This month in... Zzap!64
The Commodore Show in London was the biggest dedicated C64 event of the year. Zzap!'s own booth proved very popular - especially when games programmers dropped by to show off their latest wares (often yet to be signed to a publisher). So why weren't the crowds impressed with the show? It seemed software houses were very thin on the ground...
Tony Takoushi was at the show touting a new gizmo called "Speedos" which was a mod for 1541 floppy drives enabling much faster load times.. all for a mere 7 quid.
The Shadow had a dig at adventure reviewer Keith Campbell over a review of Rainbird's "The Pawn" for the Amiga in which he scored the graphics 5 out of 5. Apparently Campbell had only see the ST version.
Andrew Braybrook stopped by Zzap!'s stand to show off his in-development "Alleykat".
English Software was having a shot at the multi-event sports genre - with a Medieval twist - with "Knight Games".
There was a review of Euromax's "Mouse and Cheese" - a hardware/software package offering a mouse and a painting program. Both were declared "excellent".
Coverage of the 7th Official Commodore Show, with the byline "The show to which everyone went - except the games software houses". The companies who actually made it included Llamasoft, Level 9, Bubble Bus, Martech, Mirrorsoft and CDS.
Jeff Minter's developer diary of "Iridis Alpha" saw him off skiing in France (he had his C128 with him so he could work when not on the slope), designing more sound effects and performing a live Colourspace session at the Clocktower.
An indepth look at the games CRL had in the pipeline. One of the recent initiatives the software house undertook was the creation of "The Zen Room" which was "...a sort of creative and programming think tank. The programmers have their own working area, but they all contribute to each others' projects."
- "Leader Board" Access/US Gold - 97% Gold Medal "Quite honestly, Leader Board makes all other golf simulations look clumsy and antiquated in comparison. It is without doubt the sports simulation of the year, if not the decade!"
- "Boulderdash III" First Star - 93% Sizzler "If you want your hair to go grey and drop out (if you don't tear it out beforehand) then go out and buy this incredibly addictive program."
- "Solo Flight Plus" Microprose - 85% "An easy to use and highly enjoyable simulator, and one of the best at this price." (£14.95)
- "Acro Jet" Microprose - 83% "An exciting flight simulator which has plenty to offer."
- "Southern Belle" Hewson - 88% "A superb simulation of a dull subject."
- "The Very Big Cave Adventure" St Brides/CRL - 73% "As it is, I found the game very enjoyable to play. There are one or two moments where I felt that the Quill-pauses were overdone and one had to wait rather longer than is desirable to proceed on-screen. Apart from this, however, I feel that this game represents Quill at it's best."
- "The Price of Magik" Level 9 - 85% "The new adventure system is quite simply excellent, the vocabulary is enormous, the features (such as OOPS) comprehensive, and the program as a whole a firm base on which to build future, more startlingly original, character-based games."
- "Seabase Delta" Firebird - 85% "The graphics are really excellent for a game in this price range, the puzzles are many, and for the most part very logical."
- "HES Games" Americana - 95% Sizzler "A wonderful sporting game which is challenging, addictive and graphically excellent and now ever so cheap. Need we say more?" (£2.99 cassette, £5.95 disk)
- "Raging Beast" Firebird - 89% "Though an incredibly stupid game in every way there's some strange quality about Raging Beast that makes it absolutely excellent to play."
- "Return of the Space Warrior" Alpha Omega - 80% "Although the game has a really tacky sounding title it's in fact a very good version of the Williams arcade classic Joust."
- "Sentinel" Americana - 93% Sizzler "A superb Star Raiders type game and THE best on the Commodore."
- "Slamball" Americana - 96% Sizzler "A simply addictive and highly playable pinball."