Press Play On Tape: An MSX Master Class

press_play_eps5_titleIf your knowledge of MSX is a bit sketchy, then you must listen to episode 5 of the PRESS PLAY ON TAPE podcast! Our special guest, Tony Cruise (Electric Adventures), gives us (and all of you guys) a master class in all things MSX – things that you wouldn’t have otherwise known or been able to find easily on the net!

The publisher of choice for this month was Konami, chosen by Daz. Daz gave special instructions to Alex Boz – to ask the community about their favourite Konami games, but alas, Alex gave everyone a bum steer – surely Daz will exact his revenge next month? Listen to episode 5 now, we guarantee you will learn something new!

PRESS PLAY ON TAPE podcasts are available on iTunes and Podbean

 

Coming To America

ComingToNA_HDRIt’s been a while since we had a holiday – our last proper trip was to the Gold Coast (where we spent a lot of time at Timezone Surfers Paradise) almost 2 years ago. So we are well overdue for a vacation!

Although we have been to the US before and visited some great retrogaming tourist attractions (e.g. San Francisco’s Musée Mechanique, the Nintendo World Store in NYC, plus 8Bit & Up and Video Games NY) there are more than enough places left to visit to justify a return trip. This time we will be concentrating on the West Coast.

Los Angeles
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Once we hit LA, we do what all tourists do, go on a TMZ Hollywood Tour to check out where the celebs hang out. Also, while in the US, attending a live taping of a show is a must – we will be ticking @Midnight off of our bucket list too (Ed: Hope Stacey Borg will be watching!). And no trip is complete without a feed and gaming session at Dave and Buster’s (in Hollywood).

Anaheim (a.k.a. Disneyland!)
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When we think of Anaheim, we think of Disneyland! With a 3-day pass, surely we will get to experience everything that Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park have to offer! Then we’ll hit the Games of the Boardwalk and the ESPN Zone Sports Arena in the Downtown Disney District.

Once we are done with Disneyland, we’ll be checking out the Exodus Escape Room – Sherlock’s Study and Trap Room, and hopefully Video Game Geeks and Phat Collectibles. I get the feeling we should have booked an extra day or two…

Las Vegas
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What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas! Nah, we don’t subscribe to that saying, we will be happy to share our Vegas experience with you all! I know that Alex is really looking forward to hitting the Pinball Hall Of Fame and then going retro gaming shopping at A Gamer’s Paradise store. We will have to be careful not to exceed our luggage limit!

We will also be packing a heap of coins to check out the casino amusement centres at New York-New York (The Big Apple Roller Coaster and Arcade), MGM Grand (West Wing Bar Arcade Lounge), Excalibur (The Fun Dungeon) and Circus Circus (Midway Arcade). We’ll even hit the arcade and gaming booths at Insert Coin(s) on the old Vegas strip.

Our non-gaming fun will involve the Zombie Burlesque and a tour of the classic Vegas signs at the Neon Boneyard. Last but not least on our Vegas hitlist, is the underground arcade joint, Flipperspiel Wunderland!

Vancouver
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After Vegas, we will be venturing across the border into Canada to check out the wonderful city of Vancouver. While researching of the things to see and do, I stumbled upon the Movieland Arcade. I know we are both looking forward to this one.

We will be cramming a fair bit into our short stay in Vancouver, but places like Pub 340 (for some Karaoke fun!), EXP Restaurant and Bar and Golden Age Collectibles are high on our ‘to do’ list. And of course, no trip to Vancouver is complete without going to Gastown for some live music, board games, pool, darts and video games!

Seattle
ComingToAmerica_Seattle
Last on our whirlwind trip is beautiful Seattle. We will be getting more silver ball fever by visiting the Seattle Pinball Museum and then hitting the barcades like John John’s Game Room and Vidiot to quench our thirst and unwind with some games.

Our sweet tooth and gaming appetite will surely be satisfied at the quirky Full Tilt Ice Cream parlour. If that isn’t enough, then I reckon a bite and more gaming at Gameworks will satisfy our hunger.

There are a number of cool museums in Seattle, we’re looking forward to visiting the EMP Museum of Music – SciFi – Pop Culture, the Living Computer Museum and the Museum of History and Industry. Maybe we’ll also check out Pike Place Market for some arts and crafts.

A highlight for Alex is sure to be the Boeing Tour, while I’m looking forward to the carnival themed Unicorn & Narwhal bars and the Rock Box Karaoke Rooms and Bar. To finish up, Alex and I will be downing some hot dogs and frosty beers while playing the arcade machines and classic pinball tables at Shorty’s Arcade & Pinball. Oh boy, it will be quite difficult leaving Seattle, but all good things must come to an end. 

Well, there you have it. I didn’t realise our itinerary was so packed with wonderful things to do and see in North America – we both can’t wait to get there! Rest assured, there will be plenty of photos (and maybe a few videos) from the places we visit, so stay tuned (and don’t forget to let us know about other cool places we could visit in these cities)!

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msausretrogamerMs. ausretrogamer
Editor and Researcher at ausretrogamer – The Australian Retro Gamer E-Zine. Lover of science fiction, fashion, books, movies and TV. Player of games, old and new.

Follow Ms. ausretrogamer on Twitter

 

 

Street Fighter The New Challenger: Ryu

street-fighter-t-n-c-01-ryu_1Attention Street Fighter fans: The highly successful The New Challenger (T.N.C.) 01: Ryu figure from BigBoysToysHK is reaching its last and final run and is about to release soon! Make sure you do not miss out and orders yours now, and use the LASTCHANCE4RYU code for a further $8.00USD discount upon checkout! It’s a win win!

This stylized Ryu sits on a custom diorama representing his Street Fighter II: The World Warriors stage and is depicted with his iconic Hadouken stance; the Hadouken actually lights up by pressing the Street Fighter button on the diorama stand (Ed: Oo’er!)! As well, for every press of the button, the official soundclip of Ryu shouting “HADOUKEN” will be played! This is truly a great collector piece. Grab it while you can!

street-fighter-t-n-c-01-ryu-darkimage source: Play Asia

 

Mario The Hedgehog

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Oh man, poor Mario – he does not have a good time when he finds himself in Sonic’s Green Hill Zone! This video is exactly what the Doctor, Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik, ordered!

Source: Dorkly via Cheezburger

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msausretrogamerMs. ausretrogamer
Editor and Researcher at ausretrogamer – The Australian Retro Gamer E-Zine. Lover of science fiction, fashion, books, movies and TV. Player of games, old and new.

Follow Ms. ausretrogamer on Twitter

 

 

Bartronica: Lair Of The Barcadian

bartronica_HDRAfter a hard days work, where does one go to quench their thirst and get a fix of gaming nostalgia? That’s an easy one to answer – you make your way to Bartronica, a city barcade establishment at 335 Flinders Lane, Melbourne.

Nestled between Elizabeth and Queen (streets), the barcade is in the perfect spot in Melbourne’s Central Business District. The entry to Bartronica is via downward stairs, and upon entry, the establishment is revealed in all of its glory, beginning with the well stocked bar. Speaking of which, there are plenty of beverages which would definitely quench your hard earned thirst. As you down your drink, you notice the upright arcade machines; NBA Jam, Street Fighter II, The Simpsons, Mortal Kombat IIGolden Axe and 1943, and these are just the tip of the iceberg – there are plenty more upright machines jostling for your attention. It doesn’t end there, the venue also has driving and shooting cabinets plus six great pinball tables to get you flippin!

For those seeking comfort, Bartronica also has cool lounges for you to sit and take a load off. If you like to play from the comfort of the lounge, there are old school consoles from Sega and Nintendo which are free to play! The consoles provide a fun way to challenge your friends in some awesome multiplayer gaming action, like Super Mario Kart 64, all while kicking back and sipping on a drink.

With their wonderful hospitality, Bartronica makes everyone feel welcome – it is the kind of place where you would visit quite frequently, on your own or with friends. So the next time you are in the city and in need of a watering hole with a twist, then head on over to Bartronica, you’ll have a blast!

Entering the lair of the barcadian
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Anticipation builds, one step at a time!
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Hello Bartronica!
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What is your poison?
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In the driver’s seat, Bartronica owner – Josh Flamank
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What to play first?
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TMNT it is!
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A row of beauties begging to be played
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Retro Domination’s Daz Retro hits Ninja Gaiden
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Daz Retro gets hacking on Golden Axe!
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Behind the bar
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Working up a serious thirst!
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Taking a load off with Super Mario Kart 64!
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Run out of coins? Don’t stress, whack in some notes
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The view from the deck
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Hello Lisa!
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Getting some 16-bit action
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Playing some Sonic from the comfort of the plush lounge
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Cool light artwork!
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Golden Axe immortalised on the wall
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Hang on a second, there’s pinballs over there!
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There they are – glorious pinball!
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Demolishing Demolition Man
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Retro Domination’s Matt Cawley gets flippin on Fastbreak!
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Matt has silver ball fever!
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Drinking + playing = a good night
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Action aplenty!
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Retro Domination Street Fighter II Battle: Daz Retro vs Matt Cawley!
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Venue: Bartronic – Arcade Bar
Address: 335 Flinders Lane, Melbourne

 

Cramer’s Pinball Tournament: It’s Hotter Than July!

Cramers_July28_TitleWhoa! Time flies when you are having fun! It seems like yesterday that we attended the inaugural Cramer’s Pinball Tournament, but alas, that was over a month ago!

Well, the second Cramer’s Pinball Tournament rolled around this past Tuesday (July 28). Once again, tournament director Scott Kellett put on a wonderful competition at an equally awesome venue. Not only did we have the influence of pinball on the bar menu, Scott also worked tirelessly to upgrade the cameras near the competition area (thanks also to Dr. Curlytek) to ensure that all the flipping action was beamed to the big screen so that no one missed the wizards in action.

As per usual, the competition was fierce, but the social aspects of such pinball tournaments is always the winner on the night. In the end there were four left standing (from 27 participants): teenage pinball sensation, Jordan Tredaway, Wal Dickie, Daniel Luth and Mr. Pinball himself, Scott Kellett. There were a few nail biting moments on the scoreboard, but the eventual champion and last wizard standing was, (Ed: drum roll please!) Scott Kellett – well done on a fantastic win, Scott!

On a night like this, pinball is the winner, so congratulations to everyone that participated and to all the new players, we hope to see you at the next pinball tournament!

A big thanks to Scott Kellett, Luke Marburg, Wal Dickie, Stacey BorgCramer’s Hotel and Cashbox Amusement for another great tournament! Roll on next month!

The board says it all!
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Scott makes final camera adjusments
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A Pinball Wizard must eat before battle!
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A new registrant is always welcome into the pinball family!
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Light, Camera, Action!
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Matt Cawley – Deep in concentration
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ausretrogamer EIC, Alex Boz, with matching red sneakers tries his luck on AC/DC Luci!
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The crowd builds! This is the best part of pinball’n
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More devilish action! 
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Fierce competition!
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With a massive score, Scott Kellett (SMK) is crowned the Grand Champion!
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Till next time…….
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Blast From The Past: A Zzap! Retrospective

reset64In issue 6 of Reset, it was abundantly clear which C64 related magazine the staffers held most dear – the one and only, Zzap!64. How apt then that we are celebrating all things Zzap for this issue of Reset!

While indulging in Zzap!64 nostalgia, we take the staffers down Memory Lane to reminisce about this once-mighty British gaming magazine and how we discovered it all those years ago. The first cab off the rank with their story is me!

Upon discovering micro computers in the mid 80s, I was thirsty to learn more about these new machines and their wares. Once I found out that there were magazines filled to the brim with news and game reviews dedicated to these computers, I knew I had to hit my local newsagency to see what was on offer. Since I had a C64, my natural inclination was to look for the latest C64-centric magazine. Being in Australia, it meant that the latest British magazines were always three months old. We didn’t care about this, we just wanted to get our grubby mits on the latest issue, no matter how old it was. Among the gaming magazines on the newsstand, one mag stood out head and shoulders above the rest – well, its cover stood out! The magazine in question was Zzap!64 (oh those beautiful Oli Frey covers!). All wide-eyed, I immediately grabbed the issue and started flicking through its pages. The newsagent wasn’t impressed with me being in there for over an hour reading the magazine cover to cover. The secret to the Zzap!64 formula was its great writers – they knew how to draw you in and hang on their every word, guys like, Julian ‘Jaz’ Rignall, Paul Glancey, Gary Penn and Gordon Houghton were wordsmiths like no other. To say I was hooked, would be a great understatement. From that day forth, Zzap!64 became my monthly bible for C64 information (well, it was till its demise).

As we keep traveling down Memory Lane, I realise I have rambled on for too long and ask the rest of the Reset staff to share their personal Zzap!64 stories. Here we go!

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Rob Caporetto: Coming late in the grand scheme of things (1989), I missed a lot of the early buzz around Zzap and it’s early peers. So, the first time I heard about it was after buying some other mag, which after showing to my ‘cool’ cousin at the time, told me was rubbish and I should have gotten Zzap instead…

Advice I’d forgotten about… until early 1992. I was at one of my local newsagencies, and I saw Issue 79 – the first of the post-Newsfield issues. Seeing that Oli Frey art (tying into the Smash TV review in the issue), and of course Megatape 23, with Boulderdash 4 (and Construction Kit) & Spy vs. Spy 2 both giving me plenty of play time.

As a kid without much pocket-money, especially in an era where finding C64 titles to purchase was becoming tougher, it rapidly became my source for reading about the newest releases & other aspects of C64 life. Plus, the Megatape

Whilst it had its ups & downs, when it made the transition into Commodore Force, it stabilised and became a solid read each month. Despite the name not having the same character, features like “Back to the Feature” covering earlier years of the C64’s history (and some of the hits & misses of the era), along with peeks into the demoscene, and the return of “Diary of a Game” to cover the development of Lemmings.

I’ve been lucky to read some of the early issues recently, and whilst I’d have loved to have been old enough to enjoy it during the C64’s heyday, I think it’s as special in its own way to be there at the C64’s twilight.

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Cameron Davis: I blame my baby brother for all of this! He was born in 1985, and I was eleven years old at the time – a once-promising smart kid who had been bitten by the gaming bug and spent his weekends alone in his room writing imaginary BASIC programs on dozens of exercise pads. I didn’t actually own a computer, but I excitedly studied those Usborne “write your own game” books for every technique I could find and entertained the notion I could make my own games one day.

My parents had heard that older siblings often felt left out when a new baby arrives, so they bought me my very own Commodore 64 to help keep me entertained. It was the C model and had a tape drive and I could plug it into the dodgy 14” TV I was given a year previously and I could not think of anything I could ever want more again. I told my parents that the only games I would be playing on it would be ones I wrote myself. They smiled politely and had no idea what I was talking about. I guess they were just glad I wasn’t riding BMX bikes to breakdancing parties while huffing paint or whatever kids did back in the ‘80s.

I spent that summer holiday laboriously typing in all those BASIC games I wrote, trying to run them, debugging them and then saving them to tape. They were all terrible. Text adventures that were more like simple Choose Your Own Adventure stories with worse writing. Overhead racing games that stored every possible outcome as a separate screen (what the hell was I thinking?!). A strategy game where you choose which country to nuke and then saw where the radiation cloud went (I worried about Chernobyl a lot). And so on. Rotten stuff but good God I was a happy camper for the first few weeks.

It seemed like half the kids in my school had gotten a C64 over the Christmas break – schoolyard conversations changed from Ghostbusters the movie to Ghostbusters the game, and copies of Commodore User, C&VG and Zzap! 64 were passed around and devoured like they were made of curry, hot dogs and pizza at the same time. This was valuable intel. Nobody seemed to know where the magazines came from, but we knew they were full of powerful secrets that we had to keep safe at all costs.

Curious, I started peeking over people’s shoulders while they read the latest issues. It wouldn’t hurt to see what games are out now, right? Just for research purposes of course, to inspire my game programming skills.

I didn’t know what most of the games were about, but I quickly learned which ones were worth playing, and which magazines were worth reading. Those wacky reviewer heads and in-jokey cartoon drawings of Thingy and Rockford in each Zzap! 64 review were so much more inviting than the text-heavy competition. C&VG felt like a bore in comparison. Heck, CU felt more like a games-themed issue of Smash Hits magazine than a gaming publication. Zzap! 64 was filled with photographs of reviewers and developers hanging out and playing games all day – how cool would that be to do, we all thought!

I started playing the real games that got the coveted Sizzlers and Gold Medals. I had to know. How were such amazing things as sprites and sound effects and scrolling possible? I kept hoping that if I pressed Run/Stop I could get a LISTing of all the program to study. I had no idea about Machine Code. There were no books in my library about this stuff and I didn’t know anyone I could learn from. I quickly hit a wall in my fledging game programming career so started picking up the joystick for a quick game of whatever I could find or borrow more and more often.

C64 magazines started appearing next to the comics at my local newsagent. The first issue of Zzap! 64 I picked up was issue 35, with Apollo 18 on the cover, and it was a revelation. All these games I could buy! All the lingo to learn. Shmup. Aardvark. Coin-op conversion. Oh man.

Every month a new issue of Zzap! 64 appeared, containing all the reviewer’s worldly wisdom that I just had to know. What games were cool now? Which ones were to be avoided? In the wild west of early computer gaming, Zzap! 64 was the lawbook, and I was a devoted reader. It’s hard to pin down my favourite era – I stuck with the mag from that point on – but it’s hard even now for me to put down an issue from the Gordon Houghton era. The energy, humour and giddy enthusiasm for gaming is still infectious, and the C64 played host to some tremendous games that I still fire up today.

My career as a game programmer was clearly doomed from that point on. On the upside my brother and I got to spend years playing all the great games that Zzap! 64 introduced me to.

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Frank Gasking: I was very late to the Zzap party (as I was to the C64), and didn’t discover the magazine until issue 78, where the cover depicting Terminator 2 had grabbed my attention. I was starting to get into magazines, as being on a small budget – the cover tapes were a real draw, and Zzap’s was no exception that month. It was here that I discovered Spy Vs Spy for the first time and fell in love with the series and then got to enjoy a magazine which was very different to Commodore Format (which I had also started getting around the same time). The magazine felt glossier compared to Commodore Format, but the content not quite as good and seemed to be aimed at the older reader. What I didn’t know at the time was that Zzap had been on a decline and wasn’t anywhere near as good as it used to be.  Still, I enjoyed the magazine and took to the idea of getting both Zzap and CF every month. Issue 78 was ironically though to be the last issue published by Newsfield, so when I couldn’t find the next promised issue – I had assumed it had died a death. A few months later, and missing an issue – I discovered the magazine had resurfaced.  So my (short) journey with Zzap began.

Things got a little crap unfortunately with the inclusions of Miss Whiplash, but I managed to see a period where things improved vastly. The magazine went full colour, and then expanded in page size and doubled its cover mount. Due to mostly buying the magazines for their cover mounts, this was my favorite period of Zzap at the time – where I discovered games like Silkworm, Cops and Ninja Warriors for the first time and for a bargain price. The journey was short, as issue 90 was to be the last ever issue of Zzap. Next issue saw a transformation into Commodore Force, which was an era I actually enjoyed very much (even though the ardent Zzap readers were not so keen). The cover mounts were even more impressive, but little did I realize was it down to the dwindling market! It wasn’t until the later years that I picked up back issues and saw the amazing 1986/87 era, where the pages were full and alive and so many games were coming out every month.  It was then I realized the truly great era of Zzap and just how much I had missed.

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Andrew Fisher (MERMAN): We got our first C64 in 1985, and we’d read a few issues of Your Commodore. Then one evening Dad brought home a different mag – issue 18 of ZZAP!, with the gory Beyond the Forbidden Forest cover by Oli Frey. It looked cool and there were so many great games reviewed in that issue, including Super Cycle. But it was almost a year later when I next bought a copy – while on holiday, issue 28 was purchased and read repeatedly. That issue had two amazing games, Head Over Heels and The Last Ninja.

In issue 28 there was a subscriber’s offer – buy 12 issues and get a FREE Quickshot VIII Joyball. This looked like a giant trackball but acted like a stick, rocking in four directions. Our subscription started with issue 31 and the 3D tips supplement.

Fast-forward to a much later issue and a reader’s survey – what did readers want? A suggestion for a technical column lead me to write to the editor Phil King, suggesting I could write it – enclosing a dummy column illustrated with pictures cut out of back issues. Steve Shields replied, telling me I would start work when the magazine rebranded as Commodore Force. I wrote as Professor Brian Strain for 16 issues, then made my reviewer debut in 2005’s Def Guide to ZZAP! (given away with Retro Gamer magazine).

My favourite era has to be 1988, culminating in the immense Christmas special (issue 44). A great year for games including Armalyte and Great Giana Sisters, plus so many great features alongside the reviews.

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Kenz / Psytronik: I was a big Sinclair ZX Spectrum fan before I got into the C64 scene and was an avid reader of CRASH magazine.  This was until a friend of mine showed me his C64 and I was totally blown away by games like Uridium and Paradroid etc.  From that moment I desperately wanted a C64 but life dealt me an unexpected card – my dad bought me an Amstrad CPC!!  Although it wasn’t the C64 I craved I duly immersed myself in the Amstrad scene and migrated from CRASH to AMTIX magazine.  I eventually saved up enough money myself and bought my beloved C64.  It was a very exciting time for me as I was now officially a C64 owner and so I went out and bought the current issue of Zzap!64 that was available – issue 13 (the one with the zombies on the cover).  I still have that very issue (carefully stored in a proper Zzap! binder) and still get a buzz looking through it as it brings back memories of when I first became a proud C64 owner.

My favourite era of the mag is definitely the early few years (the Julian Rignall / Gary Penn / Gary Liddon era), those early issues had a great sense of fun to them and I loved the wacky photos depicting the shenanigans that went on behind the scenes, it looked like everyone involved with the mag was having a great time!  I would buy every issue as soon as it came out and scour the reviews to see what C64 games were worth buying (usually anything with a sizzler or gold medal award).  I would also pay particular attention to the rating the sound received as I was (and still am) a huge SID music fan.  There are plenty of games in my collection that I bought purely because Zzap! gave the music a high rating – including some dubious games with AMAZING soundtracks (Knucklebusters, I’m looking at YOU!).

Something else that comes to mind when I think about Zzap!64 are the AMAZING airbrushed covers painted by Oliver Frey.  I was lucky enough to meet Oliver (along with Newsfield co-founder Roger Kean) at the Revival retro events and it was great to chat with them both about the good old days of Zzap!64.  One of my proudest moments in the running of Psytronik Software has been getting permission to feature amazing artwork by Oli on the Psytronik releases ‘Ultimate Cops’, ‘the Shoot ‘Em Up Destruction Set 3’ and the upcoming releases of the ‘Kung Fu Maniacs Trilogy’ and ‘X-Force’!

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Kevin Tilley: I first discovered Zzap!64 after exploring a newsagency in Ocean Grove after a school excursion. At the time, I had no idea there were magazines like Zzap!64. Instead, I was used to the more serious nature of mags such as Compute! and Australian Commodore Review. This was just about the time I was earning my own money from my first part time job while still at school, and I was beginning to buy my own original C64 games from the local K-Mart after years of pirating (not having any clue of how naughty it actually was!).

I remember in the weeks before at a computer club meeting my father had taken me to, some of the older guys were demonstrating the brand new, just released C64 Terminator 2, and I was blown away. THAT INTRO!!! Well, imagine my surprise when I saw that cover, Zzap!64 issue #78, with Terminator 2 on the front and a tape!! Yes, a freakin tape, they were giving away games!!  Jackpot! After flicking through the mag, I was stunned at the amount of games there were and I felt like I wanted them all! In the months to come, I actually bought a few from that very issue! But, it was Terminator 2 that I wanted, and loading up that tape and seeing that intro on my own C64 was a magical moment. My next original game purchase was indeed Terminator 2, which I still proudly have on my shelf to this day. Zzap would only last another issue or two before Newsfield went under, so I think in the end I only ended up with a handful of issues, maybe a few more when it reappeared under the Europress banner.

My favourite Zzap era? In retrospect, having read through the classic issues years later, the best era for the mag is clearly when Jaz Rignall was at the helm. However, those few issues of Zzap I got  will always remain prized possessions, given that they introduced me to C64 games magazines and opened up a whole new world for me. After that, it was Commodore Format all the way, although I did also get Commodore Force for their excellent cover-tapes *smiles*

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Anthony Stiller: I always loved going to the newsagency. Comics, magazines, books. I could spend hours in there.

Our family had only just bought our first C64 (ok, our second as the first was faulty) which in itself was a bit of a story. I loved it dearly and the games on it, even the bad games, were amazing.

But, while my friends also had C64s (except for that one guy with the Speccy) they weren’t really into it like how I was. I read every scrap I could about it and the games on it. I wanted to know what was being made for it. Who made them. How.

I’d seen other “personal computer” magazines, of course. Some seemed very adult and business-like and boring, others were full of listings and short reviews and that was great and all but …

Oh, what is this? Glossy. A beautiful painted cover of spaceships and explosions. Zzap! 64? That sounded … exciting. It looked like a comic book. But for the C64. That cover art. I flicked through the magazine. Immediately found the Elite spread. I already knew that I would love that game.

Onwards, blurring through the pages. Stopping at more sketches of people, like in a comic book. Wait. Those are the reviewers! It’s like I knew them already. There’s the grumpy one and there’s the cool one.

Back to the cover. The Elite review. Back to that beautiful cover again. I reached for my thin wallet.

As time passed I would continue to cherish each Zzap! 64 mag and I can still recall the anticipation of hoping to see a new Oli cover standing out on the shelves.

The Houghton era would be the one that I would come to love the most. The gang seemed just like regular people, like they could be your mates, having a bit of a laugh while you play Spindizzy together.

But for now I paid the newsagent five dollars and took my Zzap! 64 issue 1 and stepped out of the store and into the sun.

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Ah, the love of Zzap!64 shines through and through! Even after 30 years, everyone that remembers the mag speaks fondly of it – that is a true testament to a great magazine! Zzap! (and everyone involved with it) has always been deserving of all the plaudits thrown its way. The mag always knew how to engage with its target audience and by doing so, it was an expert at extracting your hard earned out of your pocket to feast your eyes on its pages. Long live Zzap! (and Reset)!

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image source: Reset and The Def Guide to Zzap!64