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Mark Vergeer's picture

ZX Spectrum - Splat

Developers: Ian Andrew & Ian Morgan from Incentive Software
Year published: 1983
Platforms: ZX Spectrum, C64, Amstrad CPC, Sam Coupé

Here's me explaining some about the game while playing...

RetroGamerVX has challenged us to make Spectrum themed videos this week in honor of the ZX Spectrum's 30th birthday. Of course all I could do is comply to escape the wrath of my Evil Twin from the UK.

His video can be found here:

"Copyright Disclaimer Under Section 107 of the Copyright Act 1976, allowance is made for "fair use" for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing. Non-profit, educational or personal use tips the balance in favor of fair use."

Bill Loguidice's picture

Casual Photos: Eric Knopp's ORBITRON (1981) from Sirius Software for the Apple II

Today's casual photos (shown below), this time taken with my Canon camera, is of Eric Knopp's Orbitron, published by Sirius software for the Apple II in 1981. The game was written in Assembly Language (versus the less professional BASIC) and required a 48K Apple II or II+, which was somewhat hefty for the time. The game's graphics were drawn using Sirius's E-Z Draw, first published in 1980. As you can see, this came in packaging not only common to Sirius at the time, but also the industry at large, in this case a small cardboard folder in shrinkwrap (the other common variety being a small cardboard folder or insert in a plastic zipper bag). The instructions, which aren't shown, are actually on the interior of the folder. I didn't want to remove what is most likely the original shrinkwrap, even though it's damaged. I'll likely transfer this to a plastic zipper bag for even more protection (and hey, that's still fairly authentic).

Anyway, as for Orbitron itself, you can play it yourself in your browser, here. It's a noisy, challenging and fairly fun game of essentially shooting through a series of rotating shields. Use the 1 and 2 keys to rotate your ship and the spacebar to fire. Enjoy!

Bill Loguidice's picture

48K Sinclair ZX Spectrum Compatibility Cartridge for the Timex Sinclair 2068

In what is surely good news for those of us with Timex Sinclair 2068's, an entirely new production run of Sinclair ZX Spectrum Compatibility cartridges are being made available by Jarek Adamski. This is the number one most sought after add-on for Timex Sinclair 2068 users, as there never was an official US release of the emulator, only in Portugal. The US-based Timex Sinclair 2068, as a follow-up to the Timex Sinclair 1000 and 1500, was a fairly nice system, but didn't last long before Timex pulled out of the market and was mostly incompatible with the computer that it was based off of and to which it exceeded in capabilities, the Sinclair ZX Spectrum. By adding a compatibility cartridge (some performed an internal modification), you can open up the world of the majority of software for the 48K Sinclair ZX Spectrum, which rivaled the Commodore 64 in terms of software depth and breadth in England, but never saw release in the US. While a comparatively underpowered specification, the 48K Sinclair ZX Spectrum was and still is well loved by a huge population of users. The only real incompatibilities - a very small number - arise when Spectrum software tries to check for or utilize peripherals, such as joysticks, whose ports are at entirely different locations on each system. Of course this does not make the system compatible with the 128K version of the UK Spectrum, which itself matched and exceeded most of the features of the US Timex Sinclair 2068.

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