Amstrad CPC 464 - 30 years old this month!


Ahhh the Amstrad CPC 464, a great machine that did surprisingly well against the C64 and the ZX Spectrum. And today it's a day of celebration! Well at least if you had an Amstrad, as the old girl is 30 years today. Amstrad was founded by Alan Sugar who is well known by the younger generation as the person that says " You're fired " although I'm not a fan of the guy I can thank him for the Amstrad and a great period of retro gaming. It was said that in the early 80's Alan Sugar wanted a machine to resemble a real computer, and not a pregnant calculator and thus the Amstrad CPC 464 was born in June of 1984.

The design behind the Amstrad CPC was that of a fully contained system, an "all in one" with a keyboard, tape deck and monitor, unlike the two big guns of the time the C64 and the ZX Spectrum which needed a TV and a separate tape deck. Yes there was also the BBC Micro but ask most retro gamers today and they'd probably mention the other two not the Micro.

The Amstrad was a pretty decent machine and had a vast selection of great games, although it did suffer behind the C64 and ZX Spectrum with many lower quality ports and didn't use much of the Amstrad's full potential. Saying that though if you had played Dizzy it had in game music which wasn't in the C64 or ZX Spectrum version.


The machine also had a pretty good spec with 64 KB Ram, internal tape deck and either a green screen or the more expensive colour monitor. I myself had the green screen and was and still am an avid collector of Amstrad games, but unlike then I now have an Amstrad CPC 6128 which is classed as the best Amstrad available to buy.


Sadly in 1990, the 464plus replaced the CPC464 in the model line-up, and production of the CPC464 was discontinued. But there is much hope on the horizon as developers are not just making new games for the Amstrad but also brand new devices such as the X-MEM, and DDI-1 clone

What's even more cool is the fact that many of the games can be played through the use of an Android device plugged into the side of a tape deck connection or mp3 tape adapter. Tapdancer comes highly recommended as you can play 100's of tape based games as .CDT files or even .MP3 (the Amstrad hears the sound and thinks it's a tape loading), it's just brilliant!

As for disk based games, If you can afford it I'd highly recommend either buying the Gotek and waiting for an Amstrad firmware or the more expensive HxC device, which emulates an extra floppy drive whereby you can play 1000's of games in disk format!

And that's that, let the celebrations begin!

UPDATE : Don't forget to check out Lazy Game Reviews excellent review of the Amstrad CPC 464, found by InkPanther on the gog forums!



UPDATE 2 : Another user by the name of s2325 on EAB has also informed us about a Top 10 Amstrad CPC 464 Games that you need to own or start with youtube video. So here it is!



So what Amstrad did you have? What did you think of the Amstrad as a retro gaming system?

3 comments:

  1. This brought back many happy memories for me. I only realised that it was the thirtieth anniversary when I was playing Destiny last night and somewhat showed my age when I asked if anyone remembered a few games from it.
    I spent so much time playing games and programming as well thanks to a magazine I subscribed to called Amstrad Action. I recall typing up a few pokes as well! (Anyone??)


    My favourite games have to be:


    Dizzy series
    Star Wars
    Batman (The isometric one)
    Bubble Bobble
    UN Squadron
    Renegade
    After Burner
    Roland on the Ropes (The first game I ever completed)
    Druid 2
    Klax
    Chips Challenge
    Speed King
    Gryzor
    Rock Star Ate My Hamster
    HeroQuest/Space Crusade
    Double Dragon
    California Games


    And so many more. I must have owned around 150 games by the end of its lifetime. I only have my parents to thank for purchasing it for me (and my brothers who never played it). It spwaned a new hobby which I still love.


    R.I.P. Amstrad, you were a great machine in your day and so overlooked and under appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great choice of games there Dean! Dizzy being a huge fav of mine and Bubble Bobble for that music which still plays in my head today.... Do do do do ;)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Music on 8-bit machines was so catchy. I would end up humming the tunes at school the following day and couldn't stop myself from doing so. Rob Hubbard is the only name who comes to mind and I understand that he is still going in the games industry. I guess it doesn't matter what your instrument is, piano, trumpet or Commodore 64, talent is talent.

    ReplyDelete

You do not need an account to sign up or log in... Feel free to post a comment as a guest user. Please dont spam!