Retro Gamer 88

For once I’m not late posting… this time it’s more a case of being late picking the magazine up! So for the Spectrum there’s typing-powered minigames galore in Jonathan Cauldwell’s Utter Tripe, the C64 has some scrolling platform action courtesy of Space Trip, Uwol 2 appears first on the Amstrad CPC (before the first game is released for it in fact) and Boulder Logic is a snazzy Boulder Dash-style game for a 16K ZX81 by Bob Smith.

The indie section is all XBLIG releases, Alien Super Mega Blaster (which is cheap and cheerful, with the proceeds going to charity), the superb bullet hell shoot ’em up Vorpal and the thoroughly frustrating Aban Hawkins and the 1,000 Spikes, which is akin to Rick Dangerous but designed by a homicidal maniac. The flash game is Cat Astro Phi, a top down maze-based shooter, and the interview is with Dave Hughes, author of Stamp Quest on the Spectrum.

As a random aside, does a group of berries catapulting one of their own into a cart of berries heading to the Ribena factory count as an assisted suicide? They seem rather happy about heading to their own deaths…!

Retro Gamer 87

Yes, I know that this blog is turning into something of a wasteland but I’ve had quite a bit on my mind lately and it doesn’t function particularly well when overloaded! I might end up waffling more about life in general and where it may be going at some point, but not just yet…

Anyway, internal struggles aside I’ve had Retro Gamer 87 for a week and this post is meant to be about that; 8-bit games reviewed are Repton: The Lost Realms for the BBC with it’s epic lost-and-found story (some of which is discussed in the Homebrew Heroes interview with Paras Sidapara) and three platformers, Stamp Quest, Nanako in Classic Japanese Monster Castle and Uwol: Quest for Money for the Spectrum, C64 and C16 respectively.

The remake of the month is Sokurah’s remake of vector-based blaster Star Castle and there’s a look at Ninja Senki which a NES-styled platformer and Lawnmower Vs Zombies for XBLIG… sort of Hover Bovver with pickier grass collisions and zombies really. The Flash game is a remake of platformer Nodes of Yesod, done by one of the original developers.

Retro Gamer 86 and Public Domain

Yes, I know it’s lateā€¦ but I’ve been away from home since last Wednesday and haven’t had a chance to sit down and write anything! Anyway, Retro Gamer 86 is in the wild and the homebrew reviews are Ghost Castle 2 and Genesis: Dawn of a New Day both for the Spectrum (a great Sabre Wulf-esque adventure and scrolling shoot ’em up respectively), which are accompanied by NES time-based blaster Blade Buster and an Oric implementation of the classic Impossible Mission.

There’s a quirky little shooty puzzler called Kagnyan for the flash game, a futuristic rendition of APB called Space Police on Superhighway 9 for XBLIG , more gun-based action with Nova 2010 for the PC and Rocky Memphis and the Temple of Ophuxoff gets remake of the month. The Homebrew Hero interview is with Genesis author Utopian.

Staying with the subject of magazines, whilst rooting through some of my stuff (taking up a significant amount of space in my dad’s garage) I found a few odds and ends including my two TIB Ultimate drives, a Commodore SFX Sound Expander and the magazine pictured here…

…called Public Domain – this is the ninth issue, dated August 1992 and it covers PD and shareware for the Amiga, Atari ST and DOS-based PC – there’s a piece on how highly expensive CD technology is being used for public domain collections (with a note that Amiga users will need an A570 for their Amiga 500) and a boxout on page 75 titled “what’s CONFIG.SYS and how do I edit it?” raised a slightly pained but nostalgic smile.

This find was a surprise because, along with absolutely no memory of buying the thing in the first place, I’ve been saying for a couple of years now that a magazine dedicated to the modern day equivalent of PD and shareware, the indie and homebrew communities, could work as the focus for a magazine and that I’d be first in the queue to both buy and preferably write for such a publication! In fact, now I can back that argument up a bit the only problem I can see is advertising; Public Domain is almost exclusively comprised of PD and shareware libraries like Scorpion Shareware and that kind of firm all but went away with the proliferation of the internet.

Still, I’m sure there are other relevant companies out there who’d consider advertising at the slightly more technically savvy audience something like this would attract and, if anyone decides to go for it, don’t forget where the idea came from and that I’m cheap!

Oh, another find was a promotional toy for Banana disks, probably from the mid 1980s when we’d get bulk loads of 5.25″ floppies from Commodore and Personal Computer World shows in London. Beep beep!