|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 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.
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.
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.
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).
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 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.
Rob Hubbard is a British composer best known for his musical and programming work for microcomputers of the 1980s, such as the Commodore 64.
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 shoot 'em up 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 released in the following year. Wizball was also ported to IBM PC compatibles (CGA) and the French Thomson MO5 8-bit computer.
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.
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.
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.
Interceptor Micros also known as Interceptor Software was a developer/publisher of video games for various 8-bit and 16-bit computer systems popular in Western Europe during the eighties and early nineties.
Spindizzy is an isometric computer game released for several 8-bit home computer formats in 1986 by Electric Dreams Software. It combines 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.
Imagine Publishing was a UK-based magazine publisher, which published a number of video games, computing, creative and lifestyle magazines.
Bill Kunkel was a graphic novelist, and pioneering professional wrestling and video game journalist and critic from the 1970s until his death in the early 2010s. During his time working with the video game industry, Kunkel authored numerous strategy guides, co-designed several video games, served as an expert witness in three court cases, and taught courses in Game Design for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). Kunkel served as the executive editor of Electronic Games Magazine and the editor-in-chief of Tips & Tricks magazine, writing columns and comics for several magazines and game sites. He often wrote under nicknames, the most common of which were "The Game Doctor", and "Potshot".
Deactivators is a 1986 puzzle video game designed by David Bishop and Chris Palmer, developed by Tigress Marketing and System Software, and published by Ariolasoft's action game imprint Reaktor. The player controls bomb disposal robots known as deactivators and must use them to deactivate bombs planted by terrorists in five research complexes. The concept for the game came from a brainstorming session between Bishop and Palmer; its design and development took five to six months to complete. It was released for the Amstrad CPC 464, Commodore 64, and ZX Spectrum platforms on October 1986.
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.
Personal Computer Games was a multi-format UK computer games magazine of the early/mid-1980s published by VNU.
Aliens is a 1990 shoot 'em up video game developed and published for arcades by Konami. It is based on the 1986 film of the same title.
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.