Good Clean Fun: Pinball At The Laundromat

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A Brooklyn (New York City) laundromat has turned what used to be a mundane chore, into something to look forward to. Peter Rose, owner of Sunshine Laundromat & Cleaners has installed an awesome array of pinball machines among the washers and dryers. And why not? You’ve already got a pocket full of change!

To top it off, Peter is also seeking a liquor license so he can really spice things up at his laundromat. I hope this takes off in Australia too. You never know, next time you hit the laundromat, you may be playing on a Twilight Zone pinball table! Now that would be something.

Wash ‘N Play!
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I wish our local laundromat looked like this!
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Peter Rose, owner of the laundromat, chats to a happy customer
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Source: The Wall Street Journal (photos by Adrienne Grunwald for the Wall Street Journal)

C64 Game Review: Rocket Smash Ex

Rocket_HDRGET READY Commander 64! Fly up, down, and all around, avoid the aliens or pew pew pew them with your screen penetrating laser! Scramble around the stage to collect rocket pieces to reassemble your rocket to freedom. But wait, there is more! Once the rocket is assembled, it will need to be fully fuelled (via dropped fuel cells) so you can make your escape and land on the next challenging stage!

To keep things interesting and to get the adrenaline pumping, you will need to get the objectives completed before your oxygen runs out. Alas, oxygen cells do fall from the top of the screen, so grab them to ensure you keep going, otherwise, it is curtains for Commander 64! Oh yeh, if you collide with an alien, it is instant death! Sounds all easy aye? With three difficulty levels, you will probably find yourself playing Rocket Smash Ex in either easy or normal mode. For those sadists among you, try the hard mode!

Enter the Charlie-Bravo-Mike system if you dare. Rocket Smash Ex is a frantic shoot’em-up come semi-puzzle-assembler where your twitch reflexes will be tested to the max. The control is sublime and feels second nature. The single screen gameplay is complimented by satisfying music (you’re feet will be tapping in no time) with awesome meaty sound effects. Rocket Smash Ex is exactly what your C64 is craving for – it is simply brilliant!

For more information on Rocket Smash Ex or to download the game, visit RGCD.

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image source: RGCD

Read-Only Memory announces The Bitmap Brothers: Universe art history book

tbbu_case_cropThe Bitmap Brothers: Universe is a singular collection of never-before-seen concept artwork and archive material, covering seminal titles such as Xenon 2: Megablast, Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe and The Chaos Engine.

The book also features an authoritatively written inside story of the company and its games. Written by Duncan Harris (contributor to Edge and Rock, Paper, Shotgun), it weaves together new and original first-hand interviews with The Bitmap Brothers’ key figures, including founder Mike Montgomery and lead artist Dan Malone – offering an unrivaled glimpse at the groundbreaking, enigmatic, Ray-Ban-wearing Bitmaps team. This luxurious hardback will include:

  • Contributions from Mark Coleman (Artist — Speedball, Xenon 2: Megablast, Magic Pockets, Gods, Z, World War II: Frontline Command), Sean Griffiths (Programmer — Cadaver and Magic Pockets), Martin Heath (Founder, Director — Rhythm King, Founder — Renegade Software), John Foxx (Musician — Nation 12, and Ultravox) and many more;
  • Staggeringly intricate hand-drawn artwork, such as unused character concepts for Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe and pencil renderings of The Chaos Engine’s iconic cut-scenes;
  • Unearthing of several unreleased/unannounced games, such as the high-tech dystopian racing game called ‘Bike’/‘Havoc’/‘Triple X’, and an as-yet-unmade 2D Speedball successor.

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The Kickstarter campaign for The Bitmap Brothers: Universe runs until 11 May 2015, and is seeking to raise £40,000. Special items available via the campaign are a signed, dedicated copy of the book (by Mike Montgomery), and a signed, specially-commissioned Speedball 2: Brutal Deluxe print by original artist Dan Malone.

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The Bitmap Brothers: Universe will join the stable at videogame history publisher Read-Only Memory, which includes the celebrated Sensible Software 1986–1999 (2013) and Sega Mega Drive/ Genesis: Collected Works (2014) – which we said ‘This is the only Sega Mega Drive /Genesis book you will ever need’!

tbbu_sb2_revolverimage source: Read-Only Memory

The Australian 2015 Timezone Supanova Pinball Championship: Victorian State Final

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Amid the cosplay, celebrities, wrestling matches and artwork at Melbourne’s Supanova Pop Culture Expo was (our highlight!) the Australian Pinball League’s Victorian State Final of the 2015 Australian Timezone Supanova Pinball Championship.

trophies and medals

The competition on Saturday involved qualifying rounds and a final for the day’s top scorers (in all ages and under 18 categories) to win an iPad Mini! (read more and see the under 18 and all ages winners).

However, Sunday was when the serious action began. Highest scorers on all competition machines (in participating Timezone amusement centres in the lead up to Supanova or during Saturday’s qualifying rounds) battled it out to become the Victorian State Champ and win an all-expenses paid trip to compete in the National Grand Final at Supanova Brisbane – November 29, 2015.

But just when you thought it couldn’t get any better – as well as the awesome title of ‘Australian Timezone Supanova Pinball Champion’, the overall winner will be awarded a WWE Pro Pinball Table valued at over AU$8,000! And best of all, it’s not too late to enter – check for upcoming state finals on the Australian Pinball League’s website.

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Although the 16 Victorian finalists (including two impressive under 18s) were nervous, there was a lot of excitement and the mood was fun and friendly (typical of Australian Pinball League events). Finalists played on each of the four competition tables (two WWE Pro tables and two WWE Legends of Wrestlemania Limited Edition tables) and winners were determined by overall ranking.

It’s the serious end of the competition!
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The action is focused and frenetic!
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And the winner is………
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The action was frenetic and the scoring was close throughout the final, but there could only be one winner: Johnny Crabtree from the Western Wizards with 52 points! Followed by Joe Gregus with 47 points and Luke Marburg with 45 points (full results).

Congratulations to the Victorian State winners [L to R]:
Luke Marburg (3rd), Johnny Crabtree (1st) & Joe Gregus (2nd)
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Once the adrenaline rush had waned, we spoke to the winner and a number of other finalists.


Johnny Crabtree (1st place, 52 points)

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ARG: Congratulations on your win! How do you feel?
JC: Thank you! I am rapt!

ARG: Were you nervous playing in the final?
JC: My nerves were a bit frayed when I drained the first two balls on three of my four games, but once I calmed myself down, I managed to rack up some high scores on the last ball of each game! ARG: Oh wow, that is even more impressive!

ARG: Let’s go back a bit now. Which table did you qualify on and what was your qualifying score?
JC: I qualified with a score of 180 million on Metallica at Timezone in Geelong. ARG: Holy smokes, that is a huge score!

ARG: Have you participated in any other pinball tournaments?
JC: I have participated in tournaments run by Melbourne leagues, like the Western Wizards and the Peackock Inn Pinball Allstars. I have also played in Slam Tilts tournaments and came third in the Pinball HQ @ Coogee Diggers comp.

ARG: That is an impressive playing CV. When did you first start playing pinball and what table was it on?
JC: I was in my teens, maybe 15 years old when I first played Bally’s Lost World.

ARG: Do you own any pinball tables?
JC: I sure do. I have Shark, Gilligan’s Island and AC/DC.

ARG: We’ll leave you to enjoy this moment and thank you very much for talking to us.
JC: Thank you!


Wal Dickie (8th place, 38 points)

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ARG: Thank you for talking to us Wal. Let’s get the ball rolling, pardon the pun – which table did you qualify on?
WD:  No worries at all, it is great to speak to you. I qualified on Star Trek Pro at Timezone Forest Hill.

ARG: Now that is a coincidence! I went there last night and the machine was out of service? What score did you get on it?
WD: (laughs), yeh I broke it! I got 77 million on it.

ARG: Now I know who to blame. Have you participated in any other pinball competitions?
WD: Yes. I was the 2013 Vic State champion. I also play in the local leagues (Peackock Inn Pinball Allstars).

ARG: You seem to know how to bump the tables and hit those flippers with surgical precision – when did you first start playing pinball and what was the table you played on?
WD: I started playing pinball when I was 10 years old in 1974.  I still remember the table, it was Gottlieb’s Sky Jump.

ARG: Do you have an all-time favourite pinball table?
WD: (thinks for a long time) that is a tough question to answer. If I had to pick one, it would be The Addams Family.

ARG: Do you have any tables at home?
WD: (smiles) Of course. I have The Lord Of The Rings, The Addams Family, Johnny Mnemonic and World Cup Soccer.


Shane Rubans (6th place, 44 points)

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ARG: Hey Shane, congrats on making the finals! Can you tell us what table you qualified on?
SR: Hey Alex, thank you and it’s great to meet you in person. I qualified on Wrestlemania.

ARG: What was the qualifying score?
SR: I got 27 million.

ARG: Have you participated in any other tournaments?
SR: Yeah! I got the buzz when I played and competed at PAX Aus in 2013. I also competed at last year’s Supanova.

ARG: When did you first start playing?
SR: I first played pinball in 1986. But over the years there were less places to play, so I lost interest. My love of pinball got reignited at 2013 PAX Aus, I entered the competition and did quite well. The pinball buzz was back! I also enjoy playing Pinball Arcade on consoles. It’s great for practicing your skills.

ARG: Glad to hear you got the pinball buzz again. Do you have an all-time favourite machine?
SR: Sure do – it’s the Williams High Speed table.

ARG: Oh yes, a WEC System 11 table! Kudos. Do you own any tables?
SR: I actually have a High Speed table and also a Stern Ripley’s Believe It Or Not table.

ARG: That’s awesome! Thanks for chatting to us and we’ll hopefully catch up at a future Peacock Inn meet!
SR: Sure thing and thank you.


Skott Kellett (10th place, 31 points)

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ARG: Hi Skott, thank you for taking time out to chat to us. We know you are busy participating in the tournament and also helping out in the pinball area.
SK: It is great to chat to you guys. I can finally put a face to the names! It is busy, which is great. I volunteered to help out in the area – I assist Norbert in setting up and also packing up the gear.

ARG: That is great to hear! It sounds like hard work, but very rewarding?
SK: Absolutely! It is very rewarding to see people playing pinball.

ARG: Let’s get to that tough questions now – what table did you qualify on and what was your score?
SK: I qualified on The Walking Dead with a score of 62 million.

ARG: Apart from participating in this competition, have you played in other tournaments?
SK: Yeah, I participated at the PAX Aus in 2013 competition after not playing much pinball over the last decade. Ever since then, I have made every (Timezone Supanova Pinball Championship) State final! On another topic, I came 5th in the Blockbuster Video Street Fighter II tournament held at the Glasshouse (Olympic Park precinct)! ARG: Oh wow, that is fantastic – a blast from the past! You already had the competitive pedigree!

ARG: When did you first play pinball and what was the table you played on?
SK: Growing up with older brothers, I got to go to some places that perhaps I should not have been allowed in (laughs). I recall playing Pin•Bot around 1986 at the Jamaican Smoking Cafe.

ARG: Do you own any tables?
SK: I recently got the green light from my wife to get a table. I am thinking of getting one I can restore so I can learn how to repair it myself.

ARG: That sounds like a great plan! We wish you all the luck and hope you find your table very soon!
SK: Thank you.

ARG: Before we let you get back to your volunteering, do you have any dream tables?
SK: The Addams Family and Fish Tales!


Jordan (7th place, 40 points, top ranked junior, plus winner of Saturday’s under 18s Pinball vs. Supanova final)

The ongoing success of pinball is dependent on the next generation taking to the flippers and propagating the fun. As well as showing us that young people are getting into pinball, fifteen year old Jordan racked up high scores that would give a seasoned veteran a run for their money.

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ARG: Congratulations and well done on becoming a junior pinball champion. So Jordan, tell us, when did you first start playing pinball and what was your first table?
Jordan: I was 10 years old when I started playing pinball at a holiday park in Anglesea. The first machine I played on was Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

ARG: Oh wow, Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a great machine, it is great to hear that you cut your teeth on an older table. Do you have an all-time favourite pinball machine?
Jordan: The Addams Family! I played it while on holiday in Torquay and was instantly hooked.

ARG: Where do you go to play pinball?
Jordan: I mainly play at Timezone in Geelong. I also look out for pinball tables when I go to the movies.

ARG: What would help make pinball more popular with the younger generation?
Jordan: Pinball is becoming cooler, more family-friendly places with tables would help raise its popularity. An endorsement from a celebrity would help too, especially someone young people can identify with.

ARG: We got side-tracked for a second there. What machine did you qualify on and what was the high score?
Jordan: I got 12 million on Legends Of Wrestlemania, and I actually got 110 million on Star Trek Pro after the final, once the pressure was off!

ARG: Oh wow, 110 million! That is a super impressive score. As long as you had fun – that’s what it’s all about. Thank you for chatting to us and congratulations!
Jordan: I definitely had fun and thank you.


 More young people enjoying some pinball action!
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These guys said more bars with pinball tables (in the style of Forgotten Worlds) would raise the popularity of pinball with younger people.  
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The driving force behind the championship is APL director, Norbert Snicer. Norbert has a long history in the amusement industry and a wealth of pinball knowledge. His obvious passion and enthusiasm is very infectious and we were thoroughly impressed by the fun and professional tone of the event. He was a very friendly and interesting person and we hope to bring you an article about Norbert and some of his other ventures in the near future.

The man we all need to thank, Mr. Norbert Snicer!
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It would be remiss of us not to mention Amusement Machine Distributors (AMD) – the official Australian distributor of Stern Pinball tables, and the championship’s major sponsor. AMD kindly supplied the pinball machines that were enjoyed by all at Supanova. And the good will continues with all proceeds from the pinball machines going to Mission Australia – a charity which helps people in need regain their independence and move away from homelessness.

If you want to find a pinball club near you, head to the Australian Pinball League (APL) site and check for clubs in your state. For those lucky enough to be in or near Sydney, check out the awesome Pinball HQ at Coogee Diggers!

Pinball wizards group shot!
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Both myself and Ms. ausretrogamer had a fantastic time at Supanova, with the main attraction being pinball (of course). The people we met and spoke to were all having fun and were genuinely keen to chat about pinball and everything else pop culture. We will definitely be back for the next competition in Melbourne! But, as always, all good things must come to an end. Instead of saying goodbye, we’ll say, see you at the next pinball competition!

Blast From The Past: Oo’er, Magazines

BFTP_Magazine_HDRVideo gaming magazines may become a thing of the past, but in the 80s and 90s they were thriving publications, full of information for gamers hungry for news, interviews, reviews & previews. The words contained within these magazines were the lifeblood for readers wanting to be connected and up to date on the goings on in the industry and their particular system(s) of choice.

The magazines were household titles and the British seemed to have had a monopoly on churning out quality publications – from their mesmerising covers to their ribald humour, there were many ingredients that endeared us to their magazines. I vividly recall rushing to the newsagent every month to grab the latest Zzap!64 (or simply just, Zzap!), Your Commodore, Your 64, Commodore Format and C&VG (Computer and Video Games). The cover price wasn’t cheap and they were three months old by the time they reached our shores, but goddamn they were worth every cent (and the wait)! Who could forget Yob ripping into the punters that dared to send in mail – absolutely priceless! I tried reading a few US based magazines, with the exception of RUN, I found the rest to be too serious, too dry and devoid of humour and fun, so the British magazines reigned supreme in this part of the world in the 80s and early 90s.

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I knew it was going to be interesting when I posed the question of “what was your favourite Commodore 64 related magazine” to the Reset team. Once the dust settled and the passionate discussions quietened down, this is what each of them had to say about their favourite old school magazines:

Rob Caporetto: As a kid, I missed out on the golden age of C64 magazines (considering, I’m only a few years older than Zzap!, that shouldn’t be a surprise), so coming into things later on did make for a unique perspective on things.

I started out by borrowing a fair few issues of RUN from my local library. With its angle being less games, and more general Commodore usage, it was great to see a wider angle of the landscape (including more exotic peripherals), as well as learn some programming bits and pieces.

Games-wise, the first mag I really got into was Zzap! – even though it was way after its heyday (and in fact, probably at its lowest point, though it recovered a bit before changing into Commodore Force). It was solid enough, and whilst there were features I liked more than others (mainly the roundups covering genres or highlights in the C64’s history), it was solid enough reading each month.

I got into Commodore Format a bit later (mainly as it was trickier to find for a while) and overall, I think it was the better read at that point. Having regular columns devoted to programming tricks was great when starting to try and get a grip on C64 programming, along with Gamebusters (hey, I appreciated having cheat listings for the cover tape games for a change). Though, I do remember seeing the start of its descent as the C64 market died off – and of course was shocked to see how long it eventually survived for!

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Kevin Tilley: I was a bit late to the party for the UK gaming magazines. By the time I discovered Zzap! and Commodore Format, they were already in decline and their best years were well behind them.  But before that, my father used to religiously buy Compute’s Gazette! – which is the magazine I remember most fondly. Originating from the US, I grew up with this magazine, its type-ins and cover disks (which I could also use with my VIC20!). I spent countless hours typing in many programs in BASIC and machine code via Automatic Proofreader and MLX respectively, with my father. Not just games, but other programs such as Speedscript, which I went on to use for many years to publish school projects. The articles were informative and challenging.

Compute’s Gazette was a wealth of useful information, not just a collection of cheap gags, innuendo and mediocre game reviews which plagued the later era of UK gaming magazines. It had depth and substance, and will always be my favourite of the many different C64 publications I purchased over the years.

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Merman: The first C64 magazine I saw was Zzap! issue 18, with the gory Beyond The Forbidden Forest cover. 25 years later I got to interview the artist Oli Frey and publisher Roger Kean at the Replay retro event, talking about the history of their magazines.

After buying a few issues of Your Commodore (which swallowed up Your 64), we subscribed to Zzap! from issue 31, getting a free Quickshot Joyball with the subscription. Zzap! became our guide to buying good games and it rarely steered us wrong. What made it special was the way there was more than one opinion on a game.

My first brush with publications came through Commodore Disk User. Starting out bi-monthly, this publication came with a disk full of programs (to save you typing them in) then became monthly and asked for reader submissions. I sent several programs, got signed contracts for publication – and then suffered the heartache of seeing the company fail.

Then in 1993, after a brief gap when Newsfield became Europress Impact, two things happened – I wrote to Zzap! suggesting a technical column, after their reader survey had asked if people would be interested. My letter went to Phil King, but it was Steve Shields who wrote back telling me about the other big news – Zzap! was rebranding itself as Commodore Force, and my technical column would feature from the first issue.

I wrote for all 16 issues of Commodore Force incorporating Zzap! as Professor Brian Strain (the Mighty Brian, so-called because of Commodore Format’s Mighty Brain). In fact, I wrote an extra 3 pages for issue 17 at 48 hours notice – but with deadlines close, that text became part of issue 16. I was a freelancer, writing my text using a C64 word processor (Word Writer v5) and printing it out to send in. The magazine closed, I wrote for several issues of Commodore Format before it closed and years later I became a regular on Retro Gamer. It was Retro Gamer that gave me the chance to be a Zzap! reviewer, appearing in the incredible DEF Tribute to Zzap! supplement.

I will always remember Zzap! for giving me the chance to be a professional writer, even if it can be a precarious profession at times.

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Frank Gasking: In a typical UK answer, my favourite two magazines were both Commodore Format and Zzap! (later Commodore Force).  I had previously read Lets Compute! and Your Commodore, which were shockingly bad at the time, but the main pull for Your Commodore was the free tape on the front.

Commodore Format caught my eye due to its brightly coloured red and white banner head. I spotted it in my local newsagent when I had popped down to get some sweets. I ended up buying issue 11 (with the Terminator 2 cover) due to it not only having a fantastic tape with two full games and two demos, but also a map of Fantasy World Dizzy, which was one of my favourite games at the time.  It was aimed at a sort of teenage market, so the magazine was up my street.  I loved it due to the regular excellent tapes, which were great for someone with not a huge amount of money to even get budget games.  The tips section was fantastic, and reading about new games was a great thing.  It sadly declined in my opinion after the redesign (and certainly when it shrank down in page size), but I have many fond memories of getting up at 7am to get it at the paper shop and dreaming what was on the tape!

Then comes Zzap!/Commodore Force – ironically, I first got the magazine with its Terminator 2 issue (78) – which was almost its last when Newsfield went under.  The tape pulled me in, but it wasn’t as great as the Commodore Format tape.  At the time, I didn’t feel the magazine was as good as Commodore Format, but it was different enough to be enjoyable.  Once Mrs. Whiplash was rid of, the magazine actually got better and more so when they put two tapes on the cover each month, which was just amazing.  I actually liked the transition to Commodore Force at the time (the quality of games were unbelievable as the market died – like Blues Brothers on one issue only a year after it first came out). Looking back, I would have preferred to have started with Zzap! in its heyday – but I was far too young!

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Cameron Davis (Gazunta): Now I know it sounds a bit hyperbolic to say that my life would be not the same without Zzap! – it’s the magazine that inspired me to get into the games industry, and through it I made lifelong friends and a great career – but today i want to shine the spotlight on a truly under-appreciated Commodore mag: the one and only Commodore Computing International (CCI).

CCI looked different from the likes of Zzap!, Commodore User or C&VG. It was hard bound, for one thing, and considerably more drab looking than its competition. If there were any artistically-inclined people on the magazine layout team, I would be surprised. Every cover looked like it was laid out by a high school art student with scissors and glue, made from whatever promotional pamphlets were laying about the office at the time.

Inside, full colour screenshots were rare, and in fact the majority of each issue was spent on full-page text pieces sometimes paired with blurry, monochrome images taking up minuscule space in the corner. It wasn’t uncommon to see 10 pages of BASIC listings just…sitting there, waiting to be laboriously typed in. The news section had page after page of stories about new printers, mice, modems and dodgy light pens that cost a fortune but never worked right. It was not a visually enticing publication by any stretch of the imagination.

But there was…something that lured you in. Scribbles of the magazine’s mascot, Felix, adorned the pages with little sarcastic quips about the editors. He was not as funny as Rockford and Thingy, but he had more character, helped by the fact he had his own column in the magazine where he talked about the latest happenings in the software industry. All the writers were largely anonymous, and they were clearly just writing about what interested them, rather than what was considered ‘hot’ at the time. This ended up making the magazine feel really enthusiastic even if a lot of it went over my head.

One of the things that appealed to me about it is that it was obvious the magazine was aimed for (and made by) people much older than the Zzap! / CU crowd, who were not really the typical gaming demographic. I’d hazard a guess that many of them were just interested in the serious side of computers and just put games stuff in there as an afterthought, but their heart wasn’t really into such frivolous activities. With the exception of their keen interest in the latest role playing games (their monthly column devoted to exploring every inch of The Bard’s Tale was a must-read), even the best action or arcade games were afforded passing reviews, in a “I guess this is OK if you’re into this sort of thing, have fun with it” kind of way. You know, the way you might talk to your kids after they pressure you into playing the latest Pokémon game with them or whatever.

But that was kind of the appeal, at least for me: If Zzap! was the cool older brother who you idolised, then CCI was the slightly weird uncle who never moved out of his parent’s place and everything he said was a bit out of your comprehension but he was awesome anyway.

And speaking of weird but cool uncles, the jewel in CCI’s crown for me was the monthly column by Jeff Minter. While Zzap! pioneered the ‘diary of a game’ feature with his, CCI just gave Jeff a page (often more) to just let loose on any subject that took his fancy. His development antics (by this point he had well and truly moved on to the Amiga and Atari ST, and was heavily into the evolution of Colourspace) were often mentioned briefly if at all, and columns would instead be focused on the latest Pink Floyd gig, or the hot new exotic imports like Super Mario Brothers or the fabled PC Engine. Reading these really opened my eyes to a world beyond my own. There was one article in particular where he wrote about the future of computers, and predicted Google Earth and monitors with retina displays – it was pretty mind blowing stuff!

While CCI never got the fan following that the usual suspects enjoyed, I urge you to seek out a couple of issues and see a different side of the world from that era. You might just get a taste for it.

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Roberto Dillon: In Italy we actually had a rather lively scene regarding C64 magazines back in the day. Needless to say, the Italian edition of Zzap!64, simply named “Zzap!“, was the favourite of many. Published from May 1986, it was a high quality localisation that left all the great content of the original British magazine intact and also added a few original articles, making the likes of JR (Jaz Rignall) and GP (Gary Penn) well known to a new crowd of fans.

But Zzap! wasn’t the first, and those like me who were also keen to tinker and mess around with their C64, had other resources as well: Commodore Computer Club for example, was a very good magazine, officially endorsed by the Italian branch of Commodore, that started publication as early as 1982. Besides game reviews, it featured technical articles including a few type-in listings. The latter also had magazines entirely dedicated to them, like the “Paper Soft” weekly series started in June 1984. Only listings there, nothing more, nothing less, for those who really wanted to spend the whole weekend at home by typing new games and programs that never worked at first but could provide a true cathartic experience when the last bug and typo were finally fixed!

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It is saddening to see magazines going out of print or confining themselves to an online presence. Going to the newsagent isn’t what it used to be – nothing can replace flicking through magazines and having dog-ears on pages for future reference. For those that had foresight and kept their old magazines, I commend you – please ensure they never end up in landfill! For those of us that threw them out and are now wanting to rebuild their magazine library, I salute you! Nostalgia is a powerful force – it is great to see that our loyalty for certain publications was, and still is, as fierce as our loyalty for our chosen system(s). Let the schoolyard argument of which magazine is best, begin!

Reset

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Images source: various – supplied on request

 

Atari Lynx Heaven at Retro Tuesday

Lynx_0_TitleOn a cold and miserable night in Melbourne earlier this week, eight hardened retro gamers converged on Wadham House for the monthly Retro Tuesday meet.

Serblander, of Weird and Retro fame, convinced the organisers to make the meet all about Atari‘s little feline, the Lynx. With all members contributing their Lynx wares, there was ComLynx action aplenty. Checkered Flag provided some friendly rivalry (Ed: and some very colourful language!), while Dr C. stamped his dominance, yet again, on the 8-Player Slime World.

The night wasn’t just for great gaming fun (which it was!), the display that Weird and Retro had put together for the Lynx was a great homage to the Atari handheld! Check out the pics and drool over that store stand and all those different Lynx boxes!

As usual, it was difficult to leave my Lynx friends, but good things must always come to an end. After leaving the Retro Tuesday meet, I was informed that a new California Games BMX bandit was crowned – well done & congrats to Serby!

Thank you to: Aleks, Stacey, Jerry, Pedro, Callum, Paul and Mal for an awesome night of Lynx action! Can’t wait to do it again!

The Great Wall Of Lynx
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The one and only, Atari Lynx
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Badges of honour
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The Games!
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The Lynxes!
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Travel in style, keep your Lynx in a pouch
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Fan magz – Lynx User!
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Serby preparing the awesome Lynx stand!
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Jerry is the BMX bandit on the big screen!
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Dr. C cautiously approaches the ledge! Double backflip coming up! 
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ComLynx gaming = heaps of fun!
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Yours truly giving the thumbs up! Too bad my car was off the road!
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More Checkered Flag action coming up!
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8P Slime World! Let the smack talk begin!
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LCD comparison: Original vs McWill’s LCD modded (with VGA) Lynx II
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Pinball Action At Supanova Pop Culture Expo

When we arrived at the Supanova Pop Culture Expo at the Melbourne Showgrounds, we thought we had died and gone to geek heaven. We found cosplayers, artists, cosplayers, comics, cosplayers, actors, cosplayers, and most importantly – pinball! Specifically, the Victorian leg of the Australian Timezone Supanova Pinball Championships.

While some people qualified for Sunday’s Victorian Final by getting the highest score on certain machines in Timezones around Melbourne during the lead up to Supanova (like I attempted at Chadstone a few weeks ago). Others took their chances at Supanova today by trying to get the highest score on one of the onsite tables during each of the four time slots (10-11 am, 11 am-12 pm, 12-1 pm and 1-2 pm).

The flipper action was fast and furious. The pinball wizards were racking up high scores aplenty and wowing the crowd with their pinball wizardry. While Norbert Snicer, Director of the Australian Pinball League, worked hard to keep the tournament fun, professional, and running like clockwork.

In addition to qualifying for Sunday’s Victorian Final, the top scorer on each machine for each time slot (in all ages and under 18 categories) was eligible to compete in the Pinball vs. Supanova Final at 3 pm (prize: iPad Mini!) (see the under 18 and all ages winners).

We can’t wait to see the high scores and awesome flipper skills of Victoria’s top pinball players in tomorrow’s final!

Play some pinball and win some prizes!
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Play and donate at the Australian Timezone Supanova Pinball Champs
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The tournament machines!
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The State Finalist winner’s trophy!
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Runners-up medals! No one walks away empty handed
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APL director, Norbert Snicer, prepares the tournament machines
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Flipping action begins!
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Ms ausretrogamer enjoys the pinball action
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Shane is in the zone on Legends of Wrestlemania
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Pinball qualifying action – Skott racks up the points
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A true Pinball Wizard!
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Beat this score – The Walking Dead
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Beat this score – Legends Of Wrestlemania
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Beat this score – Wrestlemania
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Smooth lines
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The hardest working pinball wizard in Australia, Norbert Snicer
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The next generation enjoying pinball!
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ausretrogamer.com boss, Alex Boz, wishes he could take this table home
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