Excellent City! It's the All Time Encyclopedia
Top 100 Speccy games

This is it folks - the ultimate chart of your all-time fave 50 Speccy games and you know what? I'M NOT A HAPPY CHAPPY!!! (probably 'cos I'm a girl, actually - it's Lucy here, by the way). Compiling this list has reduced me to a blithering wreck! It took me weeks to finish and the lads had to carry me out the office a few times 'cos I kept sort of screaming and foaming at the mouth and things. We had hundreds and hundreds of entries and somehow you lot managed to dream up an incredible 582 different game titles! Muggin's 'ere had to scribble down all the names in alphabetical order, go through all the entries and write out around TEN THOUSAND TICKS!!! AAAAARGH!!! That'll teach me. Mark Caswell was supposed to do it but being a nice, kind pillock, I volunteered. However, it's going to cost him - a pint of lager per tick should do it (hic). Anyway, here goes...

50 MANIC MINER
Bug Byte/Market Stall

Armed only with a canary, Miner Willy explores the caverns below Surbiton and faces weird and wonderful creatures such as pirouetting rabbits and manic robots. Collect the keys that are scattered around to escape. The limited amount of air in each cavern, equals a hair-tearing game.
BEST BIT: The addictive fun-filled action.
WORST BIT: After seven years it's very dated.

49 TETRIS
Mirrorsoft/Market Stall

The idea is to slot the differently shaped (and coloured) blocks together to make horizontal lines. Once this happens the line disappears, but if you allow the blocks to build up it's Game Over.
BEST BIT: The game may be frustrating, but it's fun.
WORST BIT: Putting a block in the wrong place.

48 HEROQUEST
Gremlin/Full Price

Messrs Barbarian, Elf, Dwarf and Wizard stomp through dark and dank caverns to complete their missions. As in all good stories there's a nasty black-hearted villain - the computer-controlled Morcar. Hero Quest is initially confusing for general games players, but it's fun nonetheless.
BEST BIT: Not having to set up the plastic figures of the board game original!
WORST BIT: The slightly confusing icon control system.

47 GHOULS 'N' GHOSTS
Capcom/Compilation

Brave Arthur is back to kick arse in this sequel to the Ghosts 'N' Goblins. Princess Hus has been kidnapped again (Flippin' princesses, they're such girls blouses - Ed). Demons, spooks, zombies etc are out to him, but our Arfur is ready to face the hordes of hell.
BEST BIT: The addictive gameplay and the great graphics.
WORST BIT: The 'disappearance' of some of the yellow creatures against yellow backgrounds.

46 SWIV
The Sales Curve/Full Price

When the the going gets tough the Special Weapon Interdiction Vehicles are sent in to nuke the sons of dubious parentage. In a one or two player, four level game, a helicopter and a jeep work together to trash billions of dollars' worth of terrorist hardware.
BEST BIT: The very detailed sprites and the action.
WORST BIT: In one player mode the game is very tough.

45 ENDURO RACER
The Hit Squad/Budget

These off-road racing games are pretty popular, it seems Enduro Racer is no exception. The aim's to stay in the seat of a fast moving off-road bike as you tear across muddy tracks and leap over obstacles. There's a vicious time limit that adds a certain amount of angst to the proceedings.
BEST BIT: The speed of the player's bike.
WORST BIT: Crashing into an obstacle.

44 SHADOW OF THE BEAST
Gremlin/Full Price

In Shadow Of The Beast you're a huge shambling beast who's out for revenge. You were once human, but the evil Beast Lord experimented on your frail body and turned you into monstrosity. But it won't be easy to get near to old Beastie: plenty of his minions are out for your blood. But with tooth and claw you'll fight your way to his castle and regain your humanity.
BEST BIT: The brilliantly-detailed beastly graphics.
WORST BIT: Some of the attacking meanies are camouflaged by the backgrounds.

43 COMMANDO
Encore/Budget

With a sub-machine gun and a handful of grenades our hero has to destroy two fortresses, swarming with enemy troops. There's no reasoning with these guys, it's a case of shoot first and ask questions later. A great game for closet psychos everywhere.
BEST BIT: The 'tally-ho chaps' blasting action.
WORST BIT: Not being able to put the joystick down (Oo-er, know the feeling - Ed).

42 TRAPDOOR
Alternative/Budget

Berk, Boney and Drutt are the long-suffering servants of 'Him Upstairs', trying to cook up some very strange dishes. There's a problem, however: many of the ingredients have to be caught first. Also many of the weird and wonderful creatures from the trapdoor appear and make poor old Berk's life a complete misery.
BEST BIT: The large and colourful graphics.
WORST BIT: With a bit of practice, it's a bit of a doddle.

41 NORTH AND SOUTH
lnfogrames/Full Price

The Confederate or Union armies are at your command as you and a mate blast your way across the US of A, trying to knock each other's blocks off. The game contained some of the best graphics we at Crash Towers have ever seen, and the final result was a highly enjoyable romp.
BEST BIT: The superb graphics, the addictive gameplay and the atmospheric sound effects.
WORST BIT: If you can think of one, we'd like to know about it.

40 LOTUS ESPRIT TURBO CHALLENGE
Gremlin/Full Price

You're in the driving seat and launched at breakneck speeds round masses of tricky tracks. There are 20 cars in the race, one can be controlled by a friend. If alone, your opponents are all computer-controlled, and beware because along with the computer's demolition derby-style driving, there are on-road obstacles to be avoided.
BEST BIT: The zippy sprites and the high addictivity factor.
WORST BIT: The car isn't real.

39 LEADERBOARD
Kixx/Budget

There are four courses on offer and a four player option; each course is viewed in a behind the player 3-D perspective. Each player has 14 clubs at their disposal, and choose your weapon depending on the distance between ball and hole. It's an oldie now but still worth considering.
BEST BIT: The 3-D perspective.
WORST BIT: Learning which club to use where.

38 SLIGHTLY MAGIC
Code Masters/Budget

Slightly is a wizard's apprentice who must save the princess from the dragon Sunburnt. Slightly needs your help to find and use the various spells dotted around Dizzy style.
BEST BIT: The rainbow-hued sprites and backdrops.
WORST BIT: The resulting colour clash.

37 BOMBJACK
Encore/Budget

Collect 23 bombs scattered around the single screen levels to move onto the next. The horrid creatures are out in force, but to Jack's aid come a variety of icons that bestow vital help. But don't let the horrors touch you, because their embrace is fatal.
BEST BIT: The high playability factor.
WORST BIT: The game is a bit repetitive and easy to complete.

Great Escape screenshot

36 THE GREAT ESCAPE
The Hit Squad/Budget

You play a WWII POW who must escape from a German prison. The game's presented in a 3-D isometric style and the morale of your character is the main concern: if it drops too low he loses the will to escape.
BEST BIT: The ace presentation and graphics.
WORST BIT: Again, write and tell us if you find one.

35 APB
The Hit Squad/Budget

Officer Bob must fill an arrest quota within a tight schedule. Litterbugs, Honkers, Hitchers and Dopers etc have to be arrested or the Chief will kick your butt out of the force. Bob in his car is viewed from above, while the status panel tells how many more slimeballs have to be arrested. Basically a racing game, but the comedy element makes it a star.
BEST BIT: Even though the sprites are monochrome, they're nicely detailed.
WORST BIT: Accidentally driving the wrong way up a one-way street.

34 CJ'S ELEPHANT ANTICS
Code Masters/Budget

Escaping from a plane taking him to a zoo, CJ must make his way back home to Africa. The game's a simultaneous two player affair where CJ and a pal travel through different countries (levels) to get home. Colourful and hectic, it's a cute game with a high addictivity factor.
BEST BIT: The addictive gameplay.
WORST BIT: The annoying tune.

33 TURRICAN 2 - THE FINAL FIGHT
Rainbow Arts/Full Price

The Machine's a nasty being who's terrorising the planet Landorin. Turry is back in his power suit and in the middle of the action. As before a range of power-up weapons are available. A fast and frantic blaster that contains some of the best graphics seen for a long time.
BEST BIT: The action and the big, bold sprites.
WORST BIT: There are only 24 hours in the day to play the game.

32 BACK TO SKOOL
Microsphere/Market Stall

After nabbing his school report in Skool Daze, our hero, Eric has to return the report he forged over the holiday.There's so much mischief that Eric can get up to.
BEST BIT: Being a complete pain in the neck and the snog-up with Tracy at break time (perv perv).
WORST BIT: The kid who always says 'Please Sir, I cannot tell a lie.'

31 RENEGADE
The Hit Squad/Budget

Lucy's the girl's blouse who needs rescuing in Renegade (what's the CRASH Ed doing in there?) (It certainly isn't me, I'm no wimp! - Ed). A vicious gang's kidnapped her and it's up to the black-belted Renegade to punch their lights out.
BEST BIT: The rip, mangle and maim fun!
WORST BIT: It's a bit sluggish.

30 HEAD OVER HEELS
The Hit Squad/Budget

In a distant galaxy lie four worlds enslaved by an evil empire, the Emperor of which resides on the planet Blacktooth (find that man a dentist!). Two spies from the planet Freedom named Head and Heels (weird!) are sent to the enslaved planets to retrieve the crowns that've been lost.The puzzle element and great graphics mark this as one of the classic Spectrum games.
BEST BIT: The 3-D graphics and the hair-tearing puzzles.
WORST BITS: The hair-tearing puzzles!

29 DIZZY COLLECTION
Code Masters/Compilation

That egg with the mostest is here for fun, merriment and loads of japes!
BEST BIT: The graphics and the fairly frustrating puzzles.
WORST BIT: The egg jokes that are always cracked (groan) whenever Dizzy is mentioned.

28 BATMAN - THE CAPED CRUSADER
The Hit Squad/Budget

Contains sub-games 'A Fete Worse Than Death' and 'A Bird In The Hand' with The Penguin and The Joker as the foe. The graphical presentation of this game's fairly unusual; a comic book style flick screen routine was incorporated, to good effect.
BEST BIT: The graphics and the comic book-style presentation.
WORST BIT: It's fairly easy to complete.

27 NIGHT SHIFT
US Gold/Full Price

The LucasfilmTM toys are so popular, that Industrial Might & Logic have hired a nightwatchman called The Beast. You have to get the set amount of toys off the assembly line before time's up. Many pairs of eyes are needed when supervising The Beast, and add to that the vicious time limit, this game is literally hair-tearing.
BEST BIT: The non-stop mayhem and the detailed graphics.
WORST BIT: The fact that you end up in a straitjacket (speak for yourself Mark - Lucy).

26 NAVY S.E.A.L.S
Ocean/Full Price

The game concerns a bunch of tough soldiers in Arab territory to retrieve a lorryload of Stinger missiles.
BEST BIT: The amount and quality of the action keeps you coming back for more.
WORST BIT: The way people keep throwing fish to the men, as they try to do their job.

25 ELITE
Firebird/Market Stall

The classic space trading game. You and your Cobra Mk III battle wagon have to become 'Elite.' but this is only achieved if you do very suicidal things You start the game with the rating 'Harmless,' and must work your way up the ranks by trading and blowing the rocket fuel out of everything you see.
BEST BIT: There's plenty to do and see, and the graphics are good even by today's standards.
WORST BIT: Working out the keyboard commands.

24 MYTH
System 3/Full Price

Dameron is your archetypal evil god, who's turned good gods bad and completely changed history. Face fieresome creatures and stop Dameron.
BEST BIT: The atmospheric graphics in each time zone.
WORST BIT: The final battle with Dameron.

23 JET SET WILLY
Software Projects/Market Stall

Willy owns a 60-room mansion at which he's just held a party. The guests have all left, but the place is in a terrible state. It's up to [you to avoid the] myriad strange creatures to tidy up the mess.
BEST BIT: The excellent Matthew Smith graphics (whatever happened to him?)
WORST BIT: Martha [sic] the housekeeper.

22 GAUNTLET
Kixx/Budget

You control Elf, Barbarian, Wizard or Valkyrie. There are over a hundred rooms waiting to be explored, and many nasty creatures waiting to pounce on you. It looks good, it's very fast and is simply one of the best shoot'em-ups around.
BEST BIT: The small but perfectly-formed sprites that bash merry hell out of one another.
WORST BIT: The guy in black nicknamed 'Desmond Death' by Corky!

21 KWIK SNAX
Code Masters/Budget

The evil Wizard Zak has eggnapped Dizzy's pals, so he has to save 'em. Dizzy has to negotiate the maze-like screens and avoid the minions sent out by Zak. Dizzy can heft blocks around and squash the meanies. Great fun to play, and even better to look at. Kwik Snax is a definite winner.
BEST BIT: The intro screen and the detailed in-game sprites.
WORST BIT: Easy to master; players who want a challenge will soon look elsewhere.

20 TOTAL RECALL
Ocean/Full Price

The story of Doug Quaid, a secret agent who knows too much. There are four riproaring levels with top notch graphics and gameplay and non-stop action.
BEST BIT: The ace presentation and the graphics, though the Arnie sprite looks nothing like him.
WORST BIT: The game's great, but the video isn't on sale yet.

19 MATCH DAY 2
The Hit Squad/Budget

The normal rules of football apply, with seven players on each team. A classic footy sim with amazing sprites and gameplay.
BEST BIT: The brill graphics and the nifty footwork by the players - I'm over the moon, Brian.
WORST BIT: Is there one?

Narc screenshot

18 NARC
Ocean/Full Price

Max Force and Hit Man are the stars of this one or two player blast-em-up that's in a league of its own. Mr Big's the villain and it's up to our hero(es) to reach his HQ, while fighting off his henchmen. With machine gun and grenade launcher in hand, Max and Hit must clean the criminal scum from the streets. Plenty of good old fashioned blood, guts and violence.
BEST BIT: The coin-op quality sprites, despite the fact that they're monochrome.
WORST BIT: Give me a few days and I might be able to think of one.

17 TREASURE ISLAND DIZZY
Code Masters/Budget

Our eggy hero is marooned on a deserted island by Long John Silver. There are two ways to complete the game, either collect all the gold coins scattered around, or find some other way to escape. The graphics are all cartoon-style, with great attention to detail, and a rainbow full of colours.
BEST BIT: The puzzles, the graphics and the awful egg jokes.
WORST BIT: You only get one life to play with.

16 TEENAGE MUTANT HERO TURTLES
Mirrorsoft/Full Price

The turtles must face the evil Shredder as he's kidnapped April O'Neil and battle the minions of the Foot Clan. Cowabunga dudes, this is one bodacious game.
BEST BIT: The large, fast-moving sprites.
WORST BIT: Ideal for younger players; experienced blasters may find it too easy.

15 SIM CITY
Infogrames/Full Price

Build your own city. A sum of money and a plot of land are provided. Keeping the citizens happy is your main priority, not easy 'cos they moan about everything.
BEST BIT: The choice of icons and the vow to make your version of the M25 work!
WORST BIT: Tough to master.

Bubble Bobble screenshot

14 BUBBLE BOBBLE
The Hit Squad/Budget

Bub and Bob are cute little dinosaurs. Originally they were human but the evil Baron von Blubba put a spell on them. So they have to leap and bounce their way through a hundred levels to reach Blubba in his lair. Bubbles ahoy!
BEST BIT: The fun of leaping from platform to platform, blowing bubbles at the villainous henchmen.
WORST BIT: The irritating title tune.

13 PANG
Ocean/Full Price

Pang takes you with to 17 locations throughout the world, where you must harpoon balloons to save your life.
BEST BIT: The great two-player mode, the detailed graphics and the essential pick-up weapons.
WORST BIT: Those *%#!! balloons

12 NEW ZEALAND STORY
The Hit Squad/Budget

Tikki and his Kiwi friends are happy at the Auckland Zoo. until a nasty walrus breaks in and grabs Tikki and Co for supper. Tikki escaped and must search for his chums. There are plenty of nasty creatures after Tikki's hide. But he can use his little bow and arrow.
BEST BIT: The weird and wonderful attackers and the fact that you can't put down the joystick.
WORST BIT: When cute likkle Tikki dies.

11 FANTASY WORLD DIZZY
Code Masters/Budget

Dizzy must save his kidnapped girlfriend Daisy. Either collect all the coins or use the objects in the correct places.
BEST BIT: The cute sprites, colourful scenery and excellent sound.
WORST BIT: The alligators that bite your botty.

10 MIDNIGHT RESISTANCE
Ocean/Full Price

As a result of your grandpa's top secret lab work, your whole family has been kidnapped by a vile alien entity. So with unfeasibly large gun in hand you yomp across the nine levels of the game and kick some alien butt. Some are humanoid, others defy description, but all are after your blood, so get that trigger finger twitching.
BEST BIT: The mindless blasting and the ace graphics.
WORST BIT: The control system is a bit of a swine to master.

Operation Wolf screenshot

9 OPERATION WOLF
The Hit Squad/Budget

Your chums have been taken hostage by a terrorist group, and it's up to you as a mercenary to rescue them.
BEST BIT: The rat-a-tat-a-tat of the machine pistol, and the wonderful graphics.
WORST BIT: Having to drag myself away long enough to write this comment!

8 BATMAN - THE MOVIE
The Hit Squad/Budget

The graphics are little short of brilliant, so go with a smile and purchase the best Batman game around.
BEST BIT: The sheer size of the game, the graphics and the immense playability.
WORST BIT: It's fairly tough to

master.

7 MAGICLAND DIZZY
Code Masters/Budget

Dizzy's family have been nobbled by one of Zak's worst spells, and it's up to our eggy hero to save the day.
BEST BIT: I'm fed up saying it's the brain-teasing puzzles and the cartoony graphics, so I won't.
WORST BIT: Having to wait for the next Dizzy game.

6 TARGET: RENEGADE
The Hit Squad/Budget

This is the high-kicking sequel to Renegade, Lucy has been rescued (she returned to the office the other day, the kidnappers are still in hospital) (see, I told you I was no girl's blouse! - Lucy), but Renegade's brother has been murdered. Mr Big is the villain behind the crime, so Renegade must fight his way through Mr Big's henchmen to gain his revenge. Gameplay is very much like the original, but Target Renegade is faster.
BEST BIT: Beating the living daylights out of the myriad henchmen.
WORST BIT: Some of the adversaries are very tough to beat.

5 DIZZY
Code Masters/Compilation

Zak is brewing some nasty spells, so it's up to Dizzy to create a potion to put a spanner in Zak's works. There are loadsa nasty creatures out to harm Dizzy, but he'll win through.
BEST BIT: Thank gawd it's the last time I have to write this... the addictive playability and cartoony graphics.
WORST BIT: Some of the graphics are a bit simplistic.

4 ROBOCOP 2
Ocean/Full Price

Robo stomps around eight levels shooting bad guys, collecting Nuke and finally facing RoboCop 2. Both graphically and sonically, the game is brilliant.
BEST BIT: The menacing figure of Robo and the detailed backdrops.
WORST BIT: The difficulty level is set a tad too high.

3 ROBOCOP
The Hit Squad/Budget

When OCP unveil their latest robot cop, the ED 209, it misfires, killing an OCP employee (Ahhh, shame!). Enter one dead cop with a titanium steel body and a computerised brain. Various villains face the justice dispensed by the tin-plated lawman. Fast, violent and very playable.
BEST BIT: The graphics, and non-stop action.
WORST BIT: I can't think of one, not with Robo's gun at my head anyway.

2 CHASE HQ
The Hit Squad/Budget

In their beautiful black Porsche 911 Turbo Tony Gibson and Ray Brody chase the big boss of each level, and when they catch up, they smash the bumper off his car to stop him.
BEST BIT: The fast, vertically-scrolling sprites and the title screen presentation.
WORST BIT: With a bit of practice, it's easy to complete.

Rainbow Islands screenshot

1 RAINBOW ISLANDS
Ocean/Compilation

Bub and Bob decide to take a long holiday in the Rainbow Islands. But Baron von Blubba has kidnapped the inhabitants of the islands, and so Bub and Bob must stop him. Instead of blowing bubbles as in Bubble Bobble, they now fire rainbows (aahh, how pretty). The fast moving sprites, rainbow-hued backgrounds, catchy tune, and the fact that Lucy likes rainbows make it the top readers game (and quite right too - Ed)!
BEST BIT: The graphics, speed of movement and in-game tune.
WORST BIT: The tune that you whistle all through the day, annoying everyone else immensely.

So there you have it readers - your all time Speccy favourites in a really neat 'n' brilliant list (the things we do for you). Anyone who violently disagrees with our fab encyclopedia should put pen to paper and send your letters to the bin before August 4th 2076... Oh, and by the way, the CRASH TOP 100 COMPO winner was Miss M Lawrence (Hurrah, it's a girly! - Ed) who has a £100 software voucher winging it's way over to her (lucky blighter!). She's extremely privileged 'cos Nik Wild who's an ex-Newsfield peep but of late an enormous big-wig with Psygnosis drew the winning form.