ZX81 Computer

Showcasing monthly programs, a retro look at my my first computer., Page 2
Can You Escape the Evil Wizard in This Random ZX81 Adventure?

Closing out September, it is time for a little adventure. SLR Venture is my attempt at creating one using the ZX81ís tiny memory footprint. Although I went on to write some more complex text games, this random game does a decent job.

Posted Sep 30, 2019 by Steven 4 min read

Here Is a Simple Start to a ZX81 Drawing Program

As my programs attest to, I did a fair amount of digital drawing on my ZX81. As noted in past articles, I tended to use graph paper to design my games. Yet in 1984, I built a simple drawing program called Picture Use. Sadly, I never used it.

Posted Aug 31, 2019 by Steven 3 min read

Check out my ZX81 rendition of the US Flag

Although July nears its end, patriotism remains. From the frantic happiness of the 4th, to general love of country, July is about fireworks and Summer heat. Digging into my archives, I found a US Flag to commemorate the month.

Posted Jul 26, 2019 by Steven 2 min read

You Can Copy Your Screen with This Simple ZX81 Demo

Not all programs need to be games. And, in the case of Screen Copy, it is a demo program that ultimately became a utility. Most of us take the idea of making a screen shot for granted. Yet, back in the early í80s, the idea was uncommon. That didnít deter me.

Posted Jun 26, 2019 by Steven 4 min read

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.

Posted May 26, 2019 by Steven 4 min read

The World Was Doomed And This Is The Result

The eighties were a turbulent time. Political turmoil grew out of the Cold War, which wasnít 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 shouldnít be surprising that Iíd create an animation depicting that escalation.

Posted Apr 29, 2019 by Steven 4 min read

Hit Is a Fun and Simple ZX81 Game of Blackjack

In my youth, I often looked to real games for inspiration. Card games were one such source and one I drew from often. Some attempts, like Stud, were simple high and low games. For Marchís program, Hit tackles the more complex Blackjack, eschewing graphics to focus on gameplay.

Posted Mar 25, 2019 by Steven 5 min read

Itís Easy Stopping the Rain of Missiles in This ZX81 Game

I dug into some older games for Februaryís program, Missler. A simple yet effective game, Missler is a great example of programs I dealt with in the eighties. In this case, you must maneuver our anti-missile artillery in an attempt to stop the incoming barrage.

Posted Feb 24, 2019 by Steven 3 min read

Running This Trench Is Just Double Trouble

The start of the 2019 year is passing quickly, so I needed to get a game in quick. I found a short little program called Trench Runner, but to my surprise, it had two listings. So, I took advantage of the situation and am offering two ZX81 games for January.

Posted Jan 30, 2019 by Steven 6 min read

Try out This Simple and Easy ZX81 Landing Game

Over the holidays, I dug through my listings to see what was left. I still have quite a few left, but the pile is definitely smaller. I’m starting to come across games I don’t remember as much. The Monster, this month’s program, is one such game.

Posted Dec 29, 2018 by Steven 7 min read

Test if You Think Your Reflexes Are Good in This ZX81 Game

I’m running a bit late this month, but I’ll try to make it up by offering a larger game. Of course, it wouldn’t be the Eighties unless it was almost impossible to play. But, at least it looks good.

Posted Nov 30, 2018 by Steven 3 min read

Just a Silly Little ZX81 Landing Game

Funny enough Lander, October’s game of the month, came out after my Lander 2 game. Weird, huh? No matter, it is a fast and sometimes difficult, sometimes easy, video game. Go give it a try, then let’s dig deeper.

Posted Oct 29, 2018 by Steven 5 min read

Good Luck Dodging Walls in This ZX81 Game

September has come to a close and Iím on the edge for getting my program of the month out. So, I chose Raceway as a simple game that is both tough and satisfying. My high score is 40. Can you beat it?

Posted Sep 30, 2018 by Steven 3 min read

Can You Shoot the Asteroids before You Die

Augustís game is a somewhat deceiving. On the surface, it is a simple direction shooter. Be careful, though, as those asteroids speed up. It may start out easy, but Asteroid £ Metor will frustrate youóas it did me. After you give the game the retro try, letíd dig deeper into it.

Posted Aug 26, 2018 by Steven 6 min read

Enjoy 8bit 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 donít 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.

Posted Jul 23, 2018 by Steven 3 min read

Wait, What Happened to All the Programs?

You may, or may not, have noticed the lack of writing on my ZX81 site. You might think I gave up, moved, on, or forgot my password. Nope to all three. Itís way worse. Iím changing things up! TL;DR: You can head over to my main site (https://www.reids4fun.

Posted Jun 27, 2018 by Steven 3 min read

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 ďCavernís of Mars.Ē It isnít 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? Letís find out.

Posted Jun 26, 2018 by Steven 5 min read

Tower of Love Was an Ambitious Idea That Failed

I had lots of ideas as a teenager. Many of them became actual programs, while others languish in my notebooks. Others made it a bit further, becoming programs on my ZX81, but never finished. A journey abandoned is still a journey. Let’s explore one such program this month: Tower of Love.

Posted May 20, 2018 by Steven 5 min read

Check out This Awesome Remake of Pole Dodge

Jim notified me earlier this month that Iíd missed one of his remakes of my ZX81 programs when I blogged about them earlier. Tower Dodge for the MC-10 is Jimís version of my updated Pole Dodge 2. Not sure how I missed it as he rewrote it back in 2014. Of course, I canít believe I wrote mine back in 2012! Time sure fliesóget the pun? Anyway, letís dive in and see whatís new.

Posted May 17, 2018 by Steven 3 min read

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 youíll find it hard enough to spend a few minutes with it.

Posted Apr 19, 2018 by Steven 5 min read

How to Make a Bar Chart on Your ZX81

Taking a turn from games, March's program is a bit more useful. Although not as flexible as some modern programs, Bar Graph does the job. Add some data and print. What could be easier? Well, a lot.

Posted Mar 24, 2018 by Steven 6 min read

How to Make Digital Rain on Your ZX81

Iíve 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.

Posted Feb 20, 2018 by Steven 6 min read

Watch This Great Remake of Flywheel on the TRS-80

While digging around my site’s SEO this morning, I ran across these great videos from Jim Gierrie. Both depict his remake of Flywheel on a a TRS-80 MC-10. He had shared in a comment on my site, but I’d missed it given how busy last year had been. I love that Jim took the concept and made it his own, exactly the purpose of this site.

Posted Jan 28, 2018 by Steven 3 min read

Fight Your Way to Victory with This ZX81 Space Shooter

Nothing starts the year out better than a space shooter. The top of the printout was quite faded, so I wasn’t sure about ZTSXXSTZ when I started to type it in. But, once I got the first few bits working I realized I had something worth sharing.

Posted Jan 20, 2018 by Steven 4 min read

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. Decemberís 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 youíre ready, letís dig deeper.

Posted Dec 26, 2017 by Steven 4 min read