What a smashing day out we had at the ZX Microfair the other weekend. Apart from having to wait nearly half an hour for breakfast at a Little Chef on the way, everything went smoothly. Arriving in the Horticultural Hall, we set up our stand — and began selling copies of the July issue of CRASH.
After a couple of hours, the 600-odd copies we could spare had all gone and we had time to wander round and take a few photographs. Jeremy Kirsch and Barrie Gordon, pictured here, were just two readers we had to disappoint, having sold out.
The fair was quite fun, all in all, but there were few new or innovative products on show. Lots of cut price games on offer, however... and there was plenty to spend your money on, as Matthew Ablewhite and Chris Benington explained to Jeremy Spencer, our Software Editor.
Next month we’ll be running a competition and a half with Alligata who are offering a Week’s Adventure Holiday and a full set of fishing tackle to the winner of their Jack Charlton’s Match Fishing competition.
As a sneak preview, we can say that the competition will require you to identify a whole of range of little swimmy fish from their portraits. So nip down to the library and get hold of a copy of ‘Five Hundred Famous Fish’ or a similar spotters guide and start boning up...
Following the interview with Jim Mackonochie which formed the basis of John Minson’s profile on Mirrorsoft in this issue, news broke of Robert Maxwell’s financial rescue bid for Sinclair. As our deadline looms, details remain uncertain as to how this will affect Mirrorsoft, but bearing in mind the philosophy of Mirror Group Newspapers to take a positive investment in the future of new technology as outlined in the interview... prospects are intriguing. At this stage, however, nobody is willing to say too much. We’ll keep you informed of further developments.
Meanwhile, the past couple of months have seen two new junior educational packages from the company, plus a highly successful adventure into the world of arcade action with the CRASH smashed Dynamite Dan. Jim Mackonochie promises a new program in the Home Discovery series (to be launched at the PCW show later this year) which will continue Mirrorsoft’s commitment to quality, whichever area they are involved in.
Our very own Educational Software Reviewer, Rosetta McLeod of CRASH Course fame, is about to launch into the world of educational software in her own right. News reaches us from Turtle Software that Rosetta is currently working on a program for them which is based on the oil industry is centred on her home town of Aberdeen. No doubt it’ll be a goody... but should we let her review it?
This issue Lloyd Mangram took his annual holiday immediately after completing the Forum pages, which accounts for the lack of Merely Mangram this issue. One game which deserves a quick mention here — Fairlight from The Edge. All we’ve seen is a couple of screen dumps from a very early version of the game, but from what we’ve been told by Tim Langdell, the man behind the company, it promises to be quite a stunning game.
Fairlight will have all the logic of a certain well-known role playing game, and features amazing 3D routines, part of a programming technique the chaps down at The Edge have dubbed ‘The Worldmaker’. Much more of that, and the other new release from The Edge, That’s The Spirit next issue.
Lots and lots of other goodies are also sitting on Lloyd’s desk... but there’s simply not time to tell you about them this month. Sorry folks, you’ll just have to wait for a suntanned Lloyd to return from his hols and catch up with him next issue.
As we write this the men from Argus Press Software have arrived to show us a host of new games, including Rupert and The Toymaker’s Party, the first of four games, which are part of the celebrations being held to mark Rupert’s birthday (we daren’t tell you how old he is this year!)... must dash, it’s time to go to Nutwood. ‘Yabadabbadoo!’, commented Peter Halme, alluding to another character who will soon be appearing in APS games....
The big cheeses upstairs in Newsfield’s financial division suggest we should run a new chart in forthcoming issues of CRASH — a totally innovative ranking of software houses, not by games but by debts. This chart could be the one that takes the temperature of the software industry, month by month, letting you see which of the software companies are not being good snakes, and haven’t been coughing up for the advertisements they’ve placed in our hallowed pages to encourage you to buy their games. Could be interesting...
But our financial wizards do have a point to make. In the last few months several companies have gone bust or disappeared owing us money, having delayed payment for ages. Fantasy Software for instance, with £4,190, Bug Byte with £1,220 and Micromania with £3,475.
Some advertising agencies are being a bit naughty too, collecting money for advertisements from their clients and not passing it on to us for ages and ages.
So the idea of having a chart of the top ten companies who owe us money came to mind, naming names and stating sums. Could make interesting reading throughout the industry — and who knows, dear readers, you might not want to support the companies that don’t want to play fair with CRASH.
We’re compiling the chart in time for next issue. Look out for it — it could cause a stir!