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Zzap! 64 Issue 2

It’s been a long 3 months since the first issue of Zzap! 64 magazine launched but my copy of issue 2 is finally here. In my ideal ‘alternate reality’ world, Zzap! 64 would be published every month but there has to be sufficient new games out there to actually review. Sadly the 80’s are long gone and though there are lots of games now being made, they’re nowhere near as prolific as they were during Zzap’s original publishing run. Three months seems to be the magic number then, allowing time for enough new games to emerge from bedroom coders around the globe to fill a magazine.

 

Zzap! 64 issue 2

Zzap! 64 Front Cover.

 

Even though the C64’s halcyon days are long gone, Zzap! 64 issue 2 still manages to feature an impressive ten brand new game reviews. One of them even receives the coveted ‘sizzler’ award. I think that’s a staggering achievement for the C64 scene and just goes to show there’s still plenty of life left in the old girl!

The page count has remained the same as before, as has the quality and use of full colour throughout. Zzap! 64 regulars like the White Wizard, Rrap and Scorelord all make an appearance. Speaking of Scorelord, one of these days I must try and get at least one of my puny high scores featured on his page!

 

Zzap! 64 issue 2

Zzap! 64 issue 2 Contents page.

 

This issue was a cracking read from cover to cover, just like the first one. The reviews were bang up to date, even covering the likes of Nixy the Glade Sprite which has literally only just released. I also really appreciate how they give honest reviews with differing viewpoints. The C64 scene is so active now that I find a more critical approach really helpful in deciding on my next purchase(s).

 

Getting hold of a copy of Zzap! 64 Issue 2

Needless to say if you are a C64 gamer then you owe it to yourself to pick up a copy of Zzap! 64 magazine. It’s available from Fusion Retro Books and is priced at £3.99. Make sure you use the code ‘LYONSDENBLOG’ to grab yourself a nifty 15% off the price! This code works for everything you place in your basket too!

Here’s a small gallery of images from the magazine.

 

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A look at the new Zzap! 64 2021 Annual

Picked up a copy of the latest Zzap 64 2021 Annual last week so thought I share a little look at what’s inside. Let’s start with the awesome front cover artwork by Oliver Frey, the exact same artist from the original Zzap! 64 magazines of the 80’s.

 

Zzap 64 2021 Annual

Front cover of the 2021 Zzap! 64 Annual.

 

Flipping over to the back cover we find a very interesting advert that appears to herald the return of MicroProse simulation games. MicroProse was a big player in the Commodore market (especially on the Amiga) and produced some of my favourite C64 games such as Silent Service, Gunship and Pirates!

Sadly, but not at all surprising, these new games will be coming to Windows PC’s and not the C64 or Amiga. Even so I’m still looking forward to seeing what MicroProse produces. To be honest that’s probably what they are banking on too otherwise why else would they pay for such a prominent advert in a book about 40 year old computers!

 

Zzap 64 2021 Annual

Interesting advert on the back!

 

Below is a little peek at the contents page giving you an idea of exactly what’s inside the annual.

 

Zzap 64 2021 Annual

Zzap! 64 2020 Annual Contents Page

 

A few of the many contributors this year include Andrew Braybrook, Stuart Collier, Perifratic and Trevor Storey.

 

Zzap 64 2021 Annual

Zzap! 64 2020 Annual Contents Page

 

Most of the Zzap! 64 magazine regular features like Zzap! Rrap and the White Wizard can be found within the annual and are given plenty of space to shine. There are also dozens and dozens of game reviews covering pretty much every new game that has been released over the last 12 months for the C64.

 

Zzap 64 2021 Annual

Another example of the amazing Artwork of Oliver Frey.

 

The hardback A4 annual has 120 full colour pages all packed with interesting articles, reviews and artwork.

Here’s a tiny selection of random pages from the annual to give you an idea of what it contains.

 

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Rounding off

There’s certainly enough content in this annual to keep any C64 fan quiet for a very long time. I reckon it makes a superb collectors item; chronicling the last twelve months of the C64 scene. I’ve bought every one of this new run of annuals since it started back in 2019 and I sincerely hope they continue being produced for a long time to come too.

The Zzap 64 2021 Annual is available directly from the Fusion Retro Books website for £15. You can save 15% by using the code ‘LYONSDENBLOG’ at the checkout making it even more of a bargain!

K&A Plus #17 Magazine Preview

Received my copy of K&A Plus #17 a few days ago. As always I paid a little extra for the cover disk which I think is well worth it. The disk comprises the 4th instalment of a series of games compilations called ‘Good Old 8-Bit Games’.

 

K&A Plus #17

K&A Plus #17 Front Cover.

 

The 81 page magazine has a lovely piece of artwork featuring Guybrush and Elaine from Monkey Island adorning the front cover. The relevance of this becomes immediately apparent when reading the very interesting ‘LucasArts Legacy’ article.

 

The CoverDisk

 

Good Old 8-Bit Games

Good Old 8-Bit Games #4.

 

The double-sided floppy disk (complete with printed colour jacket) is packed with C64 games to help while away those rainy Sunday afternoons.

 

Good Old 8-Bit Games

The Complete GO8BG Collection so far…

 

Once again the disk represents astounding value for money, packing in 11 great games across both sides. There’s a lovingly crafted custom loader for the disk with some terrific music playing in the background too.

 

Good Old 8-Bit Games

Custom Game Loader.

 

The highlight of the collection for me this time has to be Tiger Claw – a fun little Bruce Lee inspired beat ’em up.

 

Good Old 8-Bit Games

Tiger Claw

 

Here’s a full rundown of the games included on disk #4…

 

K&A Plus #17

Good Old 8-Bit Games #4 – Disk Contents.

Magazine Preview

 

Here’s a quick look at the contents page of K&A Plus #17.

 

K&A Plus #17

K&A Plus #17 Contents.

 

And here’s a little preview of some of the great stuff in this issue:

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This was a great read with loads of reviews and interesting articles to get stuck into. There’s enough here to keep any Commodore fan entertained for an entire afternoon. If you’ve never come across this magazine before you might want to take a look at some of my previews of previous issues here.

If you want to find out more about K&A Plus #17 or order yourself a copy, head on over to the Komoda & Amiga Plus website. The magazine is produced in Poland but they produce an English language version too. Shipping to the UK is pretty quick (COVID disruptions allowing of course).

Zzap! 64 Magazine is Back!

Zzap! 64

Well this is something I would never have envisaged happening a couple of years ago… the return of a printed Zzap! 64 magazine! This is an A5 sized publication produced by the same guys who make Fusion magazine, Fusion Retro Books. It’s going to be published on a quarterly basis rather than monthly. This makes a lot of sense and should ensure there’s plenty of new gaming content to fill each issue.

 

Zzap! 64 Issue 1

Zzap! 64 Issue 1

 

I received issue one a few days ago so I’ve had a chance to read it in its entirety now. I also opted to get the very snazzy binder to store all my future issues in. The magazine has been printed on a high quality silk paper and runs to an impressive 58 pages, all in glorious full colour (back in the day much of the magazine was printed in black and white).

 

Zzap! 64

Zzap! 64 Binder

 

Zzap! 64 magazine is packed with reviews of the very latest C64 games to hit the scene. A testament to just how popular the C64 continues to be, despite its advancing age! Speaking of reviews, they are just as good as I remember, presented in that familiar ZZap! style with a main review accompanied by comments from the other writers.

 

Zzap! 64

Zzap! 64 game scoring.

 

Games are scored on Presentation, Graphics, Sound, Hookability and Lastability and given an overall aggregate percentage score, very similar to how they used to be reviewed back in the day.

 

Zzap! 64

Two thumbs up – must be good!

 

Still present and correct are the little B&W portraits of the reviewers in various pensive poses giving you instant visual feedback about what they think of each game. Further reassurance that this is still the Zzap! 64 I know and love – just shrunk down to A5 size.

 

Zzap! 64

The White Wizard adventure and RPG section.

 

As a big Adventure game fan I was thrilled to see the reappearance of the White Wizard. This section of the mag features reviews of some of the current C64 Adventure and RPG games along with news of up and coming ones to look forward to.

 

Zzap! 64

Soul Force gets the coveted Zzap! Sizzler award.

 

As well as the many reviews there are some previews of upcoming games such as the Empire Strikes Back and a look back at some of the more notable games of the past.

 

Zzap! 64

Article about the upcoming Empire Strikes Back game.

 

There’s a few trips down memory lane and insights into events which happened during the magazines heyday too which I found both engaging and entertaining.

Zzap! Rrap makes a welcome return, presented by the totally real and definitely not imaginary Lloyd Mangram, complete with little cartoons of him adorning the borders of the pages.

 

Zzap! 64

Lloyd is back!

 

All in all this is a fantastic return to the C64 scene for the magazine and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it from cover to cover. Along the way I had a good few chuckles, some trips down memory lane and discovered some new games that I want to add to my collection.

This is a magazine that every C64 fan should read and the next issue just can’t come soon enough for me.

 

Zzap! 64

Zzap! 64 Contents page.

 

Zzap! 64 magazine is available from Fusion Retro Books and is priced at £3.99. The optional binder is £15 and can hold 12 issues or 3 years worth of magazines. Make sure you use the code ‘LYONSDENBLOG’ to grab yourself a nifty 15% off the price!

 

 

Zzap! 64

Issue one stored safely in the binder.

 

 

Amiga Addict – A Brand New Monthly UK Amiga Magazine!

Amiga Addict

Who would have thought that the beginning of 2021 would see the launch a brand new monthly UK Amiga magazine? But that’s exactly what has happened with the publication of ‘Amiga Addict’ magazine.  Of course there are quite a few Amiga-centric mags out there now and I have covered these in the past but I believe this is the first UK Amiga mag and certainly the only one released on a monthly basis. Issue 1 was released in January, issue 2 in February and the March issue has just appeared on their website now too!

 

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The cover design looks comfortingly familiar, and certainly wouldn’t have looked out of place on a 1980’s WH Smith shelf. At first glance it could easily be mistaken for a copy of Amiga Format but the magazine makers make no bones about the fact that they were inspired by all those great Amiga mags from the 80’s and 90’s.

 

Amiga Addict

Someone’s nicked my coverdisk!

 

I thought the tongue-in-cheek picture of a 3.5″ floppy disk with the message ‘What no coverdisk? was a particularly fun touch. It certainly brought a smile to my face along with fond memories of seeing this message under my coverdisks after peeling them off back in the day. It would have been awesome to have a coverdisk as an option with the first issue but I fully understand why this wasn’t practical.

The magazine itself is A4 sized and has a premium glossy cover with silk finished pages inside. Both issue 1 and 2 run to 55 pages in total and feature a number of adverts from the current Amiga scene too. I always enjoyed browsing the adverts to see what games and gizmos I could get for my Amiga back in the day and I still get that same enjoyment from doing the same thing now with Amiga Addict.

 

Amiga Addict Contents Page

Contents Page.

 

A Look Inside Issue 1

Inside issue 1 there’s healthy mixture of gaming, news, letters, reviews, interviews and ‘how to’ articles. It aims to cater to all Amiga users whether they be using classic 68k machines, emulators or FGPA systems. I’ve only read issue one so far but I have to say I was really impressed with it.

The writing style is terrific and very entertaining and I could feel the passion that the authors have for the Amiga throughout their writing. It was refreshing to find a real sense of humour in a lot of the articles that constantly made me smile too. I do appreciate some light hearted banter in my magazines – it helps elevate them to something that I really look forward to, to lift my mood and provide some much needed escapism. This could well just be a British thing but it’s something I don’t find much of in the other current Amiga mags.

 

Amiga Addict

A review of the PageStream DTP software that is used to create some of the pages of Amiga Addict!

 

I found the reviews to be excellent; very informative and entertaining in equal measure. I discovered a couple of great new games that I was unaware of and proceeded to order them straight away. At the end of the day this is what it’s all about – helping to keep the Amiga community informed and thriving. Of course much of this info is probably available online… but it is likely spread across various social media and other retro oriented sites which can sometimes feel impossible to keep track of. Personally I think it’s fantastic to have all this info distilled into a single monthly publication. Something that I can read at my leisure without any political posts, irrelevant ads or trolls to annoy and distract me. Spoken like the true grumpy old man that I am.

What I personally find really impressive is that the entire magazine is actually laid out using PageStream on an Amiga X5000. You certainly couldn’t ask for a better demonstration that the Amiga is still relevant today! Suddenly I now how a strong hankering for an X5000 myself!

Anyway here’s a look at just few of the articles that can be found in the inaugural issue.

 

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I’ve still got issue 2 to read and have just ordered issue 3 so am eagerly awaiting the arrival of that in the post soon!

If the magazine looks interesting to you then head over to the Amiga Addict website straight away and order yourself a copy – it deserves all the support it can get. Copies are available both digitally and physically and discounted subscriptions are available too!

Freeze 64 Issue #38 Fanzine is out now

Freeze 64 Issue #38

It’s always nice to be able to start the weekend with the latest edition of Freeze64. In todays case it’s issue #38 featuring the unmistakable Rambo on the front cover.

 

Freeze 64 Issue #38

Here’s a look at the front cover of issue 38.

 

Here’s a rundown of the contents of this issue taken straight from the magazines’ directory listing! As always there’s no shortage of interesting Commodore 64 articles to get stuck into.

 

Freeze 64 Issue #38

Freeze64 Issue 38 Contents Page.

 

If you fancy getting hold of your own copy of Freeze 64, Issue #38 then head over to the Freeze64 website and show your support by purchasing this issue.

Physical copies (it isn’t available digitally) are priced at £3.99 plus postage. There are also subscriptions available which offer the opportunity to save a little money.

Finally, here’s a link to my previews of several earlier editions of Freeze64. If you’re new to Freeze64 and would like to check out what you’ve been missing all this time then this is a great place to find out!

A look at Fusion #12

Fusion #12

Time to take a look through this months Fusion #12 magazine and give a little insight into what you can find inside it.

 

Fusion #12

A look at the cover of Fusion #12.

 

As I’ve come to expect there’s a broad range of content this month. Topics include (non computer) games, toys, TV shows and of course computer games. Buckaroo is in the spotlight this month and is a game I played a lot with my mates during the 80’s. There’s also a look at merchandise from the TV show ‘V’ (and a look at the associated computer game too). I was glued to the TV every night when that show was on and remember being genuinely shocked when Diana stuffed a hamster into her mouth! Needless to say the article triggered many happy memories and reminded me of my teenage crush on Diana 😉.

Elsewhere there’s articles covering the Frey twins, the 1942 arcade game, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, a flashback 1999 PlayStation chart and loads more.

Here’s a little peak at some of the stuff in this new issue:

 

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Here’s the contents page so you can see what else features in this issue:

 

Fusion #12

Fusion #12 Contents.

 

If you want to pick up a copy of Fusion #12 magazine then head on over to their website. The mag is £3.99 plus postage. Use the code ‘LYONSDENBLOG’ at the checkout to get a 15% discount. I will also receive a tiny bit of commission which helps towards the hosting costs of running this blog.

Amiga Future #145 – July/August edition out now.

Amiga Future #145

The latest issue of Amiga Future (Amiga Future #145) for subscribers has arrived. It features artwork from the game Fred’s Journey on the front cover.

 

Amiga Future #145

Amiga Future #145 Front Cover.

 

What’s in this issue?

There’s a good mix of stuff in this issue as always with plenty of reviews to get stuck into. I’m a big fan of adventure games so was delighted to see a review of ‘The Queen’s Footsteps’. This is a brand new text adventure for the Amiga that had completely slipped under my radar. There’s also a complete guide to speed-running your way through Monkey Island 2 but that seems like sacrilege to me!

 

Amiga Future #145

Issue #145’s cover CD.

 

There’s plenty of brand new game reviews in this issue. Fred’s Journey, Little Princess 1 & 2, Chips and Eye are all critiqued. Software wise there’s a review of Distant Suns 5 (which is included on the CD), Hollywood Designer 5 and RNOxfer, a new FTP client.

For the hobbyist there’s the regular AmigaOS 3.1.4 tips section, latest uploads to Aminet plus the latest Amiga news across 68K, OS4 and MorphOS systems.

 

Amiga Future #145

Contents of Issue #145

 

The Cover CD

The main event for this issue’s cover CD is a full version of Distant Suns 5. This is a Desktop Planetarium and whilst I do having a passing interest in space, this software is on a whole other level entirely. Budding Patrick Moore’s may well get a lot of mileage out of it but sadly for me it was of no interest.

 

This is a preview of what you can expect to find in the latest edition of the long running Amiga Future magazine, Amiga Future #145.

Full version of Distant Suns on this issue’s Cover CD.

 

Below is a little peek at some of the stuff inside Amiga Future #145. If you’d like to purchase a copy then do please take a look here and support what is now the last remaining commercially printed Amiga magazine!

 

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Never come across Amiga Future magazine before? Perhaps you’d care to take a look at some of my other Amiga Future magazine previews here.

Fusion Amiga Magazine – Special Edition

Fusion Amiga Magazine

This edition of Fusion magazine is for all us Amiga fans out there. It’s a special edition of the magazine, completely dedicated to all things Amiga (and CD32!). It’s just a little bit thinner than the regular magazine running to 52 pages all in.

 

Fusion Amiga Magazine

Closer look at the magazine cover.

 

So what sort of things are covered in this issue? Well there’s a mixture of game reviews, several Top 5 ‘best of’ lists, hardware guides and a bunch of Amiga-centric articles from luminaries in the scene.

The top 5’s include CD32 Games, Amiga Utilities and also Point and Click Adventure games. Meanwhile the hardware guide covers each Amiga model from the first A1000 right through to the final CD32 System.

Here’s a little peak at some of the stuff in this new issue:

 

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Take a peek at the contents page below to see what else features in this issue:

 

Fusion Amiga Magazine

Fusion Amiga Magazine Contents.

 

If you want to pick up a copy of Fusion Amiga Magazine then head on over to their website. If you use the code ‘LYONSDENBLOG’ at the checkout you will also get 15% off the price! I will also receive a tiny bit of commission to help towards my running costs.

Freeze 64 Issue #37 Fanzine is out now

Freeze 64 Issue #37

Looks like the post is finally getting back to normal after all the disruption brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic. How do I know this? Because I’ve just received the latest issue of Freeze 64, Issue #37 within a week of it being posted out!

 

Freeze 64 Issue #37

Here’s a look at the front cover of issue 37.

 

Here’s a rundown of the contents of this issue taken straight from the magazines’ directory listing! As always there’s no shortage of interesting Commodore 64 articles to get stuck into.

 

Freeze 64 Issue #37

Freeze64 Issue 37 Contents Page.

 

If you fancy getting hold of your own copy of Freeze 64, Issue #37 then head over to the Freeze64 website and show your support by purchasing this issue.

Physical copies (it isn’t available digitally) are priced at £3.99 plus postage. There are also subscriptions available which offer the opportunity to save a little money.

Finally, here’s a link to my previews of several earlier editions of Freeze64. If you’re new to Freeze64 and would like to check out what you’ve been missing all this time then this is a great place to find out!

Latest Retrokomp Issue 2 is now out

Retrokomp Issue 2

Just received my copy of Retrokomp Issue 2, the multi-format retro magazine.

 

Retrokomp Issue 2

Retrokomp Issue 2 Cover

 

Once again there is plenty of content with a hefty count of 72 thick glossy pages and over a third of them devoted to Commodore machines. If you are interested in other machines besides Commodore then there’s even more on offer with the like of ZX Spectrum, Atari, Amstrad, Apple 2 and even old IBM PC’s covered.

 

Retrokomp Issue 2

Contents of this issue

 

Here’s a few highlights of this issues contents.

 

C64 Restoration project.

 

Retrokomp Issue 2

A look at Simon’s BASIC on the C64.

 

How to clear the Hi-Res screen on a C64.

 

A look at the Pi1541 disk drive emulator.

 

Retrokomp Issue 2

Part two of the Project Stealth Fighter article.

 

Comparison between Atari and CBM BASIC.

 

A look at file backup on the Amiga.

 

24-bit datatypes on the Amiga.

 

A look at archiving software for PowerPC equipped Amiga’s.

 

Card readers on the Amiga.

 

Amiga Modula-2 Programming.

 

A quick run-down of the Commodore-centric articles in Retrokomp Issue 2:

  • Sysres
  • Commodore 1541 Drive – Typical Problems
  • Simon’s BASIC – Sprites mean strange objects on the screen
  • Raspberry Pi 1541
  • Commodore PET vs Atari BASIC
  • Using the USR statement
  • Clearing the high resolution screen
  • Commodore 64 Restoration
  • Modula-2 Programming
  • 24-Bit datatypes for Workbench
  • Simple file backup
  • Memory card readers

If you’ve never come across Retrokomp magazine before you might like to read through my preview of the first issue here and the second, here.

Alternatively if you’d like to purchase a copy of Retrokomp Issue 2 for yourself then visit the publishers website here and show your support.

Fusion Magazine #11 just arrived

Fusion #11

Received the latest edition of Fusion Magazine, issue #11, a couple of days ago. This little magazine has really grown in terms of content and quality over the past year thanks in no small part to the diverse range of contributors. This issue see articles from Retro Man Cave, Octav1us and Dave Perry to name but three.

 

Fusion #11

A look at the cover of Fusion #11.

 

I’m focussing on the retro gaming content here but there is more to it than that as it covers a smattering of modern games along with retro toys and memorabilia. All in there’s 60 pages worth of content, which for £3.99 is great value for money and should ensure that even if some of the content doesn’t interest you, there should be plenty that will. I’ve got a discount code for 15% off the price at the bottom of this page too.

Here’s a little peak at some of the stuff in this new issue:

 

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Here’s a little look the contents page so you can see what else features in this issue:

 

Fusion #11

Fusion #11 Contents.

 

If you want to pick up a copy of Fusion #11 magazine then head on over to their website. The mag is only £3.99 plus postage, a very reasonable amount for such a well produced magazine. If you use the code ‘LYONSDENBLOG’ at the checkout you will also get 15% off the price making it just £3.40! I will also receive a tiny bit of commission which will help towards the hosting costs of running this blog.