Chip’s Challenge – Main Theme

Whilst we’re on the subject of classic puzzle games, I’d categorise myself as fairly musically-suggestible meaning that I take double damage from earworms. If I’m doing the same thing, there’s a fair chance I’m humming the same song (unless something new has caught my ear first). Offer me a bottle of Cherry C-O-L-A Cola and…

WIBIL #24: This Puzznic Advert (1990)

Puzznic is fun, but the release of the home versions doesn’t begin to warrant that astonishing, punchy strapline in this ad from November 1990. Hats off for Taito‘s chutzpah! In case you’re wondering, I will never be ready to give up Tetris. Block block turn! Block block turn!

Dizzy Island Treasures

Possibly the laziest post ever the act being a sort-of modern parlour game by now but here are the instructions to Treasure Island Dizzy, by way of multiple Google Translates incl. via Japanese, Welsh and whatever. It is surprisingly relatively close to the original text. If you remember retro game plots/blurbs you won’t be much…

It’s Behind You: The Making Of A Computer Game

It’s Behind You is a free ebook by the programmer Bob Pape primarily about his writing of the legendary Spectrum conversion of R-Type. Engagingly written, the book briefly covers the author’s background and first introduction to the industry as well as a short chapter on his only previous Speccy game which was the Rampage conversion,…

The 10 Greatest Games Ever

Presented in alphabetical order, don’t ask me to start ranking ’em! I had to whittle down from a list of ~13-15 by convincing myself that I had conceptual coverage when my various choices were considered together. tl;dr – unlike acidbearboy I overthought it. Fez (Xbox360) Doesn’t just look like a modern take on a retro…

Overview: Spellbound (1985)

David Jones‘ excellent budget release Spellbound (1985) is the second Magic Knight game for the Spectrum after Finders Keepers and the first to use the series’ iconic larger graphics and “Windimation” menu system. Ignore the 128K flash on the cassette cover picture above as I’m only examining the 48K version here since that’s the one…

Go For High-Score!

Just found this from a while back which I’d saved yet never posted here. For reference, Xavior is an Atic Atac-style game for the Speccy, not an unlicensed X-Men take nor a Xevious clone sadly. One of my earliest posts was about high score tables which on arcade-style/console games are usually populated with three letters,…

5MA – Great Britain Ltd (1982, Spectrum)

Please vote today, whoever you support and even if you think your vote won’t matter. In honour of today’s plebiscite, here’s a 5MA of an early Speccy sim/management game, where you play as the UK Prime Minister (and de facto Chancellor of the Exchequer) trying to steer the ship of state without sinking her. Politics…

5MA – Mailstrom (1986, Spectrum)

In Mailstrom you play as a postman driving a high-tech Knight Rider-inspired van. Gameplay consists of driving through a seamlessly-linked series of scrolling streets, stopping to break into post boxes, to deliver letters or to make drop-offs/collections from the depots. My main memories of playing the game back when it was given away on a…

5MA – Knuckle Busters (1987, Spectrum)

OK, housekeeping first. 5MA a.k.a. 5 Minutes Alone (named after the Pantera song, natch) is my answer to trying or playing games and never writing about them, either because they only provided 5 minutes entertainment or because I thought they deserved a fuller, infinitely-deferred write-up. Short responses to early gameplay, i.e. explicitly not a “real”…

Who Is Techno Cop?

Techno Cop is a 1988 game for 8/16-bit home computers published by erstwhile industry stalwarts Gremlin Graphics, which was also ported to MegaDrive in 1990. This isn’t a review, but here’s a quick bit of context. The game obviously seeks to riff on RoboCop (you’ve heard of him, right?). Gameplay is an interesting 50/50 combination…

REmember TomorROw

OK, bit of inside-baseball here, but what are blogs for, eh? For years now your humble hosts at VGR have made time with friends for an annual gathering of retro-gaming and catching-up. For the busier among us it’s a rare chance to sink teeth into some solid extended gaming time. Original hardware, pads and peripherals…