Not to "bee" confused with a "model bee", the BBC Microcomputer Model B was designed by Acorn Computers for the BBC Computer Literacy Project (a way to introduce people to myriad joys of computer use).
Both the 16k Model A and 32k Model B were released in late-1981, and the system was sold with an emphasis on being boring (education) - which is why it was, for much of the 1980s, the computer of choice for schools.
Nevertheless, like all gadgets, it soon became known for its games, and - due to the power it concealed beneath its nicotine-yellow carapace - it did games real good.
Despite being a Spectrum owner, I was lucky enough to have access to the BBC through my mother. She worked in a school for naughty children, as a classroom assistant, and would regularly bring the school's BBC home for the weekend. Presumably, to stop them sneaking back into the school and stealing it (a gang of them once locked the headmaster in a classroom, stood in a circle around him, and passed an air pistol to one another).
The BBC was a proper powerhouse of a machine. Aside from the fact it was bigger and more expensive, the one I played on came with a proper monitor. Consequently, the graphics were sharper and more arcade-like than the C64 and Speccy could ever dream of.
Now get this: here are my 10 favourite BBC Micro games. And no... Granny's Garden isn't one of them.
You played caveman Trogg who leapt around levels, dislodging big, hairy things by unfurling a yo-yo at them. Whenever he died, Trogg would exclaim "Frak!" via a speech bubble.
Friends of mine swore there was an unofficial "adult" hack of the game, in which the yo-yo was replaced with Trogg's penis, which he would launch at scantily-clad women and babies. For a long time I dismissed this as the fevered fantasy of schoolboys, but no - further research suggest that this depressing abomination really did exist. Hilarious.
Though clearly inspired by Donkey Kong - what with the big-ass duck in the top-left of the screen - it had a quirky charm all of its own.
However, what made the BBC version definitive was that it boasted semi-realistic physics. The Spectrum version had its fans, but those fans were clueless buffoons who'd never had the privilege of playing it on the Beeb.
Though it was perhaps more complex than it needed to be - there were 13 different control keys - it was nevertheless remarkably atmospheric, with the castle feeling like a real place despite its neon walls. There was even a £500 cash prize offered to the top four highest scorers.
Back in 1985 you could've bought a 24-carat gold house for that money, and paid Roland Rat to live in it with you.
Regardless, it was also a brilliant, gorgeous game in its own right. Another of several epic BBC action-adventure games (see also Doctor Who and the Mines of Terror), it was also quite progressive for the time - allowing the player to choose whether to play as a boy or a girl.
Indeed, with hindsight the inspirational novel would get all sort of stick today, for its racist depiction of gypsies, and troublesome portrayal of Quasimodo as a "grotesque" with a heart of gold. Apparently, the original arcade game had been meant to star Robin Hood until somebody mentioned that the character resembled a "hunchback".
There were many home ports of Hunchback released by Ocean Software, but the BBC version was released first - although, it was originally an unofficial port by Superior Software. Like many BBC arcade games it was trouser-looseningly authentic to the original.
Snapper wasn't the only spot-on arcade conversion on the BBC Micro. As you shall see below.
At the same time, I never really had a clue what I was doing, and never had the patience to trade and upgrade my ship into the fast fighter craft I'd wanted it to be from the outset.
That didn't stop me trying, mind. I just wasn't very good at it. The Star Wars arcade game it was not.
Repton spawned a couple of sequels, making it the most successful franchise on the system. There are similarities to the game Boulder Dash - reportedly, Tyler created it after reading a review of BD, though had never actually played Boulder Dash, but was more of a puzzle-like experience.
In short, the main character had to navigate underground mazes, digging for diamonds, and avoiding falling rocks.
The BBC: a great games system, which deserves to be remembered as much than just a computer for privileged spods.