News

 

Issue 30

Nov/Dec 87

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SHE LOOKED DEEP INTO HIS SULTRY BLUE EYES...

Infocom are a strange company aren't they? Following hot on the heels of The Lurking Horror, complete with slimy 'thing' in the box, comes Plundered Hearts a story of 'romance and adventure' which they claim is aimed specifically at the female market. Unfortunately, this means that they will sell about six copies so they have cleverly designed the game to be appealing to men as well and the pre-release testers (mostly men) have pronounced it quite acceptable.

Plundered Hearts is an adventure which 'provides the salt air, steamy tropical nights and treacherous characters essential to a heart-pounding adventure on the high seas. Little do you know that your innocent journey will soon turn to dangerous adventure. Explosives, rocky reefs and the vicious crocodiles are obstacles which you must overcome. True, it's not easy but at least you can control your fate. What you cannot control is much more dangerous, your passion for Nicholas Jamison, the handsome pirate captain. When you are in his arms you are apt to forget your mission'. Yuck! I hope they give you a sick bag in the box. Now where did I put that horrible slimy thing from the last one?

Plundered Hearts is available on the XL/XE for 24.99 and the ST for 29.99.

SORRY, JEFFREY, NOT A PENNY MORE ...

'If we can't get into movies with James Bond, let's chat up some bloke with influence in case he might make a movie of his latest book'. Remember those two guys from last issue posing as James Bonds? Well, now they have this crazy idea of producing a graphic adventure about a guy called Stephen Bradley who loses a small fortune by investing in a fraudulent oil company set up by multi millionaire Harvey Metcalfe. They are going to call this unlikely computer game Not a Penny More Not a Penny Less. Haven't I heard that somewhere before?

Mark Strachan and Dominic Wheatley of Domark are seen here discussing the fine details with the chap who is going to design the packaging, or is it the guy who wrote the book? Anyway the ST version of the game was demonstrated at the PCW Show and there will, hopefully, be an 8-bit version later in the year.

PCW STOP PRESS

The PCW Show occurred just as we went to press so we are unable to bring you a full report. Atari 8-bit software was thin on the ground but it was there with several re-releases on budget labels and a number of new titles. STARS OF THE SHOW both for the ST. WORD PERFECT is 'four to six weeks away' and really is THE word processor all serious ST users have been waiting for. Complete with 115,000 word UK dictionary and thesaurus at 199. Expensive but worth it! OMIKRON BASIC is the first Basic for the ST that retains the 'feel' of Atari 8-bit Basic but with some incredibly powerful programming and editing features and a 'library' of routines similar to C. A full review of this one will be included as soon as possible.

NEW FRONTIERS

Excellent news for Atari 8-bit owners comes from Frontier Software who have recently signed a sole distributor agreement with ICD of Illinois, U.S.A. In case you don't know, ICD are responsible for Spartados and the U.S. Doubler among many other fine products.

The US Doubler Chip is a simply installed two chip upgrade for the 1050 disk drive giving true double density and an accelerated I/O rate designed to triple the speed of disk operations. It will cost just 29.95. Ideal for use with the US Doubler, but also a stand alone program is Spartados, widely acclaimed as the best DOS for the 8-bit Atari. Spartados supports everything from 810 to double density, 1050 to RAM disks and Hard Disks. A special menu allows rapid transfer, erasure or locking of files using only the Space Bar, Option, Start and Select keys. There are several bonus features including a 32 character keyboard buffer, intelligent switching between drive densities, a binary file game menu, subdirectories and time and date stamping. Spartados also costs 29.95 or you can get a special double package with the US Doubler included for 49.95. Following the distribution agreement, Spartados will now come as standard on all Supra 8-bit Hard Disk drives.

Another product from ICD is P:R: Connection which is an interface unit designed to replace the elusive 850 interface. The unit includes a Centronics parallel port and two RS232 ports enabling the device to be used with any Centronics printer and modems. Price is 69.95.

These products should be at your local dealer now and more of ICD's range will be available shortly.

USER GROUPS GET TOGETHER

Ken Ward, long time champion of Atari and leading light behind the Norwich User Group has finally got together The Association of Atari User Groups which is a body whose aims are to represent Atari Users in consultation and discussion with software houses and Atari themselves. Ken has always been outspoken in his support for Atari Users and now with the backing of the Association we may well see more benefits for Atari Users in the U.K.

Already 17 Users Groups have become affiliated and the first newsletter has been produced but the Association wants to ensure that as many Atari owners as possible are represented so other Groups who have not yet affiliated are urged to get in touch with the AAUG as soon as possible. If you run a User Group, and you are serious about it, it will be in your interest and, more importantly, in the interest of your members to contact

SOFTWARE SHORTS

Mastertronic and its associated labels keep the budget titles coming with September releases of Flash Gordon at 2.99 and Panther at 1.99 on the MAD label. On Bulldog at 1.99 comes Storm, an arcade adventure of sword and sorcery, magic and mayhem, Feud which features a magical encounter between two wizards and Revenge at Rigel which is a 'thrilling text adventure with inter-active graphics'. This last one was voted a C&VG Hit. Is that good or bad?

Rainbird have now released Guild of Thieves, the follow up to The Pawn, on the Atari 8-bit. There are many clever puzzles and surprises and 29 atmospheric scene setting illustrations on the two-disk set which retails at 19.95.

No more, everybody's keeping quiet until the PCW Show which is yet to come but will be gone by the time you read this, if you get the meaning!

ATARI CHRISTMAS SHOW

After weeks of speculation, Database have announced that there will be an Atari Christmas Show this year to be held on November 20th to 22nd at The Novotel Hotel, Hammersmith, London, scene of this year's previous Atari show. There was speculation that the show would be held in October but many exhibitors would still be trying to recover from the PCW Show and probably wouldn't have turned up! There was also speculation that this show would be for ST only but, thankfully, this is not the case. Whilst there may not be anywhere as near as much support for the 8-bit machines at these shows, it does represent one of the few opportunities for some 8-bit owners to see software that they cannot get locally. PAGE 6 will be there and will welcome 8-bit owners with open arms!

All that it needs now is for Database to organise a show in the North for all those users who can't afford to travel down to London twice a year. How about it?

MICROPROSE GUNSHIP FINALLY HERE!

Here is the ultimate in computer flight simulators from Microprose, a complete AH-64 Apache Gunship helicopter simulator on disk for your Atari with all manuals and associated hardware in the box. It is incredible value at around 19.95 but because of problems with carrying it home from your local shop (it weighs over 1.5 tonnes) you will have to pay a delivery
charge of around 2 million dollars!

Seriously though, this is what Microprose had at the PCW Show to promote Gunship and it is a genuine helicopter flight simulator specially adapted to work with Microprose's Gunship program. Now that just has to be the ultimate in inter-active computer simulations!

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