This month in... C&VG '88
For the first time, major games were being released on the 16bits before the 8bits. C&VG reassured its readers that almost all the games would make their way to the C64/Spectrum/Amstrad, and that the magazine would continue to cover those machines.
Mirrorsoft had created a new label, Imageworks, which would be their flagship for most of its new games. The first titles to be released were: "Sky Chase", "Fernandez Must Die" and the Atari/Tengen coinop conversion, "Blasteroids". Following those were "Foxx Strikes Back" and "Bomboozal". The latter was a puzzle game designed by a "mega-programming team" that included Jeff Minter, Andrew Braybrook, John [sic] Ritman and David Bishop. I think these esteemed developers were just contributing puzzle designs, rather than working together to create the game as a whole.
The Amstrad conversion of "Action Force" was finally about to be released, after suffering many delays.
"CRISIS" was a new comic book created by some of the folk behind 2000AD.
Mastertronic was releasing a moto-cross racing game called "Motorbike Madness" for the 16bits, with 8bit conversions following.
CRL acquired the game rights to the Kelloggs Tour Bike race, with the game to go on sale in time for the event. The software house announced this by sending a press release to C&VG with a mini-box of Frosties attached.
The summer Olympics were around the corner and Tynesoft were getting in on the action with "Summer Olympiad".
Elite's "Aquablast" boat combat game was to be re-purposed as Domark's latest Bond tie in for "Live and Let Die".
Pepsi had inked a deal with US Gold which would see a compilation (including "World Class Leaderboard" and "Sidearms") released under Pepsi's "Taste of America" slogan. The software house's conversion of Sega's "Thunderblade" was also to be named "Pepsi Challenge Game of the Year" and would feature in a competition at the PC Show this month. Apparently this was just the beginning of the partnership.
Roleplaying book creator Joe Dever's next title would be "Highway Holocaust" which would take place in post-holocaust America.
Elite's "Wanderer" was a 3D vector space game which would come with red/blue glasses for a (hopefully) enhanced 3D effect.
CRL was getting ready to launch their new label, Actual Screenshots (hah!), with the first two titles being "Siege of London" (unreleased?) and "I Ludicrous" for the 16bits.
Comic book store Forbidden Planet celebrated their 10th anniversary by opening a new flagship store on London's New Oxford street, and C&VG were there for the party.
Sidescrolling beat'em up "Savage" by Probe was to be their first title under a new deal with Firebird.
Ocean's big title for Christmas was "Rambo 3".
Citadel Miniatures were releasing a range of lead Star Wars figures.
There was the rather interesting bit of news that Telecomsoft, Mirrorsoft and Psygnosis had signed an agreement to work together on joint ventures for the 16bit machines. There were no details as to what these would be.
Two new trashy movies out on video were "Hell Comes to Frogtown" and "The Barbarians". Both featured old pro-wrestlers (Rowdy Roddy Piper in the former).
"Samurai Warrior" was making its way to the Spectrum and Amstrad following a well received release on the C64.
The software house profiled this month was Telecomsoft.
Hot on the heels of the release of "Starglider II", Julian Rignall visited Argonaut to talk to Jez San.
There was a somewhat odd feature about a new compilation from US Gold ("odd" as in, "why did this get a whole feature?").
The movies reviewed this month were: "Coming to America", "Beetlejuice", "Poltergeist III", "Vice Versa", "Shag", "Bloodsport" and "Hawks".
C&VG checked out IMAX theatres and Super X simulators (cut down hydraulic flight simulators).
I'm not sure if teenager me fared better, but some of the page layout, font size and colour choices in the newly designed C&VG were bafflingly bad. I was unable to read the vast majority of John Minson's rant due to a lot of the text (black) being on a very dark blue background. At any rate, I think it was something to do with games brainwashing kids.. or something.
- "Daley Thompson Olympic Challenge" Ocean - C64 8/10 "All in all, a very good looking game that recreates both the man and his sport well. My only real reservation would be that the manic joystick use could become somewhat painful after a while."
- "Netherworld" Hewson - C64/ST 8/10 "You're in for a treat with Netherworld. It's just what you expect from Hewson, with gorgeous animation on your ship and well-define and animated nasties."
- "Super Hang-On" Electric Dreams - ST 8/10 "Super Hang-On just has the edge over Buggy Boy and makes Outrun look pathetic. The feeling of speed and exhilaration it generates is incredible; combine that with superb playability, colourful backdrops and excellent sprites and you've got the best race game to date. Don't miss it."
- "Fernandez Must Die" Mirrorsoft - C64/ST 8/10 "A great game and well worth spending your money on."
- "Mickey Mouse" Gremlin - ST 8/10 "Gremlin have made a first class job of turning Mickey into good looking [sic] and fun to play computer game."
- "Ultima V" Origin - Amiga/ST/PC 8/10 "Ultima V is a marathon of a game. One of the best computer RPG's I have played."
- "Starglider II" Argonaut/Rainbird - Amiga/ST/PC 9/10 C&VG Hit "Starglider II is an incredible program that pushes computer gaming to new heights. I can quite honestly say that I've never been so enthralled and addicted by any other game - the urge to explore is incredible."
- "Land That Time Forgot" Denton Designs/Ocean - Spectrum 128K 8/10 "Very easy to use and very attractive to look at, WTSS [the game was also known as "Where Time Stood Still"] is yet another notch on Ocean's belt of good reputation. Congrats to Denton Designs on an excellent game."
- "Leisure Suit Larry" Sierra On-Line - Amiga/ST/PC 8/10 "Coupled with catchy music and plenty of sound effects, Leisure Suit Larry is an adventure that really will transport you into a world of fantasy. Wink, wink! Nudge, nudge!"