This month in... Crash '87
One year and two months after Newsfield launched LM, the decision was made to end the experiment. Only 4 issues of the ambitious magazine were published and it had struggled to gain the support of ad agencies and their clients. The magazine had set out to cover "every aspect of life" for the youth audience, but was seen as being "too widely targeted" by advertisers, despite healthy sales.
The closure of LM brought some changes at Crash. Ciaran Brennan, who had started as editor of Crash last month, was moved over to Zzap and a new section of Video Reviews was introduced.
Elsewhere, Argus closed its Computer Gamer and ZX Monthly magazines due to poor sales.
Melbourne House ditched their Inspector Gadget game citing problems with the Spectrum program. Apparently the game "by David Moore and William Tang blew up in the software house's face".
The movie "Platoon" had topped the box office last month and Ocean snapped up the game rights.
West Germany banned submarine sim "Silent Service" for being "too realistic".
An interview with Mike Singleton and crew from Consult. Mike's game history was discussed along with some details about what the future held. The ambitious Play By Mail "Dark Sceptre" was "nearly finished", and "Eye of the Moon" would be done when it was "good and ready" (sadly that would be never).
Derek Brewster wrote a short guide with five steps to writing a good adventure.
Robin Candy examined the state of the software market, which had changed hugely since the first issue of Crash. Small software houses were finding it hard to compete with the likes of Ocean, and the big companies were more risk averse and focussed on attracting customers with flashy graphics and advertising. On the plus side, software was much easier to find on the high street and developers could go through publishers which allowed them to concentrate on writing the games rather than marketing and distribution.
The first video reviews to feature in Crash were:
- "Invaders from Mars" 40%
- "The Monster Club" 70%
- "Tai-Pan" Sentient Software/Ocean
- "Renegade" Ocean
- "Mag Max" Imagine
- "Wizball" Ocean
- "Mutants" Ocean
- "Micronaut One" Pete Cooke/Nexus
- "Hades Nebula" Nexus
- "Road Runner" US Gold
- "Indiana Jones" US Gold
- "Zynaps" Dominic Robinson/Hewson
- "Howard the Duck" Activision
- "Milk Race" Mastertronic
- "Murder on the Atlantic" Infogrames
- "Hydrofool" Gargoyle Games - 90% Crash Smash "A first class sequel, entertaining, addictive and highly amusing."
- "The Pawn" Magnetic Scrolls - 90% Crash Smash "Really engaging, complex adventuring."
- "Shadows of Mordor" Beam/Melbourne House - 93% Crash Smash "Shadows of Mordor looks a very interesting game. The test of any game is how easily it entertains and I've got to say I really enjoyed reviewing this Melbourne House classic."
- "Shipwreck/Castle Eerie" Tartan - 82% "Shipwreck and Castle Eerie are rather entertaining adventures. They look smart and have engaging themes. I particularly liked Castle Eerie, whose problems are especially fun to solve."
- "Book of the Dead" The Essential Myth - 88% "Book of the Dead is a fine adventure in just about every department."
- "Inheritance" Infogrames - 86% "Inheritance is a typically good looking Infogrames game, consisting of three parts which are played in order, with a code transferred between each."
- "Saboteur II" Durell - 83% "Involving and challenging beat 'em up which successfully incorporates its adventure elements."
- "Barbarian" Palace Software - 85% "Probably the best Spectrum beat 'em up yet, playable, addictive and worth the steep price." (it cost £9.99)