Readers who have already ‘flicked’ through this issue, will have noticed that there have been some changes in the CRASH you have come to know over the past few months. Most of these changes are ones among the staff, and perhaps the most obvious is that CRASH has a new Editor. Well, not exactly new.
Graeme Kidd, who has so ably guided CRASH to its current pre-eminence among all British computer magazines, whether they be specialist or general, has moved across to edit our sister title, LM, while I have returned to edit CRASH. In pursuance of the need to keep a fresh perspective, recharge the creative batteries, and provide you, the reader, with the best possible magazine, Graeme and I decided to ‘swap’ roles.
So ‘Traitor’ Kean returns, after a perambulation through the Commodore 64 world, the Amstrad domain, and a nine-month sojourn with non computer-owning philistines that resulted in the launch of LM.
For readers who joined the CRASH fold after the August 1985 issue (the injuncted one!), perhaps I should explain my background.
It was April 1983 that the concept for a Spectrum games magazine first blinked into existence in the minds of Oliver Frey, Franco Frey and myself. We worked at it for several months, trying to persuade the extremely sceptical newstrade that there was a need for such a magazine. And so it was October that year before we got the go-ahead to start. By then Crash Micro Games Action, a mail order firm, had been selling Spectrum games for about six months, and as the Editor of the proposed new title, I had managed to gain a pretty good grasp of games playing (and racked up some fairly good scores as well — Penetrator completed 11 times...).
Despite a brave attempt to get the magazine launched before Christmas, Issue One of CRASH actually went on sale on Friday the 13th of January 1984 — a lucky day indeed. I reviewed games with the other members of a growing review team, and edited CRASH right up until Issue 18, before handing over to Graeme Kidd, who had been the Assistant Editor for six months. In moving over to ZZAP! 64, I earned the appellation ‘Traitor’ from CRASH readers! Somewhat unfairly, as I have always kept well in touch with CRASH, have always been its publisher, and many of the pages you have read over the past year may well have been ‘laid out’ by my hands.
The other changes in CRASH are spelled out below, but meanwhile I’m looking forward very much to re-establishing contacts with both people in the trade and with the CRASH readership through these pages, and maybe finding the time to get through Penetrator for a twelfth time — if there’s still a copy around...
A magazine is rather like a human being; it grows, goes through phases and changes — yet it never quite loses touch with its past and its roots. Hopefully it never loses touch with its readers. For the last fix months CRASH has been undergoing several changes. Some of these have been obvious ones on the presentation side: a new look for Smashes, reviewers’ names appearing under critical comments in the reviews, a revamp of the games ratings and so on.
Others have been among the staff. For a while Graeme Kidd has had an overseeing role on CRASH, as Publishing Executive for all Newsfield’s computer titles, and the role of Editor has been an unclear one. That now changes with Roger Kean’s return to the Editor’s chair (the only one in the office with castors).
Another new face is that of Richard Eddy, who until recently worked on AMTIX!. But Richards’s Spectrum pedigree is unquestionable. He’s owned one since early 1984, and was a CRASH reader almost from the first issue. His name first cropped p at the Towers when he sent in his version of a page heading for Lloyd Mangram’s Forum. Lloyd was impressed enough to use it in Issue 18 (July 1985). But it was another year before the persistent Eddy’s literary bombardment paid off, and in desperation to keep him quiet, he was employed as a staff writer.
Richard’s long games-playing experience will be put to good use in the reviews, and in helping poor, hard-worked Lloyd with checking out POKEs, tips and maps.
Which brings up to the next major change. Lloyd’s back with the Playing Tips section — for a few months anyway. Lee Paddon — there’s an article by him in this issue — and Hannah Smith have left the team as part of the reorganisation. Melissa Ravenflame has girlie tipstering to herself again, but as we all know, the Raving Dame’s only half the woman she’s supposed to be.
There are still some alterations planned in the review section of CRASH. Many letters have said how much better things are with the ratings after the recent revamp there, but improvements are still to come. Ben Stone has been getting to grips with 128 versions for the extra review comments box on mainstream games, but if they still seem a little thin on the ground this month, forgive us for the inevitable confusion created by so many changes in the office. Ben will be right on top of next month.
And as you will see in this issue, a lot more reviews have been given colour screens than ever in the past, and we’re hoping to do even more next issue as part of the never-ending quest to improve CRASH and bring you the very best in Spectrum gaming.