Whither ZX Spectrum Mini?

A plea for Speccy sanity

Because I am a British Man, I love the Sinclair ZX Spectrum. It is the machine that initiated me into the world of Video Games. It is responsible for me, my approach to the hobby and the way I treat people in my day-to-day life. The Speccy is my aesthetic, and I revere it. Suitably, I get all myself all Spec'd up every year around this time and have to venture into the attic to acquire my old childhood machine, a tape-loading Spectrum +2. This year, however, I didn't feel like it. All those stairs, you know? So, I figured, we’ve got a NES Mini, a SNES Mini, an upcoming Mega Drive Mini – even a freakin’ TurboGrafx-16 Mini. Some enterprising folks must have capitalised on the British capacity for possibly-misplaced nostalgia (e.g. Brexit) and released a wee Spectrum that plugs into a TV through HDMI. It’s the standard. Surely it must exist.

Olli and Lissa 3: Olli in the middle there is doing an impression of all the Americans reading this blog.

Well, it doesn’t. There’s no ZX Spectrum Mini, and that makes me impossibly furious. What on earth is wrong with this world? All I want is a tiny Speccy I can load roms onto. It can come with a little Kempston joystick, it can take a USB keyboard, I don’t care. Yes, I could hack my Wii U and fill it with the Spectrum library of my dreams – and I have! – but I want the authenticity of the NES Classic Mini. I want a little tiny Spectrum, damn it! I want to play Olli and Lissa: The Candlelight Adventure, Super Stunt Man, Bangers and Mash and all the other games you’ve never heard of. And I want to do so with some sense of fidelity, thank you very much. Yes, there's the ZX Spectrum Vega, but that doesn't even look like a Spectrum, and isn't HDMI!

Bangers & Mash, in their surprisingly console-esque platformer, a late Speccy release.

But you know what (“Fox” – Ed) me off the most? There’s a sodding Commodore 64 Mini. Of course there is. And it’s got everything I could ever want from a tiny Speccy. HDMI input, keyboard support, a wee joystick, lets you add your own games… this is just more ammunition for the C64 spods I used to DDT into the sandpit at school for saying Bounder was better on their Commodore than my Spectrum.

I mean, it was, but it’s the principle of the thing, you know?