Retro gamers are about a week out from a true bundle of 8-bit gaming goodness, with a promise of much more to come. On the weekend of October 28th, Elite Systems will be releasing the Elite Collection and Elite Collection HD (for iPad) that bring a dozen 8-bit games to the App Store, and at a week-long introductory price of $0.99.

Last month I spoke with Elite Systems co-founder Steve Wilcox who took me through his studio's plans to bring a great number of notable 8-bit titles from years past to iOS gamers, using a new proprietary technology developed within Elite. This new system, or facilitator, brings these titles to iOS at near 100% accuracy and allows a great degree of control customization thanks to the studio's "iDaptive" control system. Elite's initial move in this effort involved ZX Spectrum-only titles, but it's worth noting that with this new collection, Elite has pushed beyond just the ZX Spectrum platform.

The first wave of titles in the Elite Collection effort arrived at the end of last month in the form of individual, stand-alone titles. The games released were Black Magic, First Samurai, and Enforcer -- all in both iPhone and iPad "HD" versions. The Elite Collection arriving this weekend brings 12 titles in all, as well as an in-app store through which additional games will be made available (and the plan is for over a hundred titles in all).


[ Also see - video links for: Black Magic, Enforcer, First Samurai ]

The bundled titles consist of:

  • Elite Collection Vol. #1:
    • featuring ALTERNATE REALITY: THE CITY and also including
    • Black Magic
    • Alternate Reality: The Dungeon
  • Elite Collection Vol. #2:
    • featuring URIDIUM and also including
    • Buggy Boy (a.k.a. Speed Buggy)
    • First Samurai
  • Elite Collection Vol. #3:
    • featuring BUNDESLIGA MANAGER and also including
    • Denaris
    • Enforcer
  • Additional 8-bit "Singles":
    • Battleships (a.k.a. Battleship)
    • Frank Bruno's Boxing
    • Batty

Released simultaneously with the Elite Collection will be the individual, stand-alone titles Alternate Reality: The City, Uridium, and Bundesliga Manager DE, each in both iPhone and iPad "HD" versions at $0.99 each.

Wilcox indicates that Elite will be releasing four volumes of games, each consisting of one to six 8-bit home computer titles, each month. One of the titles soon to be released is a particularly excellent game that's sure to get many readers out there excited: Choplifter! At the time of its initial release, the Elite Collection in-app store is expected to have 13 additional titles available for download. We'll have more on those when the app goes live.

Some prospective additions to the Elite Collection's in-app shop, down the road, are:

Between their ZX Spectrum-based efforts and these new 8-bit titles, Elite is truly driving a massive campaign that I feel sure most every retro gamer out there can appreciate. We'll keep readers updated as new titles arrive, but in the meantime, enjoy these excellent games from a different time.

  • http://twitter.com/drelbs drelbs

    Very excited.

    Would be excellent to get all (most, probably) of the Ozark Softscape games in one place. I couldn't have been the only one who enjoyed Heart of Africa?!?

    Modem Wars could be awesome if they got it to work. Robot Rascals would be an excellent iPad + iPhones conversion. :)

    • http://twitter.com/tootiegooch tootiegooch

      How will the multiplayer in Mule work? I hope they port the Atari version (was the best, slightly better AI for the computer players).

      I never played Heart of Africa (would like the chance to), but would love to play Seven Cities of Gold...

      • http://twitter.com/drelbs drelbs

        Probably single-player-only. A setup like Atari Mule Online would be awesome though...

        The only problem with the Atari 800 version was that the maps were static - once you played enough, you knew where the crystite would be. The C64 version had truly random maps, but two people got stuck playing on the keyboard and passing joysticks around. A dedicated M.U.L.E. port (or wrapped emulator) could give two players up/down/fire buttons at the ends of an iPhone or 4 players controls at the corners to multiplay auctions, on-screen joystick would work for player turns. This  could be wrapped around the C64 version with no change of the program, just map the around-the-screen-controls to joystick #2 and keys.

      • http://twitter.com/tootiegooch tootiegooch

        For the purposes of multiplayer I wouldn't care which version it was as they are nearly identical. The only differences between them that I noticed after playing (literally) hundreds of games on each are that the "planet quakes" didn't move mountains on the C-64 version, you couldn't accelerate the sale of goods on the C-64 and the AI on the C-64 version was considerably easier to beat.

        Oh, and the maps in Mule for the Atari are not static; it occasionally generates high crystite (if you've never played Mule, you'll have to look it up!) in the river valley.

        Whichever version it is (I'd guess it'd be the C-64 since it was the more popular computer by far), 4 player is a must!

      • http://twitter.com/drelbs drelbs

        In the C64 version, good trading accelerates as you continue to stand on the line and can be broken up by 'dancing' on and off the line.

        The Atari version has 128 maps. When you're playing a few games a day, it becomes apparent quick! (We used to spend entire weekends playing MULE and Dragonriders of Pern, kept alive by the elixir of life, Mountain Dew. :D

        Yes, I'm a MULE nut. I even have cartridges versions for my Atari 800 and 5200... the first ROM I tried in SDBall was the NES MULE (as horrible as it is...)

        http://forums.toucharcade.com/showpost.php?p=1928583&postcount=13

  • http://twitter.com/volcanopele Jason Perry

    Of course the obvious question here is, will it be compatible with the iCade?  

    • http://toucharcade.com blakespot

      ICade support is on the way, yes.

  • Anonymous

    'Many more titles to come!' I've heard that before! Atari, Capcom, TG-16 to name a few disappointments...

    • http://twitter.com/drelbs drelbs

      Elite has been very good about adding titles to their ZX Spectrum collection, I'm sure they'll do the same here.

      • Anonymous

        I'm looking forward to it!

    • http://toucharcade.com blakespot

      There are over 80 titles, I think, now in the Elite Spectrum collection.

      • Anonymous

        for the IOS? That's all I'm talking about. 

      • Anonymous

        Exactly. Only a dozen. That's what I'm saying. Atari promised all these titles long ago, as did Capcon and TG-16, and all they came up with for the IOS was a few good games and a bunch of junk filler. Total disappointment, and bad controls to boot on some of 'em. Like I said. Lets see if Elite Spectrum can do better for the IOS! I'm not bad-mouthing them. I'm just saying the BIG companies have let us down in the past.We'll see, won't we. Wouldn't be surprised if that's all we get or later we get hit with big IAP'S. 

      • http://twitter.com/pengin Matthew

        If you'd have bothered to check out the Spectrum collection before posting this you'd know that Elite has all those games on iOS, many Spectrum classics included. Atari published over 100 classic games for iOS. I don't see how either of them disappointed in the past. Or maybe they just didn't port *your* classics.

      • Anonymous

        Don't get snippy with me, son! Guess I never really liked the Spectrum games much, but surely there's those who do, and for them, I'm glad they bring out new games for all gamers. As far as the Atari games ported to the IOS, if you had bothered to check out the user ratings and reviews, you'd have seen that I am not the only one who was/is disappointed in what they've put out-even 'til now! I'd say I am among the MAJORITY in thinking that! Mostly a bunch of crap, considering what they have and the good stuff they're not giving us. Same with Capcom. I'm old enough to have had these systems the FIRST time they came out and played the lot of them and had  all the good ones, and guess what? They're not here. That's my opinion, I stick by it, and I'm entitled to that  whether YOU disagree or not. I never posted any rude  personal attacks here, but since you need to go there, that's your problem! I'm not going to keep going back and forth with some ignorant Spectrum fanboy who doesn't even know what he's talking about.     g: Disqus To: bgbdrand@yahoo.com
        Sent: Monday, October 24, 2011 11:57 PM
        Subject: [toucharcade] Re: A Look at Upcoming ' Elite Collection' : A Retro Horn of Plenty

        Disqus generic email template

        Matthew wrote, in response to bigrand1:
        If you'd have bothered to check out the Spectrum collection before posting this you'd know that Elite has all those games on iOS, many Spectrum classics included. Atari published over 100 classic games for iOS. I don't see how either of them disappointed in the past. Or maybe they just didn't port *your* classics. Link to comment

  • Anonymous

    Can TA or a reader explain which of these Spectrum rerelease collections is worth bothering with? There's a confusing number of similar-looking sets in the app store.

    • http://twitter.com/drelbs drelbs

      ZX Spectrum: Elite Collection is the one to get.
      http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/zx-spectrum-elite-collection/id391336343?mt=8

      Lots of great titles available as IAP, and monies are going to the original developers!  I couldn't buy the Jullian Gollop pack fast enough. ;) The only issue I have with it is that the versions are not universal, meaning that if you want to have it on both your iPhone and iPad, you'd have to buy the app and the IAP twice. :mad:  Also, I'd love to see more documentation for the games (something the Atari Collection did fantastically with all those manual scans!) even if it was just the complete manual text.

      Elite has a number of ZX (and now C64) singles out - if you really just want one game, they're a better deal in the short run, but if you're like me, you might want to have all the games under one icon/app instead of a bunch of them. I bet you can guess that I'm anxiously awaiting the C64 collection app... :o

      Spectaculator
      http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/spectaculator-zx-spectrum/id421662150?mt=8
      (lite)
      http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/spectaculator-zx-spectrum/id455988946?mt=8

      Is a universal app, and is (currently) open for tinkering (i.e. you can place your own tape files in there!)  It's pretty well done, and what I like about it most is that you can have 4 save states for each title, and the game docs are straight HTML, so you can snag the game manual/maps/etc off of World of Spectrum and have them all in the app! The lite version contains different titles than the regular version, and it's free, so there's no reason not to try it out.

  • Adams Immersive

    Stunt Car Racer would be great! But I’m partial to the Amiga version, not the 8-bit version.

  • http://twitter.com/madgarden Paul Pridham

    YUSSS... bring on the Stunt Car Racer and Archon and M.U.L.E. ... !

  • http://dustofhue.com Leon Chia

    Just came from Elite Systems' website - they say the release is delayed: http://www.elite-systems.co.uk/elite/htdocs/user_home.php?show=42

    Still, I'm really excited to see Alternate Reality - when I played this as a kid, I didn't even know it was a game with no particular purpose - and I did keep wandering and wandering and couldn't stop playing!

    With the trend for retro-style games on iOS these days, wouldn't it be interesting if the series could continue on this platform...