Security guard helps to bring cult computer game back to life

Video Games

A popular video game has been revived after 28 years with help from a Staffordshire University security guard.

Dizzy was an iconic 8-bit video game of the 1980s and seen by many as the UK’s answer to Mario and Sonic. Created by the renowned Oliver Twins, the Dizzy series was hugely popular and has become a firm favourite with retro gamers.

After fans pleaded for new games to be created, Wonderful Dizzy was released for ZX Spectrum last month – nearly three decades since the last official Dizzy game was made. Jarrod Bentley, a Security Officer at Staffordshire University, was part of the small international team who brought this new edition of the series to life.

Wonderful Dizzy can be played for free at www.WonderfulDizzy.com.

Jarrod contributed not only to this but also to the last commercial Dizzy release, Crystal Kingdom Dizzy, in 1992. Although never meeting the Oliver Twins at the time, a chance encounter at Staffordshire University has led to them collaborating on several projects in recent years.

The 51-year-old from Baddeley Green in Stoke-on-Trent said: “I’ve known of the Oliver brothers for years but after bumping into them on campus we became good friends. I’ve since contributed to books, given a talk at the Centre for Computing History in Cambridge, and been invited to events at the National Video Game Museum when it was in Nottingham. I even contributed to a museum exhibition about Sinclair Computers which is on display in Portugal!”

Jarrod is a self-taught video game artist who found a passion for pixel art when his parents bought him a home computer as a teenager. A regular at the Software Superstore computer shop in Hanley, Jarrod met a network of like-minded friends who began creating 8 bit games.

This led to working with games developer Codemasters and contributing to several titles in the late 1980s and early 1990s before leaving the industry. Jarrod went on to work for Stoke City Council in Waste Management and Environmental Crime before joining Staffordshire University’s campus security team.

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