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, mainly for the Atari 8-bit family and later ported to other platforms. The division was caught up in the general disorganization of the parent firm and became dysfunctional by 1984.[ citation needed ]
The United Kingdom, officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland but more commonly known as the UK or Britain, is a sovereign country lying off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state—the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.
A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a two- or three-dimensional video display device such as a TV screen, virtual reality headset or computer monitor. Since the 1980s, video games have become an increasingly important part of the entertainment industry, and whether they are also a form of art is a matter of dispute.
A software house is a company whose primary products are various forms of software, software technology, distribution, and software product development. Software houses are companies in the software industry.
The division was sold off[ citation needed ] and reorganized as Creative Sparks, continuing to sell the original Thorn games as well as adding new titles of their own. Newer releases moved away from the Atari platforms, and appeared mostly on the Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64. Creative Sparks also used the Sparklers label for budget-priced reissues of their old software. Sparklers was best known for the "199" brand of £1.99 games.
The Amstrad CPC is a series of 8-bit home computers produced by Amstrad between 1984 and 1990. It was designed to compete in the mid-1980s home computer market dominated by the Commodore 64 and the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, where it successfully established itself primarily in the United Kingdom, France, Spain, and the German-speaking parts of Europe.
The ZX Spectrum is an 8-bit personal home computer released in the United Kingdom in 1982 by Sinclair Research.
Later, the low-cost software label Alternative Software acquired the distribution rights to several Creative Sparks titles.
Alternative Software is a British software developer and publisher founded in 1985.
As a result, many games were issued on more than one label, sometimes appearing on all four at various stages. An example of this is River Rescue; this first appeared on the Thorn EMI label,then later reappeared in Creative Sparks packaging. It was next reissued on the budget Sparklers label, before finally being distributed in new packaging (also at a budget price) by Alternative.
River Rescue is a 1982 game for the Commodore VIC-20, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, and Atari 8-bit family. It is one of a number of game titles produced by Thorn EMI Computer Software during 1982 and 1983. A TI-99/4A version was announced but never released.
The Atari 8-bit family is a series of 8-bit home computers introduced by Atari, Inc. in 1979 and manufactured until 1992. All of the machines in the family are technically similar and differ primarily in packaging. They are based on the MOS Technology 6502 CPU running at 1.79 MHz, and were the first home computers designed with custom co-processor chips. This architecture enabled graphics and sound capabilities that were more advanced than contemporary machines at the time of release, and gaming on the platform was a major draw. Star Raiders is considered the platform's killer app.
A video game remake is a video game closely adapted from an earlier title, usually for the purpose of modernizing a game for newer hardware and contemporary audiences. Typically, a remake of such game software shares essentially the same title, fundamental gameplay concepts, and core story elements of the original game.
Miner 2049er is a platform video game created by Bill Hogue that was released in 1982 by Big Five Software. It was developed for the Atari 8-bit family and widely ported to other systems. The title "Miner 2049er" evokes a 21st-century take on the California Gold Rush of around 1849, in which the gold miners and prospectors were nicknamed "49ers".
Telecomsoft was a British video game publisher and a division of British Telecom. The company was founded by Dr. Ederyn Williams in 1984 and operated three separate labels: Firebird, Rainbird, and Silverbird.
Thrust is a 1986 computer game programmed by Jeremy Smith for the BBC Micro and published by Superior Software. The player's aim is to manoeuvre a spaceship by rotating and thrusting, as it flies over a two-dimensional landscape and through caverns. The gameplay of Thrust was heavily inspired by Atari's Gravitar.
Thorn EMI was a major British company involved in consumer electronics, music, defence and retail. Created in October 1979 when Thorn Electrical Industries merged with EMI, it was listed on the London Stock Exchange and was once a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index but it demerged back to separate companies in 1996.
Interceptor Micros also known as Interceptor Software was a developer/publisher of video games for various 8-bit and 16-bit computer systems popular in Western Europe during the eighties and early nineties.
Atarisoft was a brand name used by Atari, Inc in 1983 and 1984 to market video games they published for home systems made by their competitors. Each platform had a specific color attributed by Atarisoft for its game packages. For example, video games sold for the Commodore 64 came up in green packages, games for the Texas Instruments TI-99/4A in yellow, games for the IBM PC in blue, and so on.
Blue Ribbon was the budget computer software publishing label of CDS Micro Systems.
GST was a group of computer companies based in Cambridge, England, founded by Jeff Fenton in June 1979. The company worked with Sinclair Research, Torch Computers, Acorn Computers, Monotype Corporation and Kwik-Fit, amongst others.
There have been a variety of Sesame Street video games released for video game platforms. Most of the Sesame Street video games were published and developed by NewKidCo.
Sparkler may refer to:
Orc Attack is an action game written by Deal Lock for the Atari 8-bit family and published in 1983. There were versions from both Thorn EMI and Creative Sparks. Orc Attack is notable for its high-level of violence, though the visuals are low-resolution. The game was ported to the Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum.
Addictive Games was a UK video game publisher in the 1980s and early 1990s. It is best known for the Football Manager series of games created by company founder Kevin Toms. The company was originally based in Milton Keynes, England and later relocated to Bournemouth, in southern England.
The English Software Company, often shortened to English Software, was a software developer and publisher that operated from 1982 until 1987. It was based in Manchester, UK.
Protector is a 1981 computer game for the Atari 8-bit family programmed by Mike Potter and distributed first by Crystalware and then Synapse Software. A VIC-20 port was published by HesWare in 1983.
Submarine Commander is a 1982 simulation video game for the Atari 8-bit family written by Dean Lock and published by Thorn EMI Computer Software. A VIC-20 port by Gary York was released in 1983, and an Apple II version by Patrick Buckland the same year. The Atari version was re-released in 1985 on cassette as part of the Sparker brand of low-cost games. A version for the TI-99/4 was announced but was not released until 1986 when a third party bought the rights.
Chopper Hunt is a side-view shoot 'em up written by Tom Hudson and published by Imagic in 1984 for the Atari 8-bit family and the Commodore 64. It was one of the last games from Imagic before the company went out of business. The Atari 8-bit original was previously released by ANALOG Software as Buried Bucks in 1982. In both games, the player files a helicopter that uses bombs to unearth buried items.
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