So with the review of PowerMonger we’ve more or less got most of the best games from ST Format Issue 19 and so we’ll be moving into the 20s. Now issues 16-18 were pretty large, featuring a hell of a lot of reviews, but it does start to slow down a bit from here, as the failure of the STE begins to bite as well as the traditional post-Christmas slowdown.
Still, issue 20 has some interesting games, with Domark’s MiG-29 Fulcrum likely worth a look. Then there’s a bit of an oddity from Lucasfilm in the form of Night Shift (a plate-spinning platform game). Tournament Golf is better than it sounds – golf games are always more fun on a computer than to watch on TV or heaven forbid play. Turrican 2 follows hot on the heels of the first game and improves enormously, though the same can’t be said of Dragon’s Lair 2 which is more of the same. Enchanted Lands was a pretty highly-regarded platformer with impressive visuals from some demo-scene coders. Quite a decent selection I’m sure you’ll agree.
Issue 21 sees Readysoft attempt to atone for the style over substance of Space Ace and Dragon’s Lair with Wrath Of The Demon which absolutely isn’t ripping off Shadow Of The Beast. Team Suzuki gives us some 3D motorbike racing fun, while Super Monaco GP gives us a more old-fashioned 2D take on F1. We get Mighty Bombjack which is probably a bit dated at this point. Viz brings us the violence of Biffa Bacon, the flatulence of Johnny Fartpants and the massive bollocks of Buster Gonad – you can be assured I’ll be reviewing that and making a video. A weaker issue overall but still fun to be found.
Issue 22 shows the ST continuing to move away from dodgy arcade conversions and movie licenses. The Bitmap Brothers bring us Gods, while Mirrorsoft bring us Brat (think Lemmings but with a single baby instead of lots of lemmings). The Killing Cloud is an interesting take on law enforcement in 3D, while we get some driving action in Test Drive 2. Elvira gets a brief mention, unlike in Zero where she gets the cover – can’t think why. What’s more puzzling is that ST Format’s review is nearly a year after Zero’s.
Issue 23 gives fairly extensive coverage of the remarkable game creation tool 3D Construction Kit which used the Freescape engine made famous by Driller and Castle Master among others. Despite that, the star review is The Secret Of Monkey Island. Ludicrously pretty and brilliantly funny. The other standout game is Chuck Rock, a gorgeous-looking Flintstones-inspired platformer. Less brilliant but still interesting is Moonshine Racers which sees the standard 2D rolling road racer adapted to driving a beaten-up old truck.
Issue 24 shows the ST still has some life in it, with Wonderland a game trailed way back in the distant past, demonstrating a new windowed approach to what is fundamentally a text adventure with some pretty pictures. Of more importance is the all-time classic, Lemmings. You know it’s brilliant. Supercars 2 is another belter, maybe not Lemmings level but a game I have tremendous affection for. Hill Street Blues is a police management game I was always curious about but never got to buy, so this might be my chance. On the sports front we get some squash and a 3D future sports game, as well as Pro Tennis Tour 2. Given my persistent failings at tennis games, the latter may end badly for me.
Finally (for this preview) issue 25 features platform action with Toki, the intriguing mafia caper Crime Does Not Pay, the Cinemaware-esque Champion Of The Raj, and a remarkable number of terrible arcade conversions. In truth issue 25 is slim pickings.
The next 6 months see us get F-15 Strike Eagle 2, Midwinter 2, Life & Death, Jimmy White’s Whirlwind Snooker, Mega Lo Mania, Exile, Railroad Tycoon, Adventures Of Robin Hood, Cruise For A Corpse, Utopia, Vroom, Populous 2 and more. Hope that whets your appetite for what’s ahead.