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Can You Run and Jump Your Way through This ZX81 Game?

Bolder, ZX81 Screenshot by Steven Reid, 1985

Running platform games with simple controls were all the rage when mobile gaming got started. Although the themes varied, they all tended to have a few if only on control to them. Some made you press down and release. Others ran on their own, requiring you to press or swipe as needed. My journey into the genre began in 1985 when I wrote Bolder. It may not be popular or exciting, but does show that the concept had roots going deeper than you may realize.


Stop the Missiles from Destroying Your City

Laser Catch, ZX81 Screenshot by Steven Reid, 1984

For November, I found another missile defense game that I wrote a few years back. I honestly didn’t remember this one until I started to play it. Starting off a bit slow, I kept telling myself that it should speed up. And, it did! Guess, my memory isn’t that bad after all. Let’s dig into Laser Catch a bit more.


You Can’t Escape Death in This ZX81 Halloween Tribute

Halloween, ZX81 Screenshot by Steven Reid, 1984

Fall weather brings colder weather, colorful trees, and Halloween! The original movie was still a classic in 1984, even if a few sequels had been released by the time I wrote this program. Lacking the chills of the movie, my Halloween tries to convey the futility of running. Michael always wins.






Shoot the UFOs in This Simple ZX81 Game

Shoot the UFOs in This Simple ZX81 Game

Taking a minor departure this Memorial Weekend, my ZX81 program is actually from my childhood best friend. Neighbors during our time in Italy, Jeremy and I spent a lot of time together playing with our LEGO bricks, D&D, and on our computers. U.F.O is a simple shooter game that takes a unique approach to graphics.


The World Was Doomed And This Is The Result

The World Was Doomed And This Is The Result

The eighties were a turbulent time. Political turmoil grew out of the Cold War, which wasn’t loss on this teenage programmer. The vocal leaders of the US and the USSR bubbled up often in the pop culture of the era and the esclation of war. It shouldn’t be surprising that I’d create an animation depicting that escalation.










Enjoy 8 bit Pylons? Yes, My ZX81 Game Has Plenty!

Enjoy 8 bit Pylons? Yes, My ZX81 Game Has Plenty!

Here it is in July and I have another one of my dodging games to share. But, this one is a little bit different. You don’t need to dodge all of them, or in this case go through all of them. Nevertheless, if you want the juicy bonus points, you need to grab as many of the blocks as you can. The twist is how the pylons change as you play.


Look out for the Death Maze as You Escape the Monster

Look out for the Death Maze as You Escape the Monster

I seem to like avoid the wall games. I wrote many of them over the years, inspired by other games I played like “Cavern’s of Mars.” It isn’t a surprise as the ZX81 made it pretty easy to write a vertical scroller. For Death Maze, I added a little twist. Is it enough to make the game fun to play? Let’s find out.



Quick, Stop the Bomber before It Destroys You

Quick, Stop the Bomber before It Destroys You

Wait what? Another month? Another game? You betcha! April is upon us, and pretty much over. So, to pass the time I introduce Blaster, a shooter with a twist. Use Z to move left, . to move right, and M to fire. Not the most exciting game ever, but you’ll find it hard enough to spend a few minutes with it.



How to Make Digital Rain on Your ZX81

How to Make Digital Rain on Your ZX81

I’ve been wanting to create my own version of digital rain for some time. The effect is well known from the Matrix movies, which used florescent green characters. Inspired by that version, I decided to go retro and generate a black and white stream of characters using the ZX81. Let the geekiness begin.



What Can You Do with a Simple ZX81 Animation?

What Can You Do with a Simple ZX81 Animation?

Although may of my early programs were games, I spent a fair amount of time experimenting. December’s program, Slow Down, is one of my animation experiments. It is a straight forward sprite animation, with a twist. I used the ZX81 against itself to slow it down. If you’re ready, let’s dig deeper.