This month in... The One '93
Comic artist Dave Gibbons (of "Watchmen" fame) had been collaborating with Charles Cecil and Revolution Software on the cyberpunk point-and-click adventure "Beneath a Steel Sky". It transpired that his involvement came about after he contacted The One to complain they'd forgotten to credit him for "Watchmen". The mag decided to lend him an Amiga and a copy of "Deluxe Paint" for a followup article, which sparked his interest in computer art and lead to an introduction to Cecil. The game was due out during the Summer.
Flight sim specialist Simis was developing a "Flight Sim Tool Kit" for Domark which would allow players to create their own scenarios (doesn't appear to have been released).
Amiga 1200 owners might have something to look forward to in the form of "James Pond 3" and "Alien Breed 2". Both games were supposedly leading with the 1200 rather than the usual crummy barely enhanced AGA versions.
The previous month's Amiga price hikes looked to be delayed for a few more weeks.
Sky TV were getting into gaming TV shows with "Games World", set to air an ambitious five days a week.
Coin-op manufacturer Bell-Fruit were planning to bring Gremlin's "Zool" to the arcades.
Commodore teamed up with Ocean on another Amiga pack, this time with £10 of each sale going towards the Comic Relief charity. The bundled game was to be "Sleepwalker".
Things were looking up for the Amiga following a gangbusters Christmas period. Sega's Megadrive was the only machine to do better, which The One put down to it being a "popular choice with the kids". US Gold took out the top game slot with "Street Fighter II", trailed by - in order - Ocean, Microprose, Gremlin Graphics and Virgin.
After six months the "Sensible Soccer" Netbusters competition was drawing to a close, with the last finalist spot going to Sheffield's Alasdair Brownsword.
Board game maker Waddingtons had spun out a new company, Super Vision, to create computer/console versions of the likes of "Monopoly".
The One apologised for getting the price of "Dalek Attack" wrong - it should've been £25.99 instead of £15.99.
More prehistoric platform action was on the way from Mirage in the form of "The Humans: The Jurassic Levels".
There was a somewhat unorthodox competition launched by The One, the prize being... a job as a Staff Writer.
Virgin announced plans to open a further six megastores around the UK.
ELPSA stepped up their campaign against pirates, with two raids taking place in Essex and Kincross. Around a thousand floppies valued at £25,000 were seized.
The 1993 Daily Mail's Ideal Home Plus exhibition would feature a section dedicated to games and, later in the year, the people behind the Consumer Electronic Show in the US were staging a UK spinoff, Live '93, at Olympia in London.
Retailer John Menzies had dropped Spectrum and Amstrad software before Christmas and were about to do the same for the C64 and ST. WH Smith looked likely to follow suit.
Included on this month's two coverdisks were demos of :
- "Flashback" US Gold (this time an actual playable demo)
- "Woody's World" Vision Software
- "Superfrog" Team 17
- "Turbo Terminator" Psygnosis
- "Oblivion" Shareware
The Blitter now had their own regular column to dish the game industry gossip. The Ocean xmas parties were rather notorious, and this year the awards doled out to staff for dubious achievements included:
- "Person who has delivered the best chat-up line in 1992" : Gary Bracey (Software Director)
- "Biggesr Whinger award" : Ken Lockley (PR Manager)
- "Fat Waster award" : Ian Richardson (Sales Manager)
- "The Boss least likely to know all his staff are in the pub" : Jon Woods and David Ward
Ian Richardson got a further mention for taking a couple of unnamed sales execs out on the piss, only for them to accidentally flood their hotel corridor due to some fire hose hijinx. Most of the column was dedicated to slagging off Amiga Power for reviewing incomplete games, and ended abruptly mid-sentence with something about Stephen Fry providing starter tips for "Sleepwalker".
The One paid a visit to Dino Dini to discuss "Goal!". There was an attempt to pry some details out of him about the split from Anco, but Dino - understandably - did not bite.
There were work in progress features on:
- "Captive 2" Tony Crowther/Mindscape
- "Woody's World" Vision Software
- "Hardcore", "Bene. Factor" and "Malfunction" all from Digital Illusions. Only the 2nd one appears to have been released.
- "Ishar 2" Silmarils
- "Blastar" Core Design
The A1200 offered considerable more grunt than the A500/A600 and the One rounded up a selection of games expected to take advantage of it:
- "Wing Commander" Origin/Mindscape
- "Street Fighter 2" US Gold
- "Magic Pockets" Bitmap Brothers/Renegade
- "Nick Faldo's Championship Golf" Grandslam
- "Formula One Grand Prix" Geoff Crammond/Microprose
- "Monkey Island 2" Lucasfilm/US Gold
- "AV8B Harrier Assault" Domark
- "Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis" US Gold
- "Legends of Valour" US Gold
In this month's PD Zone:
- "Graham Benham's Quiz Challenge" 51%
- "LCD Dreams" 82%
- "Transplant" 86%
- "Quiz Master" 49%
- "F.U.R.M.Y.R.E." 63%
- "Escapade" 48%
Andrew Braybrook's "Uridium 2" dev diary had reached its penultimate instalment. It started off with him noodling around on his shiny new A1200, trying to get an idea of how much faster it really was. Initial findings suggested 3x, but the 68020's instruction cache may have inflated the numbers. Gameplay wise, he went back to the drawing board with the subgame, pondering something related to billiards. Then, towards the end of the month, Graeme (from Renegade?) stopped by with a A4000 - I'm not sure whether the machine had even been announced by this point. On the plus side, it was a beast - the downside, however, was that their sound routines weren't running correctly. They spent days trying to get to the bottom of it, including infuriating hours wasted trying to call Commodore Technical Support...
- "Body Blows" Team 17 - 92% "Before we go any further, I wish to go on record as saying that I don't like Street Fighter II on the Amiga at all. I disagreed with the 89% we awarded it (something mid-70s was more to my taste) and am generally of the opinion that the game has sold more than it really deserved to on its own merits. Which is why it warms the very cockles of my heart to see something come along that really DOES deserve all the hype it's had and will inevitably show SFII up to be the mediocre beat-'em up that it is."
- "Lionheart" Thalion - 91% "The variety of the game is amazing - one minute you can be swinging from vines, hacking at monsters, the next leaping up a giant tower as a bursting river creeps higher and higher, constantly threatening you with instant death."
- "Universal Monsters" Play Byte - 84% "Universal Monsters can't hold a candle to the likes of Head Over Heels, but that said it's a darn sight better than most isometric-3D adventures available for the Amiga." (unreleased?)
- "Flashback" Delphine Software/US Gold - 93% "Even though it's only March and there's over two-thirds of the year left, I can honestly say Flashback is the game of the year."
- "Walker" DMA Design/Psygnosis - 81% "Walker is really nothing more than a twist on those old 'shooting gallery' coin-ops like Operation Wolf and Line of Fire and as such shares their fundamental weakness, i.e. for all its short-term appeal endlessly zapping things does get boring."
- "Lemmings 2" DMA Design/Psygnosis - 91% "Lemmings 2 isn't quite the milestone that the first game was (few sequels are) but it manages to recapture the first game's charm and humour while adding features that alter the gameplay enough to make it fresh without ruining it."