PULL OUT YOUR DINNER JACKET, IT'S OFF TO THE

1990 CRASH READERS' AWARDS PARTY!

1990 was a rather triff year - jammed packed full of months with plenty of days, too. In a year when we were advised by notable pop combos to go twisting our melons (man!) and start doing the do, CRASH reckoned you were better off playing Speccy games! And there were some excellent titles to be played! But what has come out tops? Here are the results of your accumulated choices for the year that was 1990...

* BEST GAME OVERALL

This is the ultimate award, and being recognised by the CRASH readers as the most impressive game of the year thrusts the title into instant classic status. 1990 was such a good year for quality product there were loads of nominations, but only one game can scoop the award. And that game was...

ROBOCOP 2

Ocean's sequel to its best-selling ever title scooped 21% of the votes. It was a CRASH Smash in the January issue where it scored an overall of 93% with comments such as 'Fast, furious, addictive and a hell of a lot of fun to play!' RoboCop 2 could have also won Most Difficult Game of 1990 as well, because it was, indeed, a mighty tricky game to complete. Runners-up in the Best Game category were:

* BEST COIN-OP CONVERSION

Whenever a new arcade machine is launched there's a mad dash by software houses trying to snatch up the licence. Licensing a coin-op costs thousands of pounds but the rewards for successfully recreating a coin-op on the Speccy can be enormous. Ocean games dominated the nominations for this category, but Virgin's Iron Man and Golden Axe scooped lots of votes. But without a shadow of a doubt the winner is...

NARC

Drug-busting mayhem is NARC's theme and it obviously proved popular as it grabbed 42% of your votes! And for the runners-up...

* BEST LICENSED GAME (NOT COIN-OP)

1990 was another excellent year for film, character and book licences. For programmers and game designers it was good because it gave them the freedom to design an original piece of gameplay - whereas with coin-op conversions there's not that element of creativity, it's just a copy of the arcade machine.

Bit of a problem with film licences this year, though. In 1989 there were the smash hit movies of Batman, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade and The Untouchables, which scooped last year's award. 1990's two top films, Ghost and Pretty Woman, were far too sappy to turn into games - no alien death scenes, y'see. But there was one film, although not topping the ratings at the cinemas but making one hell of a game, that came out tops. It was, of course...

ROBOCOP 2

Ocean's metallic sequel made the biggest impact on the awards. It received more nominations than any other game in any other category - here it managed a stomping 56% of your votes! Trailing behind came:

* BEST ORIGINAL GAME

In a time where licensed games are all the rage, it's good to see there were a few shining examples of original games popping up through the year. This is often the category when the thinking man's games come through and this year is no exception. The winner is that ever- effervescent Speccy hero who appeared in his fourth game...

MAGICLAND DIZZY

Dizzy and his chums, the yolk folk, are now big business for Code Masters and they scored a hit with you lot, too: 29% of the votes went to Magicland Dizzy. And bringing up the rear were two games very worthy of accolades...

* BEST ADVENTURE / STRATEGY GAME

Most of the top software development groups in this area have forsaken the Speccy as a suitable machine for running the complex interactive adventures that abound on 16-bit machines. A few appear now and again and when they're good you go a bundle on them. The winner of this category was streets ahead of its competitors, and deservedly so:..

LORDS OF CHAOS

Blade Software's epic mystical roleplaying title appeared in the earlier part of the year but it was not forgotten - it grabbed 41% of your votes! Following on behind comes...

* BEST GRAPHICS

There are basically two styles of graphics in games these days - either big, bold, blocky and incredibly colourful, or very detailed monochrome (with just a splash of colour plopped in around the sides). What's tops? Well, it looks like the more colour the better because the winner is (cowabunga!)...

TEENAGE MUTANT HERO TURTLES

Imageworks hit the big time with Turtles giving them the Number One slot in the Christmas hit parade and 21% of the votes in this category. The programming team at Probe Software, who developed the game, used the groovy graphics technique previously seen in Virgin's Dan Dare 3. It was a hard fought category and the runners-up are:

* BEST SOUND

The 48K Speccy goes beep. And that's about it. The 128K machine has four channel sound but it's still not exactly Kylie, is it? But hell, there've been a few games that made very good use of the Speccy's music capabilities and coming in at the top spot is...

RAINBOW ISLANDS

28% of the votes went to Ocean's cutesy platform game that had the bouncy, jolly tunes and sound FX to match. How did it go? Sort of 'Da da dum de dum...', or something. Ditties bringing up the rear were:

* BEST SOFTWARE HOUSE

Bit an achievement to win this award. It shows that the quality of games published by one house has been of a consistently high quality. And without further ado (or much surprise, really), 1990's Software House of the Year was...

OCEAN

That makes a change, eh viewers? Winners for the past three years running! This year Ocean scooped 52% of the votes. Can they hold up their reputation during 1991? Things look good so far, but you'll have to wait 12 months to find out! Runners-up were:

* BEST ORIGINAL BUDGET GAME

In 1990, the budget market became stronger than ever, with hordes of top-notch original games finding their way onto the software shelves. We did allow you to cheat a little (only a very little) bit in this category by allowing votes for Magicland Dizzy (which as yet has only appeared on compilation) because we reckoned if you take the number of games on the Dizzy compilation pack and divide by the price, Magicland Dizzy does (sort of) end up as budget game. No surprise then that the winner is...

MAGICLAND DIZZY

A whopping 46% of your votes put Dizzy's fourth adventure in the top slot and it was well worth it - we were playing it for ages here in the CRASH office! Trailing behind ever so slightly came:

* BEST NEWCOMER

As fewer software companies continue the support for the Speccy, it's good to see new software houses emerging with a line-up a strong, if not stronger, as the long-time Speccy supporters. Making the biggest impact on the 1990 Speccy scene was...

HI-TEC SOFTWARE

Hi-Tec's success (51% of your votes) is probably thanks to its impressive line up a Hanna-Barbera cartoon games. Titles such as Top Cat, Yogi Bear, Ruff and Reddy and others gave Hi-Tec a high profile with great games to back it up. Runners-up were:

* WORST THING ABOUT 1990

Oh dear Not a nice category to be featured in. So let's not dwell on it, just announce that the worst thing about 1990 was...

LACK OF SOFTWARE

The number of releases were pretty low 1990 and the lack of variety within titles didn't help. Especially when nearly every software house jumped on the bandwagon that was the World Cup. Which takes us onto the runners-up:

* That's your lot! The high points and low points of 1990. A big thank you to everyone who took the time to vote. The awards will be back in 12 months' time. Ta-ra, star makers!