ST Format Challenge

The ST Format Challenge is simply me working through every issue first of ST/Amiga Format, and then of ST Format itself, and playing a selection of games from each issue and talking about them. What could be simpler?

Here are all the magazine issues we looked at.

ST Format Issue 21 (March 1991)

ST Format Issue 21 (Download) Welcome to another issue of ST Format. As usual we’ll begin by placing the issue in its historical context, and note that we use the month the magazine actually came out rather than the one printed on its spine, before diving into the issue’s contents. Finally, over a few weeks…More

ST Format Issue 20 (Feb 1991)

ST Format Issue 20 (Download) Welcome to another issue of ST Format. As usual we’ll begin by placing the issue in its historical context, and note that we use the month the magazine actually came out rather than the one printed on its spine, before diving into the issue’s contents. Finally, over a few weeks…More

ST Format Issue 19 (Jan 1991)

ST Format Issue 19 (Download) Welcome to another issue of ST Format. As usual we’ll begin by placing the issue in its historical context, and note that we use the month the magazine actually came out rather than the one printed on its spine, before diving into the issue’s contents. Finally, over a few weeks…More

ST Format Issue 18 (Dec 90)

ST Format Issue 18 – Download The World in December 1990The UK had a remarkable event as workers from the English and French sides of the Channel Tunnel met for the first time, a project which had run way over budget and way over time, but has since proven to be pretty useful. The first…More

ST Format Issue 17 (Nov 90)

ST Format Issue 17 – Download The World in November 1990In UK news Geoffrey Howe resigned from the government over its European policy. Nobody noticed, even after a resignation speech which was like being savaged by a wet lettuce. Sky and BSB merged, but was still known as Sky – I’m pretty sure that’s usually…More

ST Format Issue 16 (Oct 90)

ST Format Issue 16 – Download The World in October 1990 The World in October 1990In UK news the pound joined the European Exchange Rate Mechanism, the precursor to the Euro. This would prove to be a mistake. Women finally got to serve on warships. There was wide acceptance that we would have a recession,…More

ST Format Issue 15 – It’s ‘King Brilliant

ST Format Issue 15 – Download The World in September 1990In UK news York City’s David Longhurst collapsed on the pitch during a 4th Division (now known as League 2) match and died. Meanwhile the CBI predicted a recession as Chancellor John Major and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher denied one was on its way. It…More

ST Format Issue 14 and the stench of corruption (Magic Fly)

ST Format Issue 14 – Download The World in August 1990In UK news BA had a plane stolen by the Iraqi army at Kuwait airport after the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, while back home the heatwave saw temperatures hit 37.1C (98.8F). Labour had a 15 point lead over hte Tories (probably because of the poll tax)…More

ST Format Issue 13

ST Format Issue 13 – Download The World in July 1990In UK news, England went out of the World Cup, losing the semi-final to Germany on penalties in what would become a national tradition. UEFA lifted the ban on English clubs which had been in place since the Heysel disaster. Nigel Mansell announced his coming retirement…More

ST Format Issue 12

ST Format Issue 12 – Download The World in June 1990In the UK the bans on British beef were lifted after the BSE crisis, while the planned high-speed link between London and the Channel Tunnel was shelved. John Major proposed an alternative to the EU’s proposed single currency, a currency which would circulate alongside existing currencies.…More

ST Format Issue 11

ST Format Issue 11 – Download The World in May 1990In the UK the new version of the Rover Metro came out. It was a shitbox. In almost-as-bad news, inflation hit an insane 9.4%, compared to the more typical 2% of the last decade. Bobby Robson announced the coming World Cup would be his last. It…More

ST Format Issue 10

ST Format Issue 10 – Download The World in April 1990In the UK we had the Strangeways Prison riot, and an earthquake (unusual for Britain). It was only 5.1 so not much to write home about but quite exciting for Britain. Aldi opened in the UK – they didn’t make much impact at the time but…More

ST Format Issue 9

ST Format Issue 9 – Download The World in March 1990In the UK 37 people were arrested in Brixton rioting against the poll tax. In Trafalgar Square 113 people were injured and 340 arrested in further poll tax riots. The riots were because instead of being charged on the basis of the value of your property, you…More

ST Format Issue 8

ST Format Issue 8 – Download The World in February 1990In the UK Ayotollah Khomeini renewed his fatwa on Salman Rushdie, a move which turned out to be the tip of a large iceberg we’re facing today. A bomb exploded in Leicester. Other than that, not much. In US news there was a pay dispute in…More

ST Format Issue 7

ST Format Issue 7 – Download The World in January 1990In the UK Labour had amassed a 12-point lead over the Tories which put mounting pressure on Thatcher’s government. In many ways Labour blew their wad a bit too early as the Tories would retain power for a further 7 years, but I’ll save the spoilers…More

ST Format Issue 6

ST Format Issue 6 – Download The World in December 1989The biggest news would have to be on the 3rd of December, when Margaret Thatcher, George Bush (Sr) and Mikhail Gorbachev declared the Cold War over. This was back when Britain was still relevant, in large part due to sheer force of will from Maggie. 2…More

ST Format Issue 5

ST Format Issue 5 – Download The World in November 1989The big event was the fall of the Berlin wall. It was such a huge moment, signalling what some thought was the end of history. Following on, Bulgaria ended its communist rule and Czechoslovakia saw massive protests which would end the rule of their Communist Party…More

ST Format Issue 4

ST Format Issue 4 – Download [btw – just a little something about why I post news from the previous month.. the magazine is marked as November 1989 but it comes out in October, so I talk about October]. The World in October 1989In the UK we had our first World Wrestling Federation event. Rover launched…More

ST Format Issue 3

ST Format Issue 3 – Download The World in September 1989In the UK our ambulance crews went on strike. Meanwhile, the IRA were bombing and murdering as was their way. Nigel Lawson resigned as chancellor, paving the way for John Major to replace him (and of course he would eventually become PM). The recession gathered pace…More

ST Format Issue 2

ST Format Issue 2 – Download The World in August 1989In the UK the West Midlands Police Serious Crime Squad was disbanded after years of fabricated confessions – the police were not defunded in general, just the rotten department disbanded and replaced with a less corrupt unit. Electronic tagging was introduced, allowing some offenders to be…More

ST Format Issue 1

ST Format Issue 1 – Download The World in July 1989In the UK we started to see the first signs of a forthcoming recession as house prices dipped, falling for the second successive quarter, having doubled over the previous 3 years. Labour continued to increase its lead over the Tories in the polls, in many ways…More

ST/Amiga Format Issue 13

Issue 13 – Download The World in June 1989In some ways June 1989 was the beginning of the end of Thatcher’s government as Labour won its first national election in 15 years (winning most of the votes in the European elections). In China the Tianemen Square protests reached their finale, with the military set against civilians…More

ST/Amiga Format Issue 12

Issue 12 – Download The World in May 1989In the UK, Margaret Thatcher hit the 10 year milestone as Prime Minister, she would not be in the job for much longer. A divisive but hugely important figure in British politics, she reshaped the nation and battled the unions to restore order to British society and modernised…More

ST/Amiga Format Issue 11

Issue 11 – Download The World in April 1989Probably the biggest event of April 1989 was the Hillsborough disaster, in which 95 people were killed at an FA Cup Semi Final between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. The Sun would go on to make itself unwelcome forever on Merseyside by blaming the fans with support from the…More

ST/Amiga Format Issue 10

Issue 10 – Download The World in March 1989News for March 1989 is somewhat sparse. Time merged with Warner to become Time Warner, George H W Bush banned import of certain assault rifles, and the Exxon Valdes spilled 240000 barrels of oil into the sea. At the oscars, Rain Man won best picture, with Dustin Hoffman picking…More

ST/Amiga Format Issue 9

Issue 9 – Download The World in February 1989In Britain, with its most recent addition of a 4th channel on terrestrial TV back in 1982, Sky TV broadcast its first satellite TV service in Britain, eventually introducing the nation to WWF, The Simpsons and MTV and fundamentally changing the way we watch TV – now instead…More

ST/Amiga Format Issue 8

Issue 8 – Download The World in January 1989The UK was pretty quiet, with the only notable events being Muslims protesting in Bradford against Salman Rushdie’s Satanic Verses, burning his book, a harbinger of things to come and a lesson we failed to heed. On the international stage, it was the end of the Reagan presidency…More

ST/Amiga Format Issue 7

Issue 7 – Download The World in December 1988December 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,…More

ST/Amiga Format Issue 6

Issue 6 – Download The World in November 1988 PreviewsThe previews here are a bit more unknown to me than previous weeks. Puffy’s Saga I don’t know, but a quick Youtube suggests it has much in common with Gauntlet. Turbo Cup is a racing game I’ve heard of but never played, Galactic Conqueror looks like a…More

ST/Amiga Format Issue 5

Issue 5 – Download Wait.. what about Carrier Command?To be honest I just couldn’t get anything interesting out of it, struggling to find the motivation for it and honestly what I was writing was just utter shit. Better to leave it to someone else than do a shit job of it. The World in October 1988…More

ST/Amiga Format Issue 4

Issue 4 – Download The World in September 1988 After a lacklustre issue 3 we arrive at the far-more-promising issue 4. Indeed I had trouble choosing what to review, not because there was too little quality (see last week) but because there was simply too much. The October issue, arriving in September, saw the magazine delve…More

ST/Amiga Format Issue 3

Welcome to Issue 3 – Download After the oddities of issue 2 we find ourselves in issue 3, named as September 1988 but like all games mags actually released the month before. The previews section features an eclectic mix including future classics Speedball, Police Quest 1 and Operation Wolf. Further into the mag we find an…More

ST/Amiga Format Issue 2

Welcome to Issue 2 – Download This issue came out in August 1988. It begins with brief previews including Pool Of Radiance, Maupiti Island (which I could have sworn came out MUCH later), Empire Strikes Back, Better Dead Than Alien and Starray. The latter came with my Atari ST and was… ok. Brief mentions for Driller…More

ST/Amiga Format Issue 1

ST/Amiga Format Issue 01 – Download This issue was the first and didn’t have many game reviews. It featured:– Interceptor (Flight Sim – Electronic Arts £24.99 – 91% ST/Amiga Format Gold)– Virus (Thingy – Firebird £19.99 – 86% ST/Amiga Format Gold)– Outrun (Racing game – US Gold £19.99 – VERY generous 71% as it was terrible…More

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