Those who grew up in Britian and Europe in the 80’s and early 90’s know all about the ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC.
Most people who owned one remember the Sinclair Spectrum and CPC as their gateway to the world of personal computers with big name developers like Rareware and the famous composer Jesper Kyd starting as humble home computer developers and composers respectively on them.
Both of these home computers had their own particular charm. The Spectrum was not designed for gaming but developers released some fantastic titles anyway despite the impediment of a lack of dedicated video. This meant games could only really display a few colours at a time from a total of seven. The CPC is remembered for its games with bright, bold colours and the unique Amstrad monitor.
Games like Fantastic Dizzy, Firebird, Manic Miner, Wizball and ports of popular arcade and home console games like Commando, Altered Beast and Ikari Warriors led to the CPC and Spectrum becoming beloved amongst home computer users in the 80’s and early 90’s. Magazines that catered to hobbyist game and operating system development and the “demo scene” fueled the fires of fandom amongst Spectrum and CPC users and now their legacy lives on in communities on the internet.
A manifestation of the love the fans of these home computers hold for them is the “fan site” and what better way to celebrate these wonderful pieces of gaming history than to host some of the most beloved games on the system for play in your browser?
World of Spectrum is a huge site dedicated to all things Spectrum. Straight from your browser you can launch hundreds of games, demo discs, educational programs and productive tools. This is a huge time sink and if you love your home computers then you’ll get lost in this site for hours.
CPC Box is the home of a really excellent CPC emulator; the site doesn’t hold quite an impressive library of titles like World of Spectrum but it does provide the user with a nice big display resembling a CPC monitor and the ability to boot the CPC and play around with the command line in BASIC. This site is a lot of fun to tinker with.
European gamers must have a tonne of great memories of these two classic computer systems, and of the games that molded a generation of players and programmers. Did you grow up with the shrill loading of a Spectrum tape drive? The satisfying clacking of a CPC keyboard? Share some memories with us.