July 1990

The World in July 1990
In 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 from F1, and Graham Taylor was appointed England manager. It would not go well. Most importantly of all, my wife was born.

The US entered recession, while George Bush signed legislation to protect disabled workers from discrimination.

Elsewhere in the world East and West Germany officially merged their economies. Martina Navratilova and Stefan Edberg won Wimbledon. Belarus declared sovereignty in its quest to escape the USSR.

On TV the big event was the World Cup final, with the three tenors singing together for the first time – Pavarotti’s Nessun Dorma would be the highlight. Oh and some football happened too. MPs voted to make televised coverage of the commons a permanent thing. Stars In Their Eyes (in which people would try to sound like famous singers) made its debut on ITV. Masterchef made its debut on BBC1.

The film charts had the weakest of the Back To The Future Trilogy at #1, after Tremors had a couple of weeks in the top 10 before exiting rapidly. Dick Tracy was the big budget feature, while Tom Hanks did his thing in Joe Vs The Volcano. I’m genuinely curious as to what the buggering hell “I Bought A Vampire Motorcycle” is like. I’m also curious as to whether Lord Of The Flies is any good – the book is of course magnificent but I don’t know much about the film.

The album chart had Pavarotti at #1 due to the world cup, while Elton John occupied #2 with an album that contained only 1 decent track. With too many greatest hits albums, the chart is pretty miserable.

The singles chart is mixed. Elton at #1 with Sacrifice is decent enough, Pavarotti at #2, Craig McLachlan continued the wave of Neighbours stars releasing singles but while it was catchy enough it wasn’t anything special. Roxette’s It Must Have Been Love is a banger, and everyone loves MC Hammer’s You Can’t Touch This, while One Love by Stone Roses is ok, but overall it’s a weak chart with a novelty single at #7 (Thunderbirds Are Go).


We Cover The Following Issues (Click Cover For More)

ST Format Issue 13

Reviews This Month

Review: Damocles

Damocles ST Format Review My Review PART ONE For this review I’m running Steem with a 1MB STE, running TOS 1.62. I’ve picked Automation 294B, which has a pretty simple intro. Scrolly text, music, a nice picture, simple enough. Before I go any further it’s worth giving a bit of back-story to this game. So…More

Review: Treasure Trap

Treasure Trap ST Format Review My ReviewFor this review I’m running Steem with a 1MB STE, running TOS 1.62. I initially went with Superior as nobody else bothered cracking this one. Superior were previously known as Flame Of Finland and their menus are a bit bare bones. In this case however the menu simply didn’t…More

Review: Flood

Flood ST Format Review My ReviewSPOILER: NOT 100% WORK SAFE SCREENSHOTFor this review I’m running Steem with a 1MB STE, running TOS 1.62. I’ve gone with Fuzion 9, in part because I’ve not used many Fuzion disks, but also because the menu has some hilariously bad artwork (I’ve had to spoiler-tag it). Scrolling text is the…More


July 1989

The World in July 1989
In 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 mirroring current events with the media hating Thatcher and Tories proving shy – we would have another 8 years of Tory government.

In America Seinfeld debuted while Oliver North was fined $150k for his involvement in Iran-Contra. The B2 Stealth Bomber made its maiden flight (and what a sexy bit of kit it was) and Robert Tappan Morris Jr became the first person to be prosecuted for releasing a virus. Oh and the Game Boy came out. This machine was incredibly underpowered compared to most of the hardware of the day but its portability combined with an impressive library of games which focused on gameplay over technical matters led it to be a massive success.

Elsewhere in the world, South African president P W Botha met Nelson Mandela face to face for the first time – an early step toward ending the cruelty of apartheid. In Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest – she would be released in 2010 to much fanfare, only to prove to be every bit as bad as the old regime.

The film charts feature Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, The Burbs and the absolute classic They Live. What a fucking chart!

The album chart is a mixed bag, with Soul II Soul’s debut featuring a couple of excellent tracks, Appetite For Destruction still there along with Transvision Vamp’s Velveteen, but there’s also Simply fucking Red and Jason Donovan. Oh, and fucking Clannad. Who the fuck was buying that shit?

The singles chart had the brilliant Back To Life from Soul II Soul, but it also had Sonia, one of Stock Aitken and Waterman’s many talentless drones. The Pet Shop Boys were there at 5 with a song (It’s Alright) which was sadly a bit preachy but it was still fundamentally an absolute banger. The rest.. not a great time for music. The late 80s and early 90s were frankly a bad time for music in the UK.

On TV we had the first episode of Interceptor on Channel 4. It’s brilliantly bonkers.

We Cover The Following Magazine Issues This Month (Click Through Images For More)

ST Format Issue 1

Reviews This Month

Review: Navy Moves

Navy Moves ST Format Review My ReviewThe kit for this was latest version of Steem SSE, selecting a 1MB STFM with TOS 1.00 (the release which ran in all of the gaming machines until the STE came out later in 1989). My first attempt used Automation’s menu 180. Other releases are available, such as that…More

Review: Bloodwych

Bloodwych ST Format Review My ReviewSo to get this up and running I fired up the latest version of Steem SSE and chose a 1MB STFM with TOS 1.00 (the release which ran in all of the gaming machines until the STE came out later in 1989). My first attempt used Automation’s menu 122, which…More

July 1988

The World in July 1988
In UK news the Piper Alpha oil rig exploded in the North Sea leading to over a hundred deaths. Paul Gascoigne (aka Gazza) was the first £2m footballer, moving from Newcastle Utd to Spurs, a legend of a player beset by so many demons who would eventually try to go fishing with Raoul Moat. Paddy Ashdown was elected leader of the Social and Liberal Democrat Party who would later become just the Liberal Democrat Party – a party who these days are neither liberal nor democratic.

The US shot down an Iranian passenger plane in a dreadful international incident, overshadowing the awarding of the 1994 World Cup to the US. The Democrats nominated Muchael Dukakis as their presidential candidate. It didn’t go well.

Elsewhere in the world the USSR voted to end the Communist Party’s monopoly on economic and non-political power signalling the beginning of the end of communism in Eastern Europe.

On TV The Flying Doctors made its debut on BBC1 – not quite as popular as Neighbours but it still gained a following. Less excitingly, Countryfile made its debut and is still going today. On ITV Wheel Of Fortune made its first appearance, and would last far longer than it really should.

UK film charts aren’t super-reliable but it looks like Police Academy 5: The Joke’s Worn Thin was at #1, pushing Crocodile Dundee 2 to #2 – the rest of the chart is far from memorable. There are actually some awesome US releases – the tentpole hits are Short Circuit 2 and Die Hard, but less well known but also brilliant are Arthur 2 and the Pet Shop Boy’s wonderfully experimental art film It Couldn’t Happen Here which just happens to have the greatest fucking soundtrack known to man, and a dummy talking about existentialism. A true joy to behold.

The album chart has improved with Tracy CHapman at #1 and Kylie Minogue’s debut at #1, and I don’t mind Billy Idol’s greatest hits album at #3, hell Barry White at #5 is alright by me.

The singles chart has Glenn Medeiros at #1 with a shit cheesy ballad. More positively Salt N Pepa were at #2 with Push It and Tracy Chapman at #5 with Fast Car, while Everything But The Girl were at #6 with I Don’t Wanna Talk About It. It’s a bad chart overall though.

We cover the following magazines released in June 1988

ST/Amiga Format issue 2 sees things ramp up with a few interesting reviews.

Review: Corruption

This is a review covering a game from ST/Amiga Format Issue 2 – the August 1988 issue (so actually out in July). Corruption I’ve never played a text adventure. Well, a brief bit of fiddling with Hitchhiker’s Guide, but that’s about it. Indeed my adventure gaming expertise mostly consists of lots of Monkey Island, Leisure…More

Review: Sentinel

This is a review covering a game from ST/Amiga Format Issue 2 – the August 1988 issue (so actually out in July). Sentinel Sentinel is a very strange game. To explain it as simply as I can, you are on a 3D island, and there is a sentinel which if it sees you will drain…More

Review: Captain Blood

This is a review covering a game from ST/Amiga Format Issue 2 – the August 1988 issue (so actually out in July). Captain Blood I’ll start with Captain Blood as I have a little bit of prior experience with it, albeit on an Amiga. Wait, what? But I had an ST, that can’t be right.…More