Thursday, 3 October 2013

Press play on tape

Another flashback to the eighties.

This time, early computer games. No hard drives or CD's back then, if we wanted to play Pac Man or Gorf, we had to use these...

You'd put the tape in, press shift + run stop (or whatever the Spectrum/Amstrad equivalent was) wait ten to twenty minutes then shout your best eighties swear word when it failed to load.

Most modern games with their Film tie-ins and expensive budgets still, in my old man opinion, don't match the playability of some of the older games... (cue list of my favourite eighties games that haven't been remade)


You played a bouncing ball, or was it a cat, something witch related anyway. The game involved filling cauldrons with different colours to make a third colour. Really original game with power ups, a bonus in between level game and some cracking music.

Problem was, I only had a black and white TV so couldn't get the colour match right and never got past the second level.


Okay so they tried to remake it, but it never matched the original. Bit of space trading and spaceship dog-fighting that would keep you at it for hours. Suffered a bit from slow down when there was too much on the screen and how many times did I crash while trying to dock? Still a classic though.

Manic Miner

The original platform game. One of the forerunners of Mario, Sonic and the others. I played the Vic 20 version, The Perils of Willy and spent many hours timing jumps, getting frustrated and never getting past a level that had totally out of scale balloons in.


Again fairly original. A massive blocky-sprited miner collects flashing gems from a mine while avoiding and even creating rockfalls. Don't sound too impressive but as I remember time would fly when playing it. You could also skip levels once you'd completed them so you didn't have to keep playing the same thing over again. I downloaded it on the Wii a few years back, still played well though but felt a tad outdated.


Take a spacesuit wearing astronaut, a massively under scale rocket that needs refuelling and space detritus / aliens that float in diagonal waves and you have Jetpac. After 4 or 5 levels of refuelling you got a brand new, snazzy rocket in which to carry on taking off, landing and refuelling. I actually finished this on the Vic 20, got through all 8 or 10 levels. Disappointing thing was, it just went back to the start in some sort of infinite loop.

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