Other Magazines (January 1990)
Taking a little detour I thought it might be nice to pick up bits of interesting content from Zero and The One. I won’t be able to go all the way with The One since the ST variant is a bitch to get hold of, but hopefully there’ll still be some decent content to be had.
The One’s cover focuses on Midwinter, though they’ve chosen to represent it with a peculiar hand-drawn bit of artwork on their cover. We have the news that Peter Johnson, who programmed Wizball, Robocop, arkanoid and others had decised to quit game development, choosing to make soundtracks for videos for pregnant women…. ooooookay.
Some news on coming releases – Count Duckula was getting his own game, No Sax Please: We’re Egyptian. The TV show was fantastic so I’m sure the game was shit. World Champion Boxing Manager was also slated for release, and Coktel Vision (makers of the Gobliiins games) had a game around the Paris Dakar rally scheduled – incongruously it seemed to have a section between levels where you watch a belly dancer. They don’t make em like that anymore. We have previews for Treasure Trap which was still some way from completion if I recall – a game that intrigued me, but that itch was scratched by the Cadaver demo. Codemasters were planning their Fruit Machine Simulator – an ill-advised purchase by my parents which thankfully didn’t turn me into an addict. Meanwhile CRL planned to release Trump Castle – not a game where you explore a castle populated by an evil Donald Trump, instead a gambling game set in one of his casinos – you can find it on Automation 202 if it interests you.
It looks like it was made in GFA Basic. They charged £19.95 for that. By far Trump’s worst crime.
Other previews include Cloud Kingdoms which looked pretty interesting back in the day, while Psygnosis were previewing The Killing Game Show which I swear had a long way to go til release. In terms of reviews, they have Midwinter 1 which gets a glowing 4-page review with a 95% rating, thanks to its innovative gameplay and incredibly impressive graphics, both in filled-vector and bitmap form. There’s also an Amiga release for Super Cars, the brilliant top-down racer (well the sequel was amazing on the Amiga at least – I never played the first). Interestingly no ST magazines touched it – the only review I can find is half a page in Ace where it gets 790/1000. Other reviews include P-47 Thunderbolt (70%), Cabal (81%), Chaos Strikes Back (94% – astonishingly ST Format never reviewed it), Lost Patrol got 73% (I remember seeing all those ads with photorealistic graphics and being blown away by them – never got my hands on the game though, I think I missed the review and didn’t realise when it was already out), Dragon’s Breath got 89% (coming soon in STF).
Zero’s cover focuses on a preview of a game called Awesome, which I can honestly say I’ve never heard of. Previews include Ramrod (never heard of it), BAT, Thunderstrike, Wings Of Fury, Tusker, Resolution 101, Escape from the planet of the robot monsters, Unreal (not that one), Conqueror (Virus/Zarch with tanks), Dragon’s Breath, F19 Stealth Fighter, etc.
Reviews cover Their Finest Hour (sequel to Battlehawks 1942 – i’m keen to play it) on PC which gets 94%, Space Ace (Amiga) which gets a generous 80%, X-Out gets 91% on the Amiga, Supercars gets 89% (also Amiga), Star Trek V gets 76% (PC), Xenomorph (Dungeon Master in space apparently – Amiga) gets 89% and looks genuinely interesting but looks like it was never covered by ST Format so I might review that when we get to May (which appears to be when ST User reviewed it). Operation Thunderbolt (Amiga) gets 85% though gets described as a bit morally dodgy due to its depiction of a fictional not-quite-Libya and blowing up cats and dogs, Chaos Strikes Back gets 92% on the ST (I’d review it but it’s hard and I’m too crap to do it justice), Chase HQ gets 79% which is perhaps a tad generous, while P47 looks a bit tedious but scores 75%.
Not sure how much demand there is for this extra bit – it takes a fair bit of time to do so I might just limit it to checking the magazines to see if there’s a game ST Format misses that I need to cover.