Last week we reported that premier '80s game studio Elite Systems would soon begin bringing classic ZX Spectrum game titles to iOS (via emulation) with the coming release of ZX Spectrum: Elite Collection (Vol. #1) [App Store]. This weekend the game went live in the App Store, shortly following a press release issued by Elite, meant to manage expectations of the unreleased title.

In the release, Elite's Steve Wilcox said,

The media and consumer reaction to the announcement, in late September, of Apple's approval of ZX Spectrum: Elite Collection has been extensive and enthusiastic. Our concerns now are to ensure that both groups understand that Vol. #1 of the App is a work in-progress, a rough diamond if you like and that we're committed to developing the App (eliminating some of its more obvious shortcomings and adding new features) over the weeks and months ahead.
If we're to achieve our goal of offering (and enabling others to offer) access - via mobile and wireless devices - to many of the thousands of fantastic ZX Spectrum games, we need to restore some order to the market and adjust expectations amongst developers, publishers and players.

Wilcox promises that the application will always be priced at £0.59 (Euro 0.79, US $0.99) and that within a month, six more game will be released via a free update (Vol. #2), with a further free update to come within the following month (Vol. #3), bringing with it an in-app game shop.

This Volume 1 release features the following six popular Spectrum titles:

The bundled games in this release features on-screen, directional "key" controls configured for each specific title. Gameplay can be carried out in either portrait or landscape mode, depending on player preference. Audio is fully reproduced, as well, bringing the Spectrum's lavish soundscape to discerning iPhone gamers. (A bit of wit there...)

See Elite's brief trailer video.

I've not yet spent a great deal of time with this one, but can say that the emulation seems to be running games at full ZX Spectrum speed. (And I'm happy to say I've not hit a single R Tape loading error.) We'll be following Elite's progressive releases in this series closely.

  • Me

    If I could play any of the Dizzy games, it'd be instant purchase.

  • jmelrose

    So let's who complains first about the lack of Retina display support...

    (I'm joking, for the sarcasm impaired.)

  • Jameswales

    I hope they get some better games. Those are rather poor, if my memory serves me correctly. Manic Miner please.

    • Chris Matchett

      Chuckie Egg poor? Harrier Attack Poor? Harrier Attack? Harrier Attack? Poor?

      • Chris O

        And the original Grand Theft Auto, Turbo Esprit. An absolute classic. As is Saboteur - Durrell were just a fantastic software house. Compare this to the lame games that come with Manomio's C64 emulator - this is a great compilation.

  • Anonymous

    The video says they have "officially licenced" games… in quotes. So they are pirated?

  • Brett Archibald

    Call me when they've got Spyhunter! 🙂

  • James

    I found the controls a bit difficult. A proper joystick would be better than the rather awkward key layout.

  • Sam

    My uncle said he used to re-programme harrier attack so it dropped sheep!

  • Anonymous

    We really need a game controller for these emus, preferably one that attaches to your iOS device. I know there's a jailbreak one coming, but I want one for these AppStore emus. Having said that, the Pandora one did make mention of an eventually software app that would make it work with AppStore apps too (though you need to be jailbroken). So I may go that route. I presume it does this by simulating taps, and you can set where it virtually taps for each button. I guess that would do the trick, but that Pandora controller thingy sure is hideous.

    • Tom - mooedia

      Yeah a dedicated controller would be good but not practical if you are out and about. Its gonna take a company a bit of time and development for them to be able to make one that's gonna appeal to everyone and also encourage people to buy it. Would be nice to get more precise controls but I personally wouldn't sacrifice portability and also wouldn't wanna be Carrying an extra bit of hardware around with me to play games.

  • Paul Downs

    Turbo Esprit! Instant sale, i was hoping for elite too though I'm not sure how playable that would be.

  • Mike Hanson

    Made up to see this is out. Come on remnants of Imagine, Bring me "TARGET: RENEGADE"!!

  • Greg Alexander

    AWESOME. Just need an AMSTRAD CPC version!

  • Tom - mooedia

    Much better than the other ZX Spectrum collection that rears its ugly head when you search on the App Store for ZX. Steer clear of that one! ZX Nostalgia Adventure addition is just a load of text adventure games that ive not even heard of lumbered together. And its £1.19!
    This is spot on. Really does feel like the good old speccy is back! Nice one developers. And the developers update the App as much as they say they will then this will just grow into a real Retro Speccy Treat!

  • Tom - mooedia

    Also have any of you clicked on MORE GAMES yet in the app and visited the site on your iPhone. There's a little sample of SMB which runs in the iPhones Safari Brower ok, if not a little slow. Just goes to show what can be done!