This month in... C&VG '87
Danish software house Kele Line had two new C64 releases this month, "Thunder Force" and "Unitrax". "The 4th Dimension", "Vikings" and "Pirates of the Ocean" were to follow. Seems that only "Thunder Force" (published by Hewson) and "Vikings" made it out.
"The Mystery of Arkham Manor" would see the player take on the role of a journo investigating a - as the title suggests - mysterious murder. Note this has nothing to do with Batman.
Atari picked up the rights to Logotron's BBC maze game "XOR" and was to port it to the ST.
Alligata were to release three "double fun" packs, each of which included two games for £4.99.
Addictive Games teased a new adventure game for the Spectrum called "Raddish Secret Agent" - I have no idea what that became, if anything.
There were red faces at Martech as an early preview version of "Uchi Mata" for the Spectrum was accidentally duplicated and sold instead of the final game. One of the issues present in the preview version was that the scores would not reset in between games and continue to increase.
Alligata were to publish "Livingstone" from Spanish software house Operasoft.
New label Power House would try a novel tactic of including a free game or audio track with each title. Wayne Allen of the House Electronic Xperience was in charge of the music. Apparently he had "appeared many times on TV", whatever that means. I was somewhat intrigued and found this rather good article on Wayne.
There was slightly odd news that Jon Ritman (of "Head Over Heels", "Matchday" and "Batman") had begun work on a new footie game with the working title "Soccerama". This was odd as he was then to start "Matchday II" (I'm guessing they were the one and the same).
Cinemaware's next game would be "Sinbad".
"Silent Service" by Microprose arrived on the Amiga.
Infogrammes were to release "Prohibition" this month.
Domark's "Trivial Pursuit Genus" made it's way on the IBM PC, and the "Baby Boomer" edition was about to be launched (promo for it included a photo of Mark Strachan and Domonic Wheatley dressed up as hippies in Carnaby St). Meanwhile, Domark had gotten the rights to the next Bond film, "Living Daylights" - a much better effort was promised this time following their rather dreadful "A View to a Kill". Design Design were handling the Spectrum and Amstrad versions, De Re Software the Atari 8bit and US based Sculptured Software the C64 and Amiga.
US Gold was releasing a bundle of SSI strategy simulation games.
The next release on CRL's Nu Wave label would be "IQ", an "artificial intelligence arcade game" where artificial beings would fight for territory and must be programmed.
Pete Cooke had finished up "Micronaut One" which would be hitting the shelves later this month.
Debugging a transputer was the goal in "Romulus" from Quicksilva.
Commodore announced the Amiga 500, "the best home computer at any price", which would go on sale for £499. The UK public would get their first sighting of it at the Commodore show in June. Alongside the A500 there would also be an Amiga 2000 which was geared more for business with prices starting at £1095. The Amiga 500 pretty much changed my life.
Veteran coder Christian Urquhart had re-surfaced at Hewson where he was working on "Gunrunner" for the Spectrum.
There was a rather strange promo photo for "FA Cup '87" from Virgin. In the picture several Virgin folk seemed to be standing in a street pointing and looking in different directions... and one had a football stuffed up his top. Looks like this was literally just a re-release of the previous year's game.
Microprose was taking to the high seas with "Pirates".
Electric Dreams had a slew of US games scheduled to hit UK shelves: "Star Raiders II", "Bureacracy" (an Infocom adventure written Douglas Adams), "Space Quest", "Supersprint", "Firetrap" and "UFO Robo Dangar" [sic].
A "Ranarama" player's guide written by Steve Turner.
Marshall M. Rosenthal paid Trip Hawkins a visit to find out more about EA's "UK invasion" and what was upcoming from America's "number one software house".
C&VG decided to try an experiment and include a music review page. The music covered was all rock and heavy metal albums, featuring the likes of Metallica, Anthrax, Stryper, and Waysted.
Keith Campbell stopped by Magnetic Scrolls for a chat about "The Guild of Thieves" and what titles they had in the works. It also included a "review" which was more of a preview.
Marshall investigated Lucasfilm's "Habitat" which blew peoples minds.
This month's film reviews were: "Little Shop of Horrors", "The Fourth Protocol", "Trick or Treat", "More Bad News", "Over the Top", "Best Shot" and "Star Trek 4".
Tony Takoushi looked at "Crystal Castles" and "Xtron" for the ST and ranted about how new game pricing strategies were eating away at the classic divide between budget and full price.
- "Stifflip" Binary Vision
- "The Shadows of Mordor" Melbourne House
- "Barbarian" Palace Software
- "Summer Events" Anco
- "The Fifth Quadrant" Bubblebus
- "Thing Bounces Back" Gremlin
- "Arkanoid" Imagine - C64/Spectrum 10/10 Game of the Month "Trouble is Arkanoid is just awesomely addictive and extremely playable. You're hooked from the moment you load up the game."
- "Enduro Racer" Activision - Spectrum 9/10 Game of the Month "Enduro Racer is the best Activision game for ages. Get it."
- "Auf Wiedersehen Monty" Gremlin Graphics - C64/Spectrum 10/10 "However, if you want a hugely challenging, addictive and entertaining platform game, then Auf Wiedersehen Monty is the one for you."
- "Olli and Lissa" Firebird - C64 9/10 "Addictive, humorous and value for money are just some of the qualities of this game. A real cheap thrill!"
- "Shadow Skimmer" The Edge - Spectrum 9/10 "Seldom has the Spectrum looked so bright and colourful. There's been a revolution in Sinclair graphics, and at last ways are being found to cheat the notorious colour clash. This is one of the finest examples yet."
- "Ranarama" Steve Turner/Hewson - Spectrum 9/10 C&VG Hit "To some extent Ranarama is a return to Turner's Dragontorc style of a couple of years back but with a higher degree of shoot 'em up to cater for current tastes."
- "Warlock" The Edge - Amstrad 8/10 C&VG Hit "With reasonable sound and music, good graphic design, easy keyboard or joystick control, Warlock is yet another in a string of professionally put together titles from The Edge who seam to go from strength to strength."
- "Magic Madness" Anco - C64 9/10 C&VG Hit "This is the best Anco release for ages. It's a fun, very playable and extremely addictive scrolling arcade adventure with enough features to keep you glued to the screen for hours."
- "The Sydney Affair" Infogrammes - Spectrum 9/10 C&VG Hit "The only thing I don't like about The Sydney Affair is the title. It sounds like an Australian love-match. Apart from that, it's a highly entertaining game."
- "Castle Eerie/Shipwreck" Tartan Software - Spectrum 8/10 & 10/10 C&VG Hit (this was a very odd review that simply described the two games and offered absolutely no opinions on them)
- "Hollywood Hi-Jinx" Infocom - C64/Spectrum 10/10 C&VG Hit "This is one of Infocom's best, written by new author 'Hollywood' Dave Anderson, who in 1983 joined Infocom as a tester, and after progressing to manager of testing, became a game writer in 1985."
- "The Serf's Tale" Players - Spectrum 8/10 C&VG Hit "There is no indication for unsuspecting customers, that this is really Colossal [Cave]. But for such a smart program, £1.99 must be the best value Colossal ever!"