In 1976 a game called Breakout was released in the arcades by Atari that was oft copied over the next ten or fifteen years. I never played Breakout, I wasn’t out of nappies when it was released and I certainly can’t imagine my dad popping the odd 10p into an arcade machine either.
Arkanoid is a Breakout clone from ten years later, first in the arcade and then on the home computers. Continue reading
Coming to the C64 rather late in it’s life meant that programmers had really got the hang of Commodore’s brown beast. Not only were the games technically proficient, in terms of graphics, scrolling, and music, but they were getting genuinely out there and innovative in terms of concept. None were more out there than Wizball, one of the defining games on the C64 and one I looked forward to tremendously from all the preview articles and features that fuelled the imagination of the 11 year old me.
Wizball is pretty much unlike anything you will ever have played, so I was fascinated to see what Sam thought about it. We fire it up and are presented with a loading screen not dissimilar from the box art. Continue reading
The format wars were already well under way in the 8-bit days, we just didn’t have the world wide web to sneer at other peoples choices of machines. I knew a few Speccy owners but I knew more C64 owners and only 1 Amstrad CPC 464 owner- a lad called Enzo who apparently knew how to get past the bit on Rambo First Blood part II I was stuck on. A visit to his house showed that the CPC version was so different that the solution wasn’t really a solution- if the Spectrum game had been THAT slow, I’d have had no trouble! Continue reading
We’re finishing our sojourn into the Spectrum era with one of the most influential games of the late 80’s. You might not be familiar with the name Renegade but it was pretty much the director forbearer of scrolling beat ’em ups like Double Dragon, Final Fight and Streets of Rage. As far as I can remember, and my memory admittedly isn’t the best on the planet, this was the first game I played that had an energy bar rather than simply letting you die the first time you were hit.
I’m looking to add a couple of additional posts a week to Kids do Retro. Rather than rushing Sam through games quicker, I’m hoping to share other peoples memories of the games they played in one post a week, you’ll have to stay tuned for the other post.
If you’d like to take part, there is a form to fill in here
We’ve jumped back in time 3 years this week, from Batman’s 1986 to a very early Spectrum game called Penetrator that came out in early 1983. The amusing name was entirely lost on the 7 year old me as I was a rather naive kid and it wasn’t until several years later I’d even discovered hedge porn and even then I wasn’t entirely sure what went where. Anyway, I digress, Penetrator might sound like some 70’s porn spoof but it is actually a very early Scramble clone. Early in the sense that Scramble itself had only been out for a year at this point.
The loading screen for Ocean’s 1986 Batman game is rather misleading if you ask me. It shows, in the Speccy’s awesomely limited colour palette, a large muscular Batman holding up a manhole cover before jumping down in to the sewers to chase some n’er do well. Continue reading
I’d turned ten in early 1985 when my Dad bought home Way of the Exploding Fist by Melbourne House. It was without a doubt the first beat ’em up I’d played, the first of many in fact as it’s still a genre I love to this day. I was really excited, I’d loved games like Space Raiders, Horace Goes Skiing, Penetrator and so on but come on, this was fighting and what little kid didn’t want to be Bruce Lee?!
Manic Miner wasn’t the first game I played on the Spectrum that dad bought home one day. That accolade goes to either Psion’s Space Raiders, a Space Invaders clone, or Thro’ the Wall, a really really basic Breakout game. To be honest, I don’t remember which it was, but it wasn’t too long before Manic Miner came along. On a Boots C15 cassette too, naughty dad eh? Continue reading
Love you Mini Munchman!
My earliest gaming memories didn’t involve computers or home consoles but rather the slew of LED and LCD games that preceded them. My brother had a genuine Game & Watch, the Fire one, but I had to make do with Mini-Munchman, a PacMan clone. It was the first of many Grandstand games we owned- Firefox F7 and Scramble being the two best- and to be fair I did completely love it, even if things got a little bit tricky after the left button didn’t work so well after my brother spilt Ribena over it. Imagine playing Pac Man on a tiny handheld, with an iffy refresh rate, and having issues turning in one of the only four directions you can. Continue reading