Thorn EMI Computer Software

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The four distinct eras/issues of Creative Sparks games can be seen with River Rescue, which appeared on all four labels at various stages.

Thorn EMI Computer Software was a British video games software house set up in the early 1980s as part of the now-defunct British conglomerate Thorn EMI. They released a number of games in the early 1980s, mainly for the Atari 8-bit family and later ported to other platforms. The division was caught up in the general disorganization of the parent firm and became dysfunctional by 1984.[citation needed]

The division was sold off[citation needed] and reorganized as Creative Sparks,[1] continuing to sell the original Thorn games as well as adding new titles of their own. Newer releases moved away from the Atari platforms, and appeared mostly on the Amstrad CPC, ZX Spectrum and Commodore 64. Creative Sparks also used the Sparklers label for budget-priced reissues of their old software. Sparklers was best known for the "199" brand of £1.99 games.

Later, the low-cost software label Alternative Software acquired the distribution rights to several Creative Sparks titles.[2]

As a result, many games were issued on more than one label, sometimes appearing on all four at various stages. An example of this is River Rescue; this first appeared on the Thorn EMI label,[2] then later reappeared in Creative Sparks[2] packaging. It was next reissued on the budget Sparklers label,[3] before finally being distributed in new packaging (also at a budget price) by Alternative.[2]


  1. ^ Creative Sparks, Gamebase 64 forum. Article retrieved 2007-04-22.
  2. ^ a b c d River Rescue, Atarimania. Article retrieved 2007-04-22.
  3. ^ River Rescue, Article retrieved 2007-04-22.