Foreword: I've been sitting on this post for a while, largely because the sheer number of games I had to describe was daunting. I started it back in November, and only finished it now, 6 months later. I think the fact that all of the games are made from either ASCII characters or ZX81 characters was also a factor, as they're all generally a bit less appealing, visually. However, I've finished it now, and as such I'm done with all of the drawings that I've been able to find. I know for a fact that there are a few that I'm missing; if I ever find them at any point, I'll scan them and post them here.
When I was around 10 or 11, a friend of mine had a VTech Precomputer 1000. I don't think I ever used it at the time, but I knew that it had a simple ASCII display, and a BASIC programming language interpreter built-in, so I jumped to the logical conclusion that you could program games for it. I went on to imagine a large number of games where the graphics were made entirely from ASCII characters. I think I was peripherally aware that the Precomputer 1000 only had a single line display, so none of my games were viable, but I didn't let that dissuade me too much. Most of these drawings will be from 1990-1992.
Some years later, I acquired a Sinclair ZX81 emulator for the Atari ST, and was kind of taken with the fact that the machine had no capacity for sprites, meaning that everything in its games was rendered either using ASCII characters or a number of special characters, which took the form of black and grey squares mostly. This reignited my strange penchant for drawing games within extreme graphical limitations, so at some point my ASCII games changed to include the ZX81 character set also. At some point I stopped drawing games in any other format, for reasons that aren't exactly clear to me, but as a result all of the latest games I drew are ASCII or ZX81 games. These probably ran from around 1993 to 1995.
I'm not sure where this version of Hello Again fits into the series canon, but it seems like a straight ASCII remake of my sister's game 'Hello'. Javilin was inspired by Los Angeles 1984 for the Atari 800, a port of Track & Field. Superman places you as the superhero in a world where every criminal is attempting to rob a bank. I honestly have no idea what's happening in Space Mines. I think I may have got the name from a book of type-in program listings. Duck Hunt is an ASCII version of the NES light gun game. Rally Car is another Pole Position clone, and clearly shows that I knew nothing about motorsports. Beetles is a top-down insect shooter, and Spiderman is an ASCII version of the Atari 2600 game.
St. Patrick starts a tradition of 'games based on things that I was learning about in history class at school'. Jumper is a very simple Mario-style platformer that also starts something of a tradition. Dragon has you riding a dragon and fighting other dragons. Neither dragons can fly, seemingly. Miner's mines are land mines, as opposed to coal mines. A subtle distinction. Food Fight is again based on the Atari 800 game that I never played. I was kind of obsessed with it for some reason. Marathon was an interesting twist on my interminable Pole Position clones, in that it featured an athlete instead of a car. I... don't know how Mines is different from Miner. Space Whomp has you shooting space whomps. From what I remember, the whomps would rotate around the central circle and attempt to hit you.
The top-left drawing is actually the total cost of two school books I'd bought. I appropriated the rest of the page for game drawings; most of these are quite hard to make out. Top right is Craft, a top-down horizontal-scrolling shooter where you fly over a street shooting... birds? Shooting was probably inspired by Army Days for the Commodore 64; I'm pretty sure there was a level where you shot at tanks, but I haven't been able to find a video of it. Pich Run looks like it should have been an American Football game, but was probably actually just about running on a school Sports Day. Canoes looks like it may have been influenced by a screenshot I saw of Colorado for the Atari ST. In Rays you shoot people with ray guns. Defend! is just Kaboom!, but played right-to-left instead of top-to-bottom. Monser is a typo of Monster, and has you shooting at a monster in a forest.
Jump! is also based on Los Angeles 1984 for the Atario 800; specifically the high jump game. Farmin' is a fairly dry-looking simulation of running a farm. Conversely, Slurry gives you a shield and tasks you with defending yourself from pig-excrement being expelled from a slurry spreader. Jump! II is the long jump game from Los Angeles 1984. Vampire appears to be identical to the Superman game from a couple of pages back, except that you're now evil. Hi-Rise appears to be a top-down shooter where you fly a plane. Formula 1 is another Pole Position clone, except that it adds something I always wanted from Pole Position: A map showing your current position. In Space! you are an astronaut that has to jump over hurdles and avoid low-flying spaceships.
'Games based on things I was learning about in history class' is about to go into overdrive over the next few pages. Wooden Horse is clearly based on the wooden horse of Troy, although it's unclear what the gameplay could possibly be. Alien is kind of like Space Invaders, with a mothership that abducts your ground ships. Columbus was another gem mined from history class. Caveman puts you in charge of defending your cave from.. a horse? Space Invaders is a simplistic ASCII port. King's House is a quiz game where you have to answer questions to build a house out of blocks. For a king. Invasion is a clone of Scramble. Piano lets you record a sequence of notes and play it back.
Hockey was based on Major League Hockey for the Atari 800. Pirate is pretty ambitious, although all three levels seem to involve largely similar combat. I'm also not sure whether the second pirate in level 3 is standing on top of a shack or something, or whether he has massive legs. Hover is a typo of 'Hoover', and seems to be a game where you vacuum up bombs. I don't quite know what Hell is about, but I made judicious use of the ^ symbol. Flyer is a vertically-scrolling shoot-'em-up, and Platforms is basically just Bomb Fusion.
Volley Ball is a pretty boring-looking sports game. Kratae is horribly misspelt, and probably based on Bruce Lee for the C64. Both Asteroids and Centipede were attempts to recreate the arcade games. Diving was probably based on one of the many Olympics sports collections. I don't remember anything about Jumblies, but it seems to involve a kind of sea monster. Fire! Fire! was based on Fire Fighter for the Atari 2600. Grace Darling is another game inspired by what I was learning about in history class; rescue the survivors of a shipwreck by ferrying back and forth in a small boat, one at a time.
The Cliff appears to be a game in which you throw a rope to the top of a small cliff, and then climb up it. I don't think you were supposed to avoid the birds, they were just there for added realism. Horse Race looks like fun. Flight Simulator was never going to work as an actual game, but allowed me to imagine what the cockpit of an aeroplane would look like in ASCII. With a bird for added realism. Knights Quest features a castle surrounded by what I assume were supposed to be dragons. Rescue the princess, woo. I don't really know what my intention with Fart was, other than that you're trapped in a maze full of fart, and you have to escape whilst holding your breath. William Tell is another game from history class. Surfing was most likely based on California Games' surfing event. With a bird for added realism. Golf implies that I thought most golf courses had a building of some description near the green.
Skatebordin' is a top-down racing game featuring a skateboard roughly the size of a car. The rest of this sheet is taken up by various drawings of a fun fair simulator, many of which are pretty ambitious. Fee Fair featured an arcade game, first-person dodgems and a roller coaster, and a ride that spins you around. The last two don't seem hugely interactive.
Ghostbusters is just an ASCII rendition of the Atari 800 game of the same name. This was probably drawn in 1989 or 1990, around the same time as the previous ASCII drawings. I think I found this sheet in about 1994, and added the remaining games to it, in the ZX81 style that I'd moved onto, starting with a pretty wonky rendition of Street Fighter 2. Fast Football was an attempt to do something slightly dynamic and 3-dimensional. Miner is a side-scrolling platform game. Alien Alert seems to involve fending off UFOs from a rooftop. Hole is a vertical platformer that doesn't seem like it would be out of place as a modern post-Spelunky roguelike. Its main character is identical to that of Jumper, but that's almost certainly just because of the limitations of a two-character-high sprite.
Attack!! is a one-on-one beat-'em-up where I decided that the best way to make your opponent intimidating was to just make them twice the size of the player character (Final Fight and Double Dragon did this all the time). Skyscraper I think has you on top of a building, fighting people that climb up the sides. Notice how I got bored of drawing the windows. Jack the Ripper shows a startling lack of awareness of the horror of the source crimes. Piccy is the first of a number of 'games' where I just tried to draw something cool with the ZX81 character set. Heli's almost certainly based on Silkworm, which let you control both a helicopter and a Jeep. Boxing was an attempt to get to grips with perspective. Racing looks intensely unfair, given your car is almost exactly the same size as the road. Starship is just a bunch of shapes. Cross Country appears to be a top-down racing game where you control people running, and was probably inspired by Codemasters' BMX Simulator. I appear to have lost the second game in the Jumper series; Jumper III adds some much needed verticality, in the form of a mountain. Knite is a poorly-spelled one-on-one fighting game. I got bored of drawing Chess almost immediately after I started.
Cycling is based on the BMX mode from California Games. Space Ace was my attempt to port the shitty laserdisc game to the ZX81. I'm pretty sure Bart Simpson was drawn before I'd ever watched The Simpsons, so it made sense to me that he would be punching a dog? I don't know. Cats!! features two actual cats we had. Cat "n" Mouse was just another top-down racing game. Jumper IV turns the series on its head by switching to a top-down perspective! The three sprites at the bottom were intended to show the character's jumping animation. St. Dragon is a ZX81 translation of Saint Dragon, and was probably based on a screenshot. Killer Tomatoes was based on the 90's cartoon Attack of the Killer Tomatoes, which in turn was based on the 70s film of the same name. Teeth is just a game where you eat things.
This is the first of four pages that were pulled out of a school notebook, which I seemed to use initially to just redraw ASCII games from earlier pieces of paper, but then ended up drawing ZX81 games on. I assume Robo has you playing as the square-headed robot in the middle. Airplane was possibly intended to be a side-scrolling simulation of landing a plane, I think. The three people in the top right indicate the number of lives you have remaining. Everything else on this page is redrawn from one of the earlier pages.
I don't think Karate is a remake of Kratae, as it doesn't feature a ladder. I did at least learn to spell the word correctly. Turtles is based on the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game, which I played on holiday in Coventry in 1990. Sea packs a diver, and octopus and a sea urchin into limited space. Jumper V switches up the perspective again, this time going for an isometric vibe, like Zaxxon. Piccy 2 depicts a spaceship crashing into the ground. Chopper is another ambitious flight simulator, this time having both an external view and a cockpit view on screen at the same time. Jet-Packin' has a vertical orientation because of how badly I drew the grid lines, but is actually quite relevant in the mobile age. Night Frights is another Adventure-style game, and was mostly an excuse to draw a skeleton. Disappointingly, you appear to have to shoot fish in Diver. I think the next game is called Arny, as opposed to Army, and might be a game about Arnold Schwarzenegger? Demons Lair doesn't have an apostrophe, but it does have a cool demon head. I don't know why my cool-looking 3D ball-racing game is called Killer!. Race Fever is another Rally Speedway clone. Piccy 3 is a half-assed drawing of a house. Blast It! is both a title and an imperative. Santa is a remake of Special Delivery for the Atari 800. Ninja's protagonist doesn't have any arms. Circus features four games crammed into one screen, and is based on Fiendish Freddy's Big Top O'Fun. Air Games features hoverboards, and I guess Surfin' does as well.
Circle-o-Graph was an attempt to draw a spirograph-style game, but I abandoned it when I realised it would be basically impossible with the ZX81 restrictions I was imposing on myself. Crash-Dive seems to involve landing a spacecraft on a planet. I even drew the atmosphere! Turrican is a remake of the Atari ST version of the game. I don't know what my intention was with Sequences; It looks like you had to draw a car with ZX81 characters in the first screen, and then drive it in the second screen. Jet Ski is a game that I very nearly made in STOS Basic. Best Piccy in the World is a picture of a dinosaur. It's all right. Dino-Hunt features a T-Rex, a Pterodactyl and what looks like a Brachiosaurus. Another Piccy is a picture of a heart. I was running out of ideas at this point, obviously. Devil's Domain features a winged demon, and what I assume is the player's character, an angel. Alien Zone is just another collection of things. Double Dragon II might actually be based on Double Dragon III - The Rosetta Stone.
Star Wars features a ZX81 Darth Vader, and appears to be mostly based on The Empire Strikes Back on the Atari 2600. WWF is based on WWF Wrestlemania on the Atari ST. Xenon II is also based on the Atari ST version of the game. Lotus 2 is based on Lotus Turbo Challenge 2. Jumper VI: Time Warp is the first game in the series to have a subtitle, and though it's hard to tell, is played from a perspective behind the character. I assume that's supposed to be a river in front of him. Rampage is based on the arcade game, but I couldn't be bothered drawing more than one building. Tarraparranarrax is stupid. Rambo is based on the C64 version of the game. Asser Fart and Al Jarreau were both drawn by my sister, attempting to copy the ZX81 style by drawing horizontal and vertical lines everywhere. Ghostbusters is again based on the Atari 800 game, but specifically the Slimer sections. Pit is quite vague about its potential gameplay. Motorbike is another twist on my Pole Position clones, but was probably more based on Super Hang On. Prepare to Die features a large winged enemy that I think was supposed to be a humanoid bee. Witch is a picture of a witch. Superman shows I was clearly running out of motivation, and Dog Fight goes against my trend of re-imagining contemporary 16-bit games for the ZX81, by being a remake of Space War.