It’s been a busy month at CRASH Towers, and the results of all the dashing about is reflected in these pages...


... not least being our extra special 16-page Oink! supplement in the centre. It’s the first time we’ve joined forces with a completely different sort of publication as a means of offering even more value to you, the CRASH reader.

Everyone knows there’s a game coming out soon (from CRL) based on the famous top-selling IPC ‘alternative’ comic, but perhaps not so many know how Oink! came about in the first place. So we thought rather than just do the usual preview we would go into more background detail about the product from which the game is licensed — and wrap that round the preview. You can find the Oink! Inside Story on page 76. And following on from that...


... comes our big feature on another licensed game, The Living Daylights, being programmed by Des Des for Domark. Once again, we thought, why stop at a preview? The new James Bond film opens in London a in few days (29 June), and to get everyone’s adrenalin running for new Bond Timothy Dalton’s athletic debut, we’ve parcelled up an article about the film’s special effects around the preview, plus some details about Bond’s latest Aston Martin super car. That starts on page 86.

I hope you find these expanded previews’ enjoyable, and that providing more general material that isn’t computer-specific in CRASH valuable. And certainly you can look out for more joint ventures with other publishers in the near future which will provide you with supplements like the Oink! Special in this issue, and increase the magazine’s...


talking of which, here’s another change in the CRASH Ratings system. Throughout this edition, you’ll notice that the Value For Money rating has vanished. This change hasn’t been undertaken lightly. For over six months the games software industry has been in turmoil over budget games. Moves began last year when pressure was brought to bear on the various charts to treat budget titles as a separate entity from full-price games. Since then budget titles have moved from being in a minority to taking some 60 percent of the market.

It has become increasingly difficult for magazines like CRASH to divorce the concept of price from our reviewing systems — game cost is, after all, a vital consideration to the purchaser. However it doesn’t make, or shouldn’t make, any difference to other aspects of a game in review. And yet it has become clear that it does sometimes reflect in the ratings. It’s all too easy to say to yourself, ‘these aren’t such bad graphics, but at £1.99 they’re worth as much, if not more, than the much better graphics in that £7.99 game over there.’

We’ve had two or three interesting instances in the last two issues where CRASH reviewers have assumed a game is a budget title (they don’t always know the stated price) and looked at all the ratings in that light, and it has happened in reverse when a budget game was thought to have been full price.

We think that a game should be reviewed on its own merits — a good budget game is still a good game, not a marvellous one, and an average full-price game is still average, not awful. There are the reviews for you to read and digest, the price is at the top of the reviews, we think it’s up to you to make up your own minds as to the value they offer for the money. What do you think?

And on the score of CRASH reviewers...


Richard Eddy and Ben Stone have been a bit absent this month, the reason being that they were both packed off to London to attend a four-week course on journalism (a sort of advanced keh-ah-teh spells ‘cat’ thing). Bit of a pain really, as it left us very light-handed. But some Ludlow locals came to the rescue, and there are two new names and one very familiar one attached to many of the reviews.

New first: Nick Roberts lives in Ludlow and attends the local school. He’s been a CRASH reader since the year dot, so there’s a wealth of gaming experience behind his comments. Mark Rothwell has just moved to Ludlow (he’s a friend of Jonathan Rignall who works in our film planning department, and of the infamous ZZAP! person Julian Rignall). An ex-Spectrum games player turned Atari owner, Mark has found the return to Z80 programs a fascinating one, and he has certainly brought some refreshing insights to his reviews.

Last, but not least, the third name is that of Robin Candy, notorious for running the CRASH Playing Tips section for well over a year. Robin’s now at Ludlow Sixth Form College studying how to make money. He’s also a member of a band with the unpretentious name of Ad Lib To Fade — they’re also unpretentiously short of loot for new equipment and Robin was elected to raid the Newsfield coffers in return for some review comments. C’est la guerre.

And finally...


...if you’re wondering why CRASH is featuring a games console in its pages — well read the article and reviews on pages 102 and 103. No doubt Lloyd will be interested to hear everyone’s views on the subject. Is a games console a replacement for your Spectrum, or an exciting and complementary addition?