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:

The free version features a list of games written in more recent years:

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.

  • Bobby

    Is it just me or does 3D Starstrike look an awful lot like the old Star Wars Arcade cabinet game? 

    I sunk SO many quarters into that game when I was a kid...

    • blakespot

      I believe that's what they were after, there. It's a fun one.

  • AmazingRuss

    What?  No ZX80 emulator?  Damn kids and their newfangled toys!

  • Travisr2h

    Icade support would be great.  Possible?

  • Phil Baxter

    There is an embarrassment of riches on iOS for Spectrum fans now. It's too bad us Commodore 64 fans got stuck with the abandonware Mamonio effort.  Come on, give up the rights to someone who can actually use them.

  • Anonymous

    Can we add games manually, like we could with iDOS, before that got pulled?

  • Jontif

    Unfortunately while the front end is great the games available suck.... need better games available - where are the big titles? Ultimate? Ocean?

  • ScoopsUK

    I think everyone would like the Ultimate collection on there but it is unlikely to happen given Rare's stance so far. Easy money for them though...

  • Science1matthew

    Yep we can add coustom games to the paid version, 1.20 but not the free version, I made a thread here just search it.