Issue 7 – Download
The World in December 1988
December 1988 was an eventful month, with probably the most famous (for those of us of a certain age) moment being Edwina Curry’s outrageous assertion that most British eggs had salmonella. Egg sales were affected badly. This was however only the 2nd most shocking thing about Edwina Curry, as it later came out that she’d been shagging John Major (British PM for a while). Later that month we’d have the Clapham junction rail crash, and finally we’d have the Lockerbie plane crash (which would later be shamefully copied by British country sheep and shagging soap Emerdale).
Looking at the film chart (https://www.25thframe.co.uk/charts/box-office.php?chart=19881209) we see the utterly brilliant Who Framed Roger Rabit at number 1, proving the British public had great taste, though we let ourselves down with Willow at number 2. Scrooged with Bill Murray was however a better effort (primarily because Bill Murray in his prime was unstoppable). The rest of the chart is unremarkable as we see A Fish Called Wanda slowly sliding out of the charts.
Looking at the singles chart (https://www.officialcharts.com/charts/uk-top-40-singles-chart/19881211/750140/) we see that Britain actually has fucking awful taste. Mistletoe and Wine from the definitely-not-a-pedophile Cliff Richard at number 1 because who doesn’t love a shit Christmas song, followed by Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan with Especially For You cashing in on the public’s inability to tell the difference between actor and character (they played a couple in the Aussie soap Neighbours), followed by Suddenly by Angry Anderson which was played at the wedding of the characters Kylie and Jason played in Neighbours (the show was HUUUUUUUGE in the UK back then and any Neighbours star could pretty much guarantee a pop career). A decent EP from Erasure (ok one good song, Stop), some utter shit from Bros, the excellent dance hit Good Life by Inner City and then Phil Collins singing a song he put out for Buster, and then it gets REALLY shit. Status fucking Quo.
The album chart (https://www.officialcharts.com/charts/albums-chart/19881211/7502/) was no better, with Now 13 at number 1, followed by Cliff Richard (Nooo!) and the lovely but not yet great musically Kylie, lots of greatest hits and compilation albums and honestly there’s little there I can muster enthusiasm for. Dark times. No wonder we needed decent games to make life worth living.
This month’s edition features discussion of colour printers (quite the novelty at that time) and hard drives (with an increible 30mb of storage space!), along with a review of the Shoot Em Up Construction Kit, a creature responsible for so many shit Public Domain games. Flair Paint comes up, though I preferred Canvas myself and Amiga owners will always choose Deluxe Paint (which wouldn’t see an ST release til 1990).
The previews this month are mostly games I don’t know an enormous amount about. There’s Purple Saturn Day which is I think fairly well-known among 16-bit enthusiasts, but also lesser titles like The Incredible Shrinking Sphere, Jug, Spherical, The Paranoia Complex, etc which I know little about. Weird Dreams rings a bell and might be one to check out when we get there, but I’m not sure I can find the same enthusiasm for Garfield – A Winter’s Tail.
Missing the cut were Joan Of Arc (no idea), Menace and IK+, the latter I think I might review as I know it got rather a better reputation later in its life.
Games reviewed this month:
Thunderblade (Vertically-Scrolling Shooter/Space-Harrier rip-off – US Gold – £24.99 – 92% Format Gold) – the frame rate is horrendous – how the fuck did that get 92%?
R-Type (Side-scrolling arcade conversion shooter – Activision – £19.95 – 96% Format Gold)
Live And Let Die (Bond-themed boat-racing game – Domark – £19.95 – 83% [very generous])
Chuckie Egg (Platformer – Pick & Choose – £19.95 – 75%)
Return Of The Jedi (isometric shooter that’s zoomed in way too close for good gameplay – Domark – £19.95 – 72%)
Galactic Conqueror (Space Harrier in space – Titus – £24.99 – £24.99 – 78%)
944 Turbo Cup (Racing – Loricel – £19.99 – 70%)
Lombard RAC Rally (Racing – Mandarin – 80%)
International Soccer (Chess game – Microdeal – £19.95 – 70%)
Pioneer Plague (Amiga-only so who cares – some use of HAM mode for 4096 colours but on fairly static screens)
Of those, the ones that look most interesting to me are probably R-Type and Chuckie Egg – I might pick up IK+ too from the games that missed the cut, for a fairly manageable set of reviews after a run of rather high-effort reviews. Note that I decided to skip Driller last month and focus my Freescape efforts on Castle Master when I get to it.
Reviews And Articles About This Issue
IK+ (aka International Karate + aka Chop ‘n’ Drop on American C64)IK+ is the sequel to International Karate, developed by Archer Maclean who would later become synonymous with the green beize, following huge hits with Jimmy White’s Whirlwind Snooker and Archer Maclean’s Pool. ST Format Review Sadly there wasn’t one, and that is an injustice…
Chuckie EggNote that Chuckie Egg is not in the tosec – it can be found at http://www.atarimania.com/game-atari-st-chuckie-egg_8928.html As a bonus, here’s the cover art for Chuckie Egg 2. Fucking nightmare fuel. ST Format Review Before I start my review, here’e ST Format’s take on the game. As you can see, it only merits half a page,…
ST Format Review Before I start my review, here’e ST Format’s take on the game. My Review R-Type is a conversion of an arcade classic, handled by Electric Dreams who did such an excellent job with Super Hang-On. As you’ll likely already know it’s a side-scrolling shooter set in space, with the simple objective of…