Your Spectrum
Issue 11, February 1985 - Frontlines

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It was jolly nice of Activision to invite the YS staff down to a preview of the movie Ghostbusters on Halloween night. The reason for all this 'free- lunch' generosity? Well, you're not going to believe this ... but Activision has actually managed to release Ghostbusters - the Spectrum game - before the movie goes on general release!
Following the film quite closely, you can even sing along with the theme by Ray Parker Jr by following the bouncing ball along the lyrics on the screen. Pressing the space key yields the Ghostbusters cheer to punctuate the tune in the right place.
Probably one of the best bits of the program!
The game's plot is to avert the oncoming invasion of New York from the rapidly increasing number of ghosties, progressing to the final conflict at the Temple of Zuul. Various objects can be used to help in your task - such as an Energy Detector, Image Intensifier, Marshmallow Sensor, Ghost Vacuum, etc, etc. It may sound crazy, but go see the movie and it'll all begin to make sense.
Anyway, Ghostbusters gets our vote of confidence, even if it does cost £9.99. Available now from the usual stockists.

All the thrills and spills of the movie - Activision's Ghostbusters.
Here we go - it's just like Fleet Street all over again! Only it's not Bingo this time, but sorting out the clues from an adventure program.
HareSoft, a new company on the software scene, has announced a treasure hunt based on its latest package Hairaiser. And the winner could take away Kit Williams' Jewel of the Golden Hare (of Masquerade fame) or £30,000. And for those without calculators that's £5,000 more than you'll win at Domark's Eureka.
Who'll be brave enough to launch the first £1 million prize for winning a computer game? It's a shame Imagine went down the tubes - that would have been right up its street.
If you remember taking part in 'wizard pranks on poor ol' teach' and 'stuffing your face with lashings of ginger beer after lights out', then Microsphere's Skool Daze is probably right up your street.
It's one of those jolly whizzo games in Famous Five fashion. You see, what's happened is that all your school reports are locked up in the safe, and you have to daze, knock down or hypnotise the masters into giving you the four- letter combination.
Sounds like every schoolchild's dream! Phone up Microsphere on nn-nnn nnnn ...

Miss this game and Microsphere'll put you in detention.
Steve Webb / Virgin Books

There are two fundamental approaches to the teaching of machine code. The first is to assume the reader knows nothing about computers at all, so everything kicks off from the very beginning; the other makes use of reference to Basic, as a way of putting over some idea of the concept behind the instruction being taught. Practical Machine Code Programming falls into the latter camp - a sort of 'soft' approach for those who already have a fair knowledge of Basic.
Steve Webb opens his account with a
description of what machine code is and how numbers are stored in memory and follows that with the de rigeur rundown of the 'ins and outs' of binary and hexadecimal. The first few chapters are obviously designed to teach the bare essentials of machine code programming. Things then get Spectrum specific, with descriptions of how the display and attribute memory is arranged, and also how you read the keyboard and create simple sound effects. But nowhere in the book is there any mention of assemblers or assembly language.
The book now switches track completely and starts to describe the relevant processes that lie behind
a few simple machine code games.
Each routine is reasonably well described and accompanied by a non- standard flowchart. And, although the programs are written in a rather non-efficient way, they are fairly easy to follow.
As usual there's a selection of standard pixel and attribute scrolling routines.
I can't say that overall the ideas in the book are my personal favourites ... certainly the volume won't be one that comes high on my recommended reading list. On the other hand, at £3.95 what have you got to lose?

Tony Samuels
Well, it was on the cards that Fuller would eventually crash - but was it really necessary for the company to solicit orders of keyboards right up until the day it went into voluntary liquidation? Here at YS, there've been quite a few calls from upset customers, some of whom actually sent their Spectrums in to be fitted along with hard-earned cash. Needless to say, that's the last they've heard.
And now, a press release tells us of a new company that have taken over the entire rights to Fuller's product range. Sounds great! But, according to ex-Fuller man Frank Lawton, over half of the Nordic crew are from Fuller.
Here at YS, we'd be very interested to hear any problems you may be having reclaiming your equipment from the old Fuller. Let's be hearing from you ...
A new company called Modular Resources literally flooded the YS office with the promotional material its putting out for Espionage.
Large posters, small posters, car stickers, pens, club memberships, small stickers and table displays came stuffed in a large brown envelope. Oh yes, and there was also a copy of the game!
Espionage is a game of "intrigue and skill in the oil business". Fair enough, the game seems quite good as it happens, but has the market got so rough that a program needs this many gimmicks tied to its rear end to help it sell? Maybe the software business is going the way of the pop world! Worrying stuff ...
Re-packaging games is definitely 'flavour of the month', especially with Christmas looming on the horizon. One more company who've succumbed is Incentive Software by including all three of its Ket Trilogy adventures in a presentation package.
And if the thought of saving £3.35 doesn't send your pulse racing, there's a whole load of prizes to be won, such as a video recorded and the title 'Britain's Best Adventurer'. (Wow! Ed.) All you have to do is score 100 per cent (!) on all three games, thus revealing the three-part secret message.
The IS press release claims a number of 'special' features such as 'interactive beings', 'on-screen scoring' and a 'unique fast-response combat system' - but it must be more exciting than that! Check 'em out in your nearest stockists.
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