Early last month we took a look at Elite's ZX Spectrum: Elite Collection (Vol. 1) for the iPhone, a collection of 8-bit, British classics wrapped in a capable emulator, designed to deliver nostalgic gaming reverie to the iPhone- or iPod touch-wielding player. Late last week Elite released ZX Spectrum: Elite Collection HD [App Shop] for the iPad, featuring not only Vol. 1 but Vol. 2 of their game collection, making it the ultimate iOS ZX Spectrum experience.

The Elite Collection HD features all of the games from Vol. 1:

As well as the new, Vol. 2 titles:

As with the earlier iPhone release, the iPad Elite Collection plays the games very smoothly with decent controls -- about as good as can be managed in a multi-touchscreen adaptation of a system of this sort. I've particularly appreciated these collections as I've long had an interest in experiencing the UK games of the 8-bit era but, being unfamiliar with the ins and outs of the Spectrum systems, I've had trouble with traditional emulators. Having everything neatly packaged up here has been a big win for me.

Though U.S. gamers never really had the chance to play many of these classics on their 8-bits back in the day, classics they are, and ZX Spectrum: Elite Collection HD is a great way to get to know these titles.

TouchArcade Rating

  • Anonymous

    Please tell me the controls are not what's pictured here -- or at least, that those aren't the only ones. The controls in the iPhone version were ... awkward, to put it nicely.

    • Jim

      You mean the donut controls? Ya, Elite is out to lunch.

  • nunoman

    the controls are terrible. for example on the Chuckie Egg game its really hard to climb the ladders. this application is really not worth it!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Werner-Ruotsalainen/685558551 Werner Ruotsalainen

      Exactly. This should be fixed right away with an added "D-pad" setting.

  • Retro_chump_1980

    I didn't have a problem with the iphone app in Chuckie Egg. What people don't realise is that you can press a diagonal to climb up the ladders rather than trying to precisely position themselves underneath it and simply just press up.

    The controls in the iPad version look interesting very similar to the QA OP Space layout back in the day although the A key should be underneath the Q.

    • Nunoman

      oh! good call man!

    • Anonymous

      I was afraid that's what they were going here. Why in the world would they not put A below Q? It's right there on every damn QWERTY keyboard ever made for cryin' out loud, it's why Q and A were used for up and down -- they were (roughly) vertical. How the hell could Elite screw that up? Skew it to the right a little bit to accommodate thumb reach radius, sure (it would be awkward if they were perfectly vertical), but pretty much beside each other making it easy to confuse it with left/right. And no virtual stick? Come on Elite, seriously. This is inexplicably stupid.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Werner-Ruotsalainen/685558551 Werner Ruotsalainen

    Purchased it at once. Back in 1984-1985, I loved Harrier Attack.

    Compared to the iPhone version of vol 1 which I also have, this has a much different control scheme, which, it seems, can't be set back to the virtual joystick used in the non-HD version. (No such setting in Settings?) If you dislike this and would definitely want an emulator with a virtual joystick, stick with the iPhone version.

    Otherwise, the HD version is indeed much better on the iPad than the iPhone one.

  • http://twitter.com/squidlaser laosquid

    You can't enjoy old school games without traditional gaming controls. Virtual keyboards are terrible and never feel quite right, offering a poor level of control. Emulation on touchscreen is for novelty value only.