back to article No cassette required: ZX Spectrum games on the iPhone

Mobile games publisher Elite Systems today announced a bundled release of Sinclair ZX Spectrum games for the iPhone and iPod Touch. ZX Spectrum Collection Approved by Apple earlier today, ZX Spectrum: Elite Collection (Vol. 1) is a bundle of officially-licensed games first developed for the popular 8-bit 80s home computer …


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  1. Dan 55 Silver badge

    No rubber keys

    I'd like to see someone mash their iPhone screen playing Hypersports.

    So how come Jobs decreed that programs which interpret instructions were now okay if they didn't download stuff off the net, and the App Store Police have just gone and published an emulator which can be updated with new games. He should just come out the closet and put an anti-Adobe clause in and make life easier for everyone else.

    1. h 6
      Thumb Up


      Maybe because Papermaster, the former head iPhone guy, left Apple months ago, and the new iPhone guy's vision for the iPhone App store is finally making its way thru Apple.

      Just sayin'.

  2. James Hughes 1

    Chuckie Egg I believe

    Although I played it on the Beeb.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Drug dealer

    Just like the C64 emu it will be locked down and unable to play anything useful, on top of that you will have to pay £1 a game.

    Just like the classic drug-dealer analogy, the first hit is always free, the rest will cost you and you will pay, oh yes, you will pay!

    Jailbreak and you can play lots of emus without the Jobsian Stazi coming down on retro gaming for promoting copyright infringement!

    1. The Indomitable Gall

      Hang on....

      Isn't everyone always complaining about how the price of games never drops? Well when I was buying games for the C64, the budget titles went for 3.99, and full price titles 12.99, so yes, prices have dropped. £1 is, was and always will be, practically nothing.

    2. Cameron Colley


      Why not just not buy an iPhone?

      "I don't like Apple's controlling ways so I'll just buy an expensive device from them... But nothing else!"? That does seem a little weird to me.

    3. DrXym Silver badge

      And the funny part

      Is there are already several ZX Spectrum emulators for android such as Marvin for free and they play any tzx / tap file you throw at them. Imagine that - an app that INTERPRETS machine code. Unthinkable.

      A bigger question for me is how the hell do you play games which demand a keyboard on a device which doesn't have a keyboard. I expect emulators will have to overlay the screen with some common layouts for kempston, cursors QA/OP etc. which most games require.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        £1 was nothing?

        I remember being paid a whopping £5 a week for delivering papers (3 mile cycle route too). Then it was down to woolies to buy a spectrum game with my fresh pound notes. £1 was an awful lot of money to me back then.

  4. Daniel Owen

    OMG Manic Miner

    Classic game :D

    Hmm wonder if I can find it for android

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      There are ZX Spectrum emulators on the marketplace

      both free and paid-for. If you bought the game originally, then there should be no problem digging out a ROM and firing it up.

      Just don't freetard.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Just don't freetard."

        I second that.

        quite shocked that somebody downvoted your post.

        Quite why people who give their life to creating things for others -things which happen to have a form which can be easily copied-quite why these people who improve the world for all of us,should be perceived to have an ability to do without money to pay for food or home, I do not know.

    2. Anonymous Coward

      Manic Miner on Android? Oh yes!

      'Marvin' is your friend. ;-)

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Android already has better....

      Lookup 'Marvin' in the Android Market ;-)

  5. Velv Silver badge

    ZX Nostalgia

    There's already a ZX Spectrum emulator on the iPhone - ZX Nostalgia (unless its been removed from iTunes and not my phone.

    It was done by a company who have obtained the rights to distribute the ROMs from the copyright owners who have released them for free distribution on emulators for other platforms.

    Ad Astra, Android Two, Barmy Buggers, Bugaboo The Flea, Chuckie Egg, Deathchase, Fantastic Voyage, Fred, Horace Goes Skiing, Manic Miner, Rescate del tesoro, Starstrike 3D, Trashman and Wheelie are included.

    Controls are a bit rubbish, but you should see the looks of amazement when he sound of Hall Of The Mountain King fills a tube carriage while you play Manic Miner :)

  6. Baudwalk

    Spectrum? Pah!

    Everyone knows the C64 was the only computer that mattered. ;-)

    The flame proof one, thanks.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Teh real reason for the bumper...

    Aha so the reason that Apple gave away free bumpers is nothing to do with the antenna problem but so that iPhone 4 owners can experience the 'dead-flesh' rubber feel that the Speccy keyboard used to have.

  8. Anonymous Coward


    'Marvin' free spectrum emulator on the Android marketplace , plus all available games downable for free - but of course you'll want to pay for the priviledge , if you own an IPhone ;)

    1. The Infamous Grouse

      ZX Nostalgia

      ZX Nostalgia was pulled from the App Store a while ago. I read some conflicting reports regarding why it was pulled, but a lot of non-conflicting reports about how awkward the controls were.

      The best Spectrum emulator for iOS is iXpectrum, free from Cydia for jailbroken devices. It's nice on the iPhone but amazing on the iPad with the larger screen.

      Landscape mode allows for touch controls in the border where fingers won't get in the way of the on-screen action and, for those games requiring more than half a dozen keys, portrait mode shows the screen at the top and a full rendering of the Spectrum keyboard below. Great for text adventures, or possibly even programming in ZX Basic if you're a masochist.

      A built-in browser downloads freely distributable games straight from the World Of Spectrum archive, so you don't have to faff around transferring files from a host computer using SSL or a file manager.

      I can't imagine any other emulator, paid or free, will come close to matching it. Unless you're religiously anti-jailbreak, or have a version of iOS that can't be jailbroken yet, it's the one to go for.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Shouldn't have mentioned online site

    Just wasted 5 minutes on the Hobbit. got as far as outside the House at Bagend

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Classic game

      Thorin sits down and sings about gold....

    2. Paul Westerman

      Go North

      Watch out for the trolls.

  10. Ross 12

    Marvin on Android

    For anyone outside of Steve's Walled Garden, there's a great speccy emulator called Marvin.

    1. Allicorn


      And a C64 emulator called Frodo for you heathens. In fact there are shed loads of emulators in the Android Marketplace from the Atari 2600 to the Amiga.

      1. Wize

        Stella for the 2600

        Spent many a time on site filling up the waiting hours with that one.

  11. Matt 116

    and another on Android

    .. called ZXDroid. Seems to work quite well as well.

  12. Lee Taylor

    and for those with an N900

    and for those with an N900 check out Speccy by Marat Fayzullin for full screen spectrum fun, no losing part of you screen to a virtual keyboard as nothing beats pressing real keys.

  13. CmdrX3
    Jobs Horns

    You know what...

    [Quickdig] ....they should release that for OSX, then it'll have more modern games to play on it ;-) for a change [/Quickdig]

    I wait... time passes.

  14. Craig Vaughton

    Right on Commander

    If we're going to see any more "Classic" 8-bit games/emulators on iPhones, iPads or Androids, any chance someone could recycle the true all time classic, Elite?

    No sure where they'd stick the keyboard overlay, but the Dark Wheel novella as a pdf would be a nice touch.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The Dark Wheel

      The Dark Wheel is available as a plain .txt file from the World of Spectrum archive.

  15. P. Lee Silver badge

    Miner 2049er?

    oh wait, that'll need an Apple ][ emulator...

  16. Bob 18
    Jobs Horns

    Emulated Code

    Wasn't code not ORIGINALLY written for iOS in Objective C considered anathama on the iTunes store, until VERY RECENTLY?

    I wouldn't want to be caught running any sinful code on MY iPhone.

  17. Jonathan White


    So which are you, Vladimir or Estragon?

  18. jnewco81
    Thumb Up

    Please, please, please...

    Have Chaos included as part of the collection. That's the only game I'll ever need

  19. davefb

    way back when

    I worked with a writer of one/some of those games, or at least he part owned the company and did some of the work. He had a large personal debt due to the company having gone bust (and the other guy having done a runner). Took him a while to pay it back . Nice to see people 'thanking him' for this work by advocating free downloads. Oh well , never changes.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: way back when

      You won't find *any* software on the World of Spectrum site that has been denied free distribution. WoS actively seek copyright holders to obtain permission to have their software in the archives for free distribution. If you still have contact details for the gentleman you should direct him to the World of Spectrum site.

  20. exexpat

    Manic Miner and Jet set willy in browser games links

    In browser games:

    manic miner:

    jet set willy:

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