Starting with BMX Simulator on the Commodore 64 in 1986, Codemasters quickly became a powerhouse of the UK computer game scene. With its clever promotional powers and cheap yet engaging software, Codies released many classics to great success throughout the Eighties and early Nineties, often for a pocket-money-friendly price of just £1.99. That first game, BMX Simulator, also instigated Codemasters’ Simulator games, a series of releases loosely tied to the concept of simulation. Join us as we run through the best of these games available to stream, for free, on Antstream Arcade, with added comments from the original Codemasters blurb. Absolutely Brilliant!
Let’s hit the pedals for the first Simulator game from Codemasters, coded by founder Richard Darling himself. Taking place on several dirt tracks, each race features two bikes pitched against each other over three laps of each respective circuit. Polished and fun, BMX Simulator set the template for the Simulator series.
What Codies Said: “AMAZING REALISM – the burms, bumps and ramps really work – seven different courses, each one harder. Two-player option and fantastic ACTION REPLAY option with SLO-MO – all make this the best BMX game yet!”
Following the success of BMX Simulator, Codemasters soon began to explore an expansion of the Simulator brand. Step forward The Oliver Twins, fresh from the success of Dizzy. While it may be something of an – erm – homage to the classic arcade game Super Sprint, Grand Prix Simulator is a fine game in its own right and contains a massive 14 circuits to race around.
What Codies Said: “AMAZING PLAYABILITY!!! – features a very competitive two-player option. 14 Cunningly devised circuits – under bridges – through oil patches – power sliding around corners – trying to beat the other drivers and the lap record!”
Fruit machine videogames was one of the more bizarre genres back in the Eighties, and Codemasters wasted no time putting its own version out as part of the Simulator series. Featuring a variety of options and mechanics, it’s a fun game – but where does the money come out?!
What Codies Said: “The first real Fruit Machine Simulator including: cash box, nudge box (with Compu-Nudge and Nudge Bank), skill climb, winning streak, cash gamble, holds and mega-holds, skill chances and party time meter!”
Pinball games have always been popular on home computers, and Codemasters not-so-subtly shoehorned its stab at the genre into the Simulator series. Created once more by The Oliver Twins, this is a colourful and entertaining pinball simulation.
What Codies Said: “A fast, furious and incredibly addictive pinball game featuring trapdoors, rollover lanes, mega-bumpers, 4 flippers, bonus lanes, extra balls, ball trap, mystery tube, realistic movement and MUCH MORE!”
Having simulated fruit machines, the pub trivia machine was the next target for Codemasters. After picking an avatar, it’s onto the game board as players attempt to reach the pyramid’s summit by answering questions on pop music, showbiz, sport and more. Over 30 years later, there’s a sweet Eighties feel to these questions that’ll challenge the young ‘uns!
What Codies Said: “An incredible 2000 questions, sport, pop music, showbiz, and mystery joker cards. Brilliant graphics and music – all the features! All the questions! All the categories! Just like the real thing! Absolutely Brilliant!”
SAS Combat Simulator – 1989
By 1989 it seemed that Codemasters were bolting the Simulator brand onto practically any game it released – sport-based or otherwise. With the run ‘n’ gun genre still proving popular, this shooter was given a Simulator sheen, apparently representing real life as a SAS soldier. Not the most realistic of the series, but still absolutely brilliant fun!
What Codies Said: “ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE PLAYABILITY! Adrenalin pumping action – use grenades, machine guns, tanks, jeeps… wade thru swamps, hand-to-hand combat, brilliant overhead action, side view action, ALL ACTION!”
Ever wondered what it’s like driving a suped-up tank across a deadly warzone littered with enemies, all intent on blowing you up? Well, wonder no more, as you can play Codemasters’ Super Tank Simulator, for free, on Antstream Arcade!
What Codies Said: “8 war-torn battle zones! Includes jungle warfare, minefields, bouncing bullets and UXBs, frantic 8-way scrolling action. Helicopter gunships, jeeps, enemy tanks, armoured cars. And with missile launchers, gun emplacements, and snipers, this game has everything!!!”
As the Nineties dawned, the Simulator series was still going strong. Pro Powerboard Simulator thrusts the player behind the wheel of a streamlined speed boat, racing against or with a friend. Available on Commodore 64, Spectrum and Amiga on the absolutely brilliant Antstream Arcade!!
What Codies Said: “WOW – REAL POWERBOAT RACING! Choose from catamaran or monohull craft- simultaneous two-player action – work as a team or individually. Full throttle – over the jump – avoid the helicopters, depth charges, police boats, hovercraft, whirlpools, BRILLIANT! Ram your mate onto the rocks! Ahhh! Made it! Now it’s onto night racing…”
Thanks for reading about our favourite Simulator games on Antstream Arcade. For more retro
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