Zzap! Editorials 1989

Issue 45 - January 1989

Issue 45 Cover Spot the mystery personalities (from left to right: A. Psycho, A. Simpleton, A. Strangeperson, A. Lunatic.) In his own inimitable way, Maff 'I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus' Evans joins in the Yuletide spirit


Get your teeth out of the Christmas pud and into this issue (what do you mean itís not Christmas Day yet?), which closes down the year here at ZZAP! Itís been an odd kind of year - all the staff who started it have now left, weíve undergone some changes in style and the Amiga is now a full-time element of our mag. . . But enough of this twee frivolity and frivolous twee-ity, Rockford reveals all about 1988 on pages 76-78 - so go there if you want to reminisce.

1989 promises to be an even better year - after this Christmas there should be more Amigas about than ever before; and if you want in-depth reviews and more colour screenshots of games than any other Commodore mag, look no further than us.

As from this issue, we have to say good-bye to a couple of people. The first is Philippa Irving, whoís been writing our Manoeuvres column for almost two years! the strategy section has never proved universally popular and PI hasnít got an Amiga on which to review the wide variety of Amiga Wargames. RPGs are now reviewed by our repulsive troll chum, Chuck Vomit. However, letís put it this way - if you own an Amiga and a 64, are into strategy games and games and feel that you can write accurate, unbiased, indepth reviews, weíll take you into account should we reintroduce the section. If there's a big outcry, then we will re-introduce itís all up to you.

The second person leaving this month is Mark ĎMarkieí Kendrick - heís been at Newsfield for two and a half years, and our Art Director for the past year; but now heís off to pastures new, If youíre wondering who Iím talking about, he's the man who draws Paul in ridiculous costumes and who splashes all the colour over all our pages, amongst other things - oh, and he designed the Robocop feature this month. Iím sure youíll join me in wishing him well in the future.

And thatís it for this festive month. Not quite as big as our last issue, Iím sure youíll agree, but magazine organs do expand and contract according to the effort you put into them. See you in the New Year!

Issue 46 - February 1989

Issue 46 Cover (Sob) . . . Paul Glancey, the pint-sized Keeper of the Tips wanders Could one of these heavily-disguised creatures be the New Reviewer? If you think you could write better than a plastic fish or Horace the Pelican, write in today with a sample preview!


I bet most of you didnít know that the editorial page is just about the last one to be written every month. Well thereís an interesting fact.

What can you find in this Paul Glancey sized Issue? Well. one thing you wonít find is Paul Glancey - except for his farewell Tips section. Our petite Geordie POKE has finally succumbed to The Other Side (cue dramatic fanfare). No, heís not dead, heís just opted for an office with more room in it than this one. From now on, please address all your tips, hints, maps, listings and cheats to that Flint psycho, Maff Evans. This also means that thereís a Staff Writerís job going up for grabs - so get penning!

Is it The Proclaimers? Is it a group of mutant aliens about to take over the earth? No, it's a bunch of idiots in stupid glassesMeanwhile, back at the ranch, Issue 46 is full of goodies: thereís the Readers Awards, with loads of free games on offer; a preview of the new wave in German software; and, most importantly, the start of a new form of competition and service to you. Scan pages 30-31 and youíll know what weíre talking about!

In the Rrap youíll find the winner of our cartoon competition - but thanks go to all of you who sent in some dead funny ones: if we get any more, weíll print them in a future Rrap (if thereís enough space).

The most major thing youíve probably noticed is the absence of a cassette, but Iím sure youíre all happy with the price coming back down to £1.25. The Robocop/Parallax tape isnít the last ever Zzap! Mega Cassette to appear, but itíll be the last one for a while.

Meanwhile, keep an eye out for issue 47 itís a new look (waargh!) issue, packed with all the reviews that just missed our deadline for this one (and there are LOADS). Weíre promising you more information about the games you buy, better reviews and a brighter look to the magazine. Don't miss it!

Gordon Signature
Gordon Houghton

Issue 47 - March 1989

This new gadgi ZZAP! stuff an' all that

Issue 47 CoverThis month weíve all had a wash behind the ears and got those spongy, cheesy bits out from between our toes. In other words, before you think Iím a complete Ďní utter nutter, weíve had a redesign of the mag.

Just about every section has changed slightly, but a few areas have changed in a BIG Way. First off, the ZZUPERSTORE now has a new look (a perm and blow-dry followed by a facial scrub): secondly, and more importantly, weíve also got ourselves a new Tipster - that scruffy pseudo-Scouser ('heís really rubbishí) Maff Evans now controls ME TIPS. Crap name, eh? Well, it suits him. Then thereís the previews, which are a bit more snazz aní all that aní everyfiní.

Most importantly, though, thereís the change to the games bits. Thereís a whole page devoted to the new reviews (p13) - we've got one or two new features designed to give you more information and a better reviewing system than before. But, since we havenít explained just what our ratings means for a while now, I think itís time we did. So, here goes. . .

The ZZAP! team and plant get at Maff. From the left: Kati 'Wassagh' Hamza-creature, Art Director and general Zany Man, Mark Kendrick, Maff 'Rubbish' Evans, Lloyd (with paper bag) and Fat Git Gordo


This covers all aspects of the program apart from the game itself: packaging, instructions, loading system, on-screen presentation, control method and options. Is it a crappy box with shoddy, brief instructions, no on-screen aids and no options, or is it a big-boxed product with a 100-page novella, brilliant screen detail, a two-player option and a highscore table?


Easily explained. How impressive are the screen graphics - large, colourful and detailed with neat scrolling? Is the animation smooth? How much variety is there? Our mag photos should tell you some of these points, but this category will tell you what you canít see from a pic.


Is it exciting, effective, atmosphere, varied or just simple and repetitive? Are there music and sound FX: is there speech? Is it technically brilliant? Above all, do the music/sound FX enhance the game or detract from it?
After an unresolvable disagreement over editorial content on the results page, Gordo resorts to stuffing Ken down the toilet

As we explained way back in Issue 1 of ZZAP!, this is a cross between playability, addictiveness and how the game feels. If this mark is low, it could means that thereís a clumsy control method, or loads of instructions to plough through, or lots of puzzling; if itís high itís instantly addictive and incredibly easy to get into. A low hookability rating doesnít necessarily mean a bad game.


The depth Of a game, which, to some extent, takes into account the Hookability rating. Does it have loads of levels or screens? A game with loads of screens thatís unaddictive scores low in both categories; one which is difficult at first but has plenty of depth scores low on Hook ability but high on lastability; one which is compulsive but is quickly solved scores high on Hook and low on Lastability. Easy, eh? Please yourself, then.


The key mark: not an average Of the previous five ratings, but the reviewers personal rating of the game as a whole, followed by a comment in summary. It also incorporates the value of a game - a Sizzler at £9.99 might not still be a Sizzler at £14.99. . .
And thatís about it for this froody and frozen March issue. Watch out for the word Ďgadgií - itís a bit contagious around here at the moment. Does anyone know what it means?

Gordons Sig
Gordon Houghton

Issue 48 - April 1989

Merry Christmas

Issue 48 CoverWelcome, all you alien thrill-seekers, to a special April Foolís issue of ZZAP! Weíve got plenty of surprises packed into this monthís mag or have we? Are we telling the truth or have we got no April Foolís surprises whatsoever? Well, there is ONE - and the first person to spot it and write in will get an April foolís prize.

One thing that wonít surprise you is the amount of reviews - once again just under 50 games passed through our internaI digestive systems this month, all of which get the definitive ZZAP! treatment (ie. dipped in a bowl of custard, stuck into a C2N or the side of an Amiga and then played until dead). The other things you donít need telling about - the exclusive review; that wather pwetty poster in the centre; the Zzaptionnaire.

More important than all these, though, is the introduction of two new 0898 lines - weíve been saying up our coppers to rent a couple more phones, and weíve finally put Maff and Ken under one of Exeterís sun lamps and bullied them into writing something a little different each month. On Maffís line youíll find tips, most of which wonít appear in a future ZZAP! and all of which are brill, on Kenís line youíll learn about what's going in ZZAP! next month and a little bit about fish hygiene. Donít forget the cost and check out page 85 for more details!

By the way, weíve already found ourselves a new staff writer, so no more applications, please. With luck and a bit of bullying, weíll introduce him, her or it next month - as long as they shave off all that gorilla hair and stop using the KY, that is. Aye, mon.

Aaaand, itís only two more issues to go until our half century: weíve got a special little something planned for that one if you want to find out more, youíll just have to ring up Ken next month, wonít you? Letís just say, you won't be able to resist

Right, a-tha a tha a-tha thatís all, folks, Back to the Interociter for another session.
Gordons Sig
Gordon Houghton

Cartoon Pic of the Gang

Issue 49 - May 1989

Issue 49 Cover Randy
I bet he drinks Newcastle Brown A bin

When the boat comes back

The last week of this month schedule brought with it all the Sizzlers you'll find in this issue - no less than seven of them! The best of the 64 crop includes Renegade III, Silkworm and Run The Gauntlet; on the Amiga side, we've got Voyager (one of the best 16-bit games we've seen), Cybernoid 2 (an example of just how to upgrade a brilliant 8-bit game), War In Middle Earth and Robocop.

In this month's instalment you'll also find. . . a couple of features - an exploration of the current console boom(page 12), the traditional eeh-bah-gum ZZAP! Games Index (with added shoes - page 43) and no less that 12 pages of tips (beginning on p. 56) Maffís been a regular busy beaver, hasnít he readers?

On an entirely differemt note, the first person to write in and correctly identify the April fool was. . . wait for it. . . Simon Hadlington of Stouroridge. Whatís his special April Foolís prize? Nothing at all - sorry Simon but we are unbelievably miserable and perverse around here and weíre always thinking up sick jokes like that one For any of you who are still wondering, the April Fool was the 64 hydraulic chair in The Word and not, as several of you thought, the Joystick Junkies feature.

But perhaps the biggest news this month is the fact that weíve reeled in a new staff writer. We went out in the ZZAP! Trawler, lost our way somewhere in the North Sea, caught one of the biggest mackerel we could find, and fed it to the new man at ZZAP! Towers. And what better way to let you get to know him than for him to write his own introduction? Take it away. Paul .

Awreet, marra. Me nameís Paul Rand. Aís seventeen year owld, an Ďa come from a boriní little pit village called Easington (which isn't anywhere near Newcastle at all). Aíve gorra Commodore 64, and hods er games fer it, anía think itís reely hellish. Me favourite games are Operation Wolf, Robocop aní Gunship, but aíll play owt, reely, as long as itís not git crap.

A like listeninĎ to Tha Smiths, and Erasure, and stuff like that, yer naa. Aní me favourite pastime is gannin down the pub fer a pint an' a tab. Cos a like beer an tabs, me. An Ďam THAT haaard, cosíer it. And thatís about it, reely, yer naa. Teraa.

Translations on the back of a postcard, please. If any of you did understand it, weíd like to point out that what Paul does is illegal and should not be encouraged in any form. Anyway, Iím sure youíll all make our newest pseudo-Geordie recruit feel very welcome.

Next issue is the Anniversary ZZAP! (cue dramatic fanfare amid gasps from hoards of tearful millions) Yes! Weíre 50 copies old from 18th April. What have we got planned? Well, you can ring Ken D Fishís hot line 0898-555055 if you want the full details, but letís just say itís going to be packed with all the stuff that makes this still the best selling Commodore magazine in Britain. . . Teraa now.
Gordons Sig

Gordon Houghton

Issue 50 - June 1989

Issue 50 Cover


Hello, folks! Well, what can we say?! What does one say to friends at embarrassing dos for your birthday after they've desperately had a go at singing (?) the called for ditty, you've blown out the candles, gasped for air and made your wish? The obvious thing is - to belch! All that food and DRINK...

Well, Chuck vomited, of course, and Ken burbled bubbles from his specially laid-on bowl of champers. Us humans decided to play it cool. Avoiding that eternal prattler Rocklord and his bouncy sidekick Thingy, we got to work on the next fifty Zzaps, so there!

Why? Cos it's you lot reading this with your fish (ouch) and chips who've made Zzap what it is. Yes, folks, the most riveting, authoritative and occasionally silly, but always world-shattering mag for Commodore - and now Amiga - games ever. And we want you to carry on voting for us with your hard earned pennies! So we're racking our combined brains for great and fab stuff to fill your months ahead with - should be easy peasy with all the great games coming up for our fave computers!

In the meantime you can all go spare trying to beat the hell out of our birthday Megatape game Zig Zag and drool over phobia to come - all to Martin Walker's music. A real birthday treat, as our Randy Paul would say.

Birthday drivel over, thanks a lot and now start reading...

THE ZZAP TEAM (all and sundry creatures included)
(N.B. Gordon originally wrote a different editorial to this one, but it was changed to the above after Gordo, Kati and Maff "left"! - IB)

Issue 51 - July 1989

Issue 51 Cover

After the party

No sooner than a birthday bottle of champagne is broken over the free cassette on Issue 50 than it's all change at the Towers. Gordon Houghton, after a year as Editor has left along with Kati Hamza and Maff Evans. While Maff plans superstardom - or preferably cult status - with his group Assimilate Four, Gordon and Kati are pursuing the slightly more prosaic career of freelance journalists back down South.

The new ZZAP! team includes Robin 'from the Valleys' Hogg (winner of last year's intermagazine challenge (ha!), military enthusiast, Kerrang! reader (Lorraine Lewis - phwoar!) and estate agent firebomber), Phil King (sports fan, Alice Cooper devotee and skateboarding superstar) and me (trekkie, REM fan and C128 owner - there has to be one). Together with Paul (how many pictures of me can I get in one Issue?) Rand, Ken D Fish and new contributor, Prof Norman Nutz,we hope to keep increasing the quality of your monthly ZZAP!.

To this aim the reviews have been tinkered with (again), the intros lengthened to allow more detail on games as complex as Millennium 2.2 and Archipelagos, and emphasised to make them stand out. So even if we go wild over a game in the comments,there should be enough information to decide if it's the type of game you'll like too. We.ve also trying to more clearly separate C64 and Amiga reviews and have brought back the irregular strategy section, with Robin Hogg drooling over some of the best games around. It's not the sort of column Randy likes, but he's just discovered an unexpected enthusiam for Compunet, staying on-line to all hours at night. So unless the phone bills bankrupt us in the meantime, see you next month!

Stuart Wynne

Issue 52 - August 1989

Issue 52 Cover

There was no editorial.

(N.B. Unfortuntly the beginning of a trend with Zzap! - IB)

Issue 53 - September 1989

Issue 53 Cover

Again, no editorial.

Issue 54 - October 1989

Issue 54 Cover

And again.

Issue 55 - November 1989

Issue 55 Cover

A C64 Xmas?

Finally, the summer software drought seems over with high quality games flooding in for the C64. While the Amiga lacks a single sizzler, the C64 wins TWO Gold Medals and one sizzler.Hats off first to Ocean, for putting so much time and effort into their movie licences. The number of sub games and levels offered by the two products is astonishing, as is the sheer polish which makes them so much fun. And applause too, for Chris Butler doing the impossible for Activision.

Clearly the C64 has plenty of life left in it yet. ln terms of presentation, playability and the sheer amount of levels crammed into C64 games today's programs blow away all but a few classics from the old days. The technical excellence delivered by Power Drift, and promised by Turbo OutRun, is simply amazing. And who would swap the value-packed, multiload Ocean licences of 1989 for those of 1985? Particularly as the good games that were around then can now be picked up for £2.99 on rerelease, or in mega-value compilations. As the 1990s approach,the c64 offers all this for a quarter of the price of an Amiga with new releases costing half as much as Amiga software. lf you want amazing graphics the Amiga certainly delivers (see Batman preview), but for the moment C64 owners can remain content: their machine offers by far the best value for money with a range and quality of software second-to-none.

And with so much happening on the C64/Amiga scene it's a pity Paul Rand has decided to leave Newsfield for a job with publishing giant EMAP. Best of luck to him, and Robin Hogg who's bravely stepped into his shoes with a 'Pig in The Poke' playing tips section.

Stuart Wynne

Issue 56 - December 1989

Issue 56 Cover

No editorial

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