ZX81 Computer


Showcasing monthly programs, a retro look at my my first computer., Page 6


August’s Program: Parachute

August’s Program: Parachute

Whoa, it’s August already? Time for another program of the month. Coming your way is Parachute, a deceptively simple reflex game that uses recognizable graphics to give you an enjoyable causal gaming diversion. I’ve been staring at this program for months now as it was sitting on the top of the stack. The airplane and parachute graphics stand out prominently in the listing, making it hard not to notice. As much as I tried to ignore it, Parachute was calling me to type it in. I finally caved and obliged.



Updated Program Listing

ZX81 Computer

Awhile back I went searching for a decent ZX81 font and ran across ZX81 VDU. I played around adding it to my site’s footer, but I really wanted to do more with it. It’s pretty good and, unlike some other fonts I found, it has all the ZX81 graphic characters. You do have to carefully choose the font size, but that is minor issue. Overall a great font that is easy to use.


ZX81 Retro Gaming

ZX81 Computer

I often search around the web looking to see what kind of ZX81 community still thrives. I truly expected to find a community in decline, but a surprising number of nostalgia sites are still out there. I found some dedicated to hardware, some to emulating, and others to software. Some are reference sites offering up tips and how to do things. Others simply have reviews of software from a different era. All of them interesting in their own way.


July’s Program: Spiders & Flies

July’s Program: Spiders & Flies

July is almost half over, but we still have time for our program of the month: Spiders & Flies. You play a growing Venus flytrap that is searching for flies and special bugs. Use the ZX81 arrow keys to move around: 5, 6, 7, and 8. But be careful. Don’t eat the spiders lurking about or accidentally eat yourself. It’s a super easy game so you have no excuse for not trying it out.


June’s Program: Blast Off

June’s Program: Blast Off

Blast Off, June’s program of the month, is a simple game that tests your typing skills. You may find it a bit easier to play on an emulator than on a real ZX81. Fortunately, you can try now! It isn’t a very hard game if you are decent typist. It would also work well for those practicing their typing skills.


May’s Program: Up-Cake

May’s Program: Up-Cake

Well it is getting late in the month and I didn’t want to pull another last-minute update. To make things a bit interesting, I used Zed Ex on my Android tablet to enter in this month’s entry. More on that in a bit. Let me first introduce our deliciously short entry for May: Up-Cake. A fast and simple scrolling game that is easy to play and hard to lose at. My kind of game!





February’s Program: Enlarger

February’s Program: Enlarger

The old saying “time flies when you’re having fun” is so true of late. This year started with a bang and I feel like I’ve been running ever since. It isn’t that I haven’t wanted to work on my old ZX81 programs, but they often take a back burner to other past times. That said, I did find some time to sit down this weekend to type in another program. For February I present you with ENLARGER.



December’s Program: Thyime

December’s Program: Thyime

December is upon us and Thyime is the last program of the month for 2012. My how quick the year has passed. Thyime’s elements include moving, shooting, a break through wall, and a moving enemy. It does all this while remaining fast. Thyime provides a decent game to close out the year.


Bonkers! Redux

Bonkers! Redux

I couldn’t help it. I updated Bonkers using MCODER II to convert the BASIC code to Machine Language. This improved the speed of the game making improving its playability. If you haven’t played the 1985 version, play it first so you can appreciate the difference. If you have, now give the 2012 version a try. Better?



October’s Program: PAC-MAN

October’s Program: PAC-MAN

October’s program, PAC-MAN, may leave you a bit confused. Inspired by that iconic arcade game, this version has no graphics. It does have dots, cherries and ghosts. It doesn’t, however, have any pictures of those elements. Give it a try and you’ll see what I mean.


September’s Program: Runner

September’s Program: Runner

September’s program, Runner, is nostalgic for me. When I wrote this program I had moved on to my C64. My ZX81 was starting to gather dust as I was busy learning the ins and outs of my new computer. For some reason, something tugged at me to fix my ZX81 keyboard and get it running again. After transplanting the ZX81 brains into a TS1000 case, it surprisingly powered on. I wrote Runner as a test that still worked. It did. That was the last time I was able to use the computer that had been my pride and joy for the previous three years.


August’s Program: PAC-MAN Video

August’s Program: PAC-MAN Video

Wow, August flew by way faster than I expected! Here we are at the end and I finally got around to uploading the monthly program. This month’s program, PAC-MAN Video, is a bit different. Although I call it a game, it doesn’t really play like one. It is totally random with a slight nod to you. Skill isn't required, just give it a try.


July’s Program: Can Punch

July’s Program: Can Punch

I’m back to the basics for July’s program. Can Punch is a simply graphic game that will probably infuriate you more than entertain. Don’t believe me? Go try it and decide for yourself. The goal is punch the can thrown at you. Use Z to raise your fist high and . to lower it. A deceptively simple game mechanic that I dare you to master. I double dog dare you!


June’s Program: Pole Dodge 2

June’s Program: Pole Dodge 2

Yes, I know I’m late. June is almost over and I’m sure my adoring fan is up in arms. I do have one fan, right? In any case, I’m breaking tradition for June’s Program of the Month and posting a more modern program. Pole Dodge 2 is my revamped version of April’s program. Before I dig into the details, go play it. It’s real easy, just use the “Z” and “.” to bank left or right. No really, go play it. I think you’ll find it much more enjoyable this go round.


May’s Program: Jet Flyer

May’s Program: Jet Flyer

Jet Flyer is May's Program of the Month. Although a bit late, I believe it is a bit better than last month's and worth a quick try. The goal is to keep your jet on course by using the “Z” and “.” keys to bank right or left. It isn’t an overly hard game. You just need to keep the course indicator close to zero. I won’t say how close to avoid spoiling the fun.


April’s Program: Pole Dodge

April’s Program: Pole Dodge

Pole Dodge is April’s Program of the Month and it is an odd one. Partially odd because I typed it in back in February, and partly because the program just doesn’t play well. I know that doesn’t lend well for one to give it a try, but try it you should. Why? Because the premise isn’t bad. It is the execution that leaves a bit to be desired. Of course, I blame the slow hardware.


March’s Program: T.W.M.

March’s Program: T.W.M.

T.W.M. is March’s program of the month. It is a simple animation that tries to mimic a computer’s destruction of its defined target. February was actually pretty prolific for me as I transcribed this and another program, as well as updated a number of older programs using MCODER. Fortunately, that means I have a few more programs available than I normally do. Of course, one is more than I normally have ready so I’m not sure that means much. Anyway, go give it a try and enjoy the animation in all its simplicity.