You’ve all seen that sickening Prudential advert where an obnoxious little brat whines ‘I wanna be a slug’. Well now he can be with Steg, a wacky new cartoon puzzle arcade game from the King of the Cutesys — Code Masters. (That kid should’ve become a Prudential rep — they’re all pretty slimey — Ed.)

Despite being an IT (ie, asexual), Steg the slug has overcome the problems of biological impossibilities and spawned loadsa little Stegs, T’yungunz (think about it, you’ll see see the joke in a minute — Ed), which are all the spitting image of their dad/mum — slimey, slippery but cute. (A cute slug? Unreal! — Ed.)

The main aim of the game is to keep as many baby crawlers alive as possible and this means feeding ’em. Lots. These kids are real hungry so you slither through a series of spooky caverns gathering maggots and other culinary ‘delights’.

Steg slithers left and right along platforms, climbs walls, walks across ceilings and even jumps and blows bubbles. To collect food for T’yungunz, Steg traps bugs by enveloping them in a bubble which floats up then gives chase, controlling the bubble by blowing it in the right direction, until it reaches T’yungunz cosy nest. But watch out for the hazards along the way such as bubble-bursting spikes and fires.

Once you’ve satisfied the appetites in one nest, you move onto the next more difficult cavern and another bunch of starving brats.

There are puzzles a-plenty in Steg — bellows can help or hinder our hero in the fight to direct the bubbles. Trampolines are useful — sending Steg bouncing into the air and handy for getting bubbles up narrow vertical shafts.

And this slime-ball transforms into RoboSteg when you’ve collected certain objects — Nitrous Oxide Injection Kit (speed-up), ACME Strap-On Bionic Legs (easier movement and higher jumps) and Rocket Back-Pack (limited flying). Beware of the rockets, though, their jets can burst the bubbles. This game sounds bizarre. I mean, how can you make a slug seem cute? But if anyone can do it. Code Masters can — who would have thought you could make an egg into an adorable cult figure? Keep your eyes peeled for Steg over the next couple of months.


Rev those engines, Formula One fans, ’cos racing ace Nigel Mansell, the British answer to brumming brilliance, is set to star in a sparkling new Speccy game and this time his gearbox won’t blow up. Hopefully.

Veteran racing game creators, Gremlin, are laughing all over their faces, having bagged the exclusive rights to use the darling of the race track in a game. In the past they’ve come up with such gems as Lotus Esprit Turbo Challenge and Toyota Celica GT Rally, and now promise to take the hair-raising exploits of ‘our Nige’ and transform them into the cream of racing games.

The precise details of the Nigel Mansell game are being kept under wraps but we’re reliably informed the main man will be seen from the cockpit of his now-legendary red mean machine. Oh, and it’ll probably be about Grand Prix racing. The finished product will hit the streets around autumn.


At long last! A software house has come to its senses and Got Real when it comes to game prices. So get out your cheesy grins and read on...

Budget specialists Hi-Tec are launching a new middle-priced label — The Premier Series — with Speccy software hitting the shelves for just £5.99, feautring all your fave cartoon characters such as The Jetsons, Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny. The firm plan is to release at least one such game a month — and hope other publishers will follow their lead.

Hi-Tec boss, David Palmer, had a bit of blah-de-blah about the new series: ‘Our aim is to lead the market in the quality of games/value for money stakes, establishing our new price point Premier Series as the high volume, high earner for all our customers.’


Then he got down to the nitty-gritty (this is what we want to hear — Ed): ‘In the mid-1980s, the full price Speccy game was £5.95. Volumes (numbers sold) were tremendous, most publishers making very good profits.

‘Then the big licence became the in thing and prices increased to £10 and above. Nowadays the majority of so-called full price game titles fail to make the first hurdle, sometimes having life cycles of only a few weeks before the overstocks are sold off cheaply and hands are soiled in a deal with a ‘Budget Software Publisher’.

‘Poor standards of software, the use of a licence to cover inferior software, long term policies of sell-offs and cheap compilations have led to a cynical attitude on the part of the consumer. Why bother paying £10 or £25 for something they can get on a budget label in a short time at money they can afford?

‘One asks why not just lower the retail price point of full price games to a level which would give acceptable volume/life cycle ratio?’ Why indeed.

It’s nice to see a software company actually taking the plunge and trying to stop the ridiculous rip-off of ‘full price’ games which has gone on far too long. This isn’t to say there aren’t some very good full-pricers but games are mostly for the kids and saving £10–£25 in pocket money can take one hell of a long time.

Whether Hi-Tec’s new series will give the same quality as a full-pricer remains to be seen. Hold your breath, everybody, this could be the start of the revolution we’ve been waiting for far too long.


Wotcha matey-peeps! It’s the end of the year and you’re probably stuffed with turkey ’n’ stuff (you fat basts!) — even Wozza can’t hide behind a lamp post anymore, whereas Nicko’s having major probs just getting through the door (and it’s a double door)!

It’s time to take a nostalgic look back over the last year, a chapter of your life that’s now closed forever — and realise what a pig’s ear you’ve made of it. Here’s a quick rundown of the CRASH team’s fave games, records and best SNOG (phwoarl) of 1991...

Lucy Hickman • Editor

Hmm, fave game, that’s a tricky one. There was this one stonkin’ game of strip poker... Oh, sorry! We’re talking computer games. Right, got you. It has to be... Lemmings. I feel a definite empathy with the little critters. Jumping off a huge cliff seems like a damn good idea when you’ve worked with this lot!

Fave record has gotta be ‘I’m Too Sexy’ from Right Said Fred, basically ’cos I am (ask anyone in the office — ignore the red-hot poker I’m holding near their bottoms).

As for best kiss (snog is such a vulgar word), since I’m from Wales, I must tell you about this amazing experience I had with this hunky sheep. On second thoughts, perhaps I won’t...

Nick Roberts • Deputy Editor

Yes, Lucy, I agree. That game of strip poker was a right laff, wasn’t it?! As for computer games... what are they? We usually review software from the inlay (this is, of course, totally untrue and Nick will be hanged by the neck at dawn — Ed). I’m only kidding. One of the games I enjoyed most was this month’s Rod Land. All that dashing about bonking small bunnies (madam). Perhaps that’s why I like the Pet Shop Boys so much!

My fave record of the year is a difficult one. The best musical ‘experience’ I had was the Pet Shop Boys ‘Performance’ concert in Birmingham. Absolutely brilliant.

What was the last question? Oh yeah. That’s a real toughy. Mentioning no names, there was this party, see, and these two girls looked a bit fed up. We danced a bit, like you do, then suddenly we were in the corner and the rest is best left unsaid! I just wish I’d had my video camera with me at the time!

Mark Caswell • Tea Maker & General Whipping Boy

Games, hmmm, that’s a toughy. I guess it has to be a toss up between the brilliant Narc and last month’s mega Smash TV. Both are ultra-violent, with plenty of mutilation for closet psychos like me. I can’t stand these namby-pamby games where you have to save sickeningly cute little fairies and bunny rabbits (bleurgh!).

My fave song of the year is also a difficult choice. Most of the stuff in the charts was complete and utter crap. But as a tribute to Freddie Mercury, I’ll have to say it’s ‘I’m Going Slightly Mad’ by Queen (’cos I’m totally bonkers).

And as for best snog... My station in life means the girlies ignore me (Bah, bring out the violins — Ed), so tonsil tennis is definitely out (sniff, sniff). Oh well, perhaps I can catch Lucy under the mistletoe (if I drug her first). (You’d bloody well have to! — Ed.)

Warren Lapworth • Production Editor

Coo, 1991, what a year, eh? Full of interesting and exciting stuff (well, fairly full). Erm, unfortunately, for me, the ‘interesting and exciting’ things were rarely computer games. But of the few I’ve played, my fave game, Speccy-wise, was Smash TV. Yeah, I’ve gotta agree with Mark, because although Robotron and its successors are simplistic, they’re great fun. My fave version is Llamatron on the Amiga (the what?!! — Ed) — the sound effects are amazing.

Hmm, not exactly a corking year for the music biz, definitely not poptastic. But being as I like a good bop (I think he means dance — Ed), I suppose it’s ‘Last Train To Trancentral’ by The KLF (All aboard, all aboard, whooh! Woo woo!).

Best snog? Ooo, so, so many! (With the same person, of course, I’m not that sort of boy!) Probably the best was after my arty ‘other half’ had finished drawing a picture of me, one evening. What was I wearing in this pic? Er... just think of a certain short, balding magician’s catchphrase and you’ll get the idea!