Tuesday, February 23, 2016

ZX81



The good old days?

Back in the 90s, Christoph Zwerschke developed a Sinclair ZX81 emulator for the Atari ST. Believe it or not but I've never actually owned or even used this old Sinclair computer before! From what I've seen, it's mute and cannot make a sound plus the graphics are actually made up of monochrome blocks rather than colourful pixels.

This might all sound rather lame but there is a certain charm to the itsy-bitsy computer with less processing power than your average kettle. So I powered on this quirky computer and even took a stab at programming...

10 PRINT "ATARICRYPT ROCKS YOUR ST WORLD"
20 GOTO 10
RUN L

The stock Atari ST should be able to run any of its games perfectly fine and from either a floppy or (better still) a hard drive device. However, if you feel that the ZX81 is running in overdrive, then hit the UNDO key and adjust the speed limiter. I needed to do this for Pac-Man which was otherwise insanely too fast!

Yep, I've never owned a ZX81 but was shocked to discover lots of games that are surprisingly playable without sound or pixels. For starters, 3D Monster Maze by Malcolm Evans is a great example and highly regarded as one of the best reasons why many adore this old paperweight. Truly, this game is way ahead of its time and perhaps even the first survival horror game using a first-person perspective? (check out Retro Resolution for a review!).


I gotta say, Mazogs is something else!! (have you played Bugziacs?)


The CryptO'pinion?

This is a fantastic emulator and one that feels complete and robust too. It gives the opportunity to play games from an era when fancy graphics and 3D sounds weren't necessary and gameplay mattered. Tell that to today's millennials! Give it a whirl and boot up this fantastic ZX81 emulator to flip your Atari ST into a Sinclair ZX81.

Party like it's 1981 and have tons of fun in the process. Win, Win!! :^)


More Sinclair ZX81 games I really, really like!


I was also equally impressed by the simplicity of Galaxians.


Castle Of Carmain is just downright awesome fun!!


The mighty 3D Labyrinth is thrilling.

6 comments:

  1. when i see those games i nearly start to cry, thinking how much i miss those days

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    1. Ya big jessie!!

      I agree, and times where simpler for us being younger n all that. Still, kids and wives are good. Right? ;)

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  2. From what I recall Christoph's emulator was pretty good - the ZX81 had no sound and could only display monochrome block graphics.

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    Replies
    1. yet here we are in 2018 playing 3D Monster Maze :D

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  3. how do i get the maze game?

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    Replies
    1. Just use Old Games Finder: http://www.oldgamesfinder.com/?q=&m=-34

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