This month in... C&VG '86
"Tracker" from Rainbird promised tactical battles against an "artificially intelligent enemy" which would involve strategy and fast 3D arcade sections.
After Ocean's exceptionally disappointing "Transformers" a few months earlier, Activision owned the US rights to the cartoon and David Crane had been working on an entirely different "Transformers" game. Would it fare any better? A little.
Once again C&VG apologised for a bunch of mixups and layout cockups in the previous issue (e.g. the upside down Aliens picture in the contents section). As a side note, just following the apology there were several repeated news stories...
Jez San's "Starglider", which wowed people on the ST, was headed to the Spectrum.
Kevin Tom's was taking a break from footie management games and turned his attention to running countries with "The President".
Sega's Master System was still on track to hit the shelves by Christmas and would cost £99.95.
Argus Press were developing a game based on the BBC TV kids show "Grange Hill".
"Cholo" was a rather interesting game on the way from Firebird.
C&VG put out a call for budding programmers who didn't have a publisher to showcase in their "New Wave" section.
Mastertronic was to release "Flash Gordon". Most notable thing about this for me was the Rob Hubbard soundtrack.
Infogrammes upcoming lineup included "Bridge", "One" and "Murders on the Atlantic" (I was unable to find references to any of these).
Rumours were that Scott Adams was setting up a new company following the failure of Adventure International. Scott's work with the Questprobe license would hopefully continue as it looked like he had signed a new deal with Marvel.
Keith Campbell ventured into Soho to meet the folk at The Ram Jam Corporation and talk about their upcoming adventure "Twice Shy".
Marshal M. Rosenthal visited Lucasfilm to find out more about their game based on the movie "Labyrinth".
Marshal also wrote up a summary of US games to watch out for this Christmas, including a separate section on "Howard the Duck".
C&VG's Programmer of the Month was split between Dan Malone (artist) and Stanley Schembri (programmer) who worked on "The Sacred Armour of Antiriad".
Anticipation for "Gauntlet" was reaching fever pitch and C&VG looked at the arcade machine and talked to some of the programmers handling the conversion.
Tony Takoushi ranted about crap clones of popular arcade/computer games that were flooding the market. He placed the blame squarely with the customer for handing over their money for them, and attempted to rally people to be more discerning.
- "Space Harrier" Elite
- "Explorer" Ram Jam Corporation
- "Cobra" Ocean
- "Assault Machine" Nexus
- "The Sentinel" Geoff Crammond
- "Ikari Warriors" Elite
- "Academy" Pete Cooke/CRL
- "Judge Dredd" Melbourne House
- "Sepulcri" Reaktor
- "Peter Shilton's Handball Maradona!" Grandslam
- "Xeno" A'n'F
- "Destroyer" Epyx
- "Defcom" Quicksilva
- "Indoor Sports" Mindscape
- "Scooby Doo" Gargoyle Games/Elite - Spectrum 9/10 "Scooby Do [sic] HAS been worth waiting for. It's challenging, long lasting and fun." (Some key details of the game were missing from the review)
- "Sanxion" Stavros Fasoulas/Thalamus - C64 10/10 C&VG Hit "No nonsense blasting with some excellent frills. Great graphics from the man who designed and programmed the whole thing - Stavros Fasoulas. Great music by the maestro himself Rob Hubbard and great spot effects from David Whittaker."
- "Hacker II" Activision - C64 9/10 C&VG Hit "I suppose this game will form another cult of followers as the original did. Definitely one game for all fans of Hacker, and many other game players, will play into the wee, small hours of the morning."
- "The Great Escape" Denton Designs/Ocean - Spectrum 9/10 C&VG Hit (This was a weird review - just a description of the game with no commentary on what it was like, and it also had key details missing)
- "Ace of Aces" Accolade - C64 8/10 C&VG "Ace of Aces is another extremely well presented package from Accolade - with enough frills and action to keep even the most critical computer pilot busy for some time to come."
- "Firelord" Steve Crow/Hewson - Spectrum/Amstrad/C64 9/10 Game of the Month "Firelord is an excellent game. Graphics are colourful and sound effects original - which is saying something on the Spectrum."
- "TT Racer" Digital Integration - Spectrum 9/10 C&VG Hit "TT Racer isn't your normal sit-in-front-of-the-computer-and-dodge race game. This is much more like the real thing. In fact it's a bit of an insult to call it a game really."
- "The Trap Door" Don Priestly/Piranha - Spectrum/Amstrad 9/10 C&VG Hit "The graphics are wonderfully big and colourful and hugely entertaining. Trap Door is fun with a capital F. Don't miss out."
- "Crystal Castles" US Gold - C64/BBC 9/10 C&VG Hit "Crystal Castles is a faithful copy of the arcade original. Completely playable and totally addictive."
- "Bombscare" Firebird - Spectrum 9/10 C&VG Hit "Bombscare is a brilliant budget release destined for a very high chart placing. One some software houses producing full price games should look at and take note."
- "Uridium" Dominic Robinson/Hewson - Spectrum 10/10 "They said it couldn't be done! But Hewson programmer Dominic Robinson has done it. And done it extremely well. What has he done? Only converted the classic space zapper on to the Spectrum that's all."
- "Lightforce" Faster Than Light - Spectrum 9/10 C&VG Hit "Lightforce is a arcade blast from the past with some nice touches which bring a classic game uptodate. If you're into shoot'em ups then Lightforce is the game for you."
- "Storm" Mastertronic - Spectrum 9/10 C&VG Hit "If you can't wait for Gauntlet to appear - and who can? - it's well worth shelling out a couple of quid to get in a bit of monster molesting with Storm and Agravin. Another budget winner from Mastertronic."
- "KWAH!" Melbourne House - Spectrum 9/10 C&VG Hit "KWAH! is an excellent and original game which everyone should at least have a look at. Redhawk fans will rush out and grab it as soon as it hits the shelves. Comic books fans will be close behind."
- "Olli & Lissa" Firebird - Spectrum 9/10 "Olli & Lissa is an entertaining and very attractive game. Great value for money and instantly playable. One of the best budget games for ages."
- "Tass Times" Activision - C64/Amiga/Apple II/Mac/ST/IBM 10/10 C&VG Hit "I loved this adventure - I'm sure you will too! Go out and blue a few picks! Don't be a stupid tourist Get Tass Times, or I'll feed you to the Allidiles!" (it's completely unclear if that incoherent sentence was intentional or not)
- "Twice Shy" Mosaic/Ram Jam - Spectrum/C64/Amstrad 9/10 "Twice Shy is an unusual and entertaining package, containing two games for the price of one, or, if you prefer, one big game with a difference!"
- "The Sacred Armour of Antiriad" Palace Software - C64 - 10/10 Game of the Month "It's the tiny attention to detail which amazes. For Instance, take a look at the stone work on some of the screens. It's brilliant. On a tv screen it looks great but on a decent monitor, it's almost a work of art." (The review was accompanied by hints & tips, and a map on which C&VG failed to print any actual information)