Monday, 4 October 2010

ZX Spectrum: Elite Collection for iPhone

ZX Spectrum: Elite Collection (iTunes) went live on the App Store last night (GMT) and is cheaper than a budget game from Mastertronic.



The Sinclair ZX Spectrum was among the first mainstream home computers in the UK, similar in significance to the Commodore 64 in the USA; the C64 was the main rival to the ZX Spectrum in the UK market during the early 1980s - Jack Tramiel, best known as the founder of Commodore, initiated a price war that would culminate in the collapse of a pluralist computer industry, supplanted by Microsoft hegemony.

Load. It seems only yesterday that school friends and me wrestled for control of the Kempston Competition Pro Joystick as we competed against each other in Daley Thompson's Decathlon.

During the European heyday of the ZX Spectrum, UK-based software house Ultimate Play The Game reigned supreme! The Sabreman trilogy Sabre Wulf, Underwurlde and Knight Lore was characterized by innovative game design and replay value. For three consecutive Christmases I was as enthralled by the Sabreman saga as any featuring Hobbits and Jedis! Ultimate Play The Game faded into the ether and became Rare. But, that's another story.

My top ten video games for the ZX Spectrum (in no particular order):

*Knight Lore
*Atic Atac
*Sabre Wulf
*Underwurlde
*The Hobbit
*Tir Na Nog
*Avalon The 3D Adventure Movie
*Dragontorc
*Ant Attack
*Cauldron

In just a few short years I would succumb to the "breadbox" charms of C64 with its Sound Interface Device (SID), and cancel my subscription to Crash magazine. However, the Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48K marked the beginning of my home computing odyssey...

The inaugural ZX Spectrum: Elite Collection (iTunes) includes gaming gem Chuckie Egg, developed by Nigel Alderton. Elite Systems, a successful UK-based software publisher in the 1980s, promises further free updates.

Speaking about the App, Elite Systems MD Steve Wilcox said, “The media and consumer reaction to the announcement, in late September, of Apple’s approval of ZX Spectrum: Elite Collection has been extensive and enthusiastic. Our concerns now are to ensure that both groups understand that Vol. #1 of the App is a work-in-progress, a rough diamond if you like and that we’re committed to developing the App (eliminating some of its more obvious shortcomings and adding new features) over the weeks and months ahead...

If we're to achieve our goal of offering (and enabling others to offer) access – via mobile and wireless devices – to many of the thousands of fantastic ZX Spectrum games, we need to restore some order to the market and adjust expectations amongst developers, publishers and players."


Aside from the ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64 (iTunes). Which classic 8-bit home computers would you like to see emulated on the App Store?