Spectrum Games Top 7 Ever! | Nostalgia Nerd


Now, this is a tough cookie. I mean really
tough. Aside from my Tomy Tutor, the The Sinclair Spectrum was my first real experience of home
computing. My brother and I would load games on that rectangular piece of plastic beauty
on a daily basis. I was even typing out lines of code at the age of 6 to replicate colourful
sunset patterns or fill the screen with randomised space invaders. With this in mind, you can expect that choosing
7 top games for this machine is difficult, and it really, really is. The Spectrum has
an extensive library of games. We’re talking several thousand at the very least. Some of
those games are absolute gold, whilst some barely warrant being called a Game in the
first place. But, like my previous Top 7’s, this list will be based on the games I have
the fondest memories of. The games I spent the most hours replaying over and over again,
never making it past level 2. Essentially the games which provided me with the most
fun regardless of their unbiased game-play credentials. Even with this in mind, it feels
painful to miss out some absolutely tremendous games purely because I settled on the arbitrary
figure of 7 when doing these lists, but that’s what I’ve done, and that’s what I’ll continue
to do. Starting with…. #7 Bruce Lee The Spectrum took platformers in it’s stride.
The high resolution graphics, combined with a rapid z80 processor meant things were swift
and there was plenty of room. Bruce Lee took this to full advantage. Featuring our protagonist
Bruce, and a couple of baddies who chase you around each screen, which adds a huge element
of cat & mouse fun into proceedings. You also have to face a variety of on screen obstacles,
doors, ladders and waterfalls mixed into varied and colourful environments whilst you collect
all the on screen keys to progress. It’s a perfect mix of chase, action, skill and logic
that makes it one of the best platformers I’ve played. #6 Batman the Movie We’re used to movie franchises being a crock
of unprecedented shite these days, but back in the 80s and 90s, Ocean pushed out some
pretty impressive games. Batman the Movie, based on Tim Burton’s 1989 classic was one
such game. In a typical Spectrum style the game was broken into different styles of play,
effortlessly switching from platforming to driving, flying and even puzzle as you try
and crack the joker’s code. It was a pretty tough game to get through, but it was a rewarding
experience, mimicking key parts of the film in perfect harmony. #5 Scuba Kidz It’s a budget title from Silverbird Software!
It’s easily arguable that a lot of budget titles were as good as, if not better than
some of the full priced games, and for me, Scuba Kidz fell nicely into that bracket.
Costing just £1.99 from your favourite video game retailer (mine being Software Emporium,
halfway down Magdalen Street in Norwich), this was pocket money gaming, but it provided
my brother and I with hours of entertainment, as you navigate your diver around perilous
undersea caverns, avoiding sharks, finding keys and making sure you don’t run out of
air. #4 Dynamite Dan If I were to pick one game from this list
that demonstrates a real British game, in all it’s weird oddity, then this would be
it. Dynamite Dan has you running around levels, collecting objects and avoiding your almost
inevitable death. There’s a wealth of strange creatures, musical ditties, contraptions and
careful jumps which really make use of the z80s high speed. The goal here is to collect
all 8 sticks of dynamite, find the safe and blow it, in order to thwart “this guys” almost
certainly evil plans. #3 Gunfighter There’s something about exploring the Wild
West. Being able to move freely between areas, shops, bars and the outback which really appeals.
This was kind of like an open world exploration game, where your goal is to take down outlaws
– dead or alive – and warrant your time as Sheriff of this god forsaken town. Strolling
onto a screen and seeing one of these guys waiting for you was tense and exciting stuff.
Probably one of the most fun games I can remember playing. #2 Trap Door If movie tie ins weren’t order of the day,
then television tie ins were. Trap Door was possibly my favourite childhood TV programme,
featuring Berk, The Thing upstairs, Boney and Drut. The job here is to make sure that
“Thing Thing upstairs” is kept fed, by working through his various requests to bring him
a particular meal within a particular period of time. If you fail, he gets angry, if you
succeed then you move onto the next meal assembly, which gets increasingly hard as more and more
creatures pour through the Trapdoor to ruin your day. I’m yet to play it’s sequel, Through
the Trap Door, but damn, I’m looking forward to it. #1 Spy vs. Spy So, here it is. My all time favourite. The
reason is probably quite apparent. It’s two player, and there’s nothing quite as much
fun as a multi-player gaming experience, especially back then. Crammed around one tiny keyboard,
trying to collect all the artifacts from your current level before you escape on the nearby
plane. Based on the MAD comic strip, you either played as white or black spy, with different
laid out levels and random item placement to mix things up. Whilst collecting these
items you could slow down your opponent by placing various traps above doors, or within
the items which they had to search. The result was a hilarious game of run & hide pranking,
as you each fought to collect everything and get the hell out of there. Now if I had time I might also mention other
favourites such as TransAm, Jetpac, Dizzy, Freddy Hardest, Dan Dare, Operation Wolf,
Peter Pack Rat, Contact Sam Cruise, Robocop, Trashman, Bomb Jack, Indiana Jones & The Last
Crusade, Pssst, Gauntlet, Run the Gauntlet, Daily Thompson’s Decathalon, Who Dares Wins
2, Starquake, Bubble Bobble, Postman Pat, Project Future, Werewolves of London, Ghost
Hunters, Agent X, Elevator Action, Popeye, Ghostbusters, Gunfright, Treasure Island,
Locomotion, Back to School and Beach Buggy Simulator, to name just a few… but I haven’t
really got time for that, so I won’t. Thank you for watching my Top 7 Speccy games.
I’ve done a few of these in the past and I’ve got many more platforms to cover in the future,
so stay tuned, click one below, or just slip away into the night. In any case, thank you
for watching, and sleep well.

100 thoughts on “Spectrum Games Top 7 Ever! | Nostalgia Nerd

  1. So many Spectrum games were just wandering around looking for the X pieces of something. They had endless screens and impossible jumps. I soon got sick of the whole genre.

  2. Spy vs spy, definitely a good number 1, must get it for my speccy, I only have the master system card version.

  3. Being on the other side of the pond, I didn't get into Speccy games until recently. Whole lotta good games on that thing! Given the price of the system itself at the time, and the games, its no wonder it took consoles so long to get a foothold in the UK.

  4. These games would run on the MEMOTEC MTX512 when a special module was pushed into the slot till it clicked then you could load a Sinclair Spectrum game and it turns out the MEMOTEC MTX512 actually had a better keyboard then the Sinclair Spectrum, you could add a unit called the MEMOTEC FDX512 floppy-drive which allows you to use two floppy discs at the same time via CPM Z80A.

  5. I really enjoy the spectrum vids. Never saw them here in Aus other than magazines( not where I live anyway).

  6. My Dad showed me the Budget Title Nifty Lifty, I love it. If you haven't played it give it a go!!

  7. great video and some nice nostalgia as well. i played some of those games on other systems, but didnt have any experience with the speccy until the emulation scene.

  8. Great video I dont evey you that task. That is an impossible task to name my top 7 Speccy favourates. Had a spectrum plus for 6 years had 100's of games. loved it ☺

  9. My dad showed me that if I copied all the letters & numbers in the hefty book that came with the 128k, I could make PYRAMIDS appear on the TV!!!!!!1!!
    And if I didn't mind spending about 3 times as long, I could add a fireworks display to the scene. I loved this (not the actual typing), but I realise now; it was just the ultimate child distraction. Hours upon hours of peace and quiet. Still, amazing what amazed us in 1984.

    I never tried one game in your list :/

  10. trailblazer, chaos, head over heels, target renegade, wiz ball (although far superior on the c64). ah man great memories

  11. Excellent video, very well put together.
    Its an impossible mission to select just 7 games but I would have to have The Great Escape, Death Wish 3, Back To Skool, Trap Door, Turbo Esprit, Three Weeks In Paradise and Zoids.

  12. Halls of the Things, Starion, Split Personalities, Thrust, Dark Star, The Way of the Exploding Fist, Space Raiders, Moon Cresta, Horace Goes Skiing, Manic Miner, Monty on the Run, Pssst, JetPac, Ms Pacman, Tornado Low Level, Starquake, Elite, Fairlight, Bobby Bearing, Cyrus IS Chess, Alien (not 8), Bubble Bobble. Okay that's more than seven.

  13. I think nobody mentioned these 5 good games: Fred, West Bank, Penetrator, Kong II, and Match Day II (the best 1-2 player soccer game for Spectrum). I also had lots of fun playing Target Renegade, Scuba Dive, Manic Miner, Commando, Jet Set Willy, Bruce Lee, JetPac, Batman, Moon Cresta, Phoenix, School Daze, Ant 3D, Rocky Horror Show, Tanx 3D, Missile, Horace (Skying, Eating and Spiders), Ikari Warriors, Pogo, Arkanoid, etc.

  14. No 'Elite'? Did you lose the Lenslok? Also, what about the likes of 'Knight Lore', 'Underwurld', 'Atic Atac', 'The Lords of Midnight, 'The Hobbit', 'Laser Squad' etc?

  15. How can you not have Elite in there? It would have been my hands-down favorite, can't believe it didn't even make the list!

  16. Gah! Software Emporium, totally forgot the name of that place, I got my first Amiga Hard Drive and Printer from there! One Step Beyond was awesome too, a complete jumble of things, but was jam packed and exciting to explore!

  17. Personal favourites of mine (or at least the ones I remember the most) – Chaos, Rebelstar, Skool Daze, Formula One, Ninja Scooter Simulator, Saboteur, and the first speccy game I ever played, Oh Mummy

  18. You forgot about everything…
    #1- Elite (Best of the best!) #2- Saboteur2#3- Prince of Persia#4- Boulder Dash…

  19. Rainbow Islands, Rocky Horror Show, Goonies, treasure island Dizzy. I swear though the Daley Thompsons Decathlon was a masturbation preparation tool 😀

  20. Great video. Loved the Speccy when I was a kid. Had a 48K and, later, a +2A. My top 10 games would be as follows:

    Pipe Mania
    Emlyn Hughes International Soccer
    Rainbow Islands
    Gauntlet
    Out Run
    Dan Dare III
    Olli & Lissa
    Rentakill Rita
    Bobby Bearing
    Treasure Island Dizzy

    Now, I'm not claiming these games were the best but they are the ones I played the most.

  21. No Bubble Bobble, R-Type, Target Renegade…? Bruce Lee was good as a 2 player game too, it was great fun bullying the ninja!

  22. Well i finished Bruce Lee when i played on Spectrum or C64. I think its not a difficult game. There are more difficult tricky games for spectrum for eg. Manic Minner, Yet Set Willy, Monty Mole etc.

  23. my favorite games are laser squad , 3d stock cars 2 , target renegade , fued , elite , colony and bak 2 skool

  24. I don't understand why games like manic miner, chuckie egg and all the other generic platform puzzle games are heralded as iconic. No one I knew played them on their speccys in the 80's. The best games on the spectrum were outrun, chase hq, castle master, stunt car racer, dan dare, batman, run the gauntlet and gauntlet. These were all big action games that really showed off what the speccy could do. Back in the day It was all about mega block buster titles, big colorful graphics and pumping 128k music.

  25. My main speccy game shop was actually Boots. Good old 80's.

    One of the most nostalgic games I can recall was Back to Skool – the successor to Skool Daze.

    I had forgotten this game until I saw a video featuring it yesterday. Looking for more memory access triggers 😉

  26. my top 3 were back 2 skool , postman pat and dan dare. great games unless you were playing on a 48k and your hands cramp into weird claws due to the keyboard.

  27. R-Type always looked good. I'm a C64 fan from the beginning. As it was my first machine but the Spectrum is very endearing now as I seen more games with the Internet. Offers its own unique quirkyness to games.

  28. Never see my fav games appear on lists like this always the usual suspects. Lords of midnight was an all time classic game that never seems to get a mention. Its complexity and scope prob a forerunner to modern strategy games. Deserves far more credit than the generic platformers rhar dominate 8 bit lists

  29. Haha as soon as I saw that space invaders filling the screen I knew I had to write the same. Took 2 minutes. I also used to type stuff furiously out of magazines when i was 6/7 years old (and never really got much better) but at least I still know how to program in speccy Basic!!

    10 GO SUB 1000
    20 BORDER 1: PAPER 0: BRIGHT 1: CLS
    30 POKE 23692,255
    40 FOR a=1 TO 10000
    50 LET i=INT (RND*8)
    60 PRINT INK i;"A";
    70 NEXT a
    999 STOP
    1000 RESTORE 1001: FOR F=65368 TO 65375: READ A: POKE F,A: NEXT F
    1005 RETURN
    1010 DATA 60,126,219,255,189,165,165,36

    (remember graphics mode for the A on line 60!)

  30. Gamers….. Sorry…. Split brat little kids nowadays moan about fps, small glitches, minor imperfections, loading times, prices

    ……. In fact they are never happy! I used to cry when I miss typed a line of code! But loved the spectrum growing up! Gamers will never even realise what games we're like back then

  31. Games I loved: Fairlight (one of the first persistent worlds, objects stayed where you put them as well as having weight), highway encounter 1+2, underwurlde, death star interceptor (awesome sound), starstrike, robin of the wood, jetpac, m.o.v.i.e., sweevos world, skool daze+bak to skool and a ton of others. Project future was the first game I bought with my own money, it wasnt half bad iirc, loads of colourful aliens and backgrounds and a shitload of screens (128 springs to mind but it might have been more).

  32. The Spectrum was great but theres not getting away from the poxy colour scheme. Hi res graphics with 12 colours lol.

  33. My arbitrary 7:

    7 – Way of the Exploding Fist
    6 – World Class Leaderboard
    5 – Bomb Jack
    4 – Chuckie Egg
    3 – Manic Miner
    2 – Green Beret
    1 – Jet Set Willy

  34. Laser Squad, I loved that game. One of the best games on Spectrum. Wondering why is not mentioned?!?
    I still own original cassette and Speccy 🙂

  35. Manic Miner number 1 for me ,my first game I played on the spectrum ,such great memories of the classic speccy

  36. Awesome list. Awesome games.
    Remember Way of the Exploding fist, Saboteur, a weird text 9nly game called Castle???

    Oh and the Hobbit.
    'You were eaten by a Troll, you have completed 0.2% of this game.'

  37. Some of my favs:

    Laser Squad
    Skooldaze / Bak to Skool
    Scuba Dive
    Jet Set Willy
    Match day
    Frank Bruno's Boxing
    Cyclone

  38. Bubble Bobble. Yie at kung fu. RoboCop. I'd do a top seven too but my memory is about as expansive as the grey 128k model we had… funny thing when I try and remember stuff I start making the same noises it made when loading.

  39. Skool Daze, Fairlight, Atic Atac, Paradroid, Highway Encounter, Zombie Zombie, Everyone's a Wally, Marble Madness, Nodes of Yesod, Knight Lore, MotD, Way of the Exploding Fist, Strontium Dog, Sabre Wulf, Tir Na Nog, all the Artic Adventures, Terrormolinos, The Hobbit, Lode Runner, Boulderdash, Paperboy, Spy Hunter…and on and on and on…

  40. Bruce lee, Ikari warriors, Robocop, Laser Squad, Rainbow islands,Double dragon, Yi ar kung fu, Saint dragon, Xenon, 1942, Dynamite dan, Eric and the floaters, Etc so many classics i love as a kid, 2d was the revolution of what was to become.

  41. All opinions are different – my list would include Zynaps, Thunderceptor, Savage, Elite, Dan Dare 3, Dynamite Dan, Myth series, beyond the ice palace…, Astro Marine Corps series…

  42. Please sir, I cannot tell a lie, Nostalgia Nerd has done a video about the best spectrum games and completely ignored Skooldaze in his top 7 🙁

  43. I loved scuba kidz for the c64. And it had a crackin' sound track! The Platoon melody at the end of the video was a nice bonus.

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