Quite possibly the maddest (and best) video game title of all time, Fat Worm Blows A Sparky was a critical hit back in 1986 when it was first released.
The brainchild of programmer Julian Todd, Fat Worm Blows A Sparky is an overhead, 3D maze game where you control a worm-like creature that moves across the surface of a circuit board of a ZX Spectrum. You have to collect 50 Spindles that are hidden about the landscape, before making your way to the disk drive in the centre of the maze to clone yourself.
If that sounds weird: playing it is even weirder. Fat Worm Blows A Sparky has to be one of the weirdest games of all time. But also very playable and fun. This is what great gaming is all about!
Fat Worm Blows A Sparky is an all time ZX Spectrum classic – never to be forgotten. And is fun to grab. So, go find it. And give it a try.
A weird, colourful, original worm-based race game on the ZX Spectrum, released by Romantic Robot in 1985.
Actually, Wriggler is less of a “race” game and more of a “crawl” game. The pace is not very fast at all.
You’re a worm, in a race with other worms, and have a number of route choices on the way to the finish line. How you make that choice is anyone’s guess, as the route of the course is not particularly well defined, and the going is continuously perlious.
On the way you to the finish line you have to avoid contact with creepy-looking spiders and other enemies, or otherwise see your Wriggler body stripped down to a skeleton and die.
Here’s a fairly in-depth look at ZX Spectrum Wriggler, from start to finish.
Gyron was developed by released by Firebird Software in 1985 and was something of a bolt out of the blue at the time. Nothing quite like it had been seen before.
You play as a Hedroid and roam a wireframe 3D maze, avoiding towers and spheres, while searching for the exit goal. In other words: you’re just trying not to get squished on your way out…
Tense gameplay and tricky timings. If you complete the first bit – The Atrium – you then get to challenge The Necropolis, a more difficult maze. And if you beat that then you get a pat on the back because it’s further than I’ve ever managed to get in Gyron.
Strange that the game doesn’t have a Wikipedia page. It must have its fans…
What do YOU think of Gyron? Too dry? A fantastic challenge? Let me know by commenting.
Although it doesn’t look like much, Spore is in fact a high-tension, high-speed, single screen Gauntlet variant, with lots of shooting, shooting, shooting!
You’re shooting spores, so it’s okay, and they come thick and fast.
Generators create more spores, so taking those out first is good. Fences hold back most of them, but to finish the level you need to open the gate. A torrent is coming!
Spore even has a simple level designer that is easy to use and start jamming with.
Spore is a great, semi-obscure, gaming classic first released by Mastertronic in 1987.
Ultimate Play The Game‘s iconic seventh release for the ZX Spectrum was first released in 1984.
Sabre Wulf is a colourful maze/action game, and was the first game to feature the lead character Sabreman.
Gameplay is frenetic and simple – the idea is you have to fight your way (with a sword) through a jungle maze in order to find four pieces of an amulet, which will open the exit (found in the middle of the map), and escape. The titular Sabre Wulf – a blue-coloured wolf found prowling a set area of the jungle – has to be avoided at all costs as it cannot be defeated.
Fondly remembered – like most Ultimate games – Sabre Wulf also prompted a wave of clones from other software developers, as was the case with pretty much every Ultimate game at the time.
Still a great little game to play now though, with lovely, colourful graphics and jolly sound. A classic!
Sabre Wulf on The King of Grabs:
ZX Spectrum version, BBC Micro version,
Amstrad CPC version, Commodore 64 version
This very early, 1983 ZX Spectrum game by Don Priestley is still a joy to play to this day.
The premise is simple: you have to find the missing gold and return it to its rightful place.
Continue reading Maziacs, ZX Spectrum
Colourful and adrenaline-pumping update of a retro-gaming classic, Pac-Man Championshop Edition DX is a pill-eating maze game that pays fitting tribute to the arcade game. This is one big, tripping score attack!
Pac-Man Championship Edition DX title screen.
Wobbly screen bomb!
Pac-Man Championship Edition DX adds some interesting ideas to the mix.
Patterns and trails.
That’s a long line of ghosts.
Trippy screen visuals in Pac-Man Championship Edition DX.
Just beat the high score.
Results are improving.
The original four-player multiplayer arcade game of Gauntlet is a worthy party game for any retro gaming occasion. Stick it on, and watch everyone get sucked into it. With unlimited credits, you need never die. 🙂
You may not believe that the original Gauntlet is well over thirty years old now – it was first released by Atari Games in 1985. It doesn’t look or sound it. The graphics are as good as ever, and the sampled speech has become iconic. “Wizard needs food!” Anyone who’s ever played this game knows those lines.
More: Gauntlet on Wikipedia
Gauntlet Arcade title screen.
All four players are looking low on energy. Best pump some more coins in!
Warrior takes on a platoon of ghosts.
Valkyrie throwing swords at sorcerers,
Running away from Death!
Loads of keys and a few vampires!
Packed corridors, waiting to be cleared.
100 points for the treasure.
Bonus level – grabs as much treasure as possible.
Starting off level 14 in the centre of the maze.
Warrior and Valkyrie on level 15.
Warrior and Valkyrie are making a good team.
Wizard finds out that you can blast some walls.
Wizard on level 10. Someone put a lot of money in.
Valkyrie is throwing swords at ghosts on level 16.
Finally found the exit on the God-forsaken level 17.
Three for one, and three for all!
Packed corridors. I’m trying to avoid the Lobbers.
Three way bonus level!
The beautifully purple level 19. Wizard fending off ghosts.
Will this madness ever end?!
Starting level 20.
Wizard now has extra fight power.
No need to fight that little lot. The exit is just here.
If you wait too long the walls just disappear!
Starting level 22 with some light combat.
Surrounded by enemies. That’s Gauntlet!
The famous Ultimate ZX Spectrum game, converted skilfully to the Amstrad CPC and eclipsing the original in the process. More colour – less slowdown! 🙂
Alien 8 is a serious challenge, and another reason why Ultimate Play The Game made the best games.
The Alien 8 cover art is clearly influenced by the opening of the film Alien.
I can only see the top half of the clockwork mouse up there.
You have to jump to the top to reach that item, but the blocks disappear when you touch them.
Another essential item, perched above some deadly spikes.
The d-pad on the floor allows you to control the robotic disc.
Need to push those blocks in the middle towards the teleport,
Mmm. The eggshell things at the top will drop on me if I stand under them. How to solve this?
Touch any of those broken eggshell things and it’s curtains for Alien 8.
Judging where to jump is not always easy. In fact: it’s quite hard.
There may be trouble ahead…
I just know something horrible is going to happen here.
I need to collect that circuit part and return it to the right location. Fat chance.
Have to time the run under these things right, or I’m dead.
Death surrounds Alien 8. I must be careful what I touch.