This month in... TGM '88
The console wars were heating up as rumours surfaced that Nintendo and Sega were working on 16bit machines. Neither the NES or Master System had managed to gain much of a foothold in the UK - both machines selling around 45,000 units each - but the tide did seem to be turning. Code Masters were rather bullish about the console market, with Operations Manager Bruce Everiss being particularly enthusiastic about the Konix Slipstream: "I think Konix has the potential to be another Amstrad. He [boss Wyn Holloway] has wreaked miracles. I'd expect the Slipstream to have an open road until 1990." Of course, the Konix never appeared.
The Atari 520STFM and "Afterburner" were tipped to be the big winners over the Christmas period. The only major chain selling Amigas and C64s was Dixons, while WH Smith had dropped the Spectrum and went all Atari.
Sir Clive Sinclair was back with a new product: a low cost satellite dish. Their main competition would come from Amstrad...
The high cost of rampant piracy was estimated to be around £7.5 million each year. In Denmark and Sweden, 65% of games were illegal copies.
"Commuting sucks" said Mel Croucher in his piece on telecommuting, and I couldn't agree more. A lot of what he described has indeed come to pass (online banking and shopping), while others (home automation) are slowly becoming more common place. He finishes with the call to arms: "Employees must recognise that there is an alternative to traditional ideas of going to work, and fight for their right to choose it."
TGM investigated the shady world of piracy.
At the recent PC Show, Domark's stand featured a Maggie Thatcher puppet from Spitting Image on loan from the TV show that was operated by computer. The technology behind the puppet and potential uses for artificial limbs were examined.
- "Purple Saturn Day" Ere Informatique - Amiga, ST, PC, C64, Amstrad
- "Billiards Simulator" Ere Informatique - Amiga, ST, PC, Mac
- "Teenage Queen" Ere Informatique - Amiga, ST, PC
- "Temple of the Flying Saucers" Ere Informatique - Amiga, ST, PC
- "Chrono-Quest" Psygnosis - Amiga, ST 86% "Psygnosis are better known for their arcade adventures, their high game-standard has be retained for this, their first step toward the pure adventure world."
- "Ultima IV" Origin/Microprose - Amiga 86% "However, playability matters most, and Ultima IV has hours of this."
- "Powerdrome" Electronic Arts - ST 93% "Powerdrome is THE game for those of you with racing spirit."
- "Kenseiden" Mastertronic - 86% Sega Master System "An immensely playable game together with quality graphics and presentation which pushes the Sega to new levels of entertainment."
- "Rocket Ranger" Cinemaware - Amiga 90% "Excellent graphics, breathtaking sound effects and sampled speech. No one scene is particularly complex but Rocket Ranger is deep enough to ensure hours of play."
- "Operation Wolf" Ocean - Spectrum 87% C64 79% Amstrad 89% "Undoubtedly Ocean's strongest arcade conversion title this Christmas, the Taito coin-op has had phenomenal success worldwide."
- "Pac-Mania" Grandslam - Amiga 92% "With a minimum of pre-release hype, Grandslam have sprung one of the simplest yet most addictive games from the arcades. It's amazing what a third dimension and the ability to jump can do to revitalise one of the oldest game formats in computer history."