Looking back to my early days of gaming, I still find it very odd that I never had any friends who owned a Commodore 64. The mighty Spectrum may have been more popular here in the UK (just about) but there were still plenty of C64’s about, and I read about them all the time in Computer & Video Games magazine and the like, so it was quite strange. Perhaps making it even stranger is the fact that I did have several friends with the less-popular Amstrad CPC, and it was this system along with the Speccy that comprised most of my time with 8-bit home micros.
Atari VCS. He didn't have too many games and the system was too old to by then to realistically find any new ones to buy, but we enjoyed it all the same. When we weren't hopping around on Frostbite, however, we were in a different room of his sizeable house.
For it was here that his Amstrad dwelt. It was also a 464, the lowest-spec but most popular of the CPC's (Colour Personal Computer) and was resplendent with its colour keys and snazzy built-in tape player. As a system it has always struck me as kind of half-way between the Speccy and C64 - it has the same Z80 processor as Sir Clive's iconic machine and it can quite easily produce the same sort of graphics as well.
As irritating as this quickly proved, we still had fun with his largely-original selection of games. I recall playing some featuring that Roland nincompoop but the one that dominated most of our time was Bomb Jack. This was the first time I'd ever played it, despite my Speccy hosting a great version, and although I would go on to spend a decent amount of time with the stonking arcade original, it's this CPC version that remains my favourite, even the largely-colourless version available to me.
I suppose if you take an un-nostalgic look back at those three systems, the CPC was properly positioned in third place. Few formats had big exclusives in those days but if you think of the Speccy, you think of Manic Miner or the Ultimate games; concordantly, if you think of the C64 you'd probably straight away go to the fine efforts of Andrew Braybrook. With the CPC, there wasn't really an equivalent.
None of that mattered if you grew up with one though, and I kind of did. Coverage of it has been severely lacking here at Red Parsley so far, partly as I didn't play a huge assortment of games on it (another oversight to rectify!), but I do still have great memories of Amstrad's fine micro, as many of its other satisfied owners do as well. I still think it's the best looking machine of them all too.
The question is, what did you all think of the trusty CPC?