The Story of the ZX Spectrum in Pixels Volume 3 by Chris Wilkins – review
Dec10

The Story of the ZX Spectrum in Pixels Volume 3 by Chris Wilkins – review

As I have stated in previous reviews for this particular series of books, us Spectrum fans have never had it so good. What with the world and his dog all falling over themselves to produce new hardware, ‘recreated’ hardware and new software for our ageing micro, it is almost like being back in the 80s. Feeding off this nostalgia gold rush there has also been a sudden upsurge in the amount of print featuring our dear old friend, some of which has been much better than others. Chris Wilkin’s previous two offerings firmly fall into the ‘much better’ category with ‘The ZX Spectrum in Pixels Vol. 1‘ and ‘The ZX ‘Spectrum in Pixels Vol. 2‘ getting full scores in my previous reviews. Now endowed with a green cover, ZX Spectrum in Pixels Volume 3 – which is the only one in the series not be crowdfunded – has now completed the trilogy, and it is time to see if the series can pull off a hat-trick of perfect scores… The full set ZX Spectrum peripherals Double spread games reviews Oli Frey’s glorious artwork is featured throughout the series the memoirs of a coding hero of mine; Malcolm Evans Look great don’t they? Inside Volume 3 The third volume follows the tried and tested format of the previous books, with a great article by Graeme Mason that covers ZX Spectrum software compilations in some depth, followed by a short feature on the various peripherals that made the Speccy such a versatile machine to own. The book also features an intriguing article with regards to music on the Spectrum, something that is often overlooked by those who have had no exposure to its underrated AY chip and only remember its awful beeper. The usual double page spreads of in-game graphics, loading screens and inlay artwork for over 80 games follow, along with a short synopsis of each game in question giving details of gameplay and a little of the history behind each title. Another motley bunch of software titles are featured with many of the Spectrum’s later offerings on show, such as Turrican (1990), Night Shift (1991), Addams Family (1992) and the last ever licensed game ever released for the ZX Spectrum – Dalek Attack (1992) bringing up the rear. Nine more fascinating memoirs from the likes of Malcolm Evans (New Generation Software), Brian Beuken (Imagine) and Ian Andrew (Incentive) wrap up another information-laden publication. The book is also sprinkled throughout with Spectrum related adverts which helps keep the nostalgia juices flowing between articles. As with the other books in the series, print quality is good for a publication of this...

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Retrogaming Event: Revival Winter Warmer 2015 – Wolverhampton
Nov06

Retrogaming Event: Revival Winter Warmer 2015 – Wolverhampton

On the weekend of 28-29 November, Brookfields Leisure Centre, Wolverhampton plays host to the Revival Winter Warmer, a dedicated retro gaming event which returns after the main event was skipped this year. This ‘mini-event’ is a precursor for next year’s much larger normal Revival event but has still got plenty of amazing retro treats for those who love their gaming vintage-style. Tickets are now very few in number for Saturday but Sunday still has plenty of tickets left at time of writing. Pics below are from the 2013 event at Dunstall Park. Plenty of cabs on freeplay Archer Maclean giving a very entertaining talk as ever Sega Menacer Head over Hells played by the Author Virtuality 1000 CS Pong in a box Taito Egret II candy cabs Boom! Another Deathstar destroyed ColecoVision playing Zaxxon Scott from Retrogaming Roundup A steady stream of visitors The Centre for Computing History timeline Just some of whats in store at the event: * Over 50 playable retro consoles and computers * Over 30 video arcade machines and 6-8 pinball machines (unique for a smaller event) * On-stage competitions and prizes * Select traders offering various retro collectibles * Reasonably priced, fully licensed bar and hot food available * New venue for up to 300 visitors per day, right by M6 J11 and with over 100 free parking spaces Tickets are priced at £10 per day/£18 for a weekend for adults, and £5 per day/£8 for a weekend for children 12 or under. Click here to visit the Revival Retro Events website  ...

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Coleco – The Complete History Kickstarter campaign launches
Nov01

Coleco – The Complete History Kickstarter campaign launches

Retro Games Collector is proud to be supporting this new Kickstarter campaign by Antoine Clerc-Renaud to produce Coleco – The Complete History, a book about an often visionary and sometimes revolutionary company that brought gamers like us the ColecoVision console, the Adam computer and many great tabletop and TV games. The book will cover the entire history of Coleco Industries, which was founded in 1932 by Maurice Greenberg and went bankrupt in 1989. The company name actually stands for Connecticut Leather Company. With a lot of imagery, including pictures ranging from the 30s to the 80s, but still a lot to read, Coleco – The Complete History (working title) will provide detailed information about this rather unknown company. It will, for example, include an entire part about Coleco Canada and its Montreal-based factory which used to build sophisticated toys that were distributed all over the world. We chose to put the emphasis around the video game and electronic game years of Coleco Industries because this is what enabled them to get recognition from all around the globe more than with any other of their products. Backers of the campaign will have access to some great perks including books signed by the authors and a special Kickstarter edition of Spunky’s Super Car for ColecoVision produced by CollectorVision. For more information and to pledge on the book visit the Kickstarter page now....

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The Story of the Oliver Twins Kickstarter launch event – new Dizzy game revealed
Oct25

The Story of the Oliver Twins Kickstarter launch event – new Dizzy game revealed

The impressive Centre for Computing History in Cambridge was the scene of the action yesterday as a new Kickstarter campaign to fund the new book on the Oliver Twins was launched. The book written by Chris Wilkins and Roger Kean will chronicle the astonishing rise of Andrew and Philip from their first type-in listing submitted to a magazine in 1983, to their first real success; Super Robin Hood and their days coding games for Code Masters which of course include the breathtaking successes of the Dizzy and Simulator series of games. The Story of the Oliver Twins book cover The computers were all available to use And lots to choose from! Explaining what the book is all about Showing some of the Twins’ earlier work A full house The Twins signing merchandise at the launch event Various Dizzy perks Signing Dizzy clocks Neil from indieretronews.com with software just signed by the Twins Yours truly with Andrew and Philip Chris and the Twins talked about the new Kickstarter book which was launched at 1 o’clock with a click on Chris’s mobile phone. There were opportunities for the attendees to then pledge on the campaign there and then in return for exclusive posters and postcards which Andrew and Philip were only too happy to sign. We were all also treated to a compelling talk by Archer Maclean, author of Dropzone, Jimmy Whites Whirlwind Snooker and Mercury. Wonderland Dizzy rediscovered And as if the Kickstarter campaign wasn’t enough, at 4 o’clock we were all treated to the big Dizzy reveal, which was undoubtedly the highlight of the day for many there. The rediscovered disk containing the source data for Wonderland Dizzy Wonderland Dizzy artwork A mock up of the Wonderland Dizzy NES cartridge and box Box art front Box art back A video was shown of the recent Play Event where the Twins had shown a map of Wonderland Dizzy for Nintendo’s NES, which they could remember finishing but had never had published. Further investigation of the attic later revealed a floppy disk, which with much help from Andrew Joseph of yolkfolk.com and Lucasz Kur, they were able to get working and debugged. The game is now available to play for FREE at wonderlanddizzy.com thanks to the generosity of Andrew and Philip. Pledge on ‘The Story of The Oliver Twins’ book...

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The Story of US Gold by Chris Wilkins and Roger Kean – review
Sep18

The Story of US Gold by Chris Wilkins and Roger Kean – review

With a book about software publishing house Ocean, an upcoming Kickstarter-funded Commodore 64 in Pixels book and a highly popular ZX Spectrum in Pixels duo already their belts, there seems to be no stopping the publishing powerhouse that is Fusion Retro Books and its owner Chris Wilkins. Our reviews of the first two volumes of The ZX Spectrum in Pixels threw up full scores, but can this book keep a clean sheet? Partnering with Chris on The Story of US Gold is Roger Kean who many of you will know from his days running Newsfield and their legendary Crash and Zzap! 64 magazines. With the input of Roger’s experience this book promises much and you don’t have to venture far into its 231 full colour pages to find that promise is fulfilled. I never really meant to create an international video game publishing and distribution business… it just grew like a beanstalk that I kept climbing. Geoff Brown I’m not quite sure what I was expecting, well a story of US Gold the software house for sure, but never one so comprehensive and full of the tiniest details. Details told by the people who were there; of a sometimes fun, sometimes manic but almost always cut-throat business that grows from nothing into a public limited company with a turnover in the tens of millions of pounds. Inside the book We had the softback version of the The Story of US Gold for review but there is also a hardback version available.The cover of this book sets the tone. With an overall matt laminated finish and a shiny spot varnish over the embossed US Gold logo it just looks a quality publication. The Foreword is by founder, Geoff Brown and roughly the first half of the book is taken up by the history of the company which is brought to life by plenty of input from those involved in the running of US Gold. Seemingly, nothing appears to have been omitted and it covers the birth of US Gold in 1983 up until the sell off of the whole group of companies in 1996. From their (sometimes petty) rivalry with local rivals Elite, though to the Artic Computing World Cup Carnival debacle and their groundbreaking partnership with Sega, it is all here in the greatest of detail with first hand accounts from those involved. Here at US Gold we have the task of converting 64 games onto the Spectrum, and believe me it’s like drinking champagne and then drinking house wine afterwards. Tim Chaney in an interview with Zzap! 64 The second half of the book takes its cue from...

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Amiga A1200 new housings Kickstarter campaign
Aug13

Amiga A1200 new housings Kickstarter campaign

There have been quite a few ‘new housing for vintage computer/console’ Kickstarter campaigns of late but this one caught our attention because it dares to be a little bit different. Let me elaborate… With less than a week to go at the time of writing this particular campaign by Philippe Lang is to produce new Amiga A1200 housings from new molds in a range of colours. Unlike previous campaigns such as for the KS64C and the Atari Jaguar case remake, original molds are not available so they are remaking them. But what makes this particular campaign really special in our opinion is the fact that they are not just recreating an original Amiga A1200 case as it came 22 years ago. They are taking the original case design and adding ports, holes for buttons and break out panels for contemporary upgrades that already exist; like USB ports, compact flash adapters and HXC floppy emulators. They are even making the case Raspberry Pi, A1200 reloaded and MiST FPGA board compatible. On top of all these enhancements they have upgraded the expansion bay ‘trap door’ with ventilation slots and the rear ‘trap door’ with a slot that will be able to house DVI/HMDI and VGA ports. It’s the modern hardware compatibility approach to this project that really makes it stand out from others. This really is as future-proof a retro computer housing as you can get! See more and back the campaign here:...

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