A boatload of old ZX Spectrum games are releasing on Steam

Wanted! Monty Mole
(Image credit: Pixel Games UK)

Anybody remember the odd top-down platformer Bounder, released in 1985? How about the platformers starring Monty Mole? How about anything else by British developers Gremlin Graphics for the ZX Spectrum?

You don't? Neither did I, until recently, when publisher Pixel Games UK started pushing a massive back catalog of old ZX Spectrum games to Steam spanning a variety of developers from the golden age of British computer game design on what, for many older gamers from the UK, was their first PC. Little-noticed, Pixel Games UK has been pushing out old games to Steam, consistently, for years now, but a recent burst of activity has seen dozens more added.

We're talking fairly cool games here, ones like puzzle game Pimania, which on release in 1982 could win you an actual, physical golden sundial. Others were beloved, like the Hungry Horace games. Yet more, like shooter Penetrator, made their way well outside the UK and were ported to the Commodore 64 and TRS-80 in other countries.

Sold in 1982 by Spectrum Computing's eponymous Clive Sinclair, may he rest in peace, the ZX Spectrum became the best-selling home computer in the UK. For many it's the machine that kicked off the British games industry, the font that led to the later success of some of today's most famous developers.

Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.