Retro gamers out there, especially those on the other side of the pond, have had a great resource available to them for reliving the 8-bit classics, in the form of Elite's ZX Spectrum: Elite Collection emulator series, which landed last October. While it had basically zero presence here in the states, the Sinclair ZX Spectrum was probably the leading home computer gaming platform in the UK and various other parts of Europe during the early '80s.
Back in May, Jonathan Needle brought an iOS port of his popular Windows-based ZX Spectrum emulator, Spectaculator [link], to the App Store, bolstering the amount of retro gaming goodness that can be had on the platform. Spectaculator's arrival managed to slip by us at the time, but with Needle's recent release of a free version (as in beer, and of ads), featuring a different set of bundled games, we're pleased to bring both of these Universal applications to our readers' attention.
The original, paid release features the following bundle of classic games:
- 3D Starstrike by Realtime Games Software
- Tau Ceti by Pete Cooke/CRL
- Dynamite Dan by Rod Bowkett/Mirrorsoft
- On The Run by Design Design
- Albatrossity by Jonathan Cauldwell
- The Fantastic Mister Fruity by Jonathan Cauldwell
- Battery's Not Precluded by Jonathan Cauldwell
- Jekyll & Hyde by Zenobi Software
The free version features a list of games written in more recent years:
- Alter Ego by Denis Grachev/Retrosouls (released 2011)
- Catch the Cash by Tom Dalby (released 2011)
- Crimbo by Little Shop of Pixels (released 2010)
- Flynn's Adventure in Bombland by Tom Dalby (released 2011)
- Gloop Troops by Little Shop of Pixels (released 2010)
- Kyd Cadet by Paul Jenkinson (released 2010)
- Kyd Cadet II by Paul Jenkinson (released 2010)
I suppose the thinking is that the free version gets recent, fan-written titles, which is a collection of perhaps less value than the classics of old. However, as a retro fan who did not grow up with the Spectrum and who owes the majority of his Speccy gaming knowledge to a certain magazine, I might be enjoying the new, free release more than the paid.
If there's a Speccy in your past, both of Needle's releases should be an instant download. If you're just a retro fan in general, at least grab the freebie and see what you think. As a member of the latter camp, I've had fun with both.
Readers are carrying on an active discussion regarding Spectaculator in our forums.