This month in... Zzap!64 '87
Software Projects announced that they were reducing their prices to £5.95 in the run up to Christmas. Others were expected to follow suit, though that did seem somewhat unlikely as that’s a steep drop down from £9.95. Gary Penn pondered how lower prices might affect the quality of games - lower budgets for development? less licensed tie-ins? (The latter was considered a good thing)
Ciaran Brennan was promoted to Assistant Editor, and Gary Liddon was due to make his return next month.
Mastertronic had spun off a subsidiary called Arcadia which would focus on arcade coin-ops. They had licensed boards based on the Amiga hardware from Commodore, with extra RAM (1.5mb) and games supplied on ROMS which could hold up to 6.5mb of data. The first two games were to be "Road Wars" and an enhanced version of "Boulderdash".
"Enterprise" from Melbourne House was space trading game sporting vector graphics and the ability to interact with alien computer systems via text (unreleased on C64?).
A sequel to "Druid"was on its way.
Simon Nicol's "Mega Apocalypse" had been two years in the making and was finally done. The game looked to be rather technically impressive, sporting up to 144 non-flickering sprites on screen, 100 spinning stars and 5 channel sound (with 2 of those channels being used for speech).
"The Tube" from Quicksilva would feature three kinds of shoot'em up action over three different play areas.
The re-release of Actvision games on the Firebird Silver label got pushed back a month or so. Meanwhile, the next title on the Gold label would be "Flying Shark".
Rumours were circulating that Activision had snapped up the home computer rights to "Bionic Commando", "Side Arms", "Gunsmoke" and "Legendary Wings". Elsewhere it looked like US Gold may have acquired the "Out Run" and "Super Hang-On" licenses.
Gremlin had the sequel "Re-Bounder" and a new 3D "exploring and blasting game" in the works.
The next game in CRL's controversial horror adventure series was to be "Frankenstein" and would feature more gruesome digitised graphics. On a lighter note, they were also going to release "Ninja Hamster" and "Traxxion".
There was a small over exposed screenshot of Ocean's "oriental mega-game" "Tai-Pan".
This month's instalment of Andrew Braybrook's "Morpheus" developer diary saw him tackling the pause menu (which was complicated by his new sprite multiplexor), ship upgrades and tuning the ship controls and weapons. He found himself fighting the assembler on the Opus PC a number of times, and exclaimed "Remind me to write the next game in COBOL - it's wonderful!". Things must've been bad. Garys Penn and Liddon swung by, apparently while on vacation, but didn't get to see the game. The diary ended with Andrew spelling out the arguments of why the Amiga was superior to the ST, and of course he was right.
Zzap! cast their critical gaze towards the newly released Nintendo Entertainment System. Was it any good? Julian Rignall was certainly impressed: "Super Mario Brothers is a fine example - arcade perfect (flawless actually), and I can truthfully say that it's the finest computer games [sic] I've ever played."
- "Road Runner" US Gold
- "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" US Gold
- "Accolade Comics" Accolade/US Gold
- "Street Sports Baseball" Epyx/US Gold
- "Last Mission" US Gold
- "Rygar" US Gold
- "Solomon's Key" US Gold
- "Wizball" Sensible Software/Ocean - Sizzler 96% “Wizball is undoubtedly the finest release so far this year. The scenario and game design are so original that it’s almost off-putting at first, but it only takes a short time to aster controlling the Wizball and cat and the to work out exactly what’s going on.“
- "World Class Leaderboard" Access/US Gold - 94% Sizzler “Quite simply the apex in golfing simulations. Tough, demanding, challenging and requiring far more skill and strategy than previous versions.“
- "I, Ball" Firebird - 80% "An unusual and competent blend of shoot 'em up and racing action."
- "Super Sunday" Nexus - 92% "A superlative product - the best football simulation on the market."
- "GFL Championship Football" Activision - 82% "Plenty of padding surrounds a fine strategic game. Try it out if you think you can stand the play limitations."
- "Superbowl" Ocean - 80% "A brilliant two player game, but only a novice would find the computer opponent challenging."
- "Bureaucracy" Infocom/Activision - 90% "Bureaucracy is a very enjoyable game. [Douglas] Adams and Infocom obviously share a certain vein of highly infectious humour - I guess they must eat yogurt together. As it is, if you save up your pennies and blow them on this little number I doubt very much if you'll be disappointed."
- "Battle Cruiser" SSI - 89% "'Battle Cruiser' is an impressive concept, if nothing special as a piece of software; whether or not you will enjoy it depends very much on what you're looking for."
- "Barbarian" Palace Software - 87% "Yeah! All the thrills and spills of a nightmarish abattoir - blood spurts, decapitated heads flying around, guts and gore and hunchback cripples [yikes] dragging away corpses - this is what I call a real hack 'em up!"
- "IQ" Nu-Wave - 84% "An innovative and highly appealing logic game."
- "Killed Until Dead" Accolade/US Gold - Disk 88% Cassette 86% "A superbly executed binary who'lldoit, let down slightly by a lack of variety and depth."
- "The Great Escape" Ocean - 89% "One of the best arcade adventures available - an essential purchase for fans of the genre."