Issue 188 of Retro Gamer
|Categories||Video game journalism|
|First issue||January 2004|
Retro Gamer is a British magazine, published worldwide, covering retro video games. It was the first commercial magazine to be devoted entirely to the subject. Launched in January 2004 as a quarterly publication, Retro Gamer soon became a monthly. In 2005, a general decline in gaming and computer magazine readership led to the closure of its publishers, Live Publishing,and the rights to the magazine were later purchased by Imagine Publishing. It was taken over by Future plc on 21 October 2016, following Future's acquisition of Imagine Publishing.
The United Kingdom (UK), officially the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi), the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world. It is also the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.
Retrogaming, also known as classic gaming and old school gaming, is the playing or collecting of older personal computer, console, and arcade video games in contemporary times. Usually retrogaming is based upon systems that are obsolete or discontinued.
Imagine Publishing was a UK-based magazine publisher, which published a number of video games, computing, creative and lifestyle magazines.
The first 18 issues of the magazine came with a coverdisk. It usually contained freeware remakes of retro video games and emulators, but also videos and free commercial PC software such as The Games Factory and The Elder Scrolls: Arena . Some issues had themed CDs containing the entire back catalogue of a publisher such as Durell, Llamasoft and Gremlin Graphics.
A video game is an electronic game that involves interaction with a user interface to generate visual feedback on a two- or three-dimensional video display device such as a TV screen, virtual reality headset or computer monitor. Since the 1980s, video games have become an increasingly important part of the entertainment industry, and whether they are also a form of art is a matter of dispute.
The Elder Scrolls: Arena is an action role-playing video game developed and published by Bethesda Softworks. The first game in the Elder Scrolls series, it was released for MS-DOS on March 25, 1994. Like its sequels, Arena takes place on the continent of Tamriel, complete with wilderness, dungeons, and a spell creation system that allows players to mix various spell effects.
Durell Software is a UK software developer based in Taunton, Somerset in the United Kingdom. The company is a provider of back office administration and accounting software to Independent Financial Advisers, Mortgage and General Insurance Brokers. Durell was formerly a leading video games developer.
On 27 September 2005, the magazine's original publishing company, Live Publishing, went into bankruptcy.The magazine's official online forums described the magazine as "finished" shortly before issue #19 was due for release. However, rights to Retro Gamer were purchased by Imagine Publishing in October 2005 and the magazine was re-launched on 8 December 2005.
An Internet forum, or message board, is an online discussion site where people can hold conversations in the form of posted messages. They differ from chat rooms in that messages are often longer than one line of text, and are at least temporarily archived. Also, depending on the access level of a user or the forum set-up, a posted message might need to be approved by a moderator before it becomes publicly visible.
Retro Survival is a commercial CD retro games magazine put together by the freelance writers of Retro Gamer when Live Publishing collapsed. The CD was published in November 2005 and contains articles that would have appeared in Issue 19 of Retro Gamer, as well as several extras including a foreword by celebrity games journalist Mr Biffo.
In June 2004, a tribute to Zzap!64 was included, "The DEF Tribute to Zzap!64", celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Commodore 64 focused magazine.
Zzap!64 was a computer games magazine covering games on the Commodore International series of computers, especially the Commodore 64 (C64). It was published in the UK by Newsfield Publications Ltd and later by Europress Impact.
The Commodore 64, also known as the C64 or the CBM 64, is an 8-bit home computer introduced in January 1982 by Commodore International. It has been listed in the Guinness World Records as the highest-selling single computer model of all time, with independent estimates placing the number sold between 10 and 17 million units. Volume production started in early 1982, marketing in August for US$595. Preceded by the Commodore VIC-20 and Commodore PET, the C64 took its name from its 64 kilobytes(65,536 bytes) of RAM. With support for multicolor sprites and a custom chip for waveform generation, the C64 could create superior visuals and audio compared to systems without such custom hardware.
Includes interviews with leading 80s and 90s programmers such as David Crane, Matthew Smith and Archer MacLean. Regular columns also feature such as Back to the 80s and 90s, Desert Island Disks (what games would a gaming celebrity take to a desert island) and From the Archives (a profile of a particular game developer or publisher).
David Patrick Crane is a video game designer and programmer.
Matthew Smith is a British computer game programmer. He created the games Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy for the ZX Spectrum, released in 1983 and 1984 respectively.
The 'Making Of's' is a recurring feature in which well-known developers are interviewed about the creation and design process behind their games. Classic titles covered in past issues have included Breakout (Steve Wozniak), Dungeon Master (Doug Bell), Smash TV (Eugene Jarvis), Starfox (Jez San), Rescue on Fractalus! (David Fox/Charlie Kellner), Prince of Persia (Jordan Mechner), Berzerk (Alan McNeil), The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (Steve Meretzky), Crystal Castles (Franz X. Lanzinger), Tetris (Alexey Pajitnov), Sheep in Space (Jeff Minter) Out Run (Yu Suzuki) and Splat! (Ian Andrew).
Issue 48 (February 2008) contained an exclusive interview with Manic Miner creator Matthew Smith, written by freelancer Paul Drury after a visit to Smith's family home in Liverpool.
March 2010 (issue 75) saw John Romero collaborating with Retro Gamer, taking on the role of 'Guest Editor', taking charge of the magazine's editorial and splashing his own unique style to a number of his favorite articles and subjects throughout the magazine.
The magazine celebrated its 150th issue in January 2016 and as of November 2016, the staff consists of Editor Darran Jones, Production Editor Drew Sleep, Senior Staff Writer Nick Thorpe and Designer Sam Ribbits.
The magazine posts its own issue preview videos on its YouTube channel, featuring editor Darran Jones and Production Editor Drew Sleep as hosts.
Three DVDs with 25 to 30 issues each have been released over the years:
Retro Gamer is now available as an iOS app and can be downloaded onto iPhone and iPad.
Retro Gamer won Best Magazine at the 2010 Games Media Awards.
Ashby Computers and Graphics Limited, trading as Ultimate Play the Game, was a British video game developer and publisher, founded in 1982, by ex-arcade game developers Tim and Chris Stamper. Ultimate released a series of successful games for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, BBC Micro, MSX and Commodore 64 computers from 1983 until its closure in 1988. Ultimate are perhaps best remembered for the big-selling titles Jetpac and Sabre Wulf, each of which sold over 300,000 copies in 1983 and 1984 respectively, and their groundbreaking series of isometric arcade adventures using a technique termed Filmation. Knight Lore, the first of the Filmation games, has been retrospectively described in the press as "seminal ... revolutionary" (GamesTM), "one of the most successful and influential games of all time" (X360), and "probably ... the greatest single advance in the history of computer games" (Edge).
Amstrad Action was a monthly magazine, published in the United Kingdom, which catered to owners of home computers from the Amstrad CPC range and later the GX4000 console.
Martin Galway is one of the best known composers of chiptune video game music for the Commodore 64 sound chip, the SID soundchip, and for the Sinclair ZX Spectrum. His works include Rambo: First Blood Part II, Comic Bakery and Wizball's scores, as well as the music used in the loader for the C64 version of Arkanoid.
Paradroid is a Commodore 64 computer game written by Andrew Braybrook and published by Hewson Consultants in 1985. It is a shoot 'em up with puzzle elements and was critically praised at release. The objective is to clear a fleet of spaceships of hostile robots by destroying them or taking them over via a mini-game. It was later remade as Paradroid 90 for the Commodore Amiga and Atari ST home computers and as Paradroid 2000 for the Acorn Archimedes. There exist several fan-made remakes for modern PCs. In 2004 the Commodore 64 version was re-released as a built-in game on the C64 Direct-to-TV, and in 2008 for the Wii Virtual Console in Europe.
Wizball is a computer game written by Jon Hare and Chris Yates and released in 1987 originally for the Commodore 64 and later in the year for the ZX Spectrum and Amstrad CPC. Versions for the Amiga and Atari ST were also released in the following year. Wizball was also released for PC compatibles (CGA) and the French Thomson MO5 8 bit computer. The music in the Commodore 64 version was composed by Martin Galway, with input from Jon Hare and Chris Yates.
Crash was a magazine dedicated to the ZX Spectrum home computer, primarily focused on games. It was published from 1984 to 1991 by Newsfield Publications Ltd until their liquidation, and then until 1992 by Europress.
Thalamus Ltd was a British computer game developer that published titles for a number of 8-bit and 16-bit platforms during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
Newsfield Publications Ltd was a British magazine publisher during the 1980s and early 1990s.
Barbarian: The Ultimate Warrior is a video game first released for Commodore 64 personal computers in 1987; the title was developed and published by Palace Software, and ported to other computers in the following months. The developers licensed the game to Epyx, who published it as Death Sword in the United States. Barbarian is a fighting game that gives players control over sword-wielding barbarians. In the game's two-player mode, players pit their characters against each other. Barbarian also has a single-player mode, in which the player's barbarian braves a series of challenges set by an evil wizard to rescue a princess.
Labyrinth: The Computer Game is a 1986 graphic adventure game developed by Lucasfilm Games and published by Activision. Based on the fantasy film Labyrinth, it tasks the player with navigating a maze while solving puzzles and evading dangers. The player's goal is to find and defeat the main antagonist, Jareth, within 13 real-time hours. Unlike other adventure games of the period, Labyrinth does not feature a command-line interface. Instead, the player uses two scrolling "word wheel" menus on the screen to construct basic sentences.
Andrew Braybrook is a software engineer, and former game programmer. He created video games such as Paradroid, Gribbly's Day Out, Fire and Ice, Uridium and Morpheus. He also programmed the Commodore Amiga and Atari ST conversion of the arcade game Rainbow Islands.
Cauldron is a two-dimensional (2D) shoot 'em up/platformer computer game developed and published by British developer Palace Software (Palace). The game was released in 1985 for the ZX Spectrum, Commodore 64 and Amstrad CPC home computers. Players control a witch, who aims to become the "Witch Queen" by defeating an enemy called the "Pumpking".
Spindizzy is an isometric computer game released for several 8-bit home computer formats in 1986 by Electric Dreams Software. It features action and puzzle game elements. Players must navigate a series of screens to explore a landscape suspended in a dimensional space. Development was headed by Paul Shirley, who drew inspiration from Ultimate Play the Game games that feature an isometric projection.
Julian "Jaz" Rignall is a publishing veteran with experience launching and managing numerous video game magazines and websites. A writer and editor, Rignall has also produced content for corporate websites such as GamePro Media, publisher of GamePro magazine and GamePro.com, marketing collateral and advertising campaigns.
Commodore Force was a computer games magazine covering games for the Commodore 64. It was published in the UK by Europress Impact. Its predecessor was Zzap!64.
Forbidden Forest is a game designed by Paul Norman, published by Cosmi Corporation in 1983 for the Commodore 64 and Atari 8-bit family. The cassette tape release for the Commodore 64 is the first game to use the Novaload fast loader.
Total PC Gaming was a monthly magazine published by Imagine Publishing, launched in 2007 it ran until March 2010. The magazine featured videogame industry news, game reviews, hardware reviews, and sections dedicated to fans of retro gaming and Massively multiplayer online games.