This month in... C&VG '86
Ariolasoft spun out two new software houses, 39 Steps to focus on adventure games and Reaktor arcade/action games. First up from 39 Steps would be "They Stole a Million" while Reaktor's would be "Deactivators".
Martial arts games were proving popular and Martech threw their hat in the ring with "Uchi-Mata", a "more subtle" simulation based on Judo.
Beyond's "Star Trek" was to land in time for Christmas and would feature more than 1000 stars and 256 subplots. It would never see a release.
Top Suzuki Grand Prix rider Paul Lewis took a break from practice to have a go on Digital Integration's upcoming "TT Racer". The game promised the most realistic bike racing game yet, and Lewis confirmed that the Silverstone track was indeed accurate.
The next game from Bubble Bus was to be "Ice Temple", an Ultimate style isometric affair.
Another month, another mention saying CRL's "Cyborg" would absolutely definitely be released real soon (October). For sure this time.
Cinemaware wowed CES Chicago attendees with the "first interactive movie pictures". "Defender of the Crown", "The King of Chicago", "S.D.I." and "Sinbad and the Throne of the Falcon" were all on display. The games would boast "full 3-D animation" and professionally composed original soundtracks, and would be only be available on the Amiga, ST and Mac.
Atari announced the 7800 Games Console which was their response to the NES and Sega's Master System. The 7800 would be on UK shelves by Christmas and would cost around £70. Nintendo and Sega had yet to finalise any plans for a UK release, apparently due to "internal problems and marketing arguments".
Players Software had been busy with a slew of titles coming for the top 3 platforms. The C64 was to get "Velocipede II" (featuring Mr Megafat on a unicycle?!) and "It's Clean Up Time". For the Spectrum there was "Shrewsbury Key" and "Zacaron Mystery". Finally, Amstrad owners would get "Magic Maths" (an educational title) and "Big Top Barney".
The first person to beat "The Double", an upcoming footie management game from Johnson Scanatron, would get to meet Howard Kendall of Everton FC and see a game at Goodison Park.
Don Priestly's "The Trap Door" was charming people with its lovely big cartoon graphics and was due any day now.
The cover for this issue was done by 19 year old Simon Harrison who had stopped by the office one day with a selection of his work.
"Trailblazer" by Shaun Southern for Gremlin Graphics promised "breakneck speed" and "dazzling graphics". As well as the excellent C64 version it was to appear on the Speccy, Amstrad, Atari, MSX and even the C16.
For some reason there was another news item about "Deactivators", the first game on Ariolasoft's new Reaktor label.
Kevin Tom's was finishing up an new improved version of "Football Manager". To coincide with the release, players could win a day out with Kevin at the 1987 FA Cup final.
"Dan Dare" had impressed on the Speccy and now C64 owners would an apparently beefed up version featuring different graphics, sound, playability and even hand to hand combat. "It's a totally different game" said C&VG.
Radarsoft were to release a 2000 screen arcade adventure called "Hopeless", which would be published by Ariolasoft.
Following last month's somewhat odd news of a possibly maybe official Sigue Sigue Sputnik game, C&VG got their hands on a preview. "It's poor, it's ugly, it's offensive and it's down right mean, but I love it!" The game was being written by Tony Gibson and it still wasn't at all clear if it had the blessing of the band or even a publisher, but it was due out this month. More on the mystery can be found over at Games That Weren't.
C&VG investigated the world of role playing (i.e. table top) games
Marshal M. Rosenthal reported on a bevvy of games and applications that had been receiving attention in the US. Notable mentions were "Battlezone" for the ST, "Hacker 2: The Doomsday Papers", "Leather Goddesses of Phobos" and Cinemaware's Amiga/ST lineup. Perhaps most intriguing was "Mind Mirror", a game by Electronic Arts and Timothy Leary which would lead the player through "an adventure in awareness". A web version exists.
Keith Campbell interviewed Trevor Lever and Peter Jones, the blokes behind "Dodgy Geezers".
Several movies due to hit during the autumn were previewed: "Labyrinth", "Aliens", "Highlander", "Big Trouble in Little China", "Howard the Duck", "Transformers", "Solarbabies" and "Explorers".
Steve Meretzky was interviewed about his new (somewhat risque) adventure for Infocom, "Leather Goddesses of Phobos".
- "Dan Dare" Virgin - Spectrum 9/10 Game of the Month "This has to be the best Spectrum game I have ever seen. It's graphically wonderful, addictive and very, very playable. In fact, I would almost consider buying a Spectrum just to play it!"
- "PSI Chess" The Edge - Spectrum 10/10 C&VG Hit "This is an extremely user friendly program, easy to use and terrific fun to play - even if you've never played chess before."
- "Paperboy" Elite - Spectrum 10/10 C&VG Hit "Paper Boy is extremely playable, very addictive and easy to get into. What more could you ask for?"
- "Parallax" Sensible Software/Ocean - C64 9/10 C&VG Hit "Fast, slick, smooth and above all entertaining." (The music did get a mention, but not enough for what I consider to be the finest piece of game music ever produced)
- "Super Cycle" Epyx - C64 7/10 Game of the Month "The graphics on this game are of 'Pitstop II' quality, but the sound is that of an average 64 game." (This was a very odd review as most of it was spent talking about how much it used the disk, with very little said about whether the game was any fun at all. I suspect the Game of the Month stamp was a layout error)
- "Revolution" Vortex - Spectrum/Amstrad 9/10 "Revolution has been around nine months in the making and the effort certainly shows."
- "Infiltrator" Mindscape - C64 9/10 "Infiltrator is graphically excellent. You get a nice view of the cockpit with realistic hands at the controls. When you move the joystick, the hands move too. Great stuff!"
- "Mission Elevator" Micropool - C64 9/10 Amstrad 8/10 C&VG Hit "Mission Elevator is fast, well presented and very playable. One of the best games around for the Amstrad right now. And it's not bad on the C64 either."
- "Futurezoo" Clywd Adventure Software - Spectrum 6/10 C&VG Hit "But this text-only adventure, in two parts, is Quilled, and not very well, at that." (Another odd review to receive a C&VG Hit badge - perhaps whoever did the layout had been having a bad day)
- "Thrust" Superior
- "Commando" Elite
- "Air Wolf" Elite
- "Kane" Mastertronic
- "Harvey Headbanger" Firebird
- "Ghosts and Goblins" Elite
- "Kick Start" Mastertronic
- "Beer Belly Burt's Brew Biz" Americana
- "Vegas Jackpot" Mastertronic