The second game in the Software Farm ‘high resolution range’ (the first being Forty Niner), Rocket Man is another technical miracle on the Sinclair ZX81. It was first released in 1984.
Hunchback is a conversion of the 1983 arcade game by Century Electronics. It has been written that Hunchback is loosely based on the 1831 Victor Hugo novel, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, because it features Quasimodo running along a castle wall, trying to rescue Esmeralda from a tower at the end, but that is disputed by some who claim that Robin Hood is the main influence. Regardless, at least in this conversion the main character does actually look like Quasimodo…
Rapscallion is a bizarre and humorous action adventure written by Albert Ball and published by Bug-Byte for the ZX Spectrum in 1984.
You play an un-named king who has had his crown and castle seized by his arch enemy, Rapscallion the Rogue. Rapscallion has thrown you into the dungeon to rot, but you are saved by your friend, The Fairy Princess, who transforms you into a bird and grants you six lives. This allows you to begin your quest for revenge…
Daley Thompson’s Decathlon, developed and published by Ocean for the ZX Spectrum in 1984, was possibly the first home computer game to feature a celebrity, and a person of colour, as the star of the game – at least in the UK anyway.
If you don’t know: Daley Thompson is a British Olympic decathlon star, and was a gold medal winner at the 1980 Moscow and 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, and as such was a household name in the UK back when this game was released in 1984. Younger readers might not know who Daley Thompson is, but they really should. Thompson is a legend and has been described as the greatest all-round athlete the world has ever seen. Look him up on YouTube if you want to see his Olympic achievements.
Snacks ‘N Jaxson is one of the weirdest arcade games I’ve ever played in my life… It is beyond bizarre; it may even frighten children, or anyone who plays it, because it is so damn strange.
And it looks damn ugly too. The colours used in the game are unappealing, and the gameplay is also unnervingly jarring. Whoever designed it must’ve either taken a lot of acid back in the early Eighties, or been a John Wayne Gacy fanatic. Or both.
David Crane‘s 1984 adaptation of the hit film Ghostsbusters was also a big hit on the video game scene too. It hit number one on the sales charts for most home systems and is still talked about to this day.
The Commodore 64 version was the first one released.