Latest News and Updates
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.
At one stage, I owned around 800 or 900 Spectrum games but I sold many of my most valuable ones around 20 years ago. I still have quite a few and have been selling them, mainly via a closed Facebook sales group.
Trying to calculate value is difficult, especially for rarer items. With that in mind, I have started to note down what games have actually sold for, either on these groups or on Ebay. It is also a useful way of finding games that have not year appeared on this website.
10 May 2019
There have been a few tweaks to the look of the site, mainly to improve the layout for mobile devices.
Behind the scenes, there have been updates to over 100 games, with lots more inlays, screens and extra information.
30 Jan 2019
Tweaks to the layout have ended up becoming an entire re-write. It should now look better than ever and most games now have two screen shots.
The aim is to allow more information to be shown per game and also to make the adverts less intrusive, particularly when viewed on smaller screens.
There have also been the usual addition of dozens of games, particularly titles that were not released, or are not available. Many more have been updated with extra adverts, loading screens and other content.
14 Nov 2018
The site has now been moved over to the more secure https format. It has also been upgraded to run using PHP 7.
These are both important upgrades. Chrome no longer displays 'old' style http sites. The upgrade to PHP, plus a few changes to the layout of the home page, means that everything loads much quicker than before.
Now that an SSL certificate has been installed, everything should be back to normal. Anyone who has linked to this site, or would like to, should use the new address: https://www.spectrum-games.co.uk
26 Oct 2018
There have been a lot of changes to the home page which make it load a bit quicker. The listings of games by letter also now show the year of release, which should help make finding some games a little easier.
There have also been lots of other behind the scenes improvements designed to make it a little simpler and improve performance. One example are the links to the previous and next games, which were only created when you clicked on the link; they now all have the link included on the page.
One major issue is that, due to lack of finances, the website is hosted by a very cheap provider. The downsides are that it does not use https and email facilities are not available (when it was first put online, people could create accounts and log in to leave comments but the email facility was removed and made into an expensive optional extra, stopping anyone from logging in!)
22 Mar 2018
Although it is four months since the last news entry, the guide has been updated a few times since then. These have been games added or updated rather than any major changes.
There have been a few minor changes in the background but the site does need an overhaul, particularly as it uses procedural php, which is apparently now a heinous offence!
09 Nov 2017
This update includes mainly games compilations not previously recorded and budget re-releases of titles already recorded.
There are a few new games and some 'missing' titles. Pressures of work have kept me away from updating the site for six months but I have at least had the time to play and enjoy some games that I never encountered first time around.
11 Apr 2017
This is just a small update to include a few more games into the list. The comments page on the front page has also been disabled.
Most of the new games are adventures that were released later in the Spectrum's commercial life. There are a few other additions.
The comments section on the front page was just a test to see if there were any useful comments left. As anyone could post on there, it did fill up with spam, which was probably to be expected.
18 Jan 2017
Over 100 new advert scans have been added and a few games included for the first time.
The main changes have been a few tweaks behind the scenes, aimed at improving caching and improving the overall responsiveness.
01 Dec 2016
More games have been added and a few deleted. Quite a few inlays have been included but the emphasis has been on advertisements.
When this guide was first created back in 1995, adverts were scanned in on an Amiga 1200 with a 68030 processor using a very expensive Canon scanner. They were converted to jpeg files at 75 percent quality, from 1997, using CygnusEd and DOpus and transferred to a Pentium P166.
Image quality has obviously improved since then and so many of these images have been replaced with scans from other sources. However, in the last few years I have rescanned many images from original Spectrum magazines and the quality is much better than even these.
As part of this update, over 100 of these improved scans have been uploaded and there are plenty more to come.
07 Oct 2016
Over 300 games have had extra information added, including over 200 new inlays.
The whole guide has now been checked twice and any games that were found not to be commercial releases, with the exception of some magazine cover tapes, have been removed. Emphasis will now be placed on 128K games and later releases that have not been covered before.
04 Jun 2016
The way popular games are stored has been changed to speed up pages where they are displayed. As usual, there are over a hundred updates to the games themselves.
The last major update included a change in the way game urls are displayed on screen and this seems to have worked very well. There was also a major change to the way popular games are calculated and displayed.
This did not work out so well, as the list of recent popular games displayed clearly wrong figures. A short term fix has been put in that should make more sense. In the future, displays of popular games will be by month and there will be more caching and archiving to speed everything up.
One other known bug is that the layout does not work so well on some mobile phones, so the next update will hopefully include tweaks to the display.
15 Apr 2016
Over 100 more inlays have been added. There have also been minor changes to the way the most popular games are displayed, with the intention of achieving quicker displays.
There have also been a lot more adverts, maps and screenshots included. A few more games that do not fall into the category of commercial releases have been removed.
03 Mar 2016
Although there has been no news for a while, lots of games have been updated in the last three months.
Over 100 inlay scans have been added and over 50 loading screens. More information has been added to over 100 games. A few games have also disappeared, mainly type-in listings but a few more obscure ones have been found to replace them.
27 Nov 2015
Over the last few weeks several hundred new images have been added. A few more games have been included and some have been deleted.
A few products that do not appear to have ever been released in the UK have gone, although ones that were clearly intended to be are indicated as 'missing in action' where appropriate.
Similarly, games where the copyright holder has denied permission for redistribution are being added on an on-going basis.
14 Sep 2015
More games have been added, a few combined and some removed. The addition of a few more scanned images has taken the number of unique adverts past the 1,000 mark!
The left hand menu has been updated slightly. Not only can you find the 20 most popular games, by clicking on the Latest additions link, you will find the 20 most recent games to be added.
Some games listed separately were actually found to be the same game with a different name. Where sensible, these have been combined under the most appropriate title.
01 Sep 2015
Over 500 screen shots of games have been added and more games included. The registration process to join the site has also been improved.
There are now well over 5,000 game screen shots included and 3,400 individual games are now in the guide. Many games have also now been updated with the loading screens.
Despite this, there are still many more games out there that are awaiting inclusion, including a lot of 128K only games. The side menu has also been tweaked to show a few more games.
The code for working out the most visited games pages was double-checked and the top title at the time of writing this really is Piggy Punks - by quite some margin!
The links page has been upgraded to include emulators, ROMs and game sites, which should allow anyone to be able to replay many of their favourite Spectrum games once more.
Finally, a fault was found in the registration process making it difficult for anyone wanting to join the site. This has been resolved and the process made simpler. You no longer need to have a unique email address to register, just choose a user name that has not already been selected by someone else.
03 Aug 2015
Over a dozen games have been added to the list and more than 50 game entries have been updated.
With the new Spectrum hardware from both Elite and Sinclair Research in the pipeline, this seems like a good time to enhance this list.
There are over 300 extra screen shots plus lots more updates. Even more information will be added over the next few months.
05 Jun 2015
Search facility and extra feature for people and software house listings added.
You can now use a custom created search facility to track down games, software houses and people easily. It also allows for partial matches, to allow finding an entry where the full title is not known. The pages for individual people and software houses now have previous and next options either side of the title. This allows you to browse these categories in alphabetical order easily.
15 May 2015
The A - Z of Spectrum Games is now hosted online at www.celister.net.
The entire guide is now available online for the first time, complete with thousands of screen shots, magazine scans, cheats, tips, pokes and much more information.
01 Apr 2015
Yet another major update released.
Once more the site has been transformed. Using HTML5 and CSS3, it is now fully responsive and designed to work on mobile devices and tablets as well as the more traditional PC.
20 Jan 2009
After a few years missing in action, the site is back online.
Completely rewritten from scratch, this looks a lot better and has added search facilities.
31 Jan 2004
The site now includes exclusive new content in the form of adverts on many pages.
Some features are still not implemented but it is usable and, hopefully, informative. The core database is now in place with all the contents stored in MySQL.
21 Dec 2003
The A - Z is finally back online and in a working format!
The downside is that it is a cut-down version but it includes an all-new interface that looks a lot better than before. This is optimised for viewing on a a 1024 x 768 screen at the moment. It will work fine on lower resolutions and a display suitable for higher resolutions is amongst the many features in the next planned update, which should be up around January 2003. Now that the site is designed fully in PHP (and embraces the PHP principle of recursion whole-heartedly) it is much easier to add extra features, so expect some major improvements in the near future.
15 Nov 2002
The Perl interface was abandoned and replaced by using PHP code.
As the guide was originally designed using a PC with Windows 95 and then Windows 98, there were a lot of problems with setting file permissions for the online system. A change to using a version of the Linux Operating System sorted this out but it did seem a lot of effort to boot into Linux just for updating scripts, testing them and uploading online. PHP was a more modern and far more feature-packed procedural programming language and seemed ideal for updating the site. Perl scripts were replaced and a basic version of the guide was available online.
22 Mar 2002
Conversion from a completely static site to an interactive one commenced with the introduction of a Perl-driven interface.
Every single game, type, software house and other entry originally had its own page. This allowed it to be produced offline on CD-ROM format but did not allow for any proper interaction. Using Perl, the site had a proper 'hit counter' for the first time and also allowed an early form of analytics. For the user, there was a basic search option using Perl that utilised regular expressions, a string matching system not for the faint-hearted!
15 Mar 2002
The full version of The A - Z of Spectrum Games was placed online.
Prior to this, a much smaller version, was online on my personal website from 1998 until 2000. The full version was actually published on CD-ROM using the HTML 3.2 format and first released in 1998.