This month in... C&VG '85
Ariolasoft released a couple of screenshots from a new game which promised to be a "totally interactive graphic adventure 'movie'." The game, "Wild West", received luke warm reviews, but it was notable in that it was one of those rarities at the time: a game developed behind the iron curtain.
Electric Dreams had snapped up the rights to Mel Croucher's brilliant "Deus Ex Machina" and were publishing a repackaged and repriced version for the C64.
British Telecom were having to appease customers of its new M.U.D. game after technical problems delayed the launch. The launch manager, Mike Anderiesz, said: "There hasn't been a program of this size or complexity before. The problems we're experiencing are just last minute bugs."
Sandy White was back with a new game for the Spectrum featuring some very impressive 3D graphics. "I, of the Mask" was due out "soon."
Commodore announced their C64 bundle for Christmas. Called the "Commodore 64 Christmas Compendium pack", it would feature "The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole", "Music Maker", "Designer's Pencil" and a copy of the book "The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole." The bundle would have an RRP of £199.
Irish software house New Concepts were touting their new surfing game for the Spectrum, "Surf Champ" as being the "ultimate sports simulation" and "as near to the real thing as possible." The game came with a plastic surfboard which was act as a controller when placed above the keyboard. Reviews were mixed.
St Bride's had struck a distribution deal with Audiogenic for "The Secret of St Bride's" - previously the game had only been available via mail order. The piece described St Bride's as being "the world's most unusual software house" which was "a school on the west coast of Ireland where grown women can pay to find out what school life was like 50 years ago."
C&VG got in touch with a host of bands (well, mainly their managers/promoters/PR people) to find out if there were any fans of home computers and games amongst the stars. Turns out there was - perhaps this whole computer thing might catch on. One tidbit: "Martyn [from Heaven 17] is a former computer programmer and he even booked his holiday in Venice using the BBC."
The band Mainframe (Murray Munro and John Molloy) wrote a very light piece about the equipment they used.
Marshal M Rosenthal looked into online gaming (as in actual games, not how "gaming" is used these days to mean gambling) in the US, and the services that provided them.
The big Christmas holiday films were discussed. "Legend", "The Goonies", "Cocoon", "Mad Max 3", "Lifeforce", "Jewel of the Nile", "Red Sonja", "The Black Cauldron", "The Boy Who Could Fly", "The Emerald Forest" were all about to hit the UK box office. Meanwhile, VHS owners could look forward to "Time Walker", "Brazil" and "The Last Starfighter."
A huge preview for David Crane's latest: the excellent and terribly charming "Little Computer People". This game utterly intrigued me at the time, and I've always had the thought of doing an unofficial remake kicking around in the back of my mind.
- "Tau Ceti" CRL - Spectrum 10/10 Game of the Month "If you buy only one game a year - then get Tau Ceti. You won't be bored for another 12 months!"
- "Wizadry" The Edge - C64 9/10 Blitz Game "Wizadry is the closest thing we've seen to a real-time animated Dungeons and Dragons style game - with many of the elements of he original role playing D&D include."
- "Fairlight" The Edge - Spectrum 8/10 "All-in-all, a great game. Certainly one for mapping freaks!"
- "Darts" Blue Ribbon - BBC 9/10 "Could keep you and your mates amused for hours."
- "Wizard" Ariolasoft - C64 10/10 "Wizard is an extremely well programmed , well presented game - don't be put off by those who tell you it's just another platform game. It isn't - it's something else!"
- "Impossible Mission" US Gold - Spectrum 10/10 Blitz Game "Impossible Mission is a game any self respecting Spectrum owner should have in their collection."
- "Gyroscope" Melbourne House - Spectrum 7/10 Blitz Game "It's worth getting hold of to stave off Marble Madness withdrawal symptoms while we wait for that game to be converted for home computers."
- "Hacker" Activision - C64 10/10 "Hacker is an intriguing and complex game based on a new and refreshing idea. It's a winner."
- "Chimera" Firebird - C64, Spectrum, Atari, Amstrad 9/10 "Overall, Chimera is an excellent game which raises the quality of budget games to a new standard."
- "Shadow of the Unicorn" Mikro-Gen - Spectrum 8/10 "Is the Mikro-Plus a great new game innovation? We reckon that still remains to be seen with the arrival of the second game based on the TV cartoon series of 'Battle of the Planets'." While "Battle of the Planets" was released, Mikro-Gen decided not to use the Mikro-Plus pack.
- "Fight Night" US Gold - C64 9/10 "Barry McGuigan's World Championship Boxing maybe a more accurate boxing simulation - but if you want your boxing action to have a touch of humour then book a ringside seat for Fight Night."
- "Scarabaeus" Ariolasoft - C64 8/10 "Scarabaeus is a challenge for the thoughtful gamer who likes a mixture of action and strategy. You need all your wits about you when there are monsters about."