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 fall. 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 a line after ploughing through the ton of action on the
Powertape, then be quick about it! The address is: NEWSFIELD, Lloyd
Mangram’s Forum, CRASH. Who’s going to scoop this month’s
£40 of software for letter of the month? Read on...
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.
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...
I have a Speccy +3 disk and cassette. The problem is that I don’t know
how to record my tapes on to my disks. My instructions are useless and my Mum
and Dad haven’t a clue. Can you help?
If you’re talking about game cassettes you have bought it
is illegal to copy them onto disk without the programmer’s or copyright
holder’s permission. All games have protection systems in the program to
prevent copying. However, if you want to transfer a program that can’t be
transferred by the normal BASIC method as detailed in your manual, and you have
permission to do so, a very useful plug-in utility is the Multiface 3
from Romantic Robot — you can find details
in the advertisements this issue.
FIVE ON SPECCY?
In November’s issue there were a lot of SAM Coupé games like
Five On Treasure Island. I would like to know if they can be played on
the Spectrum +2? Also, I am interested in buying a modem. I can get one for
£50 but I can’t get the software for it. Please can you help?
Good news, Craig! Enigma Variations
have just decided to publish a Speccy version of Five On Treasure
Island! The adventure should be ready for February and will be published
in a cut-down 48K version and a full-scale 128K version, both versions complete
with graphics. For modem information the company you need to contact is Micronet.
WHAT’S THE +
I bought the +2 Speccy last year after the tragic death of my poor 48K model. I
thought that would mean better games and graphics. Well of course,
that’s not the case at all, as I’ve noticed, with software houses
often using up the extra memory for sound FX and music. How about sacrificing
some of this music for better games?
Up until now every piece of software has had to be compatible
with the 48K and the 128K. The advantage so far has been that multi-loads are
not such a problem on the 128K because it can hold so much more code. However
during 1991 expect to see an increase in 128K-only games; Ocean is releasing RoboCop 2 and Navy
S.E.A.L.S. as 128K-only games and I expect other software houses will
Reading CRASH for the first time
I saw a +2/+3 SCART lead advertised. Can you tell me if this lead will connect
a +2A Spectrum to a normal TV, or does it need other plugs?
I imagine many other computer users would be interested in your answer.
A SCART lead is only useful to your Speccy if your TV has a
SCART connector at the back. The advantage is that you’ll get a far
better display on the screen than you would using just an aerial connector. The
SCART lead is available from Sinclair Supplies and
you can get additional information from them.
I WANT A SOFTIE!
I would love my letter to appear on your exciting and fun-filled pages. Back in
the old days (about three or four years ago) a fabby computer cassette called
Softaid was released for the Spectrum. Recently my sister (who is now
serving eight years in my bedroom cupboard) broke it. WAAH! I am desperately
desperate to buy either that or the two cool games off it: Jack and the
Beanstalk and Kokotoni Wilf. I am willing to pay anybody three
pounds for Softaid or three pounds each for the other two. Any
offers? The gentleman at the back, is that a bid? Please write to me.
Couple of classic games! Don’t make ’em like they
used to... When I were a lad... Yibble.
ERM, ’SCUSE ME
On the SAM Coupé hotline I heard that a computer magazine was saying
that the Coupé is a Spectrum. I saw an article in Issue 82 saying
‘the Plus 2 is still a sizzling success and coupled with the SAM
Coupé will take Spectrum computing into the future.’ Does this
mean that the Coupé is a Spectrum? Or are you saying the Plus 2 is a
good computer? Please answer.
Right, for the last time... The Coupé is not an advanced
Speccy. It’s made by SAM Computers Ltd and
not Amstrad which produce the Sinclair range. However, a selection of Speccy
games are compatible and will run on the Coupé using the utility tape
supplied with the Coupé. And the +2 is a good computer!
FOREIGN FUN 1
I am a computer amateur living in Hong Kong. You may be wondering why I can
write in English. This is because I am Canadian and also I belong to an ESP
(English Schools Foundations) school. I have bought one of your CRASH
magazines (issue 61) and have read it through with interest.
I am taking a course on computer studies and I am not permitted to use my
IBM for games. This is the reason why I am very interested in the Sinclair ZX
Spectrum. I have read that it has a good range of games and programs. I may
have bought the +3 if I lived in England but in Hong Kong the +3 is not on
sale. I would be grateful if you could send me some circuit diagrams of the +3
and some information of the monitor/TV it adapts to, the joysticks used, memory
storage etc. as I would like to try and make my own +3 at home. I would also
like a list of the parts needed as I may not be able to obtain all of the parts
in the computer shopping center I go to.
There’s nothing like a simple request, is there? And this
is nothing like a simple request! To make your own Speccy you’ll need: a
lot of black plastic (pulling the outer casing from a TV set and nailing it
together in a Speccy shape will do). You’ll also need a disk drive: an
old fish fingers box (12 pack) will do. And you can make disks from the lids of
little round margarine tubs. Inside the +3 is a lot of chips, a 60p portion
from your local Fish ’n’ Chip takeaway should do the job. Failing
all that I should give up as there are no kits or specifications with which you
could make your own Speccy. Check out the advertisements in this issue for how
to buy a Speccy from Britain.
FOREIGN FUN 2
I am a buyer of your fantastic CRASH magazine. Lately a tape was added
to it, including several interesting software computer programs of which
recently I received the last one of them (No 75) which was specifically loaded
by a game called Rockfall, and I wish that you supply with games, a
kind of Sub Saving Command Program allowing me to reduce the time of On-switch
of my Sinclair apparatus: this in order to save time and reduce the consumption
of power, and the overheating resulting from maintaining the machine working
for long periods to say more than three continuously hours (3 days) without
interruption, which is a must in case we want to reach the Zenith of this
sophisticated logical and interesting hierarchy of game structure,
originating from a master mind well able to build a new generation of games
in the near future.
Nicolas G M. Alexandria
I don’t know about all this ‘reaching the Zenith of
a sophisticated logical and interesting hierarchy of game structure,
originating from a master mind’ stuff. Do you mean pause mode when you
say sub saving command program? I think it is H for pause in Rockfall,
isn’t it? Anyway, good luck with your new generation of games.
Don’t go near any powerful pyramids for a while, okay Nicholas?
MEGA DIY PULL-OUT POSTER!
Check out the centre sections of CRASH
and you’ll see what look like disjointed bits of an Oli painting plus US
Gold and SEGA logos, parts of a calendar etc. Don’t fret! They’re
all part of a giant poster for you to stick together and put on your wall!
Just undo the clips in the centre and ease out the four spreads, neatly trim
off the white edges and stick them together carefully, using sellotape on the
back — and hey presto! The poster is ready to go on the wall!
Perky budget software house CodeMasters is having a rum
old time of it! At the end of October the Gallup charts placed the
CodeMasters games Guardian Angel, Quattro Adventure and
Quattro Combat as the three top-selling games in the UK, giving them
chart positions one, two and three respectively! Now, that’s pretty
cheery news, but then in the thrilling (’hem, ’hem) ‘Value of
units sold’ chart CodeMasters took the number one slot which means
they’re selling more games than any other software house!
‘Blimey!’, cooed CodeMasters spokesman Mike Clarke,
‘It’s completely brilliant, isn’t it?!!’ He then went
on about product range... extremely playable and highly polished games...
top-quality.., blah de blah... But we didn’t listen to that.
MORE CRASH POWER!
Kevin Gallagher joins the team here at CRASH this
month as an Advertisement Sales Executive, which means he goes on the
CRASH blower and chatters to the software houses behind the adverts. The
idea is to persuade advertisers to part with their money so CRASH can
afford to print lots of lovely screenshots in full colour!! Hurrah! So there
you are: Kev’s the man responsible for the photos (except he’s
not). And, hey! Girls, isn’t he swoonsome?! Read Kev’s personal
file and see if he’s your ideal guy!
Kev’s the Jonathan Ross of CRASH. He’s a snappy dresser, a
smooth talker and only appears about three times a week for about
Kev’s not very good with cars. He managed to get through about five
Kev’s favourite words at the moment are ‘Shut’ and
‘Up’. This is because he has to sit opposite ZZAP! 64
magazine’s ad person George ‘Mouth Almighty’ Keenan!!!
Kev comes from Birmingham and has the dreaded Brummy accent. He said the
other day he was going to watch ‘T’cries’. After several
hours everyone worked out he was going on about The Krays movie!!
Any contributions to Bug Box featuring Kev would be most appreciated!
CHEETAH’S HANDY GAMATE
Cheetah, long time supplier of Speccy joysticks, plug-ins
and general CRASH chum, is releasing its own games machine called the
Gamate (Game mate) just in time for Christmas. The machine is a handheld
console, featuring a green mono LCD screen (52mm x 50mm), which takes games
software on credit card cartridges. It’s going on sale at just
£59.95, making it the cheapest games machine, and the package comes
complete with an arcade adventure game cartridge called Witty Appee, headphones
so you can hear the stereo sound clearly, and a set of four AA batteries which
should provide 15 hours of non-stop gameplay! Seven different games are set for
release at the same time as the Gamate, priced at £14.95
each, which is good value for a cartridge, and another 12 games are planned for
release soon after. Most games will be imported from the Far East, but already
UK software houses are gearing up to produce Gamate versions of their
smash hits. Could this be the handheld Speccy of the future? Discover all in
the next issue of CRASH as we go for a Gamate play test!