This month in... Crash '86
The Crash staff, along with all the other Newsfield folk, went down to London for the launch party of their new magazine, LM. The venue was the Camden Palace and plenty of gaming bigwigs were in attendance. Sadly the magazine failed to gain much traction, folding after only a handful of issues.
The release of Amstrad's Spectrum +2 had many scratching their heads. Despite the official release having taken place in September, people were unable to find any in shops. This may have had something to do with rumoured technical problems. To add to peoples' frustrations, the design of the machine meant it was impossible to plug in some peripherals like the popular Interface 1.
Mikro-Gen was finishing up "Frost Byte" for a Christmas release.
Big compilations had become a Christmas tradition by now, and Durell and Virgin released theirs for this year. Durell's was titled "Big 4" and would include "Combat Lynx", "Critical Mass", "Turbo Espirit" and "Saboteur". Virgin's "Now Games 3" included "Codename Mat II", "Nick Faldo", "View to a Kill", "Everyone's a Wally" and a new version of "Sorcery".
"Genesis: The Birth of a Game" continued. This month Jonathan (the competition winner) went to London to meet with Dominc Wheatley and Mark Strachan (founders of Domark), along with Dave Carlos who ran the PR company that would be handling the campaign for "Kat Trap". Lots of rather interesting details about the costs and efforts involved in marketing and distributing of games. The game itself was nearing completion, and there was the first "genuinely exclusive" preview.
Following the release of the excellent "Trap Door", Crash interviewed the man behind it (and many other great Spectrum games), Don Priestly. It was quite a lovely interview as Don was considered a bit of an anomaly in the games industry, being somewhat older than typical programmers.
- Three big games from Hewson were previewed. Steve Crow's first title for the publisher "Firelord", the Spectrum game they said "couldn't be done": "Uridium" (Dominic Robinson at the helm), and a new title from "Technician Ted" team Steve Marsden and David Cooke called "City Slicker".
- "Wibstars" A'N'F - "a curious little number."
- "Contact Sam Cruise" David Reidy/Microsphere "Microsphere reckon that it's the first game which has solid locations that completely obscure your character as he explores them."
- "Future Knight" Gremlin Graphics - "the graphics are detailed and chunky, with an effective cross-hatched shadow effect."
- "Dandy" RamJam/Electric Dreams - "Many eons ago John Palevich, at that time a college student, wrote a game called Dandy on the Atari as part of his thesis. The game re-emerged in the arcades as the hugely popular Gauntlet."
- "Explorer" RamJam/Electric Dreams
- "Phantomas" Dinamic/Code Masters - "Yet another software house prepares to do battle in the ever-growing and increasingly vicious arena of budget software. Newly formed Code Masters are just putting the finishing touches to Phantomas"
- A big lineup from Melbourne House: "Dodgy Geezers", "Fist II", "KWAH", "Judge Dredd" and "Marble Madness - The Construction Set".
- "Rogue Trooper" Design Design/Pirahna - "Written by Wookie, a member of the Design Design team, Rogue Trooper takes place in the post-holocaust shambles of Nu Earth, familiar to all devotees of the comic strip."
- "The Sacred Armour of Antiriad" Palace Software
- "Twice Shy" RamJam/Mosaic - "Twice Shy is unusual in that it comes with a racing simulation on side two which can be played as a game in its own right, as well as being an integral part of the text adventure, enabling Jonathan to accumulate some sorely needed greenbacks."
- "Lightforce" Faster Than Light - 91% Crash Smash "Lightforce has been in the office for quite a while now and so far it hasn't been left alone for longer than ten minutes - almost a new office record."
- "Glider Rider" Quicksilva - 48K 80% 128K 92% "A bit of a let down for faithful 48K-ers but still a well above average and original game." (The main difference between the 48K and 128K was the sound)
- "Hardball" Advance Software/Accolade - 84% "A good simulation of a minority sport."
- "Napoleon at War" CCS - 95% Crash Smash "Nearly a year after the appearance of Mr Wright's first Napoleonic games, he has entered the fray once more with a host of improvements on his original system."
- "Aftershock" Interceptor - 89% "Aftershock is something special in these days of Quilled adventures."
- "L'Affaire Vera Cruz" Infogrames - 85% "Good detective yarn"
- "HRH" 8th Day - 85% "HRH is a really funny adventure. It is long (after quite some time I got the Rule Brittania ending tune and a miserly score of 5 out of a possible 250), well-written, and sufficiently devious to hold you attention for hours at a time."
- "Deactivators" Ariolasoft - 85% "An impressive blend of strategy and arcade."
- "Fat Worm Blows a Sparky" Durell - 95% Crash Smash "Extremely silly, and wonderful fun"
- "Trailblazer" Gremlin Graphics - 88% "Original, fast and addictive"