[Amstrad Action, the first magazine from Future Publishing, celebrates its 25th anniversary this week and to celebrate that fact, we’re featuring articles specifically related to the Amstrad’s number one magazine all week. Already this week, we’ve looked at the history of Amstrad Action, the making of the tribute magazine and AA’s top ten games of all time. So today, in a special edition of Back in Time, we take a look at the very first issue of Amstrad Action.]
Amstrad Action issue 1 launched in September 1985, cover dated October 1985 and cost £1.00. The front cover featured what would become Amstrad Action’s unique vertical logo and “Not an official Amstrad publication” declaration. The striking eyeball and 130 games tested statement also brought attention to the readers.
The Line Up featured four main sections, detailing the contents of the issue: ‘Hot Reviews’, ‘October Specials’, ‘Juicy Offers’ and ‘Action Regulars’. The Ed Lines was the editorial page that featured the small group who had produced this first issue: Chris Anderson (former Editor of Personal Computer Gamers and Zzap!64, Peter Connor (former Personal Computer Games writer) was brought in as Editor, Bob Wade (who worked with Chris on both Personal Computer Games and Zzap!64) came in as Software Editor and Trevor Gilham was drafted in as Art Editor.
The news pages covered the news of the Amstrad CPC 6128, Amstrad’s latest computer that had a built in disk drive. The PCW 8256 also featured. In ‘Talking Amstrad’, many industry insiders gave their thoughts on the Amstrad CPC machines, including David Ward (Ocean Software), Tim Chaney (US Gold), Nick Alexander (Virgin Software), Jeff Minter (Llamasoft), Mike Singleton (programmer) and more.
The Way of the Exploding Fist obtained the first ‘Master Game’ award to be given out. The one on one beat-‘em-up, from Melbourne House, received an overall AA Rating of 94%. Boulderdash wasn’t too far away from the ‘Master Game’, coming away with an ‘AA Rave’ with 93%. Sorcery Plus and Everyone’s A Wally both got ‘AA Rave’s with 91% and 92%. Other ‘Raves’ included Cyrus II Chess with 92%, Lords of Midnight with 91% and Nonterraqueous with 85%.
The ‘Which wrod-processor?’ (sic) feature, with the infamous misspelling, looked at word processing software packages on the Amstrad CPC, including Pocket Wordstar, Microscript, Tasword. The ‘Battle of the Light Pens’ looked at the latest add-ons from Amstrad, DK’Tronics and The Electric Studio. Amsoft, one of the Amstrad CPC’s most important early publishers, spoke to Chris Anderson about the company, games and the Amstrad CPC. One of Amstrad Action’s longest running part of the magazine, ‘Cheat Mode’, featured tips, pokes, maps, and type-ins to help readers with their games.
The Pilgrim hosted his first instalment of his adventure section. Pick of the adventure games was Red Moon, which came away with 90%. Amsyclopedia, AA’s complete guide to CPC games, featured over 100 games, with Knight Lore and Alien 8 getting the highest scores of 96% each. Socrcery got 90%, while Classic Racing managed 90%, Combat Lynx 92% and Dun Darach 90%.
Weblink: Amstrad Action issue 1 can be found at CPC Oxygen, who have permission from Future Publishing to host the magazine.
[Retroaction will be continuing the celebration of Amstrad Action’s 25th anniversary tomorrow with more nostalgicness. Join us then.]