He (it?) can stretch his arm out 350mm (just over a foot) and hold objects
weighing up to 250 g (about half a pound).
Developed by Oxbridge Technology in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, Archie
takes just two hours to assemble, and the minirobot’s software will quickly
teach you how to use him.
Archie is available for most personal computers; the £220 price
includes an appropriate software package. At the moment he’s on sale only from
the manufacturers, though an Oxbridge Technology spokesman says Archie will be
in at least three high-street chains by the autumn.
GAMES MAGS CLOSE
COMPUTER GAMER magazine has closed — just four
months after Argus Specialist Publications tried to save the monthly with a
major relaunch, making it a lighter read.
But the improvements weren’t enough to keep the title alive, said Argus
Circulation Director Raymond Lewis. It was selling about 23,000 copies a month,
with ‘very few’ subscribers.
Also gone to the great back-issues office in the sky is Argus’s ZX
Monthly, which had suffered massive circulation damage this year. Through
1986 it was selling an average of 28,652 copies each month (half of them
overseas) — but by this spring the figure had dropped to under 20,000, Lewis
In 1986 CRASH sold an average of 96,327 copies each month.
The June issues of both Argus magazines will be the last. And the company
has no plans to sell them off or incorporate them into other titles, according
STOP STOP GADGET
MELBOURNE HOUSE has scrapped Inspector Gadget And
The Circus Of Fear, due for release this spring.
The TV licence featured the hapless policeman and his Go Go Gadgets in a
madcap struggle to defuse bombs and save the world — but it seems problems in
the Spectrum program by David Moore and William Tang blew up in the software
A new Inspector Gadget will be programmed, starting from scratch, says
Melbourne House’s Jo Meads.
FIREBIRD’S £1.99 Silver range recently bought the
rights to some 40 oldies-but-goodies by Activision. Now they’ve added
Ariolasoft’s puzzle game Think! to their list of cheap classics — it should be
on the streets already. Think!, from Tigress Designs, received 82%
Overall in the April 1986 CRASH.
BOUNDER BOUNDS BACK
BOUNDER is a year old this month, and to celebrate the
bbbbouncy tennis-bbbball hero’s bbbbirthday Gremlin will release his next
adventure, Re-Bounder, in July for £7.99.
It’ll be much like the original Bounder (a CRASH Smash in June 1986 —
Bounder’s two programmers, Colin ‘Fungus’ Dooley and Chris Kerry, are
doing the conversion from the C64.
In Re-Bounder the player negotiates 18 perilous levels of
impenetrable walls, collapsible floors and spiky tennis-ball-bursting
But this time Bounder is equipped with armour plating and a weapon (which
still hasn’t been chosen by Gremlin’s armoury!) — so there’ll be plenty of
alien-blasting needed to get through and obliterate the sentinel at the end of
OCEAN ON THE MARCH
OCEAN has commissioned a game of the gritty Vietnam film
Platoon, which zoomed to the top of the box-office charts when it was
released last month.
The Platoon game should appear this autumn on the three main
Ocean’s Gary Bracey couldn’t reveal who the programmers are, but said that
it’s not being done in-house — and that the names will have ‘a familiar ring’.
The world waits...
Describing the difficult Platoon project, Ocean Chairman David Ward
explained: ‘Platoon doesn’t contain the political rhetoric of
Rambo, yet it’s been a tremendous success. It’s an honest film, and we
intend to treat it sympathetically.
‘In computer entertainment the victorious soldier is usually the hero,’ he
said, ‘but in this film the heroes are much more complex. So a lot of work and
thought is required to create a stimulating product.’
A WAG TOO FAR?
THE MAD SCIENTISTS at Konix continue their cruel and
unusual waggling of the company’s Speed King joystick in an attempt to find out
just how long you can shake it all about, our Waggling Editor
The joystick, which declined to be named, has been waggled by an electric
drill since early March at 450 wpm (waggles per minute). 12 hours a day, six
days a week. CRASH calculates thatby the time this is published the Speed King
will have waggled some 20 million waggles — if it survives.
Someone stands to win £100 when the joystick waggles its last; a couple
of hundred entered a Konix competition (now closed) to guess its endurance, as
reported by Hunter S Minson in the Christmas CRASH. The highest guess was 11
years, says Konix waggling spokesman Michael Baxter...
The Speed King is connected to an Amstrad 6128 computer, where a program by
Christian Urquhart will monitor its dying shudders. Urquhart says the 450 wpm
rate is enough to qualify from the first round in the 100 metres in Daley
Thompson’s Decathlon, which he coauthored.
Does that make a Konix a corporate champion? Is the amateur spirit of the
Olympics irretrievably lost? It’s hard to know where Konix (based in Tredegar,
Gwent) will stop — the joystick is ‘still waggling persistently,’ says Baxter,
and they’re aiming for the Guinness Book Of World Records.
ONE OF OUR SUBS IS BANNED
WEST GERMANY has banned MicroProse’s Silent
Service — for being ‘too realistic’.
The Second World War sub simulation, known in Germany as Das U Boot,
was placed on the Youth Dangerous Publications List, set up to protect young
Germans from porn and material which might encourage violence.
Now the game (reviewed in FRONTLINE, CRASH March 1987) is only available to
West Germans from controlled outlets such as sex shops.
But MicroProse plans to appeal the decision, and take the West German
authorities to court if necessary. Said the American software house’s
President, Bill Stealey: ‘They should take a second look at legislation which
wrongly lumps together computer software with pornographic videos.
‘Driving sophisticated software into the backstreets will have a damaging
effect on Germany s own burgeoning industry.’
While Stealey seeks to save Das U Boot, staff at MicroProse’s
European headquarters in Tetbury, Gloucestershire can wait and see whether the
furore will push up UK sales of Silent Service, already one of their top
sellers — the German incident even got them the front page of The