Hero Quest on the ZX Spectrum is a great version of the equally underrated board game of the same name from Games Workshop, It is an isometric tabletop strategy/RPG game that simplifies RPG statistics without simplifying gameplay. It was released by Gremlin in 1991 on the ZX Spectrum but also on DOS, Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64.
In the boardgame the game is played on a grid representing the interior of a dungeon or castle, with walls segmenting the grid into rooms and corridors. One player assumes the role of the evil wizard character (Zargon/Morcar), and uses a map taken from the game's quest book to determine how the quest is to be played. The map details the placement of monsters, artifacts, and doors, as well as the overall quest the other players are embarking upon. Quests vary and include scenarios such as escaping a dungeon, killing a particular character, or obtaining an artifact. The evil wizard first places the entry point on the map – usually a spiral staircase, although on some quests the players enter via an external door or begin in a specific room. The map may also specify a wandering monster. This is a monster that may enter the game if a player is unlucky while searching for treasure.
When the computer game was released it forced Sierra On-Line to rename their Hero's Quest series to Quest for Glory. We have both version of the Sierra game here in the museum and below you can see a picture of the original Hero Quest from Sierra, HeroQuest based on the board game and then the later renamed Sierra title (Quest For Glory).
Here you can see a small video with gameplay from the sinclair spectrum game.
Barbarian: The Ultimate Warrior is a video game first released for Commodore 64 personal computers in 1987; the title was developed and published by Palace Software, and ported to other computers in the following months. The developers licensed the game to Epyx, who published it as Death Sword in the United States. Barbarian is a fighting game that gives players control over sword-wielding barbarians. In the game's two-player mode, players pit their characters against each other. Barbarian also has a single-player mode, in which the player's barbarian braves a series of challenges set by an evil wizard to rescue a princess.
Instead of using painted artwork for the game's box, Palace Software used photos of hired models. The photos, also used in advertising campaigns, featured Michael Van Wijk (who would later become famous as 'Wolf' in the TV series Gladiators) as the hero and bikini-clad Maria Whittaker, a model who was then associated with The Sun tabloid's Page Three topless photo shoots. Palace Software's marketing strategy provoked controversy in the United Kingdom, with protests focused on the sexual aspects of the packaging rather than decapitations and other violence within the game. The ensuing controversy boosted Barbarian's profile, helping to make it a commercial success. Game critics were impressed with its fast and furious combat, and dashes of humour
Above is the original cover of the game. During the 1980s, the prevalent attitude was that video games were for children. Barbarian's advertisements, showing a scantily dressed model known for topless poses, triggered significant outcries of moral indignity. Electron User magazine received letters from readers and religious bodies, who called the image "offensive and particularly insulting to women" and an "ugly pornographic advertisement". Chris Jager, a writer for PC World, considered the cover "a trashy controversy-magnet featuring a glamour-saucepot" and a "big bloke [in leotard]". According to Leinfellner, the controversy did not negatively affect Barbarian, but boosted the game's sales and profile tremendously
The version for the 8-bit ZX Spectrums is mostly monochromatic, displaying the outlines of the barbarians against single-colour backgrounds. The sounds were also recorded at a lower sampling rate. The budget label Kixx published this version we have here without Whittaker on the covers.
Crazy Golf also known as Krazy Golf was released in 1983 and was published by Mr. Micro. Nine holes of chaotic top-viewed ricochets and hazards make up this early Crazy Golf game. They can be skipped for a score of 12 if you get stuck. There are no moving hazards, so gameplay is essentially a golf-themed precise positioning puzzle. Furthering this aspect, it does not matter what pace the ball is at when it reaches the hole (it never rebounds out of it) and that rebounds are always at precise 90-degree angles without taking pace out of the ball.
Sixteen shot angles and sixteen shot paces are available. The first hole is simply a row of vertically-placed barriers with only small gaps at each end, but later holes include randomly-placed ball-sized blocks, curved barriers almost enclosing the hole, and square blockades leaving only narrow corridors to play (bounce, more effectively) the ball through. The final hole combines all these for a par-12 challenge.
Below is a small video of the Crazy Golf gameplay on the ZX Spectrum.
Yngvi Th. Johannsson
Retro gaming enthusiast and all around computer collector.
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