Tag Archives: Jonathan Smith

Jonathan Smith’s Classic ZX Spectrum Games

A British programmer/developer who made a name for himself with his very first game, Pud Pud, which was published by Ocean Software for the ZX Spectrum in 1984. Smith was just 17 at the time Pud Pud was released, but was fortuitous in that his pitch to Ocean, and them signing him up as ‘talent’, was all filmed and later broadcast on television in an episode of BBC TV’s Commercial Breaks, which gave him an instant profile to an appreciative audience. Bob Wakelin‘s ace cover art also did Smith‘s early games a lot of good.

Unfortunately Jonathan Smith isn’t with us any longer; he sadly passed away in 2010, but I do know – from having read a few interviews with Smith – that he was very embarrassed about his appearance on Commercial Breaks. Which is a pity because he was great in it. And he really put himself on the map by agreeing to do it. Smith liked to work hard and “keep out of the limelight” as much as possible, and seemed to be a humble man. His work on a series of classic ZX Spectrum games will never be forgotten.

Between 1984 and 1988 Smith programmed 13 games for the Spectrum. At least five of which could be considered ‘all-time classics’.

LISTS: as created by The King of Grabs, in chronological order:

Pud Pud (1984)
Kong Strikes Back (1984)
Mikie (1985)
Hyper Sports (1985)
Daley Thompson’s Supertest (1985)
Street Hawk: Subscriber Edition (1985)
Cobra (1986)
Green Beret (1986)
Terra Cresta (1986)
Hysteria (1987)
Batman: The Caped Crusader (1988)
Firefly (1988)
Hyper Active (1988)

Jonathan Smith
Jonathan M. “Joffa” Smith (1 February 1967 – 26 June 2010).

Firefly, ZX Spectrum

Of all his Spectrum games, Firefly was the one that programmer Jonathan Smith said really “came together” during development.

Firefly is an eight-way scrolling shooter with light puzzle elements that was first released by Ocean Software in 1988.

Continue reading Firefly, ZX Spectrum

Batman: The Caped Crusader, ZX Spectrum

First released in 1988, Ocean Software‘s Batman: The Caped Crusader is not to be confused with Ocean‘s other Batman game, programmed by Jon Ritman. No, this one is the 2D, comic panel animated adventure programmed by Jonathan Smith.

Continue reading Batman: The Caped Crusader, ZX Spectrum

Hysteria, ZX Spectrum

Published by Software Projects in 1987, Hysteria – at first glance – seems to owe quite a bit to Cobra, the infamous scrolling shooter from Ocean. At least graphically (the main character is a spitting image of the sprite in that game).

Continue reading Hysteria, ZX Spectrum

Terra Cresta, ZX Spectrum

A conversion of the superb Nichibutsu arcade game, programmed by the late Jonathan Smith and published by Imagine Software in 1986.

Continue reading Terra Cresta, ZX Spectrum

Green Beret, ZX Spectrum

A conversion of the infamous Konami arcade game Rush’n Attack (name changed later in the West to Green Beret), by the inimitable Jonathan Smith. Published by Imagine in 1986.

Continue reading Green Beret, ZX Spectrum

Cobra, ZX Spectrum

Very loosely-based on the Sylvester Stallone film of the same name, Cobra is a legendary run-and-gun platform game programmed by Jonathan Smith for Ocean Software and first released in 1985.

Continue reading Cobra, ZX Spectrum

Street Hawk: Subscriber Edition, ZX Spectrum

We may never know the full version of events surrounding this notorious Ocean Software game, but legendary Spectrum programmer Jonathan Smith was almost certainly involved. It does bear a few of his hallmarks, but is a ridiculously simple and quite boring shoot ’em up.

Continue reading Street Hawk: Subscriber Edition, ZX Spectrum

Daley Thompson’s Supertest, ZX Spectrum

Jonathan Smith followed-up his superb multi-event sport game Hyper Sports with this – another multi-event sports game! Except this time: an officially-licensed Daley Thompson sports game.

Continue reading Daley Thompson’s Supertest, ZX Spectrum