This month in... The Games Machine '88
After months of speculation, Amstrad finally revealed their 16bit Sinclair. It was not, as many thought, a games console, but a rather unimpressive PC. The reception was luke warm at best: "is Amstrad's Sinclair a powerless business computer or a games machine that's unsuitable for games?"
Meanwhile, excitement was riding high for the Konix console. The release date was to be January 28th and would include a bunch of add ons, including the hydraulic chair. It was hard not to get caught up in the wave of hype for this - it promised to finally deliver a proper arcade experience. Of course it was not to be and the machine went down in videogame folklore. It's worth checking out the brilliant site dedicated to collecting information about the fabled system.
Steve Jobs revealed that the first machine from his new company after being kicked out of Apple would be the NeXT and ship in the US this month.
Spain's leading game software house Dinamic was profiled.
Wild Bill Stealey - president of Microprose - held a press event where he took journos for a spin in his 1955 T-28 Trojan acrobatic Navy plane (called "Miss MicroProse"). Apparently it was a rather terrifying/stomach-churning experience.
Mel Croucher took a look at how technology was helping disabled people.
There was a supplement with a series of articles looking at various aspects of electronic music production (keyboards, MIDI, synths, samplers, drum machines etc).
"STOS The Game Creator" from Mandarin Software for the ST was examined. At only £29.95 this looked like an essential purchase for ST owners who wanted to start dabbling in game development.
This month's focus in the Cyberpunk feature was Robocop. TGM went over the film and talked to the folks at Ocean who were busy working on the game of the movie.
Britain's newest newspaper, The Post, embraced new technology and was produced entirely on Macs using off the shelf software like PageMaker. TGM got a sneak peek behind the scenes.
Mel Croucher surveyed the current "personal stereos" (i.e. walkmen) on the market and came up with a list of best buys.
A section dedicated to Nintendo (was it an advertisement or an article?) summarised a whole bunch of games and peripherals for the NES available in the UK.
A hardware guide at the back listed vital stats for all the main gaming platforms out in the UK.
- "Navy Moves" Dinamic - Amstrad/C64/Spectrum/ST/Amiga/PC "It's an impossible mission beneath the sea, like a cross between Where Eagle's Dare and Magnetic Scrolls' Fish!"
- "Aspar GP Master" Dinamic - Amstrad/C64/Spectrum/ST/Amiga "Aspar GP Master looks like good rip-roaring fun. Let's hope this is one game that doesn't die with its slippers on." ("Aspar" means "slipper" in Catalan)
- "Batman: The Caped Crusader" Special FX/Ocean - Spectrum/C64/Amstrad/ST/Amiga "So close [to the comic], in fact, that the screen itself starts to look like a hectic page of classic DC artwork - when you leave one room, the next is superimposed on it in the style of comic books, where one frame juts into the next."
- "Fish!" Magnetic Scrolls - ST/Amiga 88% "This is the best Magnetic Scrolls adventure I have played to date - surpassing even the delights of The Guild of Thieves."
- "Battle Chess" Interplay/EA - Amiga 83% "The animation and high definition graphics have to be seen to be believed, figures walk around the screen, fight and perform various actions with incredible realism."
- "Sinbad and the Throne of the Falcon" Cinemaware/Mirrorsoft - Amiga 81% "While the strategy and arcade scenes are limited, and repetitiveness a real danger, this is an attractive and enjoyable game."
- "Red Storm Rising" Microprose - C64 86% "The overall effect is of a technically stunning program which compliments the novel perfectly."
- "Armalyte" Thalamus - C64 90% "Horizontally scrolling shoot-'em-ups are as old as the Commodore 64, but this is a particularly professional and well-detailed implementation which even Fasoulas would be proud of."
- "Big Bang" Zortech - PC 88% "A wide range of emotions can be brought out by this program, from joy to anger, as the trials and tribulations of your companies are played out on the screen."
- "Pool of Radiance" SSI/US Gold - C64 89% "SSI have crammed so much into this game that it's literally bursting at the seams."
- "Cybernoid II" Raffaele Cecco/Hewson - C64 87% Spectrum 85% "If you are new to this game and its predecessor, or are hungry for more of the same, Cybernoid II offers plenty of shoot-'em-up arcade-action thrills."