There's so much good SF, fantasy and horror in books, films, comics and on TV - it's easy to forget that video games also have a rich genre heritage. In the latest newsstand issue of SFX we've looked at 20 of the most influential SF games of all time (scroll down for details) but of course it couldn't cover every important game since the medium came into existence.
One thing I did notice was that there were no ZX81 games on the list. Fair enough, since most of them were blocky and slow, and often typed in manually from listings in magazines. But there was one ZX81 release that sprang to my mind as a definitive SF title - home computing's first proper 3D first-person game, 1982's 3D Monster Maze.
Anybody else remember this? "Roll up, roll up, see the amazing Tyrannosaurus Rex, king of the dinosaurs, in his lair!" Working on his own in his spare time, aerospace boffin Malcolm Evans whipped up a real-time action game in which you have to escape from a labyrinth in which a dinosaur lurks. He basically did it to see what the ZX81, then a new computer and a gift from his wife, was capable of doing - and he conjured up the first ever 3D corridor game for a home computer (it would be another ten years before iD added shooting to the concept of a 3D maze adventure with Wolfenstein 3D).
The deceptively simple format of 3D Monster Maze adds to the tension. Text messages on screen ("REX HAS SEEN YOU" or "FOOTSTEPS APPROACHING!") take the place of today's sound effects or radar maps. It is technically possible to outrun the monster but the map is randomly generated so dead ends are common. And if you do turn a corner and stumble into Rex's path, the chunky monochrome beast is surprisingly terrifying. As a young boy, I found the excitement almost unbearable, and it's probably this which got me hooked on videogames - an addiction which continues to this day.
Anybody else got any long-forgotten gaming memories to share?
For reference, the list of Ultimate SF Games in SFX 182 is:
The Legend Of Zelda: Ocarina Of Time
The Secret Of Monkey Island
The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy
Halo: Combat Evolved
Final Fantasy Vii
Prince Of Persia: The Sands Of Time
The Lords Of Midnight
The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind
System Shock 2
World Of Warcraft
Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic
Read our explanations starting on page 86 of the issue . Let us know if there's anything you think we've definitely overlooked (I'm sure there are loads)...