".. for their time. I fired up a BBC B emulator recently to play some of the old games and got bored very quickly. Likewise with an Atari ST emulator."
Your imagination has died with age. Gameplay was often very, very good (lots of dross too!), but you really needed imagination to "see" what was going on. I wonder how many old farts here can "see" a cardboard box as a spaceship, a racing car, a train, a TARDIS etc and spend hours playing in it? I bet any 5 year old relatives you might have can do it.