Live Circuit

With that festive time just around the corner a few extra notes found their way into the mailsack this month. Sadly, the notes were not of monetary value, but Christmas gift wants from the rabble. Nicko wants fame, stardom, etc on the DJ scene, Oli wants a 30 hour day because he can’t do everything in just 24 hours, Mark an extra 20 pages to witter on about coin-ops and comics and Richard wants a puppy. Aw! (Remember kids — A cute animal pet is for life, not just for Christmas.) Me? I just want some peace. Have a good one.



Dear Lloyd
Here I was enjoying myself playing, no not Manic Miner or Jet Set Willy, but Fast Food by CodeMasters. All of a sudden I got to ‘wow’ level 30, the instructions say that at level 30 you’ll get a surprise, so I carried on. I passed Level 30 then the next screen appeared. I looked at it and paused the game because couldn’t play, it was impossible. It was a surprise alright: the screen was upside down and back to front, it was weird. I said to myself ‘Kylie Minogue you should play, it’s right up your street’ (Eh? — LM). I didn’t want to turn the game off as it was the first time I’d got that far, so I did the only thing I could: I turned my monitor upside down and played looking through a mirror, eventually I gave up. My advice to you if you intend to play any further than Level 30 is to

  1. keep a mirror handy
  2. learn to stand on your head or
  3. turn your tv or monitor upside down.

Have fun
Mark Corrington

Erm, thank you. Or thank our Christmas spirit for awarding you letter of the month.


Dear Lloyd
Writing this letter gives me no pleasure because I am a long time CRASH reader, and I don’t like to see the magazine go into a sharp decline. However I think there are valid points to be made about the much heralded new look CRASH, and so here goes.

Firstly re-launching the mag with a cover mounted cassette and greatly reduced editorial content was, in my opinion, a monumental mistake. I’m sure that many other readers would agree on his point, which is why they are deserting you in droves. You can’t deny this because the latest ABC figure shows a drop of almost 14,000 or 21% in readership. Since the new look was intended to counter the slide it has obviously been a terrible move.

Your publisher went for a more games orientated format, in the simplistic belief that it suited the majority taste. In other words because most Speccy owners use their computers for entertainment, it was felt that they aren’t interested in other aspects eg programming and hardware etc. WRONG!, when you dropped the excellent Tech Niche section you effectively ruined the balance of the mag, which was what set it apart from other Speccy ‘comics’.

Secondly, the September issue cover showing an African hunter holding an Elephant’s tusk was disgusting. You are irresponsibly undermining the work of all those people who are trying to raise environmental awareness and end the senseless slaughter of this mammal. Finally, I know you probably won’t print this letter because it is too critical, so I make this plea — bring back the old CRASH which was both educational and fun. The 8-Bit market has passed its peak now, and you won’t revive it through your current approach, only hasten its end.
D. Speck

ABCs are the average monthly sales of magazines over a six month period audited independently. What you don’t see Mr Speck, is that the ‘new’ CRASH’s sales barely had any effect on the average you quote, as the period in question is January to June, and the first Mega Power Tape issue was June. We’re rather chuffed to have found that many more people (15–20,000 more) are now buying CRASH and that they like the change. Sorry.

As to the Tusker cover, I’m afraid I think you’re being silly. The game concerned is not about ivory hunters, but about looking for the fabled Graveyard of LONG and NATURALLY dead elephants! So please control your paranoia.


Dear Lloyd
I am a very unhappy ZX Spectrum 128K +2 computer who has had Postman Pat (freak!), Rock Star Ate My Hamster (?), Fruit Machine Simulator and Advanced Pinball Simulator played on me all the time. My master also plays the CRASH games quite a bit too. Well, it just happened the other night I had a blank tape in my datacorder and two CRASH magazines were lying next to me. I had a good read and thought they were brillo! I found the address to write letters into and sent this. I hope I can have £40 of new games to have loaded on me (hint hint!) and could they include Chuckie Egg 1 please? I like Chuckie Egg 2 loaded on me and my friend Freddy the 48K computer who lives down the road has told me about it. Please, please, please, please. Something new!
Willy the 128K+2 Computer, c/o Nell Scribbins

I’m afraid we don’t give out software vouchers to Speccys. And besides, the Power Tape’s six games should keep you happy for a while. Funny, more and more Speccies seem to be getting an education: this is the second one to have written in since October...


Dear Lloyd
Treble Champions? Huh! Treble Champions 34%?! You must be joking. The game is crud, It doesn’t even deserve 10%! I bought it as I’m a great fan of football management games, and this is the worst ever! I have Football Manager 1 + 2, Soccer Q, and lots more. I have recently purchased ‘Advanced Soccer Simulator’. That deserved a Smash, it was a heck of a lot better than Treble Champions, and a heck of a lot cheaper! What a waste of space their letter was.
Paul Hunt
PS. Where’s Phil King?

Phil King fell for the Commodore and is now working on ZZAP!. Poor deluded fellow.


Dear Lloyd
I am writing this letter to try and stop myself from smashing my Spectrum into bits (poor little thing). It all started when I bought my favourite monthly mag (CRASH) from my newsagent. Then when I found the tape with Test Drive 2 from Accolade on it I thought I’d be able to go home and have a nice long game on it. The only problem was that when I’d loaded it I found my dreams of playing this demo were over. I thought demos were playable, instead I find it does everything on its own and you can’t do anything to control it!!! That was what drove me around the bend, so next time you bring out a demo please, please, please could you make it so you can play it. If not for my sake, for my poor little Spectrum’s sake which now has a bit of a headache.
John Bottemley

The Testdrive II demo was an odd one out really, all our demos are usually playable. But the game was not ready for a playable demo at that stage. The idea was to show off the game’s graphic capabilities. To be fair, the cover lines clearly state when a demo is playable. Hope this month’s Gazza’s Super Soccer demo pleases you more!


Dear Lloyd
Hi. I’m writing this letter on the 13th October. Yes, the day a new virus entered the world of computers. Mine has not suffered by the virus as it has already broken down. ‘The power supply, rats,’ I thought when it broke, and ‘phew’ when I heard the news. I would like to know whether any Spectrums were affected. What will happen to all the people who are to start computer courses? Do you know how long it will last for? I hope it only lasts for the day.
Yours sincerely

It’s impossible for Spectrums to get the virus as viruses tend to hang out on PCs, Amigas and occasionally STs. So no need to worry at all. But I should get the power supply seen to.



Black Tiger, appearing early next year from US Gold, follows the story of one man’s crusade to rid the world of three very large and very evil dragons. Along the way BT will be helped by a variety of friendly strangers, but the restoration of peace is in your hands. Around the same time Crack Down will be available: early in the 21st century a band of genetic warriors are created — led by an evil genius who wants to take over the world. You (or thanks to multi-player mode, you and a buddy) must infiltrate their base and, in a multi-level battle, destroy the weapon they plan to use to cut short everyone’s lives. Sounds familiar but exciting. We can hardly wait (for the game, not for the end of the world).

“Hallo! Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future, here. Just to let you know Virgin are just putting the finishing touches to my third natty computer game, and hope to release it in the new year. It’s called Dan Dare III and Digby says it’s bound to be reet grand, whatever that means.”


After spending 17 years in a prison called Inzeeslammer, desperate BoBo decides to attempt a jailbreak. It is up to you to guide the reluctant hero through five levels of nail biting action as he runs the gauntlet of guard dogs, search lights and other things that are associated with prisons. Released by Infogrames BoBo should hit the streets right now.


The man with the gun is back: after a short break Joe Blade is after his old enemy Crax Bloodfinger who is holding six hostages in his impenetrable thirty storey fortress Crax Plaza: safe from most people, but not Joe Blade, who does his worst to rescue the hostages causing much death and mayhem. Can Joe do it? Get the Player Premier release at £2.99 and make it happen.


The Delta 2000 Joystick is now available at Boots and most leading computer stockists, this is according to its manufacturers — and we can’t argue with them. So what do you get for yer £9.95, well reliable microswitches, a two year warranty and smooth accurate action. Wizzo eh?


After last month’s revelation that Alternative were about to release a Count Duckula game, word has reached our ears that Postman Pat is on the way. Set for a November release Pat will soon be resuming his duties in his little red van with the personalised number plate. He’s bad, he’s back and he has trodden on the cat (Miaooooow!). Sorry Jess.


And just as this issue ‘goes to bed’ (gnuk!) news is coming in of a stunning new development in the software world. The product that could revolutionise the industry comes from Alternative Software who have announced the imminent release of... (wait for it!) The Sooty And Sweep Computer Game! Yes! You can play either Sooty or Sweep in a game against the clock, the objective being to collect all Sweep’s yummy bones that he has left lying around Matthew Corbett’s house! Sooty and Sweep have to find them all before Matthew gets home or they’ll be in trouble!! The pair of scamps! Available soon, Sooty and Sweep will cost £2.99. Crikey! It’s enough to make you say ‘Izzy wizzy let’s get bizzy!’. Erm, yeah.


Boo hoo, sniff, sniff, after eight years and over fifteen top selling adventure games, Level 9 are releasing one more product before they hang up their adventuring hats for good. The game will be called Scapeghost and places you in the boots of a cop who has been murdered and blamed for crimes he didn’t commit. You’re given three nights to investigate and clear your name. So, using your investigative skills plus the help of other ghosts, can you solve the puzzle?

Featuring three parts and high quality graphics Scapeghost was available at the PC Show and looked promising. More info from Level 9.


Barely do they draw breath after the news that Cyberball and Escape From The Planet Of The Robot Monsters are on the way, than Domark announce another Tengen licence planned for an early ’90 release. Entitled S.T.U.N. Runner, the game will place the player in the 21st century at the controls of a billion dollar racing vehicle of immense power. The idea is to stay alive long enough to complete races in which opponents actually try to kill you. Normal Speccy prices are expected to apply, more news of the game when we receive it.


Third Millenium Systems have announced the UK launch of ‘Trash’, their brand new multi-user adventure game. Trash is due to be available in the New Year on Micronet, Prestel, Telecom Gold and the Callstream Network. Phone in and you’ll be able to do such amazing things as grow your own spaceship, teach machinery to hum and meet fire breathing cabbages. Sounds fun.


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

The Avengers
Marvel Comics, 70p Monthly

The Avengers used to be one group — with members popping in and out — but now we have three comics to confuse us. The Avengers, West Coast Avengers and Avengers Spotlight, the first two dealing with the problems faced by the two splinter groups, West and East Coast Avengers, whilst Spotlight splits into two, a multi-part story starring one member of The Avengers and a single part story centered on another single member (!).

Most of the original Avengers still survive in one comic or another, including Ironman, Captain America, The Scarlet Witch, The Vision and Thor. Although they’ve on and off been joined by new faces like Shulkie, Quasar and Gilgamesh. Along with SpiderMan and DareDevil these are heroes I grew up with, and I’m glad to see they’re still (just about) together. ’Nuff Said.

Star Trek — The Next Generation
DC Comics, £1.00 Monthly

Gone are James Tiberius Kirk (bet you always wondered what the T stood for), Mr Spock and Co and in is Captain Picard and crew from the new series.

A Trekkie myself, I like the new look and not surprised to find the comic very good. The Enterprise sets up orbit around the planet Raimon. Its inhabitants have a strange attitude to death. When someone’s time comes they call their peers to the bedside and hold a joyous celebration, with the dying man as guest of honour. Captain Picard is summoned to attend, but ends up being accused of murder. Gripping stuff.

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