May 12 2012
Emulation is a popular method of playing games from older systems on your current device. Traditionally emulation involves the copying of game files or Roms from your computer but on the iPhone due to Apples App Store policies emulation works in a slightly different way.
On the iPhone it is more common for you to buy an emulator with games included, this guarantees that the files are legal and don’t breach copyright, it also provides a legitimate way for those in search of classic games to purchase a digital copy.
The Sinclair ZX Spectrum was a popular home computer which holds a place in the heart of many gamers and is a much emulated system. The Spectrum has also recently celebrated it’s 30th Anniversary and to celebrate the event Elite Systems have released a special 100 greatest hits emulation package.
The package contains several top spectrum games from several top Spectrum Publishers and there are some true classics here including Chuckie Egg, Manic Miner, Skool Daze & Barbarian. The quality of emulation is superb, the games look and feel exactly like they did on the original Spectrum Hardware, which is its strongest strength and also it’s biggest weakness.
Game control is performed through on-screen virtual controls, and by default this method has a few problems as important sections of the screen
are covered by your figures during play. To help improve this, Elite have included the iDaptive toolkit which allows you to edit the size and layout of the screen on a game by game basis, this allows you to optimise the controls for each game.
This highlights the problem of emulation though, games have come a long way in 30 years and some old games just don’t stand up today. This is especially true of some of the coin op conversions like Dragon Ninja which did the best it could with the available hardware but it wasn’t great 20 years ago and today is a frustrating unresponsive mess.
It’s not all bad though, the Spectrum classics that were designed around the hardware tend to be simple and fun to play and games like Manic Miner still retain their classic status.
If you are a fan of the Spectrum and want a mobile method of accessing your games or are looking for a cost effective way to see some proper gaming classics then Sinclair ZX Spectrum 100 Greatest Hits is a great way to do it.