This month in... Zzap!64
Gary Penn bid farewell as he strode off "on a secret mission". Ciaran Brennan was to take the reins, with Julian Rignall as his assistant. Phillipa Irving's war game section took a break as she was busy with exams. There was also a small change to the review format, with the "Value" rating being dropped.
Arnie's latest film "Predator" had grossed $12 million at the box office in its first 3 days and Activision had signed the license.
Richard Branson's Atlantic balloon race had been all over the news, and Virgin were releasing a game to mark the occasion.
There hadn't been a whole lot of goodies for C128 owners, but CRL were to release a special 128 version of their upcoming"Stratton" which would feature more locations and an animated intro.
Zzap's sister mag Crash featured a 16 page pull out "Oink!" special.
The Commodore Show took place last month at the Novotel in London, and it was a little disappointing for C64 fans. The only C64s on display were by dealers selling them off cheap. The star of the show was of course the Amiga, though software was still lacking.
Graeme Kidd was busy beavering away on a new publication from Newsfield: The Games Machine. Everything from 8bit to 16bit to consoles, arcades and more would be covered.
"Quedex" would see programmer Stavros Fasoulas taking a break from shoot 'em ups, with more of a puzzler - though quick reactions would still be required.
The next release from Software Projects was to be "Star Paws". I remember back in the day I got it into my head that Matthew Smith was involved with this, but I have no idea what gave me that idea.
Spanish developers Dynamic were following up their rather flawed "Army Moves" with a "Game Over". Zzap! wryly stated that it was looking even more frustrating, which was a fair comment given it was only really notable for the scandalous cover/ad art (and a pretty good Galway tune).
James Clavell's novel "Tai-Pan" was being turned into a game by Ocean.
John Cumming was working on Hewson's latest shooter: "Zynaps".
This month's "Morpheus" dev diary saw Andrew wrestling with drones, remotes, and intermittent bugs. He was also rather peeved that an unnamed person on Compunet had used "Uridium" sprites in the C64 conversion of a (also unnamed) Spectrum game.
Episode 8 of Mel Croucher's "Tamara Knight".
Zzap paid a visit to Pinewood Studios to have a chat with John Richardson, the special effects wiz behind the upcoming Bond movie, "The Living Daylights".
The results of the Zzap! questionnaire were in... 99.5% of responders were male, the average age of whom was 16 (30 for females), 73% went to school, 69% spent £2-5 a week on games, and only 15% were planning to buy a new computer in the run up to Christmas.
- "Head Over Heels" Ocean - 98% Gold Medal "From the very first go this had me hooked... and a fortnight later I'm still itching to get back to it. Head Over Heels is quite simply the finest 64 program so far this year." (this was the first Gold Medal of the year!)
- "Thing Bounces Back" Gremlin Graphics - 86% "An unusual and challenging arcade adventure which is a worth sequel to Thing on a Spring."
- "Oink!" CRL - 84% "Possibly disappointing for fans of the comic, but still a piggin' good game."
- "Treasure Island" Mastertronic - 84% "It's very heartening to see a budget game using an original programming idea for an adventure rather another GAC or Quill release - well done to the programmers Phase Two Software, whoever they may be."
- "Lurking Horror" Infocom/Activision - 90% Sizzler "All of this is carried out in Infocom's usual meticulous style - and there's no doubt that Dave Lebling has a wonderful talent for bringing both locations and those that inhabit them to life."
- "Revs Plus" Geoff Crammond/Firebird - 83% "An excellent racing simulation which provides a realistic challenge."
- "Slap Fight" Imagine - 80% "A superb arcade conversion and a great shoot 'em up in its own right."
- "Defender of the Crown" Cinemaware/Mirrorsoft - 94% Sizzler "An experience which should not be missed by any disk drive owner." (98% for graphics!)
- "Twin Tornado" Doctor Soft Simulations - 85% "An innovative piece of software which is the only true one-on-one combat game presently available for the 64."
- "The Last Ninja" System 3 - 94% Sizzler "Enough depth and action to satisfy both adventurers and martial artists."