Submitted by Dan Dooré on Wednesday, May 23, 2018 - 11:31.
|Editorial||Digital Addiction, Pc Conversion|
|Letters||Masterdos, Ffl, Buggle Boggle Review|
|Cat 1||Diggory Gray||Complex & Colourful Shoot-Em-Up|
|Fantasy Fred League||Colin Anderton||Gorgeously Written Ffl Editor...|
|Prophex||Adrian Francis||Use E-Tracker In Games Master / Puzzle|
|Gunner||Diggory Gray||Gun Target Bombing Game|
|'The' Show Report||Colin Anderton||A Comprehensive Show Report|
|E-Tunes||Sean Bernard||Toe Tapping Tunes|
|Mini-Jelly||Paul Dudley||Matt's Working On A Game....|
|C Demos||Terry Ekins Steven Ekins Allan Clarkson||Two Different, And Very Clever C Demos|
|Modules||Stewart Skardon||Converted Amiga Mods|
|Etcher Sketch||Allan Clarkson||Draw A Piccy, Then Rub It Out, Etc|
|Big Scrolly||Adrian Francis||Full Screen Scroller|
CA Editorial Editorials, eh? Supposedly first introduced in a magazine called "Woman's Helper" in 1941 when women had to fend for themselves and their family when their hubbies were out at war. Then it was just a little chit-chat to warm their hearts and spirits. Todays editorials are generally a little introduction, maybe a page long to introduce the readers to the magazine and tell them about anything exciting. FRED's editorials are paaageeesss long (and sometimes longer). Strictly speaking, I should be paid the wages of forty men (or women....). Anyway, I got round to thinking. Wouldn't it be nice if we could have a bit more to FRED. A little more than the hilarious anecdotes from Ando, something to make this section slightly more magaziney. Anyone agree? Well, to cut a long story short, I've had a litte think, and I've had a few ideas for sections. If anyone would like to write an article (or more) on any of these, please write in and say. CA Magazine (woooo) - Cheats / Help section on SAM (and Speccy?) games - The History of FRED - MORE REVIEWS!!! - "SAM on the internet...." - A Gamesmaster Guide / Help page. - Same for SCADs, SAMPaint, SAM C, etc... And anything else you can think of. Maybe ther was a section in one of the Speccy mags that you think could be included in FRED. Maybe you've had a brand new idea that could revolutionize the computer world as we know it - or it's not a bad idea anyway! Please send in an example page of what you can do. Probably the easiest thing to do is send in the first part of the article. Then, if it needs improving, I can send it back with some pointers, and if it doesn't, tell you and stick in the first part. You can become famous, have a pretty impressive thing to stick in your CV/Record of Achievement and improve your fantasy FRED league score too! CA Magazine So, what's been happening this month? Well, the Gloucester show was about two weeks ago, but there'll be a full write-up somewhere else. Due to the lack of an interview, I've decided to write a superb, really long write-up of the show and slap it in the interview slot. We'll have a SAM->PC article in this section anyway, and I don't want to start spoiling you. My coursework is building up something rotten as we near the end of the academic year. I've got exams on the 6th, 7th and 11th of June, so the next issue of FRED will probably be a little late. Sorry for any inconvenience caused, but these are important exams. I'll be back on track by issue 70 though because after the exams, I have to stay at Uni for three weeks with nothing to do! Hurrah! I hope there's lots of taxpayers out there reading this. Thousands of students living of the Government grant, subsidised by you. Ho ho ho. But anyway, then I'm on my Summer holidays until October (yeah!), so FRED should be better than ever. And I won't be leaving just because I'm in my second year like that Brian chap did. Tish. CA Magazine Well, the footy season has come to a close (shame). Manchester United are champions (again). As an editor I can't display any preference between Man. Utd and Newcastle, but I must just point out that Newcastle is a really great place and Andy Cole lost me twenty quid in the sweepstake for the FA Cup final. If he'd managed to get a shot on target then I could've won twenty quid. But did he? Nope. Twenty quid down the drain because he's dreadful. Sob. What is wonderful though is that Lincoln City grabbed a stunning FIVE - NIL victory over Torquay United on the last day of the season. Hooray! To get you all over the sad loss of the football season, we will be bringing you highlights of the Fantasy FRED League. We would bring you live coverage but SKY put in a higher bid. Phew, I've managed to go four pages without making any no. 69 jokes... CA Editorial - Take 2 OK. It's now the 14th of May. There's not, let's face it, much chance of FRED getting up to Colin, then to the duplicators, then to Colin, then to you within 3 days. Heck, this issue is going to be late. What can I say? Sorry. I've been completely snowed under with work recently. Anyway, I'm going to spend all tonight working on FRED. I've already decided what to stick on, so I've now got all night to write this editorial, the letters and put everything together. It's 1:37am now. I've just finished an essay, got all the stuff I need from the computer room, I've got some caffine next to me, plenty of music to keep me company and the threat of being sacked to keep me awake all night. So, come on kiddies, let's all hold hands and leap boldly into an all night FRED session... CA Editorial - Take 2 Aside from working over the last two weeks, my student loan has come through. So, I'm feeling a bit rich now. I've already forked out for a new hi-fi after the calamity of my other one being accidentally broken (ahem). This one has a CD player and flashy lights and everything, so I'm dead happy. I don't know how on earth I'd have been able to write FRED all night without any music to guide my way (although I won't speak too soon). I was forced to play football the other day, and now my legs are recovering from that earth thing called "exercise". I had a passing visit from Crashed editor, Allan Clarkson, and despite being nice to him, still couldn't get him to do FRED for me (darn). I didn't even get any freebies from him. And he had one of my Wagon Wheels. In fact, what a swine. Ooh, groan, more caffine... ahh, that's better. CA Editorial - Take 2 The SAM communal e-mail thingy is getting pretty busy. Now after tea when we all go and check my mail, I get to boast thirty new messages where all my friends are lucky to have three. Ho ho ho. Chris White has even graced us with his presence and managed to convince people that Worms would be possible on the SAM. Whatever next, eh? Speaking of e-mails, I got an e-mail from Rebecca Ritters. "Rebecca Ritters, who is she?" I hear most of you call. Well, maybe you'll know her better as Hannah, or Button from Neighbours. What a novelty!! I'd found her e-mail address one night when surfing the internet. About three months later, I got a reply. Hooray! So what if she told me that my e-mails were disturbing and that I should leave her alone, she still mailed me! And now, while we're all in a PC mood, let's dive straight forward into my next PC article... CA Easy PC...2 I've received a few compliments about my article last month. Most people said they couldn't believe I'd written something sensible and were amazed that I had intelligence. Another point raised was about the length of lines on a PC. I was maybe a little misleading when I said that text was 76 columns. Most PC word-processed text is of varying length (character wise) because of the way they store it (eg. 'i's are smaller so they take up less room that a hulking great 'w'). I was referring to plain text documents like e-mails and bog- standard stuff. Anyway, as promised, this month I'm moving onto the huge topic of screens. Screens are a lot harder to convert than text because SAMs and PCs store them completely differently. The same basic concept is true - get them onto disc, convert them into standard stuff, slap them through KE_Disc and use a converter to get them into SAM type. However, it's not quite that easy.... CA Easy PC...2 Let's start from the start (always a good place I find). Find the picture you want to convert. As far as I know, on the SAM the only picture converters are for BMP pictures. BMP pictures are a way of storing pictures on the PC, in pretty much the same way as a SCREEN$ is a stored picture on the SAM. On the PC there are lots of different ways of storing screens - JPeg is another popular way. It's just like on the SAM, you can store them as SCREEN$, SAMPaint compressed screen or as code like on FRED. Unless I can find out otherwise, you'll either have to find BMP files, or convert them to BMP using a PC program - there's bound to be one in most PD libraries, and some painting packages might let you do it. If you're scanning a picture in, the trick is to scan them in as 256 colours. The reason for this is explained later. Next you'll have to cut the picture down to SAM size - 256*192 pixels. If PC's are any good, you should be able to do this on CA Easy PC...2 most painting packages - Paintshop Pro definitely. The picture may not look very SAM screen shaped, but that's because of the differences in resolution between the two computers. When you get it on the SAM, it may appear to 'stretch' lengthways. To combat this, you can expand the picture on the PC. Play around with this for best results. Next put the picture into 16 colours. Greyscale will look good once it comes out on the SAM. Colours are more tricky. Windows is a pain in that it's natural 16 colour selection is rubbish. Either you have to play around a lot with the colours, or if you are using Paintshop Pro, you can tell it to convert the picture to 16 'adaptive' colours/four bits per pixel. This will match it to the best colour, so saves you messing around and getting it wrong. If you can't do this, don't panic. Use greyscale. It looks really good on the SAM, and quite often better than colour. Save your picture to disc - remember it should be 256 pixels CA Almost 2 Easy PC... Ho ho ho along the screen and 192 pixels up the screen, and in BMP format (unless you know better). Now run along to your SAM. Load up KE_Disc, insert your PC disc, type LD filename, insert your SAM disc, then press RETURN and then type SV filename. You should know how to do that like the back of your hand by now (incidentally, the back of my hand says 'Hand In Essay', and I know that without looking). Next we need BMP->SAM converter from issue somethingorother of FRED. See FREDex for the exact issue. It's 48 or 49 I think. Heck, you should have them all anyway. Run the screen through BMP->SAM. There is a slight bug in BMP->SAM which for some reason means that the top and bottom lines of your picture will have scrolled across two pixels. Still, I suppose we can't complain about 4 dodgy pixels when it's successfully converted 49148 pixels! CA Far 2 Easy PC... (Oh, it's still there!) You picture should now be ready to be loaded up as a SAM screen! Other formats ============= Let's start with Archimedes, because that's the most awkward. If you're converting from the Arch to SAM, you'll need to cut the picture into a 16 colour, 256 x 192 picture like on the PC, but save it as a standard Archimedes Sprite file. Next, you'll have to save it on a PC formatted disc in order to bring it over to the SAM. Run it through KE_Disc to get it onto a SAM disc, then run it through the Arch->SAM sprite converter on issue 50 of FRED. And Bob's yer Format-ed! It's there on the SAM! The Apple Mac is supposed to work in the same way as the Pc except that apparently converting it into 16 colours doesn't work properly. There is a way of correcting this, and that's CA Easy PC...2 been published in Crashed. I'll ask them if I could print the routine in FRED, and if they say no post them nasty things. As for other formats, probably the safest thing to do is to convert the picture to the PC if possible, then follow the routine written in the article. If that doesn't work, write in and we'll try to solve it. Thanks to Allan Clarkson for tips and help on bits of that. If you want to convert a MOD, simply stick it on a PC disc, run that through KE_Disc, slap the file onto a SAM disc, and that's it! Run it through a MOD player (there's one on issue 41) and it'll play in all it's glory. What could be simpler? Nothing. Next month, I don't know what I'll cover. If I think of other stuff you may want to convert, I'll go over that. Otherwise, I'll go over any questions you have. CA News The SAM & Speccy show was a reasonable success. The numbers were lower than before, but people were buying, and there was an encouraging amount of new companies and devlopments. FRED came away with a profit again, so we'll be returning again. There is news that there could be a show somewhere near Leeds in the summer, so keep posted for that. The PC game being worked on by FRED's other half, Digital Addiction is being worked on at rapid pace. That's the reason there's no Jellytext this month - Matt Round is spending his life doing graphical stuff for it, and says that Colin Mac would kill him if he did anything to Jellytext! So we'll let it pass for a month or two... And unfortunately, that's it for this month. It's been a bit of a quiet month. However, next month, there could be some very good news. Watch this space (again)... CA Editorial - Take 2 Well, it's 2:52am. I'm still wide awake, are you??? Some chap has just ran around our block banging on everyones doors. Ha ha, little does he know I'm wide awake. More fool him. Does anyone reading this know where I can get a little stand that I can put over my video and stand my TV on? The only telly stands I can find sit on the floor and that's no good for my room. I just want a decent bit of metal/plastic/wood that will hold my TV's weight. As it if, the SAM is balancing on a bit of wood (and two tape boxes to keep it level) and it's just awkward. So if anyone can help out, then please send me details. It will be much appreciated. And now, to carry on with the magazine type appeal, I'll include the PD reviews here.... DN PD Bit Hello, it's me again with yet more PD reviews. After going to the Sam show on April 20th and picking up some interesting new PD titles, I can (for once) say that next issue will feature this column again. But enough of this, on with the reviews... Banzai 'The Games' - Dan Doore This is a collection of games written by Dan from 1990 to 1995. Many of them have been in Fred before, so will not appeal as much to long time readers. The disk contains: Fruit Machine (very simple version, with poor graphics), Laser Dodge (a laser moves diagonally down the screen - press Space to move it upwards), Yahtzee (good mouse-driven version of the dice classic), Drac Attack (simple bomb your opponent, changing velocity and angle), Worms World (Snake game, collect money without crashing into your body), DN PD Dead ducks (poor game similar to Drac Attack), Dans Diamonds (collect columns of similar-coloured objects), Simon (four coloured lights flash, repeat their pattern), Annoyance (a simple memory game - remember positions of balls on a grid). The game has some good games (especially Yahtzee), whereas the only really poor games are Fruit Machine and Dead Ducks. There is also another game on it called Solitaire, but it is not the card game - and I couldn't work out how to play it! This disk is pretty good on the whole, but may offer very little new material to long time Fred readers. Overall - 69% Beetle Mania - G.A.Bobker This is a puzzle game where you, controlling a small beetle, must push a collection of blocks onto some diamonds. This may DN PD sound pretty simple (actually, no, it doesn't) but the game is set in a single-screen maze, making it that much more difficult. Another thing to mention is that you can only push one block on its own, not two or three. The graphics in this game are terribly, terribly dire - so bad that they would even look poor on a Spectrum. As for the sound, well, there is none. However, there are two styles of play - Contest (tackle each level one after the other) or Single (try and level you like). But that doesn't matter, because after about 5 minutes it becomes extremely boring. The most worrying thing about this game is that when first released, this game cost Overall - 32% Sam PD '96 - various This is a little teaser package showing off some of the programs in Sam PD's vast collection.The disk contains: DN PD Comet2ASCII (converts Comet files to ASCII(never!)), Diskfiler (needs Masterdos, catalogues all of your disks so you know what's where - good, but is it worth it?), PC DIR and PD Disk Reader (guess), some Screen$ (from Amiga, most are quite good), Scoring programs for Tennis and Golf (what is the point?), Word Processor (very poor), BZZZ 2 (an incredibly slow Light Cycles game - avoid), Kvakis (only decent game, objects fall from the sky, you must rotate blocks at the bottom to match) Overall, this is a pretty poor collection, except for one thing which is Kvakis. However, it does have some specialist utilities that would be useful for only a small number of users, it all depends on what you want. Overall - 59% DN PD All of the above cost 1.50, and are available from: Sam PD [redacted] Also out now from them is a new disk catalogue. As well as containing details of all of their products, it also has a few other things, such as a demo of Ice Chicken, some Digitiser Screens, Reviews and a full game, Pipetris (a cross between Pipe Mania and Tetris!).Send them a disk + SAE and they'll get it to you in no time. That's all for this month, next issue Andrew Colliers ILLUSION disk will be reviewed, as well as a couple of other bits, so keep reading.
Letters & Reviews
Letter From Mark Steele Dear Colin, Just a short letter to ask some staggeringly important questions (well, they are important to me anyway!). Going back a while to issue 60, a game called Blastamac appeared containing pictures of the SAM "guys" and after playing it for ages I discovered this picture of a bloke who looks like Martin Clunes from Men Behaving Badly. Who on earth is he? (If you say Martin Clunes then I lose a fiver so please don't). Also, do you know where I can get another copy of the Masterdos manual from as I seem to be coming across problems with it. It might be just me but does anyone else find that 1) Secret Diary - FRED 52 - refuses to format discs 2) Samples - FRED 67 - refuses to load 3) I keep getting strange messages and then having SAM C conk out on me. Letter From Mark Steele Oh well, that will teach me to try and be so clever. Is anyone else finding SAM C difficult to use or is it just me? By the way, Stefan Drissen's MOD player is excellent. I only got it the other day, but everybody else has probably had it for months. Finally, just a little plug for my own software. It is not completed yet, so don't get too excited, but my GCSE revision guide is coming along well. It is only written in simple BASIC, but all the mathematical facts are there, and it does help you through those tricky maths exams. (I speak from experience!) I should have it finished in a week or two, so if you write to me I will send you more details of it. It will be £2.50 and should be of use to most students. But now I will go back to my Sam, and will now try and eventually complete 'Santa Goes Psycho II'. Letter From Mark Steele From, Mark Steele P.S. On a recent FRED disc, I played a game where you were a small craft at the bottom of the screen and you had to shoot at a blob which bounced around the screen. When you shot it, it divided into two blobs, and they also had to be shot until the little bits were also gone. Then you moved onto the next level... But for the life of me I can't find the thing. Can anybody remember what it was called because I've tried just about every word I can think of in FREDEX. P.P.S. Please help me - I'm sad. CA Reply To Mark Steele Blastamac contained smaller versions of the people photographed at a SAM show and put on FRED. As far as I remember, Martin Clunes wasn't at that show. Martin Clunes? Big ears, big lips. Sounds like Macdonald to me. Apart from that, pass. I don't know where you're going to get a Masterdos manual from. Maybe if you sent the original disc and an SAE to Revelation or Format, they would send you a new copy. You'd better ring before you do though, or I'll get told off. As for the bugs, it sounds to me like you've got an old copy of Masterdos. What is the version number? If you're using SAM C, you shouldn't need to use Masterdos really, so stick with Samdos. SAM C is going to be hard to master. It's a completely new language. In the next couple of months, we'll be starting some SAM C articles, which should help. In the meantime, try some books from the library, but don't give up - it'll be worth it in the end. CA Reply To Mark Steele Keep in touch about the program. We'll never remember to write to you (we're useless like that - sometimes Colin has to remind me that I edit FRED). I can't believe people are STILL playing Santa Goes Psycho II. It's 18 months old! It just goes to show what quality programs we have on FRED! I think the game you're on about in the PS is Infection, again by Matt Round, and is on issue 42 of FRED in slot K. How's that? Letter From Ted Edwards Dear Colin, A bit of a moan regarding the answer to Mr. John Saunders letter in the latest issue of FRED. He seems to hold the sam view as me that FRED is aimed at the "WHIZZKID" fraternity, I.E. yappy music, very corny jokes and quite a lot of bas language (swear words are only used because they can't express themselves any other way). You've probably guessed by now that I'm an OAP. I wonder if you know how many older, or should I say elderly members you have. I came to you via 'Outlet' when they stopped supporting SAM. I was "taken over" by FRED. "OUTLET" was a good mag. Sorry if I've dented you're ego a bit, I quite expect to get a fairly rude reply. But I've had my say. Bye for now, Ted Edwards CA A Nice Reply To Ted Edwards... OK, OK. I was a bit hard on John Saunders. Well, I was actually really rude. Sorry about that. It was only intended as a joke, but clearly didn't come over that way. Personally, I don't see why there's such a great gap between people my age and elderly people. Lack of communication, I guess. At least my 'comments' last month have sparked off some sort of discussion. FRED has to cater for the majority of people. That majority is generally of student age, give or take a couple of years. I accept there's a lot of other groups of people who use the SAM, and that's all thanks to the designers making it an easy to use machine. For FRED to cater more for people your age, Ted, we need feedback. Every month I ask for some information about what readers want to see in FRED. The actual overall feel of FRED won't ever change - people don't want that. However, we can always add things to FRED. I'd guess that you're after the more helpful, but not too technical articles. Write in and tell CA Reply To Ted Edwards me. I'm sure I can find someone to write almost any article, but I can't stress enough that without your input, FRED can only get further away from what you want. I just assume people are happy with what I do, which can't be true 100% of the time. As for swearing, that's generally my fault. I'm not supposed to use it, and only do to try and emphasise something. Colin M tells me off when I do use it, and I'll get rid off it. It's not usually that bad, is it? Apologies again to John Saunders (if he's still reading!). Letter From Darren Wileman To: All Editor's Of SAM Magazines [My, how personal... - CA] Saturn Software have decided that it was time that SAM, and the Spectrum were both represented on the Internet. A World Wide Web page has been set up, and is currently available to everyone who has access to a PC with a Web Browser installed, ready for internet access. It would be greatly appreciated if anyone has any information on either the Spectrum, or the SAM vould contact us as soon as as possible, and we will add any information deemed useful to the Web Page. If you want to advertise on the pages of the Web also, then please let us know, and we will get in contact to arrange it. The Web Page was launched, on the 5th of April 1996. Web address : HTTP://OURWORLD.COMPUSERVE.COM/HOMEPAGES/MOGUE E-mail addr : [redacted] David Wileman CA Reply To David Wileman Colin and I have had a play on these pages. At the moment, the WWW pages are a bit sparse, but there is potential for it to be very good in the future. There is nothing there of relevance for the Spectrum, but there's hundreds of other sites for Speccy stuff anyway. Letter From Paul Dudley Does anyone know a quick easy way to get rid of the bloody anoying fuzz that comes from my TV when I use the Sam? Sometimes I can't even hear MODs I play which sort of spoils the effect. Also does anyone like Alanis Morissette, cos' I think shes great and she really deserved her Best International Newcomer, Echo and 4 Grammys. Last of all if anyone wants the address of Tracey Coleman's fan club I've put it below. She's pretty good too, eh! [redacted] And if anyone has Alanis Morrisette's fan club address write a letter to Fred and put it on the end (if Colin doesn't mind). CA Reply To Paul Dudley There is a clever way to get rid off fuzz from your TV set, but I can't remember how. It's got something to do with moving something out of your power pack into a separate bit (maybe). Can anyone help? I told Stefan Drissen that I'd buy one of his MOD players if he put a screen blanker option in it because my TV does the same. He has now put one in, so I owe him some money (darn). You may want to find out about that. Alanis Morissette was indeed good on the Brit Awards, although apart from that song, I haven't heard much stuff - probably because I never listen to the radio... You might as well tell me what to stick on FRED, everyone else does now! Letter From Howard Price Wotcha everyone, This is damn good timing for everyone competitive doing the FRED Fantasy League. Sad I know, especially for me to come out of my lethargy just for the excuse of being worth bags of money, but hey! WHO CARES? Anyway, the reason it's good timing is because of this: 1) I'm worth £0.1mil so everyone choose me. 2) There are other bargains to be had, but I dunno if I ought to tell anyone else, because they'll nick them and provide me with some bleeding competition. Right, down to schematics (I'm very bored, so be careful). Can you say hello to yourself? What if another Womble did it? What is another Entropy geezer did it? What is another bloke on my team did it? It's so confusing! What happens to all the unused stuff? See, every now and again, Letter From Howard Price (and Sylvia) you must get two menus for the same ish. So what do you do? Can you change the issue number. Then does it count for extra marks or what? Then is Modules and E-Tunes different types of music, or what? Anyway, I would have some stuff to give yer for this ish, tell the truth I have, but let us for a minute pretend I haven't so it counts for my score next month!! .... This is going to be a very empty issue, isn't it? 'Till then Col, bye. -Tobermory PS This is Howard's friend Sylvia. The boring git's spent ages on this, so I've got to beat him. Give me Round, Andy Collier, Brunsden, Handley, Anon Smith, Stewy Skardon, and a couple of 0.2s so I get more points than him har har har. Sylv CA Reply to Howard and Sylvia You know, it never occured to me that people would want to score lots of points and would therefore contribute lots more. Honest. Still, you never know, eh? Unfortunately, you were too late to inform everyone what an amazing bargain you are, so you seem to be the only one with you. But surely that's more reason to score lots of points?!? Right, you can say hello to yourself, but I won't give you a point because that's just un-gentlemanly conduct! You can say hello to members of your team, by all means. So if another Womble does a program and says hi to you, you'll get a point. Things like 'Hi to all members of Entropy' won't score any points, you have to specify individual people. Anything unused that I think should be used is returned to the author pleading him to change it for me. No extra points I'm afraid. No points for modules because you don't have to put effort into them, but you do get points for converted modules in CA Reply To Sylvia and Howard e-tune form. You were far too sneaky with the old 'holding-back-an-issue' tactic. No-one else appears to have done that, but we'll see. If Sylvia isn't just another sneaky way of entering yourself twice, Howard, then hi Sylvia. I really, really hope you beat Howard after all that preparation he put in. If Sylvia is Howard, then it'll all come out in the winning ceremony, so you'd better sweat boy, and hope you don't win...! PD Review of Boggle Bubble Silver Sword Software-Vojta kilma Jan Kilma Milan Salajka Review by Paul Dudley I picked up this game at the Gloucester show last week from Derek Morgen at the affordable price of £5. After buying the rest of the goodies on offer from Fred, Jupiter and Zedd-soft. I took the long journey home to give the Sam a few hours exercise. As I played through the games and looked at the utilities I came across Boggle Bubble and wondered if it was a clone of that great game Bubble Bobbble. Now you may not think of this game as great reviewing material as probably some of you won't even have heard of it. I had the same view when I first looked at it I thought it was just another crappy piece of software and that I had been caught out just like my mate Dean Nicholas (writer of the PD column) when he bought Safari Sam. In fact they were both from the same man, Derek Morgen. I was reformed though when I sampled the gameplay of this adictive little puzzle game and as far as I'm concerned a good start for Silver Sword (If this isn't their first game I apologise as I haven't seen any of their other work). Boggle Bubble isn't a Bubble Bobble clone as I thought so don't be confused by the title. This game is in fact a puzzle game along the same lines as Marbles Deluxe an excellent game by Steven Pick. The game itself has reasonable graphics, not Steven Pick standard. Though still to a good degree of style and presentability. The screen and sprites stand out from each other well and even though the main sprite is not very imaginative it doesn't spoil the simple but effective graphics in the game. The idea of the game is to diffuse bombs around the screen and collect fruit, coins and power-ups (easy I hear you cry) not though when as you pass over tiles in the floor that disappear so you cannot backtrack over previous routes. There are numerous levels which will entertain you for quite a while as the levels get harder and harder as you progress. The music in the game is to an ok standard maybe not Quazar but still there is a nice jingle as you progress. The only problem is after you play it for a number of times the tune does get on your nerves a bit. The other problem is no option to save just like Prince of Persia so you have to do it all in one go. Not a problem though if you have got a three month holiday coming up after your G.C.S.E's like I have. Oh I almost forgot there is one slight very tinny small bug with the instructions they're in Dutch (I think) Stefan Drissen shouldn't have a problem with this though. The sprite movement is a bit annoying as you have to hold down the key to move the sprite or jab at the keyboard which for a puzzle game with a timer makes it a bit frustrating. The gameplay is very addictive just like Marbles Deluxe and kept me rivited to the computer for quite a while as I ploughed my way through the levels. The difficulty is just a bit too easy it is still enjoying but on the first game you will probably get quite a long way. There are enough levels though so this doesn't matter so much. So now I bet your all wondering what this madman is going to give it for the final scores. Ok your not but I'll tell you anyway. Drumroll please "brummmmmmmmmmmm" and here they are. Scores Playability 67% Lastability 72% Graphics 71% Sound 62% Overall 68%
CA 'The' Show Report Right, some may say that putting a show report in this section is a wee bit cheesy. A little dodgy. Boring. A waste of space. Etc. Well, you're wrong. Normally, there'd be an interview, but now I get to speak to lots of people. I didn't, but there was the chance. Anyway, this is such a long, amazing, detailed show report, that you'll be bowled over. Maybe. Oh, I'll just get on with it. Picture the scene - a phone call from Colin Macdonald a day before the show telling me to be ready by 8 o'clock on Saturday morning. I'm not a very good getter up, so I set the alarm for 7 o'clock and darted downstairs to the kettle. A black coffee later and I was ready for anything. I got all my stuff together, had a bit more brekky and looked at the time. It was ten to eight. Perfect! Well done, Ando, you're a fine example I thought. I'll just relax in the armchair and wait for good old reliable Colin Macdonald to turn up. He'll be here soon. 8:10 - hmm, he's a bit late. Never mind, never mind. 8:30 - hmm, he's very late. Maybe he got lost somewhere. Still, he'll be here soon. 8:45 - Well, he's late, very late. Either he's crashed or he's forgotten about me. Anyway, The Incredible Hulk is on soon. Hurrah! 9:00 - The Incredible Hulk starts. 9:05 - The Incredible Hulk just starts to get interesting when Colin turns up. An hour late AND in the middle of the Incredible Hulk. Some people are so selfish. Anyway, for the good of the SAM community, I didn't demand to watch the rest of The Hulk, and dashed out with Colin to the car. It was quite a big expensive car, so we knew it'd get us there in about half and hour - giving us an hour to set up. Well, it would've got us there in half an hour if we weren't stuck behind every slow moving car in the universe. And if junctions weren't missing from motorways (it's true, I was using the map). We got to Quedgeley village hall at about 10:15, with 15 minutes to set up the stall. With such a huge company like FRED, that's an impossible feat. OR IS IT??? Yes it is. Everyone came piling in at 10:30, and we were still setting up. Crikey, the humiliation of it all. Anyone, someone got me a *FREE* coffee, so I was dead chuffed. Eventually, at about 12:30, I got a breather and managed to scan around the hall to see who was there. From the FRED stand, I could see the FORMAT/Revelation stand. Jenny was there with a big smile as ever, Bob was there trying to spot the people with the most money to spend. Some little kid was there running about leaping over things, and just generally being far too energetic for my liking. There was no sign of the infamous Christina this time, so Colin couldn't pay her for her services again (distributing leaflets, of course). Format were selling dozens of back issues, as well as all Revelation titles (boxed!) and of course the new Two-up and some SAMs on behalf of West Coast Computers. Next to them was someone, but I don't remember who. I think it was a company selling Speccy games. But I couldn't hang about, I had the refreshments to get to! A lovely warm pasty thing and a can of coke later and I was on my way again. The notoriously long and painful climb onto the stage (up some steps) revealed a couple more companies new to the Gloucester fair scene. Crashed had a stand there, and had a good go at flogging a Crashed T-shirt to me. But how could I possibly wear a Crashed T-shirt when I was sporting my usual beautiful knitted FRED jumper? What were they thinking of! Moving along, and there was Zodiac magazine. This issue sported a rather sexy yellow cardboard cover. The inside is pretty much the same as ever, but at least from the outside, it's beginning to look a lot more professional. Next I heroically leapt off the stage and nearly fell on that little kid running about. "I'll get him next time", I thought. I then ventured through to the back room. There was a splattering of companies here. Right next to the door was a bring and buy stall. Some interesting stuff there - printers, monitors, etc. but nothing I desperately needed. Then Derek Morgan caught my eye. Mainly because he was running at me shouting something about killing me. What a nice man. Anyway, he kindly said he wouldn't beat me up until later, so I was safe. Sort of. He dragged me over to his stand. On Dereks stand was the wide selection of SAM PD and F9 software stuff. There were plenty of new titles, so I was saying 'Oh yes' and 'Ooh, that looks, erm, good' when he pointed me in the direction of a video camera. A tap dance later, Derek explained that he wasn't filming me, but was infact showing off something he was helping to push - the SAM DIGITISER! Wow, a digitiser - back in the limelight after the idea died with SAMCo. Derek showed the crowd that had gathered (thanks to my tap dance) an example of it working, and it was very quick and impressive. It took about 8 seconds to do a full screen. The person has to stand still (hence, why I couldn't be used as an example), but if they did, the picture came out really clearly - there's two examples in the screens section this month. There'll be more news on the Digitiser as and when we know it. Moving along now, and I reached Malcolm Mackenzie's stand. He was sporting all Phoenix's old titles and one new one - Ice Chicken. Ice Chicken looked OK, but was a bit samey for my liking. Still, Malcolm had a lot of titles, so good luck to him. Stood there too was Dave Ledbury, supposedly not allowed in the show for one reason or another, but he was there and I wasn't going to kick him out. After a brief chat, I made my way back out to the main hall to check out the rest of what was on offer. Colin Piggot was about the next person there, selling as ever his Quazar Surround system at it's new price, as well as a Quazar sampler module which let you sample your own sounds. I didn't get a chance to play with this, but hopefully I will soon. More Spectrum companies later, there was Steve's Software, showing off an even more updated version of SC_Word with lots more fancy features and I don't know what. It's an amazing program and I highly recommend it to anyone wanting to do any DTPing on the SAM. Next along was Jupiter. They were showing off their new Chess game, which I must admit, appeared to be pretty amazing. It didn't look graphically brilliant, but from the people playing it, it seemed to be intelligent to play against. That could be a fine game. They were also selling SAM C tutorials in little folders. I only got to flick through these, but knowing Jupiter, they would probably have been good. Overall, an impressive show for Jupiter Software. And then we get to FRED. By this time Derek Morgan was telling Colin what an evil little critter I am. The only new thing on the FRED stand was C Vision, and possibly 'The Best Of FRED'. As people saw the Best Of FRED, it began to sell like hotcakes, and we sold out of them by the end of the day. Could there be more reason to be buy it?? SAM Vision sold well, as did back issues again. As ever, bits and pieces here and there slowly sold. Stefan Drissen came strolling up grinning and said something to me which I'm sure was incredibly funny and witty and probably involved the word girl, but I don't remember. Stefan was secretly selling SAMDacs and MOD players again, and I told him that I'd buy a MOD player if he put a screen blanker option in it (which he now has done). Simon Cooke too was strolling about. This time he wasn't with his accelerator board, or his hard drive, or Termite, or etc., but he had Based On An Idea, a new technical SAM magazine which will hopefully be reviewed in time for the next issue. He was dishing out review copies, so I snatched one up. At first glance, it looks very professional, but I won't say more until next month. As well as all the onlooking customers, there was the usual accompaniment of SAM programmers. Wayne Coles was there showing what he'd been doing in the last 6 months. There's some promising stuff there, and maybe even a FRED contribution for next month. We'll see... The day ticked over nicely. It wasn't amazingly busy at all really, but there was always a few people at the FRED stand. It gave Colin and I a chance to have a chat to people this time, and go over for a quiet sociable drink with various people. Slowly everyone filed away to catch buses or trains, most I'm glad to say spending their last few quid at the FRED stand! At 4 ish, everyone began to pack up, pausing only for the usual photo sessions. Then it was all quiet. We said our goodbyes, then Stefan, Robert Van Der Veeke, Colin and I headed into town and to a pub. I was completly against the idea of course, but once Colin smells a pub, you just can't stop him. Anyway, we all had a couple of fine ales until my train, and then I left Colin, Stefan and Robert to have a fun night in Gloucester while I had to get back to Uni the next morning (sob). Apparently, the highlight of the night was Stefan trying to (and failing to) chat up Bob Brenchley's daughter. Tee hee. Overall, it was once again a very enjoyable day out in Gloucester. FRED will be back in October, but there could well be up to TWO more shows inbetween that at various parts of the country. Keep reading... There'll be another show report next month by Stewart Skardon (when I work out how he's saved it) and hopefully a few screens.