5 good budget Spectrum games
Budget games could sometimes surprise us
During the 80's (our favourite era of Retro Computers) budget games were quite often regarded as a waste of time and money.
But every now and again one would come along that would put many full priced titles to shame (the Magic Knight series of games springs to mind).
We are not including classic full price games that were then re-released on a budget label - these are games that were originally released as a budget title.
So let's take a look at a selection of games that may well have been best couple of quid you could splash out...
Budget shoot em up Gunstar
Gunstar was a budget arcade game released by Firebird software in 1987.
The games programmer Peter Gough managed to put together a playable and slick shoot em up that put many full priced arcade games to shame.
The game was nicely presented, colourful and dotted with nice spot effects along with a nice blend of humour (each life was represented by a different pilot with different hobbies etc).
We like this game so much that we reviewed it on our ZX Spectrum Games main site and also managed to talk to Peter Gough about the development of this game (and others). He is one of our featured ZX Spectrum legends.
Gunstar is a cult budget classic that was easily well worth £1.99 back in 1987!
A short video of Gunstar... those pesky asteroids!
Budget action in Spectipede
Spectipede was a home version of the classic arcade game Centipede released by Mastertronic in 1983.
It had originally been released (on a short-release) by R&R software at £5.50 - which was a little steep really. When Mastertronic picked it up and re-marketed it at £1.99 you couldn't go wrong. This is a game that is really regarded as a Mastertronic title.
Spectipede was a fine version of an already classic game which was frantic, challenging and pretty addictive.
I always found it played best with a joystick - especially on the later levels when the speed of the game really picked up and the number of enemies increased.
Spectipede On The ZX Spectrum
Chuckman was originally released by (the strangely named) Custom Cables international at £5.00 before being picked up once more by those budget kings, Mastertronic. Again the original release was short-lived in this is another title that is regarded as a 'Mastertronic game'.
Chuckman was a fast moving maze based arcade game where you had to avoid the nasties and diffuse a number of bombs.
Running round the maze being chased by stomping boots, watching out for holes in the pathway (which could be filled in by finding wheelbarrows full of sand) and keeping your energy up by eating was actually a pretty exciting experience.
Chuckman was a hidden gem that I luckily picked up in the local post office for £1.99.
A very simple yet very addictive game. Once again thanks Mastertronic!
Things heat up to Fahrenheit 3000
Perfection Software released Fahrenheit 3000 for £5.50 - and to be honest it was well worth the money.
Firebird software picked it up and it was given the budget treatment of £2.50 early on in 1985.
The game managed to marry up classic platform action with nice in game physics - it must be said that this game was extremely difficult to complete though.
For fans of platform games you couldn't really go wrong with Fahrenheit 3000 - and it is remembered as one of the best budget platform games for the ZX Spectrum.
We were lucky enough to catch up with one of the people behind the game (Chris Jones who created the excellent title music) who gave us his thoughts on this game. Once again details are on our main site and Chris is one of our featured Spectrum coders.
A small slice of Fahrenheit 3000
Time is running out in Chronos
Chronos: A Tapestry of time
Defeating a 'lord of time' was nothing new in the 'background of game' type story, but Chronos was a very good arcade style shoot em up.
If you liked ZX Spectrum scramble games then this should keep your trigger finger happy.
Released by (yep you guessed it) Mastertronic in 1987 Chronos proved that playable scrolling shoot em ups did not have to cost the earth.
With it's excellent title tune (it wasn't even AY music! - check out Spectrum Music for more info), nice presentation and rapid fire gameplay Chronos was a must have £1.99 game for fans of simple shooters.
Oh - and try putting an ahem 'rude word' into the high score table - the comments made by the computer were almost as much fun as the game itself!
In fact - Chronos picked up a cult following due to the variety of phrases that could be entered in the high score table which would activate some game 'feature'. Pretty humorous.
Have a look at Chronos cheat codes for more info.
A decent scrolling arcade game that was fun to play and pretty addictive.
A short video of Chronos - I used to be good at this (honest!)
Budget could be good
So - we can safely say that budget games could be overall pretty good.
There are plenty more quality budget games for the ZX Spectrum- some of which were even Smashed in Speccy gamers bible Crash Magazine - ones which we will probably cover in another hub.
Budget games were very handy for those of us with a tight pocket money budget. Quality could be purchased with a little luck and reading those all important magazine reviews.
Useful retro gaming links
- 80s theme tunes
If you were a child during the 1980's...
- 8-bit to 16-bit
A giant leap in technology
- Acorn Archimedes
A truly great machine from the masters at Acorn
- Acorn Atom
The Atom was the ancestor to the BBC series of computers manufactured by Acorn
- Acorn Electron
The Acorn Electron was an 8-bit Micro
- Aliens: Infestation
- Amiga 1200
The Amiga 1200 was Commodore International's third-generation Amiga computer which was aimed at the home user
- Amiga CD 32
The Amiga CD32 was released in September of 1993. The console was Commodore's attempt to corner a sector of the gaming console market
- Amiga Games
The best in 16 bit gaming and also a quiz
- Amstrad CPC 464
During the 1980's entrepeneur Alan Sugar made a foray into the home computer market...
- Astro Blaster
Astro Blaster was a table top arcade game
- Astro Wars
A legendary table top arcade game...
- Atari Falcon
The Falcon was Atari's final home computer product before they concentrated on consoles such as the Jaguar
- Atari ST
The Atari ST was a 16-bit home computer
- Awesome Graphics
Some truly stunning graphics were created within ZX Spectrum games
- AY Sound
The AY was used in many computers and consoles
- BBC Micro
The BBC, known as the BBC micro
- Best PC Games
Best PC Gaming - get the best in online games for free
- Commodore 16
The 16 was an 8-bit micro manufacured by Commodore
- Commodore 64
The C64 was the flagship of Commodores 8-bit fleet
- Commodore 65
A never released machine from CBM
- Commodore 128
The last of Commodore's 8-bit machines
- Commodore Amiga
We love the Commodore Amiga!!
- Commodore PET
The Commodore PET was produced by CBM way back when we were all being amazed by a new film at the cinema called 'Star Wars'
- Crash Magazine
The Speccy gamers bible
- Currah Microspeech
Hooray for Currah! They made plenty of useful gadgets for our computers in the 1980's
- Dark Star Cheat Codes
A cult game with cult features!
- Funny Games
Funny games from past and present. Tee-hee!
- Games Online
Want to play some of these classics online?
- Miniclip Games
Just what are Miniclip games? Browser based online gaming, that's what!
- Missile Command Games
Missile Command (along with Space Invaders, Pac Man, and Asteroids) must be one of the most well know arcade games of all time
- Ocean Software
Ocean Software was one of the biggest developers of arcade games within Europe during the 1980's and 1990's
- Oric 1
The Oric 1 was a British computer
- Oric Atmos
The Oric Atmos was a British computer
- Pacman Game
Pacman is still ace
- Retro Computers
We got Sinclair, Atari, Commodore, Oric...
- Scramble games
Scramble must be one of the most famous arcade shoot em ups ever
- Space Harrier
Welcome to the fantasy zone!
- Space Invaders
Space Invaders - an all time classic
- Sinclair Interface 2
2 player heaven
- Sinclair ZX Spectrum
We love the ZX Spectrum!! (as if you hadn't guessed by now)
- Spectrum Game Characters
You'll remember these...
- Spectrum Programmers
These guys did amazing things...
A game that needs no introduction
- Tomy Sky Attack
3D bino-view gaming!
- ZX Spectrum memories
- ZX Spectrum Music
Some of the best 'Beeper' tunes
- ZZap64 Magazine
The Commodore gamers bible
Remember a lot of these classic titles are available to play as games online.
Re-live the nostalgia through the internet! If you want to know what else is good from the 8-bit era then please visit my ZX Spectrum site.
It is full of legendary games, videos, images and interviews with legendary programmers of the machine.
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