The transformation/infiltration/coup was complete and the team from ACE magazine had taken over reigns. The One for Amiga was now just "The One" as the ST mag had been rolled into ST Action. Notable changes included the scrapping of the developer profile section (which I personally liked) in favour of "special interviews" because the latter was "simply more interesting", and more detailed, critical reviews (the previous team may have gone a little easy on games). Jim Douglas was the new editor, and Gary Whitta returned as staff writer.
Konami snagged the rights to the "Batman Returns" game, which would be developed by Rage, a new company risen from the ashes of Special FX (which had been formed by ex-Ocean folk).
Commodore were about to launch a new Amiga, the A600. There didn't seem to be a whole lot to get excited about with the main new feature being a "Smart Card" slot. Software publishers could include an "uncopiable card" along with floppies for extra copy protection... but would any publishers actually do this? The A600 turned out to be one of the biggest, most baffling mis-steps of a company that had squandered the amazing lead the Amiga had given it 7 years earlier.
"The Lawnmower Man" looked like it could be one of this Summer's blockbusters and The Sales Curve had acquired the game license (though I can't find evidence it was released).
In the aftermath of Robert Maxwell's death and the subsequent implosion of his empire, Acclaim had bought Renegade and this month saw the news that the Image Works label would continue (for now). The American publisher also had the rights to the eagerly awaited movie, "Aliens 3".
As mentioned above, developer Special FX had closed up shop and the team had re-formed as Rage. While they would continue to develop games for other software houses (though, interestingly enough, specifically not Ocean) they planned to publish titles themselves. 3D footie game "Striker" was the first game on the way.
Several developers teased the possibility of sequels to classic games. Andrew Braybrook confirmed he was working on "Uridium 2", while Archer Maclean was pondering either "Snooker 2" or "IK+ Deluxe", and Jez San said preliminary design work on "Starglider 3" had been done and that they were looking for "the right deal". Only the first of those would see the light of day. Team 17 were following up "Project X" with "Alien Breed" (The One thought this was a sequel) and Titus had "Blues Brothers 2" on the way (though it was not released).
Maxis had found huge success with "Sim City" and "Sim Earth". "Sim Ant" had just been released, and the next Sim game was to be "Sim Body" (simulation of the human body) and "Sim Soap" - a simulation of the day to day happenings on the set of a soap opera. Neither of which appeared.
Publisher Electronic Zoo - perhaps best known for "Battle Squadron" - shut up shop.
While US Gold had the official rights to the Barcelona Olympics, Psygnosis were planning one of their own. Written by Teque London, it promised digitised graphics of real athletes to produce "authentic action".
Gremlin had a couple of treats in store for racing fans. Magnetic Fields was working on "Lotus: The Final Challenge", which would feature a track designer, and while not much was known about the "Nigel Mansell" game, apparently the "early road routines" were "some of the most spectacular ever seen."
In a bid to prevent other developers knicking their ideas, there would be no previews or in-development pieces of the next instalment in Dino Dini's "Kick Off" series, "Kick Off 3". Or at least that's the excuse they gave for keeping it under wraps. I'm not sure if it started out this way, but this one was not written by Dino.
Helicopter shoot-em up "Apocalypse" looked to be yet another victim of the Mirrorsoft collapse, as doubts grew that it would see the light of day due to legal wranglings over ownership and the break up of the team.
With the European Championships coming up, publishers were looking to cash in with no less than 8 football games due to hit the Amiga. US Gold took a slightly different tack in launching a compilation call "The Lineker Collection" which included "Italy 1990", "Hot Shot" and "Microprose International Soccer Challenge".
The Golden Joystick winners were:
- 16-Bit Game of the Year: "Heimdall" Core Design
- Overall Game of the Year: Sonic the Hedgehog (Sega)
- Programmer of the Year: Archer Maclean
- Software House of the Year: Electronic Arts
- Best Graphics: "Heimdall" Core Design
- Best Soundtrack: "The Secret of Monkey Island" Lucasfim/US Gold
- Best Simulation: "Jimmy White's Whirlwind Snooker" Virgin
- Best Coin-Op Conversion: "Toki" Ocean
Sensible Software's upcoming "Sensible Soccer" had been signed to Renegade, not Ocean as reported in last month's issue. While apparently being the most previewed title of the year, one new tidbit was popstar Captain Sensible would be on music duties.
The Computer Shopper Show was to take place at Olympia in May. For the first time it would feature an area dedicated to all things Amiga.
On the cover disk this month:
- "Fire & Ice" Graftgold/Renegade
- "The Humans" Mirage
- PD games "Yelp!", "Microbes" and "Asteroids".
- A pretty novel "Bullfrog's Interactive Work In Progress" application which presented the user with scanned photos of the office, with bits that could be clicked on for more info, including chats with the devs and sneak peaks of upcoming games ("BOB" and "Populous II: Challenge Game data disk").
- The latest user submitted "Microprose Golf" and "Jimmy White's" shots.
Gary Whitta gathered seven of the biggest and brightest stars of UK games in a pub for a chat over a few beers. Those present were: Peter Molyneux, Jez San, Archer Maclean, David Braben, Eric Matthews, Jon Hare and Michael Powell.
A guide on add ons and peripherals to create the Ultimate Amiga.
PD Zone featured: "Lemmingoids", "Obliteration", "Mad Bomber 2", "Smash Telly", "Smash TV: the Rip-Off" and "Atic Atac" (unofficial, of course).
"Wanted!" - a light hearted rundown of gaming's most wanted baddies.
- "The Humans" Mirage
- "ShadowWorlds" Teque London/Krisalis
- "James Pond Presents: Aquabatics" Millennium
- "Graham Taylor's Soccer Challenge" Krisalis
- "Football Kid" Krisalis
- "S.A.S." Krisalis
- "Vikings: Fields of Conflict" Krisalis
- "Euro Football Champ" Domark
- "Zool" Gremlin
- "Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis - the Action Game" US Gold - 82% "Still, quibbles aside, if you're as big a fan of the Indiana Jones movies as I am then you should be equally chuffed with this: it's one game even Indy would take his hat off to!"
- "Ultima VI" Origin/Mindscape - 91% "There's no other RPG that comes within a mile of matching Ultima VI's huge depth and amazingly real atmosphere."
- "Project X" Team 17 - 90% "If you're a newcomer to the Amiga, this game is a perfect example of what the machine can be made to do. And if you're a jaundiced old-hand who thought you'd seen it all, it'll open your eyes."
- "Eye of the Beholder II: The Legend of Darkmoon" SSI/US Gold - 87% "Wouldn't it be nice, though, to be able to say there was anything about the game which was surprising, innovative or original? That there isn't is probably not going to stop dedicated RPG players flocking to their local emporium in droves, but it's certainly not going to attract any new converts to this particular genre of game."
- "Deliverance" 21st Century Entertainment - 81% "Though a little rough around the edges, the no-nonsense baddy-battling and exploration action makes Deliverance one of the best arcade adventures I've seen this year."
- "John Barnes European Football" Krisalis - 80% "How to describe Krisalis' latest in a nutshell? Well, it's not quite as good as Barnsey plays for Liverpool, but it's a damn sight better than he plays for England."
- "Fire & Ice" Graftgold/Renegade - 92% "Fire and Ice is truly excellent, the best platformer since, ooh, Rainbow Islands (another Braybrook game). Miss this and you'll feel dog rough."