Vintage Gaming

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Computer Games for the BBC Micro

The finest game ever was undoubtedly Elite, which I spent much of my cosmic youth immersed in. In adulthood, I rediscover it occasionally, and even met The Creator. See also Oolite, a modern multi-platform open-source expanded version of Elite.

Other remarkable games for their time included Labyrinth, whose vivid sprites (using just four colours mixed to create many more shades) I shall never forget drooling over in my local computer shop. I still know my way around. This game had many great ideas, including force-fields that your blood-red laser bullets bounced off and a boulder you pushed around that could crush the various colourful creatures who were hellbent on your destruction.

I basically learned to drive playing Revs (!) and subsequently know Silverstone very well (this may explain my tendency to take the apex of bends and maintain the racing line on roads :-) This racing game is possibly still unsurpassed in terms of feel; indeed, many Acornsoft games like Starship Command had a real air of quality. Another special one, also by Geoff Crammond, was Sentinel, whose 10000 algorithmically-generated mountainous landscapes of icy cool 3D filled-polygon graphics I spent many months exploring.

I also spent some time nearly finishing Repton 2, but Repton 3, while having the great facility of designing your own levels, ran too slowly and the fungus was annoying. Instead I enjoyed making up crazy levels for Magic Mushrooms, and getting scared of the approaching footsteps in the Maze, (a venerable follow-up to the terrifying 3D Monster Maze on the Sinclair ZX81, if anyone remembers that). My sister always beat me at Snapper, Mr. Ee, and Killer Gorilla though.

Others with good gameplay

See also The BBC Games Archive and Stairway To Hell...

Other platforms

Favourite arcade games were:

Superior Interactive re-release Repton for PC!
BeebEm BBC emulator
Linux games

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike v3.0 Licence © The right to copy is left with the user copyleft Malcolm Smith 2006-08-15 - last updated 2006-08-18 - links verified 2006-08-18