This month in... Zzap!64 '87
Thanks to a tweet from Julian Rignall I finally noticed that the ships getting blown up by Zzap!64 on the cover represented Commodore User & C&VG. Cheeky.
The reason for such a cover? Sales had climbed to 67,728 per month and showed no signs of letting up. The mag would be undergoing a few changes - they looked to be broadening the scope of what they were covering, including “unusual, but relevant” features. This issue also saw the inclusion of a cover tape which resulted in the price rising from a quid to £1.50.
A round up of current compilation offerings. The pick of the bunch was Beau Jolly’s “Five Star Games”, followed closely by Jeff Minter’s “Yak’s Progress”. Perhaps a little unsurprisingly the next two were Gremlin’s “Zzap! Sizzlers I” and “Zzap! Sizzlers II”.
This month’s instalment of Andrew Braybrook’s "Morpheus" diary saw him tackling rotating starfield numerical drift, but progress was interrupted when he had to prepare for a US trip to hand over "Uridium" source code & assets to a developer who would be working on ports to the Amiga, ST, Apple and PC. He was a bit disappointed in not getting to do the Amiga version himself. I’m curious as to who that dev was - I’m pretty sure nothing came of it. Perhaps most significantly, the (in)famous photo of Andrew in a dog costume was front and centre.
The centrefold was an Oli Frey poster.
- "Stifflip and Co" Binary Vision/Palace Software
- "Ranarama" Graftgold/Hewson - 87% “Ranarama is graphically and sonically weak, but it’s beautifully designed, rewarding and incredibly playable.”
- "Into the Eagles Nest" Pandora - 90% Sizzler “A tried and tested theme, commendably developed into a glorious game.“
- "Shockway Rider" Faster Than Light - 86% “An original and deceptively playable game - and a worthy Light Force follow-up to boot.“
- "Hollywood Hijinx" Infocom/Activision - 90% Sizzler “Apart from the usual high standard of programming, parsing, and general gamesmanship, the real merits of Hollywood Hijinx lie first in the simplicity of its storyline and secondly in the way in which the atmosphere so vividly conjurs up all the trivia of Tinsel Town.“
- "POD" Mastertronic - 84% “A wonderful little shoot ‘em up - highly polished and very playable.“
- "Nemesis" Konami - 80% “A good, fast arcade blast. Check it out if you’re keen on the arcade version.“
- "Sailing" Activision - 80% “An atmospheric and surprisingly playable boat racing game.“