distance is 200m. This one seems more straightforward...expect that the bar moves so fast you are liable to muck up quite easily, plus you can get the power right but muck up the jump itself as you jumped too early, like I do 99% of the time, but saying that this is one of the more decent events in the game, in that it isn't overly-complicated.

Skiing - Use keys 1 & 2 alternately to slowly and rhythmically build up your speed...we've read this before haven't we? You must ski as fast as possible to reach the qualifying time...22 seconds...yes it's exactly the same as Speed Skating and thus it’s not exactly Skiing, more like taking one of the hills in the Biathlon event, as this suffers from exactly the same problem as Speed Skating, going "slow" to rhythmically build up your speed doesn't work, going too fast, as in button-bashing, doesn't work, and therefore more than likely 22 seconds will be a hard task.

Bob-Sled, which would be Bobsleigh... Use the keys Q, A, O and P to steer the Bob-Sled. The course must be completed without crashing to qualify. Probably the easiest event in the game as this just works like a maze game, simply move Bob around the maze and finish, easy! However this eliminates a number of factor in actual bobsleigh, 1. it’s fast, and 2. you need to steadily control Bob as he makes the corners to avoid crashing, this is completely missing and is therefore completely unrealistic. It’s also the most tedious event as Bob moves so slow around the course, well there was no time limit so I guess he was entitled to take his time...yes I know Bob's a thing and not a person but I'm an idiot, so there!

Biathlon - To advance to the targets, press the Q key each time the meter is at maximum. Using key P, shoot out all the targets within the qualifying time to complete the first round of events. So basically you can only “move” if press the button when the meter is full, even if you are a fraction out he won’t move..well he’s moving but the distance will remain the same...and this my friends is Biathlon. And when you do reach the targets they are pretty easy to hit. This is far less tedious than Winter Games’ Biathlon but it’s still quite tedious, especially when you have to hit Q like 20 times to “move” one distance.

So there you have it, the one thing that can be said about this game is it’s quite rubbish and unpredictable, one moment it seems like the most difficult Sports game in existence and then turns into the easiest! Even the RZX walkthrough for the game was recorded with "rollback", a device used on emulators to "roll back" to a previous spot if you're stuck or make a mistake...this alone shows the complete random nuisance this game can be.

And the graphics aren’t great, badly outdated for 1987 standards while the sound is at a mere minimum during the events, which in turn makes these events quite tedious to play.

Oh and it's essentially the winter version of Olympiad 86 which I gave a really lousy and lazy review last year, maybe I'll review it again as it's even worse believe it or not!

So in conclusion, I reckon this is one of the poorest Winter Sports game on any platform. The speed events are just far too awkward while the other events are too tedious, thus it makes this pretty impossible to enjoy. Well thankfully I'll not have to play this for another four years...alright make that 40!

Olympiad '86, 03 Sep 2013 (Rating: 1)

And now as promised, a re-review! Yes this one I initially reviewed, a term I use loosely by the way, to coincide with London 2012, and it was half-assed like 95% of my reviews, which sometimes is the way to go. But after looking at its spiritual sequel Alpine Games I felt this needed a detailed look, since it’s almost exactly the same, five events with funny controls and a horrible outcome. The concept is exactly the same, three lives at the start, failing to qualify costs you one life and loss of all three is game over...let’s begin shall we?

Weightlifting – Use key Q to stop the power meter in alignment with the arrow. Lift the weights until qualification level of 54kg is reached. Right so rather than a test of strength weightlifting has suddenly become a test of accuracy and luck! Basically there is a power circle that looks more like a clock, you need to stop the meter at the arrow at 12 o’clock to lift the weight...and this is weightlifting apparently. And should you fail once your turn is over...and then you get a plane flying over you with a banner reading “RUBBISH!”...which is highly accurate for this game...actually now that I mention that, why are we outdoors for weightlifting anyway?

Canoeing – Use keys O Left/P Right to steer the canoe through the rapids. To qualify, pass the distance marked by the meter. So this works a little bit like Horace Goes Skiing except on water and on a canoe instead of skis. You have to avoid the rocks in the water and reach the goal...sounds simple right? Well it is quite simple and actually can be a little challenging, it's also quite tedious but you know it has logic for once, you don't have to worry about the speed or anything, just move. Yes this one works.

200m Sprint – To increase your speed, hit the Q key each time the meter aligns with the arrow...what? Reach the qualifying time of 23 seconds to qualify. So sprinting is conducted with that blooming clock meter and one button in time with an arrow...brilliant! And even when you’re level with the arrow the speed won’t go up at all. You have to press it a fraction outside for it to "properly" read. Flip me! This is even worse than the Alpine Games controls, at least that had a bit of logic of using two keys at a “rhythm”, here it’s blooming one key and you have to align the meter with an arrow! And they say Kinect’s controls are bad, it’s got nothing on this I’ll tell you.

Shooting – Keys Q, A, O, P = Move sights Space = Fire. Shoot down as many Skeet as possible. You must reach pass mark to qualify...not if you have more than one life you silly! You can fail and still advance! Flip, have to hit up to 12 skeet in 12 bullets, this is an absolute nightmare! The cursor doesn’t stop flickering and really puts you off...well me I thi oh forget it! Also you can get the position right but you need to be at a certain height to hit it, otherwise you’ll just miss like I do 96% of the time. But in essence at least this works, rather than a clock meter with an arrow below to load the gun and at the top to fire...imagine the thought.

Discus – Use key Q to set the power and A to set the angle of your throw. The qualification distance must be reached. Yes you have power and angle, which can only mean one thing...yep, you have TWO bloody clock meters!! And you must get the meter in 12 o’clock of both otherwise you will fail...and that plane returns with the most accurate description of this game...which you will know already.

So to summarise...ugh! This is undoubtedly one of the absolute worst Olympic games on the planet and a million times worse than Alpine Games, which I am now prepared to call a dramatic improvement and the Alpine Champion of the World...good grief!

And now for the exact same review again translation into a single word – RUBBISH!