Thursday, November 3, 2011

bargain.bin: Trashman (ZX Spectrum)

Developed by Malcom Evans and published by New Generation Software in 1984, Trashman is one of those great games that helped define the ZX Spectrum. And yes, I'm pretty aware of the fact that it got pretty good Amstrad CPC and Commodore 64 conversions too; it's still a quintessentially Speccy game. One of those games that emphasized the working class character of the machine to be precise.

In Trashman, you see, you get to actually play as a trashman. You know, as one of those vastly under-appreciated and underpaid workers that make sure (on a daily basis) we don't die from the plague.  As a normal, everyday, working person, which is more than refreshing in our age of brown space marine types and scantily clad violent ladies. And you even get to ironically play as a garbage collector servicing certain pretty posh suburbs. Talk about class consciousness...

The game has you collecting and emptying garbage bins over seven multi-screen levels; each themed after a street and each progressively more difficult to beat than the previous one. All you have to do is grab the bin or beans from every house and empty it. Sounds easy, eh? Well, it isn't, as you'll have to avoid everything from speeding cars to deadly dogs and operate under a strict time limit. It's brilliant, taxing fun, that has impressively aged to perfection and is really cheap to physically own.

As for Trashman's graphics, well, they are definitely above the Spectrum average, especially when considering how early in the computer's life the game appeared. They are isometric, colourful, sharp and pretty evocative of that suburban feel. The sound, uhm, well, it's definitely audible, it is.

Where to get it:
Trashman (ZXS):,, Preservation Team Shop
Download: World of Spectrum
Remakes: Trashman Anniversary
Play online: right here

More info on Trashman:

More bargain.bin retro reviews:
Sensible Soccer
TI Invaders
Target; Renegade
King's Quest I


  1. Ah, the good old days when games could be about any profession known to man, not just intrepid explorers, renaissance assassins or hard-bitten soldiers. You could be a Trashman, a Paperboy and even a plumber. Although it's a long time since Mario has done much actual plumbing, mind.

    Seriously though, in those early days, just about anything was ripe for conversion into a game, such was our excitement at this new fangled medium.

  2. Yes... excellent days really. And exciting indeed. Creative, indie, wild, unique and far from boring games, with an amazing menagerie of heroes and mechanics. SO much more interesting than today's mainstream...

    Besides it was the only era when miners were truly mainstream gaming heroes.

  3. How could I forget Manic Miner! I have failed. Ah well :D

  4. There, there, don't feel bad. I'll make tea, load JSW and all will be fine again :)