Just a quick comment on that evolution of the boxed game or software.
When I first obtained my ZX81 it was assumed that all the software
would be provided by Sinclair. I had never anticipated that I would
be able to obtain games and software from any other source. The
software that was available at the time carried the Sinclair name.
Quite soon, however, a small shelf rack appeared at Smiths in Walsall
carrying other titles by other games and software developers. Soon
there seemed endless cassette titles, particularly after I got the
In time the cassette gave way to double cassette cases. And then to
plastic folder style cases and finally the A5 size box and even bigger.
Games no longer were restricted to what you could write onto a
cassette inlay card. The games came with guide books and promotional
documentation. Further, programs carrying software for serious use
became available in similar boxes.
The development of the cassette based releases reached its peak at
around 1986 I sense. With the release of disk based games, plus
Amstrad's decision to switch over to 3" compact, it was really the
beginning of the end for the cassette. However, they did soldier on
for many years later. The box became ever so slightly bigger on the
Amiga and thankfully 'almost' became a standard size.
It is very sad that big box games died out cus in truth they were a
great source of documentation, games manuals and even gadgets and
posters. Over the years they became very creative in what they
contained inside. I still get a great thrill from opening the boxes.
Anyway here are a few images of games and software that I collected
over the years for the early Spectrum machines.
One thing to reflect on, and this takes a bit of thought really, and
that is when these games were being released the world that we know
today did not exist. Obvious I know, but imagine a hall today filled
with every game and piece of software ever released. And yet when I
first got my ZX81 you probably could have placed the total contents
of commercial games released at that time on a single desk. I have
to say it was wonderful being there at the birth cus appreciating
the games and software for the first time was a unique experience.
It is nothing like trying the stuff out now, having had the benefit
of everything that has gone since.
I hope that makes sense.