THAT HUMOROUS piggy comic, Oink has sadly been sent to slaughter. Featured in a special CRASH supplement in Issue 42, to promote a Spectrum game that never appeared, the comic has now ceased publication. Apparently public interest had declined to the point where future issues would begin losing money. To avoid this the publishers, Fleetway Publications, decided to call it a day.

Fans needn’t be too saddened however since the comic’s porcine spirit lives on. The Oink Editorial team are still going ahead with the Christmas annual and yet more tasteless jokes will be appearing in a Summer Special next year. In the meantime Oink’s freelance team are working on a secret new project.


THOSE LITTLE Darlings at Code Masters are all kitted up for their very first full-price release. Called Pro Soccer Simulator it features four football games in one package: street soccer, 11-a-side league, 5-a-side indoor and soccer skills (sounds like a compilation to me).

The move into full-price software follows that of Alternative who recently announced their new Again Again label. Meanwhile David and Richard Darling have been gaining yet more television exposure in the ‘True Or False’ section of the penultimate edition of Network 7, where viewers had to guess whether they were really software producers or not! (We missed the following edition, so we’re still arguing about it.)


WELL WE’RE not that superstitious here at CRASH, but it seems that whichever company or magazine we mention has an instant curse put on it (perhaps it’s that mysterious Samara).

After all, no sooner than Mark Caswell mentioned Oink in last month’s comics special than the comic folded (so we dropped the piece). Then Phil King covered French software house FIL in the Eurovision feature (also last issue) and that’s in dire straits as well. All CRASH staff have now been instructed to avoid walking under ladders, carry rabbits’ feet at all times and never ever mention the number 13 (aarrrgh, I just did!).


QUESTION: What would you call Postman Pat if he became a dairy farmer? Answer: Cow Pat. (Thanks. Phil — Ed.) Well don’t worry, kiddies favourite Pat hasn’t left his day job yet (although we’re told he staged a one man picket in Greendale during the postal dispute). Instead, he’s decided to supplement his meagre income by appearing in his own computer game by Alternative, which is promised to ‘appeal to all age groups’. According to Alternative this is the first licence ever obtained by a budget house.

A rather more controversial boast is Alternative’s claim to be the UK’s top software house after topping the Gallup chart (for all formats) many times in the last few months. Hoping for another smash-hit Alternative are set to rerelease Audiogenic’s originally full-price Graham Gooch’s Cricket (65%, Issue 25). With Gooch now England captain this could be a shrewd move — if the team ever get to tour anywhere...


NEWLY-FORMED Digital Inspiration have signed a one-year sales and marketing deal with Derek Brewster’s Tyneside-based Zeppelin Games. Under the agreement, Zeppelin will rerelease a number of old Design Design games, including Nexor (81%, Issue 33), Forbidden Planet (86%, Issue 26) and 2112 AD (83%, 26).

Forthcoming original budget releases will include distinctly budget-sounding titles such as Ninja Space Troopers, Scooba Warriors and Combat Droid Simulator.

A further connection between the two concerns is that Digital Inspiration also have a 50% stake in Zeppelin’s new full-price label, Kognito. The move into full-price software by budget companies seems to be all the rage, as are football management games — Digital Inspiration are currently working on one for their lucrative Kenny Dalglish licence.


CHUFFED WITH the all-formats, UK success of its Freescape games (Driller, Dark Side — with Total Eclipse soon to come), Incentive now have their sights set on the lucrative American market. To this end they’ve recently signed a deal with American software house, Epyx. This gives Epyx exclusive rights to the distribution of the Freescape games in the USA. And things are certainty looking promising — Driller has already received half a million dollars worth of advance orders in the USA.