Monday 31 October 2022

Hunchback (Century Electronics, 1983)

Developed and released for the arcades by Century Electronics in 1983.

Commodore 64 conversion written by Jon Steele, and published by Ocean Software in 1983.

Tangerine Oric-1 & Atmos conversion written by Philip Hulme, and published by Ocean Software in 1983.

Acorn Electron and BBC Micro conversions written by J.M. Dyson, and published by Superior Software in 1984.

Dragon 32/64 conversion written by Béla S. (Bill) Barna, and published by Ocean Software in 1984.

Commodore VIC-20 conversion written in-house at Ocean Software, with no details ever disclosed. Published by Ocean Software in 1984.

MSX conversion by Paul Carter, and published by Ocean Software in 1984.

Sinclair ZX Spectrum conversion by Christian Urquhart, with loading screen by Frederick David Thorpe, and published by Ocean Software in 1984.

Amstrad CPC conversion written by Christian Urquhart for Ocean, and published by Amsoft in 1985.

Unofficial conversion for IBM-PC compatibles written by Robert Schmidt, and published by Fireball Software Ltd. in 1988.

Another unofficial conversion was written for the Texas Instruments TI-99/4A by Joe Morris, and published by Retrospect Games in 2021.

Cover artwork for the Ocean Software release by Bob Wakelin.

Also written for the Atari 8-bit computers by Steven MacIlwee for Ocean Software, but was unreleased. A prototype is available online, but the year of conversion is not indicated.



I would hazard a guess, that one of the earliest gaming memories for any 80's child would have been Hunchback, or any of its unofficial variants, since it was an arcade classic ported to almost every imaginable 8-bit home computer during the first half of the decade. I certainly got to experience Hunchback on the three main 8-bit platforms of my childhood, but principally on the Commodore 64, since that's what I, and most of my friends had in our area.

Tuesday 4 October 2022

Daley Thompson's Decathlon (Ocean Software, 1984)


Written by Paul Owens and Christian Urquhart for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, with loading screen by F. David Thorpe.
Published by Ocean Software in 1984.

Commodore 64 version:
Programming by David A. Collier, Bill Barna and Tony Pomfret.
Music by David Dunn.
Published by Ocean Software in 1984.

Amstrad CPC version by Choice Software, and published by Ocean Software in 1985.



After years of waiting, it is now possible for me to do a reliable comparison of one of these joystick-killing sports games that have been sorely missing from the archives of FRGCB. The reason for this is, that I finally have an actual Amstrad CPC in my collection, as well as a Sinclair ZX Spectrum and a Commodore 64, and because in my experience, emulation hasn't been accurate enough to get a realistic sense of how each version plays. Now, Daley Thompson's Decathlon has been made possible to compare from the trilogy, and therefore, has the honour of starting our Ocean October of 2022.