30 best ZX Spectrum games
23rd Apr 2012 | 11:12
30 years of the Speccy: here's our definitive list of the classic games
Sir Clive Sinclair's greatest invention, the ZX Spectrum, is 30 years old today and to celebrate we've compiled our list of the top 30 Speccy classics. The games that lit up our childhood - and possibly yours.
If we hark back to April 1982, it's not hard to remember why the Spectrum had such a monumental impact on modern gaming. Prior to that we were living in a black and white world of Intellivision-style 'TV games' and endless, (hardly) glorified versions of Pong.
Sir Clive saw all of this and thus he did invent the Spectrum. And it was good. (Except for the keyboard).
The place where ZX Spectrums never die
Sinclair's humble rubber-keyed joy machine went on to sell seven million units worldwide and – for many of us – was a rare high point in an otherwise dreary, selfish decade marked by wars on islands we'd never heard of, strikes where our mates' dads got picked on by the coppers and lots of blokes dressed up as women on Top of the Pops.
While all that nonsense was going on, we were happily holed up in our mates' bedrooms, illegally copying the latest gem from Ultimate Play The Game or Codemasters on our tape-to-tape machine (sorry Codies) or tricking the sales assistant in Boots to give us an extra copy of the Jet Set Willy anti-piracy colour chart because 'we lost the one in the box'. (And he did! Bonus!)
Pretty much every British male over the age of thirty will argue about their favourite Spectrum games, while a dewy-eyed far-away look creeps across their face.
"Most home computer games were simplistic, flick-screen affairs in which you played a fat mayor jumping over a nettle or something like that," wrote Charlie Brooker in a Guardian column. "Then Elite came along and took the piss. A groundbreaking 3D space combat-and-trading simulator that managed to convince me my computer could, when programmed correctly, house an entire alternative universe."
And what a universe it was. If you need to remember, then find yourself a few hours of precious time to kill and Google one of the many emulators out there on the internet. It is officially our favourite way of killing time at work. Just don't tell the boss.
So here's TechRadar's definitive top 30 ZX Spectrum games of all time. Shout in the comments if we've missed any of your favourites.