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Spice Invaderz for Spectrum Next

  On Real Hardware;  From inside the zip, extract the SNX file from root and the PAK file from the data folder and place into a directory of your choosing on your Next file system.   Run the SNX file.

On CSpect; Unpack all the files and folder structure into a sub folder at the top level of the CSpect emulator, ie c:\cspect\.   Run the Batch file to invoke - do not try to add to an MMC file and execute from inside CSpect/NextOS as it appears not to work. 

Aim of the game :-
 Stop the Aliens from landing on your planet by shooting them! 
 If the aliens land, the game is over, no matter how many lives you have left. 

Avoid the homing missile from the mother ship that is indestructable.

Control :- 
 In Game;
 Keys O,P M/Space or Joysticks to move 
 Kempston can be toggled on and off
 SJS 0 and 1 are also allowed

Game Mechanics :-
 Shooting the alien ship as fast as you can once it enters the play area increased the amount scores
 The more aliens you shoot, the faster they become.  

 Playing in Retro mode removes the backdrop and makes the sprites Mono in appearance - all waves are same layout.
 Playing in Next mode give you a colourful background, colourful sprites, and different wave patterns.

 You gain an extra life when reaching 1500 points
 Game is over once all lives are lost or the Aliens hit the base of the play area.

Scoring :-
As advised on intro screen 

Hiscore and options are saved in a config file.

9 unique levels in normal mode and a retro mode too!

Known bugs :-
 Non that I am aware of.
 If you believe you have identified a bug, please comment on my bootlegger.itch.io page preferably 
 with description of how you feel it occurred - and if you can reliably replicate it.

Future enhancements :-
Not sure 

 Any other recommendations taken on board - please comment on my bootlegger.itch.io page for any feedback.
 All again dependant on space and optimisations that I can do to free up memory - i have currently nearly hit a memory limitation.

Ramblings :-
This is my second release using the Boriel/ZXBasic with Next enhancements.
As my first project didnt really use much of the Next hardware, I wanted to learn a bit more.
This felt like a great opportunity to learn about sprite handing.
All the movable objects are sprites in this, but everything else is done on the ULA Screen, such as the barriers.

My thanks must go to Shiru, the developer of the ayFX sound driver, that has been supplied in the Next librarys for the ZXBasic/Boriel IDE
and em00k for enabling and providing some demos of how to intergrate it all together.

  This product is in no way to take away from BasInvaders on the Next which has been written in Next Basic - please support that product too!
If you are interesting in the mechanics and learning of Next Basic, I recommend BasInvaders. 
During Development of this version, I spend a lot of time looking at the dissasembly of the real hardware through this resource ;
https://www.computerarcheology.com/Arcade/SpaceInvaders/Code.html   -  very informative reading
Much time was also spend watching you tube videos over and over to try to understand the original game mechanics also.

Signing Off :-
 Enjoy the game and if you fancy supporting my hard work, please donate during download on my itch.io page.  

 Big shout out to all my previous followers and purchasers of Funky Monkey Kid - I hope you enjoy this one as much.



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Click download now to get access to the following files:

RelV100.zip 28 kB
SpiceInvV101.zip 27 kB
SpiceInvV102.zip 28 kB

Development log


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(1 edit)

Congrats for your Spice Invaderz! I must tell you that the Invaders are really not my thing, but this particular one is the best I have played. The innovation of having the ?mother ship? sending a missile is excellent, and even if it is a difficult game, it is playable, which is more than I can say about the majority of the Invaders games.

Suggestion: When there is just 2 or 3 Aliens left, the speed of the game gets crazy, and when just 1 is left the speed gets impossible. I would decrease it a bit.

Question: I am playing with CSpect, and I confirm that this game does not work when placed inside the Next SD virtual drive, having to be placed in the CSpect folder itself and be invoked by a script that starts CSpect. Can you explain why this happens? I have just seen this in other 2 games, Outer Intruders https://oscarbraindead.itch.io/outerintrudersand Nexttanks https://oscarbraindead.itch.io/nexttanks, and the only commonality I find is that all these 3 games haven been developed with Boriel's BASIC? Maybe what triggers this issue comes from Boriel?!

Hi pcarmo,

Thanks for the great feedback - glad you enjoyed it.

If any complaint I was expecting to see, it would have been that it is too easy!   During development I play tested an enormous amount and personally found it a bit too easy now, and can get to level 8/9 without much trouble.  This is why I added the missile to the mothership just to make it a little more difficult.   As a tip, when you get to the last invader,  stand still and precision time aim rather than trying to chase and shoot.  The speed is as per the arcade version and you will notice that the very last invader is subtly different in speed from left to right - this is by design as the same as the arcade.  I always thought that was a hardware design issue in the old arcade hardware, but it turns out it was programmed that way.

Regarding CSpect emulation.   I have tried to get it working under CSpect.  Someone else commented that it didnt work under CSpect running NextOS which is why I compiled the BAT file variant for playing under CSpect.   As to why it doesnt work directly under NextOS, thats a tricker question.    I have spoken on the boriel/zxbasic forums about this, and so far, no diffinitive answer, but what is speculated by Mike (the cspect dev) is that there is no TBBLUE firmware, just the Nextos and emulator, so many system variables may not be as per real hardware on boot up.    These can be set manually, if we know what they are, but that is the unknown at present.    When ran from the batch file, the NextOS is not used - this is the difference - maybe that changes some vars.  Yet, when ran from real hardware, it all works.   All a big mystery at present.    Compatability is better if you rename the file from SNX to SNA, and I have had success upto the point of the backdrop showing, but have got no further currently.   My other next program, Funky Monkey Kid, does run under CSpect with NextOS as an SNA, which adds even more of a mystery for me.   That game however uses very little next hardware - just the backdrop, real time clock, and save and load features.  I speculate something to do with sprites or sound are the cause of the troubles in Spice Invaders on cspect/nextos as these are extra to whats in Funky Monkey Kid.

Rest assured, if we every find out the required settings, I will update and release.

Finding this game to hard is on me... I always had been terrible with this kind of games ;-)

Regarding the emulation issue, please take your time. There is a workaround, so no rush. It seems quite a tricky issue to catch.

Again, congrats for your game!!!

Love this, but please can you put the original Space Invader effects in - for the retro version at the very least!

do you mean on the sounds?  Possibly but haven't learnt how to do samples/dmasound as yet.   If I learn how I will revisit it. Thanks for the ideas. Keep them coming!