THE 1986 CRASH READERS’ AWARDS

CRASH Readers’ Awards

THE DEFINITIVE AWARDS FOR THE BEST SOFTWARE OF 1986!
At long last! After much moiling and toiling opening letters, reading your forms and inputting the data into a trusty APRICOT database (the poor Comps Minion has worn his fingers to the bone in the process of working out the Top Five in each category) we are proud to present... THE RESULTS!


BEST GAME OVERALL

STARGLIDER
RAINBIRD

Screenshot

Andrew Onions (REALTIME SOFTWARE): “Ah, brill!! This is the first time we’ve received any sort of accolade in two and a half years. It’s very nice to win but I think we can still do a lot better. We’ve scheduled a year for our next product and it should be worth looking forward to!”

GREAT ESCAPE
OCEAN

URIDIUM
HEWSON

QUAZATRON
HEWSON

GHOSTS ’N’ GOBLINS
ELITE

Even though it costs nearly twice as much as most ‘full price’ Spectrum games, Starglider clinched this prestigious award, netting 12.5% of the votes. Close behind with 9% of the votes was Denton Designs’ wartime arcade adventure for Ocean, Great Escape while the two Graftgold goodies published by Hewson, Uridium and Quazatron, claimed 6% and 5.8% respectively. Elite’s coin-op conversion, Ghosts’n’Goblins, scraped fifth position with a creditable 5% of the votes in this category.

BEST PLATFORM GAME

DYNAMITE DAN II
MIRRORSOFT

BOMBJACK
ELITE

COBRA
OCEAN

DAN DARE
VIRGIN

GHOSTS’N’GOBLINS
ELITE

Screenshot

There was no doubt about this category — Dynamite Dan II emerged a clear-cut winner, pounding the opposition into the ground with an enormous 50% of the votes. Elite’s Bombjack came next with 9.5% followed by Cobra with 7%. There wasn’t much between Dan Dare and Ghosts’n’Goblins, either — they took Fourth and Fifth place with 5% and 4% respectively.


BEST SHOOT ’EM UP

URIDIUM
HEWSON

LIGHTFORCE
FTL

COMMANDO
ELITE

STARGLIDER
RAINBIRD

STARSTRIKE II
REALTIME

This was a very hard-fought category, but finally Hewson’s horizontal scroller, Uridium came out tops with 26% of the votes. Breathing down its proverbial neck with 24% was the vertically scrolling Lightforce. Trailing a long way behind with 10% came Elite’s Commando and two Realtime products, Starglider and Starstrike II, with 7.5% and 5.5%.

BEST ARCADE ADVENTURE

Screenshot

THE GREAT ESCAPE
OCEAN

Ally Noble (DENTON DESIGNS): “O-o-o-o-o-o-o-oh!!!! Ace! Marvellous!! Fab!!! What more can I say?”

HEAVY ON THE MAGICK
GARGOYLE GAMES

KNIGHT TYME
MAD

BATMAN
OCEAN

FIRELORD
HEWSON

Denton DesignsThe Great Escape emerged a clear winner claiming 11% of the votes. However, second, third and fourth places were very fiercely contested with Heavy on the Magick finally amassing 7%, Knight Tyme following just behind with 6.9% and Batman coming in with 6%. Hewson’s Firelord brought up the rear with a respectable 4%.

BEST ADVENTURE

HEAVY ON THE MAGICK
GARGOYLE GAMES

Roy Carter: “It shows what excellent tastes CRASH readers have got! Seriously though, we’re all really pleased. Those who voted will be pleased to hear that we’re doing a follow-up sometime in the future.”

THE BOGGIT
DELTA 4/CRL

THE PRICE OF MAGIC
LEVEL 9

LORD OF THE RINGS
MELBOURNE HOUSE

TWICE SHY
MOSAIC/LEVEL 9

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Gargoyle Games’ innovative Heavy on the Magick stomped away with this award, collecting 18% of the votes, while Delta 4’s humorous Boggit netted 14%. A little surprisingly, Level 9 only managed third with the 9% claimed by The Price of Magic while Melbourne House’s Lord of the Rings slipped into the Number Four slot with 7%. Twice Shy reaped 4% of the accounted votes and was awarded Fifth Place accordingly.


BEST STRATEGY GAME

Screenshot

REBELSTAR
FIREBIRD

NAPOLEON AT WAR
CCS

THEATRE EUROPE
PSS

THEIR FINEST HOUR
HUTCHINSON/CENTURY

DESERT RATS
CDS

Romping away with this award was Firebird’s budget re-release, Rebelstar, amassing 15% of the votes. The following positions were hotly contested with CCS’ historic wargame, Napoleon at War, collecting 7%, Theatre Europe with 6.8%, Their Finest Hour, 6%, and Desert Rats with 5%. Strange But True Dept: The Great Escape came Sixth... an odd choice for a strategy game...

BEST SIMULATION

Screenshot

TT RACER
DIGITAL INTEGRATION

Dave Marshall (Digital Integration): “Marvellous! I’m very pleased that we’re keeping up with people’s expectations. We’re already working on the next simulation which should improve upon the quality of our recent products.”

TOMAHAWK
DIGITAL INTEGRATION

SPITFIRE 40
MIRRORSOFT

ACE
CASCADE

STRIKE FORCE HARRIER
MIRRORSOFT

Digital Integration dominated this category — their motorcycle racing simulation, TT Racer, proved to be the most popular, taking 25% of the votes. Very close behind with 24% came Tomahawk, the helicopter simulation. Three flight simulators followed next — Spitfire 40, ACE and Strike Force Harrier, netting 9.5%, 7% and 4% respectively.

BEST GRAPHICS

Screenshot

LIGHTFORCE
FTL

Roy Carter: “Greg Follis will be thrilled. It’s very pleasing to know that someone out there appreciates your hard work.”

STARSTRIKE II
REALTIME

Ian Onions (REALTIME SOFTWARE): “It’s nice that people noticed. It’s shame the gameplay wasn’t as good as the graphics, though...”

TRAPDOOR
PIRANHA

GREAT ESCAPE
OCEAN

BATMAN
OCEAN

Lightforce’s beautiful vertically scrolling graphics proved to be the most popular in this category with 11% of the votes. Collecting 9% were the stunning Starstrike II 3D graphics, and not far behind was cuddly Berk’s Trapdoor with 7%. The Great Escape came fourth with 6.5% while Batman amassed 5%.

BEST MUSIC

PING PONG
IMAGINE

COBRA
OCEAN

DYNAMITE DAN II
MIRRORSOFT

GLIDER RIDER
QUICKSILVA

MIKIE
IMAGINE

An interesting result, given the attention given to music charts in the FORUM recently. Runaway winner in this category with 21% of the votes was the very impressive title screen tune to Imagine’s Ping Pong. Second came the noisy, yet tuneful Cobra, with 9% while Glider Rider and Dynamite Dan II tied for third place with 7.5% apiece. Dancing neatly into fifth position came Mikie, collecting 4.5% in the process.

BEST SOUND FX

DYNAMITE DAN II
MIRRORSOFT

COBRA
OCEAN

STARGLIDER
RAINBIRD

Graham Baird (REALTIME SOFTWARE): “It now seems worth the two days we spent sitting down with a multimeter measuring the Spectrum’s power output. That was the most boring job I’ve ever done — it was mind-numbingly tedious.”

FIRELORD
HEWSON

QUAZATRON
HEWSON

First, second and third places were fought for fiercely, with Dynamite Dan II finally coming out tops with 10% of the votes. Cobra’s 8.5% earned it a second position while the 8% claimed by Starglider grabbed third. Firelord was next with 6% and Steve Turner’s noisy Quazatron came in a respectable fifth with 5%.

BEST PROGRAMMER

STEPHEN CROW

Stephen Crow: “I’m really, really surprised. I’m starting a new game with shoot ’em up overtones which I hope will be more spontaneous and exciting than Firelord.”

KEITH BURKHILL

JONATHAN SMITH

DAVID JONES

STEVE TURNER

There was very little competition involved in this category it seemed — Stephen Crow, author of Starquake and Firelord, received 16% of the votes — exactly twice as many as second-placed Keith Burkhill. Ocean’s Jonathan Smith came a respectable third with 7%, with David Jones, the man behind the Knight Tyme and Spellbound series, coming in Fourth with 5%. Steve Turner managed Fifth with 4%.

BEST SOFTWARE HOUSE

ELITE

Steve Wilcox (Joint Director): “I’m very pleased and would like to extend thanks to all contributing programmers and, of course, the CRASH readers for voting us in. Next year will be an exciting one for Spectrum owners as we are planning to release more titles than we did last year. So hopefully we’ll be having the same conversation in 1988.”

OCEAN

HEWSON

IMAGINE

GARGOYLE

There were absolutely no arguments in this section whatsoever. Elite, the coin-op kings collected a staggering 36% of the votes — three times as many as runners-up Ocean, who claimed a relatively meagre 12%. Just behind came Hewson with 9%, Imagine followed with 5%. Gargoyle Games did well to slip into Fifth position with 4.5%.

BEST ADVERTISEMENT

GREAT ESCAPE
OCEAN

COBRA
OCEAN

FIRELORD
HEWSON

FAIRLIGHT II
THE EDGE

CONTACT SAM CRUISE
MICROSPHERE

The Great Escape’s simple, yet powerful image of hands gripping barbed wire proved to be immensely popular and reaped 22% of the total votes. The sweaty action man, Sylvester Stallone, pictured on the Cobra advert came next with 6.5% and Firelord followed closely behind with 6%. Fairlight II came in fourth with 3.5% and Contact Sam Cruise scraped fifth place with 2.5%, only receiving one more vote than Thanatos.

LEAST PLEASING GAME

WORLD CUP CARNIVAL
US GOLD

KNIGHT RIDER
OCEAN

REALM OF IMPOSSIBILITY
ARIOLASOFT

KUNG-FU MASTER
US GOLD

STREETHAWK
OCEAN

There were no questions about the winner of this less than flattering award. US Gold’s horribly tacky World Cup Carnival proved itself to be the most popular of the ‘worst buys’, claiming 18% of all the votes. The terminally dull Knight Rider came second with 7% while Ariolasoft’s crude and crummy Realm of Impossibility slid into third with 4.5%. US Gold grabbed a further 3% of the voters with their fourth placed Kung-Fu Master and the very disappointing Street Hawk came fifth with 2.5%.

STATE OF THE ART AWARD

STARGLIDER
RAINBIRD

Graham Baird (REALTIME SOFTWARE): “I’m shocked...”

LIGHTFORCE
FTL

HEAVY ON THE MAGICK
GARGOYLE GAMES

GREAT ESCAPE
OCEAN

URIDIUM
HEWSON

This prestigious award was won by Starglider, which received 14.5% of the total votes. The 11% netted by Lightforce gained it a close second, and Gargoyle Games picked up the accolade of the Third position with Heavy on the Magick which collected 5.5% of the votes. The Great Escape came in fourth with 4.5%, and just edging into fifth was Uridium.

So there we have it — the CRASH Readers Awards for 1986. Thanks to everyone who took the trouble to vote, and congratulations to all the programmers and software houses who received awards — your trophies will be despatched shortly.

Well, that’s another year in the bag...

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