Ocean Software
1983-98


Softography

(Spectrum only)

See World of Spectrum for
downloadable versions

(Also published games under
Imagine label from 1985)

Title Year
Royal Birkdale:
Championship Golf
1983
Digger Dan 1983
Armageddon 1983
Rescue 1983
Pogo 1983
Gift From the Gods 1984
Gilligan's Gold 1984
Robotics 1984
Hunchback 1984
Bruce Lee 1984
Mr. Wimpy 1984
Cavelon 1984
Moon Alert 1984
Daley Thompson's Decathlon 1984
Chinese Juggler, The 1984
Kong 1984
Eskimo Eddie 1984
Transversion 1984
Hunchback 2:
Quasimodo's Revenge
1985
Kong 2: Kong Strikes Back 1985
Match Day 1985
Neverending Story, The 1985
Daley Thompson's Supertest 1985
Pud Pud in Weird World 1985
Rambo 1985
Frankie Goes to Hollywood 1985
Roland's Rat Race 1985
Cosmic Wartoad 1985
V 1985
Platoon 1986
Street Hawk 1986
N.O.M.A.D. 1986
Nightmare Rally 1986
Donkey Kong 1986
Superbowl 1986
Great Escape, The 1986
Gryzor 1986
Nexus 1986
Miami Vice 1986
Highlander 1986
Transformers 1986
Hunchback - The Adventure 1986
Cobra 1986
Mailstrom 1986
Laser Sprite Generator 1986
It's a Knockout 1986
Knight Rider 1986
Laser Genius 1986
Laser Compiler 1986
Laser Basic 1986
Batman 1986
Army Moves 1986
Wizball 1987
Short Circuit 1987
International Match Day 1987
Mario Bros 1987
Short Circuit 2 1987
Match Day 2 1987
Slap Fight 1987
Flashpoint 1987
Top Gun 1987
Double Take 1987
Mutants 1987
Tank 1987
Tai-Pan 1987
Head Over Heels 1987
Road Race 1987
Combat School 1987
Gutz 1988
Typhoon 1988
Cabal 1988
Emilio Butraguemo 1 1988
Operation Wolf 1988
Rambo 3 1988
Phantom Club 1988
Firefly 1988
W.E.C. Le Mans 1988

Batman - The Caped Crusader

1988
Psycho Soldier 1988
Track & Field 1988
Daley Thompson's Olympic Challenge 1988
Madballs 1988
Where Time Stood Still 1988
Red Heat 1989
Chase HQ 1989
Operation Thunderbolt 1989
Robocop 1989
Run the Gauntlet 1989
Beach Volley 1989
Batman - The Movie 1989
New Zealand Story, The 1989
Untouchables, The 1989
Emilio Butraguemo 2 1989
Shadow Warriors 1990
Robocop 2 1990
Rainbow Islands: Bubble Bobble 2 1990
Midnight Resistance 1990
Puzznic 1990
Sly Spy: Secret Agent 1990
Chase HQ 2: Special Criminal Investigations 1990
Narc 1990
Plotting 1990
Pang 1990
Night Breed 1990
Adidas Championship Football 1990
Adidas Championship Tie-Break 1990
Toki 1991
Navy Seals 1991
Total Recall 1991
Battle Command 1991
Smash TV 1991
Simpsons: Bart vs the Space Mutants 1991
Hudson Hawk 1991
Darkman 1991
Terminator 2: Judgement Day 1991
WWF Wrestle Mania 1991
Addams Family, The 1991
Robocop 3 1992
Spacegun 1992
Crazy Kong 198?

For much of the 1980s, Ocean Software dominated the Spectrum software scene. Like many of its competitors, it began life as a publishing company (marketing games submitted by freelance programmers) rather than a dedicated producer of software in its own right. This soon changed, especially after Ocean acquired the rights to the name Imagine and took on several of that failed company's dedicated programmers. Thereafter, Ocean used its own name to publish original games and the Imagine name to publish conversions of coin-operated arcade games.

Ocean published a huge number of games during its decade as a Spectrum publisher - about 120 in all, peaking in 1986 - but unfortunately, during the mid-1980s, many were mediocre at best. The company gained an unenviable reputation as the originator of a seemingly endless stream of unimaginative, dull or just plain bad interpretations of a string of high-profile licenses - 1986's dire Knight Rider was perhaps Ocean's nadir. But the company also produced several outstanding classics - Daley Thompson's Decathlon, the Match Day series, The Great Escape, Head over Heels and others.

The launch of the Spectrum Plus 2 in 1986 revitalised the Sinclair software market, leading to something of a renaissance for Ocean at the end of the 1980s. The company stuck with the machine until 1992, when the Spectrum market was approaching its final commercial demise.

Ocean made a successful transition to the 16-bit market around 1988 and produced a fair number of successful games for the Atari ST and Commodore Amiga. However, the company never regained its former dominance of the market. In 1998, it was bought out by the French giant Infogrames, presumably to absorb its staff, as the Ocean label disappeared shortly afterwards.

Interviews and Articles


Chris Owen 1994-2003