The Speccies


The Speccies is a puzzlegame for the 48K ZX Spectrum.
It is programmed in Z80 in assembler and has 101 levels of hardcore punishment for the brain.


Download emulator image in TAP & TZX format for ZX Spectrum emulator. (55KB).

The Speccies is a remake of “The Brainies” (European title: “Tiny Skweeks“) which was originally made for the DOS, Amiga, Atari ST, Mac, Amstrad CPC and SNES platforms, but was never released on the ZX Spectrum. Until now. The change of platform also means a change of title, and with its new name it suits the ZX Spectrum even better.

You play as The Speccies – a species of small rotund creatures – that has to work together in groups of up to 8 – to solve puzzles that ultimately will see them sitting on their respective ‘home-pads’ (a blue Speccie will have to find its way to a blue home-pad, etc. for differently colored Speccies). They will have to deal with several items on the levels, some that will help (like extra time) and some that will make things more difficult (like arrows that will force them to change direction, or bombs that will kill them…unless you have a ‘Joker’). Other tiles in the playing area can be occupied by teleporters or ‘bouncers’ that will send you back in the direction you came from. In other words – lots of potential for a brain-workout.

This game also supports ULAPlus mode. This is a proposed hardware standard that has been decided on and will eventually work on a real Spectrum, but until then is supported by various emulators. I prefer using ZXSpin. The whole idea of this is that – among other things – it allows the possibility of a larger palette – which is used to great effect here to make the game easier to play for people that suffer from color blindness. See an example of the new palette below. It may not be as pleasing to look at as the ‘normal’ version, but people with normal eyesight are not the targetgroup for this mode. But the orange does look quite pleasing, doesn’t it. 😉


First two screenshots from the ZX Spectrum remake of the game.

In-game action

Level 16. This early in the game things are relatively simple.

The mainmenu

Level 89. Busy. Lots of things to work out. Can you work it out?

 The screenshot below is using the ULAPlus mode which is used to great effect here to make the game
easier to play for people that suffer from color blindness
. The orange does look quite pleasing, doesn’t it. 😉

The mainmenu

Using the alternative colorpalette that is easier to see for people who suffer form color blindness.


For comparisons sake, here’s two screenshots from the original game.

Level 16 from the DOS version. It’s the same level as the one two screenshots up.

This skewed pseudo-3D mode is from level 16 on the terribly-looking SNES version.


Video from the DOS version (until I get around to make one from the Spectrum version).


Gameplay description:
You must guide the Speccies to their respective home-pads of the same color as themselves. The mechanics of the game is basically that you can only set the direction of movement, after which the Speccie will roll and react automatically to things it passes over, and only stops once it reaches something that blocks it. On later levels you will encounter locks that will disappear if a Speccie of the same color passes over – but acts as a solid stopblock for everyone else, or colored switches that will activate previously inactive home-pads. There’s also teleporters that lets you jump from place to place and bombs that will kill Speccies of the same color (unless you have a joker), but let everyone else through unharmed.

…and it’s all done against a ticking clock, naturally. 😉


Unpack the ZIP file and you’ll end up with a TAP file and a TZX file. They can be used with a Spectrum emulator. I recommend ZXSpin (free) and Spectaculator (commercial) — they can both found the The World Of Spectrum.


QAOP and SPACE to control the game.

All keys can be redefined.


Legal Blurb:
This game is FREEWARE and must remain freeware. I would also ask that the game will only be available from this website or from The World Of Spectrum.


This remake was programmed by Søren Borgquist – AKA. Sokurah, 2013.
Spectrum graphics designed by Craig Stevenson aka. RedBalloon.
The music was done by Chris Crowley.

The original game was programmed by Titus Software, and all interlectual property for gameplay and leveldesign belong to them, while all graphics and code in the remake belongs to Søren Borgquist and Craig Stevenson..


Version history.
v1.0 – September 2013.
Initial release.