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DescriptionReleasing: December 31, 1983
A&F Software's Chuckie Egg is a home computer video game released in 1983, initially for the ZX Spectrum, the BBC Micro and the Dragon. Its subsequent popularity saw it released over the following years on a wide variety of computers, including the Commodore 64, Acorn Electron, MSX, Tatung Einstein, Amstrad CPC and Atari 8-bit family. It was later updated and released for the Commodore Amiga, Atari ST, and IBM PC compatibles.
The original idea is generally attributed to the then 16 or 17 year old Nigel Alderton. After a month or two of development, Nigel took a pre-release version of his Spectrum code to the two-year-old software company A&F, co-founded by Doug Anderson and Mike Fitzgerald (the "A" and "F", respectively). Doug took on the simultaneous development of the BBC Micro version, whilst Mike Webb, an A&F employee, completed the Dragon port. Chuckie Egg went on to sell over a million copies and remained a steady earner for A&F, who eventually went under in the latter half of the 1980s.
The versions fall broadly into two groups — those with realistic physics (e.g. the BBC Micro and Amstrad CPC versions) and those without (e.g. the ZX Spectrum version). Although there is a substantial difference in play between the two, levels remain largely the same and all the 8-bit versions have been cited as classics.
This game is often credited alongside Miner 2049er and Lode Runner with helping develop and popularise the platform game, and has gone on to be a cult classic with a number of unofficial retro remakes appearing online.
Much of the game's cult status was helped by the fact that schools used BBC Micro computers, and many schools had a copy of the game, introducing it to a wide audience of youngsters.