The PC has been the master of the FPS, adventure and strategy genres for over a decade with some genre defining games along the way, so it’s little wonder that this author values the gaming platform so highly. There’s also very little in the way of PC gaming magazines digitally archived around the globe, so we at Out-of-Print Archive try to address that problem with the first issue of PC Player. This is also an official Maverick Magazines release with the permission of the company’s publisher to release all the issues at OoPA.
PC Player is virtually unknown among retrogamers and was certainly an underdog in the PC magazines scene at the time, but don’t any of those facts get in the way of this fantastic publication. Publisher Hugh Gollner stated in his interview at OoPA that PC Player was “probably the best games magazine [he] was involved with. For serious gamers it was just perfect — big fat, thorough reviews of serious strategy, simulation and adventure games.” And I can’t agree with that statement more. Yes admittadly, the design is, as Hugh also pointed out, a bit of a rip-off from Edge, but with such great content, with up to six pages per review, it doesn’t matter a jot.
One of the more unique features of PC Player were the additional comments within the reviews. Nothing unique about that you may say, but these “Expert Opinions” were from idependent experts in their own field (i.e. for the RPG reviews, PC Player drafted in Dave Renton, the editor of Role Player Independent). Then there were Making Of…, game profiles and developer profiles integrated into some of the bigger reviews, something which definitely wasn’t the norm back in 1993.
That’s not even mentioning the superb design and layout, the use of five-star ratings, the in-depth articles, reviews, previews and players’ guides. PC Player was a magazine that certainly showed lots of potential and initiative when the PC gaming scene was just starting to explode. It was a shame then that the magazine seemed to fade out of existence when Maverick Magazines itself faded out. Or was that the case? There are some suspicious adverts for PC Gamer, Future Publishing’s then fledging PC gaming mag, adorning the latter issues of PC Player. Now that was something you didn’t see often.
The PC Player archive would never have existed without the generousity of Paul Mallinson. The deputy editor on PC Player very kindly donated his spare copies, including the very important first issue that is available now. Also thanks to John Davison (editor), Paul Mallinson (again), Jason Simmons (art editor), Alex Simmons, Keith Sloan (writers), all the contributors and, of course, Hugh Gollner (Publisher), who granted us permission to realease the back catalogue of PC Player at Out-of-Print Archive.
PC Player issue 1 can be found at Out-of-Print Archive, where you will find the full contents and editorial details of the issue, online material chosen from the magazine (reviews of Return to Zork and Privateer and previews of Alone in the Dark 2 and Beneath A Steel Sky) and the all important download links in both full PC resolution and portable device resolution.