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ZX Spectrum 48K

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Gwyn Hughes
Chris Bourne

This, as the truth-seeking T'zer revealed last month, is the package that Argus claims provides better value than the charity compilations, Softaid and Off the Hook. Now it's my turn to have a go because 30 Games does not necessarily mean 30 games that you'd actually want to play!

Let's start with the programs that originally appeared on tape magazines - you know, those things that fall off the newsagent's shelves when you reach for your copy of your favourite monthly (no - not Men Only!). I counted eleven of these - over a third of the line-up gone - including such goodies as Battleships and Basic arcade games that you can break into and list - or more likely New! There are a few strategy games and even a computerised Rubik's cube by a name not unknown to readers of this magazine - but don't worry, Iolo, your secret's safe with us.

On top of this add the geriatric arcade... classics are we supposed to call them? The Meteors is a reasonable version but even back in the mists of prehistory, Ouicksilva's Space Invaders sorry, Intruders, wasn't a favourite. And what's this raising its hairy head? Gridrunner is a Jeff Minter rave from the grave - okay, go easy on the rave perhaps, but at least you don't have to ingest large amounts of suspicious substances to understand it!

This means that programs you'd want to play more than once are getting thin on the ground. However, there's at least one per side and you might, therefore, be persuaded that the package is worth having. After all, you may suddenly succumb to a strange desire to play Jet Set Gertie all night - though I doubt it! Instead, decide whether you want the four or five non-naff offerings and settle for the others as disposable extras. Even though the thirty are spread across four sides, be prepared for lots of tape searching unless your recorder has a counter!

It's obviously difficult to provide ratings for a compilation so take the following figures with a pinch of salt. More importantly, remember that a bargain stops being a bargain when you have to take the dross with the gold.


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Antics: A decidedly good though simple arcade maze game here with lots to dodge and secret routes to discover. It was a sequel to The Birds And The Bees and though it's fairly unsophisticated by today's standards it's also quite good fun.

Might Magus: Platforms and ladders of the mystical kind and only just over a year old. The maze remakes itself each time and includes some very nasty traps to watch out for. Not a favourite at the time of its release but one of the best of the thirty.

Blood 'n' Guts: Originally entitled Fantastic Voyage, this is probably the star program here. It's not quite platforms because you'll spend all your time standing on the squishy bits of human innards. Fantastic graphics mark it out and it's still a lot of fun to play if you like games in this vein.