This month in... Zzap!64 '86
A rather triumphant Zzap! boasted about the latest ABC figures which showed it was the "leading magazine in the field". Sister publication Crash did even better, not only beating rival Sinclair User but also C&VG, which meant it was the best selling computer title of any kind in the UK.
In the same editorial, Roger Kean lamented the recent trend of game releases being pushed back. The common excuse for delays seemed to be "programming complexity".
Zzap's April Fools last month was apparently convincing enough to attract the attention of Beyond, Nexus, Mirrorsoft, Firebird and Bug Byte. It turned out that none other than Bob Stevenson was in cahoots with Zzap and drew the fake screenshots.
Jon Ritman was working on a new "Batman" game, though the Shadow was disappointed it was more "Adam West" than "Neil Adams" (this never appeared for the C64).
Micro Classic was promising a lot with its "Intruder", including realistic 3D with "FULL perspective throughout". I'm unable to find any evidence of this existing.
Beyond's "Bounces" was still no where to be seen. Developer Denton Designs had split up and two key people at Beyond had left to form Nexus.
Speaking of Nexus, the game "Nexus" which was being developed by a programming team called Nexus would now be published by... Nexus (previously it was Beyond).
A secret message coded by Jeff Minter in "Batalyx" was revealed.
Mastertronic were to release seven new games on the 64. They also announced the launch of two new labels, Entertainment USA (specialising in games licensed from the US) and MAD Chrome. The first Entertainment USA game would be "Bump, Set, Spike".
The next Konami arcade conversion by Imagine would be "Ping Pong".
A new developer diary started this month, with the reader joining Jeff Minter on the development of his next game, "Iridis Alpha".
Part one of a series of interviews with Infocom folk. First up were Dave Lebling (author/co-founder) and Steve Meretzky (author).
This month's Zzap Challenge featured special guest contestant, Jeff Minter. Julian Rignall took the top spot with Jeff coming second.
A somewhat unusual article whereby Zzap! reviewer Sean Masterson talked to Sam Poole and Kathi Tremblay of Datasoft about their dissatisfaction of the rather harsh review Sean dished out of Datasoft's "Alternate Reality".
A big piece on Palace Software as their rather excellent "The Sacred Armour of Antiriad" was revealed.
This month's Zzapback! featured:
- "Dambusters" US Gold/Sydney Developments
- "Dropzone" US Gold/Arena Graphics
- "Entombed" Ultimate
- "Kik Start" Mastertronic
- "Strangeloop" Virgin
- "Gribbly’s Day Out" Hewson
Julian Rignall went to Manchester to visit Ocean/Imagine and talk to the people behind one of the UK's largest software houses.
- "Time Trax" Argus Press/Mindgames
- "Fairlight" The Edge
- "International Karate" System 3
- "Spindizzy" Electric Dreams
- "Thrust" Firebird - 94% Sizzler "Most enjoyable game we've played for ages and at the price you'd be silly to miss it." (it also featured a cracking Rob Hubbard tune)
- "Ark Pandora" Rino Marketing - 80% "Not an exceptional release though it could cause pleasure to fans of this genre."
- "PSI Trading Company" Accolade - 88% "A great variation on the trading game theme."
- "Alter Ego" Activision - 98% Gold Medal "INCREDIBLE !!! The harmless looking packaging of Alter Ego contains one of the most incredible programs I've ever seen - and played!"
- "Doctor Who and the Mines of Terror" Micropower - 86% "Although Doctor Who doesn't look and sound too impressive, it is one of the best arcade adventures to appear on the 64."
- "Super Bowl" Ocean - 90% Sizzler "It's cheaper than travelling to the Superbowl... and just as much fun as the real thing."
- "Ultima IV" Origin - 90% Sizzler "Ultima IV is a great challenge and will take many months to complete. For this reason I would recommend the game to avid adventurers, even at the imported price of £49."
- "Silent Service" Microprose - 88% "May have limited appeal but otherwise excellent in every respect."