Best early arcade conversions

I was at Arcade Club in Bury where they had tons of the old arcade classics such as Space Invaders, Asteroids, Centipede, Galaxian, Zaxxon, Moon Patrol, Marble Madness, Discs Of Tron, Amidar, Berzerk etc etc etc. Wonderful. It makes me think back though on the Spectrum's take on these games. I don't remember too many versions of them that were playable, but I might be wrong. Here's your chance to show how wrong I am: of the games I listed, were there any good versions on the Speccy?
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Comments

  • In the early years, the best conversion of Space Invaders was bizarrely a sub-game in Pyjamarama.
  • Pheenix by Megadodo!
  • Galaxians by Artic is a great version, and all in 16K!
  • Spectipede and Space Intruders were decent for early 16K games, although they both used single character graphics and whole character movement. Gyroscope was a good Marble Madness clone.
  • edited December 2019
    Spectipede is very good. Compared to what else was around at the time, anyway!

    Apart from Asteroids and Space Invaders, I don't remember playing many of those arcade games anyway!
    Post edited by joefish on
    Joefish
    - IONIAN-GAMES.com -
  • Panic by Mikro Gen, which was re-released by Visions as Sheer Panic.

    Panic_2.gif

    Defenda by Interstella.

    Defenda.gif
  • Don’t know if it’s early enough, but I quite liked Star Firebirds, as an unofficial conversion of Pheenix.
    You can't expect me to have lunch with a man who's favourite part of the chicken is the right wing!
  • Spectipede is a great shout!
    I spoke to the author a few years ago if anyone fancies a read:
    https://zxspectrumgames.blogspot.com/2013/10/spectrum-games-programmer-interview.html?showComment=1510513296406

    I was also a big fan of Missile Defence by Keith Burkhill. Very good version of Missile Command.
  • Penetrator is a brilliant Scramble clone. The level editor is just the icing on the cake. Outstanding for its time.

    Penetrator.gif

    Post edited by Maroc's Other Projection on
    Cheeky Funster (53)
  • edited December 2019
    Agree with above posts as to Pheenix (brilliant!), Panic and Penetrator.

    Besides, Z-Man and Froggy (by the same company) are decent clones. Simple graphics but very playable.

    Comecocos+Froggy.gif
    Post edited by JuanF. Ramirez on
  • I rather enjoyed Planetoids as an early Asteroids conversion.
    Armageddon (Ocean) I got a lot of mileage out of too.
  • Turtle Timewarp by Perfection Software (1984) was a pretty good version of Turtles.
  • As a kid I was pretty convinced by both Cavelon and Hunchback as arcade conversions. Not sure how they hold up now.

  • Pobbit wrote: »
    Spectipede and Space Intruders were decent for early 16K games, although they both used single character graphics and whole character movement. Gyroscope was a good Marble Madness clone.

    Space Intruders by Hewson?
    Didn't even know it existed, I would like to check it out but it seems to be missing.
  • edited December 2019
    Renegade wrote: »
    Pobbit wrote: »
    Spectipede and Space Intruders were decent for early 16K games, although they both used single character graphics and whole character movement. Gyroscope was a good Marble Madness clone.

    Space Intruders by Hewson?
    Didn't even know it existed, I would like to check it out but it seems to be missing.

    I see it's MIA, could it be the same game that was released by Quicksilva in the same year? If not could it be that Quicksilva released theirs first, and Hewson pulled the plug? Or possibly renamed their game?
    Post edited by dm_boozefreek on
    You can't expect me to have lunch with a man who's favourite part of the chicken is the right wing!
  • Renegade wrote: »
    Pobbit wrote: »
    Spectipede and Space Intruders were decent for early 16K games, although they both used single character graphics and whole character movement. Gyroscope was a good Marble Madness clone.

    Space Intruders by Hewson?
    Didn't even know it existed, I would like to check it out but it seems to be missing.
    It was the Quicksilva game that I was referring to - I wasn't even aware of a Hewson game of the same name.

  • Depends what you class as early? Moon Cresta and West Bank (Bank Panic) are probably the best conversions of an arcade game on the Speccy in1985. Starstrike 3D is a brilliant unofficial cover of Star Wars (1984),
  • Jon Ritman's Cosmic Debris is a solid early Asteroids clone. I remember that it took almost no time to load despite supposedly being 48K only, and it's one of those oddball early games where you had to type LOAD "" CODE.

    In fact 3D Combat Zone is a decent Battlezone. This Jon Ritman chap obviously had some talent.
  • edited July 9
    vanpeebles wrote: »
    Pheenix by Megadodo!

    I worked with Martin Ward of Pheenix fame at JPM some years ago. Very nice chap. He used to write a lot of code for video game products that were popular in pubs in the early 2000s, titles like Hangman, Lunatix and the original Who Wants to Be a Millionaire machine. Alas, I moved on in 2005 and JPM went the way of Maygay and Barcrest in 2013.

    Martin told me he had an unpublished Spectrum game, I think he said it was called Fagan. Maybe that's one to add to the "Missing In Action" list. Given how good Pheenix was it would be interesting to see his other Spectrum work.
    Post edited by jonathan on
    No longer part of the Spectrum scene but still supporting Multi-Platform Arcade Game Designer. I am NOT on Twitter.
    Egghead Website
    Arcade Game Designer
    My itch.io page
  • Been mentioned before - but Sheer Panic - one of my earlier purchases. Also agree with Pheenix.
    No one important.
  • jonathan wrote: »
    vanpeebles wrote: »
    Pheenix by Megadodo!

    I worked with Martin Ward of Pheenix fame at JPM some years ago. Very nice chap. He used to write a lot of code for video game products that were popular in pubs in the early 2000s, titles like Hangman, Lunatix and the original Who Wants to Be a Millionaire machine. Alas, I moved on in 2005 and JPM went the way of Maygay and Barcrest in 2013.

    Martin told me he had an unpublished Spectrum game, I think he said it was called Fagan. Maybe that's one to add to the "Missing In Action" list. Given how good Pheenix was it would be interesting to see his other Spectrum work.

    When you said went the way of Maygay did you mean making versions of Qix that had pornographic images in the background? Sad thing is from what I understand of these games they were mainly made for horrible tourist areas like Magaluf, and Ibiza :))
    You can't expect me to have lunch with a man who's favourite part of the chicken is the right wing!
  • Owning the Atari 2600 prior to Spectrum, I'm afraid I was spoiled by the official and optimized releases on the Atari. I use to find Spectrum versions slow and clumsy. I do appreciate them though, understanding they were written by a lone bedroom coders, which really kickstarted the gaming scene on the Spectrum.
  • Official and optimised releases on the Atari like Pac Man? :))
  • When you said went the way of Maygay did you mean making versions of Qix that had pornographic images in the background? Sad thing is from what I understand of these games they were mainly made for horrible tourist areas like Magaluf, and Ibiza :))

    Spain is a totally different market, each region has its own rules and most are a little more liberal when it comes to displaying flesh on screen or on cabinets. I was just reflecting on the sad situation that not one of the original "big four" UK manufacturers is making one-armed bandits any longer.
    No longer part of the Spectrum scene but still supporting Multi-Platform Arcade Game Designer. I am NOT on Twitter.
    Egghead Website
    Arcade Game Designer
    My itch.io page
  • edited July 10
    jonathan wrote: »
    When you said went the way of Maygay did you mean making versions of Qix that had pornographic images in the background? Sad thing is from what I understand of these games they were mainly made for horrible tourist areas like Magaluf, and Ibiza :))

    Spain is a totally different market, each region has its own rules and most are a little more liberal when it comes to displaying flesh on screen or on cabinets. I was just reflecting on the sad situation that not one of the original "big four" UK manufacturers is making one-armed bandits any longer.

    Yeah now that I think of it the last Maygay branded Arcade Machine (At least I think it was Maygay?) I remember seeing was a Coronation Street quiz machine, that one of the pubs round my way had in their pool room. This was probably about 1999 maybe?...It was Windows based, and touch screen. Sadly it appeared that holding 1 finger on the side of the screen, and tapping the screen with another finger would minimise the game, and you could mess around with the PC inside to a certain degree.

    Not that me or my friends ever did such a terrible thing :))
    Post edited by dm_boozefreek on
    You can't expect me to have lunch with a man who's favourite part of the chicken is the right wing!
  • Official and optimised releases on the Atari like Pac Man? :))

    I don't think it was a bad game. I used to play it for hours when I was a young'un. It gets a lot of flack for causing the video game crash in the USA, well that's what most of the celeb Youtube retro gamers like to rubbish it for. It's basic but playable. The ghosts flicker about a bit, but don't that just make it more challenging.

  • I used to enjoy Pac Man on the 2600 as well, it wasn't very hard (when I was 10 anyway!). I know what you mean, the 2600 runs at 60 fps whether you like it or not!
  • Owning the Atari 2600 prior to Spectrum, I'm afraid I was spoiled by the official and optimized releases on the Atari. I use to find Spectrum versions slow and clumsy. I do appreciate them though, understanding they were written by a lone bedroom coders, which really kickstarted the gaming scene on the Spectrum.

    Whatever you say about these old arcade conversions on the Atari, they certainly weren't optimised for PAL TVs!

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  • edited July 13
    Spector wrote: »
    Owning the Atari 2600 prior to Spectrum, I'm afraid I was spoiled by the official and optimized releases on the Atari. I use to find Spectrum versions slow and clumsy. I do appreciate them though, understanding they were written by a lone bedroom coders, which really kickstarted the gaming scene on the Spectrum.

    Whatever you say about these old arcade conversions on the Atari, they certainly weren't optimised for PAL TVs!

    I would of been 6 or 7 years old when I had Atari. I'm afraid I was too young to understand or cared about all technical guff and if I'm honest I really don't care now. I just played the games for fun and enjoyment. Then when I got a Speccy I honestly found the early arcade conversions just not to be as good as on my old Atari. There were better games on the Speccy.

    Post edited by Your Spec-chum on

  • I would of been 6 or 7 years old when I had Atari. I'm afraid I was too young to understand or cared about all technical guff and if I'm honest I really don't care now.

    I'm not talking about obscure technical differences here. British Atari games play 17% slower than American ones. 17%! You wouldn't play a pop single at 37rpm would you?

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