The prototype version of the ZX Spectrum Vega / Retro Computers Ltd

The ZX Spectrum is being prepared for those that backed its crowdfunding campaign — with 1,000 classic games

The revamped ZX Spectrum is being made in Nottinghamshire ahead of its April release. When it arrives, it’ll have 1,000 games — and here’s a nostalgia-inducing pick of the best of the ZX Spectrum.

The campaign to bring back the ZX Spectrum was launched on crowdfunding platform Indiegogo in December. Since then, the project known as Vegas has raised over £130,000, from  a £100,000 target, and those behind it said today that SMS Electronics will make the device at its factory in Beeston, Nottinghamshire.

Rewards for the people that backed it ranged from thanks for £5 donations to receiving the only 3D model for the Vega for £1,000.

The console looks the same as the original one, but has over 1,000 games built in. It will also have more storage space to add games that the people behind it will be releasing from time to time.

And the Vega will work with all games made for the original Spectrum machines, the group behind it have said. That will mean access to all of the classic, beepy and pixely games that were released in the ten years that the console was available for, from 1982 to 1992.

Many of the games are already available on the internet — a huge amount of which are collected on the detailed World of Spectrum website and the RZX Archive that collects recordings of Spectrum games. But we’ve picked through our favourite Spectrum games, in nostalgic anticipation of the launch of the new Spectrum.


Manic Miner (1983)


Manic Miner was made for the ZX Spectrum and released in 1983. Players jumped through a series of platforms, trying to find a series of objects before Willy’s oxygen supply ran out.

It launched the Miner Willy series, followed by Jet Set Willy — one of the biggest selling games of all time.

You can play Manic Miner online already, using a ZX Spectrum emulator.

Elite (1984)


Elite created the space trading video game, and ended up being ported to pretty much every platform. It’s been hailed as a classic and is one of the most popular games ever on the Spectrum.

Elite has continued to grow since the first game’s seminal release 21 years ago. The crowdfunded Elite: Dangerous launched last month to rave reviews and was the fourth in the series. The “Elite Forever” website offers way to play the original, but not for Spectrum. It does have the game for Commodore 64 and BBC Micro, though.


Daley Thompson’s Decathlon (1984)


This game, made to capitalise on the fame of Daley Thompson after he won gold at the 1980 and 1984 Olympic games, was really just a version of Konami’s Track and Field. But that didn’t stop it racing into our hearts.

Decathlon has been mentioned as one of the games almost certain to be a part of the first 1,000 games on the new Spectrum. It’s already been resurrected, for iOS and Android, in 2012.

The Great Escape (1986)


The game was built on the plot of the film, and sees players trying to break out of a German prisoner of war camp.

It was designed by Denton Designs and published in 1986 (for £7.95). It was released on ZX Spectrum, as well as Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC and DOS.

The Hobbit


The Hobbit was one of the first popular text adventures on games consoles — a genre that pretty much anyone could make, at home.

As its name suggests, it allowed people to play through the plot of the hobbit, using text responses to events to get through the story.

The game can be played online without even using an emulator, given it’s only text that asks you to to respond to instructions.