Forgotten Video Game Characters: The Not So Perfect Ten

Ten forgotten silicon heroes of computer gaming

I don’t get today’s computer games. The graphics are somewhat overloading and the gameplay seems to be tagged on as an afterthought. I mean, what happened to games which were instantly playable? Far Cry or EVE requires manuals the size of an Argos catalogue and a machine which puts NASA’s original supercomputers to shame. Then there’s DRM, updates and the like… take me back to when a 14 minute loading time on audio tape was the only inconvenience! Continue reading “Forgotten Video Game Characters: The Not So Perfect Ten”

Sounds SID-sational: In Praise of Commodore 64 Musicians – The Not So Perfect Ten

The greatest SID chips off the old block

Seven Sisters flats, Rochdale [c64]

Thirty years ago, two personal computers would dominate the UK’s video gaming market. Games were loaded from these two machines with a tape deck or – if you had money to burn – a disc drive, or a solid state cartridge. In the United Kingdom, its biggest selling micro was the Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Second in Britain, though the biggest selling personal computer of all time, was the Commodore 64. Many a playground battle would see boys shouting the odds as to whether the Speccy or the Commie was the better machine. One would be laughed at for saying ‘the Tatung Einstein was the best thing since sliced bread’. Continue reading “Sounds SID-sational: In Praise of Commodore 64 Musicians – The Not So Perfect Ten”

A Tale of Two Platform Games: Hyde’s and Rochdale’s Place in ZX Spectrum History

Two derivative platform games, two towns east of the M60 motorway, and their role in the history of Sinclair ZX Spectrum gaming

In reference to 8 bit computer gaming, Greater Manchester is often associated with Ocean Software. At one time, the Manchester software house was the last name in 8 bit and 16 bit computer gaming with film tie-ins and arcade game conversions their forte. In 1982, they had modest beginnings with a bolt hole on Stanley Street, on the banks of the River Irwell. Within five years, they would absorb Imagine Software, the Liverpudlian software house who imploded following its ‘Mega Games’ concept and rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. By 1987, they were among the big boys, alongside Birmingham’s US Gold, Microprose in Tetbury and Thalamus, a small up and coming software house bankrolled by Newsfield Publications, creators of Crash and Zzap! 64 magazines. Continue reading “A Tale of Two Platform Games: Hyde’s and Rochdale’s Place in ZX Spectrum History”