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Tag - ZZap64

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!

Zzap! 64 Magazine is Back!

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.

 

 

A look at the new Zzap! 64 2020 Annual

Zzap! 64 2020 Annual

Who’d have thought back in the 80’s that in the far off future of 2020 we’d be getting a new Zzap! 64 annual for Christmas? But that’s exactly what’s happening here as I’ve just received my brand new Zzap 64 2020 Annual through the post following another successful Kickstarter campaign.

 

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This time around (they released a Zzap! 64 annual last year too) there were plenty of stretch goals that has resulted in a lot of extra goodies to enjoy besides just the annual.

 

Zzap 64 2020 Annual

Zzap 64 2020 Annual Goodies

 

Along with the Annual, for £22 I also received an A3 Tir Na Nog map/poster, an A5 50 page Fusion 64 magazine & collectors card, a Zzap! 64 keyring plus a Zzap! 64 2020 calendar. Didn’t he do well as Bruce Forsyth would have said.

 

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Below is a little peek at the contents page so you can get an idea of exactly what’s inside the annual this year.

 

Zzap! 64 2020 Annual

Zzap! 64 2020 Annual Contents Page

 

As you can see it covers a broad range of C64 topics from past to present including Perifractics ‘Brixty-Four’ off his youtube channel and none other than Vinny Mainolfi creator of the extremely awesome Freeze 64 magazine.

 

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If you’d like to get hold of your own copy (and if you like the C64 then you really should) you can buy the annual directly from the Fusion Retro Books website for £15. Please bear in mind that you won’t get all the extras described above as these were only for those who backed the Kickstarter campaign.

Freeze 64 Issue 23

Freeze64 Issue 23

The latest Freeze64 Issue 23 dropped through my letterbox yesterday. This one features a photo of the late Ben Daglish on the cover rather than the pixel game art that I’ve become so accustomed to. In case you are not aware he was a legend in the C64 music scene and composed some amazing music for many great games including The Last Ninja.

As always there’s plenty to read inside including my personal favourite, a ‘Talkies’ article looking at games that featured speech. I always used to love games with speech – it was just so cool to hear your 64 talk, no matter how scratchy or poor quality it may have been. The fact that they were able to do this with just a few kilobytes of memory still amazes me to this day!

Most of the regular features make a welcome return including Zzapback and a look at new and upcoming games in the Commodore 64 scene.

This fanzine/magazine continues to go from strength to strength and really deserves your support. If you would like to get hold of your very own copy of Freeze64 Issue 23 then take a look here.

 

Zzap 64 Annual 2019

Zzap! 64 Annual 2019

How cool is this, just received the brand new Zzap! 64 Annual 2019 through the post! This really takes me back to my childhood when every Christmas I would get at least one annual in my stocking. I used to love receiving these as they were always crammed with content that I could while away the hours reading in my bedroom. This is no exception, in fact it may be the most jam-packed annual I’ve ever had with nearly 130 pages bursting at the seams with fascinating 64 related articles, reviews and information.

 

Zzap! 64 Annual 2019

Oliver Frey artwork on the cover

 

I backed this project on Kickstarter earlier this year and am so very glad I did. It’s probably one of the quickest (to finish) campaigns I’ve ever backed with the whole thing taking around 6 months from backing to receiving the goods. The cover had been kept under wraps so that it would be a surprise and features original artwork by Oliver Frey. Oliver’s work seems to be popping up all over the 64 scene of late, but needless to say it’s another quality illustration. There’s also a 2019 calendar included that’s packed with more of Oliver’s handywork and I can’t wait to display that on my wall come January.

 

Zzap! 64 Annual 2019

Contents page looks like it’s been lifted straight from an 1980’s copy of Zzap! 64

 

The art style and layout is instantly familiar. I’m delighted to see they’ve revived the little caricatures of the reviewers although they have ‘aged’ them to reflect the fact that these guys are now some 30 odd years older! But then aren’t we all…?

 

Zzap! 64 Annual 2019

Example of some the content

 

It doesn’t just cover stuff from the past though. There are plenty of articles and reviews about the current the Commodore 64 scene including an in depth look at The C64 Mini that released earlier this year. All in all it’s a fantastic read and one of the best projects I’ve backed on Kickstarter so far. If they decide to make another annual next year (which they are already talking about) then I’m all in.

 

Zzap! 64 Annual 2019

The C64 Mini gets an in-depth looking at!

 

Now that the  Kickstarter is over it looks like you can buy the annual directly from the Fusion Retro Books website for £15 although how many extra copies they made over and above the Kickstarter ones I don’t know.

Freeze64 September Issue out now!

Freeze64

Looking forward to reading this during my lunch break – it’s the September 2018 edition of Freeze64 and as always it’s packed with diverse and interesting C64 content.

All the regular features make a welcome return including the Mouldy Cupboard, Secret Squirrel and Pokes & Codes. In the now pretty regular “We Don’t do Reviews” section there’s a cracking review of the recently released game ‘Yoomp! 64’.

There’s plenty more inside to while away your time including Zzapback with Julian Rignall, a big interview with Karl Hornell, latest news snippets, cheats and a whole lot more.

This fanzine is simply a must buy for anyone with even a passing interest in the Commodore 64 and is well worth £3.99 of anyone’s money. If you’d like to get your very own physical copy (and this fanzine doesn’t do digital copies) then head on over to Freeze64 now!

Hunter’s Moon Remastered

Hunter's Moon Remastered

Nearly a year after backing it, Hunter’s Moon Remastered finally arrived through my letterbox today! This is not a game review, just a quick look at the physical game and what is included.

 

Hunter's Moon Remastered

Hunter’s Moon Remastered – Sleeve Front

 

The game comes on a brilliant white cartridge housed in a clamshell case. The cover features gorgeous artwork by Oliver Frey (the guy that used to do the covers for Zzap!64). There is also a high quality cardboard slipcase for it featuring the same artwork but set against an alternative black background.

 

Hunter's Moon Remastered

Hunter’s Moon Remastered Sleeve Back

 

Packaged with the game are the following extras:

  • A very high quality instruction booklet
  • Snazzy Thalamus bookmark
  • Postcard featuring that Oliver Frey artwork again
  • 2 Thalamus stickers.

 

Hunter's Moon Remastered

The full Hunter’s Moon Remastered package

 

Sadly my C64 is off limits at the moment whilst I redecorate the study so I can’t even load it up and have a go! Needless to say, once my 64 is back in action this will be one of the first things I get stuck into!

 

Hunter's Moon Remastered

Close-up of the Hunter’s Moon Remastered cartridge

 

I believe Protovision will be stocking the cartridge version of the game at some point in the future, whilst a digital version is available now from itch.io.

August Issue of Freeze64 is out!

Freeze64 August

What a great start to the weekend! The August issue of Freeze64 has literally just dropped onto my doormat this morning. Pictured here with my copy of the cover featured Gremlin Graphics game – Bounder.

Freeze64 August

Freeze64 with Bounder Game

It’s another terrific issue with reviews of two new C64 games: Exploding Fish and The Legend of Atlantis. Julian Rignall returns once again with a great Zzapback article covering classics such as Elite and Airwolf. A look into the making of Miami Vice, and loads more besides. We’ll worth £3.99 of anyone’s money.

If you want to get your very own copy of the magazine, or just find out more, head on over to their website.