This month in... C&VG '89
Atari unveiled their impressive handheld, the Lynx. Julian Rignall got to check it out and was gobsmacked: "Erm... hmmm... What can I say about the most exciting thing to happen to the games industry since the invention of the home console?"
Sinclair (aka Amstrad) were to launch a new bundle. The "Action Pack" would consist of a Spectrum +2 (£149) or +3 (£199), a Magnum light gun and 6 games.
US Gold's KIXX label had some classic C64 games lined up for £2.99 cassette, £4.99 disk including: "Summer Games", "World Games", "Pit Stop II", "Cybernoid", "Mission Elevator" and "Gauntlet"/ "Gauntlet II". Amiga & ST owners would be getting "World Class Leaderboard" and... er... the rather bad "Outrun", both at £9.99.
C64, Spectrum and Amstrad owners had more new compilations to look forward to, this time from Hewson. All platforms would be getting "Nebulus", "Firelord", "Ranarama", "Zynaps" and "Netherworld". The C64 pack also included "Alleykat", while both the Spectrum and Amstrad would get "Impossaball". Overall a solid lineup, especially for £12.99.
If you ever thought "I wish I had a digital stopwatch attached to this joystick" while playing games, De Gale Marketing had a joystick for you. The Quikjoy V Superboard featured ten microswitches, variable speed and - yes - a digital stopwatch with alarm. How much would such a thing set up back? £19.95. They also had a series of lower end ones too.
The 20th anniversary of Monty Python was fast approaching (January 1990), and Virgin had enlisted the help of Core Design to deliver a game to coincide with it.
Cheetah hoped to produce their Terminator light gun for Spectrum, C64, ST, Amiga, Sega and Nintendo.
The bizarre mag section "Bug Report", in which readers would write in to, well, report bugs, had it's second outing - this time there was a whole page's worth. It included such gems as "Microprose Soccer", "Kempston selection does not work." There were only two games with more than 1 report: "Renegade" and "War in Middle Earth" which both had 2 reports. Perhaps I'm being a tad harsh here - it's easy to forget how frustrating bugs were when you had no idea if it was just you.
It was time for the Summer Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago and John Cook (my old boss!) was C&VG's man on the ground. Sega were showing off their new Megadrive/Genesis console, while NEC had the US version of the PC Engine, renamed the TurboGrafx-16, and Atari had the Lynx. It was, however, Nintendo who would dominate the show with the NES and Gameboy. There was also a "small firm called Maxis" which caught John's eye with a game "cleverly billed Sim City". I wonder if that did well...
- "Hard Drivin'" Domark
- "Star Trek V" Mindscape (unreleased?)
- "Harley Davidson" Mindscape
- "Fiendish Freddie" Microprose
- "Power Drift" Activision
- "Action Fighter" Firebird
- "Falcon Mission Disks" Mirrorsoft
- "Altered Beast" Activision
- "Trained Assassin" Digital Magic Software
- "Starglider 2" Argonaut/Rainbird
- "Ferrari Formula One" Electronic Arts
- "Rainbow Warrior" Microprose (yes, for realz)
- "Passing Shot" Imageworks
- "Verminator" Rainbird (unreleased?)
- "Castle Warrior" Palace
- "Shinobi" Virgin - C64 87% Spectrum 85% ST 79% Amstrad 75% C&VG Hit "An excellent version of Shinobi, faithful to the arcade game in every way [C64 version]."
- "Licence to Kill" Domark - ST 80% "Plenty of variety, colourful graphics and recognisable Bond ditties make this an addictive and enjoyable game."
- "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: The Action Game" US Gold - Amiga/ST 81% "A thoroughly enjoyable platform romp with everybody's favourite hero."
- "Kult" Infogrames - Amiga/ST 85% C&VG Hit "Another weird and wonderful product of Exxos Imagination. Excellent in every respect."
- "Bloodwych" Mirrorsoft - Amiga 81% C64 79% "Role players who don't care about flash graphics should love Bloodwych but, unlike Dungeon Master, it won't hold equal appeal for more mainstream gamers."
- "Mr Heli" Firebird - C64/Amstrad 86% Spectrum/ST 84% C&VG Hit "Loads of action, colourful graphics, a thumping good tune and oodles of playability. In short, a great blaster. [C64 version]"
- "Citadel" Martin Walker/Electric Dreams - C64 87% C&VG Hit "Very classy thinking shoot 'em up. Give that programmer a cigar."
- "Conflict in Europe" Mirrorsoft - Amiga 83% "An exciting, atmospheric and easy-to-operate war game that will appeal to all computer users."
- "Stunt Car Racer" Geoff Crammond/Microprose - ST 93% C&VG Hit "Stunt Car is utterly brilliant and offers adrenalin-pumping, gut wrenching high speed action that'll keep you engrossed for months."
- "Personal Nightmare" Horrorsoft - Amiga/ST 84% "Personal Nightmare is a great adventure and shouldn't be missed by those who like typing things rather than wibbling their joysticks."
- "Spellcaster" Sega - Master System 84% "Another of Sega's huge arcade adventures, with a bias a bit more on the 'arcade' than the 'adventure' for once."
- "Twin Heli" Taito - PC Engine 89% "An ab-so-lutely marvelous shoot 'em up, well on a par with the likes of Dragon Spirit and R-Type."
- "Pro Football" Sega - Master System 92% "A brilliantly designed and executed American Football simulation with excellent graphics and sound and superb playability."
- "Ghostbusters" Sega - Master System 85% "The action might get a bit samey after a while, but apart from that, Ghostbusters is a very entertaining game."