AMAUROTE received a CRASH Smash and a rave 128K review last month — but now there are some problems with the Mastertronic budget game, and with their earlier Zub.

Mastertronic were running very late with their Amaurote schedule, so rather than keep everyone waiting another few weeks they decided to release a 48K-only version — without the flashy music, stills and animated sequence.

They then remastered and released the 48K Amaurote with 128K enhancements. The same thing happened with Zub.

So there are two versions of Amaurote and Zub floating around in computer shops.

But if you’re a 128/+2 owner who bought a copy of the 48K Amaurote or Zub on the strength of our reviews only to find that the great graphics and sonic goodies weren’t there, you didn’t waste your dosh.

To get a proper 128K copy of Amaurote or Zub just send your 48K version back to Mastertronic with a covering note, and they’ll send you a wizzo new one for no extra charge.


REACH OUT and touch something with Educated Archie, announced as the ‘ultimate serious toy’ for home computers — a robotic arm which picks up objects and uses tools, controlled from a Spectrum.

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.


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 revealed.

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 to Lewis.


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 house’s face.

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 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 objects...

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 each level.


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 formats.

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.’


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 writes.

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.


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 Independent.