Brains over brains
SINCLAIR’S NEW MODELS
SIR CLIVE SINCLAIR has been at it again! His Cambridge-based
microchip firm Anamartic is preparing to launch a new chip: the wafer-scale
integration (WSI) memory device. This is promised to be entirely grease-free
and is apparently excellent with oodles of salt and vinegar. It should also
allow processor and memory chips to be combined for extra taste.
Apparently the WSI will transform fast-food computing. But Sir Clive has
been turning his attention to more pressing matters. In June, he’s wiring
up his circuits (ie, getting married) to beautiful ex-model, Bernadette Tynan.
According to The Mail On Sunday, the couple met through MENSA, the society for
really brainy sods. Bernadette’s IQ is only five points less than
Clive’s. Contrarily, her age is less than half his — it all goes to
show that Clive is still an expert in vital statistics.
You too can have weird dreams
BE A MOTORMOUTH
IF YOU watch ITV’s Motormouth on Saturday
mornings, you’ll no doubt have spotted the section featuring
Firebird’s odd arcade adventure, Weird Dreams. A viewer is
phoned and asked general knowledge questions. If the viewer gets the answer
right, the game’s main character proceeds to the next level.
Mega-amazing, you’re thinking, but so what? Well, the good news is that
Weird Dreams is coming soon to your Spectrum. So prepare yourself for
some Speccy surrealism within the next few months. Meanwhile, you can
experience weird dreams while watching Motormouth itself — it
sends most people off to the land of Nod.
BOB’S YOUR UNCLE
Eyes down for a full house, Domark have been revealed as the
software house responsible for bringing Bob Monkhouse to the Spectrum.
Bob’s Full House is the name, and bingo’s the game. So
apart from winning a positive parade of pretend prizes, we’ll be able to
sample a wealth of wit from the master of innuendo himself. So fingers on the
buzzers... I said buzzers, madam, smirk smirk... glazed look at the camera,
wait for canned laughter.
‘What can I say?’
1988 PR Girl of the Year
After so much argument about sexism in software the Ed’s
decided it’s all a load of boulderdash (or words to that effect). So
we’ve decided to award those hard-working girls that slave over a hot
phone from dawn until dusk, trying to convince everyone that their product is
much better than everyone else’s. Never mind what they’re called
— Marketing Assistants, Promotions Coordinators, Press Liaison
Officers — they’re all basically PR girlies. They all have a
special talent which sets them apart from the big cheeses — they can tell
you all about an uninteresting game, but still bring a smile to your face on a
rainy Friday night.
And so to the awards... In reverse order, third place goes to Richard
‘your secret’s safe with me, m’love’ Barclay from
gorgeous Gremlin Graphics, with luscious Liz Sandey from Cascade Games coming
in a seductive second. And the coveted award of CRASH 1988 PR Girl Of The Year
goes to the delectable Danielle Woodyatt from US Gold for her dedicated
devotion to software promotion. As well as the prestigious award, Danielle also
gets to review a game of her own choice within this very issue. Danielle chose
Human Killing Machine, turn to page 15 for her unbiased opinion.
SCOT LOSES HANDY HELP
AS A DIRECT consequence of Dominic Handy leaving CRASH, a mega
industry figure has suffered. As US Gold’s Software Manager, David
Baxter’s whole career has been expertly fashioned by the promotional
skills of Handy. It is rumoured that the CRASH Ed took this ‘poor,
pathetic excuse for a pile of trash’ from the lochs of Scotland and
introduced him to computers in the mid-1980s. Handy could see that Baxter had
an eye for the market when he got his first steady job at Elite. At least Mr
Baxter thought it was steady. Little was he to know that Handy was already
sculpting a new career for him at Birmingham-based US Gold, as head of the
Capcom/Rainbow Arts labels.
Although suffering at the beginning of 1988, Handy’s flamboyant skills
were realised in August 1988 when he chose Rainbow Arts’ The Great
Giana Sisters as cover-picture material for CRASH. The game was
immediately banned when rivals complained that the CRASH cover was so good it
would convince too many people to buy the game — the complainants ruled
‘unfair promotion’. Baxter was propelled to stardom as the producer
of the game, with classic quotes like ‘Nintendo are getting
Little was the world to know that more was to come from the fiendish mind of
Handy... Just four months later, David Baxter was propelled to MEGA-stardom
when Rainbow Arts produced Katakis. It was so good that the courts had
to completely ban it. The seed had again been sown with CRASH’s sister
magazine ZZAP!64/AMIGA/FISH, featuring the shoot-em-up on its cover.
How will quotes like ‘Human Killing Machine will knock your head off
and slash your throat’ come from the mouth of Baxter without the genius
of Handy behind him? We don’t know, but we wish both halves of the
promotional duo a successful year.
ULTIMATE TO BECOME LESS RARE
ULTIMATE: PLAY THE GAME, one of the most successful and exciting
software labels in Spectrum history, has been resurrected by the company behind
the games; Ashby Computers and Graphics. Just over six months ago ACG bought
back full right rights to the label and began developing games for it. The
first Spectrum releases are due out in several months, and there is a strong
likelihood that Jetman, and even Sabreman, will be featured.
Ultimate was started up by two coin-op game writers. Tim and Chris Stamper,
with the ambitious aim of bring original, arcade-style games to the Spectrum.
Their success was phenomenal and from 1983 to 1986 Ultimate lived up to their
name with every release Smashed. Then came the decision to sell minority rights
of the label to US Gold and the move to the village of Twycross where ACG could
concentrate on developing games for the Nintendo under the Rare: Designs On The
Future label. There were around 15 million Nintendos in the world then, and no
software piracy. Since then the Nintendo market exploded into a multi-billion
dollar industry in the US, and Rare are among its top games writers. In 1988
they invited ex-CRASH editor Roger Kean to their Twycross offices to give CRASH
the full story. The break with the normal, ultra-low media profile was due to a
desire to attract more programmers to write for Rare, and also the Razz board
— the heart of an ACG developed coin-op machine.
Back in 1988 ACG denied they had any plans to write for the relatively small
ST/Amiga, but this has now changed and all the Ultimate releases will appear
first on the 16-bit machines, with 8-bit conversions to follow. Most of the
games will be original titles — no Nintendo conversions — but there
will also be coin-op conversions. This break in tradition is due to the fact
ACG will be launching their own coin-op games in the US this month.
ACG now employ 43 programmers and are determined to maintain their
unparalleled standards. Chris Stamper, the programmer of the original hits,
will be doing some of the programming himself. CRASH certainly looks forward
to the new releases with great eagerness, the Ultimate brand of mystique and
sheer playability has been missing from the Spectrum for far too long.
We hereby apologise profoundly to Sinclair User for printing an
article about the new SAM Coupé — last year. We didn’t realise that
they had an ‘exclusive’ on it in their February 1989 issue.
‘Exclusive! ... At last! Details and pics’, they claimed on last
month’s front cover. Sorry to say this but CRASH first printed details of
SAM in January 1988! With a screen picture in Issue 50 (March of 1988!). Well I
suppose if you took a year to get something it would be ‘At
So to prove just how sorry we are, we’re sending a stack of games to
exigent editor Graham Taylor. What’s more, they’re on his favourite
format: Atari ST!
8 THINGS YOU NEVER WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT OUR DEPARTING ED
- Dom was born in a banana crate on the way to his dad’s fruit
- His first experience of computers occurred at playgroup, where
he reviewed Push The Beads on an abacus — ‘Nice graphics but
a bit repetitive.’
- He has actually gone off Tiffany, ever since she sang a duet with
- He keeps a cuddly toy tiger in his Fiesta — ‘Fluffy dice are so naff
and also don’t deter thieves.’
- Dominic’s all-time favourite phrase is ‘Damn that silly Production
Manager’ (or words to similar effect).
- He once almost bought a Metro made out of five different cars;
he can’t stand the sight of Metros to this day.
- He claims to have seen every film ever made, except Gremlins
for some strange reason.
- Dom has a psychotic desire to destroy all telephones, joysticks
and secretaries by twisting them and banging them on his desk. (That’s it, I’m
off — Ed.)
Courtesy of Phil King ‘It doesn’t matter what I print,
he’s buggering off’ Market Research
INTERESTING MARK CASWELL FACTS: Number 1
Ummm ... we can’t think of any. If you know anything the
slightest bit interesting about Mark we’d be glad to hear from you.