Trains, Games and Smartphones

On the train returning home from our Glug excursion last week (Euston to Northampton Via approximately 37 stops!) we needed to pass the time.  Conveniently after Matt had flooded the carriage with the giant Burger King Coke he slung all over the floor, on cue, everybody broke out their iPhones to play games and do whatever they do.

I immediately became bored due to my lack of an Apple communication device! I steered the conversation to how games had evolved from “Blitz” on the Vic20 to some of the cool stuff you can get on smartphones nowadays.

Whilst we (Matt, Dan, Phil and myself) discussed playing computer games in the 80s and the satisfaction/sense of achievement we felt by sitting through 45 minutes of “skereeeeeeeerrrrrrrrerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-ch, sshhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhkerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar” Spectrum loading noises and praying it doesn’t crash before you even start playing a game! Billy (the youngest of the Engine/Glug commuters) sat there wondering what the heck we were talking about.

If you had the opportunity to play a computer game in the 80s, you would know that you needed some serious patience and time set aside!

How it usually went playing on your Speccy was; Load – Crash – Load – Play for 5 mins – Kempston Joystick issues – Crash – Load – Die 50 times on level 2 – Give UP! So after a very stressful ordeal, you’d probably get about 20 minutes game time from approximately 5 hours of eagerly trying to get as far as possible.

Naturally, the topic had to be concluded with everybody’s all time favourite computer games. This ranged from the classic old school cpu’s such as; 48k rubber keyed Spectrum, Amiga 500, Nintendo, Master System, Super NES and Mega Drive to the (in Billy’s case) PS2!

Here are a few of my favourites… feel free to let us know yours!

If you want to play all the great Spectrum games online, follow this link

ZX Spectrum:

  • Football Manager
  • Manic Miner
  • Attic Attack
  • Saboteur  b
  • Skool Daze
  • Rambo 2
  • Bubble Bobble

Amiga 500:

  • Batman
  • Sensible world of Soccer
  • Manchester United in Europe


  • Mario Bros.
  • Mike Tysons Punch-Out

Master System:

  • California games

Super NES:

  • Mario Cart
  • NBA Jam

Mega Drive:

  • PGA Tour Golf
  • Sonic
  • Lakers Vs Celtics
  • Spy v Spy was awesome on the spectrum.

  • phil

    What no C64 action! Monty On The Run had the best soundtrack around – amazing tunes!

  • Dan Smith

    Well worth a viewing…

    Commercial Breaks – An 80’s TV documentary about Imagine and Ocean Software.

  • Mike

    Tried showing the kids at the weekend the world of spectrum games. I lost ‘um when I mentioned ‘tape recorders’ (What’s that?) amazing! Told them to look at the start screen on their xbox game for 30 minutes before they could start, as that how long it’ll take to load. Ha.

  • 30 minutes, what games were you playing?

  • This is good news given the fact that the more people who play these types of games, the more incentive developers have in creating ever increasingly more complex and diverse game environments. Train games are certainly here to stay and will remain a part of the Internet for many years to come.

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