Last updated

Industry Computer software
FateAcquired by Creative Sparks Distribution
Founded1981 (1981)
FounderMike Meek, Andrew Lawrie
Defunct1987 (1987)

Mikro-Gen was a UK software company based in Bracknell, Berkshire that produced games for home computers in the early to mid-1980s.


The company was formed by Mike Meek and Andrew Laurie in 1981, in order to capitalise on the growing boom of microcomputers in the home. [1] The company had a solid reputation but became more prominent with its series of games featuring Wally Week and his family, all of which got excellent reviews in the highly respected computer magazine Crash. Later, the company invested £130,000 in producing the Mikro Plus, [2] which shadowed the Spectrum's 16K ROM with RAM, allowing 64K of data for games. However, only one title, Shadow of the Unicorn was produced. [3]

The company was bought out by Creative Sparks Distribution in 1987, which subsequently went into receivership six months later. [4]

Notable releases

Wally Week series

Related Research Articles

Ian Livingstone fantasy writer and entrepreneur

Ian Livingstone CBE is an English fantasy author and entrepreneur. Along with Steve Jackson, he is the co-founder of a series of role-playing gamebooks, Fighting Fantasy, and the author of many books within that series. He is also one of the co-founders of prominent games company Games Workshop.

<i>Commodore User</i> British video game magazine

Commodore User, known to the readers as the abbreviated CU, was one of the oldest British Commodore magazines. A publishing history spanning over 15 years, mixing content with technical and video game features. Incorporating Vic Computing in 1983 by publishers EMAP, the magazine's focus moved to the emerging Commodore 64, before introducing Amiga coverage in 1986, paving the way for Amiga's dominance and a title change to CU Amiga in 1990. Covering the 16-bit computer, the magazine continued for another eight years until the last issue was published in October 1998 when EMAP opted to close the magazine due to falling sales and a change in focus for EMAP. The magazine also reviewed arcade games.

<i>The Quill</i> (software) program to write home computer adventure games

The Quill is a program to write home computer adventure games. Written by Graeme Yeandle, it was published on the ZX Spectrum by Gilsoft in December 1983. Although available to the general public, it was used by several games companies to create best-selling titles; over 450 commercially published titles for the ZX Spectrum were written using The Quill.

<i>Sabre Wulf</i> 1984 video game

Sabre Wulf is an action-adventure game released by British video game developer Ultimate Play the Game for the ZX Spectrum home computer in 1984. The player navigates the pith-helmeted Sabreman through a 2D jungle maze while collecting amulet pieces to bypass the guardian at its exit. The player does not receive explicit guidance on how to play and is left to decipher the game's objectives through trial and error. Sabreman moves between the maze's 256 connected screens by touching the border where one screen ends and another begins. Each screen is filled with colourful flora, enemies that spawn at random, and occasional collectibles.

Mikrobitti is a Finnish computer magazine published in Finland.

<i>The Black Cauldron</i> (film) 1985 American animated dark fantasy adventure film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation

The Black Cauldron is a 1985 American animated fantasy film produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation in association with Silver Screen Partners II and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The 25th Disney animated feature film, it is loosely based on the first two books in The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander, a series of five novels that are, in turn, based on Welsh mythology.

<i>Crash</i> (magazine) computer magazine

Crash was a magazine dedicated to the ZX Spectrum home computer, primarily focused on games. It was published from 1984 to 1991 by Newsfield Publications Ltd until their liquidation, and then until 1992 by Europress.

Newsfield Publications Ltd was a British magazine publisher during the 1980s and early 1990s.

Hewson Consultants were one of the smaller software companies which produced games for home computers in the mid-1980s. They had a reputation for high-quality games which continually pushed the boundaries of what the computers were capable of and can be compared favourably with other ground-breaking software houses like Ultimate Play the Game and Beyond. Fourteen of their games were awarded "Megagame" by Your Sinclair.

<i>The Hobbit</i> (1982 video game) 1982 interactive fiction computer game based on novel by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hobbit is an illustrated text adventure computer game released in 1982 for the ZX Spectrum home computer and based on the book The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien. It was developed at Beam Software by Philip Mitchell and Veronika Megler and published by Melbourne House. It was later converted to most home computers available at the time including the Commodore 64, BBC Micro and Oric computers. By arrangement with the book publishers, a copy of the book was included with each game sold.

<i>Pyjamarama</i> 1984 video game

Pyjamarama is a video game for the ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, and the Commodore 64. It features Wally Week as the central character and is the second of a series of games featuring Wally and/or members of his family. It was published by Mikro-Gen. Starting in July 1986, Your Sinclair magazine published a monthly comic strip based on the character.

<i>Cauldron</i> (video game) video game

Cauldron is a two-dimensional (2D) shoot 'em up/platformer computer game developed and published by British developer Palace Software (Palace). The game was released in 1985 for the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 and Amstrad CPC home computers. Players control a witch, who aims to become the "Witch Queen" by defeating an enemy called the "Pumpking".

<i>Cauldron II: The Pumpkin Strikes Back</i> video game

Cauldron II: The Pumpkin Strikes Back is a computer game developed and published by British developer Palace Software (Palace) as a sequel to their 1985 title Cauldron. The two-dimensional (2D) platform game was released in 1986 for the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 and Amstrad CPC home computers. Players control a bouncing pumpkin that is on a quest of vengeance against the "Witch Queen". The roles of the two were reversed from the first game, in which the witch defeated a monstrous pumpkin.

<i>Everyones A Wally</i> 1985 video game

Everyone's a Wally is a British computer game released in 1985 by Mikro-Gen for the ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC and Commodore 64. The sequel to Pyjamarama, it featured the same hero character, Wally Week, and used an upgraded version of the same game engine.

Thorn EMI Computer Software was a British video games software house set up in the early 1980s as part of the now-defunct British conglomerate Thorn EMI. They released a number of games in the early 1980s, initially for the Atari 8-bit family, and later for the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 and Commodore Vic 20 computers. In 1984, the Thorn EMI name was dropped in favour of Creative Sparks as the company were reportedly unhappy with their image in the video games market. A budget label, Sparklers, was created in early 1985 to publish titles at £2.50. Later in 1985, Creative Sparks, Sparklers and the distribution company, Creative Sparks Distribution (CSD) gained independence from Thorn EMI after a management buyout.

<i>Chuckie Egg 2</i> video game

Chuckie Egg 2 is the sequel to 1983 hit computer game Chuckie Egg. Released in 1985 and featuring the same lead character, Henhouse Harry, the game took players beyond the single-screen format of the original into a large factory. Here, Harry had to assemble a toy-carrying chocolate egg from its constituent parts and deliver it to the dispatch lorry. On completion the quest restarted, with more monsters and an alternative toy.

<i>Scooby-Doo</i> (video game) 1986 video game

Scooby-Doo is a video game based on the television character of the same name. The game was developed in 1986 by Gargoyle Games for the ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, Commodore 64, and Commodore Plus/4.

Janet Kaye Fox was an American fantasy and horror writer, poet, teacher, and founder-editor-publisher of the now-defunct Scavenger's Newsletter. She lived in Osage City, Kansas.

Microsphere was a small British software company formed in Muswell Hill, north London in 1982 by husband and wife team David and Helen Reidy, best known for several popular computer games in the mid 1980s.

The Wrath of Magra is a role-playing video game published by Carnell Software and Mastertronic for the ZX Spectrum in 1985. It is a sequel to 1983's Volcanic Dungeon, and was released for then record high price tag.


  1. "The Wally guide to Mikro-Gen". Sinclair User . No. 37. 1985. Archived from the original on 5 February 2012. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
  2. "Shadow of the Unicorn". Crash . No. 20. 1985. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
  3. Graeme Kidd (1985). "Breathe new life into the user port". Crash . No. 19. Retrieved 28 February 2013.
  4. David Lester (10–16 December 1987). "Risen from the ashes". Popular Computing Weekly. Vol. 6 no. 49. Focus Magazines. p. 32. Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  5. "CRASH 17 - Witch's Cauldron".
  6. "CRASH 2 - Index".
  7. "Gaming's Biggest Disasters". Retro Gamer Annual Vol. 2. Imagine Publishing (55): 79. June 2016.
  8. "CRASH 7 - Automania".