This month in... C&VG '86
US Gold had a strong upcoming lineup with "Gauntlet", "Masters of the Universe", "Infiltrator", "Super Cycle", "Championship Wrestling", "Movie Monster", "World Games", "Xevious", "Express Raider" and "Break Thru". Phew.
Lucasfilm and Activision picked up the game rights for "Labyrinth". The movie had been received well in the US and was due to hit the UK around Christmas
"John Silver's Return to Treasure Island" was a new adventure from Software Projects, initially for the C64. (Doesn't appear to have been released).
C&VG got a sneak peek at "Fist II" and were impressed: "The exciting news is that 'Fist II: The Legend Continues' looks so hot that you'll burn your fingers snatching a copy off the shelves. It isn't just another karate combat game. 'Fist II' is a REAL martial arts adventure." Sadly it proved to be rather disappointing indeed.
"Marble Madness" knocked people's socks off (and rightly so). Tony Takoushi raved: "To do this game justice is almost impossible, it has to be PLAYED. It is that simple and THAT addictive. The Amiga's graphic and sound capabilities far exceed anything on the home micro front at present, but its price is prohibitively high. The price WILL drop and hopefully soon." When I first saw this running on an Amiga at a little local trade show I knew I had to get one.
Pete Cooke's "Room 10" (published by CRL) was heading to the C64. Weirdly enough this game doesn't appear on Lemon64, though I did own it back in the day.
Elite launched a new budget range that would feature re-released classics.
Andrew Braybrook sent in a couple of screenshots of his next game "Alleykat" that was due for release on the C64 this month.
Palace Software's "Cauldron II - The Pumpkin Strikes Back" was nearly finished. For some reason C&VG printed screenshots from "The Sacred Armour of Antiriad", which I don't think had been announced yet.
Martech was working on a "Tarzan" game.
Jeff Minter signed a publishing deal with Hewson and "Iridis Alpha" would be his first game under the publisher.
The people behind "Graphic Adventure Creator", Incentive Software, formed a new label (Medallion Adventure) to publish adventure games.
Beyond was bullish about their "Star Trek" game, which was being developed by a team lead by Mike Singleton. "We expect this project to be a most significant step in the evolution of the computer game." This month was the 20th anniversary of the TV show and numerous conventions around the globe were taking place. Sadly this game never saw the light of day.
There was a screenshot of "Starglider" by Jez San for the ST.
Ocean got the rights to "Miami Vice".
Speaking of infamously delayed games, the first real screenshot of Elite's "Scooby Doo" appeared. This time the development was being handled by Gargoyle Games and would indeed make it out to considerable acclaim.
An interview with the band Five Star. Apparently Delroy was a big C64 fan.
Keith Campbell talked to Fergus McNeil from Delta4, "adventure's new star." Fergus had found success with "Bored of the Rings" and dropped out of college to pursue writing more adventures (the first of which was "The Boggit", reviewed in this issue). He was joined in this new venture by schoolmate Judith Child and B-Tec student Colin Buckett. Delta4 were heroes of mine back in the day, and were responsible for me developing a love of Cherry Coke and Marillion...
C&VG investigated MUGs - i.e. Multi User Games, like Compunet's MUD. A multiplayer space strategy game, Starnet, was featured. The original version of this game was actually written by none other than Mike Singleton, but it proved "too complicated to administer" and was taken down. A Micronet member re-wrote the software and the game returned.
Mel Croucher's new venture was an interactive video production company, Scorpio. He had produced an intriguing "magic black box" that allowed the user to combine video from VHS/Beta/Video8 tapes and computer graphics output. Using this, games could be overlayed and synced with the video. The first interactive video featured Dire Straits, Phil Collins, Pink Floyd, Godly and Creme, David Bowie and Elvis Presley.
- "Marble Madness" Electronic Arts - Amiga
- "Rogue Trooper" Pirahna - Spectrum
- "Trivial Pursuit" Leisure Genius - Spectrum/C64/Amstrad
- "Galaforce" Superior Software - BBC (this was an odd preview because they actually reviewed the unfinished game, giving it 9/10).
- "Jack the Nipper" Gremlin Graphics - Amstrad/Spectrum/MSX 8/10 Game of the Month "Jack the Nipper is very good indeed. Go and break open your little sister's piggy bank and buy it!"
- "Murder on the Mississippi" Activision - C64 9/10 "It's a great game. A considerable challenge, but offering hours of reasonably aimless fun."
- "Ghosts and Goblins" Elite - C64/Spectrum 9/10 C&VG Hit "Arcade conversions have built a reputation as being a bit naff. G'n'G should change things. The programmers, Keith Burkhill for the Spectrum version, and Chris Butler on the Commodore, have made stout efforts that are not merely satisfactory, but surpass that level."
- "Mission A.D." Odin - C64 C&VG Hit "Mission AD certainly isn't for the strategy and mapping lobby, but it is a real joy to get straight into the important business of killing things again."
- "Hijack" Electric Dreams - Spectrum 9/10 C&VG Hit "Hijack, for me, is a breath of fresh air, in a boring month of reviewing."
- "Arac" Addictive Games - C64 8/10 C&VG Hit "The one annoying fact I found after many hours of playing, was when you ran out of energy, you had to start right back at the beginning again but, that aside, Arac will catch you in its web of intrigue and playability." (That's quite a sentence)
- "Knight Games" English Software - C64 7/10 C&VG Hit "Still as this game has good graphics and sound, it may get bought up quickly, but if you stop and stare at it, you may change you mind. Check it out before you buy, it may save you £8.95." (Huh? Not much of an endorsement!)
- "Harvey Headbanger" Firebird - Amstrad 7/10 C&VG Hit "Overall, Harvey Headbanger is a great game, despite its title and horrible loading music. If we get this kind of quality for £1.99, we should get Arcade quality for £9.95!!"
- "Storm" Mastertronic - Amstrad 9/10 C&VG Hit "Storm is by far and away the best budget game I've ever seen on any micro."
- "Trizons" Bubble Bus - C16 8/10 C&VG Hit "The sound is about average, but the gameplay is definitely above average for a C16 game."
- "Toadrunner" Ariolasoft - Spectrum/Amstrad 7/10 C&VG Hit "This game is your sort of 'Wally come Sabre Wulf' type, and I think it may be set to become a classic."
- "The Boggit" Delta4/CRL - Spectrum/C64/Amstrad 9/10 "Boggit shows a surer touch, and greater confidence in approach, than its predecessor Bored. Some of the jokes are quite subtle, and the text has occasionally to be read a second time, to check whether it really means what you thought, or if it is just your twisted mind at work!" (How I loved this game)
- "A Mind Forever Voyaging" Infocom - ST/Amiga/C128 "It is an enormous game, with a vast amount of text, and gives you the distinct impression that with AMFV, your mind can, indeed, voyage forever."
- "Mafia Contract II" Atlantis Software - Spectrum 9/10 "The anit-violence brigade will be best advised to avoid this one, but if you fancy a cracking good blood and guts adventure, you [sic] find this hard to beat."