Sunday, August 16, 2015

On to the Amstrad

The Amstrad CPC 464 when It finally arrived felt like a breath of fresh air.  First impressions were helped immensely by the color monitor.  This showed the Amstrad's 16 colors off well and was very sharp when compared to the TV hook ups we had all been used to.

Another home computer with a great built in real keyboard.  Also the tape loader was built in so no more messing with volume sliders to get a game to load.  It was the first of the popular home computers to incorporate a tape drive.  Eventually of course even the poor old Speccy had a real keyboard and built in tape.  The built in tape meant for much more reliable tape loading than before with speed loaders soon developing similar to how they had for the Commodore 64's datacassette.  Even with the later speed loaders the 64k of memory would still take a while to fill up and average game loading times actually increased. 

Of course we didnt know much better then as tape loading the games was standard practive.  There were some great games on the Amstrad CPC 464that were well worth the wait. 

Looking back  the games I remember most fondly were the Roland branded ones.  Roland in the Caves is one such game played a lot but these days looks a little basic on an emulator.  Its worth a mention for the amount of giggles it gave us group of teenage boys as he climbed up and down the rope.  If you don't know what I mean then go play it on an emulator you will soon see the immature humor.  One game that still looks and plays well for an early Amstrad game is Roland in Time.  I played this recently on an emulator and its a very playable game.  Also of note are the great text based adventures from Interceptor such as Forest at Worlds End.  Worth forgetting though while were on text adventures is the
Lord of the Rings game.  My memory might be failing but I seem to remember it taking 15 minutes to load and when you died you had to load it again.  Imagine the kids of today having to go through that!