Tuesday, February 23, 2016

black & white fun

Back in the 90s Christoph Zwerschke wrote a Sinclair ZX81 emulator for the Atari ST. From what I've so far seen, its mute and the graphics are made up from monochrome blocks rather than colourful pixels. This might seem rather lame but there is a certain charm to the itsy-bitsy computer with less processing power that your average kettle!

10 PRINT "ATARI ST forever"
20 GOTO 10
RUN L

I've not previously used a ZX81 so I was shocked to find lots of games which are still surprisingly good. 3D Monster Maze by Malcolm Evans is one such title and highly regarded as one of the best reason so many people still love this old paperweight. Truly ahead of its time and perhaps the first survival horror game played from a first-person perspective? (check out Retro Resolution for a fantastic review!)

A stock Atari ST should be able to run most of the games perfectly, from either floppy or hard drive. If you feel ZX81 is running in overdrive then hit the UNDO key and lower the speed limiter - I needed to do this for Pac-Man which was otherwise insanely fast! Load up this fantastic emulator for your Atari ST and party like it's 1981 :^)

Games I Liked

 - Galaxians - looks naff but plays superb and is one tough cookie (screenshot)
 - Mazogs - I loved Maniacs on the Spectrum and here's its Daddy! (screenshot)
 - 3D Labyrinth - kinda like 3D Monster Maze but different ;-) (screenshot)
 - Castle Of Carmain - now I really REALLY love this tactical bomber (screenshot)

Download

 - ZX81 Emulator v2.1 (with games) is available for download from off my Dropbox.