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The 50 Best Speccy Games Ever!
Published in the 2004 Special issue
World Of Spectrum links for:
 3D Ant Attack   Atic Atac   Auf Wiedersehen Monty   Back To Skool   Batman   Boulderdash   Bounty Bob Strikes Back   Bubble Bobble   Chaos   Chaos 2   Chuckie Egg   Daley Thompson's Decathlon   Dan Dare   Deathchase   Defenda   Deus Ex Machina   Dizzy   Dynamite Dan   Elite   Fantasy World Dizzy   Football Director   Football Manager   Hall Of The Things   Head Over Heels   Horace Goes Skiing   Impossible Mission   Jet Set Willy   Jet-Pac   Knight Lore   Knight Tyme   Laser Squad   Lords Of Chaos   Lords Of Midnight   Magicland Dizzy   Manic Miner   Match Day   Match Day 2   Nodes Of Yesod   R-Type   Rana Rama   Robocop   Sabre Wulf   Skool Daze   Starion   Starquake   Striker   Tir Na Nog   Treasure Island Dizzy   Underwurlde   Wanted: Monty Mole 
Tipshop links for:
 3D Ant Attack   Atic Atac   Auf Wiedersehen Monty   Back To Skool   Batman   Boulderdash   Bounty Bob Strikes Back   Bubble Bobble   Chaos   Chaos 2   Chuckie Egg   Daley Thompson's Decathlon   Dan Dare   Deathchase   Defenda   Deus Ex Machina   Dizzy   Dynamite Dan   Elite   Fantasy World Dizzy   Football Director   Football Manager   Hall Of The Things   Head Over Heels   Horace Goes Skiing   Impossible Mission   Jet Set Willy   Jet-Pac   Knight Lore   Knight Tyme   Laser Squad   Lords Of Chaos   Lords Of Midnight   Magicland Dizzy   Manic Miner   Match Day   Match Day 2   Nodes Of Yesod   R-Type   Rana Rama   Robocop   Sabre Wulf   Skool Daze   Starion   Starquake   Striker   Tir Na Nog   Treasure Island Dizzy   Underwurlde   Wanted: Monty Mole 
Dan Whitehead
A YSRnRY EXCLUSIVE!
This article didn't make it to YS94 in the end,
so here it is, courtesy of Dan Whitehead!
You know how many games were released for the various Sinclair formats over the years? We'll tell you - dozens. Maybe hundreds. Actually, thousands. Maybe a million. A lot. So choosing the fifty best from a list consisting of "a lot" of games is no easy task. That's why we asked you, the Retro Gamer massive, to do the legwork for us with your voting gloves. Vote you did, and the results are in. With Your Sinclair only bursting into fragrant life in 1986, review scores for older games have been taken from re-release or compilation reviews where available.
    The results are still intriguing though. There's an obvious lean towards the early days of the ol' rubber beermat, and most of the games included tickle the eights and nines of the YS review system. But there are a few obvious anomalies as well. Where's Mercenary? Stunt Car Racer? Wally Week? Where's The Hobbit? And was it really necessary to see four Dizzy games in the chart? That's like finding all the Star Trek movies in the Top 50 Movies Of All Time.
    OK, OK, enough griping. It's your chart after all. You do what you want. Don't worry about us. Treat this place like a bloomin' hotel...

    
50. Football Director (1986)
Starting out life as a mail-order only game, Football Director soon became the management sim of choice for footy fans who found Kevin Tom's classic Football Manager was starting to show its limitations. Served up in a lo-fi no frills package, the game was heavy on stats, low on everything else, making it the ideal choice for trainspotters everywhere. Among its many features, Football Director boasted "crowd violence" and "TV cameras". Magic.
    YS Rated it: 8/10 (YS23)
    
49. Dan Dare (1986)
Pip pip! What ho, chaps! Seems that Mekon fellow has been causing a spot of a sticky wicket, so Dan Dare and Digby are going to pop over there, give him a taste of British spunk and be back in time for scones. Of course, we'll need one of those new-fangled "Spectrums" that the queer johnnies at the lab have come up with, but it should be a wizard wheeze all the same. Beezer idea, what?
    YS Rated it: 9/10 (YS11)
    
48. Daley Thompson's Decathlon (1984)
The stench of burning rubber hung heavy over the bedrooms of Britain in 1984, and not just because of Frankie Goes To Hollywood and their sick, sick pop filth. No, it was from thousands of young boys straining their wrists and hammering the sproingy Speccy keyboard to appease an eerily ghost-like Daley Thompson in this simple-yet-varied sportathon. Mention it even today, and most grown men will get spasms in their fingers.
    YS Rated it: 7/10 (YS35)
    
47. Bubble Bobble (1987)
Dinosaurs vomiting bubbles onto ghosts, and then bursting them to transform said beasts into nutritious fruit, is such an obvious idea for a game that it's pretty surprising it took them so long to get round to it. Another arcade conversion, this is one where the Speccy graphics really look shonky compared to the original, but the great gameplay shines through. Bet you can still whistle the music as well. True fact: the characters of Bub and Bob were based on Scottish crooners The Proclaimers.
    YS Rated it: 9/10 (YS69)
    
46. Batman (1986)
Jon "Match Day" Ritman fancied trying his hand at one of those isometric 3D puzzle-platformers that Ultimate were so darn good at. He managed to get DC Comics to let him use Batman as his guinea pig. The result was spankingly good - all the polish of an Ultimate game, but with smarter level design. Interestingly, Ritman originally wanted to let players switch between Batman and Robin, but couldn't work out the coding in time. He cracked the problem for his follow-up though, a game which is currently awaiting you at Number 13...
    YS Rated it: 9/10 (YS9)
    
45. Back to Skool (1986)
The sequel to Skool Daze (flick forward for that truant treat) is, in many ways, the better game. There's a lot more to do, more locations including a girl's school across the yard, and your tasks are more varied than the simple shield-shooting and detention-dodging of the original. And the jump over the school gates is still an action highlight of the 8-bit era.
    YS Rated it: 9/10 (YS2)
    
44. Auf Wiedersehen Monty (1987)
Auf Wiedersehen is, of course, German for "please take Jimmy Nail back - we don't want him". It can also mean "Goodbye", a fact which led many Monty fans to choke back a sob at the thought of this being the final game to star the brave little mole. It wasn't the last we'd see of him - he'd be back in Moley Christmas on the YS cover tape the same year - but it was his last commercial outing. And it's a predictably solid platformer from the Gremlin team, with an amusing international theme. Sleep tight, Monty.
    YS Rated it: 9/10 (YS18)
    
43. 3D Ant Attack (1985)
Sandy White's minimalist classic of game design can certainly lay claim to being one of the first to truly make the most of the isometric viewpoint, creating an eerie city populated by giant ants from which you had to rescue your boyfriend/girlfriend. Yep, the game even let you choose your sex-parts, a feature which would later inspire Coronation Street to introduce the character of Hayley Cropper.
    YS Rated it: Not reviewed.
    
42. Tir Na Nog (1984)
This is the only game in the world to have a title which is an anagram of "Ran On Git". FACT! It's also a heavily beardy adventure which was one of the first to favour graphics over text for both input and displaying the action. With a suitably authentic Celtic vibe, and lavish presentation, this is the sort of labour of love that is sadly missing in today's more corporate games industry.
    YS Rated it: Not Reviewed
    
41. Striker (1989)
A rather obscure footy game from the aptly titled publisher Cult Games. Wait - did you mean Strider? The rather great Capcom action-platformer? That had a robot centipede in it, which isn't something you see every day. No? You really do mean the football game? The one that isn't nearly as good as Match Day? OK. Have it your way. Don't come running to me when you break your legs...
    YS Rated it: Not Reviewed
    
40. Robocop (1989)
If you were a spotty teen in the mid to late 80s, then the pirate video everyone wanted was RoboCop. It had a cool robot, loads of gore and enough swears to make the Pope burst. Everything a growing boy needs. Naturally, Ocean's eventual game version sold more copies than Robin Williams has back hairs, but also managed to be a pretty swanky game to boot, covering all the major scenes from the film, and tossing a little shooting gallery and puzzle action into the mix. "I'd buy that for a dollar!" barked that Benny Hill fella in the movie. It was £7.95 actually, but it's the thought that counts.
    YS Rated it: 8/10 (YS39)
    
39. Rana Rama (1987)
They bestrode the 80s music scene like a three-headed fem-pop Cerberus, spewing fire, brimstone and catchy ditties such as "Venus", "Robert De Niro's Waiting" and "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye". They did that one with The Thomson Twins as well. Or was it Fun Boy Three? The brunette one married him from out of Eurythmics, and then did Shakespear's Sister. Not sure what a game about a wizard who turns into a frog has to do with it all, but they were crazy times. Just ask Judd Nelson.
    YS Rated it: 78% (YS63)
    
38. Match Day (1987)
Jon Ritman's first bite of the football cherry proved to a cynical world that an arcade footy game could work on the humble home computer, and finally allowed a nation of fans to move away from management sims and into something that more accurately conveyed the atmosphere of playing the game, rather than watching it. Soon overshadowed by his own sequel, Ritman still deserves dozens of lovebites from all 80s Spec-Soccer fans for this classic.
    YS Rated it: 84% (YS54)
    
37. Laser Squad (1988)
The first dose of Gollops in this list, but certainly not the last. A turn-based stategy game with a sci-fi sheen, you must arm and deploy your squad of laser-toting grunts (a sort of "laser squad", if you will) to partake of a series of missions. Storm a bad guys house, wipe out an alien infestation, that sort of thing. Where it succeeds is in the brilliantly simple set-up (five keys are all you need) and the equally brilliant complexity which puts modern point-and-click RTS games to shame.
    YS Rated it: 9/10 (YS35)
    
36. Knight Tyme (1986)
If there's one Speccy character that never really got the kudos he so richly deserved, it was Magic Knight, the star of a trilogy of spanky budget adventure games from Mastertronic. With brain-twisting puzzles and a sense of humour that owed plenty to Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Knight Tyme was also one of the first games to take full advantage of the super-powerful 128k Spectrum. All the kids loved Dizzy, but only the really cool kids dug Magic Knight. The groovy bar steward.
    YS Rated it: 9/10 (YS6)
    
35. Horace Goes Skiing (1982)
Poor old Horace. Not only did Melbourne House work the poor blue blob into the ground with three games in 1982 (Hungry Horace and Horace & The Spiders being the others), but they repeatedly hit him with trucks and trees in this Frogger-esque classic. Cross the road, get the skis, cross back again then try and make it down the slope. Simple, addictive, classic. A fourth game, Horace to the Rescue, was rumoured in 1985 but never came to pass.
    YS Rated it: Not Reviewed
    
34. Deathchase (1983)
In 1983, George Lucas released the final chapter in his Star Wars saga, Return of the Jedi. It featured a hair-raising race through the Endor forest on hovering speeder bikes. Coincidentally, 1983 also saw the release of this much-loved game which required you to chase bikes through a dense forest. Spooky, eh? Wonderfully simple, yet still enormous fun to play, giving this early classic a mere 6 out of 10 on its budget re-release remains one of the few black marks on the YS reviewing record. For shame...
    YS Rated it: 6/10 (YS9)
    
33. Starquake (1985)
When the galaxy is threatened by a rogue black hole, everything relies on BLOB (Bio-Logically Operated Being - whatever that means) in this Atic Atac/Sabre Wulf rip...er, homage. With 512 flip screens to get through, it was no small task, but despite some cracking presentation you can't avoid the fact that Ultimate did it first, and better.
    YS Rated it: Not Reviewed
    
32. Starion (1985)
Before Nick Ross of Crimewatch fame invented the polygon, all truly 3D games had to make do with wireframe graphics to portray their pseudo-solid worlds. Much like Elite, released the same year, Starion plonks you in the driving seat of a spaceship and asks you to survive life in deep space. Whereas Elite was a bona-fide "make it up as you go along" experience, Starion is much more action-based, with level progression earned by making letters from the debris of smashed enemies. A bit like Countdown then.
    YS Rated it: Not Reviewed
    
31. R-Type (1989)
The big bad daddy of the scrolling shoot-em-up somehow managed to squeeze itself down from a colourful and explosive arcade machine into the tight velour hotpants of a 48k Speccy, and managed to do so with all its deliciously pert gameplay intact. Still one of the best old school shooters, there's no reason not to indulge in serious rumpo with this bit of sauce.
    YS Rated it: 9/10 (YS37)
    
30. Nodes of Yesod (1985)
This delightfully springy platformer finds peculiarly monikered spaceman Rt. Hon. Charlemagne Fotheringham-Grunes once again roaming the lunar landscape - above and below ground - hunting for crystals and avoiding sinister floating beasts. This game has the most chilled out somersault in gaming history. This has been proven by real scientists. So there.
    YS Rated it: Not Reviewed
    
29. Lords of Chaos (1990)
Oh, Julian Gollop. You and your wizards. You're like a Gandalf fetishist, driven crazy with gamey desire by all those floppy-brimmed hats and wooden staffs. This is the rather more ambitious sequel to his first Speccy classic, combining the gameplay of Laser Squad with the spellcasting of Chaos. With more scope, more story, more RPG guff like experience points and vastly improved graphics it's a superb little fantasy game that, ironically, is overshadowed by its ancient ancestor.
    YS Rated it: 90% (YS54)
    
28. Impossible Mission (1985)
No, not Mission Impossible. That's a famous TV show, and therefore rather expensive to turn into a game. This is Impossible Mission, a completely different kettle of espionage fish. Somersaulting and riding endless elevators, your spy must search a building for codes and clues to defeat Elvin, a mad scientist. With a new building layout each game, this was surprisingly ahead of its time. But nothing to do with Mission Impossible. At all.
    YS Rated it: Not Reviewed
    
27. Hall of the Things (1983) The Charlie Chaplin of Spectrum games, this frantic maze game may have wowed players in 1983 with its multi-level action, but did so in complete silence. Yep, the game had no sound whatsoever - forcing many people to play with a harmonica stuck to their lips with sticky tape, transforming their excited breathing into real-time mouth music.
    YS Rated it: Not Reviewed
    
26. Football Manager (1982)
Along with Horace Goes Skiing, this is the oldest game on the list, but it still created the footy management genre single-handedly, and kept fans of every persuasion muttering over their keyboards into the early hours. Of course, the best part was that you could press "Break" and see the BASIC program beneath it all. And then change all the team names to stuff like "Boobs United". Comedy doesn't get much better.
    YS Rated it: Not Reviewed
    
25. Fantasy World Dizzy (1989)
Somehow, this entry was...(wait for it)...eggspected. A bad yolk? Eggsactly! The more you groan, the more it eggs us on. We're only trying to get you to come out of your shell a little. If you continue to ignore our wordplay, we'll report you to our local omelette (ombudsman). Une oeuf? Enough? Yes. Yes it is.
    YS Rated it: 88% (YS52)
    
24. Dynamite Dan (1985)
A rather more animated alternative to the likes of Willy, with or without his "jet set", Dynamite Dan brought a whiff of the Bond movies to the Speccy platform genre, with a plot that required you to defeat a world-conquering villain by blowing the bejesus out of his safe and nicking his secret plans. Poor old Dan may have fallen into obscurity somewhat, but he's earned a place in the Speccy Hall of Fame.
    YS Rated it: Not Reviewed
    
23. Deus Ex Machina (1984)
Cor blimey. This game's a rum 'un and no mistake. A sort of pseudo-spiritual experience about life and death, rolled up inside a carpet made from old episodes of The Prisoner, and (thanks to a separate audio tape designed to be played in sync with the game) narrated by Ian Dury, Jon Pertwee and Frankie Howerd. For all its weirdness, there's something rather special about this - a throwback to a time when daft old hippies could spew their mind-grapes into a Spectrum and actually get it released. Utterly bonkers.
    YS Rated it: Not Reviewed
    
22. Defenda (1984)
Curiously, there was a remarkably similar game to this in the arcades at the time of this scrolly-shooty release, going by the name Defender. But as you can clearly see, this Spectrum game is spelled with an "a", like a gangsta, and should probably therefore be treated with respect. Or even nuff respect. While we're on the subject, we'd like to point out that our upcoming game about German exchange students gone wild, Grand Theft Otto, is in no way based on other game franchises. No sirree.
    YS Rated it: Not Reviewed
    
21. Chuckie Egg (1983)
A rather lowly placing for one of the elder statesmen of games. Along with the similar Manic Miner, Chuckie Egg installed platform jumping as a Speccy staple, and bombarded the player with an army of weird enemies on your quest for, in this case, eggs. Of course, by the time Dizzy arrived and made eggs themselves hero, did he have the decency to go on a quest for tiny farmers? No, madam, he did not. The selfish oeuf.
    YS Rated it: Not Reviewed
    
20. Chaos 2 (Release Unknown)
Something of a rogue entry, this one. It exists - we know that much. And it claims to have been published by a company called Blindmouse Ltd, at some point in the 48k era. Subtitled 'The Battle In Space', it's basically Julian Gollop's classic strategy title but with space stuff instead of wizards. It does earn a smidge of respect for the rather bizarre monster choices - any game that lets you summon Sir Clive to do your bidding can't be all bad. Spook!
    YS Rated it: Not Reviewed
    
19. Bounty Bob Strikes Back (1984)
Miners. They were very newsworthy back in the 80s. Thatcher and Arthur Scargill were going at each other like rabid otters with the future of "t'pit" in the balance. But, strangely, not T'Pau. They were doing rather well, thanks to the hit "China In Your Hand". All of which has nothing to do with this, the sequel to Miner 2049er, that - frankly - we can't remember much about.
    YS Rated it: Not Reviewed
    
18. Boulderdash (1984)
Everybody loves diamonds. They're a girls best friend. They're "forever", according to Shirley Bassey. They're...er...in the sky with Lucy. But do you love diamonds enough to tunnel underground, and risk crushy death from giant boulders, in order to nab them? If not, then you're a big wuss compared to Rockford (no relation to "Files") who does just that in this classic arcade game. Great Speccy game, great game all round.
    YS Rated it: 8/10 (YS22)
    
17. Underwurlde (1984)
Ultimate switched the top-down of Atic Atac and Sabre Wulf (of which this was the sequel) for a more traditional side-on platform romp this time around. After the insane hardness (ooh vicar!) of Sabre Wulf, the monsters in Underwurlde were actually quite gentle. They didn't kill you - just shoved you out of the way. Not very violent, but when perched on a crucial ledge, it was often enough to send you tumbling to your pixellated doom far below. Not as innovative as most of Ultimate's output, but still worthy of our hot, hot love.
    YS Rated it: Not Reviewed
    
16. Treasure Island Dizzy (1988)
That bloody egg is back again. This time on a treasure island, it seems. Anybody in the mood for an omelette?
    YS Rated it: 8/10 (YS40)
    
15. Wanted: Monty Mole (1984)
The "good old days". Bonkers, weren't they? None of this modern malarkey - no focus-group approved, marketing driven character franchises. No. If you wanted to write a game about a mole, you just did it. And if you wanted him to be a miner (very popular profession among early 80s platform jumpers, you know) then by golly, he'd be a miner. The hapless Monty was pursued through a string of sequels as well, and despite not having much in the way of personality, remains a Speccy icon.
    YS Rated it: Not Reviewed
    
14. Jet-Pac (1983)
Running out of petrol makes you look like a right nork. Running out of petrol and smashing your spaceship into four bits makes you look like King Norky of Norkland. But that's the fate that befalls Lunar Jetman, and he's got to fend off the aliens while he puts everything back together, fuels the bad boy up and blasts off. Before doing it all over again. Well, it was 1983. Some call this simplistic gamestyle "twitch gaming". We call it "ruddy good fun".
    YS Rated it: 9/10 (YS33)
    
13. Head over Heels (1987)
Having mastered the 3D adventure with Batman, Jon Ritman and graphics bloke Bernie Drummond then went and squeezed out this classic isometric brainteaser. Flipping between two characters - Head, who could fly (sort of) and Heels, who could jump - you had to negotiate an epic array of perfectly designed rooms. Sounds simple, but even now there's one poor soul in Luton who's still stuck on it. His name's Brian. He likes cheese.
    YS Rated it: 9/10 (YS18)
    
12. Magicland Dizzy (1991)
Few icons lasted long enough in the furious cauldron of 80s gaming to make it to three sequels, let alone four, and yet that's just what "that bloody egg" managed with this title. And that's not counting his various puzzle game spin-offs either. The evil wizard Zaks is back, and Dizzy must traipse around yet more flip-screen fun to put an end to his scheme. More of the same, but then that means it's actually pretty bloomin' good.
    YS Rated it: 90% (YS63)
    
11. Sabre Wulf (1984)
It's Atic Atac in the jungle cried cynical stoats when Ultimate unveiled this Indiana clone of a game. And, hey, they were right. Even so, we shuttled around the maze-like map, looking for the pieces of the amulet, waggling our little sword with gusto. Some irritating control quirks, and unfair game design, have since tainted the memory of this fun concept, but there's no denying Sabreman's place in Speccy history.
    YS Rated it: 9/10 (YS33)
    
10. Match Day 2 (1987)
Every gamey format ends up with enough football games to crush a large weasel. That's pretty much the law. What's amazing, exciting and ever so slightly saucy is that the humble Speccy managed to field so many of the blighters. Jon Ritman's sequel to his own groundbreaking kickabout is probably the pinnacle of the beautiful game on the Spectrum - loaded with options and admirable freedom in terms of ball control (oo-er).
    YS Rated it: 9/10 (YS26)
    
9. Elite (1985)
Not so much a game, more of a way of life. Once you got past the Lenslok security system (good luck) an entire galaxy was yours to explore. Buy your own spaceship. Fit it with weapons. Load up on cargo (from the boring to the devilishly illegal) and flit around from planet to planet doing...well, whatever you want, really. Eventually, of course, you get curious and warp yourself into "witchspace" where Thargoids blow your parts to atoms, but that's all part of the fun. It's just like being Han Solo, but without the wookiee or natty red piping down the trouser leg.
    YS Rated it: 9/10 (YS35)
    
8. Atic Atac (1983)
Many people had their first sweaty baptism into the world of games sat in front of this top-down spookathon from Ultimate. Racing around a vast castle, lobbing axes, swords and fireballs at the various ghoulies, trying to find the key to the front door (hint: it's always down the back of your sofa) the constant tip-tap of your footsteps is enough to hurl most retro gamers back in time. Mentally speaking at least.
    YS Rated it: 9/10 (YS33)
    
7. Lords of Midnight (1984)
Do you have a beard? Then you probably loved this - the first epic fantasy game from Mike "Valerie" Singleton. Sort of like Lord of the Rings, but with the added bonus of not knowing what happens next, the large cast of characters, broad scope and oodles of drooling goblin things makes this a benchmark for adventure games before and since. It's also very beardy.
    YS Rated it: Not Reviewed
    
6. Jet Set Willy (1984)
You can't keep a good Willy down (wahey!) and so it came to pass that the hero of Manic Miner returned the following year, all dressed up in space age pants. Well, sort of. Not a million miles away from Manic Miner (in fact, it's just over there - look!) the controls were less twitchy, the rooms more cunningly designed and Willy's hat that little bit more stylish (a tweed trilby, we believe). Not only a great game, but one of the all-time best game titles involving the word "willy".
    YS Rated it: Not Reviewed
    
5. Dizzy (1987)
Or "that bloody egg" as he came to be known. Running through the Spectrum's latter years like the words "Colwyn Bay" through a cheap stick of rock, Codemasters relentlessly springy ovoid hero took the exploration and item finding puzzles of the Magic Knight series and sold it as a "cartoon adventure". Despite his less-than-original roots, the little egg obviously still has a fanbase out there, so it looks like the yolk's on us. See? Yolk? He's an egg! Aah, forget it...
    YS Rated it: 7/10 (YS24)
    
4. Skool Daze (1985)
Kids love games. Kids hate skool. Put them together and what have you got? A game where you can punch wimps in the face, scrawl "bum water" on the blackboard and bunk off from science. Yay! Swiping your utterly crap school report is the aim of the game. Something made incredibly hard (fnar) thanks to some punishment-happy tutors, but the chance to change the character names to people you know made this the first choice of closet ruffians everywhere.
    YS Rated it: 8/10 (YS9)
    
3. Chaos (1985)
From humble beginnings - a black screen, tiny little monsters - Speccy strategy brainbox Julian Gollop created a game that can still hold it's own against modern think-em-ups. With up to eight wizards going crazy monkey hatstand in an attempt to kill each other, and hundreds of ways to alter the course of the game in your favour, Chaos is deservedly lodged in the Top 3 Speccy Games of All Time - like a peanut up a curious child's nose. The game appeared too early to grace the YS review pages, but it was deemed good enough to appear on the covertape many years later. Quite right too.
    YS Rated it: Not Reviewed
    
2. Knight Lore (1984)
The likes of Sabre Wulf and Atic Atac had already marked out Ultimate as the slinkiest badgers in the Spectrum wood. What they unleashed in '84 would crown them Big Chief Badger Of The Entire Blimmin' Universe. Platform gaming in isometric 3D, by jiminy! Our tiny 8-bit eyes had never gazed upon such wonders. This was something else - big cartoony sprites, intricately designed puzzles and levels. Yep, Knight Lore was special. And obviously still is.
    YS Rated it: 9/10 (YS33)
    
1. Manic Miner (1983)
And who graces our graceful top spot? Who is officially the most 100% fit 4 eva game in the Spectrum social circle? It is, naturally, the biggest Willy in gaming (oo-er) and arguably the first platform hero on the Speccy. It's Miner Willy and his epic quest to survive caves stuffed with killer penguins and rabid phones, and it seems you crusty old Spec-chums still can't get enough of his treasure-nabbing antics. What is it that makes Manic Miner so timeless? Is that he was one of the first? Probably. Is it the way the gameplay hovers just the right side of frustrating? Possibly. Is it the endless opportunity for Willy jokes? Most definitely. One day, this game will be ranked alongside Space Invaders and Pac Man where it belongs. Yes, one day the whole world will open its arms and embrace the Willy. Fnar fnar! Oo-er! Etc!
    YS Rated it: 84% (SAM version, YS76)

RetroGamer Website
Many thanks to the YS94 crew and Imagine Publishing for providing tons of original material!

YS Cross-references
R
p3D Ant Attack/QuicksilvaYR2
UNR
G
p3D Ant Attack (in The YS Official Top 100 Part 4)YS73
No.14
C
pAtic Atac (in Ultimate: The Collected Works)YS33
UNR
G
pAtic Atac (in The YS Official Top 100 Part 1)YS70
No.79
 
pAuf Wiedersehen Monty/GremlinYS14
NEWS
 
pAuf Wiedersehen Monty/GremlinYS15
PRE
R
pAuf Wiedersehen Monty/GremlinYS18
9
C
pAuf Wiedersehen Monty (in 10 Great Games II)YS30
9
 
pAuf Wiedersehen Monty (in Multimixx 5)YS78
 
 
pBack To Skool/MicrosphereYS1
NEWS
R
pBack To Skool/MicrosphereYS2
9
G
pBack To Skool (in The YS Official Top 100 Part 4)YS73
No.19
R
pBatman/OceanYS5
9
r
pBoulderdash/Prism YS22
8
G
pBoulderdash (in The YS Official Top 100 Part 4)YS73
No.9
R
pBoulderdash/PrismYS84
86
R
pBounty Bob Strikes Back/US GoldYR20
9
G
pBounty Bob Strikes Back (in The YS Official Top 100 Part 2)YS71
No.56
 
pBubble Bobble/FirebirdYS22
FUT
r
pBubble Bobble/Hit Squad YS69
90
 
pBubble Bobble (in The Rainbow Collection)YS70
 
R
pChaos/Games WorkshopYR16
6
G
pChuckie Egg (in The YS Official Top 100 Part 4)YS73
No.13
R
pDaley Thompson's Decathlon/OceanYR10
7
 
pDaley Thompson's Decathlon/Hit SquadYS48
46
R
pDan Dare/VirginYS11
9
 
pDan Dare (in Now Games IV)YS19
 
G
pDan Dare (in The YS Complete Guide To Shoot-'em-ups Part II)YS56
87
R
pDeathchase/2.99 ClassicsYS9
6
 
pDeathchase/ZeppelinYS43
69
G
pDeathchase (in The YS Official Top 100 Part 5)YS74
No.1
 
pDeathchase (in Race Pack 4)YS83
 
R
pDefenda/Interstella SoftwareYR6
7
R
pDeus Ex Machina/AutomataYR10
UNR
G
pDeus Ex Machina (in The YS Official Top 100 Part 3)YS72
No.34
R
pDizzy/CodemastersYS24
7
C
pDizzy (in Quattro Adventure)YS58
UNR
C
pDizzy (in Cartoon Collection)YS74
59
R
pDynamite Dan/MirrorsoftYR19
7
R
pElite/FirebirdYR20
UNR
C
pElite (in Supreme Challenge)YS35
9
G
pElite (in The YS Official Top 100 Part 4)YS73
No.16
 
pFantasy World Dizzy/CodemastersYS52
88
G
pFantasy World Dizzy (in The YS Official Top 100 Part 3)YS72
No.41
R
pFootball Director/D&HYS23
8
 
pFootball Director/D&HYS71
47
G
pFootball Manager (in The YS Official Top 100 Part 1)YS70
No.83
 
pHead Over Heels/OceanYS16
FUT
R
pHead Over Heels/OceanYS18
9
 
pHead Over Heels/OceanYS25
NEWS
r
pHead Over Heels/Hit Squad YS56
98
G
pHead Over Heels (in The YS Official Top 100 Part 4)YS73
No.5
R
pImpossible Mission/US GoldYR21
UNR
 
pImpossible Mission (in Summer Gold)YS23
 
C
pImpossible Mission (in History In The Making)YS38
UNR
R
pJet Set Willy/Software ProjectsYR4
UNR
 
pJet Set Willy/Software ProjectsYS12
NEWS
G
pJet Set Willy (in The YS Official Top 100 Part 3)YS72
No.32
C
pJet-Pac (in Ultimate: The Collected Works)YS33
UNR
R
pKnight Lore/UtimateYR12
9
 
pKnight Lore/UtimateYS25
NEWS
C
pKnight Lore (in Ultimate: The Collected Works)YS33
UNR
G
pKnight Lore (in The YS Official Top 100 Part 3)YS72
No.33
 
pKnight Tyme/MastertronicYS5
NEWS
R
pKnight Tyme/MastertronicYS7
9
 
pKnight Tyme/Mastertronic (48)YS8
9
R
pLaser Squad/Target GamesYS35
9
 
pLords Of Chaos/BladeYS52
PRE
R
pLords Of Chaos/BladeYS54
90
R
pLords Of Midnight/Beyond SoftwareYR9
9
G
pLords Of Midnight (in The YS Official Top 100 Part 4)YS73
No.15
R
pMagicland Dizzy/CodemastersYS63
90
 
pMagicland Dizzy (in Super All-Stars)YS84
 
R
pManic Miner/BugByteYR1
UNR
G
pManic Miner (in The YS Official Top 100 Part 4)YS73
No.25
R
pMatch Day/OceanYR12
9
r
pMatch Day/Hit Squad YS54
84
 
pMatch Day 2/OceanYS23
NEWS
 
pMatch Day 2/OceanYS25
NEWS
R
pNodes Of Yesod/OdinYR17
9
 
pR-Type/Electric DreamsYS28
NEWS
 
pR-Type/Electric DreamsYS32
FUT
R
pR-Type/ActivisionYS37
9
C
pR-Type (in The Biz)YS51
98
G
pR-Type (in The YS Complete Guide To Shoot-'em-ups Part I)YS55
94
 
pR-Type/Hit SquadYS61
98
G
pR-Type (in The YS Official Top 100 Part 4)YS73
No.6
 
pRana Rama/HewsonYS12
NEWS
 
pRana Rama/HewsonYS14
FUT
R
pRana Rama/HewsonYS16
9
C
pRana Rama (in 10 Great Games III)YS37
6
C
pRana Rama (in Heatwave)YS44
87
r
pRana Rama/Players YS63
78
 
pRobocop/OceanYS34
FUT
P
pRobocop/OceanYS36
PRE
R
pRobocop/OceanYS39
8
 
pRobocop/OceanYS45
NEWS
G
pRobocop (in The YS Complete Guide To Shoot-'em-ups Part II)YS56
83
C
pRobocop (in Hollywood Collection)YS60
85
G
pRobocop (in The YS Official Top 100 Part 1)YS70
No.94
 
pRobocop/Hit SquadYS75
93
R
pSabre Wulf/UtimateYR6
UNR
C
pSabre Wulf (in Ultimate: The Collected Works)YS33
UNR
R
pSkool Daze/MicrosphereYR12
6
R
pSkool Daze/2.99 ClassicsYS9
8
R
pStarion/Melbourne HouseYR15
UNR
R
pStarquake/Bubble Bus SoftwareYR21
6
G
pStarquake (in The YS Official Top 100 Part 4)YS73
No.17
R
pTir Na Nog/GargoyleYR11
9
 
pTreasure Island Dizzy/CodemastersYS40
8
R
pUnderwurlde/UtimateYR11
UNR
G
pUnderwurlde (in The YS Official Top 100 Part 4)YS73
No.18
R
pWanted: Monty Mole/GremlinYR9
UNR
Some info from Sinclair Infoseek+SPOT*ON

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