This month in... C&VG '86
Dave Perry and Nick Jones had nearly wrapped up the latest Wally game for MikroGen - "Three Weeks in Paradise".
Domark released a screenshot of their rather controversial "Friday the 13th". The game certainly got the attention of the press but - unsurprisingly - for all the wrong reasons, as it turned out to be rubbish. ("Oh dear, oh dear" lamented Crash in their review).
A BBC conversion of Imagine's "Arcadia" called "Wet Zone" was to be distributed on the Micronet 800 dialup service. This is the first mention I've seen of Micronet's digital distribution, but it looks like the company had secured publishing rights to games previously.
15 year old Juan Manuel Perez Vazquez walked away with £12,000 in prize money after winning Firebird's "Gyron" competition. A special version of the game had been designed just for the compo which had an expected completion time of around 1hr 45mins. When Juan took his turn the best time up until then was 1hr 37min, and Juan proceeded to finish it in just 18 minutes.
Ultimate had two new games on the way: "Outlaws" for the C64 and "Gunfright" for the Speccy/Amstrad. After the previous few titles had failed to live up to the developer's usual incredibly high standards, C&VG feared the magic had started to wane but hoped these new games would put them back on top.
Geoff Brown from US Gold had taken delivery of a new red Ferrari, which cost £74,000. Meanwhile, Tim Stamper (of Ultimate) traded in his Porsche (apparently the team all owned Porsches) for a Lamborghini.
A press release for an unnamed surfing game carried a quote from Bill Scolding, editor of Sinclair User: "This game enriches the player's existence." Fair enough.
C&VG had a sneak peak at a game called "Radar Raiders" running on Commodore's new "mega-machine", the Amiga, and was blown away. The game was never released, but it appears to have been a flight sim by Sublogic.
Gargoyle Games were going to attempt to bring a sense humour to games with their new isometric arcade adventure "Sweevo's World".
Some members of the C&VG team were sent on a press junket to play paintball courtesy of CRL (er, I mean, CRL challenged them to a day of paintball).
Shahid Ahmad, who had created "Chimera" for the C64, optimistically told Firebird that he could port the game to the Amstrad in a week. This first instalment of his diary saw reality dawning on him as he tried to figure out the architecture of the machine while facing frustrations thanks to a buggy assembler toolchain.
There was a rather excited preview of "Koronis Rift" from Lucasfilm Games. The depth of the game is what seemed to really impress. Relegated to a side bar was a mention that another Lucasfilm game was about to hit the shelves: "The Eidelon". Both games would turn out to be fantastic.
"Back to the Future" was about to hit the cinemas in the UK, and Electric Dreams had secured the rights for the game. Martin Walker was developing it, and there were a lot of details of what they hoped would make it into the game (including "possibly digitised scenes from the film").
- "Swords and Sorcery" PSS - Spectrum 8/10 Game of the Month "This game can't be classified. It's unique. When it eventually hits the shelves of you [sic] local store, raid your piggy bank!"
- "The Flintstones" Taskset/Quicksilva - C64 9/10 "The graphics are excellent - recapturing the atmosphere and humour of the Flintstones cartoon series perfectly."
- "I of the Mask" Sandy White/Electric Dreams - Spectrum 9/10 Blitz Game "Once again Sandy White has delved into the mysteries of 3D and has come up with a stunning new concept."
- "Panzadrome" RamJam/Ariolasoft - Spectrum 9/10 Blitz Game "It's a far cry from adventures to all out 'total destruction' shoot'-em-up. But the RamJam Corporation have taken that leap for programmers - and come up with a winner."
- "Spellbound" David Jones/Mastertronic - Spectrum 10/10 Blitz Game "The graphics are neat, the sound good and game play is quite simply magic!"
- "Commando" Elite - Spectrum/C64/Amstrad/BBC 10/10 Blitz Game "Spectrum owners shouldn't miss this Elite version of the classic arcade game." (They weren't as impressed with the C64 version, with no mention of its amazing Rob Hubbard musc)
- "Quake Minus One" Warren Foulkes & Mike Singleton/Monolith - C64 8/10 "Quake Minus One features animated landscaping - it has to be seen to be believed - and icon driven commands." (A very odd "review", this - they admit the copy they had wasn't complete and that it's more of a report of how the game is shaping up)
- "Robot Messiah" Christian Urquhart & Mike Smith/Alphabatim - Spectrum 8/10 Blitz Game "For those who like their action mixed with problem solving, Robot Messiah will prove a worthwhile investment."
- "Zoot" Bug Byte - Spectrum 8/10 Blitz Game "Zoot is an entertaining and addictive game - above standard for budget products."
- "Yie Ar Kung Fu" Imagine - C64/Spectrum/Amstrad/BBC 10/10 "If you thought you'd already seen the ultimate karate game then think again."
- "Brainstorm!" Bubble Bus - Spectrum 9/10 "The graphics are above standard for a budget game, the sounds are average for the Spectrum - and the game has that all important addictiveness."
- "Saboteur" Durell - Spectrum 10/10 "Saboteur is an addictive, exciting and challenging game. A mixture of Exploding Fist and Impossible Mission. It's a winner - watch it climb the charts!"
- "Sorcery+" Amsoft - Amstrad 10/10 "Still the best game around on the Amstrad."
- "Waterloo" Lothlorien - Spectrum 9/10 "While the game is sufficiently demanding for the experienced wargamer, the facility to give partial control of your army to the computer could make this a good buy also for the novice to 'cut his teeth on.'"
- "Battle of Britain" PSS - C64/Amstrad 9/10 "Complex and satisfying, Battle of Britain builds into a very atmospheric game."
- "Wishbringer" Infocom - C64/Atari/Apple 10/10 "Wishbringer has been given a new story format, which makes it a very friendly game to play."