Sqij 2018


Sqij has an interesting story. It was originally released for the C64 in 1986. It also recieved an official “port” for the ZX Spectrum in 1987, but that version has famously been called “the worst Spectrum game ever“, so I’ve taken it upon myself to remake the C64 version for the ZX Spectrum. Read more about the original Spectrum version at the bottom of this page.

So what is Sqij? Well, at its feathery heart the game is a multi-screen maze game. You play as Sqij – a bird tasked with collecting the lost pieces of a tree – and bringing them to a holy cave where it can grow. The caverns are full of nasties you’ll have to dispose of, and you’ll also have to find keys to unlock barriers that block parts of the caves.


Download in TAP, TZX & DSK format for the ZX Spectrum (100 KB)

The game is also available on physical cassettetape. You can get it here.

Current version v1.0 (released January 3rd, 2018).


Here’s four screenshots from the game.





Video coming here … as soon as someone makes one I can pinch. 😉

Gameplay description:
You’re Sqij – a bird tasked with finding and collecting the six lost pieces of a holy tree – and bringing them to a sacred cave where it can grow. The caverns are full of nasties you’ll have to dispose of, and you’ll also have to find keys to unlock barriers that block parts of the caves. The keys won’t look like keys – some of the inhabitants of the caves will give them to you. Can you find them?


Unpack the ZIP file and you’ll end up with a TAP file and a TZX file. They can be used with any Spectrum emulator. I recommend ZXSpin (free) and Spectaculator (commercial) – they can both be found on The World Of Spectrum. The game can also be recorded to tape and used with a real Spectrum.

QAOP and SPACE to control the game. H to pause the game.
All keys can be redefined. Kempston joystick control also available.

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

Idea and design of original C64 game: Jason Kendall
The Spectrum version coded by Søren Borgquist – aka. Sokurah.
Spectrum graphics by Lobo, Simon Butler & Redballoon.
Spectrum music by Saul Cross.


Version history.
v1.0 – January 3rd, 2018


Extra info.
The original Spectrum game from 1987 has, by many many people, been called “the worst Spectrum game ever” … and it’s not a totally unfounded accusation, as the game was completely unplayable when it was released. I could write a long story about why the original game was so bad, but this Eurogamer article, as well as this one, does pretty good jobs telling the story. There’s also plenty of YouTube videos – I like this one and this very entertaining one by Ashens (go in 47 minutes to see the bit about Sqij, but do watch all of it if you can find the time). I’m not really sure how I got the idea to remake it, but here it is, complete with the exact same map and item positions as the C64 version. Perhaps not a mega-game, but a fun little project that took me about 1.5 month to make … and now the Spectrum finally has a version of Sqij that compares with the C64 version. Well, slightly better, IMHO, as I’ve slowed this version down so it’s not as unplayably fast as the C64 version. 😉  Enjoy.