Winner: Recreated ZX Spectrum
When it comes to retro-gaming, there are two main things to take into account: the experience and the games. Here, the Recreated ZX Spectrum nails the experience, with a surprisingly authentic take on the original 1980s hardware. Games-wise, it’s a bit limited on mobile, but dozens of additional titles are promised over the coming months.
The Vega comes across like a missed opportunity to widen the appeal of Spectrum gaming. If anything, it includes too many games and could have done with focussing a bit more on quality rather than quantity. But really the hardware lets it down. With a better controller and a lower price-point, we’d have been more sympathetic to the cause.
Beyond these units, there are alternatives. You could for 30 quid more grab an Android-based JXD S7800b and install a Speccy emulator such as Spectaculator; that device will also run emulators for many other old systems. Another option would be to scour eBay for a second-hand original Spectrum and grab a compatible smart-card reader for loading games. But neither option is doing things in a properly legal manner, nor supporting companies attempting to keep the flame alive with new hardware.
So as we don some ridiculous shoulder pads, spike up our hair, and prepare for another crack at Manic Miner’s Skylab Landing Bay, we’re crowning Elite’s Recreated ZX Spectrum as the winner of this particular retro-gaming battle. Sorry, Sir Clive.