News

NEWS INPUT

THE MAD HATTER GOES SAILING!

Mastertronic has gone MAD! No, that’s not a comment on their mental health but the acronym for their new range of games, standing for Mastertronics Added Dimension or some such. Excuse if I’m a bit hazy about that aspect because they also went mad (as in wild) and really pushed the boat out (pun!) to launch (megabad pun!) the new games with the London lig of the year. Four hours of free bar and excellent buffet on a boat on the Thames, plus the charming Debbie, Denise and Marianne attending to the every need of tired and emotional hacks.

MAD as a hatter in topper and dickie bow, Colin Johnson of Mastertronic dresses up and loons around all in aid of the launch of a new range of games from Mastertronic

Is the boat listing, or was it the photographer. All aboard for a party on a London boat to mark the launch of MAD games

Spellbound is the first Spectrum title in the new range, an arcade adventure from David Jones, author of smash hit Finders Keepers, one of the programs that has given budget software a good name. With this range of supergames, to be released at the rate of only one or so a month. Mastertronic have sent their prices soaring to an extortionate £2.99!!! That’s almost as much as CRASH pay me for news items. (It will be, if you carry on like this — ED)

Also on display was the game that introduces us to Andromadous, the planet where men are mechanical and alien sheep are worried. One Man and His Droid is an everyday tale of intergalactic shepherding. It’s part of the standard £1.99 range, which now also includes The Quest for the Holy Grail, a very silly adventure previously from Dream.

It is thought that the whole event cost a little more than even £2.99, but it was well worth it, let me assure them (hic).

John Minson

BIZZI BODIES

The Micronet crew have added a whole new area to their frame store. A whole five hundred pages are now devoted to financial information — including advice on most aspects of money management, from mortgages through taxation to starting your own business.

And if you’re jobhunting, The Bizznet will be carrying executive job advertisements supplied by Reed Employment. So now you don’t need to be in The City to be in The Know when comes to loot.

MUD LAUNCH DATE CLOUDY

British Telecom’s Multi User Dungeon has been hit by "unforseeable technical problems", which mean it won’t be up and running for a while. BT persons assure us that it should be on line before the end of this year, however, and Dungeon Itchy modem owners will have to wait awhile.

The Great Mud Challenge, in which the champions from 10 computer magazines will slug it out for fame and fortune inside the Dungeon will now take place in the New Year.

YOU CAN HAVE YOUR SPECTRUM AND EAT IT!

It just goes to show what you can achieve with a little perseverance and a desire to achieve something. Neil Whitehead, a reader from County Durham, sent us in these snaps of a cake made to celebrate the 21st Birthday of a friend of the family. The celebration scoff was created by a Miss J Campbell, who just might find herself taking orders, once this gets out. Looks yummy.

LENSLOCK LOCK OUT

Digital Integration have apparently been having a few problems with the Lenslock installed as front end protection on their new helicopter simulation game, Tomahawk. It seems a few magazines had difficulty in getting advance copies of the program to run (not us, we hasten to add smugly).

A few improvements have been made to the final production version of the game, with a tutor mode added so you can practice code reading and entry and the instructions on how to use the protection system have been expanded considerably.

PUTTING THE ELECTRONIC PENCIL TO PAPER

Further to our profile on the men behind The Fourth Protocol, which was the result of an interview conducted in a rather hostile cafe in London, the Electronic Pencil Company would like to clarify one of the points made. They contacted CRASH Towers with the following missive.

In the interview in the September issue of CRASH, we inadvertently gave the impression that John Lambshead and Gordon Pier, gave us a design ‘for a very standard text input adventure.’ Their design was highly original and made use of detailed atmospheric and concurrent plot lines set in a well conceived framework. We enjoyed working with them and The Fourth Protocol’s icon driven mechanics were very much a joint effort. We have parted company in order to pursue our own design ambitions.

We are very sorry to have created such a misleading impression.

The Electronic Pencil Company

THE BIG PLAYOFF

Any day now some lucky Gyron player will be richer to the tune of a small sackful of money or better off by one Porsche 924. A special version of the game has been written for the playoff which will take place in London on 11th November. More details next issue, winner willing.

Bruce Everiss, for it is he

MORE PROCESSING WORDS

Oxford Computer Publishing are justifiably proud of their new Word Processor for the Spectrum — at £12.95 they have high hopes for it. Bruce Everiss, Marketing Manager for OCP is convinced that it will become the best selling serious program on the Spectrum. To make the package more attractive, a free copy of Address Manager is on the flip side of the cassette which as its name infers, is an address filing, indexing and retrieval program.

Next issue, we’ll really have a competition for you to enter. Rotronics Wafadrives will be on offer as top prizes, and complete sets of OCP software will go to runners up. You’ll need to get hold of a copy of the Word Manager program to enter, though. We’re going to be asking you to write something with it!

WHAT A FESTIVE STUNT

Seasonal greetings from the men at the Virgin Megastore checkout desk. Yes chips, this is the Virgin animated Christmas card. All that is required is for you to load in side ‘A’ and then type in the name of the recipient and the sender. Once the formal bit is done the ‘card’ will do its thing and play a little melody followed by the animated picture.

In the foreground there is a very Christmassy house. If you look carefully you can see Santa zig-zagging from left to right all the time getting closer to the house. As soon as he arrives he parks the reindeer and walks over to the chimney. The view then switches to the inside of the house, on the right hand side there a very cute Christmas tree, Santa mooches over and stuffs something into a stocking. As soon as he has completed the obligatory gift planting he turns and makes for the table where some refreshments have been left. The mince pie vanishes in a blink of the eye, quickly followed by a glass of Sherry. No wonder Santa emits a quick ‘Hic’ at the speed he has to work! Indigestion must be an occupational hazard for Santa but he doesn’t let it get him down, he just makes for the chimney and zooms off for the next delivery.

All very jolly and festive, but there’s more. If you grow weary of the Santa stunt, flip the tape over and load in your ‘free’ game, Space Command. You find yourself in control of a space ship and your mission is simple. Destroy all alien life forms as they enter the confines of the screen. In order to frazzle the foe efficiently you will have to manoeuvre your craft about the skies and avoid colliding with the enemy. You can select a mode in which the aliens actually shoot back in which case the whole affair is considerably more dangerous.

Since the game is staged on one screen only, anything flying off one edge of the screen wraps round to appear on the opposite side. This can be very confusing if you insist on flying about at great speed as you are certain to collide with a nasty. The aliens will push home their attack, wave after wave. If you manage to destroy a complete wave then you will be rewarded with an extra life — but no mince pies.