This month in... Crash '86
A Crash contingent went down to London for the 20th ZX Microfair. While the event was usually held in the "cavernous" Royal Horticultural Hall, a booking mixup meant this one had to move to "several rooms and various floors" at Central Hall in Westminster. There were very few new products to talk about, the only ones receiving a mention being "The Professional Adventure Writing System", a new disk interface from Rockfort called "The Disciple" and Romantic Robot's video digitiser. The latter - called "Videoface" - could capture screens at 3 frames per second, storing 6 of the last screens.
An interesting new game from Denton Designs was revealed. "Double Take" featured two universes which the player would flip between, with some actions affecting both.
Crash made some rather snarky comments about an unnamed competing magazine failing to deliver its promised 20+% increase of pages to justify a 2p price rise. In another somewhat smug snippet, it was noted that a recent new arrival at the news agent ("BANG" magazine) had folded after just 10 issues.
There was some controversy after IJK released "Crime Busters", a game which Mastertronic took considerable exception to due to its window UI system bearing more than a passing resemblance to that featured in David Jones' Magic Knight games (even the character set was the same). IJK pulled the title. Rather interestingly, all of the author's games (and there are a number of them) are listed in WoS as being mods...
The latest "Genesis: The Birth of a Game" instalment brought the news that "Kat-Trap" had been delayed. The programmer working on the game, Graham Stafford, said that while it was a couple of weeks behind schedule, "considering the industry standard, that's quite good really." The main factor in the delay seemed to be attempting to squeeze all the graphics into memory. The rest of the update looked at the design of the game's cassette inlay and advertisement, done by Oli Frey.
Following the very positive critical reception of "The Sacred Armour of Antiriad", Crash spoke to Dan Malone who responsible for the art and overall design of the game.
The somewhat dubious world of games advertising was examined. What tricks and ploys should consumers watch out for to avoid falling for another "Great Space Race" or "World Cup Carnival"? Several game adverts were rated for their effectiveness: "Legend of the Amazon Women" 90%, "The Great Escape" 70%, "Samantha Fox Strip Poker" 10%, and "Tomahawk" 85%.
- "Space Harrier" Elite
- "Peter Shilton's Hand Ball Maradonna" Grandslam
- "Zub" Binary Design/MAD
- "Agent Orange" A'n'F
- "Academy" Pete Cooke/CRL
- "The Great Escape" Denton Designs/Ocean - 96% Crash Smash "The Great Escape is possibly the best game in this vein I've ever played."
- "The Sacred Armour of Antiriad" Palace Software - 89% "Palace have only released a few games on the Spectrum and, while most of them have been very good, Antiriad is the best yet."
- "Uridium" Andrew Braybrook & Domninic Robinson/Hewson - 90% Crash Smash "I really didn't expect Uridium to be up to the standard of the Commodore version, and it isn't - but it is an extremely good, fast translation."
- "Firelord" Steve Crow/Hewson - 91% Crash Smash "Steve Crow does it again!"
- "Xeno" Binary Design/A'n'F - 86% "A fast and furious 'futuresport': well worth a look."
- "Twice Shy" Ram Jam Corporation/Mosaic - 90% Crash Smash "Everything about the game, from instructions to completion, is thoroughly entertaining."
- "Frost Byte" Mikro-Gen - 86% "A small spring forward for arcade adventures."
- "Cobra" Johnathan Smith/Ocean - 93% Crash Smash "The best Hard Guy game there is."
- "Druid" Andrew Bailey & Dean Carter/Firebird - 90% Crash Smash "This game is superb, one of the best I've honoured my Spectrum with in a long time."
- "Thanatos" Mike Richardson/Durrell - 93% Crash Smash "Wow! This game is really amazing; stunning, astounding, brilliant!"