This month in... C&VG '86
"It's nearly here", declared C&VG about Mike Singleton's "Dark Sceptre". The ambitious strategy/adventure (which was intended to have an optional Play By Mail service to allow players to compete with each other and Mike himself) had been in progress for a while and looked fantastic, but it wouldn't be until February 1988 that C&VG finally got to play it. From the review: "Was it worth the wait? We'll pass on that..." (it received 8/10)
It had only been recently that Tony Crowther returned to Alligata, and there were already plans to release a compilation of some of his past games. Meanwhile, Alligata announced "Pub Games" which would be a "compendium of pub games for the home computer."
The home computer version of "Trivial Pursuit" was announced, with some sceptical it would successfully make the leap from board game (it did).
Domark was forced to change the name of its "Splitting Images" to "Split Personalities" as it was too close to the TV show "Spitting Image".
Chris Gray, the man behind the splendid "Boulderdash" had caused "quite a sensation" in the US with his latest, the impressive looking "Infiltrator". The game would be released soon in the UK by US Gold.
Tony Takoushi raved about the new ST and how it had finally brought arcade quality games to the home. Paul Woakes's "Mercenary" and Argonaut's "Starglider" were two games in particular that converted Tony into a 16bit believer.
Could it actually be true? Could Ocean's much delayed "Knight Rider" game actually have been completed? Apparently so. Not only that, but the rumours were that it was going to be "big". C&VG cautiously said the game would be due out this month.
In a slightly odd choice, after a series of popular platform games, Hunchback was to return... in a graphic adventure. It would actually turn out to be rather good.
I don't fully understand this story, but 12 1/2 year old Mark Taylor had been sending Bug Byte letters covered in "obscene bugs" and someone at the software house decided they would be great on t-shirts. Bugs Clothes would come in two designs, one t-shirt and one pair of y-fronts.
Sigue Sigue Sputnik were venturing into games... well, it wasn't clear that the band themselves knew this, but a company called Consultant Entrepreneurs had been hawking a game based on the band around to publishers. Apparently you be able to wield chainsaws, space guitars, choose personalities and clothes to suit the action and battle people like Julian Rignall (?!).
In what would seem to be a common theme in this month's issue, there was a big preview of "Cyborg" which was due to hit the shelves in a month (but wouldn't arrive until June 1987).
Jim Douglas investigated MUD and its devoted players. While he did find it entertaining (particularly chatting to other players), frequent bugs/service problems left him wondering whether the experience was up to scratch.
Paul Boughton took a look at several French software houses that had been delivering great games, and visited Infogrames (unknown to most British gamers, but arguably the biggest software house in Europe) to find out what they had planned for the near future.
Keith Campbell chatted to Brian Moriarty (Infocom) about text adventures, Z-code, Infocom's near collapse (saved by a deal with Activision that would create "the biggest software company in the world" - citation needed!), and rivals. Professor Moriarty dismissed Magnetic Scrolls saying "Magnetic Scrolls doesn't even come close", and "Who wants graphics in Interactive Fiction?"
There was a big section on the ST, Amiga and Mac "super computers". I remember this piece clearly as it was partly responsible for setting me off dreaming of owning an Amiga.
- "Dragon's Lair" Software Projects
I'm not sure if it was an error, but there are 3 Game of the Months this month.
- "Bobby Bearing" The Edge - Spectrum 10/10 Game of the Month "Bobby Bearing features great graphics, weird sound and brilliant game play. The Edge say it's going to be their biggest game yet. I believe them."
- "Room 10" Pete Cooke/CRL - Amstrad 9/10 Game of the Month "Room 10 is simple, addictive fun with a capital F. Well put together, with neat graphics, terrific sounds and totally absorbing gameplay."
- "Pyracurse" Hewson - Spectrum 10/10 Game of the Month "Pyracurse really IS something completely different. It has atmosphere and addictiveness in equally enormous quantities. It's the first 'adventure movie' from programmers Mark Goodall and Keith Prosser - hopefully the first of many."
- "Acro Jet" Microprose - C64 8/10 C&VG Hit "Acro Jet is an action packed flight package - lots of fun, even for those among you who aren't immediately grabbed by games of this kind."
- "Solo Flight II" Microprose C64 C&VG Hit "Solo Flight is the closest thing to flying short of going up in an aircraft. And the price isn't sky high either."
- "Tau Ceti" John Twiddy & Pete Cooke/CRL - C64 9/10 C&VG Hit "Tau Ceti is simply brilliant in all its incarnations - buy it!"
- "Split Personalities" Domark - Spectrum 9/10 C&VG Hit "In my opinion, Split Personalities is absolutely topping! It's fast, furious and extremely enjoyable."
- "Last V8" Mastertronic
- "One Man and his Droid" Mastertronic
- "Action Biker" Mastertronic
- "Winter Games" Epyx
- "Batman" Ocean
- "Commando" Elite
- "Commando" Elite
- "Tennis" Bugbyte
- "Winter Olympics" Tynesoft