April 1990

The World in April 1990
In 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 these days they’re quite popular. Customs seized parts of an Iraqi supergun. Labour were 23 points ahead of the Tories, piling pressure on the government. Steven Hendry at 21 became the youngest ever world snooker champion. He would go on to bore us all to death for many years. Liverpool won the league. They’d have quite a long wait to do it again, but they wouldn’t go on and on and on and on and on and on about it.

The Poll Tax came into effect, prompting further rioting. It was deeply unpopular.

In US news the Hubble Space Telescope was launched. It was awesome. Two hostages were released in the Lebabon hostage crisis.

Elsewhere in the world Yugoslavia got their first non-communist government. Meanwhile East and West Germany agreed to merge currencies and economies on July 1st – an extraordinary endeavour given how uneven they were with the Eastern economy in a dreadful state.

On TV Round The Twist made its debut on BBC1, a wonderfully quirky Australian kids show. ITV launched the less wonderful You’ve Been Framed. It’s still going, even though with Youtube now a thing it no longer needs to exist. They still pay £250 for videos of people falling over. Jeeves and Wooster started its 4 year run. British Satellite Broadcasting launched its satellite TV service. It would later merge with Sky.

The film charts are a bit better – Look Who’s Talking at #1 is no classic but it’s fun, but at #2 is Uncle Buck, a film I truly adore. Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure at #3? Yes please (just don’t watch the 2020 sequel).

The album chart has three greatest hits albums in the top 4. Ok #2 is Bowie so I can forgive that but otherwise it’s a poor effort.

The singles chart is better, with Madonna’s Vogue at #1 (admittedly not as good as her earlier work), the wonderful Snap with The Power at #2 and Alannah Myles at #3 with Black Velvet (absolute banger). The Happy Mondays and the B-52 are there too, and the magnificent They Might Be Giants with Birdhouse In Your Soul at #10.

Magazines Covered This Month (Click Cover For More)

ST Format Issue 10

This Month’s Reviews

Review: Dragon’s Breath

Dragon’s Breath ST Format Review My Review For this review I’m running Steem with a 1MB STE, running TOS 1.62 – I’m not on my usual PC and for some reason the version of Steem on this one won’t let me have a maximised window without going full screen, so screenshot sizes may vary. On…More

Review: Castle Master

Castle Master ST Format Feature (previous issue) ST Format Review My Review For this review I’m running Steem with a 1MB STFM, running TOS 1.04. On this occasion I’ve chosen Automation 247. This is another very simple intro – a nice digitised image, scrolly text and some actually quite decent music. On to the game.…More

Review-ish: Ivanhoe

Ivanhoe ST Format Review My Review For this review I’m running Steem with a 1MB STFM, running TOS 1.04. On this occasion I’ve chosen Automation 429. The intro is quite low-key, just a simple static image and a basic scroller. The game introduces with a super-smoothly animated sword flying in over a well-drawn facial close-up…More

April 1989

The World in April 1989
Probably 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 South Yorkshire police. That Liverpool fans were also involved in the Heysel disaster in 1985 seems to go unnoticed, and my own experience of Liverpool fans is that they tend towards drunken violence and arseholery. The month was plagued with strikes as the London Underground was paralysed and workers building the Channel Tunnel went on strike over pay and working conditions.

In Scotland Margaret Thatcher’s hated Poll Tax was introduced as a new way for councils to tax their residents. This would go on to cause national rioting once it made its way to England and Wales. The tax was considered unfair because it was a flat rate based on the number of residents rather than the previous basis of land value, which meant that 5 poor people in a hovel would pay more than 1 person in a mansion.

In America 300000 demonstrators marched in Washington to legalise abortion. I don’t know enough of the topic to say whether it was peaceful or not. It doesn’t seem that much else was going on in America at the time.

In Poland, Solidarity was legalised, allowing participation in the coming election, precipitating the overthrow of Communism in Europe. In China protests started in Tianemen Square. They would not end well.

In film we see The Dead Pool at number 1, Twins hanging on at 3 to fund Arnold Shwarzennegger’s Humvee habit, Rain Man hanging in at 7 and Naked Gun at 9. Lower in the charts we see Terry Gilliam’s Adventures of Baron Munchausen at 13 and Tom Cruise trying to recreate the success of Top Gun with Cocktail at 14.

The album chart sees Deacon Blue on top, followed by Simply Red. Strong entries include Madonna’s Like A Prayer at 6 and Guns and Roses Appetite For Destruction at 8.

The singles chart saw the Bangles on top with Eternal Flame, Simply Red with If You Don’t Know Me By Now at #2 (clearly the public was keen on sloooooooow stuff), but thankfully Madonna’s Like A Prayer (#3) and Paula Abdul’s Straight Up (#4) showed the public didn’t completely lack taste. Jason Donavan had sadly slipped from #1 to #6, just ahead of the brilliant Transvision Vamp hit Baby I Don’t Care (#7) and Donna Summer’s banger This Time I Know It’s For Real (#8). Holly Johnson at #9 with Americanos was another strong entry. Overall I’d still class this top 10 as waaaaay better than any in 2020. That the rest of the top 40 included Guns and Roses Paradise City and International Rescue by We’ve Got A Fuzzbox And We’re Gonna Use It further illustrates the quality out there.

On TV we had the infamous incident on Going Live where someone rang in to abuse Five Star..

.. while John Snow would join Channel 4 News, replacing Peter Sissons, ready to become famous for his Swingometer and Game Of Thrones.

We Cover The Following Magazines This Month

ST/Amiga Format Issue 11

Reviews This Month

Review: Vigilante

Vigilante ST Amiga Format Review My ReviewAs you can see in the review above, ST/Amiga Format gave Vigilante 70%. Still graphics were rated 3/5, moving graphics 3.5/5, and lasting interest 3/5. These are scores that indicate the game isn’t completely horrible. I have to ask what kind of crack Mark Higham was smoking. The game…More

Review: Archipelagos

Archipelagoshttps://www.gamesdatabase.org/Media/SYSTEM/Atari_ST//Manual/formated/Archipelagos_-_1989_-_Logotron_Entertainment.pdf ST Amiga Format Review My Review My expectation is that this one will have something in common with Sentinel, which I played and enjoyed earlier. Reading the manual and seeing talk of draining energy from stones does little to dispell that expectation. Specifically I need to destroy an obelisk, which requires that I destroy…More