I recently got an Android TV box, which enables you to get Android apps and put them on your TV. I decided to look into ZX Spectrum emulators and after trying 2 or 3 soon settled on Marvin, presumably named after the paranoid android in the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, as my choice.
It automatically hooks up with World of Spectrum, allowing you to quickly search their huge archive of games and download any you want.
I’d recommend going into the options and getting rid of the joystick and keys as they’re not much use in a non touch environment and are pretty ugly.
Playing games with just a remote control is a bit of a non-starter so I’d recommend getting a Bluetooth keyboard. A mini one is fine and pretty cheap. Marvin even has options so that you can map your chosen control method – keyboard, cursor joystick, Kempston joystick, Sinclair joystick – to the directional pad. This makes it a lot easier than trying to use Q, A, O, P, M or whatever keyboard configuration you’re used to.
I’ve been playing Laser Squad, a tactical turn based war game from 1988. It’s a bit of a cult classic and has sites dedicated to it and numerous spin-offs. It’s stood the test of time incredibly well given that it’s now coming up to 30 years since its release.
I’ve even managed to get my kids, 12 and 10, interested so it must have something about it.
Long live the ZX Spectrum!