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
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
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!