Top 5 ZX 81 games

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Darran@Retro Gamer
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Top 5 ZX 81 games

Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:01 pm

It's about time this system got a little love. Tell us your five favourite games and we'll do the rest :)
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Re: Top 5 ZX 81 games

Post by Morkin » Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:08 pm

Flight Simulation. I've only ever played that one ZX81 game which was when I was in Junior School & my teacher brought his ZX81 into class one day. Needless to say, there was a lot of interest in my class of 30, so we only had 10 minutes each to have a go.

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Re: Top 5 ZX 81 games

Post by Mayhem » Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:43 pm

3D Monster Maze is obviously a given. Mazogs and 3D Defender are pretty good as well.
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Re: Top 5 ZX 81 games

Post by adippm82 » Tue Dec 02, 2014 12:53 pm

My introduction into the world of gaming, bless it's little flat membrane keyboard and ram pack wobble!

1. Invasion Force Would still figure in my top 100 of all time, just epitomises the 'one more go' game.
2. QS Scramble Was one of the first games that made me score chase
3. 3D Defender The ZX81 was not capable of this surely, an into the screen shooter, and it worked
4. 3D Monster Maze Another astounding achievement on the machine, built up the fear before the Rex even appeared with those little messages 'Rex is hunting you', 'Rex has seen you'
5. Miner 49er A hi res game that really pushed the little system to it's limits.


I have stuck to the contemporary games, some of the modern homebrew is just astounding, like the excellent Pac Man, or Quack (Flappy Birds) and a whole host of others.

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Re: Top 5 ZX 81 games

Post by clarance » Tue Dec 02, 2014 4:00 pm

All the Software Farm titles were rather impressive. Never owned a ZX81, but if I did, it would have been those titles that would have caught the eye.

Have we had an article about The Software Farm in the magazine?
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Re: Top 5 ZX 81 games

Post by necronom » Tue Dec 02, 2014 5:39 pm

When we get the article, could it mention which ones don't need a 16K expansion (if any). I have a ZX81, but it's not expanded, and I was wondering what the best 1k games were.
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Re: Top 5 ZX 81 games

Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Tue Dec 02, 2014 10:17 pm

Did no one have a zx81?
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Re: Top 5 ZX 81 games

Post by ianpmarks » Tue Dec 02, 2014 10:26 pm

Darran@Retro Gamer wrote:Did no one have a zx81?
I had a ZX81 and loved it.
To be honest though I'd be pushed to remember 5 games for it. I remember learning to program on it, and lots of type in programs, and the black,red,blue cassettes that came with it. Or the Sinclair ones you bought and they had lots of small programs on them. But not huge quantities of games.

Do remember owning QS Asteroids, Inca Curse, Flight Simulator and 3D Monster Maze but that was probably my whole ZX81 collection. Only had it for year and then traded it in for a Spectrum... Then the games began.

Myself i don't see the ZX81 as a games machine. I own one again now and still love it, but mainly for its aesthetics and nostalgia.

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Re: Top 5 ZX 81 games

Post by ZXSabreman » Tue Dec 02, 2014 10:37 pm

Darran@Retro Gamer wrote:Did no one have a zx81?
Yep I still have one, however I don't own any games for it, I remember getting one back in the day with a 16k expansion pack. I was so happy to have it, I had a Space Invaders clone and 3D Monster Maze. We used to put a portable radio beside it, the interference it caused passed as sound.
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Re: Top 5 ZX 81 games

Post by Kaptain_Von » Tue Dec 02, 2014 11:13 pm

Ah! Some ZX81 love, excellent. The first 'real' computer I owned having convinced my parents it would be useful for school work on the back of showing them a copy of Sinclair Programs magazine. I then proceeded to spend my pocket money on an assortment of games. Anyhow, my personal top 5:

1. 3D Defender - For a little machine this was an excellent shooter that moved at a swift pace.

2. 3D Monster Maze - Everyone will say this one but not one modern survival horror comes close to being hunted by a blocky T-Rex.

3. Avenger - A forgotten gem. The ZX Spectrum version was shocking but the ZX81 version was a cracking Scramble clone from Abacus that opened the world of score chasing to me.

4. ZX Galaxians - Came as part of a double bill with Sword of Peace but was the game that got the most play. It wasn't pretty but it was a good solid version of Galaxians.

5. QS Asteroids - Again, a decent clone of the arcade original given the graphical limitations of the little machine.

As with the Commodore 16 in later years it was amazing just what talented programmers could get out of it.
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Re: Top 5 ZX 81 games

Post by markopoloman » Wed Dec 03, 2014 2:51 am

We had a ZX81. The 16k expansion never worked and we couldn't load or save games!! So we spent our days typing in programs and praying they worked - mostly they didn't :lol:

I was however mighty impressed with Manic Miner at the last retro event! Rock hard but a damn fine attempt at a damn fine game. (also 3D monster maze is excellent).
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Re: Top 5 ZX 81 games

Post by Matt_B » Wed Dec 03, 2014 4:12 am

I'll go for:

1. 3D Monster Maze - Apologies for the obvious pick but it's got to be in there.

2. Booster - One of Software Farm's later games, and hence relatively obscure, but it looks and plays really well; it could almost pass for a Spectrum game were it not for the lack of colour and sound.

3. Black Crystal - A massive RPG that was a seven part multi-load. In between staring at a grey screen you could have all sorts of weird and wonderful adventures. It looks a bit crap these days, but really fired the imagination of my eleven year old self.

4. City Patrol - About as much of an eye candy game as you could get on the ZX81 with is parallax scrolling and invading aliens shooting across the cityscape. It scores extra bonus points for having the excellent Sabotage on the flip side too.

5. Trader - Another big multi-load game and a precursor to Elite with its interstellar trading gameplay. It's a bit more of a mishmash of adventure and action segments though.

There's also an astonishingly good port of Manic Miner to the machine, but I guess we're restricting ourselves to games that appeared back in the day here.

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Re: Top 5 ZX 81 games

Post by AceGrace » Wed Dec 03, 2014 11:04 am

Catacombs

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Darran@Retro Gamer
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Re: Top 5 ZX 81 games

Post by Darran@Retro Gamer » Wed Dec 03, 2014 12:04 pm

Yeah, ideally it's games from back in the day. People's heads exploded when homebrew games were included in the 8-bit Atari one.
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Re: Top 5 ZX 81 games

Post by Mayhem » Wed Dec 03, 2014 12:30 pm

And yet, I think, people were quite okay with homebrew being in the Vectrex and Vic20 lists. Maybe Atari owners are more elitist? :P

As for the ZX81, I've barely played on an actual computer, never knew anyone at the time who owned one. It was 48k Speccy, C64, the odd Amstrad, and an Oric owner heh. Pretty much everything has been via emulation.
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