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About the Acornsoft box screenshots

This section contains every box screenshot from every Acornsoft game (see Wikipedia for more about Acornsoft). Each screenshot has been carefully reconstructed, pixel by pixel and entirely by hand, using scans of the original boxes, magazines and brochures for reference.

The collection covers the BBC Micro, Acorn Electron and Acorn Atom.

Index to the images

Here's a list of all the screenshots in this section. Click the links to jump to the screenshots for each game:

You can either save individual images from the listing below, or you can download all the screenshots as a zip file (682K).

About these images

I hand-crafted these images during the lockdown of 2020. It was a surprisingly therapeutic experience, and I had plenty of time to devote to making these shots as pixel-perfect as possible. That said, the original box screenshots were produced back in the 1980s by physically photographing the games running on CRT screens, and then developing the films and printing the resulting photographs on the boxes. This means that some of the original box screenshots, particularly the early ones for the Acorn Atom, are quite blurry and warped, which makes it more difficult to recreate modern replicas. For example, see this PDF of the original Acorn Atom brochure; Games Pack 1 towards the end of the brochure is a particularly murky collection. Luckily we have the games themselves for reference, but it's still a challenge to work out exactly what the original CRT screen would have looked like.

For the BBC Micro range of games, the box screenshots are typically huge and take up almost the whole box cover, so these are easier to work with. However, both Elite and Revs have iconic Philip Castle artwork on the front of the box and only a small screenshot on the back, which makes them much harder to recreate accurately; and the Electron boxes all use smaller screenshots too, so they are also a bit tricky. This means there will definitely be errors in my recreations, but this page contains my best efforts at recreating each screenshot as closely as possible, given the sometimes rather shaky source material.

This collection only covers the screenshots from Acornsoft boxes, so games with illustrations or photographs aren't included. This means that the following games are not represented here: Acheton, Castle of Riddles, Countdown to Doom, Gateway to Karos, Kingdom of Hamil, Philosopher's Quest, Quondam, Revs 4 Tracks, The Seventh Star and Sphinx Adventure. Only the screenshot elements of the Magic Mushrooms cover are included, and not the photographic part.

Note that the Acorn Electron section only contains box screenshots that differ from the BBC Micro box shot for the same game. Most of the Electron game boxes simply reuse the BBC Micro screenshot, as those games look the same on each platform.

Quite a few box screenshots contain subtle differences from the games that were actually released. I have noted these differences below; they give us an interesting glimpse into the development process, as they presumably show earlier or alternative versions of the games that were subsequently tweaked for release.

I really enjoyed recreating this iconic part of Acorn history; I hope you like it too.

Thanks must go to Dave Arcadian from Stardot, who encouraged me to do the entire Acornsoft collection, sourced lots of scans of the original boxes, and gave me some very useful feedback on the results. Thanks Dave!