THE 1987 CRASH READERS’ AWARDS

After spending many an hour sorting and compiling an absolute mountain of voting forms, CRASH proudly presents the definitive Spectrum software awards for 1987...

BEST GAME

DRILLER
Incentive

HEAD OVER HEELS
Ocean
EXOLON
Hewson

With one in five of you voting for Incentive’s innovative eye opener, Driller swept the board — but not without a challenge. The Jon Ritman / Bernie Drummond game, Head over Heels, came a very close and respectable second with 16% of the vote. Raffaele Cecco’s first Hewson masterpiece, the tremendous, attractive and playable Exolon, brought up the rear with a credible 8%.

BEST PLATFORM GAME

AUF WIEDERSEHEN MONTY
Gremlin Graphics

BUBBLE BOBBLE
Firebird
EXOLON
Hewson

The platform game seems to be a dying breed in 1988, but that isn’t to say we didn’t get some great ones during 1987. With a tremendous 19% Gremlin’s Auf Wiedersehen Monty just came top. Following only 2% behind was the very colourful Bubble Bobble and again coming third, was Exolon. The same 8%, no doubt.

BEST SHOOT ’EM UP

ZYNAPS
Hewson

EXOLON
Hewson
WIZBALL
Ocean

With a combined vote of 57%, Hewson games dominated the shoot ’em up awards. When it comes down to pure mindless violence Zynaps just had to come top, with 34%. Exolon — always the bridesmaid never the bride — came a notable second with 23%, while Ocean’s Wizball received 6% and third place.

BEST ARCADE ADVENTURE

HEAD OVER HEELS
Ocean

STORMBRINGER
M.A.D.
GAUNTLET
US Gold

No surprises here! Not only it is a favourite in the CRASH offices, but Head Over Heels also gained a 26% winning vote in this category, proving its popularity throughout the land. No-one else came even close: second place Stormbringer had 7% and the arcade licence, Gauntlet came third.

BEST SIMULATION

GUNSHIP
Microprose

COMBAT SCHOOL
Ocean
TOP GUN
Ocean

You all had your minds made up on what was going to win the Best Simulation awards when you filled in the forms in the Christmas Issue. Even though they’ve only produced two products on the Spectrum the American giants, Microprose, needed only Gunship to get almost half of the readership (43%) voting for them. Trailing way behind, but still interesting to note, came Combat School (6%) and Top Gun (5%), both from Ocean.

BEST SPORTS GAME

MATCH DAY II
Ocean

WORLD CLASS LEADERBOARD
US Gold
BOBSLEIGH
Digital Integration

Match Day II gained an amazing 62% of the vote in this little contest — thus giving no-one else a hope of winning. However, the golfing classic, World Class Leaderboard, must have appealed to all you Arnold Palmers out there, gaining 15%. After Calgary ’88, Bobsleigh was obviously in the minds of the 5% that voted for the Digital Integration simulation.

BEST ADVENTURE

THE PAWN
Rainbird

SHADOWS OF MORDOR
Melbourne House
KILLED UNTIL DEAD
US Gold

The adventure market was very quiet in 1987 but Rainbird still had lots to shout about when they released the highly complex and intelligent game The Pawn — and so did 15% of you (I don’t think they were ALL Rainbird employees). Melbourne House’s Shadow of Mordor came a very close second with 14% of the vote — sadly Melbourne House seems to have forgotten about adventure games now. US Gold pooped its head in with the detective / mystery Killed Until Dead in third place (7%).

BEST STRATEGY GAME

VULCAN
CCS

TAI-PAN
Ocean
THE SENTINEL
Firebird Gold

I can’t say that this was much of a surprise. Vulcan has been at Number One in the Strategy Chart almost since it was first started. And with PSS now pulling out of the market (see Frontline) CCS seems to have it sewn up. Vulcan got 34% of you voting for it. Interestingly, Tai-Pan and The Sentinel came second and third, with 5% and 4% respectively — even though they weren’t reviewed in Frontline.

MOST IMAGINATIVE GAME

DRILLER
Incentive

THE SENTINEL
Firebird Gold
HEAD OVER HEELS
Ocean

Driller certainly seems to have caught the imagination of the CRASH readership. In a very wide-spread category the Incentive game got 19%, for its amazing Freescape technique, followed closely by Firebird’s The Sentinel (15%), another game with impressive graphics, and Head over Heels (12%).

BEST GRAPHICS

DRILLER
Incentive

HEAD OVER HEELS
Ocean
EXOLON
Hewson

Gaining more than twice the number of votes as Head Over Heels that unforgettable game, Driller (30%) again zoomed to the top. But as far as REAL artists go (Freescape is a graphics generation program) Bernie Drummond, who drew all the cute characters in Ocean’s extravaganza, must still be regarded as the Number One Spectrum artist. Exolon — The Runner-Up of 1987 — gained a respectable 12% in third place.

BEST MUSIC

TRANTOR — THE LAST STORMTROOPER
GO!

LIGHTFORCE
FTL
AGENT X II
Mastertronic

The synthesised four-channel sounds of GO!’s Trantor appealed to 16% of you. The ageing Lightforce and Agent X II gained 5% and 4%.

BEST SOFTWARE HOUSE

OCEAN

HEWSON
US GOLD

If ever there was a two horse race then this was it. Ocean and Hewson were streets ahead in 1987, with CRASH readers giving them 39% and 32% respectively. Ocean can be remembered for such hits as Top Gun, Wizball, Match Day II, Combat School and Renegade. From Hewson we had Exolon, Zynaps, Nebulus and Ranarama. The producers of many a license game, US Gold gained 5% in third place.


BEST UTILITY

THE PROFESSIONAL ADVENTURE WRITER
Gilsoft

THE ARTIST II
Softek International
THE ADVANCED ART STUDIO
Rainbird

Gilsoft’s popular adventure creator got 21% of you voting for it. Two art programs, The Artist II and The Advanced Art Studio came 11% and 16% behind the winner. (Work that out if you will!)

BEST PERIPHERAL

MULTIFACE
Romantic Robot

SWIFT DISK
Sixword
THE MUSIC MACHINE
RAM Electronics

Many a +3 tape loading problem were solved with the Multiface 3. 26% voted for the series of 3 products. The Swift Disk interface got 7% of you interested with a musically-minded 6% of you voting for RAM’s Music Machine.

BEST PBM GAME

IT’S A CRIME
KJC Games

SHATTERED WORLD
Jade Games
MEGALOMANIA
Phoenix Games

Much has been said about the moral aspects of KJC’s It’s A Crime but it certainly created much interest amongst the PBM fraternity with 27% of the vote. The immensely popular Shattered World was just squeezed into second place with 19% and Brendon’s favourite, Megalomania from Phoenix Games, in third place with 10%.

MOST EFFECTIVE GAME ADVERTISEMENT

GAME OVER
Imagine

BARBARIAN
Palace
LIGHTFORCE
FTL

So the scantily clad young lady from Imagine and Maria Whittaker got you running to the shops to relieve you of your pocket money! Game Over and Barbarian gained 12% and 10% of the vote. Lightforce again popped its head up with 7% in third.

BEST GAME PACKAGING

DRILLER
Incentive

GUNSHIP
Microprose
STARGLIDER
Rainbird

Big game boxes were certainly the order of the day for 1987. Driller, which got 21% of the vote, came complete with a novella and map model. Gunship (13%), in true American style, came with a great big mission manual and keyboard overlay. And 10% of you didn’t mind lashing out 15 pounds for the lavishly packaged Starglider from Rainbird.

BEST GAME INLAY

GAME OVER
Imagine

LIGHTFORCE
FTL
RENEGADE
Imagine

My goodness that Imagine girl doesn’t half get around a bit. As well as gaining an award for affecting most of you with an advert Game Over also had the Best Game Inlay. The now defunct software company Faster Than Light featured highly with Lightforce, as did Imagine’s Renegade — both with 6% apiece.

WORST GAME

EASTENDERS
Macsen

MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE
US Gold
SUPER SOCCER
Ocean

It seems ironic that one of the few games that the CRASH team could not get their sweaty palms on should come top in this category — sorry we couldn’t warn you. There were many bad games about, though — Eastenders only got 8%. US Gold’s Masters of the Universe gained, or rather attracted, 6%. The hardly Super Soccer got a meagre 2%.

MOST OVERHYPED GAME

THE LIVING DAYLIGHTS
Domark

GAME OVER
Imagine
DRILLER
Incentive

Obviously, Game Over was an amazing disappointment to you all — but Imagine did a great job in promoting it. As did Domark with The Living Daylights — they both gained 10% of the vote. Was Driller not the amazing ‘new dimension’ it was cracked up to be? It seems not. 9% of you felt that you can go so far with promoting a new idea.

EASIEST GAME

FEUD
Bulldog

RENEGADE
Ocean
CHRONOS
Mastertronic
BARBARIAN
Palace

Too easy, said 15% of the readership. Perhaps you’d all been using Nick Roberts’s Playing Tips on Feud! Renegade, with 13%, followed closely and leading Chronos with 8%, (I hope you didn’t use the mega laser) and Barbarian (also 8%).

MOST CHALLENGING GAME

HEAD OVER HEELS
Ocean

THE SENTINEL
Firebird Gold
RENEGADE
Imagine
LIGHTFORCE
FTL
WIZBALL
Ocean

This is the programmers’ favourite category, for it is only now that they know for sure whether they got a game’s playability ‘just right’. Head Over Heels gets a second award with 18%, The Sentinel follows on its heels with 17%, and then all with 8% come Renegade, Lightforce and Wizball.

MOST ACCURATE CRASH REVIEW

DRILLER
Incentive

HEAD OVER HEELS
Ocean
COMBAT SCHOOL
Ocean

Yes, we thought so too!

LEAST ACCURATE CRASH REVIEW

ARKANOID
Imagine

ACADEMY
CRL
RENEGADE
Imagine

Umm... sorry about that.