This month in... Zzap!64 '87
In his editorial, Gary Penn lamented the fact that for the first time there had not been a single Sizzler or Gold Medal awarded in an issue. Well, that’s not entirely true as "The Bard’s Tale" picked up a very respectable Sizzler, though apparently it didn’t count as it was “a role playing game”. It seemed that software houses were spending as much time as possible before Christmas to polish up their hopeful hits. On the bright side, there was a lot to look forward to next month…
Not one but two new games from Andrew Braybrook?! Well, not quite, but there was still good cause to be excited. Braybrook had produced enhanced versions of "Uridium" and "Paradroid" which Hewson bundled together. Not bad at £8.95.
"Escape from Singe’s Castle" from Software Projects would feature “eight more representations” of scenes from the “Dragon’s Lair” arcade machine.
Steve Crow’s "Firelord" was to get a C64 port, published by Hewson.
Audiogenic was developing an enhanced version of "Graham Gooch’s Cricket" for the C128. It would feature all seven test countries, an all time XI, a world XI and digitised speech. Also on the way from Audiogenic was "Psycastria" which looked like a Uridium style shooter but would heavily feature Tracey Diane Nicholson, the girlfriend of Gary Partis, because… ¯\(ツ)/¯
Strategy specialist PSS announced two new games: "The Annals of Rome" and "Battlefield Germany”. Interestingly the former was developed by adventure game specialists Level 9. The latter was never released.
The second title to be released by Thalamus would be another Stavros Fasoulas shoot’em up: "Delta”.
The main selling point of "Tarzan" by Martech seemed to be “digitised jungle screams” (and a Rob Hubbard soundtrack).
"Molecule Man" was an isometric arcade adventure from Mastertronic and would come with a level editor on the flip side of the cassette.
Domark was continuing their “Trivial Pursuit” series with "Young Players”.
Durell’s "Sigma Seven"was a three stage arcade game. The first stage was “Zaxxon” style, the second a sort of 3D PacMan, and the third a puzzler.
There was a section of profiles on all the Zzap! lads. Julian Rignall’s was a little surprising as it turned out his burning ambition was to “become head of the Labour Party.”
Zzap! caught up with Denton Designs. After a string of critically acclaimed games (and the occasional stinker), rumours had started to do the rounds earlier in the year that the company was closing up. As it turned out, three of the four co-founders had split, but Ally Noble remained to steady the ship and the Liverpudlian developer was still going strong. John Gibson had become an independent contractor for Ocean, Steve Cain co-founded Canvas, with Graham Everitt and Karen Davies frequently contracting for them.
Eleven of the C64’s finest coders were asked what they would want to have on them if they were ever stranded on a desert island. Jeff Minter’s luxury item, perhaps unsurprisingly, was: “A Llama, definitely a Llama. Darling The Female Llama, so I could just say ‘come ‘ere darling’ and I’d get a lot of pleasure out of it.”……
There was a multi-page round up of all the 64 gaming highlights of 1986.
The first instalment of Mel Croucher’s monthly “Tamara Knight” story.
The inter-magazine Reviewers Challenge saw teams from Zzap!, Crash and Amtix battle it out in a series of games. Crash’s Ben Stone came first with 15 points, narrowly followed by Julian Rignall on 14 points. Amtix’s Massimo Valducci and Richard Eddy brought up the rear, both scoring a measly 6.
A collection of photos from the “Zzap!64 Scrapbook”. Working there really must’ve been a pretty special time.
- "Super Huey II" Paul Norman/US Gold - 89% “One of the best flight simulations available on the 64 today. An essential buy for any budding pilot.“
- "Flash Gordon" MAD - 89% “To be honest I had my doubts whether Mastertronic could do it justice. But they have, and the final product is superb. Three games of quality, with a superb soundtrack which makes one excellent buy.“
- "The Bard’s Tale" Interplay/Ariolasoft - 94% Sizzler “The Bard’s Tale is addictive and usually actually fast to play once you get used to the keyboard controls. There are a few of these but never so many as to become unwieldly and that’s good implementation. I suspect the game will be more successful than many of its predecessors.“
- "The Colour of Magic" Delta4/Piranha - 74% “In fact, the game lives up to the reputation of Terry Pratchett’s novel very well. Those who aren’t familiar with the novel will probably find themselves rushing out to buy it after playing the game. Funny as it is, you will want more.“
- "Bugsy" St Brides/CRL - 56% “The game itself is always on the verge of becoming really good but never quite makes it. And for the first time in quite a while, I think the faults can largely be blamed on The Quill itself.“
- "Warrior II" NEXUS - 88% “At long last the Psi Warrior returns in another weird arcade adventure. This game is very similar to its predecessor, but there are more puzzles to solve and lots more to discover and learn.“
- "Nuclear Embargo" Micropool - 85% “This is a really original program which has plenty in it too keep any player happy for some time.“