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A fun and fascinating look back at the best 8-bit budget games of the eighties.

Back in the 1980s not everyone could afford to spend a tenner on a new video game. With most kids getting little more than a couple of quid pocket money a week it could sometimes take over a month to get a new cassette to play. So the arrival of budget games on the market was a godsend for children everywhere. Suddenly you could walk into your local newsagents, plonk two shiny gold coins on the counter and grab one of the latest games from the likes of Codemasters, Mastertronic, Alternative Software or Players. Many of these titles were actually better than the full price releases of the time, which usually cost five times as much! These games also introduced us to classic franchises such as Dizzy, Joe Blade, Magic Knight and the unforgettable Simulator games.

8-Bit on a Budget: The Best Budget Games of the 80s looks at the very best budget originals released for the six most popular 8-bit home computers of the 1980s: the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64, Amstrad CPC, MSX, BBC Micro and Atari 8-bit. Each machine has its own dedicated pages, exclusive titles and full length reviews telling you why each game was so great. You’ll also find a fact box full of trivia for each title that will hopefully teach you something new!

A sneak preview of some of the games included:

  • Dizzy
  • Flash Gordon
  • Joe Blade
  • Agent X
  • Thrust
  • Advanced Pinball Simulator
  • Yogi Bear & Friends
  • The Wild Bunch
  • Danger Mouse
  • Super Robin Hood
  • & many more!

There are also interviews from some of the people behind your favourite budget games including David Jones, Rich Stevenson, Chuck Peavey and Shaun McClure. As well as guest reviews from a host of famous names in the gaming scene such as...

  • Ashens
  • Guru Larry
  • The British IBM
  • Kim Justice
  • Nostalgia Nerd
  • Slope’s Game Room
  • & many more!

With over 200 pages of nostalgia fueled full-colour content, 8-Bit on a Budget: The Best Budget Games of the 80s will offer you even better value for money than the many great games that inspired its writing!

About the Book

  • Over 200 pages of amazing content.
  • 193 x 183mm hardback.
  • Full colour throughout.
  • Printed endpapers and head and tail bands.
  • Fantastic pledge levels!

*Book designs and cover are for illustrative purpose and may differ to final design.

Since getting a ZX Spectrum for Christmas in 1988 I have pretty much lived and breathed video games my entire life. After working my way through pretty much every machine out there I still own a huge selection of different console, computers and video games from across the ages.

I have been writing about video games for over 10 years working for publications and websites such as RETRO, Pixel Nation, Atari User, What Culture, Hey Poor Player, GameSpew, Retro Fusion and the award winning Retro Gamer magazine. Other previously published works include Homebrew Heroes, a digital book from 2013 about the world of homebrew gaming, The A-Z of ZX Spectrum Games, The A-Z of Atari 2600 games and many other books in the A-Z series. I was also a contributing writer on Let's Go Dizzy: The Story of the Oliver Twins, The Story of the Commodore Amiga in Pixels and Unbound’s very own Attack of the Flickering Skeletons by Stuart Ashen.

I have also appeared on the prime time Sky News technology show Swipe as well numerous podcasts as both a guest and co-host. My own You Tube channel, The Laird’s Lair, also features a wide range of different videos focused on the world of retro gaming.

Dizzy

Publisher: Codemasters

Year: 1987

Developers: The Oliver Twins

Featured System: Amstrad CPC

Also released for: ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64

What more can be said about Dizzy? It’s the game that set the Oliver Twins on the road to stardom and success and created a character that is still beloved to this day. But it’s not so well known that ol’ Dizzy didn’t get off to the greatest start in life. Codemasters were against even publishing it at first and the initial poor sales of the game prompted David Darling to turn up to work wearing a T-Shirt saying “I told you so!” But after the game eventually entered the charts and stayed there for no less than six successive months, the Oliver Twins were ultimately proved right. I hope they made their boss eat his shirt! The game that started it all for the charismatic egg, Dizzy is a sprawling flick-screen puzzle orientated arcade adventure that pretty much started a whole new genre that Codemasters would become synonymous with. The only way to complete the game was by finding the right objects and using them in the correct places. The puzzles ranged from simple to downright fiendish making Dizzy a game that was very approachable in the beginning but challenging in the longer term, a perfect mix. The original game still holds up well today with its attractive graphics, bouncy music and long term appeal. Ok, some of the sequels perfected the formula even further but if you’ve never experienced a Dizzy game before then you really should be starting at the very beginning. How do you like your eggs in the morning? I like mine pixelated! 

 

 

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Derek Chandler
Derek Chandler asked:

How much is your target? The platform doesn’t say, not on my smartphone anyway!

Kieren Hawken
Kieren Hawken replied:

It's around £17k but this is only a rough guide and can change at any time.

Simon Mesure
Simon Mesure asked:

Hello
May I ask when making a pledge do the funds come out of account straight away or when fully funded. Is there a time limit?

Kieren Hawken
Kieren Hawken replied:

They do yes, but if the book doesn't fund then this is refunded in full.

Themistocles Papassilekas
Themistocles Papassilekas asked:

Hello!

When is this expected to be delivered? I'm asking because I'm moving in a few months and I was wondering what delivery address to input... Thanks!

Kieren Hawken
Kieren Hawken replied:

Hi, it has to fund first, so it's going to be a few months at least

Themistocles Papassilekas
Themistocles Papassilekas asked:

Is this dead? :(

Kieren Hawken
Kieren Hawken replied:

I hope not, I need more people to spread the word!

Steve Martin
Steve Martin asked:

Hi what is the timeframe for this to be funded is it similar to ks?

Kieren Hawken
Kieren Hawken replied:

There is no timeframe currently

Steve Martin
Steve Martin asked:

What is status of this project as seems to have stalled very early on. With all the contributions from well known youtubers i'd have thought word of mouth would have generated a lot more interest on this excellent book. One thing i will say is that the lack of concrete information i.e timeframe, funding target etc will make many potential backers (myself included) hesitant to throw their weight behind this project

Kieren Hawken
Kieren Hawken replied:

The funding target is listed here (17k and 8% currently) and on all Unbound projects there are no set deadlines. Sadly despite the number of famous people involved in this people just don't seem interested enough to back it.

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