How the Amstrad CPC464 made me a gamer – Reader’s Feature

Amstrad CPC464 – you have to start somewhere

A reader recalls how his first home computer in the 80s gave him an appreciation for playing as wide a range of games as possible.

Right from the moment my mate showed me his, I knew I had to have one. It was big, and maybe a little clunky too, but I fell in love with it and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it! The thing in question is, of course, the Amstrad CPC464. I was eight-years-old and relatively new to the world of computer gaming back in 1987. And although Lord Sugar’s colourfully keyed machine had a weird looking green screen to it, I knew this was where I needed to be.

Christmas 1987 was when I got my own CPC464. after months of playing Harrier Attack and Oh Mummy! at my friend’s house and it was quite a sight to behold! Sitting there on the desk that my dad had painstakingly carried and built, it was a far cry from our previous ZX Spectrum 16 with its rubber keys and spider’s web of wires to the television, wires to the power point, and wires to the separate tape deck. Honestly, I didn’t know if I was meant to play on it or crawl through the wires to collect a crystal from the centre of the maze! The Amstrad was tidier, had an integrated tape deck for one thing, and had taken mere minutes to set up ready to be played.

Another part of the box that housed my new CPC contained the familiar box of 12 games that came with the computer, which contained the marvellous Harrier Attack and Oh Mummy! as well as Roland on the Ropes, Roland in the Caves and…well that was it really. The rest were educational games like Animal, Vegetable, Mineral and a pointless fruit machine simulator. As you can imagine, a good portion of Christmas Day 1987 was spent shooting at Harrier jets and swinging through rope mazes – my parents had to tear me off it to cram some turkey down my neck at lunchtime!

It wasn’t too long before I started getting other games for the Amstrad, starting with the excellent Daley…

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