My trusty old ZX Spectrum from the early 1980s was, essentially, a crap computer by today's standards. It had a tiny 48K of memory - which is about the size of a typical Word document today. There were only 8 display colours available and even those suffered horribly from attribute clash (colours changing and getting all mixed up around a sprite). The sound was really naff - a solitary, pathetic beep. And then there's its famous rubber keyboard - you did not type in your commands but 'squelched' them in. I have to say, though, my first Speccy was actually a Spectrum+, which had an 'improved' chiclet keyboard. So one could either type on what felt like dead flesh or on clackety chiclets that sometimes fell off the keyboard.

So why the 'Mighty' Speccy? Because the games written for the ZX Spectrum were the best in the world - and still are, frankly. It was a cheap and uncomplicated machine, so almost anyone and his dog could buy the Spectrum and start programming on it - even lazy sods like me. This resulted in a flood of software to suit every taste - from standard shoot-'em-up arcade fare and dungeons-and-dragons adventures, to submarine simulations and strategy games that took you across almost all the major the battlefields of Europe. Coupled by the fact that most of these were written by typically eccentric Brits, Speccy games could rival any available then, and any today, in terms of variety, intelligence, playability, addictiveness, instant gratification and sheer, unadulterated game-joy.

So all hail the Mighty Speccy! A very modest, unpretentious little machine that, despite its many shortcomings, allowed tens of thousands of people like me, in the nascent years of our Information Age, to discover the fun in computers. Here you'll find the all-time favourites from my own mis-spent youth and, trust me, young Sabri had spent many a night hunched over a steaming hot Speccy well into the wee hours of the day with each and every one of these. Most are quite esoteric military strategy and simulation games rather than the arcade and adventure games usually associated with the Speccy, so you're bound to find something different and unusual. I enjoyed these then and you can enjoy them now - thanks to the magic of Jan Bobrowski's Java-based ZX Spectrum emulator, Qaop. Yes, you can play these games right this very minute on your PC via this website, over an Internet connection!

So what are you waiting for? Click on the Speccy below and start playing!


© 2013. Sabri Zain. Powered by Qaop, the Java-based ZX Spectrum emulator by Jan Bobrowski