I was just wondering, what's the general consensus on the first ever OFFICIAL speccy arcade conversion? I'm pretty sure its Hunchback
from Ocean, officially licensed from Century Electronics and published in early / mid 1984. Other contenders (based on my memory of buying them, magazine reviews at the time and their listing in World of Spectrum) include Battlezone
by Quicksilva (Atari licence), one of the poorly distributed Atarisoft conversions that did make it out (I picked up Pole Position
but Pac Man
/ Ms Pac Man
were released too I think in the original Atarisoft packaging - Pole Position was later release by US Gold as well) or Cavelon
, again by Ocean (a pretty crap game by Jetsoft, itself a rip off of Stern's Tutankhamun
- I heard a school break rumour at the time that the speccy version came before the arcade but I'm pretty sure that wasn't the case). Obviously there were numerous unofficial ports, some of the early ones even used the full original titles, but these were the ones that proudly blazoned OFFICIAL in their adverts / covers etc.
Looking at World of Spectrum, 'Official' conversions only really took off in 1986 as even a search through 1985 lists just 9 'official' games (well, 10 actually - Frank Bruno was a licence but the game was not a real arcade game licence - it ripped off / homages nintendo's Punchou
t). The 9 were... Buck Rogers and the Planet of Zoom
(US Gold / SEGA conversions) and Spy hunter
(US Gold / Bally Midway?) - all 4 came from popular C64 US gold import releases so in some ways were ports of ports. Tapper and Spy Hunter were pretty good, Buck rogers and Zaxxon .. not so good. Zaxxon and Tapper may have been written by Ocean (or Ocean Developers) who did a lot of conversion work for US Gold in the early days (starting with the Speccy version of the US C64 / Atari games Beach Head
, Yie are Kung fu
(Imagine (Ocean) / Konami) - Ocean picked up the Imagine name and used it as a 'Label' for its more arcade / sports / licensed material at first, starting with a deal with Konami... they also launched Hypersports alongside an original baseball game if I recall correctly (World Series Baseball
- a pretty good game too). This is part of the reason Ocean 'stopped' doing Arcade conversions for a while - they were all released via Imagine (with some exceptions e.g. 1986's Donkey kong
conversion (having ripped off Kong with.. Kong back in their early days they went legit with Nintendo for DK and the Original Mario Bros
.. don't know why as these games were considered OLD in 1986, perhaps they were chasing the Super Mario Bros rights?)Moon Cresta
(Incentive / Nichibutsu) - I bought this the day it came out from Incentive's Office / Shop in Reading
. A cracking conversion but it came out just as basic arcade shootemups like Galaxians
etc went out of vogue for being too retro lol.Commando
(Elite / Capcom) - This is were things really got into gear - Elite had carved out a licensing niche with their adaptions of US Action TV Series (Airwolf, Fall Guy, Dukes of Hazard etc) and athey convinced various Japanese Arcade Publishers that there was a viable market for UK computer (not console) versions of their games (this was just after the console market had crashed a year or so before). Commando was a pretty impressive conversion of a fairly recent Arcade game by a then fairly small company called Capcom ~(whatever happened to them eh
) that ruled the Christmas Charts in places like WH Smiths.
1986 tells a different story with US Gold, Imagine and Elite all fighting to convert the biggest arcade game licences (to varying degrees of success lol) with other like Melbourne house, EDGE and Quicksilva hoovering up the hidden gems / crumbs.
So.. have I missed any? Was Hunback the first Official Spec Arcade Conversion? Anyone want to do the same for the C64 (e.g. the Atarisoft games, the Parker Bros Carts, Wizard of Wor, Frogger etc etc.. my memories of the C64 only started in 1986 so I defer to an expert when it comes to the great beige one...).