This month in... Zzap!64 '87
A couple of new arrivals at Zzap! this month, with Steve Jarratt swapping industrial chemistry for games journalism and Philipa Irving who, er, swapped Crash for its Newsfield sibling.
Ariolasoft’s Starlight label had three games on the way. "Dogfight 2187" promised 3D wireframe shoot ‘em up action with a vertically split screen giving two views of the action. The other two games were "Deathscape" and "Greyfell”. Meanwhile Tony Crowther had teamed up with Keith Blake and Ross Goodley to develop ”Challenge of the Gobots” based on the popular kids cartoon, which would be published by Ariolasoft.
There was to be more martial arts action from Gremlin in the form of "The Samurai Trilogy”.
Mastertronic had set their sights on the arcade industry and launched a subsidiary company called Arcadia Systems Inc. From the sound of it they intended to create new titles rather than try to “up port” Mastertronic games, which was probably a wise decision.
There were no less than seven titles being developed by Pirahna: "Trapdoor II”, "Rogue Trooper”, "Judge Death” (unreleased),”Roy of the Rovers” (looks like Gremlin ended up getting the license), "Yogi Bear”, "PI”(working title of a detective adventure from Delta4) and "Battle" (which, yes, was a game about a battle - I have no idea if it was ever released).
Steve Turner’s Gauntlet-esque (but starring a frog) "Ranarama" was making its way to the C64.
Fans of Monty Mole could look forward to a new instalment in the series: "Auf Wiedersehen Monty”.
Part two of Andrew Braybrook’s game dev diary saw him and Steve Turner setting up their new Opus (MSDOS) machines for cross development. He also detailed the software hack he had found which would make the C64 CPU run at 2Mhz (double speed). Oh, and he stumbled across the title for his new game in a dictionary: ("Morpehus”).
- "Gunship" Microprose - 94% (Disc) Sizzler/72% Cassette “Gunship represents the state of the art in flight and combat simulators. It is highly impressive in both documentation and programming.“ The conclusion for the Cassette version was: “A superlative flight/combat simulation ruined by a painful multi-load system.”
- "Zone Ranger" Firebird - 80% “For something that’s nothing more than an old variation on the Asteroids theme, Zone Ranger has stood the test of time.“
- "Firetrack" Electric Dreams - 88% “Fast, frenetic and extremely playable - easily the best vertically scrolling shoot ‘em up to date.”
- "Void Runner" Jeff Minter/Mastertronic - 85% “The most notable thing about Void Runner, is that its intrinsic simplicity is reminiscent of Jeff Minter of old - good solid, fast and furious blasting.”
- "Arkanoid" Imagine - 80% “A well above average conversion of an addictive and challenging arcade game.“
- "Murder Off Miami" Fergus McNeil/CRL - 81% “As a Quillustrated program it also has some really attractive pictures as well and just goes to show (as Fergus McNeil has shown several times already) how much good you can do with that worthy utility.“
- "Aliens" Electric Dreams - 81% “The best film tie-in to date, and a good game to boot.“