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The Icon Bar: News and features: News archive: Pre-July 1998

News archive: Pre-July 1998

Posted by Alasdair Bailey on 00:00, 27/6/1998 | , , , ,

Super Snail Released (27/6/98)

Super Snail is a new platform game writen by David Johnston of Arm'd 'n' Dangerous which is published by the 4th Dimension. The game was due for release at the Acorn Southeast Show but copies didn't make it there in time. However, the game is now available via mail-order from 4th Dimension.

As mentioned above, Super Snail is a simple platform game, where the player controls a snail which must be guided across various terrains to collect credits and spheres in order to progress to the next level.

See the full review which is now online.

MESS ported to the Acorn (4/6/98)

A version of MESS, the Multi-Emulator Super System, has been released for the Acorn RISC OS range of computers. MESS is an emulator for a number of different defunct home console platforms in the same way as MAME emulates many different classic arcade machine titles.

The first version (0.01) includes support for the following consoles:

  • Sega MegaDrive/Genesis
  • Nintendo Entertainment System (NES)
  • ColcoVision
  • Tandy TRS-80 Model I
  • Tandy TRS-80 Model III
  • Colour Genie 2000
You will, of course, need to download the appropriate ROM file from the internet before you'll be able to play any games. This first version lacks any in-depth instructions or RISC OS front-end so unless you know what you're doing in this area, you'd be better off waiting until some RISC OS front-ends pop up for the emulator.

Download MESS from: http://www.elecslns.demon.co.uk/MESS.

Comments/suggestions should be sent to Gareth Long.

More details on ARM 3 Doom (28/5/98)

R-Comp Interactive have released some more details about their new version of Doom which will run on computers with an ARM 3 processor.


  • Computer with ARM 3 processor or higher
  • 4MB RAM or more
  • 15 MB hard disc space (30 MB recommeneded)
  • CD-Rom drive
As with the RISC PC version, the pack includes the full Ultimate Doom and Doom 2 level sets, and will work with all correctly written PC extra levels. The game was released at the Wakefield show and is available now.

Desktop Hacker distributed by Risc User (28/5/98)

Risc User have managed to gain the rights to distribute Desktop Hacker, the games hacker from Doggysoft. It was published on the subscription disc of issue 11:4, and this is likely to be the last ever version of the software.

Some major modifications have been made, one of the new features added was an assembler. The program is now only available through Beebug Ltd.

Level editors for Star Fighter 3000 and Stuntracer 2000? (27/5/1998)

Fednet have agreed to make their own in-house level editors for two of their classic Acorn titles, Starfighter 3000 and Stuntracer 2000, freely available over the internet. The level editors will certainly breathe new life into these two classic games.

At present, only the StuntRacer editor is available and this is in a somewhat basic form because it was only intended for use by the programmers. However, work is currently under way to update the editor and to provide some nice user-friendly instructions and a new interface.

The editor as it is now may be downloaded from the VOTI homepages at: http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/Campus/3873.

APDL to take over The Datafile (19/5/1998)

APDL has now taken over The Datafile following a deal struck between the owners at the Wakefield show. APDL will continue to sell all the games and PD which were formerly marketed by The Datafile. The Datafile and APDL have been the main Acorn PD libraries for as long as many people can remember. However, the market in selling PD by post is obviously shrinking at the moment due to the vastly increased internet usage.

It was also revealed that Dave McCartney, former owner of The Datafile will continue to sell his range of Gothic and Medieval fonts through a new company to be launched shortly.

News from Wakefield (17/5/1998)

As expected, lots of interest on R-Comp's stand this year. Syndicate looks like a perfect converson, with several improvements over the PC version, including smoother graphics and re-orchestrated MIDI music. Apparently it'll play at up to 100fps on a StrongARM RISC PC.

RCI were also taking orders for Abuse, which will include all the levels as well as a level editor, and many other improvements over the PC version.

The CDs and manuals for Quake were being sold, but the player discs will sent on shortly afterwards.

Artex released Ankh at the show, which has had quite a good reception, and they were showing off TEK, which looks very impressive.

The RiscPC 2 was also previewed at the show, click here for a photo and details of some of the features.

AlienTC Installer for Acorn Doom (3/5/1998)

Luke Graham has announced the release of an installer program to allow the Aliens Total Conversion WADs to be played on RCI Doom.

The installer can be downloaded from Luke Graham's homepage, but you also need two AlienTC zip files titled 'alntc19a.zip' and 'alntc19b.zip' which can be downloaded from theAlienTC homepage.

ARM 3 Doom? (14/5/98)

R-Comp Interactive have also announced an an ARM 3 compliant version of their Acorn Doom Trilogy which will be available at the Wakefield show. For this version to be playable, the low detail setting is recommended, and the game will still require 4mb RAM and a CD-ROM drive.

Acorn Quake to be published by R-Comp (25/4/1998)

A deal between TBA and R-Comp interactive has come to light which means that R-Comp will be distributing TBA's Acorn Quake conversion. R-Comp were forced into making the deal with their competitors, TBA, when they obtained the license to sell Quake on the Acorn platform from GT.

It is thought that R-Comp will sell the Acorn Quake player with an extra level 3-CD package in the same way as they did with ID's other hit title, Doom. The Quake Resurrection package contains three CDs with a mixture of extra levels and Quake add-ons. There is also a possibility that R-Comp will sell the Acorn player on its own for a cut-down price to those who already own the PC version of the game but this seems unlikely as this option was not offered with Doom.

Artex Website changed (8/4/1998)

Artex's website has moved, their new address its: http://www.artex.oaktree.co.uk

The new site is similar to the old one, except much of the information has been updated, and the site now has a download area, which has the Exodus and Ankh demos available to download, as well as Botkiller (however, all three are also available from this site).

Digital Oasis Games Scene revamped (8/4/1998)

Al McRonald has announced that DO Games Scene, which forms part of the Digital Oasis online Acorn magazine, has been revamped.

The new site uses a frame layout, and new graphics. The content is similar to before: news, reviews and the occasional competition, but there are also a couple of new sections.

Joy Stick Wars (4/4/1998)

Stuart Tyrrell has been manufacturing Acorn joystick interfaces for some time now. However, there's some competition now in this area of the gaming market from a German company, ACE. Their new product, JoyConnect offers two 9-pin joystick ports for use with digital joysticks via an expansion card which is fitted into the back of the computer.

JoyConnect has the advantage that it doesn't take up valuable printer/serial port slots like Stuart Tyrrell Development's offerings do. However, STDevel's PC Joy interface is still the only one that can handle the more complex analogue joystick models. For those not in the know, an analogue joystick is far superior to a digital one because it offers proportional movement rather than just left, right, up, down or centre as a digital model would.

We're hoping to be able to bring you a full review of both products shortly, however for the meantime the web addresses are:
Stuart Tyrrell Developments - http://www.stdevel.demon.co.uk
ACE JoyConnect - http://www.acebace.de/html/joy_connect.htm.

Jaw Wars Beta Release

Stephen Scott has announced the beta release of his game Jaw Wars, which is a point and click arcade game being developed for his final year degree show.

The game is a very simple 'war in the mouth' arcade game, where the mouse pointer is a toothbrush and you have to click and kill the germs that are attacking the teeth. It is written in basic, and needs tidying up, but it is only 370k and may be worth a look.

Stephen is eager to receive comments and suggestions for further editions of the game, which is also being written in Macromedia Director 6 format, and possibly Shockwave format for playing over the Internet.

Visit the JawWars homepage.

Marsquake Boom:Deluxe Released

Paul Taylor has announced the release of the sequel to Marsquake, Marsquake Boom:Deluxe. Marsquake is, undoutably, the best Bomberman clone ever released on the Acorn. It features up to 4 human players in battle modes, very addictive single-player levels and good presentation.
Marsquake is now shareware with a registration fee of £5. The latest unregistered version can be downloaded from here; It includes numerous improvements over the version released on an Acorn User cover disc last year.

Download Marsquake Boom:Deluxe (v1.01 584K)

Improvements in the latest version include:

  • RISC OS front end
  • Level editor
  • Computer players
  • Serial link option
  • Enhanced sound effects
  • Several bugs fixes

Sim City 3000

Sim City 3000, the sequel to Sim City 2000 is due for release this September. The new game will feature much more complex descision making on the part of the user and the number of buildings will also be greatly increased.

However, the snag is that an Acorn conversion of the game seems unlikely within the near future but there's a slight chance it might one day come along since both the origional Sim City and Sim City 2000 were both released in Acorn format. Furthermore, it looks as if any conversion would have to be Strong ARM or RiscPC 2 only due to the processing required to keep the new graphics and game engine going smoothly.

Doom levels CD-ROM

This month's issue of 'PC Gamer' magazine features a bonus cover CD full of Doom, Doom2 and Quake extra levels. However, you'll need access to a PC or a PC card because the levels must be decompressed using the PC extractor supplied. Once they are extracted however, the levels work well with the Acorn player.

The levels are included with the April 1998 issue of 'PC Gamer' which has a cover price of £5 and is published by Future Publishing.

DIY Doom

DIY (Doom It Yourself) is an archive of files wich enable even the non-programer to re-compile the LINUX source codes to produce a fully working Acorn Doom conversion. This way of distributing Doom neatly works around R-Comp's license agreement with iD which states:

The licence in clause 1 [Doom] shall be exclusive to RCI in relation to the provision of the Game for operation on the Acorn Computer platform.
As the distributed version is not capable of operating on an Acorn in its raw form, it should be legal. However, R-Comp have recently released the following statement which says that although the supply of DIY Doom is not illegal, the use of it may well be.
DIY Doom is provided in a form for operation on Acorn computer systems, and this is its sole purpose. It therefore contrevenes the Acorn Licence. Whilst its availablility is a grey issue, users downloading and using it are not. This is clearly illegal, and should be marked as such. As for the original distribution, there is probably not a lot we can do without expensive legal intervention from GT, and this WILL jeoprodize forthcoming products. So, the crunch line is that if users insist on pusing on with DIY Doom, they do so at their own legal risk. But more importantly, they do so at the risk of future GT titles, and goodwill to the market.
Although this statement makes the downloading and use of the demo seem to be illegal, it still remains unclear as to whether or not there is any hard evidence upon which R-Comp or even GT could take any users of DIY Doom to a court of law. However, one thing's for sure; don't go bragging that you use a copy because R-Comp may indeed want to have a go at some legal proceedings...
Go to the DIY Doom homepage anyway!.

RailPro Author Dies

Acorn Arcade today recieved the sad news that Jos Keijzers, author of RailPro, died of cancer last Wednesday, 11th March. Jos had left the internet a few weeks earlier due to his deteriorating health and will be sadly missed by many in the Acorn gaming community including your news editor who worked closely with Jos on Arcade's own RailPro section.

Exodus Demo - Download it here

Download Exodus Demo (2.6Mb)

The demo has the following restrictions:

  • You can't load/save a game.
  • The game quits after 10 months.
  • There are limited start options.
  • The CTRL and STAT menus have been disabled (so a large part of the game is missing).
  • There's no space combat.
  • You can't play 'Star Sheriff' in the Stardust Bar.
  • You don't have to enter a code from the manual at the start of the game.

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The Icon Bar: News and features: News archive: Pre-July 1998