This month in... TGM '89
Atari Games (not to be confused with hardware manufacturer, Atari) sued Nintendo for $100 million over the inability to publish games for the NES without going through the Japanese company. Nintendo seemed unphased by the move, saying that they had never lost a lawsuit.
Confusion reigned over the specifics for the Konix Slipstream. TGM attempted to clear things up by confirming that it would retail at £150 (or slightly higher), have a set of peripherals (hydraulic chair, light gun, 3D helmet), some of which would be included with the console (not the chair!), and it would use 3.5" floppies. TGM promised full coverage next month with a review.
Software house Teque had formed a new label called Chrysalis which would "concentrate on original ideas rather than tie-ins." They actually ended up using the name Krisalis due to a dispute with Chrsysalis Records. The first game would be "Prison".
The first Novagen game that wasn't coded by Paul Woakes would be "Hellbent". However, there were hints that Woakes had in fact been working on it, perhaps explaining the delays of the hotly anticipated "Damocles".
Code Masters were turning their attention to the 16bit machines. "Advanced Rugby" and "Advanced Ski" would be the initial releases. The rugby game doesn't appear to have made it out.
London-base distributor SDL announced it was selling Amiga and ST bundles for the same price as the regular base system. The 1040 STF would come with 22 games, organiser software and a joystick for £499, with the options of adding a suite of business software for an extra £100. The Amiga 500 bundle would include 10 games, but no price was given.
- A new series was started in which Jez San and his team at Argonaut Software would discuss the state and progress of their new flight sim game referred to as "X". In this first instalment, Jez talked about some of the challenges 3D presented and Christopher Humphries reported on some debugging features he had added. Both parts were surprisingly detailed and rather interesting. It looks like this was referring to what would become "Birds of Prey".
- Mel Croucher looked at the trend of people paying lots of money on collecting rare game and toy products, and interviewed a couple of people from auctioneers Christie.
- TGM investigated the new, exciting technology that would "promise an incredible future of long-distance games": ISDN. They imagined a multiplayer "Elite" where movie quality sound and video would be streamed in.
- Mel's second piece was a plea to the games industry to invest more money in games which weren't all about death and destruction - games with more positive, constructive goals and themes. His fear was not that violence in games resulted in players mirroring the violence in real life, but that the result was desensitisation.
- "688 Attack Sub" EA - PC "Based on America's Los Angeles-class subs, this takes you through a series of real-life missions around the world, with extra added realism from pseudo-artificial intelligence (AI) routines."
- "The Running Man" Grandslam Entertainment - CPC, C64, Spectrum, Amiga, ST and PC "Five horizontally-scrolling sections put the player, as Richards, against an array of guys with friendly names like Fireball and Buzzsaw. Sounds like a fate worse than The Price is Right, and it's out early this year."
- "Thunderbirds" Grandslam Entertainment - All major formats "Grandslam go slightly more intellectual in Thunderbirds, featuring the Tracey family in a series of four-way scrolling adventures against the ghastly Hood."
- "Chaos Strikes Back" Mirrorsoft - ST, Amiga "Following the success of ST "Dungeon Master", which Mirrorsoft somewhat dubiously claim is 'the best-selling ST program of all time' at more than 30,000 copies, an extra five levels are being released in January."
- "Final Command" Ubisoft - ST, PC, Amiga, C64 "Even more visually bedazzling is Final Command, an adventure-style action game which sends you on a seek-and-steal mission into a deserted space station, meeting both enemies and friends and bartering for clues."
- "Night Hunter" Ubisoft - ST, Amiga, PC, CPC, C64, Spectrum "a 30-level arcade adventure with a refreshing change: rather than saving the world, you're the force of evil."
- "Star Blaze" Logotron - ST, Amiga "Star Blaze is touted by Logotron as the 3-D answer to Nemesis, Salamander and R-Type."
- "Archipelagos" Logotron - ST, Amiga, PC "Archipelagos has more than a few echoes of Firebird's "The Sentinel" - and, judging from Logotron's publicity, not a little of the philosophical pretension too."
- "Stormbringer" Dave Jones/Virgin - ST, Amiga "the third in the Magic Knight series which includes "Spellbound" and "Knight Tyme"." While this did come out on the Spectrum and C64, it doesn't look like a 16bit version was done.
- "R-Type" Electric Dreams - Spectrum 90% ST 82% "Making excellent use of the host machine, this version [Spectrum] is a sight to see with its incredible use of colour, minimal attribute clash, masses of aliens to blast and frantic gameplay."
- "Microprose Soccer" Sensible Software/Microprose - C64 89% "Microprose Soccer is of the highest quality - its fast action makes it far more playable than other soccer games."
- "Thunderblade" US Gold - Spectrum 87% CPC 54% ST 8% Amiga 85% C64 65% "Tiertex have done extremely well to convert the coin-op lock, stock and gun barrel to the Spectrum."
- "Afternburner" Activision - Spectrum 83% ST 47% C64 29% "It [Spectrum version] may not look much with its mainly monochrome display, fast moving but limited ground graphics and narrow screen width, but it incorporates gameplay to match the arcade machine and is just as much fun to play - amazing!"
- "F-16 Combat Pilot" Digital Integration - ST 94% PC 93% "Along with standard flight-controls (slightly simpler than the Mirrorsoft program), F-16 Combat pulls out all the stops to provide depth and game complexity."