Happy 30th Birthday To The ZX Spectrum

Happy-30th-Birthday-To-The-ZX-SpectrumTime really flies, doesn't it? To think thirty years ago many of us were preparing a cup of tea whilst the ZX Spectrum (very noisily) loaded up the likes of Atic Atc, Jet Pac and Manic Miner is quite sobering. Countless games we enjoy today owe a lot to Sinclair's powerhouse, so much so we should all join together and celebrate the Spectrum's 30th.

Whether you were a proud owner of a rubber keyed ZX Spectrum upon release, a late adopter with the revised gamer friendly +2 or +3 models, or even exploring the 8-bit computer for the first time, it's rather amazing seeing how well some of the classics have held up.

Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy are often hailed as the must play titles, but with over ten thousand games on offer there is more than enough to be enjoying than just two stand out releases. The more seasoned gamers here on RetroCollect will fondly recall their time on the likes of Wheelie, Trashman, the stunning port of R-Type, the wealth of isometric platformers such as Head Over Heels, and the somewhat realistic school 'em up- Skool Daze.

While the ZX Spectrum has long been missing from the shelves of Tandy and Dixons, enthusiasts have been keeping the system alive with a regular supply of homebrew releases and new hardware. Fantastic development studios such as Little Shop of Pixels and The Mojon Twins have released some stunning titles such as Gloop Troop and Maritrini, Freelance Monster Slayer. On the hardware side of things, the divIDE has brought the ability to quickly load tape images from compact flash cards, bringing the once painfully slow load times down to a split second.

But enough praise from ourselves. What are your memories with the rubber keys, the noisy tape loading, the wealth of classic titles, and the most iconic British home computer of all time?

Last Updated ( 23 April 2012 )  


Better known as Adam offline, Cauterize is one of RetroCollect's final bosses with an unhealthy addiction to pixels. When he's not out searching the web for the latest retro gaming news or creating content for RetroCollect, he'll will most likely be found working on his Sensible Soccer skills.

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(Link to this comment) adam763 2012-04-24 07:08
The article mentioned Wheelie... Such an awesome, playable game that a fair few people would have even heard of..! A classic I remember playing on my rubber-keyed 48k with a kempston interface running a Quickshot II. Happy Days indeed!
(Link to this comment) Speedle 2012-04-24 08:50
Was a great little system this, never tried to be anything it wasn't. Wasn't the best by any means, but that was never Sir Clives goal. He wanted to make computers affordable so that the average Joe could afford it. one of the many things that lead to its success. Loved my speccy! and still have it!

Dizzy, Back 2 Skool, spy hunter! to name but a few great games! Oh and cyclone! I love that game!

Happy birthday old friend! Thanks for the great memories
(Link to this comment) RalphUp 2012-04-24 14:37
Ah the memories... Never actually got my hands on a Rubber Keyed model, but as soon as I got my first job I bought a Sinclair Spectrum 128K WOW the fun I had with that.....
(Link to this comment) Lord_Santa 2012-04-24 19:47
having grown up in Scandinavia, which is just outside UK, so to speak - I (and everyone I know) actually missed out on the Spectrum.
sure we all saw ads for it in gaming-magazines, but considering I've been gaming for about 30 years, I've never actually seen a Spectrum in real life

in later years, I've grown an interest for this machine, but have yet to find one

I have emulated it and tried out what were classics on the C-64, but in Spectrum form (Dynamite Dan, Skool Daze, etc.) and I really, really love the graphics and overall "feel" of playing a Spectrum game

I was always annoyed that Skool Daze 2 - Back to Skool never was released for the C-64, and sure I could emulate it any day of the week, but I have not tried it thus far, since I feel that it's a title that "must" be played on an original Spectrum.... one of these days... .one of these days...
(Link to this comment) MRCL 2012-04-25 15:12
I think Switzerland missed out a lot on that one. Nobody I know owned one, or know somebody who owned one. Second hand availability of Spectrum stuff is nil. Mailorder companies never listed them.

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