Tag Archives: 1985

Mercenary, ZX Spectrum

Paul Woakes‘ classic open-world cockpit exploration game, Mercenary, was ported to the 48K ZX Spectrum by David Aubrey-Jones and published by Novagen Software in 1987.

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The Way of the Exploding Fist, Commodore 64

The Way of the Exploding Fist is a classic one-on-one martial arts fighting game, developed by Australian company Beam Software and published by Melbourne House in 1985.

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Revs, BBC Micro

Geoff Crammond‘s racing simulator, Revs, is an absolute classic on the BBC Micro. It was the first ever racing game made for home computers that focused on realism, and it still plays amazingly well to this day. Revs was first published by Acornsoft in 1985.

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Cauldron, ZX Spectrum

Palace Software‘s 1985 release, Cauldron, is a conversion of the Commodore 64 original, where you play as a witch who is on a quest to become the “Witch Queen” by defeating her opponent, “The Pumpking”.

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Gremlins: The Adventure, ZX Spectrum

Gremlins: The Adventure is a text-based adventure, with graphics, based on the successful comedy horror film from 1984. It was first released in 1985 by Adventure International and was programmed by Brian Howarth with artwork by Teoman Irmak.

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Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar, Commodore 64

The fourth game in the Ultima series first came out on the Commodore 64 in 1985 and the game was converted by Chuck Bueche, who also did a great job of porting the third Ultima to the C64. So it plays similarly to its predecessor. Ultima IV was also re-made by The Genesis Project in 2015, with superb new graphics, a trainer, bugfixes, a savegame editor, fast-loading d81 and CRT (cartridge) versions, and various other enhancements. If you’re playing the C64 version for the first time then that’s the version I’d recommend – unless you deliberately want to play the original version. I’m showing the 2015 remake here first, then at the end of the set I’ve shown screenshots of the original 1985 version, for comparison. It’s easy to tell them apart.

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Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar, Apple II

Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar is the fourth game in the Ultima series and was designed by Richard Garriott and first published by Origin Systems in 1985. It is the first game in the “Age of Enlightenment” trilogy, which moves towards a more ethically-led, story-driven approach. Rather than requiring the player to overcome a tangible evil the story instead focuses on the player’s moral self-improvement.

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Ultima III: Exodus, PC

The original MS-DOS version of Ultima III: Exodus was first published by Origin Systems in 1985 and features four-colour CGA graphics. Thankfully – like there is for Ultima IIan enhancement patch exists, by The Exodus Project, that is well worth setting up if you want better graphics, music, new features and bug-fixes. That’s the version I’m showing here, plus I’ve also shown a few screenshots of the original CGA version at the end of this set, just for comparison.

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Ultima II: The Revenge of the Enchantress, Atari ST

Oh my goodness… This Atari ST conversion of Ultima II, by Robert Eric Heitman, uses a mouse-driven GEM interface as an “enhancement” over the original, and this – in my opinion – has turned the game into kitty litter…

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Confuzion, Commodore 64

Confuzion was written by Paul Shirley – of Spindizzy fame – and published by Incentive Software in 1985. It’s a sliding puzzle game where you have to re-arrange tiles so that a spark can reach a bomb before the timer runs out.

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