Roger Kean, who was the original editor of Crash, returned to resume his role after moving to Zzap64 a couple of years earlier (which had earned him the title of "traitor" from loyal Spectrum fans). Graeme Kidd was now to be editor of the ill fated LM magazine.
Spring had arrived and there were a slew of announcements by software houses of upcoming games. Some of the notable ones included:
The Power House (a sublabel of CRL) announced that every game they released would contain either a free game or audio track. The inhouse music ensemble would be headed by Wayne Allen of House Electronic Xperience. The first title to have a track included was to be "Tomb of Syrinx".
Domark moved in to their new offices in Wimbledon.
Martech admitted there was a balls up during duplication of "Uchi Mata" (which scored a rather dismal 36% in this issue) and a number of copies that were sent to distributors were actually pre-release previews rather than the full game.
Changes were afoot at Thalamus (the Newsfield owned software house): Andy Wright and Gary Liddon had left the company for "pastures new." Paul Cooper was now running the show.
Rumours were circulating about a +3 Spectrum which would feature a disk drive instead of a cassette player. In the article about the Z88, a "STOP PRESS" footnote was added which said Amstrad had indeed announced the +3.
A complete lack of gaming leads resulted in a desperate Minson attending the launches of WordStar 4 (yes, the word processor), a word processor from Borland and a spreadsheet from Neric. The WordStar launch was notable for the fact that, when it came time to demo the program on stage, it completely refused to work.
Sir Clive Sinclair was busy working on a new portable computer, the Z88. The machine featured a small LCD, was about the size of an A4 pad, weighed less than two pounds and would run for up to 20 hours on four Walkman batteries (though Sinclair had a tendency to overstate battery life). It would come packaged with word processor, spreadsheet, database and diary software, as well as BBC BASIC. Was it any good? Well, the terms of the sale of Sinclair to Amstrad meant that Sir Clive had to offer any new computing related inventions to them first... they promptly declined the Z88, so Sir Clive was free to go it alone.
Crash spent a day in the arcades. "Wec Le Mans 24", "Out Run", "Night Stocker", "Soldier of Light", "Side Arms", "Gryzor", "The Castle in Darkmist", "720 degrees", "Rock 'N Rage", "Bubble Bobble", "Lock-On", "Darius", "Victory Road", "Firetrap", "Danger Zone" and "Video Football" were covered.
Minson interviewed Steve Taylor, a programmer at Beam Software. Mastertronic had bought the UK arm (Melbourne House), but Beam was to remain independent and continue developing games. While Steve was in the middle of a long world trip having just wrapped up "Fist II", he did reveal that his next game was to be based on the University Unix machine favourite: Rogue.
- "Head over Heels" Jon Ritman & Bernie Drummond/Ocean - 97% Crash Smash "Wow! this is the ultimate game! Head over Heels has some fantastic graphics; it proves to all disbielevers that there is still something left in the forced perspective 3D world; the characters are superbly designed, and the animation has to be seen to be believed!"
- "The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole" Level 9 - 88% "I consider the Adrian Mole games to be very entertaining, as they draw on some great material from the Sue Townsend books."
- "The Kingdom of Krell" Steve Screech/Anco - 86% "Although I had reservations during the early stages of play (including the annoyance at only one arrow key to return to the main menu rather than the two together outlined in the instructions), I must say that after a while the effort that has gone into producing this game does begin to make itself apparent."
- "Red Lion" Mystic Software - 86% "Red Lion is a well-researched piece of software, and shows many features of which I most heartily approve."
- "Vulcan" CCS - 94% Crash Smash "The state of the art in Spectrum wargaming."
- "I, Ball" Firebird - 90% Crash Smash "A great little game with plenty of lasting appeal."
- "Gauntlet" US Gold
- "Cobra" Ocean
- "Paperboy" Elite
- "Heavy on the Magick" Gargoyle Games
- "The Boggit" Delta4/CRL
- "Spellbound" David Jones/MAD