The A - Z of Spectrum Games


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03 Sep 2019 : With a thriving market for vintage Spectrum games, it felt like a good time to introduce a guide to what games are now worth.

Useful Spectrum Links

Information about the Sinclair Spectrum

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZX_Spectrum. This is the Wikipedia article about the ZX Spectrum. It contains all sorts of information but beware - not all of it is accurate!


Emulating the ZX Spectrum

If using a software emulator on a PC, Mac or Android device, Spectrum ROM files are needed to enable the emulation and the games themselves will have to be found in the correct format for the emulator. Amstrad, the copyright holders, have graciously allowed the ROMs to be distributed freely and so many emulators already have these set up ready to go. Some emulators also include a selection of games to load and play.

https://www.worldofspectrum.org/emulators.html. For many years, the World of Spectrum has been the essential online guide to all things Spectrum. It does not get updated so often nowadays but this link goes to their comprehensive guide to numerous emulators for anything from the usual PC setup to PSP, Amiga and Nintendo DS.

http://torinak.com/qaop. This is an excellent online emulator. Unlike most of the mainly Java based programs found on the internet, this does not throw up security violations on anti-virus programs such as Norton Internet Security and has a nice big display. You can select games from your own library but there are some very entertaining titles on offer direct from the site itself.

One word of warning - if you click the link and load the emulator, which is very easy, beware that you may end up spending many, many hours playing the likes of Deathchase, Horace Goes Skiing and Jumping Jack online. I speak from experience!


Locating the Spectrum ROM's

http://www.shadowmagic.org.uk/spectrum/roms.html. A huge collection of ROMs are available here and it does appear to be the essential guide to those who want to delve into the Spectrum operating system further. It may be a little overkill if you just want the standard ROMs, which are supplied with many of the emulators anyway, but the site owner is a genuine Spectrum fan and a top bloke!


Where to download games

http://www.tzxvault.org/. When The A - Z of Spectrum Games was created, the .sna format was the most common available. As the format suggests, these were simple snapshots. The Z80 format was also available but much more complicated to use. In the two decades since, the tzx format has become the gold standard.

Thanks to a huge amount of cataloguing work, this website is the best place to find and download Spectrum games. It also follows best practice by not making games available where the copyright owners have refused permission for the game to be distributed freely.


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