A long, long time ago in an issue far, far away, we asked you some questions to help us determine how CRASH is seen by YOU the reader (actually, it was the March issue). It’s taken quite a while to persuade someone daft enough to enter all the info into a computer to sort out the statistics, but finally Graeme Kidd’s friend was offered a bribe and did it for us. Here are the results...

First off the age of CRASH readership. We broke the span up into several blocks — 2% were under 10 years. 10-13 25.35%; 14-17 50.47%; 18-24 10%; 25-35 9.29%; and over 36 it was 4.06%. The average age of CRASH readers was (hang on to your hats...) 17.23317591 years old!

We asked you how often you buy CRASH. 90.94% of those who answered said they buy it every month, while 9.9% said occasionally and 0.68% said they read someone else’s copy — pirates!

One of the big questions was what other computer titles you buy regularly and how you rate them. The figures given for CRASH are bound to be a bit inflated as this was a CRASH questionnaire after all, but it still comes out rather well (modest coughs...). In order of popularity then followed by a percentage rating for what the magazine’s readers think of it:

  1. CRASH 86.59%
  3. SINCLAIR USER 58.53%
  4. YOUR SPECTRUM 63.48%
  5. P.C. WEEKLY 60.28%
  6. YOUR COMPUTER 58.17%
  12. WHAT MICRO 53%

We asked you quite a bit about the reviews in CRASH, kicking off with whether reading CRASH has influenced your recent games buying; 75.78% said YES; a measly 2.36% said NO; and and 21.85% said SOMETIMES. Seems a fairly overwhelming vote of confidence, but did you agree with the review having bought and played the game? 15.91% said ALWAYS; a more reasonable 78.66% said MOST OF THE TIME; 5.2% said HALF THE TIME; and an insignificant 0.24% said NEVER (pooh to them).

We wanted to know what you thought of the length and detail of the reviews. 11.15% thought they should be longer; 3.44% thought shorter, while the majority of 85.41% thought they were okay as they are. Of those who thought there could be change, most (30.28%) thought they should be more detailed. You obviously like to have review ratings, an overwhelming 93.03% said YES; only 2.56% said NO and 4.41% said they didn’t know. Having said ratings are wanted, how does the CRASH system fare? 42.08% said it’s EXCELLENT; 51.02% said GOOD; 6.06% said AVERAGE and a paltry 0.84% said POOR (double pooh to them).

How do the CRASH reviews stand up against reviews for games in other magazines? BETTER? Yes said 94.7%, which is pretty staggering. 5.3% said ABOUT THE SAME and only 0.55% said CRASH reviews are worse.

Moving from reviews to other sections seen in comparison, we asked you to vote for each section’s popularity, and here they are in descending order. Sadly the nurd who devised the questions went and left out Playing Tips, but never fear, subsequent answers will reveal all!

  1. Reviews
  2. Software previews
  3. News
  4. Competitions
  5. CRASH Forum
  6. Adventure Trail
  7. General articles and features
  8. Hotlines
  9. Games Index
  10. Signpost
  11. Hardware articles
  12. Contents
  13. Editorial
  14. Utility reviews
  15. Advertisements
  16. Programmer profiles
  17. Frontline
  18. Comic strips
  19. Hall of Slime
  20. Advertisers’ index

This ordering produces few surprises, although we discovered not that many people enter competitions or vote for the Hotlines, but seem to think they are valuable anyway...

Voting for the Hotline went; 8% EVERY MONTH; 34.93% OCCASIONALLY and 57.06% NEVER. Adventure chart was similar with 5.1% EVERY MONTH; 20.09% OCCASIONALLY; and 74.81% NEVER. Comparing the Hotline charts with other types of chart we got 43.84% said BETTER; 22.7% said MORE FAIR; 14.95% said RELEVANT. Some 17% thought they were less fair and worse than others.

We asked whether you like the Lunar Jetman comic strip and 55.63% said YES; 16.59% said NO; and 27.78% said they were not bothered. With the Terminal Man comic strip we got 42.24% saying YES; 25.65% saying NO; and 32.11% said they were not bothered.

In writing to the CRASH Forum, it again seems that less people write in than think it is valuable and enjoy it because only 4.3% have written MORE THAN TWICE; 3.41% have written TWICE; 11.48% have written ONCE and the vast majority, 80.8% have NEVER WRITTEN.

Onto Playing Tips, and the insufferable Candy now has a bigger head than ever! A staggering 90.11% said they are VALUABLE; a barely visible 0.3% said USELESS and 9.6% said INTERESTING BUT NEVER USE THEM. This was echoed by the Tips game maps with 90.11% again saying VALUABLE; 0.6% USELESS; and 9.3% saying INTERESTING but never use them. Candy thinks a lot of people out there have got taste...!

With the competitions we asked how you felt and 5.6% said there are too many; 35.35% said not enough; and a comfortable 58.76% thought they are fine as they are. Somewhat better figures for general articles, with 6.7% saying TOO LONG; 10.5% saying TOO SHORT; but most people think we get them right with 82.76% saying OKAY AS THEY ARE.

Signpost obviously hold a lesser interest for the majority with 45.57% saying VALUABLE; 12.22% saying USELESS; and 42.22% saying INTERESTING but never use the tips.

We asked you what areas of CRASH you would like to see expanded. Once again Robin Candy comes out tops, with a 24.15% vote for the Playing Tips, far and away the biggest slab — Reviews, for instance, the next most popular, received only 16%. Here is the order:

  1. Playing Tips
  2. Reviews
  3. News
  4. Software House profiles
  5. Hardware/Utilities
  6. Signpost
  7. Adventure Trail
  8. Programmer profiles
  9. CRASH Forum
  10. Hall of Slime
  11. Frontline
  12. CRASH Course

As we did in the previous questionnaire, we asked whether you wanted to see games program listings in CRASH. Last time we asked, 96% said NO. Slightly different this time: 16.85% said YES; 82.08% said NO and 1.06% said they didn’t know.

Finally we asked whether reading CRASH influenced you to actually buy games. 70.05% said YES; 1.72% said NO; and 28.23% said SOMETIMES. Again, a pretty overwhelming result.

In case anyone is wondering whether most returned questionnaire forms came from CRASH subscribers and would consider this a favourably biasing factor, the returned forms came 26.67% from subscribers and 73.5% from non-subscribers.

This concludes the results of the 1985 CRASHTIONNAIRE! Make what you will of the statistics, we’re giving them some hard thought as well.