November 28, 2013 4:00 AM | John Polson
The first one-week Speccy Jam, dedicated to creating 8-bit games that would feel at home on the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, recently concluded with over 20 entries submitted. There's no need to worry about an emulator, though, as almost all of the games chosen below work in your browser.
Toxin Games' Firewall 48K is a four-sided frantic Space Invaders of sorts, with you needing to constantly switch between sides with WASD to shoot enemies as they move inward. If you lose your barrier, you can replenish it by allowing white download chips to fall to the center. Of course, not shooting them when they are next to the enemy virus is a challenge.
JeromBD's Water Spears is a tough deep-sea diving game, where players have to manage their spear count, oxygen levels, and lives while collecting pearls, gold, and air bubbles and avoiding enemies and purple urchins and thorns.
Craig Moore's Henry Hedgehog and the Haunted House is a solid platformer that has you collecting the letters to spell "Henry" to save his girlfriend. I almost feel like the double jump makes the game too easy and seems not needed.
Dioxin Dump's Attack! Defend! Magic! is a turn-based battle game that makes the shortlist because of its exceptional animated death sequences. They make the fighting feel satisfying, even with the random card element that seems to dictate the strength of your turn.
Freeware here, (yep, you gotta download it), but worth a mention: BeeTLe BeTHLeHeM's Are You There Theseus? is a fantasy roguelike, with the basic features of the genre (permadeath, procedural generation, multiple-level dungeon) and various interactive content (monsters with particular properties, items, shops, tiles with special effects).
If none of the picks sound fun, you can easily go through all the Speccy Jam games online.