Tuesday, 23 May 2017

My Top Ten Sinclair Spectrum games: Elite & Atic Atac

So once again lets go back to my Top Ten Sinclair Spectrum games list and look at another two from the list, so without further ado here we go.


So the first ever time I saw Elite it was on the BBC Micro which my older brother owned, I adored it from the first moment and forgive the pun but I thought the game was light years ahead of its time. Now the spectrum had so many games on it that its even harder to pick a top ten for it than it would be for most systems but the reason this one makes the list is that when you consider the hardware its running on and when it was made you simply didnt get games like this back then, the game was  and still is a joy to play and the main reason for this is that its a game which you play however you want to play it.

The graphics the wire-framed ships were just unthinkably brilliant back then they might have aged now but what hasnt aged is the sense of freedom you see in Elite you jump in your space ship the  Cobra Mk III and you explore a large and wonderful universe, you can trade cargo, fight pirates or maybe you want to be a pirate yourself and attack other ships so that when youve destroyed them you can take there cargo for yourself using your tractor beam to steal it.Yes we have all kinds of open world games now days but back then this was pretty much one of a kind. I could talk about this game till the cows come home but I think it is much better to simply say you need to play this game

An intresting and kind of annoying point to note is that Elite was the first game to ever utilise an anti piracy method called the LensLock. The LensLock is basically a special Lens that came with the game, now you look at coloured squares on the screen through this in order to read a code which you need to play the game.

Atic Atac

When I used to play this game back in the day I never knew that it was something I would keep coming back to for my entire life, the very last time I set up my spectrum it was to play this very game and a select few others and now thanks to the Compilation Disc Rare Replay, I can very easily find myself playing this any time I want in seconds. So yeah Basically the name on the box here Ultimate Play The Game is the name Rare went by before they became Rare.

Atic Atac is what would proberbly be described as an Isometric arcade adventure game it was released for the ZX Spectrum and the BBC Micro. The thing is a lot of people think that Rare and there long stretch of impresive games all started with the NES, well the truth is far from that in fact Ultimate had already been making games on the 16k model of Spectrum but Atic Atac was there second game which required 48K of memory and its an absolute belter of a game, for those that dont know how big a deal Ulitmate was as a developer this game was Ultimate's third consecutive number one in the UK Spectrum sales chart.

Atic Atac plays in a  top-down perspective and is set inside a castle, a castle in which you the player are trapped. You need to find 3 pieces of a golden key in order to escape, something that makes this game all the more intresting is that you have a choice of three diffrent characters a Knight a Wizared or a Serf. There are a number of items which are all around the castle for you to find, some of them are always in the same place others are randomly generated, you can carry 3 of them at a time.
You have diffrent coloured keys which will open doors which are the same colour, then theres items which will kill or repel enemies. All of the enemies essentially attack the player on sight, contact with them drains your life bar. So what makes this a top ten game? It is a great game to just jump in to, the randomness really helps with repeat replays but its mostly just because its so darn playable, wether you play this game on an original spectrum, a modern spectrum recreation or on rare replay I just advice you to give it a crack and see what you think.

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