Issue 31

Jan/Feb 88

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Friday 13th turned out to be unlucky for Red Rat Software for on 13th November they launched Little Devil, their latest Atari release, only to discover that it had been banned by Silica Distribution and certain overseas distributors! What is more Silica went totally over the top and banned their next release entitled Nightmares even though they hadn't seen a finished version!

So what is so evil about these titles? Nothing at all, they are just variations on traditional arcade style games. Little Devil just happens to be set in Hades where you have to collect lost souls in order to rescue a Princess, and Nightmares has some superb monsters in a scrolling shoot-em-up format. So why ban them? Silica say that they will not touch anything that deals with the occult because it 'is harmful to children'. Talk about double standards! How come it is perfectly acceptable to kill people with karate, bombs and guns and wipe out every living alien just because they don't happen to come from your planet, yet rescuing a Princess in Hades is harmful? We suspect it has a little to do with distributors losing interest in 8-bit titles and finding a convenient excuse not to stock them. It will be interesting to see how many ST titles get banned (we can think of several candidates) in the coming months.

In the meantime, Red Rat need the support of every Atari 8-bit owner because they are one of the few to stick to supporting this format. In a difficult market they are trying to bring you new titles regularly and if they can't get them onto the market, you will lose another software company. If your local dealer can't get these titles you can order direct from Red Rat at P.O. Box 12, Prescot, Merseyside, L35 5HG. Tel. 051 426 9085. Both titles are 7.95 on cassette and 9.95 on disk.

Other new releases from Red Rat, (censorship allowing!), are SPACE WARS, DOUBLE PACK No. 1 with PLANET ATTACK and MADJAX, LEAPSTER, DOUBLE PACK No.2 with BURGLAR BILL and POTHOLE PANIC and SPEED RUN. All are 7.95 on cassette and 9.95 on disk. Two new releases for the ST at 14.95 are Pengy and Screaming Wings.

Support Red Rat, they are supporting you!


The computer industry is alive and well judging by the recent PCW Show. Anyone who went on the Saturday will testify how crowded it was, there were even rumours that they might have to shut off the gallery because of the number of people!

The official attendance figures show that over 72,000 visitors turned up making this the biggest UK computer show in history. With repeat visits included, the attendance was over 80,000.

Getting that many into the Novotel will be a bit of a crush, but let's hope that the Atari Christmas Show, just gone, enjoys equal success.


The Guild of Thieves, available in Atari format, has been voted Game of the Year in the 1987 British Micro Computing Awards, a double achievement for Magnetic Scrolls following earlier awards for their first release, The Pawn.

Magnetic Scrolls Managing Director Anita Sinclair is delighted that their second game should win an award because "it was probably judged on the quality of gameplay ... rather than the technical achievements of the parser and the visual delights of our graphics". The Pawn was widely acclaimed as breaking new ground with its parser and graphics and following up an initial success is always difficult.

Rainbird Software have just released the third Magnetic Scrolls adventure, Jinxter, and are hoping that it will be just as successful.


Level 9's latest release, Gnome Ranger is being marketed directly rather than through Rainbird Software and is a 3-part, light-hearted adventure concerning a bossy Gnome called Ingrid who leaves her dreary farming village to study gnome economics at college. She returns with all sorts of new-fangled ideas and sets about modernising her family whether they like it or not! Every improvement ends in disaster but Ingrid is not put off, she chronicles every event in a diary which accompanies the game. Eventually, after a secret meeting, the gnomes give Ingrid a magic scroll but when she reads it it transports her far away and she must find her way back, putting the wilderness to rights as she goes!

Level 9 have tried to make this a different style from their previous adventures whilst retaining the parser and text abilities found in Knight Orc, their latest release through Rainbird.

Unusually for Level 9 this one is available on disk for the Atari XL/XE at 9.95 or on 2 cassettes for the same price. It is good to see Level 9 finally recognising Atari owners with disk drives and doubly good that they can put the product out at the same price as on cassette. Why can't others do it?