• Graeme Mason

Speccy Super Match: Hitch versus The Lord

The Antstream Arcade Spectrum celebration continues this week with a gaming super match

showdown between two of our most ardent Speccy fans, Retro Hitch and Lord Arse! We

asked this pair of Sinclair legends to name their favourite Spectrum games on Antstream

Arcade from five different categories. Let's see how many games they can pair up in the

Antstream Arcade Spectrum super match challenge!



Round One – best weird game

As we begin the super match challenge, tensions are high. It's Lord Arse's turn to nominate the first game, and he picks a suitably unusual one, Imagine's Jumping Jack. "Jumping Jack is

a straightforward game – get Jack to the top of the screen by jumping through gaps in the

floor above, avoiding nasties. It's infuriating, great fun, and remarkably, made for the 16K

Spectrum!"


Will Retro Hitch agree? Sadly not, as our other Spectrum legend plumps for the Automata

weirdness of Pi There! "I adore I, Robot, the videogame from 1983 and one of the very few

Atari games I think are worth anything but memories," he explains. "This Speccy version is not quite so glorious, but it retains the gameplay in spades."

Round One: MISS!

Match Score: Matches 0 – 1 Misses


Round Two – best run'n'gun game

There are many sterling examples of this popular genre on Antstream Arcade – but can our

two Spectrum superfans agree? Retro Hitch kicks us off this time, and he nominates Raffaele

Cecco's awesome Exolon. "Huge sprites, great colour and action. Simple but great gameplay

that never gets old. It's the old arcade-style game you go back to after a few beers, perform

terribly, but it makes you happy."


Will Lord Arse agree? "This game is a classic and really shines on the Spectrum," he teases.

"With excellent sound and graphics – the over-the-top explosions are my favourite – it just

exudes class. It's not easy, though – I'll never know how I managed to map Exolon to the end

when I was 15." Hewson's Exolon is our first match!

Round Two: MATCH!

Match Score: Matches 1 – 1 Misses

Round Three – best platform game


It's the genre that most defines the Spectrum – but will our two aficionados pick the same

game out of all the classic platformers on Antstream Arcade? It's Lord Arse's turn to go first.


"It's THE platform game experience: Manic Miner," he reveals. "It's nigh-on ideally balanced

with only a handful of unfair levels. It has enjoyable in-game music (In The Hall Of The

Mountain King) and is often my first choice when I load up Antstream Arcade."


Will Retro Hitch concur? YES! "Manic Miner is surely the best platform game ever created,

the retro equivalent of Spelunky today. To be the best, you need pixel-perfect jumps, but even

if you fail at those, you learn multiple routes around the map. Perfectly playable by all levels

of gamer and simply… perfect." Matches move into the lead!

Round Three: MATCH!

Match Score: Matches 2 – 1 Misses


Round Four: best shoot-'em-up

The shooting game is another popular genre on Antstream Arcade – can Hitch and the Lord

make it three in a row and agree again? Over to Hitch. "I love Arcadia, an old skool shoot-

'em-up on the Spectrum. Anxiety on tape with blistering fast graphics and gameplay that truly

tests you as the levels progress. Arcadia brings back so much nostalgia for those better days."


Will the Lord Arse also cite this early classic? Nope. "Considering that the Spectrum doesn't have hardware scrolling, Uridium is a hugely impressive conversion of Andrew Braybrook's C64 original. A tough, addictive shoot-'em-up that still holds its own today "They said it couldn't be done, and the Lord's nomination of Hewson's Uridium puts the scores at two-all.

Round Four: MISS!

Match Score: Matches 2 – 2 Misses


Round Five: best skiing simulation

With the score locked at two-all, it's down to the final category to decide this super match challenge with a Spectrum twist. It's Lord Arse's turn to go first, telling us his favourite Speccy skiing simulation. "Can I just repeat one word over and over? AMAZING! This is the

game that will kill your ZX Spectrum. You will murder it in frustration, then run out and buy

another one to play again!" Take it, easy Lord, no need to continually buy new Spectrums

with Antstream Arcade. But which game is it? "Horace Goes Skiing! It requires a high level

of skill and luck and is just so damn addictive!"


The tension mounts. Will Retro Hitch nominate the same game, or will he plump for one of

the, erm, many other Spectrum skiing simulations on Antstream Arcade? "I love this little

blue chap – actually, what on Earth is he? – and his second outing is easily his best," he grins.

"Cross the road to purchase your skis, then hit the slopes and be careful not to collide into

trees. Horace Goes Skiing is arcade perfect and an absolute favourite of mine on Antstream

Arcade."

Round Five: MATCH!

Final Match Score: Matches 3 – 2 Misses


Well done to Retro Hitch and Lord Arse for scoring a winning three matches. Play all these

Spectrum games and more, for free, on Antstream Arcade now!





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