2000AD is a famous, British science fiction comic that was first launched in 1977 (26th February 1977 to be precise), and I distinctly remember getting and reading the first issue and being hooked from that moment on. 2000AD pulled no punches, with its hard-hitting fantasy storylines and stand-out characters, and it made a big impression on anyone who read it.
The Amstrad Colour Personal Computer (CPC) is a family of 8-bit home computers that were designed and manufactured by British company Amstrad (the infamous one led by Alan Sugar), and marketed as competition to the Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum from 1984 onward.
As 2021 draws to a close we wish you a happy new year for 2022!
The King of Grabs
Today, the 21st December 2021, is the fourth birthday of this website – thekingofgrabs.com. So happy birthday to us!
We hope that you continue to find this site useful and informative. And that it maybe inspires you to discover (or rediscover) great games from the past.
Thank you for your support,
The King of Grabs
The Acorn Archimedes is a family of home computers designed by Acorn Computers of Cambridge, England. The systems are based on Acorn‘s ARM RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer) architecture with a 32-bit CPU (using 26-bit addressing) and were manufactured from 1987 until the mid-1990s.
The Acorn Archimedes was used predominantly in UK schools throughout the late 1980s and 1990s and was one of the first home computers to use a multi-tasking WIMP (Windows, Icons, Mouse and Pull-down menus) operating system which is commonly known as RISC OS. The very first Archimedes models were initially BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) branded computers, but the name “Acorn Archimedes” is commonly used to describe any of Acorn‘s contemporary designs based on the same architecture.
The Archimedes is a capable machine in terms of graphics and sound and a wide variety of 2D and 3D games appeared on the system, including many original games, a lot of clones, plus a number of official conversions of arcade games and games popular on its 16-bit rivals, the Amiga and Atari ST.
RISC OS still lives on today on the Raspberry Pi, on other devices, and in emulation. Raspberry Pi computers use ARM RISC chips and a more modern version of RISC OS exists (at the time of writing) as RISC OS Direct. Original Archimedes computers, and the Raspberry Pi, are popular with computing hobbyists and Archimedes fans still keeping the flame alive.
I don’t profess to be an expert on the subject of RISC OS or the Acorn Archimedes – in fact I’m relatively new to it – but I do like what it is capable of, and I do like many of the games. So this week I’m going to be featuring some of my favourite Archimedes games and their associated screenshots. It’s also worth noting that many of the games are legally available to download for free from the The Archimedes Software Preservation Project, although you will need either ADFFS or CDFaker installed in RISC OS to be able to mount and run their associated disk images.
Here’s a full list of what was published during our Archimedes special:
LISTS: as decided by The King of Grabs, in order of greatness:
Taito‘s classic 1986 arcade hit, Bubble Bobble, has been converted to pretty much every format on the planet. We played through them all recently and have compiled a list of the best. Click a link to view each conversion individually. Do you agree with our choices? Let us know in the comments.
1. Sega Saturn (1996)
2. Nintendo DS (2005)
3. Game Boy Advance (2003)
4. X68000 (1990)
5. FM Towns (1990)
6. Sega Master System (1988)
7. NES/Famicom Disk System (1987)
8. PC MS-DOS (1989)
9. Atari ST (1989)
10. Amiga (1989)
Did we miss any official conversions of Bubble Bobble? Please let us know in the comments.
In memory of Fukio Mitsuji (1960-2008), the designer of the great Bubble Bobble.
The Atari Lynx is a handheld console that was developed by Epyx and manufactured by Atari Corporation from 1989 to 1995, and it features a wide variety of colourful and playable games available in cartridge format.
Known as the Megadrive in Japan and Europe, and the Genesis in North America, this was Sega‘s fourth generation home video games console and it was launched in 1988 in Japan (1989 in North America and 1990 in Europe).
The Megadrive/Genesis is a 16-bit console with a built-in slot for cartridges, which is how most games were played on it. It had backwards compatibility with its predecessor, the Sega Master System, and it also had a variety of important add-ons released for it, including the Sega CD and the 32X.
The unit came with two standard, three-button pads, then later (after Street Fighter II came out on the Megadrive) six button pads (like the one picture below) became more widespread.
The Megadrive sold more than 30 millions units worldwide, until it was discontinued by Sega in 1997 (although it was still being sold and supported by Majesco Entertainment until 1999).
Sega‘s console has a huge library of superb games and many are still being re-released to this day. So here’s our tribute to Sega‘s classic machine with a week of nothing but Megadrive games.
Here’s a full list of what was published:
Road Rash 3
Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle
Pier Solar and the Great Architects
Toejam & Earl
Phantasy Star III
The King of Grabs
The video game arcades of the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s were very special places. They were where the majority of innovation was taking place in the video games industry, and over those three decades countless classic video games were released into these dingy, constantly noisy places for friends to crowd around and play. Video game arcades were social places where all kinds of different people hung out.
Arcade games were usually defined by three things. 1. You had to put coins into video games to play them (why they are also called ‘coin-ops’). 2. They usually featured the most cutting edge graphics and sound, or gimmick, to attract players to play them, and 3. They were more often than not incredibly difficult games to master, because everyone involved in their manufacture and distribution wanted you to put as much money into their machines as possible.
The good thing now is: anyone can play these games via emulation and they are quite common. Get a good emulator, like MAME for example, and you can have that arcade experience in your own home, without the need for cabinets. Of course there will always be those who prefer the real thing and have arcade machines in their own home. And those who like a hybrid of both – putting PCs and emulators, or even Raspberry Pi setups inside real arcade cabinets.
Each to their own. My particular preference is MAME on a PC – at least for getting screenshots – but I do have arcade emulators running on a number of different platforms.
The only real downside to arcade emulation is that it’s not always that easy to find the right ROMs for the right emulator. Some versions of MAME have different driver requirements, and different MAME ROMsets come with different drivers, so it can be a bit of a minefield.
One thing’s for sure though: it’s worth getting into old arcade games in some way, because they are some of the best video games ever made. The list of classics is endless and I’ve already featured many arcade games on here.
Also: arcade game screenshots always seem to look the nicest, in terms of colourfulness and crispness when blown-up on-screen, so these screenshots I’m posting are most welcome to the collection.
Here, then, is a BIG arcade special – adding more classic arcade games to the blog and more high quality screenshots. If you don’t like (or care about) arcade games I’d recommend coming back in a couple of weeks… 🙂
Here are links to what was published:
Star Wars: the Empire Strikes Back
Crazy Climber 2
SegaSonic the Hedgehog
Mortal Kombat II
Mortal Kombat 3
Skull & Crossbones
Enjoy and stay safe!
The King of Grabs
The Neo Geo is a high-end Japanese video games system, designed for use in both arcades, and at home. It was developed by SNK and first launched in 1990.
The MVS (Multi Video System) was for arcade cabinets. Arcade operators could buy a single cabinet and easily switch out the MVS cartridge inside for another game. Making them very versatile machines on the circuit. And very rentable.
A home console version of the Neo Geo, called the AES (Advanced Entertainment System), was first released in 1990 too (as a rental – 1991 for the actual home version) and it really blew people away. The capabilities of the AES blew other home consoles out of the water for the best part of a decade too. As did its price, which was eye-watering… The Neo Geo AES is and always was considered a “luxury” console, from the moment it was launched. It’s an arcade machine in your own home, and it’s not a cheap system to buy into.
Various multi-button joysticks and controllers were made available for the Neo Geo, but the standard AES four-button controller shown below is most common.
Neo Neo game cartridges still fetch high prices today, such are their collectability, although thankfully most have been dumped and preserved, or are still being officially re-released, so aren’t too difficult to find and enjoy.
Neo Geo cartridges are large too – much bigger than carts for other systems. They are packing a lot of extra information inside, it seems.
The Neo Geo is particularly well-known for its beat ’em ups, although – as you’ll see this week – there were games made across a lot of different genres. It’s not the kind of console you would play an RPG on, though. It’s was more geared towards fast action games. Although the Neo Geo was one of the first consoles to use ‘Memory Cards’, it wasn’t a system you could save your games on. I mean: in terms of saving and coming back later to reload and carry on… There’s none of that. Other than saving high scores: it’s pretty limited.
Anyway, this week I’m going to be proclaiming a burst of exclusive Neo Geo love, with screenshots of some of the best games I’ve found for the system.
Here’s a list of what was published:
The King of Grabs
See Categories for all Neo Geo games on this website.
More: Neo Geo on Wikipedia