Issue 17

Sep/Oct 85

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Atari will be giving the 520ST its official European launch at the PCW Show at Olympia in what will be possibly the biggest display Atari has yet arranged in the U. K. Jack Tramiel thinks it is important - he will be there on the opening day.

Turn right through the main doors of Olympia and you will come to the first of Atari's THREE massive stands demonstrating not only the 520ST but the 130XE range and plenty of software. The display, with almost three times more floor space, should far outdo any other manufacturer. Details of exactly what Atari will be showing were not available at the time of writing but there is no doubt that you will find more of interest at this year's show than ever before. One major innovation is that third party software houses will be demonstrating their software on one of the Atari stands and will give owners the chance to see the very latest software for both the 8-bit and ST machines. 

Rumours in the trade say that over 100 new software items will be unveiled.  Among those to look out for either on Atari's stand or elsewhere are

* Chipsoft with a new database for the 8-bit range called MICROBASE + which can be interlinked with Atariwriter and has an average search time for any record of just 5 seconds. Also to be shown will be an Integrated Accounts package for the ST.

* English Software who will be showing their latest releases and their first program for the ST.

* Level 9 with Red Moon promising 'something special' for the Atari version and 'possibly' their first release for the ST.

* Database Publications who, as well as Atari User, should have the first of several software releases.

* Precision Software with Superscript for hands on testing as well as SuperType - a new typing trainer.

* Llamasoft with live demos of Colourspace accompanied by the best in rock music and 'possibly' early developments for the ST. Also, not to be missed, Jeff Minter's very own psychedelically painted 130XE! The only one of its kind!

Plus ... who knows? There are bound to be a number of companies introducing software for the ST who have never written for Atari before. Atari say that over 100 development packages have been sold in the U.K. and many software houses previously 'unknown' to the Atari world are preparing to support the ST and XE in a big way.

PCW 85 is not to be missed. Maybe the prototype for the first Atari User Show? The show is held at Olympia and opens to the public from 6th September to 8th September.


After a long wait and a shock 50 ROM from the U.S.A (see letters issue 16), Bounty Bob Strikes Back was released by U. S. GOLD in late July on 64k cassette for just 9.95 or 48k disk for 14.95. The cassette version will only run on the 800XL or 130XE because of the massive amount of code originally contained in the 40k ROM. 400/800 owners who feel peeved by a 64k cassette should bear in mind that a game of this size would not normally make it to cassette at all and Geoff Brown of U. S. Gold told us that Big Five had no intention of releasing any version other than the ROM. The cassette and disk versions are only available via U.S. Gold in a rare deal that gives U. K. owners an advantage over the U.S. for a change.

Bounty Bob may have been a long time striking back but U. S. Gold promise that their future Atari releases will appear at the same time as Commodore versions.


Hot on the heels of the (final) official versions of Rescue on Fractalus and Ballblazer come two new games from Lucasfilm and Epyx scheduled for U.S. release in the autumn.

KORONIS RIFT is a strategy game set in the future in which you are a techno-scavenger searching for artifacts left behind by a coalition of races that once inhabited the galaxy. You discover a weapons testing ground and drop on the surface of Koronis to scavenge. The rift is a huge Grand Canyon like chasm through which you must fly but the game features also a deal of strategy to reach this far. One of the Lucasfilm team describes the play as 'much the same as a text adventure'. The animation is similar to Rescue on Fractalus but also includes incredible GTIA animation produced by Jim St Louis who was responsible for the robot and spacecraft on Atari's demo disk.

The second game is EIDOLON which takes you back in time to the 19th century. The Eidolon is like a magic time machine in which you explore an immense cavern on a voyage of discovery. This one is said to use animation techniques never before used in home computers of the kind used for current commercial cartoons. Certainly two to look out for.


English Software will shortly be releasing a new Graphics Arts package for use on 48k systems. They say it includes all of the features of existing graphics programs with the added ability to lift and place individual images from within a picture. This is the one feature that makes many of the dedicated graphics computers so powerful and it will be interesting to see on the ATARI.

For those with less artistic inclinations English Software have announced what they say is 'the first Atari Kung Fu game programmed in the U.K'. Requiring 48k it will pit two Kung-Fu experts against each other in one or two player combat. The game is entitled CHOP SUEY and will retail at 8.95.