Live Circuit

Halloween parties and preparing for Bonfire night is the main topic of conversation at the Towers, and what a pain (are you listening Roberts?). The ‘jolly’ CRASH team complete with Freddy Kruger masks keep sneaking up behind me while I’m hammering away at my Hermes, and scream BOO! EEEEEEECCCCHHHHKKK! The shocks wreck my nervous system — and mmikes ttipying evarr sOo dudfficulot. Kids! Pass the sedatives someone...


Dear Lloyd
After all these years of buying CRASH (and believe you me it’s an anniversary for me but I’m not telling which), I’ve finally bucked up the courage to write to you. I thought you’d like to know I’m probably one of the oldest CRASH readers, and guess what, I’m getting married this month, and he loves me for my Speccy games (okay, stop being sick out there because it’s so... romantic). And no it’s not the only reason, because we’ve both got different computers. His brothers have an Atari ST, and even his 84 year old granny likes computer games. So who said TV is killing the art of conversation?
Jan and the Mob

PS We need the £40 for more games (crawl, crawl)

Nice to hear that the Speccy and CRASH have brought you happiness, Jan. Don’t computers stop civilised conversation? Judging by all the swearing in the Towers, I have my — AAAGH! Stop it, Roberts! Enjoy the wedding present!


Dear Lloyd
So Nick thinks it should be ‘Licence to make the player jolly mad’ does he?, I think it should be ‘Licence to complete’. I am of course talking about Licence To Kill from Domark. After reading your review in CRASH issue 68, I thought ‘oh good, a nice challenging game’. So I popped into my local computer store and forked out ten quid. When I got home I loaded up the game and had a few goes. About an hour later I had managed to reach the final level. After a further few attempts I had completed it. To prove it here is the message that appears — ‘Well done James, you have smashed Sanchez’s evil drugs empire.’ So how about it Nick?, by the way I think CRASH is brilliant.
Yours sincerely
Colin Chapman

I personally think Nick lacks real arcade skills, and OUCH!

Next time I’m in Selkirk, I’ll show you just what I think of smartyboots — Nick


Dear Lloyd
I am in the process of setting up a Spectrum Public Domain library at the moment, although I am still slightly short of contributions. Due to this I am appealing to fellow CRASH readers. The sorts of things I’m looking for are music utilities, games, pictures and fonts and any unusual programs. Anyone who submits a program will receive a free catalogue and some free programs of their choice. So if you want to contribute, or receive the catalogue just write (and send an SAE) to:
Robert Blackmore

Nice initiative, Robert. Make sure all contributions are genuine reader originals, though! Or else...


Last issue’s letter from R. Clayton of E&J Software about the review of their game Treble Champions has brought in a fair amount of response. Wyatt Wendels agreed with E&J’s points:

I personally am a football game freak and believe they should be given a fair go as there is usually more to see than the finances, results and team, and I feel that maybe two days playing a high quality game is not enough. Reading the review it appears it was written off on the fact that it was unoriginal. I find this makes no difference.

The Wiz from Liverpool obviously shares the sentiment:

He gave you a right rollicking didn’t he? Well it’s your own fault! If you employ reviewers who have closed minds on the subject, ie prefer shoot ’em ups, maze games etc, then you are bound to get biased reviews. I am an avid game player, from the likes of Double, Soccer Boss, Football Manager, Football Director. Footballer of the Year, Soccer Q to Premier League. I play the games for seasons on end so I get a good idea of how good or bad the games are.

But then P. Clayton (no relation) from Northants and proud owner of the old Football Manager makes his point:

Time goes by, and I decided to have a look at what the current scene had to offer. Treble Champions had a whole host of features, so I thought to myself: ‘Look no further.’

He was disappointed:

I find it hard to believe that, in this day and age a company like Challenge (E&J) has the GALL to charge £9.95 for something which isn’t even budget quality. The overall speed of the game is a JOKE. The list of features IS impressive but there is no real gameplay or addictiveness. So it’s back to Football Manager for me. Sorry, Challenge. I’m sure you spent a lot of time on the program, I just wish you’d spent some more on the speed and gameplay.

And to cheer Nick Roberts up, The Wiz:

Might I add that the reviews in the same issue for Soccer 7, International Football, British Super League and The Footballer, are spot on, as these games are basically the same format as earlier seen from Cult.

There we go. More next month if opinionated enough.

Moans, quibbles, silliness — just send it in for shredding to: Live Circuit, CRASH.


Apparently the new joystick about to appear from the Spectravideo stable is such an advancement on previous sticks they plan to call it a game controller (which is all a ‘joystick’ is at the end of the day). The Quickshot QS 129 Flight Controller looks neat and different. Control is achieved by placing your thumbs on the cursor and firebutton, holding the device in both hands like an outlandish steering wheel. Could be great, could be uncomfortable. We’ll have to give it a CRASH test soon. The marvel of modern technology will be available soon for £12.50 from all good stockists.


Raring to go after Tengen’s Toobin’ and Hard Drivin’ (see this month’s previews) are Cyberball and Escape From The Planet Of The Robot Monsters. Cyberball is set in the not too distant future when the game of Gridiron Football has been taken over by huge robots many times the size of a man. The game remains the same, move the ball up the pitch and score a ‘touch down’, but here the the ball is... a bomb. Spend too long faffing around and BOOM, one barbequed quarterback. Escape From The Planet Of The Robot Monsters sounds like a B-Movie and has either Jake or Duke (two hip ’n’ trendy lads) — choose which you want to be — descend to the surface of Planet X to thwart the plans of the evil Reptilons. These are nasty alien creatures who have enslaved a bunch of humans and are forcing them to build a robot army to invade Earth. Both will be released early next year, and both will be absolutely brilliant, totally... snip.


Gremlin, those nice people who brought you Sam Stoat this CRASH, are poised to release The House Mix, a fabbo compilation: Artura, Techno Cop, Motor Massacre, Skate Crazy, Night Raider and Dark Fusion. Sounds like a great value box of goodies. The House Mix should be in the shops late October.


’Ere we go, ’ere we go, ’ere we go... Yes, another footy game has just been announced. Not deterred by the opposition Screen 7 have signed up Vinnie Jones, hurrah... what do you mean who’s Vinnie Jones — he’s the star player of Leeds Utd. The game will be programmed by Emerald Software and titled ‘Vinnie Jones Soccer Spectacular’. We hope so. Release date should be November.


Crikes! Thalamus are back — back! Producers of Sanxion: The Spectrum Remix are back in action in a couple of months with a bountiful line up of wizzo Speccy games set to thrill and amaze.

The big one to look out for is a mammoth arcade adventure called The Search For Sharla and is based on a similar theme to the classic Lords Of Midnight, using walkthrough graphics.

Also planned is Mindroll: Que-dex USA, a conversion of the Commodore 64 (spit!) game Que-dex by EPYX in the States. Also there’s the mega space blaster Armalyte, one of the best selling shoot ’em ups of last year. Screenshots soon...


Alternative Software are set to release a £2.99 game based on the cartoon hero Count Duckula — everyone’s favourite vegetarian vampire duck! Lock up your lettuce!!


Adventurers, RPGers and computer strategists everywhere, don’t despair: Help is here! Inter Action, a new home grown company set up by four of the most insane but adventurous people we know, aims to rescue stranded players ready to throw themselves out the window. The Harlequin and Rob Steel (ex ZZAP and TGM adventurer), Auntie Marg (a very nice girl despite her liking for Trolls and Goblins) and Nik Wild (ex TGM media star — or so it says here) are the people responsible. What they offer is Inter Action membership, six bi-monthly A5 Harlequin and Steel dossier packed with news, reviews, hints, maps etc., access to a telephone helpline, plus an intermediate newsletter to keep you up to date on all the happenings in adventureland. All this for £5! Can’t be bad, can it?


What’s happening in comic land and what to look out for! Mark Caswell makes his choice

The Sensational She-Hulk
Marvel Comics, 70p Monthly

Jennifer Walters was a petite defence lawyer until she ran foul of local mobster Nicholas Trask. His thugs tried to kill her but failed — only just. Luckily Jennifer’s cousin Bruce Banner (aka The Hulk) came to the rescue, giving her a blood transfusion. Later in hospital Trask’s goons tried again, only to find Banner’s radiated blood given to Jennifer had turned her into a 6’ plus green goliath.

Thus The Savage She-Hulk was born. The comic bombed in the States and everyone thought they’d seen the last of Shulkie. But Marvel have given her a second chance, and nine issues into the new series I think they made the right decision. Because even fighting baddies like The HeadMen, The Circus Of Crime and diabolical Dr Bong, her wicked sense of humour is very rarely shaken. The artistic and writing genius of John Byrne succeeds in portraying Miss Walters as a very human character despite facing totally preposterous villains. This is Marveldom, and Shulkie is one of my greatest heroines. Try her, you won’t be disappointed.

The Punisher
Marvel Comics, 40p weekly, 70p monthly

The Punisher appears in several comics, a British weekly, two American monthlies (The Punisher and The Punisher War Journal) and several glossy graphic novels. The man behind the Skull emblem is Frank Castle — Vietnam vet and only survivor of his family’s murder at the hands of the mob, now the black clad vigilante known and feared by crime bosses as The Punisher. A Punisher film starring Dolph Lundgren and a computer game by The Edge will be out soon to cement his popularity. Parallels between The Punisher and Batman can be drawn, but Mr Castle’s methods of cleaning up the streets are more drastic. A good story with lots of gratuitous violence thrown in!

Dark Horse Comics, £1.25 Bi-Monthly

It is several years on from Aliens, the movie where everyone bar Ripley, the young girl Newt and Space Marine Corporal Hicks perished. Newt is now a young woman confined to a mental hospital, and Hicks drifts in and out of trouble with everyone assuming he has somehow been infected by the Aliens. The comic follows their adventures and further encounters with the aliens in glorious mono. Worth a look.

There, something to get on with. More comix news soon!