Live Circuit

Okay, where’s the snow? Who’s had it? Where’s it gone? How do you expect me to bemoan being caught up In the Shropshire blizzards if all we get are a few clouds? What’s the world coming to? DJ Nicko got his Turbo Nutter Sledge XRi poised at the top of the steepest Ludlow hill and waited. He’s still there now, gazing into space waiting for the first snowflake to fail. No doubt the snow won’t arrive until I’ve planted my first few flower bulbs in the spring and it’ll kill off all the shoots. Hope you’re all enjoying your festive hols — if you have time to drop me line after ploughing through the ton of action on the Powertape, then be quick about it! Who’s going to scoop this month’s £40 of software for letter of the month? Read on...

PHEW! 1990!

Dear Lloyd
Every year somebody says ‘Oh, this is the last year for the Spectrum’ and this year I’m saying it. Well, look back at 1990 and what have we had? A pretty dismal trickle of games from February to November. Nothing has really sparkled and, apart from Midnight Resistance and Pipe Mania, I haven’t been impressed with the games I’ve bought. I think what upset the applecart this year was the World Cup. Nearly every software houses’ major release from Spring into Summer was a football game. US Gold’s Italy 1990 was decent, but the rest were wasted efforts (though I bet they brought in plenty of cash for the software houses).

However, here we are in November and the software market appears to be going manic for Christmas. In your Christmas Biggies guide I was surprised how many games will be out for the festive season. This is what I think will happen in the future: Software houses will restrict themselves to releasing major licensed games at Christmas with a smaller burst of releases for the Easter holidays. And the number of games being released will get smaller and smaller as 16-bit software and console software popularity grows — selling at around £25 it’s obviously a better investment for the software houses than a £10 Spectrum cassette which can be easily pirated.

Guess what’s on my Christmas list this year? A Sega! I’m not chucking out my Spectrum as I still enjoy some games and I’ll still be buying CRASH because I think it’s great and I like the section of games on your Powertapes. But it’s time for me to join the Japanese revolution and get a taste of the consoles.
Andrew Potts

Despite your valid points, I still say the Speccy has a lot of life in it yet, even if the amount of full-price software being published is diminishing. Budget software is currently riding high and selling more units than full-price, and it looks set to continue this way with both rereleases and original product flooding in. So, stick with your plan, and don’t chuck out your Speccy because 1991 may hold a few very pleasant surprises! And just to make sure you don’t desert us, I’m sending you a £40 software voucher to spend on Speccy games...