For over a year now, I've been trying to collect every Codemasters game released for the ZX Spectrum. It's a bit of a weird hobby, yes, but it's something I attempted as a youngster and now, with a bit more disposable cash to play with, I thought it was about time that I finally completed my mission.

There are multiple reasons I wanted to collect all the Codemasters games back in the day, but the main one was Dizzy. As a massive fan of the happy little egg I became loyal to the Codies brand. So loyal in fact that I refused to spend my pocket money on games from other publishers.

It wasn't just Dizzy that gave me the collecting bug. I also loved the uniform box art given to all Codies games. The big yellow flashes that surrounded the text, the colourful front covers and the in-game screen shots on the back made the games feel unique and exciting. Most of all though, I liked the four digit product codes found on the spine of the covers. I used to order the games (and still do) according to those numbers, and I wanted nothing more than to display the full set, in numerical order, on my shelves.

Looking at these covers some 25 years later it's safe to say that most of the boasts made in the little text flashes look kind of quaint. Jet Bike Simulator for instance shouts about its 'SIMULTANEOUS TWO-PLAYER ACTION', whilst 3D Starfighter made a big whoop about its 'DIGITIZED VOICE SYNTHESIS'.

Not all the box boasts were as sensible as those examples. In fact some were just plain ridiculous. Here's 10 of my favourite bonkers box boasts from my collection of classic Codemasters games.

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JUST LIKE THE REAL THING - Except nowadays the real thing costs a lot more than 10p a spin and you actually might get to win some real money.

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MASSIVE GAME PLAY - Can gameplay really be quantified by size? If so I'll have two square metres and any loose cuttings you might have, ta.

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MEGA SOUND - Considering most sounds on the Spectrum sounded like digitised farts, this one should be taken with a pinch of salt. Either way, you could only hear the mega sound of Grell and Fella if you owned a 128k machine.

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LOADSA WEAPONS - No, this isn't a promo quote from a Borderlands game. I guess whoever designed the box art was a big Harry Enfield fan.

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REAL GRAPHICS - Because you know to say no to fake graphics, right?

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BONUS LEVEL - Nowadays that bonus level would be a platform exclusive paid DLC.

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ACTUAL 3D JUMPING - I mean, I've played this game and it's not actual 3D at all, it's simulated 3D. And even then, it's crap.

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BALL BOUNCING ACTION - There's no way they didn't realise what they were typing here.

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FAST SMOOTH ACTION - Not sure if this quote is about a game, or a fancy new razor blade.

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FANTASTIC MOUSE-ABILITY - They're just taking the piss now.

As for my collection, I only have two more games left to find until I achieve my childhood dream, so do hit me up on my Twitter account if you spot either DJ Puff (box code 2676) or Sergeant Sergeant Seymour Robot Cop (box code 2780) hidden away in your loft space. You'll be helping me complete my life's work.

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About the author

Ian Higton

Ian Higton

Video Team

Ian is a video producer, keen streamer, virtual survivalist and retro connoisseur. He lives in the West Midlands with his ZX Spectrum collection and a troublesome cat.