Released: The Speccies (1 & 2).

Okay, finally made it – The Speccies has arrived and are now released into the wild.

The Speccies is a puzzlegame for the 48K ZX Spectrum. It’s coded in pure Z80 assembler and contains 101 levels of brain-torturing‎ fun.

The game is not only released as a digital download but also available as a strictly limited run of physical cassettes for the ZX Spectrum – see below and mail me for information if you’re interrested.

We (the artist and me) had problems with parts of the the physical product (mainly the deluxe version) so we decided to hold off the release until after the summer vacation, then we got some better music for it which introduced some last minute bugs, and before we knew of it much more time, than we had anticipated, had gone by. On the plus side that means that – since the game had basically been completed for several months – there was time to submit it to Retro Gamer Magazine and ended up being reviewed and scoring 85% at about the same time the game was released…so that worked out nicely. 😉


During all this time of doing nothing – and being on vacation and not feeling like doing anything – I came across a Flashgame that I liked and I thought “wouldn’t that make an excellent 16K Spectrum game?“, so I began coding that anyway. I reused a lot of stuff from the first game, which saved a lot of time, and by doing that I was able to code this game in 4½ days. It’s not fantastic, it’s not original, but it’s a simple fun puzzle game and I had lots of fun making it…and feel quite satisfied with what I achieved in the time I spent. And so The Speccies II was born. It is included on the tape on the deluxe version of the physical cassette that we sell (all sold out, btw) but it can be downloaded for free as well.

Here’s a picture showing the menus and an ingame screen from each game.


This picture shows the three physical versions of the game being sold; the single cassette version, the double case version and the Ultimate-style deluxe version and in the background – the poster we also produced.

And finally the review of The Speccies from Retro Gamer Magazine (September 2013) when the game scored 85%.

Happy playing. 🙂


Sincerest form of flattery and all that…

It’s a bit funny, but just the other day I found another remake of Rip-Off and I didn’t know what to think when I saw it…it looked almost exactly like my own remake of the game.

Some dude has remade the game – but not the arcade version, he’s remade MY version. He didn’t do his own take on the game … just replicated my version very closely (although not entirely). Okay, he HAS done a different version too – Rip-Off Evolved, which is Rip-Off given the Geometry Wars treatment. I haven’t tried that one though…I just looks too busy from the screenshots and I’m probably too much of a purist to accept it.

Anyway, when I first found the YouTube video of his version I had to watch it several times to see if this really was a new game, or some sort of hacked version of my own game, or something that interpreted my code. It’s that close to my version, and considering he’s even using the same backdrop, same sounds and the music that I had custom made for it, too, I think you can understand why I didn’t really know what I was watching.

Okay, let’s make a few comparisons. First of the menu then of the options screen.

This is the menu from my version.

This is the menu from my version. Click to view larger version.

This is the menu from his version.

This is the menu from his version. Click to view larger version.

Pretty close, wouldn’t you say? Now, let’s have a comparison between my options menu and his.

This is the options menu from my version.

This is the options menu from my version. Click to view larger version.

This is the options menu from his version.

This is the options menu from his version. Click to view larger version.

The funny thing – the antialias, flicker and colour options doesn’t even work in his version. LOL (from the YouTube videos I found they seem to work in the ‘Evolved’ version, though). But apart from that the biggest difference between the games, on the surface, seems to be that I used a nice bitmapped logo and he’s done the logo in vector lettering. And just to make matters even more confusing, he’s even used my logo in some of the betaversions I found on YouTube.

Although I didn’t really know what to think when I first saw it, I’ve decided that “honoured” is probably the be best term for it. Imagine that – people remaking my games. Haha. I think what I’m feeling must be pretty close to what the original authors must feel when they see our remakes – damn freaked out. 😀

It does say “…and we’ve tried to replicate the game to as close as possible to the reference material (found at” on his website though, so he does link to my site – his inspiration. LOL. I wish he would’ve mailed me earlier so I wouldn’t be so … confuzzled … when I found it. 😉

So, that’s like some sort of metaremake, a rip off of a rip off of Rip Off called Rip Off too. Unchecked it could cause the universe to end (thanks Bob). 😉

Star Castle: Remake of the Month

A few days ago I recieved the latest issue of Retro Gamer Magazine and imagine my surprise when I turned to page 102 and saw that my version of Star Castle had been nominated ‘Remake of the Month’. Cool, that’s the second time. Well, not the second time for Star Castle obviously – last time was Omega Race 2009. 🙂

Retro Gamer Magazine Article

Remake of the Month

Rant: Burnout Paradise

I bought an Xbox360 5 weeks ago, primarily for playing Burnout Paradise (BP) …and that’s what I’ve done. It’s been a nice distraction (most of the time) but it’s coming to an end soon I think.

Why? “Because it’s not really all that good.

BP was the killer app for me – the primary reason I plunked down £460 for the system and the game, and thank God I’ve found other interesting games on the system too, because BP has turned out to be a big disappointment.

Let me explain the problems I have with the game.

The game is played in big city, where you’re free to roam as you you please. There is a race at every intersection and to start a race or one of the other ‘missions’ you only have to pull up to an intersection and activate the race that’s there. If you win a race – great!…you’ll have driven to a different part of the map, but there’s usually another race nearby you can participate in.

…but if you loose the race, crash or decide to restart the race, the only way to start that same race again is to drive all the way back to the starting point. It’s okay in the beginning – you need to learn your way around the city anyway and there’s plenty of secondary objectives along the way, but as you complete all those and have learned your way around the city, it just sucks to be forced to drive all the way back. It’s not fun…it’s annoying and just a big fucking waste of time.
Give us the fucking possibility to start a race where we want!

Another thing – when you crash you get this slow-motion replay of your car crashing. Pretty neat…THE FIRST 10 TIMES – then it’s just BLOODY ANNOYING. It fucking disruptive to game-play. How can the developers play the game for as long as they have to, when they’re making the game, and NOT see how annoying this is? You’re sitting there all concentrated, trying to drive well and outsmart the other cars, and then you crash and are forced to watch a 5-8 seconds of some STUPID animation that you can’t skip. Why did it not occur to them that people might want to be able to skip it? Where do I sign up to JAM A FUCKING PAIR OF SCICCORS INTO THEIR CHESTS? Everywhere I’ve read about BP people say the same – “Let us skip that animation” and yet it’s not on the list of fixes in their first update. What the fuck are they thinking?

They’ve also done away with the brilliant ‘crash missions’. That was stupid! They’ve put something in called ‘showtime’ instead – that was a good idea though…on paper. It just doesn’t work and it’s the most boring thing in the world.

Generally speaking, there’s a lot of things in the game that are completely uninteresting (hello ‘road rules’). Lots of different race modes and side missions, but not much of it are actually fun. My personal favorite modes are Race, Burning Route and Marked Man. The rest can just fuck off.

Oh, and there’s no local multi-player mode. Why? Probably because they want us all to go online and play against strangers. The idea is great and they have really made it easy to go online. So, sure, you can play against other people…but it’s costs money. So why should they give os local multi-player action…it’s not like there’s any profit in it for them.

Well, they’re CUNTS for not letting me play against my friends…my real friends – the kind that are actually in the living room with me. Is it so damn hard to imagine that people might like this?

Criterion has sold out! Those cunts!

Let me explain how much I like the Burnout games.

Burnout 3: Takedown. I’ve played this one for 77 hours and completed 96%
Burnout 4: Revenge. I’ve played this one for 55 hours and completed 99%

I’ve played Burnout Paradise for 28 hours, completed 61% and I’ve been sick and tired of it for a long time already.

I was really surprised to learn that one of the bugs they’re fixing in their first patch, is the that the “total time driven” counter would stick at 145 hours. What the hell…are there actually anyone who’s been playing for that long or have they just been stress testing the game?

I won’t be playing this one much longer. Instead I’ll probably fire up B3 or B4 instead, to be able to play against my friends. Sure, it’ll be against one person at the time, but none of them has an Xbox360, so I wouldn’t be able to play against them online at all.

Burnout Paradise is not all bad, but it’s a far cry from what it could have been. It’s just a big disappointment! The next Burnout game will not be bought in blind faith – it’ll be rented, and then I’ll see if it’s worth my money.

…and speaking of money – this was just my 2 cents on Burnout Paradise.