Your Spectrum
Issue 8, October 1984 - Frontlines
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Following on from the success of Valhalla, Legend has recently announced details of its latest package, The Great Space Race. Simultaneously launched, for both the Spectrum and Commodore 64, Chairman John Peel reckons the program's development has soaked up well over a quarter of a million pounds - reputed to be the largest amount ever spent on the development of a single computer game.
In many ways, unlike its predecessor, The Great Space Race does use a similar (though upgraded) operating system - Movisoft 2 - which is said to feature "technical effects never before seen in home computer software". Talking of the graphics, Peel states, "we have finally achieved true solid 3D graphics which, under the control of a computerised 'camera director', create the most realistic and spectacular pictures ever." There'll also be full facial animation, with detailed
close-ups of the various characters taking part.
Legend's first foray into the wilds of space involves players taking part in a two-phase adventure - the first being the pre-race drama, in which characters wheel and deal to amass the fastest spaceships, best personnel and suitable weaponry and the second entering the race itself; this 'anything goes' battle of wits engages you in mortal combat against time and natural obstacles, as well as all the other competitors!
Instead of the traditional 'left', 'right' and 'fire' commands, an option generator is provided which allows other characters in the game to offer you various choices based on the current situation. Says Peel, "the pressure is maintained by giving you only a few seconds to make your choices."
The race is now on... either check it out at your nearest micro shop or give Legend a ring on nn-nnn nnnn/n.
The pace of measures to protect software companies against counterfeiting continues unabated. Following the revelations of the Imagine saga, other companies are becoming determined not to fold under the pressure of unscrupulous pirates.
Elite Systems Ltd, a company launched on August 1st, is employing a new protection method against counterfeiting. All its products will carry an inch by half inch hologram of the company's logo on the cassette inlay cards.
These holograms are obtainable from only one source in the world, which means that any Elite product that doesn't display the stickers - once the system gets going - will probably be counterfeit.
The first Elite software with hologram stickers attached should be in the shops by mid- September. Look out for their first offering entitled Kokotoni Wilf.

A creative group comprising programmers, graphic artists and musicians has broken away from its parent company, Softek International, to form an independent division. Called The Edge, it's already boasting four new titles, two of which - Starbike and Psytraxx - are designed for the Spectrum.
Costing £6.95, Starbike is described as taking place in a space arcade setting; your mission being to pick up aliens and transport them from planet to planet. The other, and certainly the more interesting, package, Psytraxx, uses a software technique dubbed 'synergy' which, according to The Edge's Marten Davies, "is a method of shovelling as many screens as possible into a game." And it seems to work as you'll find an amazing 1026 rooms in it! The plot of the game is that you are a small, overworked droid, drifting around inside a robot's brain in search of the malignant CPU.
Both titles are due for launch sometime in September - look for them in the shops or, if you prefer, you can get closer to The Edge on nn-nnn nnnn.
In this world's oft- fruitless search for value for money, a new software package from Domark shouldn't be ignored - especially as the company's been offering £25,000 to the person who can unravel its mysteries. No ... don't rush out and buy a copy yet - at least not until you've read this. The prize was offered at the Personal Computer World Show from the 20th to the 23rd September, so you've probably missed it.
Anyway, the jewel in the Domark crown is Eureka - a new real- time adventure and arcade game, described as the culmination of more than 10,000 man-hours of work by Hungarian programmers. With its five adventure games and five arcades (coming on just the one cassette) it's full of riddles, puzzles and clues, plus there's a colour illustrated book. Ideal, it's hoped, for Christmas! At the time of going to press, no further details could be prised from Domark. All, however, will be revealed soon.
Longmans the publishers seems to have won the race to produce the first decent replacement for the shoddy QL style books that have been filling the bookshelves since (as well as before) the infamous machine's launch. Good Programming with Sinclair QL Basic is by Roy Atherton and takes the reader through from basic principles to explaining the stuff that the QL manual didn't make clear. Each chapter provides useful, if not essential, information for those who want to learn SuperBasic in a step- by- step way, instead of trying to follow the User Guide's leaps from keyboards to concepts and back again.
Each section has a self-test so that you can judge how you're progressing and the bibliography is a good indication of how much work has gone into preparing this book.
Good Programming with QL SuperBasic costs £5.95, its ISBN number is 0 582 29662 5, and it should be in your bookshop now.
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